Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, (29 September 1810 - 12 November 1865), often referred to as Mrs Gaskell, was an English novelist and short story writer during the Victorian era. Her novels offer a detailed portrait of the lives of many strata of society, including the very poor, and are of interest to social historians as well as lovers of literature. Her first novel, Mary Barton, was published in 1848. Gaskell's The Life of Charlotte Brontë, published in 1857, was the first biography about Brontë. Some of Gaskell's best known novels are Cranford (1851-53), North and South (1854-55), and Wives and Daughters (1865).Wives and Daughters is a novel by Elizabeth Gaskell, first published in the Cornhill Magazine as a serial from August 1864 to January 1866. It was partly written whilst Gaskell was staying with the salon hostess Mary Elizabeth Mohl at her home on the Rue de Bac in Paris. When Mrs Gaskell died suddenly in 1865, it was not quite complete, and the last section was written by Frederick Greenwood.The story is about Molly Gibson, the only daughter of a widowed doctor living in a provincial English town in the 1830s.