Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters

Wives and Daughters title page

Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) was not only a great novelist and a keen observer of the foibles and social conventions of Victorian society, she was also the author of one of the greatest ghost stories of all time, “The Old Nurse’s Story” (1852).

Wives and Daughters is Gaskell’s final novel, and this American first edition was published a short time after her death…and note that the author is still listed as “Mrs. Gaskell”. Gaskell, who became justifiably famous during her lifetime, still wrote under her husband’s name, just as Mrs. J. H. (Charlotte) Riddell (another gifted scribe of ghostly tales) did, while other female authors (see Mary Shelley and the first edition of Frankenstein) published their works anonymously, and still others (like Louisa May Alcott, who used “A. M. Barnard”) wrote their “blood and thunder” tales under gender-less or male pseudonyms.

We are pleased to offer this book under the true name of the author, and to celebrate the legacy of…Elizabeth Gaskell.