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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Title: Cranford

Author: Elizabeth Gaskell

First Published: 1853

No. of Pages: 187

Synopsis (from B&N): "With a series of sketches, the novel lovingly describes the 'adventures' of middle-aged ladies in the quiet country village of Cranford in the 1830's. Despite their poverty, residents of the village are kind, decent, and thoroughly proper. The novel, published in a magazine of Charles Dickens, was highly popular in its day."

Fiction or Nonfiction: Fiction

Comments and Critique: An utterly charming book! I have a fondness for English novels from this period anyway, and I found this one delightful -- light-hearted, often funny, with many wonderful characters and just enough story to keep it going but not bog you down. The 'adventures' of the synopsis are just what you would expect for a group of relatively naive and unsophisticated spinsters and widows in an English village of the time, as are the characters' opinions and ways of interacting. There is no overriding plot but this does not at all detract from the book as a whole. My only complaint was that the book had to end.

Challenges: 18th and 19th Century Women Writers; 999 ("Decades"); A to Z (author "G"); Another 1% Well-Read; Decades; Elizabeth Gaskell mini-challenge; Guardian 1000 Novels ("State of the Nation"); Support Your Local Library

3 comments:

Amanda said...

My husband just read this and tells me it's good. I've not read anything by Gaskell yet. Maybe this should be my first.

Tasses said...

I adored the PBS Masterpiece version of this (now on DVD). You HAVE to rent it. It has some of the very best English actresses in it.

Fyrefly said...

I just watched this miniseries without realizing it was a book... or that it was so short! I might have to check it out. Thanks for the review!