A Dark Night's Work is an 1863 novella by Elizabeth Gaskell. It was first published serially in Charles Dickens's magazine All the Year Round. The word "dark" was added to the original title by Dickens against Gaskell's wishes. Dickens felt that the altered title would be more striking.
Read alsoCousin Phillis (Mobi Classics)
Cousin Phillis" (1864) is a novella by Elizabeth Gaskell originally published in four parts, though a fifth and sixth part were planned. The story is about Paul Manning, a youth of nineteen who moves to the country and befriends his mother's family and his (second) cousin Phillis Holman, who is confused by her own placement at the edge of…
The story centers on a country lawyer, Edward Wilkins, and his daughter Ellinor. Edward has an artistic and literary personality, unsuited to his social position as the son of a successful lawyer who takes over his father's practice in the provincial town of Hamley. His legal representation of the local gentry and nobility leads him to try fitting into their social circles, only to be mocked and treated with derision. He develops a drinking problem and spends more money than he can afford to in his attempts to be an equal to his clients. His bad habits lead to problems in his business, and Edward is forced to take on a junior partner named Mr. Dunster.
At the same time, Ellinor becomes engaged to a young upcoming country gentleman named Ralph Corbet. Corbet initiates the engagement partly through love of Ellinor and partly because of a promise of money from Edward. Edward continues to drink and overspend, leading to a confrontation with Mr. Dunster. In the heat of the argument, Edward strikes Mr. Dunster, killing him. Ellinor and a family servant named Dixon help Edward to bury the body in their flower garden.