Shades Of Words



Cranford - DVD CoverBeing  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.

Road to Avonlea
Road to Avonlea

 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 🙂


Author: Vipula

Before talking about who we are, we’d like to tell you a bit about how and why Shades of Words came into being. It all started with the idea of “A place where we could share with likeminded people about things we enjoy. From books to music to movies to travel; Shades of Words was to be a place about the best of our experiences” We thought about why should anyone read us? The answer was that whatever we review would be a mix of our experience of the thing along with interesting and useful information about it. So in case you are reading us regularly or even checking us out once in a while then we have succeeded in our efforts someway somewhere. Who are we? Known as Kapil Sood and Vipula Gupta, we thought of Shades of Words on one fine Sunday afternoon. Tired of writing interesting RFP’s and project documentation; we decided to give this a shot. Yes! We work in Indian IT industry. Cupid struck us while were innocently slogging together on the highly intricate job of formatting and beautifying documents! And since then, we have been working together to establish Shades of Words as a place that we can claim as ours. (Because buying a house is still years away!) What else? Kapil also writes some blogs which you can read here and here.

6 thoughts on “Cranford

  1. Oh yes…I’m yet to begin reading Cranford…will do so soon.

    In retrospect I liked Anne of Avonlea. Where did you find these DVDs?

  2. zoya – Anne of green gables is my all time favorite book . Karthica had lent me the DVDs and yes the photos are from the trip.
    You must watch Cranford I think you will like it

  3. Oh Yes, Vipula, I thought Cranford was outstanding and am a huge fan of PBS (here in the US, which shows lots of BBC projections) you summed it up beautifully when you said:
    “It successfully creates a town with its own personality – a small universe in itself.”
    I really did not want Cranford to end. If I ever held still long enough I bet actually “reading” Cranford would be pure delight as well! There I’ve confessed, I hardly read anymore …. how sad is that! I admire you for your thirst for books! So I shall live vicariously through your book reviews 😉

  4. Cranford was wonderful. The TV series anyway. Shamefully, I’ve never read the books – I really must as I gather they’re quite different so I won’t necesarily feel like I’ve already read them because I’ve seen the TV series. My favourite was Eileen Atkins but I also liked Philip Glenister. Good series.

  5. Patty – Thanks for your comments. Its okay if you have not read the book – the TV series is quite nice in itself.

    Cath – You must read Cranford or works by E. Gaskell – she has a knack for bringing out the humor even in the most serious situations. The series is different as it brings together a couple of her novellas but is quite faithful to the basic storyline and essence

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