She was a radical campaigner who supported change and had a role within the foundations of the trade union movement, and in writing works such as North and South she used the power of her voice to express her opinion and shine a light on the ‘miserable living’ and ‘crowded dwellings’ that resulted in thousands dying due to the deplorable sanitation.
“Visitors will enjoy a fascinating insight into the mind of Elizabeth Gaskell, the world of Victorian Manchester and why her novels continue to make sure a powerful contribution," said Sally Jastrzebski-Lloyd, Director of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. "She had the skill not only to entertain the reader, but through fascinating detail and incredible observations, she has given us a unique window through to the past.”
The research for Tales of Manchester Life has been carried out by a team of volunteers who support Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. To bring their findings to life and to appeal to visitors of all ages the exhibition includes interactive features, as does the whole experience of visiting the Grade II* listed house. There is a map that highlights some of the locations around Victorian Manchester that inspired some of the settings and storylines that Elizabeth pursued, places like the Mechanics’ Institute, Angel Meadows and Hulme Barracks. A cosy, bright and inviting tea party corner is an important reminder from Mary Barton that working class life during the industrial revolution was not one dimensional.
Tales of Manchester Life – Elizabeth Gaskell’s Manchester runs through April 2024.