Synopses & Reviews
The most well-known and well-liked of Gaskell's works, this softly humorous picture of an English country village was first serialized in a magazine edited by Charles Dickens in 1851. Based on the village of Gaskell's childhood, Cranford is narrated by a young woman visiting the town who describes the genteel poverty of two middle-aged spinster sisters, Miss Matty and Miss Deborah. Gaskell tells of their little adventures in a confidential and almost chatty tone, perfectly conveying their habits and standards of propriety, decency, and kindness in reduced circumstances. The colorful characters and subtle class distinctions of the village of Cranford are captured in this compassionate and hopeful portrayal of small-town English life.