Just before Christmas, I was scanning my Facebook feed when this post caught my eye:
We’ve just watched the BBC mini-series Pride and Prejudice. It was so good! What next? Anyone know of another great series?
There was an answering comment: You must see Cranford.
Cranford? I’d never heard of Cranford so I did some research and discovered it’s another British mini-series based on three novels written by Elizabeth Gaskell. Soon I’d ordered the DVD series which I gave to Imogen as a Christmas present.
Every evening for a week or so, Imogen, Charlotte, Andy and I met in the family room after the younger girls had gone to bed. I lit a few candles, Charlotte searched the fridge for some chocolate, Andy filled a couple of glasses with wine … and then we settled back in our seats. Imogen waved the DVD remote control at the TV and the theme music began. We were transported back in time to the days of the Industrial Revolution, a time when Charles Dickens was becoming well-known and the railways were spreading across Britain, bringing many changes to a class-divided society.
There was so much we loved about Cranford: the delightful characters played by well-known and highly talented actors; the scenery and costumes that brought life in the village of Cranford alive; the unforgettable and clever script that we are now all quoting at one other; the involving story line which frequently changed direction and pace, one moment making us laugh, the next bringing us close to tears.
Every evening when an episode came to an end, we lingered to discuss what we’d learnt about life in the 1840s, to quote our favourite bits, to laugh again over the funny moments, to predict what would happen next…
When we arrived at the end of the last episode of Cranford, we sighed with satisfaction. It was a great series.
We did some further research about Cranford on the Enchanted Serenity of Period Films blog. We read about the characters, viewed photographs of the actors, read an interview by the producer and found out exactly which Elizabeth Gaskell novels inspired the script of the mini-series. Cranford was based on the novels Cranford, Mr Harrison’s Confession and My Lady Ludlow.
A quick trip to the Kindle store and we soon located these novels in one volume, The Cranford Novellas, for $0.99. I bought and downloaded the book and now Imogen, Charlotte and I all have a copy on our Kindles waiting be enjoyed.
“No more Cranford! What are we going to watch next?” asks Charlotte.
“Return to Cranford!” cries Imogen.
Yes, there’s more: a second series which we are looking forward to watching. Of course, we can’t wait to see what happens next in the lives of the characters of Cranford. We know we will learn more about life in the 1840s. But best of all, we will be spending more evenings together nibbling chocolate, sipping wine, watching, sharing, discussing, laughing…
And after Return to Cranford? What next? Anyone know of another great series?