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 facts of the following narration were communicated to me by Mr. Burton, the head gardener at Teddesley Park, in Staffordshire. I had previously been told that he had been for a year or two in the service of the Shah of Persia; and this induced me to question him concerning the motives which took him so far from England, and the kind of life which he led at Teheran. I was so much interested in the details he gave me, that I made notes at the time, which have enabled me to draw up the following account