Gaskell, Margaret Emily 'Meta', 1837-1913
Margaret Emily Gaskell was born in Manchester on 5 February 1937, second daughter of the Rev. William Gaskell and his wife Elizabeth Cleghorn Stevenson. From birth she was always known as 'Meta' and was regarded by her mother as the most talented of her four daughters. Meta was a gifted artist and a friend of Ruskin and Holman Hunt, and at one time thought of becoming a professional artist. She worked with her mother in relieving distress of the poor in Manchester and taught in a Ragged School. She was very supportive of education for women and became a founder governor of Manchester High School for Girls and was active in support of charitable and civic institutions. After her mother’s death, Meta became her literary executor. In spite of a brief engagement, Meta remained unmarried and stayed at the family home in Plymouth Grove, Manchester (acquired in 1850) till her death on 26 October 1913.
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Contains letters sent principally to Ida Darwin but also includes some letters sent to Horace Darwin. The bulk of the series consists of letters sent to Ida from her husband Horace, and from their three children Erasmus, Ruth and in particular Nora.