Cranford

by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell


Cranford is an episodic novel by the English writer Elizabeth Gaskell. It first appeared in instalments in the magazine Household Words, then was published with minor revisions as a book with the title Cranford in 1853. The work slowly became popular and from the start of the 20th century it saw a number of dramatic treatments for the stage, the radio and TV.
The work has no real plot, but is what The Athenaeum described as "a collection of sketches" on its appearance, affectionately delineating people and customs that were already becoming anachronisms. There it is the continuity of the characters involved that provides unity, rather than a linear narrative. Indeed, the perspective moves back and forth in time as past memories are introduced to account for the present. Necessary distancing is provided by the narrator, Mary Smith, whose point of view is that of a younger woman from a very different background simply reporting her experiences. As the daughter of a businessman living in Manchester she only visits Cranford occasionally, a device which is made to account for the episodic nature of the narration.
Excerpted from Cranford on Wikipedia.

person AuthorElizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
language CountryUnited Kingdom
api GenreDomestic fiction, Humorous stories
copyright CopyrightPublic domain worldwide.
camera_alt Book cover-
book_online EbooksProject Gutenberg
description ScansGoogle-digitized
headphones AudioThanks to Librivox | Internet Archive:
Reader: Sibella Denton
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