Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-65) wrote her first novel, MARY BARTON, in 1848 as a distraction from her sorrow at the death of her only son in infancy. It won the attention of Dickens and was followed by 5 other full-length novels as well as numerous short stories and novellas. Laura Kranzler has written on Mary Shelley and Virginia Woolf and has published a novel.
The trope of the ''fallen woman'' has been a constant presence in world literature for centuries. Victorian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell breathes new life into that tired archetype in the engaging short story ''Lizzie Leigh,'' in which love ultimately triumphs even in the face of the most formidable odds.