While the novel sits languishing in my TBR pile the DVD was dusted off and enjoyed an outing. First broadcast in 2007 the BBC adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford Chronicles has a star studded cast led by Dame Judy Dench and Francesca Annis. The story seem a little bland if one were to consider it logically a village of elderly spinsters and widows going about their way of life for a year. However, nothing could be further from the truth, Gaskell’s work reflects the careful social nuances of the age, the resistance by those who lived in villages to the technological advances of the time. The Cranford Chronicles comprised of three novels which were combined to produce the series.
But the reason I love this series is not the reflection on social policy, the effects of industrialisation on rural communities, no it is the humour. For those who have not seen it I particularly recommend the scene with the cat and the lace, those who have watched it will no doubt be smiling at the recollection.
Gaskell has a flair for observing the silliness inhherant where ever groups of people co exist in small groups. Some characters you will laugh at some you laugh with but you will laugh. That is not to say that she does not explore the darker side of life and death, there are times in the series where you will find tear welling up others where you find your self holding your breath. If you have not seen this series I highly recommend taking the time to sit back and enjoy a trip back to a simpler time where Gaskell will guide you on a journey through all aspects of village life.
As much as I would love to share my favourite clips I have no idea how to take them from the DVD nd the clips I could find on youtube are limited to episodes so I will share a slightly longer clip than I would have liked which opens the first series and if your appetite is wetted then you can look up the rest of the series on there.
This second clip is part of the behind the scenes extras that come on the end of the DVD for all of you who love classic adaptations it is a must watch. I love to see how these novels and their characters are brought to life.
I hope you have enjoyed the clips. What has been your favourite adaptation? Do you prefer TV or film adaptations?