Charles Dickens and Other Victorians

By Arthur Quiller-Couch | Go to book overview

MRS. GASKELL

I

WE think of her habitually -- do we not? -- by her married title of "Mrs. Gaskell." Who Mr. Gaskell was this generation does not, in an ordinary way, pause to enquire: a neglect which does injustice to a gentleman of fine presence, noble manners and high culture. She was a beautiful woman: they married in 1832, and had children, and lived most happily.

So it is as "Mrs. Gaskell" that we think of her: and I dare to wager that most of you think of her as Mrs. Gaskell, authoress of Cranford. Now heaven forbid that anything I say this morning should daunt your affection for Cranford, as heaven knows how long and sincerely I have adored it. I have adored it at least long enough and well enough to understand its devotees -- for Cranford has not only become popular in the sense, more or less, that Omar Khayyam has become popular -- by which I mean that, at this season or thereabouts, numbers of people buy a copy in limp swede, with Hugh Thomson's illustrations, and only hesitate over sending it to the So-and-So's with best wishes on a chilling doubt that they sent it last year, with the identical good wishes -- if indeed they are not returning the identical volume they received! Well, let us be merry and careless! -- in the course of a week

-199-

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Charles Dickens and Other Victorians
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Dickens (i) 3
  • Dickens (ii) 24
  • Dickens (iii) 42
  • Dickens (iv) 62
  • Dickens (v) 81
  • Thackeray (i) 100
  • Thackeray (ii) 119
  • Thackeray (iii) 137
  • The Victorian Background 158
  • Disraeli 180
  • Mrs. Gaskell 199
  • Anthony Trollope - The Barsetshire Novels 219
  • Index 235
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