J. A. V. Chappie and Arthur Pollard (essay date 1966)
SOURCE: An introduction to The Letters of Mrs. Gaskell, edited by J. A. V. Chappie and Arthur Pollard, Manchester University Press, 1966, pp. xi-xxix.
[In the following introduction to Gaskell's collected letters, Chappie and Pollard discuss the significance of the letters as reflections and commentaries on her experience and writing.]
'Don't you like reading letters? I do, so much. Not grand formal letters; but such as Mme Mohl's, I mean' (195).1 Mrs Gaskell knew the fascination of other people's let-ters. Writing to her sister-in-law, Mrs Charles Holland (née Elizabeth Gaskell), she wondered 'if odd bundles of old letters...
(The entire section is 5561 words.)