OMG, the cast is wonderful (Dame Judi Dench, for one) and the series so beautifully adapted from Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford novels. I was drooling over the fabric in the costumes and the awesome scenery the whole time I was working on quilting a small quilt. That was inspirational. I love seeing depictions of nineteenth-century life.
"Cranford" begins with the story of 2 sisters, Matty and Deborah, in their 50s or 60s, never married, and prominent figures in the town. Love some of the dialogue. A young woman assists a doctor in a difficult operation and he praises her as having been "the equal of a man." Deborah frowns and says: "No woman should ever be said to be the equal of a man. She is superior in every way." LOL
Deborah rejects the suggestion she read "The Pickwick Papers," a new book by the radical new writer Charles Dickens. She is too refined and will only read the proper classics, thank you veddy much. But Matty is the kinder, gentler one who brings the town together at the end after the railroad threatens to change their isolated world.
In the first part of the series, "Cranford," which is now on DVD, the arrival of a single eligible young man in the town (Sweet Dr Harrison) sets the entire village in motion. My daughter likes to call this series "Sex and the Village" because of all the little trysts going on in this sleepy little town, but in a very proper manner, mind you. The dialogue is witty and the costumes and scenery gorgeous.
Well worth catching if you haven't seen it and can get it on video. Next week, PBS is airing Jane Austen's Emma!