In readiness for the forthcoming BBC production of Cranford I thought it was time to dust off my copy of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel and have a re-read.I can easily sneak it into my 19th Century Rehab reading which you may recall was supposed to aid my recovery from Booker longlist reviewing and a surfeit of contemporary literary offerings.
The trouble is I keep relapsing because a new book will catch my eye and have to be read before the moment passes.
I haven't read Cranford since I was about fourteen and it was a set book at school. In fact it was no chore because I remember loving it. I had a bad bout of hyper-gaskellitis last Christmas when I read too much Elizabeth so a small dose of Cranford should suffice.My passion for Oxford World Classics editions remains undimmed with this stunning and expressively beautiful cover.
The BBC cast list, with Dame Judi Dench at the helm as Miss Matty Jenkyns, looks stellar and I can't wait for this one to appear.
I'm quite a few televised Gaskell's behind and really should catch up. I bought the DVD's ages ago when Amazon were having a clear out but always like to read the book first so Wives and Daughters is waiting patiently.
Meanwhile my thoughts on Cranford some forty years after first reading will be on here soon and it will doubtless be a good moment to share some thoughts from one of those unassuming looking books bought second-hand which I knew would come in handy one day.Female Friendships and Communities, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell by Pauline Nestor.
Then there are the Winifred Gerin and Jennifer Uglow Gaskell biographies and the letters and the journals, stop, stop, there I go again, just Cranford this time round.