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About the book
  • Published: 26 February 2015
  • ISBN: 9780141397382
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook

The Old Nurse's Story

Little Black Classics




'Even in the stillness of that dead-cold weather, I had heard no sound of little battering hands upon the window-glass...'



A phantom child roams the Northumberland moors, while a host of fairytale characters gone to seed gather in the dark, dark woods in these two surprising tales of the uncanny from the great Victorian novelist.



Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.


Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865). Gaskell's works available in Penguin Classics are Cranford, Cranford and Cousin Phillis, Gothic Tales, Mary Barton, North and South, Ruth, Sylvia's Lovers, The Life of Charlotte Brontë and Wives and Daughters.
%%%'Even in the stillness of that dead-cold weather, I had heard no sound of little battering hands upon the window-glass...'
A phantom child roams the Northumberland moors, while a host of fairytale characters gone to seed gather in the dark, dark woods in these two surprising tales of the uncanny from the great Victorian novelist.
Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.
Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865). Gaskell's works available in Penguin Classics are Cranford, Cranford and Cousin Phillis, Gothic Tales, Mary Barton, North and South, Ruth, Sylvia's Lovers, The Life of Charlotte Brontë and Wives and Daughters.

  • Pub date: 26 February 2015
  • ISBN: 9780141397382
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook

About the Author

Elizabeth Gaskell

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell was born in London in 1810, but she spent her formative years in Cheshire, Stratford-upon-Avon and the north of England. In 1832 she married the Reverend William Gaskell, who became well known as the minister of the Unitarian Chapel in Manchester's Cross Street. As well as leading a busy domestic life as minister's wife and mother of four daughters, she worked among the poor, traveled frequently and wrote. Mary Barton (1848) was her first success.

Two years later she began writing for Dickens's magazine, Household Words, to which she contributed fiction for the next thirteen years, notably a further industrial novel, North and South (1855). In 1850 she met and secured the friendship of Charlotte Brontë. After Charlotte's death in March 1855, Patrick Brontë chose his daughter's friend and fellow-novelist to write The Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857), a probing and sympathetic account, that has attained classic stature.

Elizabeth Gaskell's position as a clergyman's wife and as a successful writer introduced her to a wide circle of friends, both from the professional world of Manchester and from the larger literary world. Her output was substantial and completely professional. Dickens discovered her resilient strength of character when trying to impose his views on her as editor of Household Words. She proved that she was not to be bullied, even by such a strong-willed man.

Her later works, Sylvia's Lovers (1863), Cousin Phillis (1864) and Wives and Daughters (1866) reveal that she was continuing to develop her writing in new literary directions. Elizabeth Gaskell died suddenly in November 1865.

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