Friday, 6 August 2010

Cranford ~ Elizabeth Gaskell

Elizabeth Gaskell’s book is about a little town called Cranford. The village is filled to overflowing with old women and very little men (so it would seem). The ladies know everyone and all their business, and we learn about each and every one of the gossipy gals through the writings of one of Cranford’s former frequent visitors: Mary Smith. As Mary ages she finds it her to duty to recall and record some of the more memorable events that took place in Cranford because the world around the town is changing, and the way of life the older women enjoy is no longer relevant. But she doesn’t want others to forget her beloved friends.

I watched the BBC miniseries of this book this summer, and it moved me to tears--ones of joy and sorrow. I was so enthralled with the story-line and the characters that I was saddened when I came to the last episode. I knew then that I had to read the book as I was convinced that it would be every bit as good as the film version.

Unfortunately I was disappointed. Yes, the book contained many of the colorful antics of the inhabitants of Cranford, but the central story-line that I so enjoyed in the movie version--that of Sophie and the young Doctor--were not included in the novel. I felt slightly unfulfilled after I finished reading. Read the book for sure as the writing is very good, and the little stories are humorous and touching. But afterwards be sure to watch the BBC production.


Ana said...

That is so sad. Sophie and the Dr. are my favorite in the movie as well. How sad that it's not in the book.

Melanie said...

I LOVE the BBC miniseries!!

For the Sophie and Dr. Harrison storyline, read Mrs. Gaskell's short story, "Dr. Harrison's Confessions". It is her own story! (I love that storyline too!!! :-D :-D :-D But my favorite was Harry's and Mr. Carter's! :-) )

The miniseries was actually made up of several stories that Mrs. Gaskell based off of her own hometown. I think the other book it is based on besides "Cranford" and "Dr. Harrison's Confessions" is called "My Lady Ludlow".

Ana said...

That's wonderful information. Thank you! :) I think I may have to book hunt. ;)

Nikki said...

I didn't know that either! I HAVE to find Dr. Harrison's Confessions because I LOVED Sophie and the Dr.!!! Thank you! ☺