The novel A Dark Night's Work is the engrossing apogee of Gaskell's foray into Gothic ghost stories and tales of horror. Fans of these genres won't be disappointed.
Elizabeth Gaskell, (29 September 1810 – 12 November 1865), often referred to as Mrs Gaskell, was an English novelist and short story writer. Her novels offer a detailed portrait of the lives of many strata of Victorian society, including the very poor, and are of interest to social historians as well as lovers of literature.
Her first novel, Mary Barton, was published in 1848. Gaskell's The Life of Charlotte Brontë, published in 1857, was the first biography of Brontë. Some of Gaskell's best known novels are Cranford (1851–53), North and South (1854–55), and Wives and Daughters (1865).
The house on Plymouth Grove remained in the Gaskell family until 1913, after which it stood empty and fell into disrepair. The University of Manchester acquired it in 1969 and in 2004 it was acquired by the Manchester Historic Buildings Trust, which then raised money to restore it. Exterior renovations were completed in 2011 and the house is now open to the public.
On 25 September 2010 a memorial to Elizabeth Gaskell was dedicated in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey. It takes the form of a panel in the Hubbard memorial window, above the tomb of Geoffrey Chaucer. The panel was dedicated by her great-great-great-granddaughter Sarah Prince and a wreath was laid.
Manchester City Council have created an award in Gaskell's name, given to recognise women's involvement in charitable work and improvement of lives.