Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (1810-1865) wrote the novel “Cranford” (published in 1853), a comic picture of life in an English village in the mid 1800s. She wrote her novels just after Jane Austen (1775 – 1817) novels were written.
The first season of Cranford comes to PBS in North America in May (airing May 4, 11, and 18) in three episodes. From the PBS site: “Welcome to Cranford, circa 1840…a rural English town where etiquette rules, undergirded by a healthy amount of gossip. ” Staring: Judi Dench, Philip Glenister, Francesca Annis, Michael Gambon. Read more on the PBS site.
Cranford was filmed in the historic Wiltshire village Lacock, just north of Bath. We visited Lacock a few years ago.
The novel Cranford was adapted for TV by the BBC and shown in five parts at the end of last year in England. Read more on the BBC site. A second season will be shown on the BBC for Christmas 2009.
If you can’t wait, it is already on DVD – Cranford on DVD.
Read the book
I have not read the book, but am looking forward to watching the TV version. I will try to read the book first, but May 4 is just around the corner.
You can get free versions of the book from MobiPocket Free Books or on Project Gutenberg. It is also on Google Books but is a large PDF of a scanned original and is difficult to read. With MobiPocket, download and install the MobiReader software (free) and read the book on your computer. With Project Gutenberg download as HTML or plain text and read on your computer.
Or buy the paperback from Amazon – Cranford (Penguin Classics).
You can put the MobiPocket books on your Kindle (Amazon’s New Wireless Reading Device) – this is what I did. I got my new Kindle a couple of weeks ago and love it.
More about Cranford
Read more about Elizabeth Gaskell on Wikipedia.