I wanted to wait an appropriate amount of time to read Cranford after watching the recent BBC production, but to tell you the truth, I should have waited longer. I just cannot stop comparing the two, and when I try to think what to say in my review, I keep going back to how the program differred from the book.
Cranford is one of the books on my list for 2008. I've read Elizabeth Gaskell in the past, enjoyed her writing very much, and Cranford is no exception. Written and published in serial form between 1851 and 1853, Cranford is the tale of a small English town with an unusual predominance of women. Many of the chapters are self-contained stories, while other storylines take up several chapters. I found myself reading it a chapter at a time, and it occured to me that it was meant to be read in this way. The characters are lovely and charming, very much involved in their community and each other's lives. It's a fascinating portrait of life at this time, certainly it gives a real impression of everyday happenings.
Now that I've read the book and seen the program, I will say that I think the writers of the program did a really wonderful job adapting this. I know not everyone agrees with me. Of course, they used two of Gaskell's other works as well, and called the whole thing Cranford but I think it worked. The other novels by Gaskell provided the drama probably necessary in a television program. In many cases, stories that took up only one chapter in the novel were ongoing in the program and I think that provided some element of suspense.
The good news is that Masterpiece Theatre will be broadcasting Cranford in May, so everyone in the US will be able to see this fine program. I hope it is released on DVD because it's one I could watch over and over.
One more thing, I've been tagged by Melanie:
Here are the rules:
1. Pick up the nearest book ( of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people & post a comment here once you
post it to your blog, so I can come see.
"But what was our surprise- our dismay- when we learnt that Mr and Mrs Hoggins were returning on the following Tuesday. Mrs Hoggins! Had she absolutely dropped her title, and so, in a spirit of bravado, cut the aristocracy to become a Hoggins!"
I will not tag anyone specifically, but please play along if you wish.
I'll be working all weekend, and readying the house for guests, so please forigve me if I haven't visited in a while, I'm trying to catch up.