Cranford

  • by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Narrated by Clare Wille
  • 7 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This charming piece of social observation throws a gentle spotlight on life in a small village in northern England of the 1850s. The middle-aged ladies, existing in rather impoverished circumstances, nevertheless maintain the rules of politeness which they feel they should live by. Read with great sensitivity by Clare Wille.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

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Audible Editor Reviews

Clare Wille's performance of this gently satirical look at a genteel English village in the first half of the nineteenth century is excellent. Like a kinder version of E.F. Benson's Mapp v. Lucia novels, Gaskell's ladies of Cranford have their jealousies and their vanities. They also have moments of quiet tragedy (a lost brother, a suitor rejected to please the family but never forgotten) and of high drama. Wille made me laugh aloud at the pompous trumpeting of the late Reverend Jenkins. When Miss Poe comes in out of breath, you could swear Wille was running up stairs while delivering her lines. Her performance is always fully engaged, at one with the story, which is itself a small gem.

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What the Critics Say

Clare Wille's performance of Mrs. Gaskell's Cranford...may be the wittiest I've ever heard." (AudioFile Magazine)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A good listen, classic Gaskell!

If you are purchasing this book because you enjoyed the BBC adaptation, you will very soon realise that the tv series was just that an adaptation in the losest terms. Do not despair, I read this book many years before it was broadcast and this narration is excellent and introduces each character with all their funny little ways. I've enjoyed listening over and over again. You will enjoy this book if you are a fan of Elizabeth Gaskell.

However, one slight criticism; each character could have been better interpreted using a better range of accents and mannerisms, If that is possible in an audio book.
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- P

What a delight!

I read 'Cranford' 40 years ago as a teenager and had forgotten, (or perhaps not realised) what a delightful, well-observed and amusing book this is - and what a wimp (by today's standards, anyway) Miss Mattie is!
Clare Wille is perfect as the narrator, both her style of reading and because she's the right age. Good though Judy Dench was on the TV, you know she's too old to be the narrator really.
All in all one of the best audio books I've had so far.
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- MumsieWumsie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-01-2008
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks