Tremendously popular in her lifetime, the books of the English author Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) have often been overshadowed by her contemporaries the Brontës and George Eliot. Yet the reputation of her long-neglected masterpiece Wives and Daughters continues to grow. Gaskell wrote six novels in all — of which North and South and Cranford remain two of the best known — as well as numerous short stories, novellas, and a biography of her great friend Charlotte Brontё.
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (Illustrated)by Elizabeth Gaskell
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To praise Cranford at this time of day is an idle task. After being overshadowed for a little, it has taken its place finally among the masterpieces of English fiction, along with Jane Austen and the Vicar of Wakefield. There has never been a more delightful and tender study of English village life, or one in which insight is so joined with kindliness.
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