Being a huge fan of 18th and 19th century British Literature, its always a pleasure to discover a new writer from the era. A friend of mine recommended that I read Elizabeth Gaskell so off I went to the bookstore and picked up ‘Cranford and Other Stories’. I loved it. Gaskell’s work though entirely original is at the same time a hybrid of Jane Austin plotlines and Charles Dickens humour. I have been wanting to read more Gaskell ever since. A few months ago, I chanced upon the BBC adaptation of Cranford and I knew I wanted to watch. No one does more justice to their literature than BBC.
I have always liked BBC’s books to TV series adaption and this was no different. The cast was perfect – Dame Judi Dench as the slightly mosuy but brave Miss Matty,Eileen Atkins as the prim and proper Miss Jenkins and Imelda Staunton back as the gossiping Miss Pole.
The interesting thing about the BBC adaptation is that it does not stick to the novella that is ‘Cranford’ alone but borrows from several stroies that Gaskell based in the town of Cranford. It successfully creates a town with its own personality – a small universe in itself. There is adventure , romance and funny escapades but more importantly there are well defined characters.
It reminded me very much of the TV adaptation of LM Montegomery’s novels – Anne of Green Gables and Road to Avonlea. Both of these are based in the fictional town of Avonlea, Canada and revolve around the daily lives of town inhabitants who have their share of gossiping women, naughty children, troubled doctors and well, tea-parties.
I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys period television. You can also just watch it for Dr. Harrison ( played by Simon Woods)…he is kind of cute 🙂