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Peer Reviewed

“What a certainty of instinctive faith I have in heaven, and in the Mama’s living on”: Unpublished letters of Mrs. Gaskell and unpublished Gaskell family letters.

William Baker, Northern Illinois University

Letter 1


[46, Plymouth Grove, Manchester]

My dear Harry, or if you like it better, my dear Mr Harry Crompton, do you know what very great pleasure you would give us if you would come and pay us a visit here. I know you have not been well; and I am half afraid you will think that Manchester is not the most healthy place in the world; but “barring” that I do think a quiet visit here might do you good. Your bedroom would be large & airy & has sofa writing table &c; so that you might go & sit in it, if these girls of mine were too noisy, — and when you were with us you might be sure you were giving us great pleasure. I myself are up to nursing — I never could bear teaching. I have always hated Schools, but Marianne always says the surest way to my heart is to fall ill on my needs, & give me the pleasure of nursing. So you see if you will but come here, and fall ill you are very sure of pleasing me. But really, please do come to us, & make it, as I hope Charlie does @  a second home. Bring your books & papers, &c and settle down here. We have no society to offer—no dancing, shooting &c — but a hearty welcome.

Yours very truly Elizabeth Gaskell