This cozy classic centers around an English country town and its residents, exploring everything from the mundane to the surprising. There's not much plot here, just the simple adventures of a group of women, their friendships, gossip, and witty observations. It's a short book, perfect for reading with a cup of afternoon tea. Those who love Austen's biting wit and social commentary will almost certainly enjoy Gaskell as well.
‘It is very pleasant dining with a bachelor…I only hope it is not improper; so many pleasant things are!’
A portrait of the residents of an English country town in the mid nineteenth century, Cranford relates the adventures of Miss Matty and Miss Deborah, two middle-aged spinster sisters striving to live with dignity in reduced circumstances. Through a series of vignettes, Elizabeth Gaskell portrays a community governed by old-fashioned habits and dominated by friendships between women. Her wry account of rural life is undercut, however, by tragedy in its depiction of such troubling events as Matty’s bankruptcy, the violent death of Captain Brown or the unwitting cruelty of Peter Jenkyns. Written with acute observation, Cranford is by turns affectionate, moving and darkly satirical.