Gaskell, Elizabeth. Cranford. Read by Davina Porter. Prince Frederick, MD: Recorded Books, 2008.

Reason read: Cranford takes place in a fictional town in England. In July England celebrates a day called Swan Upping. Swan Upping is the practice of catching mute swans and marking them. As I understand the tradition, any unmarked muted swan belongs to the Monarchy.

This is a weird little book. Picture a society made up mostly of women. In the fictional town of Cranford women run the show. If a new couple arrives in Cranford to settle down sooner or later the man of the house vanishes. This society simply doesn’t need a man…until Captain Brown and his two daughters arrive on the scene. There is no central plot as this was originally published as a satirical serial. However, the entire story is told first person through the eyes of a visitor and most of the story centers on one particular character, Miss Matty (Matilda).

Quotes that caught me, “Things that many would despise, and actions which it seemed scarcely worthwhile to perform, were all attended to in Cranford” (p 32),

Author fact: Mrs. Gasket publish the first biography of Charlotte Bronte.

Book trivia: Cranford was first published as a serial in 1851 and was edited by Charles Dickens.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “The Maine Chance” (p 135), although Cranford doesn’t take place in Maine. Has nothing to do with Maine in any way, as a matter of fact. Pearl was just making a comparison, as usual.

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