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May 07, 2009


Cranford by Mrs Gaskell is a funny, satirical look at change in a closed off village society. Recently adapted into a very successful BBC series which the library also holds on DVD, the original novel holds up very well in its characterisations and comedy in spite of being written in the 1850s. The book is episodic and an excellent afterword explains that it was written in parts for Dickens' weekly publication Household Words. The consequent lack of an overall structure does not detract form the reader's gentle enjoyment. Interestingly, Mrs Gaskell apparently regretted killing off Captain Brown in an early chapter, so in adapting the novel for the BBC, the producers kept him alive. It is worth viewing the 'making off Cranford' special features for their discussion on the adaption.
Thoroughly recommended!


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