Born in London on 29 September, 1810, Elizabeth Gaskell grew up in the early decades of the nineteenth century in rural Cheshire and despite her reputation as a writer of industrial fiction it was the older, pre-urban world of her childhood which provided the setting and stimulus for her finest and most mature work. She was brought up in the care of her maternal family, the Hollands, her mother, Elizabeth, having died when she was 13 months old. An old-established Cheshire family, the Hollands were typical of the Unitarian tradition and faith to which they belonged: solidly middle-class (they were widely represented in the professions of law, medicine, farming, banking and business, and connected through friendship and marriage to …
Billington, Josie. "Elizabeth Gaskell". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=1699, accessed 26 April 2015.]