Cranford is in possession of the Amazons; all the holders of houses, above a certain rent, are women.' In this witty and poignant comedy of early-Victorian life in a country town, Elizabeth Gaskell describes the uneventful lives of the lady-like inhabitants so as to offer an ironic commentary on the diverse experiences of men and women. She explores the unlikely juxtapositions of old and new brought about by the pace of change: the effects of Victorian commerce and imperial expansion co-exist with the survival of customs and habits of thought from much earlier times.
I enjoyed reading this book. It is my first Elizabeth Gaskell book but not my last. I can't wait to read more about this town and her other works. I read the online version available at Project Gutenberg. There are several interesting items about this book. It is set in a rural English village in the 1850s and is mostly populated by women. Most of the women are middle aged to older and seem to like the fact there a few men around. Throughout the book two or three men make an appearance most stay. The narrator for the story is not revealed until half way through the book. It is Mary Smith someone who visits Cranford for long periods of time and is friends with several of its members particularly Miss Matty Jenkyns. Very little dialogue and no one cohesive plot can make the book a little confusing but was fine to me. It is more a character driven book with a loose plot based on the goings on of this village. Each chapter has a title that comes from something in that chapter/story. Some chapters are more humorous than others and some touching. Recommended.