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The Never-Read-a-Gaskell Group

This event is SOLD OUT but we are taking names for a waiting list.

If you’ve been nodding along politely to discussions about Elizabeth Gaskell but had no idea what was going on, then this group is for you!

Gaskell wrote books of great importance to Manchester, she championed the working classes and highlighted serious issues affecting women which were considered radical and sometimes scandalous in her time. She also wrote sparkling social comedy, based on affectionate childhood memories. 

If you’ve always wondered what makes Elizabeth Gaskell so special here is your opportunity to join a dedicated book group for beginners. An introductory event will give you an opportunity to meet the rest of the group, learn about the author’s life and view The Portico’s first editions of Gaskell’s works. Then, three novels have been carefully selected for you to read throughout the year and each one will be discussed at a meeting in The Portico Library hosted by Libby Tempest, literary enthusiast and Chair of the Gaskell Society. You will find Libby’s incredibly warm manner and passion for Gaskell totally infectious.

Attendance at the Group is FREE but we ask for a £2 donation to cover refreshments. Copies of each book will be available to buy from The Portico Library shop or participants are welcome to bring their own.

Reading schedule:

Introduction                   Meeting 20 March 2019, 5:30 - 7pm

North and South            Meeting 15 May 2019, 5:30 - 7pm

Cranford                        Meeting 4 September 2019, 5:30 - 7pm

Mary Barton                  Meeting 27 November 2019, 5:30 - 7pm

Please make sure you are available and committed to attending the dates advertised as space in the group is limited and unfulfilled bookings will prevent others from participating.

Please submit your interest via e-mail to

Earlier Event: November 14
Nature Revolts with Bad Language