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Publisher's Summary

Elizabeth Gaskell's comic portrait of early Victorian life in a country town describes with poignant wit the uneventful lives of its lady-like inhabitants, offering an ironic commentary on the separate spheres and diverse experiences of men and women. As the external world necessarily impinges even on Cranford, the unlikely juxtapositions of old and new brought about by the pace of change are also explored: the effects of Victorian commerce and imperial expansion co-exist with the survival of customs and habits of thought from much earlier times. This critically up-to-date edition includes Gaskell's essay "The Last Generation in England", containing reminiscences of her childhood in Knutsford, and the comic story "The Cage at Cranford", as well as a lucid new introduction that discusses the originality and subtlety of Gaskell's portrayal of women's experience.
(P)2002 Blackstone Audiobooks
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Customer Reviews

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By Hazel on 01-23-09

Brilliantly read

Wonderful delivery of the charming story. Hours of pleasure that do not pale - worth every penny, you will laugh and cry over the inhabitants of Cranford.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Susan on 10-08-12

Wistfully Charming Story

Elizabeth Gaskell came to my attention through Jane Austen's novels. While her writing style is more loquacious than Austen's, Gaskell's gentle sentimentality, reflected through her character Mattie's hopes and disappointments for love and marriage, made the novel more memorable than many of Austen's novels whose heroines always get the most honorable guy of flawless character. Gaskell is more realistic yet created characters who are endearing. Both writers use satire and Austen has more precise and succinct prose, but Gaskell demonstrated human frailty and how friends, companions and the community, in spite of irksomeness, make life tolerable through unspoken kindness and understanding.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Kate on 01-05-08

Excellent

A lovely book, describing the lives of the ladies of Cranford. Admittedly not a great deal happens to them for much of the book - but that doesn't matter; in fact I think it's part of the point. Cranford is full of wit, and this audio version is read very well by Nadia May, who brings out the humour in her narration. I very much enjoyed listening and it made me laugh a lot.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Ann on 05-04-09

A Perfect Classic

Possibly the best version of Cranford I have read, heard or seen. I did not want it to end.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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