Manchester Histories Salons: The Literature of Samuel Bamford and Elizabeth Gaskell
Explore early Victorian Manchester's literary scene through the writing of Samuel Bamford and Elizabeth Gaskell, and their portrayal of working-class life.
Join Prof Robert Poole and Dr Diane Duffy as they discuss the literary scene in 1830s – 1840s Manchester through the writings of Samuel Bamford and Elizabeth Gaskell. Diane will be focussing on Gaskell’s novels ‘North and South’ and ‘Mary Barton’ (in which Bamford is mentioned), and Robert on the work of Samuel Bamford.
The discussion will highlight conditions for working class people that shaped their lives and were the inspiration for the writings of both authors. It will also consider Bamford’s position as an established author and political veteran at the time, although often regarded by Gaskell’s readers and later critics as a salt-of-the-earth working man figure.
Prof Robert Poole is Professor of History at the University of Central Lancashire, and author of Peterloo: the English Uprising (2019). He has written a number of articles about Samuel Bamford, including ‘”A poor man I know”: Samuel Bamford and the making of Mary Barton’, Gaskell Journal 2008, and is currently writing his biography.
Dr Diane Duffy completed her PhD from the University of Manchester in 2011 where she was researching women writing history in the early 19th century. Diane has since become a Trustee and researcher at the Elizabeth Gaskell House and a committee member of the Gaskell Society.