Reading Cranford in September

As I mentioned in my August Reads and September Plans post, me and two other lovely book bloggers are planning to read Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell together. The read-along/buddy read starts on 8th of September, so if you have the chance, please join us! The read-along goes on until the end of the month, depending on how quickly we read.

The idea for a Gaskell read-along came from Emma from Turning Pages and Tea after she read North and South. Emma from Bookwormchatterbox is also no stranger to Gaskell, having previously read and reviewed North and South as well as Mary Barton. My history with Gaskell began with Wives and Daughters, after which came North and South, and then Cranford. The idea to read Gaskell together had been bouncing for a while, before we settled for Cranford due to its short length as well as the fact that neither of the other two had read it before.

15827057Cranford tells the story of a small rural village dominated by women. As the narrator notes, “– whatever does become of the gentlemen, they are not at Cranford”. The ladies of Cranford have their own set of social rules and ways, which are put into test when a certain Captain Brown moves into Cranford. The change in the village reflects one of the themes that Gaskell applied often in her works – the contrast between rural England and industrial England. I hope that re-reading Cranford will give me the joy of meeting an old friend as well as an opportunity to examine Gaskell’s writing more closely. The Penguin English Library edition that I’ll be reading also has a small essay on the back, titled Cranford and the weapon of laughter which I hope will give me a new perspective to the story.

If you are interested in reading Cranford with us, you’re more than welcome to do so! As said, the read-along starts on 8th of September and continues until the end of the month. Let me know if you’d be interested by commenting below, and we’ll try to figure out how to go about. Maybe we can chat about our progress on Twitter, or start a Goodreads group for wider discussions? Finally, don’t forget to check out both Emmas’ blogs!

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5 thoughts on “Reading Cranford in September

  1. Yet another book that I’m interested to know about!
    On a forum for ”Folio devotees”,many guys,who are quite old,were lavishing praise on a certain book called Cranford.And from this very day,I developed the idea that Cranford was a boring novel about people on the sea…haha.
    I want to read Elizabeth Gaskell one day,as I heard very good things on North&South and Cranford,but I’m not sure if I’m ready yet.As you already know,I apprehend Victorian literature a lot.So it’ll be very interesting to read your review! 😉

  2. Pingback: Review: Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell | Dawn of books

    • Hmm.. tricky question. I think you might like Wives and Daughters, since it does follow a clear plotline (unlike Cranford) and it has a protagonist that the story follows. However, North and South is my all time favourite, and I connect with Margaret more than with Molly. So I guess I’d say my ranking is 1. N&S, 2. W&D and 3. Cranford 🙂

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