CHAPTER XII
WIVES AND DAUGHTERS

As early as 1860 Mrs. Gaskell had begun to write for The Cornhill, and by 1864 she had contributed three short works: Carious if True, a fairy story; Six Weeks at Heppenheim, an idyl of German life; and Cousin Phillis, an English idyl. Mr. Smith now became anxious to widen the popularity of the magazine, and to do this he inaugurated a custom of paying his contributors twice what other magazines were accustomed to pay, thereby insuring the best contributions for his periodical. Finally he offered Mrs. Gaskell two thousand pounds for a seven years' copyright of a novel. Mrs. Gaskell, who had written North and South as a serial, had been very unhappy in such writing and had resolved not to write again for serial publication. Here, however, was a different matter. Household Words, in which North and South appeared, was a weekly and there was greater need therefore for haste; besides, its pages were crowded, and many changes had to be made in the instalments to fit them to the space available. The Cornhill, on the other hand, was a monthly, the instalments could be longer, and there would be no need to rush the work or make changes in the manuscript. Besides, Mrs. Gaskell, who had visited frequently at the home of Mr. Smith, in Hampstead, had fallen in love with southern England, and desired to have a home away from the rigors of Manchester winters. So large a sum for a novel would enable her to buy a home in the South. Owing to these considerations, therefore, she accepted Mr. Smith's offer and wrote for him Wives and Daughters.

She began writing the novel in the summer of 1864, and it began to appear in The Cornhill in the August number for that year. The

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Elizabeth Gaskell
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • A Chronology of Mrs. Gaskell's Life and Works xi
  • Chapter I - Birth, Parentage, Youth 1
  • Chapter II - Early Married Life 10
  • Chapter III - Mary Barton 15
  • Chapter IV - From Hand and Heart to Cranford 30
  • Chapter V - Cranford 36
  • Chapter VI - Ruth 47
  • Chapter VII - From Morton Hall to the Poor Clare 59
  • Chapter VIII - North and South 64
  • Chapter IX - The Life of Charlotte Brontë 77
  • Chapter X - From the Doom of the Griffiths to Cousin Phillis 104
  • Chapter XI - Sylvia's Lovers 114
  • Chapter XII - Wives and Daughters 129
  • Chapter XIII - Conclusion 140
  • A Note on Mrs. Gaskell's Use of Dialect 145
  • Index 145
  • Bibliography 163
  • Index to the Bibliography 263
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