Return to Cranford on PBS


Those who enjoyed the Masterpiece Classic adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford, which was shown on PBS in 2008, have a treat in store. Further adventures of Miss Matty Jenkyns (played by Dame Judi Dench) and her fellow villagers will be shown in Return to Cranford on January 10 and 17.

Cranford,  first  published as a series of sketches in 1851-1853 in Charles Dickens’  Household Words, has many of the elements of a  “gentle read” as described by the Adult Reading Roundtable. These novels use charm and humor “to explore the everyday joys, frustrations, and sorrows of lives quietly led,” and tend to center on people in a small community. Gaskell’s skill with domestic comedy is sometimes compared to that of Jane Austen. Like other mid-Victorian novelists, however, Gaskell was concerned with social issues, and in Cranford the disruptions caused by industrialization underly the placid surface of village life.



About the Author:

Mary Ellen Quinn is the author of the Historical Dictionary of Librarianship (2014), the former editor of Reference Books Bulletin, and a long-time contributing writer to Booklist.

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