Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell was a Victorian novelist and short story writer. She wrote about the lives of the very poor and those people who had a love of literature. In 1851 Cranford was published in serial form in a magazine called Household Words edited by Charles Dickens. The setting is a fictional town called Cranford where Mary Smith and her friends are introduced through a series of episodes. The most significant event is the return of a beloved brother.