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Highlights from the collection are the unedited ‘warts and all version’ of her biography of Charlotte Brontë and the original handwritten manuscript of Wives and Daughters. This was left incomplete as she died on 12 November 1865 before she was able to finish it and is the only ‘complete’ manuscript of any of Gaskell’s novels which survives.The online Elizabeth Gaskell collection can be viewed here:
The University of Manchester Library are using cutting edge technology to digitise selected works from their internationally renowned Gaskell collection which includes:
Four of her literary manuscripts
-Collections of letters to Gaskell from Charles Dickens and Charlotte Brontë
-Correspondence between Gaskell and various friends and acquaintances
-Gaskell’s descendants have also kindly given permission for items from the Elizabeth -Gaskell Family Collection to be photographed by the Library.
Gems from this collection include:
-A portrait of Gaskell by Samuel Laurence dating from 1854
-A portrait miniature of her aunt, Hannah Lumb, who brought her up in Knutsford (Gaskell referred to her aunt as her ‘more than mother’)
The digital collection is being launched to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Gaskell’s death this year.