Saturday, December 19, 2009

Book or DVD: Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell is a classic and a book that I have wanted to read but haven't had the opportunity to yet. I've heard rave reviews of the BBC drama series adapted from Elizabeth Gaskell's classic novels. I recently received an email from Masterpiece which is on PBS and they are having "a special encore presentation December 20, 27 and January 3. On January 10th, fall in love again with Return to Cranford, the all-new sequel." I am planning to watch or tape the series even though I haven't read the book.

Here is a summary of the book Cranford from Goodreads:

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.

I usually like to read the book before seeing a movie version but I am planning to watch or tape the series even though I haven't read the book. It sounds like the perfect thing to watch around this time of year. I'd love to hear your thoughts if you have read Cranford and/or have seen the series.

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate.


  1. I watched the series the first time it was on and before I read the book. Like you, I usually like to read the book first, but for some reason or another I didn't have time too for this book/mini-series.

    I am glad I watched it first. I really loved the Masterpiece Theatre Cranford. When I read the novel (which is very short!) I discovered that many critical pieces of the story were missing. I had to do some research online and realized that the book Cranford and the short stories/novellas My Lady Ludlow and Dr. Harrison's Confession were also used to create the Cranford mini-series. Therefore to really get the entire picture of the mini-series, you should read all three. :-)

    You'll have to share your thoughts after you watch it - I'll look forward to it!

  2. Bonnie, I have this dvd on the shelf but haven't watched it yet. Maybe over the holidays. I hope you enjoy it when you see it. I haven't read the book either.

  3. I am in the exact same boat -- have wanted to read the classic since the first Masterpiece presentation.

    I am hoping that I can convince my husband to DVR the show over the next three weeks and then I can watch it at my leisure over the break.

  4. wellll, i just finished watching the first 3 episodes on...pbs online videos. ha. so if you want it free and right now, on a smaller's available. and great. i don't know how old the book is- but it is so reminiscent of the Brontes and all those. replete with some tragic stuff but also romance and heartwarming social lessons to learn. we need these.


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