- Series: Ad Classic
- Paperback: 148 pages
- Publisher: AD Classic; Reprint edition (June 9, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0980921023
- ISBN-13: 978-0980921021
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,470,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cranford (Ad Classic) Reprint Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Cranford is unusual because it focuses on a world where there is no room for men, and where marriage is considered more of a nuisance than a blessing. The few male characters appearing in this novel are generally regarded either with suspicion or scorn. The bulk of the novel focuses on the life of Miss Matty Jenkyns, an aging spinster who takes in a frequent guest from a nearby town: unmarried Mary, who narrates the story. Miss Matty lives in the small town of Cranford, which is full of unmarried or widowed women. If a man moves into town, he somehow disappears. These women live quite happily in each other's society and are genteel despite their uncertain finances. The novel is full of gossip and intrigues - ways for the Cranford women to spend their time since it isn't occupied by other things.
Of course, in this remarkable little world of the Cranford ladies, something eventually must happen to one of their own. Miss Matty's bank goes under, and she finds herself bankrupt, deprived of the 127 pounds per annum that she had to live on. She takes it all in stride, but the other ladies of Cranford get together to help her in a very touching way that allows Miss Matty to maintain her lifestyle.
Marriage eventually finds a place in Cranford. Miss Matty's servant marries a charming young man, and the couple is very happy. The local surgeon marries one of the ladies in town who is above his station, a scandal that is endlessly discussed among the women; but despite the couple becoming outcasts, they seem very content.
"The most noticeable characteristic of Cranford is its near-total lack of plot. There are some threads that span more than one chapter, but essentially it is a series of events sharing location and narrator and separated by indeterminate periods of time. Yet it works beautifully. Miss Mary Smith's sharp observations bring the town and its residents to memorable life (Mrs Jamieson's horror at the egalitarian ways of her titled relation particularly sticks in my mind). The chronology was hard to pin down and I soon gave up trying to work out how much time had passed between one chapter and the next. And I came to decide that it didn't much matter; Cranford seemed a place where things carried on in their own way, without being much influenced by outside events. It has a character and charm all its own and is well worth a visit."
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