London Gaskell Reading Group: J’Accuse!, 5 May

 J’Accuse! Elizabeth Gaskell’s The Moorland Cottage (1850) Versus George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss (1860)

Jo Pryke, former editor of The Gaskell Journal and Dr Shirley Foster, University of Sheffield

Thursday May 5, 2011, 6-8pm, English Seminar Room (S2.39), King’s College London, Strand Campus

Get ready for academic feathers to fly! The former editor of The Gaskell Journal Jo Pryke has long suspected that one of the greatest and most revered of nineteenth-century novelists George Eliot may have – shock, horror – stolen the idea for her celebrated semi-autobiographical novel The Mill on the Floss (1860) from Elizabeth Gaskell’s novella The Moorland Cottage (1850). And now Jo is getting ready to set out her case: to an audience of Gaskell and Eliot researchers, enthusiasts, students and academics.

So did the great Victorian sage Eliot commit narrative larceny? Did Gaskell’s 1850 tale of Maggie and Edward Browne’s sibling woe provide the blueprint for Eliot’s childhood epic of Maggie and Tom Tulliver? And what are the wider implications of the brother and sister plot in the 1850s and 1860s? Making the case in Eliot’s defence is Dr Shirley Foster from the University of Sheffield.

Entrance is free. All welcome but please email the organisers Louise Lee ( or Alison Lundie ( if you would like to attend.

Nearest TUBE: District Line, Temple.


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