Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Cranford Read-Along Post 1: Chapters 1-8.
I have been participating in the Cranford read-along hosted over at A Literary Odyssey. This is the first of two posts and covers chapters 1-8.
Written during the Victorian era, Cranford was based on the town of Knutsford in Cheshire where Gaskell spent a great deal of her childhood and adult life. Elizabeth was encouraged to write a novel by her husband after the death of one of their children. Gaskell was often in the company of other great writers of her time including Charles Dickins and Charlotte Bronte. Indeed when Charlotte Bronte died, Charlotte's father Patrick Bronte asked Gaskell to write her biography.
Cranford started life as six episodes published in Household Words, a literary magazine edited by Charles Dickins. After the publication of six parts the stories were published as a novel.
Cranford is a place where most of the propriators are women and whoms lives represent a dying way of life in England at that time. It was written around the time of the Industrial revolution when country ways in England was changing forever. The book focuses on a small community made up of mostly widows and spinsters who go about their non-eventful lifes gossiping, going to tea, and trying to live in a more gential life.
There is no actual plot in the first eight chapters and perhaps I am not selling this very well, I have been reading a chapter a day as each chapter is only about 10 pages each but are still miniture stories in themselves. So far I have been finding the chapters a delight to read each day (especially nice considering some of the depressing stuff I read) and I find them both funny and charming. There has been tragdy and death in the parts I have read yet this book is never depressing and I am looking forward to reading the next eight chapters.
Posted by Jess