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The Victorian and the Romantic

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The Victorian and the Romantic

A Memoir, a Love Story, and a Friendship Across Time


In this tale of two writers, Nell Stevens interweaves her own life as a twenty-something graduate student with that of the English author, Elizabeth Gaskell. Although they are separated by more than 150 years, Nell finds herself drawn to the Victorian novelist by their shared experiences of unrequited love—Gaskell for an American critic she met in Rome, Nell for a soulful American screenwriter living in Paris. As Nell’s romance founders and her passion for academia fails to materialize, she finds herself wondering if the indomitable Mrs. Gaskell might rescue her pursuit of love, family, and a writing career. Lively, witty, and impossible to put down, The Victorian and the Romantic is a moving chronicle of two women, each charting a way of life beyond the rules of her time.

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