Elizabeth Gaskell's first novel, Mary Barton, prompted Charles Dickens (who called her my dear Scheherazade) to request Gaskell's work for his magazine Household Words. She contributed Cranford, still her best known work. Gaskell's gothic ghost stories are less widely read but are classics of the genre. Mrs. Gaskell was a friend of the reclusive Charlotte Brontë, and wrote her earliest biography.
|The difference between Miss Brontë and me is that she puts all her naughtiness into her books, and I put all my goodness. I am sure that she works off a great deal that is morbid into her writing, and out of her life; and my books are so far much better than I am that I often feel ashamed of having written them as if I were a hypocrite.|