Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (1810-1865) was an English novelist, biographer, and short story writer. Her novels provide a detailed portrait of the lives of people on various levels of Victorian society, including the poorest of the poor. The story of Elizabeth Gaskell's novella The Moorland Cottage takes place near the town of Combehurst where Mrs. Browne lives with her children, Edward and Maggie, and their servant, Nancy. Near the Brownes' cottage lives the Bruxton family in a luxurious mansion. The two families grow closer with time and the author shows how childhood education and growing up shape and effect the adult personality.