Elizabeth Gaskell is one of Manchester’s literary icons. She wrote the seminal works North and South and Cranford, whilst living a five minute walk from the University of Manchester. Her home has been kept in all its mid nineteenth century glory, with the original servants quarters and transitioning decor. Using 360 degree photography and the knowledge of some expert guides you can visit the house from the comfort or convenience of your own home in this online tour of Elizabeth Gaskell’s house. Benefit from the collective knowledge of passionate experts as they bring Manchester’s literary heritage alive.
Elizabeth’s family life can tell us a lot about the day to day goings on in a well off Victorian household in Manchester. Living in a city which was in the full throws of the industrial revolution, inspired her to write the novels which made her famous throughout the world. Her literary pursuits were largely possible thanks to the support of her husband William. This tour gives you an insight into how the family worked, lived and negotiated the hierarchy within the household staff. You may notice the stark contrast between the lavish and colourful Drawing and Dining Rooms and the comparatively simple servants quarters. It serves as a clear illustration of the inequality in Victorian Manchester.
As you make your way through each room, you’ll discover stories of some of the famous guests who stayed at the house. Another literary heavyweight of the time, Charlotte Bronte, was reported to have stayed with Elizabeth Gaskell and lived up to her notoriously shy character. There will also be tales of the tempestuous relationship between Elizabeth and her publisher Charles Dickens.
The online tour of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House lasts one hour and is limited to 20 people so as to allow time for questions. To find out about more online events from Elizabeth Gaskell’s house check out their website.