The Cambridge companion to Elizabeth Gaskell /

Corporate Author: Cambridge collections online.
Other Authors: Matus, Jill L., 1952-
Format: Online Book
Language: English
Published: Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Series: Cambridge companions to literature.
Online Access: Online version
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Review by Choice Review

This is an excellent place to begin research on the life and writings of Elizabeth Gaskell. Matus (Univ. of Toronto) collects up-to-date essays on Gaskell's novels, novellas, short stories, biographical writing, and letters and also includes a review of Gaskell criticism. Three prominent themes in Gaskell's work--gender and the family, social transformation, and Unitarianism--feature in separate essays but also permeate the analyses of specific works. Taken together, the essays work to dispel critical myths about Gaskell's work, showing that her writings do not display confusion about the conflict between the classes and relations between the sexes but rather illuminate the complex ambiguities of both private and public history. Contributors also acknowledge the various personas of "Mrs. Gaskell" and draw critical attention to the many genres in which she worked, including historical and Gothic fiction. The editor emphasizes her own particular interest, the manifestations of interiority and emotional complexity in Gaskell's writings, overturning the idea that Gaskell's characterizations are only "sentimental." The volume contains a useful chronology of Gaskell's life, a selected bibliography, and a thorough index. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers; all levels. R. R. Warhol University of Vermont

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.