by Elizabeth Gaskell
I knew very little about author Elizabeth Gaskell prior to reading the book Cranford. Mrs. Gaskell was the close friend and biographer of Charlotte Bronte. Besides writing about her friend, she also wrote fiction, which she submitted to be published at the urging of her friend, Charles Dickens. Of her stories, Cranford is the closest thing to an autobiography of her life. The town of Cranford is based on the small town that Elizabeth grew up in, and many of the events that happen were taken from real-life experiences. My favorite one is the story about the cat who swallowed some lace and how the owner contrived to "get it back." The stories are enjoyable, but lack the dramatic tension of Gaskell's novel North and South. [If you like this, you may also enjoy the DVDs of North and South (see separate review on BookGuide or in the BookGuide Blog), Cranford and Wives and Daughters.[Also available in DVD adaptation, unabridged book-on-cd, and Large Print formats.] -- recommended by Kim J. - Bennett Martin Public Library
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