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Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

In this classic portrait of life in a quiet English village of the early nineteenth century, Elizabeth Gaskell writes with wit and affection of the foibles, follies and endearing eccentricities of its occupants as they struggle to maintain standards in their genteel poverty. This witty and poignant comedy, with its ironic observations on the pretensions of class is told through the eyes of a young woman who befriends the elderly ladies of Cranford.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199538270
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 02/15/2009
Series: Oxford World's Classics Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 6 Years

About the Author

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell was born in London in 1810, but she spent her formative years in Cheshire, Stratford-upon-Avon and the north of England. In 1832 she married the Reverend William Gaskell, who became well known as the minister of the Unitarian Chapel in Manchester’s Cross Street. As well as leading a busy domestic life as minister’s wife and mother of four daughters, she worked among the poor, traveled frequently and wrote. Mary Barton (1848) was her first success.

Two years later she began writing for Dickens’s magazine, Household Words, to which she contributed fiction for the next thirteen years, notably a further industrial novel, North and South (1855). In 1850 she met and secured the friendship of Charlotte Brontë. After Charlotte’s death in March 1855, Patrick Brontë chose his daughter’s friend and fellow-novelist to write The Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857), a probing and sympathetic account, that has attained classic stature. Elizabeth Gaskell’s position as a clergyman’s wife and as a successful writer introduced her to a wide circle of friends, both from the professional world of Manchester and from the larger literary world. Her output was substantial and completely professional. Dickens discovered her resilient strength of character when trying to impose his views on her as editor of Household Words. She proved that she was not to be bullied, even by such a strong-willed man.

Her later works, Sylvia’s Lovers (1863), Cousin Phillis (1864) and Wives and Daughters (1866) reveal that she was continuing to develop her writing in new literary directions. Elizabeth Gaskell died suddenly in November 1865.

Patricia Ingham is Senior Research Fellow and Reader at St Anne's College, Oxford. She has written on the Victorian novel and on Hardy in particular. she is the General Editor of all Hardy's fiction in the Penguin Classics and has edited Gaskell's North and South for the series.

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Cranford 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 80 reviews.
lesslie More than 1 year ago
Cranford is a charming book about a small English village. It is more of a survey of the people who inhabit the town than it is a plot driven story. The characters are so full of life and are so charming and oftentimes hilarious that you may feel like you are reading a letter from dear friends from home. They have issues to overcome and problems to solve an the ways they go about doing this are circuitous and very entertaining. I laughed at loud and indeed, cried a bit. It's a very short little novel and as the price is more than reasonable, I feel it's essential to the library of anyone wanting the call themselves well read. Their was a delightful movie made about this book which has it's own merits.
writersdd More than 1 year ago
Out of all the E. Gaskell books I've read, Cranford is now my favorite. This publication of the book is deceptively small; there are a lot of words on each page, so it takes longer to read than one would assume at first glance. However, this is a book to be savored and read slowly and, when finished, leaves the reader wanting to return to Cranford. I want to live in the Shire, Narnia, and Cranford.
C28 More than 1 year ago
Cranford is a wonderful story. I fell in love with all the characters, their personalities, and their charming little town. Gaskell does a great job weaving the story of the daily lives of the town's folk, as well as breaking off crumbs of their history to us as the story moves along. This is a book that you can read more than once and always walk away with a good feeling, like spending time with dear old friends. Highly recommended to anyone who hasn't read it or hasn't read it in a while.
warmth More than 1 year ago
I love this time period in England and though this seams like going against the gods she's better at capturing peoples charter than jane austen. Austen is amazing and her chaters are true to themselves but almost to a point of not taking in reality at times. while Gaskells charters true to themselves also but change with the story more. they are lovely acounts of small town life for a upper middle class women of the day. wives and daughters is still my favorite work of hers but this brought a smile to my face.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a truly remarkable book, similar to Jewett's 'Country of the Painted Firs' and Jan Neruda's 'Prague Tales.' It's an episodic account of the idiosyncratic world of genteely poor women in a tiny village, portrayed with warmth, sadness, and pride. You can't help but love these women and, like the narrator from a nearby city, to be part of their world for at least a while. Gaskell is magnficent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Has anyone else noticed that the reviews above mine are posted for at least four different versions of this book? Do they automatically do that? Because some versions are actually formatted more nicely than others... If I were you, I'd go for the cheap one; it has the same reviews as the others!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This Elizabeth Gaskell book was an interesting study of village life ... the importantce of appearance and pride, and the distortion of gossip. Very much like life today. Things haven't changed that much, and that is what struck me most about this book. I admit, I enjoyed Wives and Daughters much more than Cranford. Cranford was more a book of vignettes, so it was difficult to attach myself to an individual character, other than the naive, sweet, and delightful Miss Matty. She brought both tears and smiles.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well it moves kinda slow, but I do applaude Elizabeth Gaskell's fee flow of mannerly gossip and phrasing.One can definitely picture the characters of this story through the way they respond to each other in conversation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Cranford is a wonderful light hearted classic. The story is narraited by Mary Smith as she relates the adventures of the residents of the small country village of Cranford in England during the late 1830's to the early 1840's.
May-Flowers More than 1 year ago
I love Cranford. It is a funny, light-hearted look at some very memorable ladies' lives. The language used may be hard for those not used to older English writing, and if you want a plot driven story than you may not like this book as it is more character driven. The plot lines of the various people are more like anecdotes strung together by the narrator over the course of years. I found this format quite enjoyable though, and somewhat unusual for a book written by a woman in that era.Overall it is just lovely light reading for  a fan of old novels looking for a few laughs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The gathering will be at 'wings of fire the brightest night'. Dont even think about bloodshed because wolves trained to kill the first to cause bloodshed will be hiding here and there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"I am expecting kits and as a qieen in waiting he told me he wouldnt do anything until the kits are gone. Tell Kos not to mess with me. Crystalkit, come now!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He growls. "You have a fierce kit there."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She padded around, her kits following her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did you say i could join? I will slash your neck if yu said no! (Was away)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The brown, black, orange, and gold she-cat padded in. The last deputy of the imfamous Revolution. "Hello?" She asked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
@ 'llo' first res.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ill adopt you go to hyacnith res four-snow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We don't have to titles anymore?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Neither do we. So we ignore you
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After joining, post a biography at "North And South" Result 5. Or any of the North And South books by Elizabeth Gaskell [Multiple Results]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
See ya