Victorian novelist known for such socially-themed works as Mary Barton, Cranford, and Sylvia's Lovers. She also published an 1857 biography of author Charlotte Bronte.
Born in the Chelsea neighborhood of London to a Unitarian minister father, she attended school in Stratford-upon-Avon.
She wrote The Life of Charlotte Bronte, a biography about author Charlotte Bronte.
In 1832, she married William Gaskell, with whom she subsequently had five children.
Her popular ghost stories were published in Household Words, a literary magazine published by author Charles Dickens.