So yet again I have reasons for not blogging or replying to comments… I have now sprained my wrist and can only do some kind of one handed typing shuffle. So this will be brief, but I just wanted to say, Elizabeth Gaskell is my new favourite author of the year. I absolutely adored Cranford, which I finished about a week ago. It starts off slowly, with even a few sad bits and more of a comic, gentle vignette feel than a strong narrative, but by the end a plot has arrived, involving the misfortunes of one of the sweet gossipy ladies of the small town of Cranford and the way everyone gathers together to help was very touching. (I cried, more than once.) The story is simple and the characters fuss over appearing genteel on very limited budgets (‘elegant economy’ they phrase it) and are rather gullible, but they also show such kindness and goodness of heart. I’ve rarely been so touched, it was the perfect balm for the stressful times I’ve been going through lately. (My husband is healing up quite well, but now with both of us half out of commission it is proving rather difficult to get the chores done!)
I’ve since picked up Mary Barton but first I am rereading North and South, which is even better than I’d remembered. It’s so wonderful to find a new classic author that I want to rush out and read all in one year! This hasn’t really happened since… well, since Jane Austen. And as one commenter said here earlier this year, Gaskell is the closest thing to a Victorian Jane Austen.
Now back to Mr. Thorton and Margaret, where I can imagine the wonderful theme music from the mini-series playing in the background as I read it!