Department or Program



A working relationship between a male and a female novelist in the Victorian era begs exploration, especially when the man’s name is Charles Dickens. When Dickens rallied up-and-coming talent Elizabeth Gaskell in 1850 to write for Household Words, they forged a literary connection that illuminates their different perspectives on and approaches to fiction and contemporary social issues – from authorship and publication, to labor unrest and class struggle, to gender roles. This thesis investigates the ebb and flow of the Dickens-Gaskell relationship by examining their correspondence, their novels, and their historical context. Theirs is not the expected tale of a master and pupil, but a complex story of a shifting power dynamic between the famous “conductor” of Victorian literature and a woman author who quietly dared to disagree with him.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2012

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 PDF file



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