North West Branch

By Griffiths, Pam | The Gaskell Journal, January 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

North West Branch


Griffiths, Pam, The Gaskell Journal


Our year began as usual with a New Year Lunch , again at The Cottons Hotel, Knutsford. After an excellent meal, Rosie Lomas, accompanied by Katarzyna Kowalik, delighted us with a recital of music known to Gaskell.

The Knutsford meetings are held at St John's Church on the last Wednesday of the month from October to April, excluding December, and attract 30-40 members. After a delicious buffet lunch, Elizabeth Williams leads a study of Gaskell texts. This year we continued our study of Cousin Phillis and Other Stories, using the Oxford World Classics edition, edited by Heather Glen.

In January, Mary Clark, deputising for Elizabeth Williams, ably led a discussion of 'The Manchester Marriage'. In February, March and April, Elizabeth concentrated on an in-depth study of 'My Lady Ludlow'. The meetings reconvened in October, when we decided to revisit the novels, commencing with Ruth and this continued in November.

The Summer outing saw us in Cromford, Derbyshire on a warm and sunny day in late May.

We learnt about the influence of Sir Richard Arkwright with a talk and tour of his mill. From there, we visited the former home of the Arkwright family where Elizabeth would have visited ,which is the Willersley Castle Hotel. Our guide, Clive Tougher, then took us into Nightingale Country where we visited two Nightingale homes, firstly Lea Hurst, where Gaskell was invited to stay to concentrate on meeting Dickens's deadlines for Household Words and secondly to Lea Hall, where Florence Nightingale spent her early years. …

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