Wives and Daughters
August marks the 150th anniversary of the first appearance of Elizabeth Gaskell’s beloved novel Wives and Daughters. Gaskell published the novel serially in the beginning in the August 1864 issue of the literary magazine The Cornhill, accompanied by illustrations by George du Maurier. Sadly, Gaskell died of a sudden heart attack in November 1865 before the final chapters were complete. Fortunately for her readers Gaskell had discussed the intended ending of her novel with a friend, which allowed Cornhill’s editor Frederic Greenwood to write a final note to conclude the story in the January 1866 issue.
Wives and Daughters was published in book form by publisher Smith & Elder later in 1866; it is quite a rare book today. Special Collections owns a copy of the European copyright edition, an inexpensive paperback version published by the German firm Tauchnitz. This little edition would have been marketed to English and American travelers on the continent. Special Collections also owns the complete serialization of Wives and Daughters in original volumes of The Cornhill Magazine.