Elizabeth Gaskell

Elizabeth Gaskell was a British novelist and short story writer during the Victorian era. She is known for her detailed and realistic portrayals of social issues and her works include 'North and South', 'Cranford', and 'Wives and Daughters'.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Cranford

    "Cranford" is a novel that explores the lives and social dynamics of a group of women in a small, fictional English town. The narrative is episodic, focusing on the women's everyday experiences, their relationships, and the societal changes they face. The story is characterized by its humor, warmth, and keen observations of human nature, offering a compassionate and insightful portrayal of life in a small community during the Victorian era.

    The 650th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Mary Barton

    The novel is a poignant social commentary set in the industrial city of Manchester during the 1840s, exploring the harsh realities of working-class life. It follows the story of the titular character, a young woman whose life is marred by personal tragedy, including the loss of her loved ones to poverty and illness. As she navigates the chasm between the poor mill workers and the wealthy mill owners, the narrative delves into themes of love, class conflict, and the struggle for justice. The protagonist becomes embroiled in a dramatic tale of murder and mistaken identity, which ultimately leads to a quest for forgiveness and reconciliation amidst the prevailing social injustices of the time.

    The 873rd Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. The Life of Charlotte Brontë

    This biography provides an intimate look into the life of renowned author Charlotte Brontë. It covers her early years growing up in a Yorkshire parsonage, her struggles with poverty and the tragic deaths of her siblings, her development as a writer, and her eventual success. The book also delves into Brontë's relationships, particularly her close bond with her sisters, and her unrequited love for her married professor. The narrative is both a tribute to Brontë's resilience and talent, and a poignant portrayal of the hardships faced by women in the 19th century.

    The 888th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. North and South

    This novel presents a story of a young woman who moves from the rural south of England to a northern industrial town, where she experiences a dramatic culture shock. The narrative explores the stark contrasts between the lifestyles, attitudes, and social expectations in the two regions, as well as the protagonist's struggle to fit in and understand her new environment. The book also addresses the harsh realities of the industrial revolution, including labor disputes and class conflicts, while weaving in a compelling love story.

    The 953rd Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. Ruth

    This novel is a poignant exploration of societal attitudes towards fallen women in the 19th century. It tells the story of a young, orphaned seamstress who, after being seduced by a wealthy gentleman, finds herself pregnant and abandoned. Facing societal scorn and ostracization, she is taken in by a dissenting minister and his sister, who offer her a chance at redemption and a new identity. Throughout the narrative, the protagonist's journey from shame and despair to resilience and redemption challenges the harsh moral judgments of her time, highlighting themes of forgiveness, the hypocrisy of social mores, and the possibility of personal transformation.

    The 3490th Greatest Book of All Time