The women of the small country town of Cranford live in genteel poverty, resolutely refusing to embrace change, while the dark clouds of urbanization and the advance of the railway hover threateningly on the horizon. In their simple, well-ordered lives they face emotional dilemmas and upheavals, small in the scale of the ever-shifting world, but affectionately portrayed by Gaskell with all the weight and consequence of a grand drama.
A rich, comic and illuminating portrait of life in a small town, Cranford has moved and entertained readers for generations.
With illustrations by the celebrated Hugh Thomson, and an after word by Dr Josie Billington.
In the first place, Cranford is in possession of the Amazons; all the holders of houses, above a certain rent, are women. If a married couple come to settle in the town, somehow the gentleman disappea...
Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell was born in London in1810. Her mother, Eliza, the niece of the potterJosiah Wedgwood, died when she was a child. Muchof her childhood was spent in Knutsford, Cheshire, atown she would later immortalize as Cranford. In1832 she married a Unitarian minister, WilliamGaskell, and they settled in Manchester. Theindustrial surroundings offered her inspiration forher writings and it was here that she wrote bothCranford (1853) and North and South (1855), aswell as the first biography of Charlotte Brontë. Herlast novel, Wives and Daughters, said by many tobe her most mature work, remained unfinished atthe time of her death in 1865.
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