Christopher H.'s Reviews > Cranford

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
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May 12, 10

bookshelves: british-literature, victorian-literature, read-in-2010, elizabeth-gaskell, historical-fiction, short-story-collections, my-western-canon
Recommended to Christopher by: lonebearimages@gmail.com
Read from May 10 to 12, 2010

I finished this book this morning on the train on my way to work. What a sweet, elegant, witty, and gentle little book this is. Cranford is really a series of quasi-connected vignettes involving a group of spinster women in a quiet little town in the south of England. Each of the tales is full of little details about the little things, even bordering on minutiae, that are so important to a group of very close friends. There are laugh-out-loud funny moments, and there are poignant, even sad, moments too.

Now I know why people are eager to see a similarity in some of Elizabeth Gaskell's writing to that of Jane Austen. I saw touches of this in Gaskell's Wives and Daughters, but it is much, much more evident in this book. Also, for those interested in the fashions and dressing habits of women in the 1830s through the 1850s, this is the book for you. One of the appendices in the back is wholly devoted to the women's fashions of the time of Cranford with wonderful illustrations.

When you are looking for some peace and quiet, and the ability to sit back and smile and chuckle to yourself, pick up a copy of Cranford. I think this would make a terrific book for a bookclub to jointly read and discuss. I highly recommend this book!
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Reading Progress

05/11/2010 page 60
23.35% "Gentle, elegant, pastoral, and quite funny at times. Very peaceful to read."
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Clare I completely agree Christopher - glad to see we share such good taste!


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