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Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Cranford (1851)

by Elizabeth Gaskell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,656842,250 (3.8)466
  1. 81
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (chrisharpe)
    chrisharpe: Both novels offer a similar sort of wry look at the foibles of the English classes in the 18th / 19th centuries. Both are so carefully observed and deliciously written that they remain classics.
  2. 31
    The Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Stories by Sarah Orne Jewett (InfoQuest)
    InfoQuest: In both Gaskell and Jewett's novels, a young woman (the first-person narrator) comes to visit a rural community in a series of related vignettes. Jewett's is the more poetic, and Gaskell's is the more humorous, but both are lovely little books which center on the experiences and relationships of women in the 19th century.… (more)
  3. 20
    Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson (Staramber)
    Staramber: In Over To Candleford Laura reads Cranford to her Uncle. Although separated by time they both contain everyday descriptions of provincial British life by – largely – passive narrators.
  4. 10
    Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky (chrisharpe)
    chrisharpe: In many ways a similar, acutely observed portrait of village life, with an especially keen eye on the upper and middle classes.
  5. 10
    The Folded Earth by Anuradha Roy (noveltea)
    noveltea: Two endearing small towns, one British (with links to India), one Indian (with links to Britain).
  6. 00
    Mrs. Ames by E. F. Benson (bell7)
    bell7: This story is similarly concerned with events in a small English town, though the characters' class and life situations are much different.
  7. 00
    Jane And Prudence by Barbara Pym (chrisharpe)
  8. 00
    Purely for pleasure by Margaret Lane (yolana)

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Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
What a lovely little book. I picked it up because I decided I needed more classic fiction in my reading, and I'm so glad I did. It's a sweet tale about the spinster-dominated village of Cranford, narrated by a frequent visitor to the town, who has the confidence of the maiden ladies who live there. The little episodes that make up their lives, the genteel poverty, the infrequent excitements, the wit and humour, all make this a book that I'm so happy to have read. ( )
  ahef1963 | Jan 23, 2015 |
I only started reading Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell as it was the book of the month in my bookgroup and I had a copy sitting on my bookshelf. It had been there for more years than I care to think about and I needed this prompt to start me reading otherwise it would have remained unread and unloved forever which would have been a great pity.

Cranford showcases the lives of a group of women living in a small country town in Northern England during the mid C1800s. The women are all single, either unmarried or widowed. They belong to a social class that disapproves of women who work for a living, however these women do not have enough income to take life easy and must consider carefully how every penny is spent while keeping up the appearance of not having a care in the world regarding money.

The story centres around Miss Matty and is told in a series of brief episodes that confirm that all life can be observed in a small country town. It is told with obvious affection for Miss Matty and at times it is extremely amusing with a great deal of subtle humour. At other moments it is serious such as when the bank Miss Matty has entrusted with her lifesavings becomes bankrupt. The effect this has on Miss Matty and the way her friends come to her aid is incredibly moving but serves to emphasise the strict rules that governed the behaviour of women of that time.

I very much recommend that you get hold of this book and read it as soon as you can. If all the five star reviews on various book blogs haven’t persuaded you to part with your money this book is available as a free download from most major online book retailers and it is worth the effort to get hold of. ( )
  Prairieblossom | Jan 20, 2015 |
A heart tugging book about a group of ladies in the early nineteenth century. A fascinating look into this era. ( )
  charlie68 | Sep 29, 2014 |
Hmmmmm.... not sure what I thought of this book. It was enjoyable, and the narrative style is interesting - a little strange, actually. But it made more sense when I learned that she wrote the first chapter/story/vignette intending it as a standalone piece and later decided to continue it.

There were things to recommend it, of course. For example, I thoroughly loved the phrase "with an oppressive dignity that found vent in endless apologies" (p.85) ( )
  GraceZ | Sep 6, 2014 |
This was a fair read and easy for the start of the new year. Now I know, though, why I didn't give Elizabeth Gaskell much of a toss at university. It speaks to the importance of hierarchy in those days, and I daresay it still occurred in small towns for decades to come. Many writers spoke of these same things in those days. Some wrote better. I actually grew up in a small town in the U.S. Midwest with these same ideals, though, and in what was considered the "upper crust" in society. I think, in some ways, it just never changes. ( )
  mreed61 | Aug 10, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (59 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Gaskellprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Du Maurier, GeorgeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ingham, PatriciaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ritchie, Anne ThackerayPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scales, PrunellaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomson, HughIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In the first place, Cranford is in possession of the Amazons; all the holders of houses, above a certain rent, are women.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141439882, Paperback)

A gently comic picture of life in an English country town in the mid-nineteenth century, Cranford describes the small adventures of Miss Matty and Miss Deborah, two middle-aged spinster sisters striving to live with dignity in reduced circumstances. Rich with humor and filled with vividly memorable characters—including the dignified Lady Glenmire and the duplicitous showman Signor Brunoni—Cranford is a portrait of kindness, compassion, and hope.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:41:27 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

A portrait of life in a quiet English country town in the mid-nineteenth century follows the adventures of Miss Matty and Miss Deborah, two middle-aged spinster sisters living in reduced circumstances.

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8 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439882, 014103937X, 0141199423

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