If I had to hazard a guess, I would suspect that a larger percentage of readers of this blog would recognize the name of Elizabeth Gaskell compared to the general population. I was introduced to her novel North and South during a Victorian English class in college, but prior to that I had little knowledge of her or her work. While she was friends and co-authored several stories with some more famous Victorian counterparts such as Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins (Woman in White), she never achieved the same level of fame. The subjects of her writings were inspired by the real social, economic and political impacts of the industrial revolution on various classes, but she was also well-known among her peers for her biography of Charlotte Bronte, authoress of Jane Eyre (another Petticoat Junction favorite by default!). If interested, there is a free version of the biography available here – a future blog post in the making!