The Grey Woman


By Elizabeth Gaskell

Originally a three-part novella published in a literary journal by Charles Dickens, The Grey Woman tells a powerful story of deception and distrust in an epistolary format from the perspective of the protagonist, Anna Scherer. Similar to other Gaskell works, a recurring theme is the oppression of women through marriage. This book is considered ahead of its time for its progressive feminist views. With an introduction by Molly Greeley, bestselling author of The Clergyman’s Wife and The Heiress.

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Plumleaf Vintage is a series of beautifully designed novels by women authors — beloved classics that may be at risk of being forgotten or overlooked. The stories in Plumleaf Vintage eloquently reflect the complexity of being a woman in the time and culture portrayed. They speak to the challenges faced by women to define an individual identity separate from a man’s and explore the ways that women have always pushed against the boundaries imposed by the mores of the time. The first three books in this series are classic epistolary novels, a form that lends itself to great intimacy with the characters’ thoughts and feelings.

ELIZABETH GASKELL (1810–1865) is a highly regarded Victorian novelist. Her father was a minister; her mother died when she was an infant, and she was raised by an aunt, to whom she was very close. At the age of 22, she married William Gaskell, a minister, and lived in Manchester. She had a very busy life as a wife and mother; as well, she was active in charity and social justice work. Much of Gaskell’s writing espoused social causes, such as Mary Barton, a story of a working-class family in late 1830s Manchester. Her most popular novel is Cranford, a story of the day-to-day life of inhabitants of a small village. Charlotte Brontë was a close friend of Gaskell, and Gaskell’s 1857 biography The Life of Charlotte Brontë was much admired. Gaskell’s final book, Wives and Daughters, unfinished upon her sudden death, is considered by some to be her finest work. Her writing fell out of favour in the early twentieth century but is enjoying renewed respect among academics and lovers of good books.

Additional information

Weight 0.275 kg
Dimensions 13.75 × 18.75 × .60 cm

Elizabeth Gaskell


Trade paperback, French flaps, 5.5" X 7.5", 92 pages


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