Audiobook: Short Stories (All the Year Round, 1859-1863)

Short Stories (All the Year Round, 1859-1863) cover

Short Stories (All the Year Round, 1859-1863)

1 - Lois the Witch: Part the First


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In 1859 Charles Dickens launched a new weekly journal, All the Year Round, to replace Household Words. Elizabeth Gaskell remained a prolific contributor until 1863. Her fictional contributions feature strong female characters and have a darker tone than her previous works, reflecting the fashion for Gothic fiction of the 1860s and her travels in Europe. They include two of her best known shorter works: Lois the Witch, a heartfelt story of a young English girl who becomes of a victim of the Salem witch trials, and The Grey Woman, a powerful tale of a deceived wife's flight from her husband, a nobleman who turns out to be a leader of the French 'chauffeurs'. Two of Gaskell's most complex family sagas were thinly disguised as Christmas Ghost stories: The Ghost in the Garden Room (later, The Crooked Branch) and How the First Floor Went to Crowley Castle. The Cage at Cranford is a short reprise of Gaskell's Cranford stories. Of the two documentary pieces, Select Committee on French Songs (attributed to Gaskell in 2015) appears here for the first time in a collection of Elizabeth Gaskell's work. (Phil Benson)

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