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Cranford Audiobook

Cranford

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Publisher's Summary

A portrait of the residents of an English country town in the mid-19th century, Cranford relates the adventures of Miss Matty and Miss Deborah, two middle-aged spinster sisters striving to live with dignity in reduced circumstances.

Through a series of vignettes, Elizabeth Gaskell portrays a community governed by old-fashioned habits and dominated by friendships between women. Her wry account of rural life is undercut, however, by tragedy: with such troubling events as Matty's bankruptcy, the death of Captain Brown, and the unwitting cruelty of Peter Jenkyns.

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (139 )
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4.5 (91 )
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4.8 (91 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sharon United Kingdom 26/05/2009
    Sharon United Kingdom 26/05/2009 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    119
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    "Best Cranford Reading!"

    Prunella Scales is an excellent intrepreter of Mrs Gaskell, I loved her characterization and reading of 'Wives and Daughters', and this first and lighter work by EG is just as fabulous.

    This actress shows respect for the book, the emotions of the plot are accurately voiced and I really have her work as one of the reasons I love audio books. Forget the dreadful abridged or US readings, (sorry, I'd say the same if an English reader was doing an American work) and listen to this one, the only and best in my opinion.

    22 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bastet Pybus 09/10/2009
    Bastet Pybus 09/10/2009 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
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    "Delightful"

    Prunella Scales is a wonderful reader, sensitive to the nuances of Gaskell's writing and able to bring out all the comedy and pathos of this underrated book. Delightful!

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Wales 08/04/2013
    Kim Wales 08/04/2013 Listener Since 2007

    hallucinogenic_bug

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Brilliantly read"

    This is beautifully read by Prunella Scales.

    You don't get much definition of voice between different characters, but it could be said that the same is true of the original book, as one person relays everything that happens to the reader. You're drawn into the lives and gossip of the women of Cranford, giving a social history of the time, but in a very minute way.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs 13/08/2015
    Mrs 13/08/2015 Member Since 2014
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    "Cranford"

    A real delight and completely unexpected. Although I knew the story from the television adaptation I was quite unprepared for the wit and humanity of the writing. It made me laugh and cry and who better to read it to you than Prunella Scales.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 17/05/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful storytelling "

    Absolutely loved it. The story is so uplifting and Prunella Scales is a perfect narrator.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Molly 21/03/2015
    Molly 21/03/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautifully read - great story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is very gentle and whilst it won't have you on the edge of your seat it is soothingly addictive


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Whitehead 17/06/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Cranford"

    The descriptions of small town life in the 19th century are beautifully done. There is not much story as such and in this way it differs from the other books of Mrs Gaskell.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annie 24/11/2015
    Annie 24/11/2015 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "May Be Disappointed"

    You may, like me, be disappointed with the book if you loved the TV series. The book doesn't seem to have much content, I don't know where all the story came from on television, it certainly is not in the original book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Campbell 23/07/2015
    C. Campbell 23/07/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great narration of a classic"

    This was a good production of a book I struggled with as a teenager many years ago. Prunella Scales is the perfect narrator, and brings the little vllage with all of its eccentricities to life vividly. I enjoyed it very much!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip 15/08/2016
    Philip 15/08/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sublime!!"

    Elizabeth Gaskell paints a wonderful, and at times hilarious, picture of female propriety, friendship and mutual support in 19th century Northern England. A beautiful performance of a timeless classic by Prunella Scales. Highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Carl Smith
    31/01/08
    Overall
    "throughly enjoyed this"

    A lovely, gentle satire of the Ladies of Cranford. Written with affection and respect and an incredible eye to detail (which I enjoyed) and exceptionally well read by my favorate narrator.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • T.
    Japan
    26/03/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Quietly, subtly sweet and heartwarming"

    If you don't listen closely, you may miss the subtle sweetness of this heartwarming tale. There were times, mostly in the beginning, when my mind wandered and I became impatient with the seemingly trivial accounts of this Cranford lady or that. But I'm SO glad I kept listening, and had the opportunity to get to know and love Miss Mattie! What an example of the embodiment humility, kindness, and justice she is! The only other Elizabeth Gaskell novel I've read is "North and South." I loved it, and was expecting something similar from "Cranford." The novels couldn't be more dissimilar when it comes to plot and pace, but when it comes to highlighting the beauty of human decency, both do an excellent job.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Susan
    Sherrill, NY, United States
    18/04/10
    Overall
    "Absolutely charming!"

    After having seen Cranford and Return to Cranford on PBS, my daughters and I were interested in hearing the original story. We were delighted! What a wonderful book to listen to by the fireside as we did this winter. We're great fans of Elizabeth Gaskell now.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • connie
    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    19/01/08
    Overall
    "4 stars for narrator; 3 for novel"

    The is <i>very</i> gentle social satire, and a poor cousin to most of Austen's, but I liked the book very much under the circumstances in which I listened - Lying sick in bed for a couple of days, I enjoyed the novel in just two sessions. However, if you're looking for something to inspire your morning work out, this wouldn't be it!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Ruth Bain
    Orange County, CA
    27/07/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An absolute delight !"

    Such a wonderful little story ! It might be said that nothing much happens, and if you are looking for plot-driven entertainments, you won't find it here. This is a story about the ladies ( and a few men ) of Cranford, in a time and society that are in the past. This lovely story celebrates the kindness and goodness of people, even as it also sees the humor in the eccentricities of its characters. If you enjoy the world of Jane Austen, this comes very close. And, perfect narration !

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • S. Goss
    20/04/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of my go-to listens!"

    I love this book! Its a series of vignettes of the lives of women in Cranford. I first decided to listen to this when they announced that it was coming to masterpiece classic, and while i thoroughly enjoyed the show, the book is so much better. Even after so many listens, I still crack up at the antics of some of the characters. Prunella Scales does a wonderful narration and Mrs Gaskell does a great job making the everyday lives of Victiorian women entertaining. I would recommend this to those who enjoy the novels of Georgette Heyer and are looking for something similar yet different.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Jane Ng
    05/11/09
    Overall
    "Slow but beautiful"

    This is a slow moving novel that beautifully portrays life in a Victorian small town, where delicacy is the order of the day despite poverty. It isn't tragic, but there is a sense of gentle sadness about the stifled lives of the ladies of Cranford and their lost chances.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • BookCult
    28/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Narrator"

    I was so glad I picked this narrator. Scales has a very pleasant voice and never distracted from the narrative. She has a great ability to bring out the emotions in a story without being overt or obnoxious about it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • ladyofthelake
    Wisconsin
    19/10/16
    Overall
    "Delightful"

    A charming glimpse at a world long past, beautifully read. I highly recommend it to any lover of Victorian literature.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Clare Bear
    midwest
    28/07/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful story, sensitive narrator, delightful characterizations, beautifully touching"

    Lovely portrayal of feminine society. You will love Miss Matty, and I repeat the last line of the book, "and I somehow think we are all of us better when she is near us."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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