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Elizabeth Gaskell exhibition opens in Manchester

19th July 2010

The University of Manchester has launched an exhibition dedicated to Victorian writer Elizabeth Gaskell.

A number of items have been placed on display at the university's John Rylands Library to mark the 200th anniversary of the Cranford author's birth, with the exhibition running until November 28th.

Highlights from the library's own Gaskell collection, including unpublished personal correspondence that has never been seen by the public, are featured in the exhibition.

In addition, loans from the writer's family and collectors have allowed personal items such as Gaskell's passport, prayer book and teapot to be displayed.

Jacqui Fortnum, public programmes manager at the John Rylands Library, said: '[The exhibition] looks at how her social networks influenced her fiction and the worlds she depicted in her books. It also considers the worldwide community of readers past and present who have found enjoyment in Gaskell's work.'

Gaskell published her first novel - Mary Barton - anonymously in 1848 and went on to make her name through works such as North and South, Wives and Daughters, Ruth and the biography The Life of Charlotte Bronte.

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