Monday, January 18, 2010

Return to Cranford

Last night my daughter and I were pulled back into nineteenth century England as we watched the last episode of  "Return to Cranford" on Masterpiece Classic, after being entranced by the original "Cranford" series about a picturesque village in 1840s England which aired on the same PBS channel several weeks ago. Have you seen it?

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!



  1. Very FUN! I'm ordering it from Netflix if it is available. You are so right - awesome cast! I like your blog and I shall be back to see more! I wanna be a quilter!

  2. I watched this while my husband was out of town since he is not into "chick flicks." I really enjoyed it. I can't wait for Emma coming up. I already have my DVR set to record it. Of course I am also waiting for the new season of "Lost" to start on Feb 2.

  3. Argh!! I wish I had seen that it was on! I only caught one episode. I hope PBS will show it again soon!

    Love your blog :)

  4. What a pitty that they don't send it on tv in netherlands. I love these films to !!

  5. PBS has the Return to Cranford episodes you can watch online for free until Feb 16.

    The first part of the Cranford series is now on DVD.

  6. I love the Cranford series! Really enjoyed it
    when¨I bought it a couple years ago! Need to get my hand on Return to Cranford!

  7. Yes, my DH and I watched all episodes, it was a wonderful story. Now we always check to see what is coming on PBS Sunday nights.

  8. Hi Kathleen, l too love cranford but here in the uk we also have Larkrise to Candleford which, in my opinion, is better. It is set around the same time, keep an eye out for it as l think you will love it,

  9. I got over to PBS to see the chapters but it said:
    Sorry, we only have rights to stream Return to Cranford to viewers in the US.

    To bad for me and I hope that the dvd's will for sale here in netherlands.

  10. Oh, I'm sorry! Maybe it's on the BBC since that is where it originally aired. has the DVDs for sale.

    Now I have to find Lark Rise to Candleford and watch that--I think my library has it on DVD so that's good.

  11. When I looked at the BBC it also said that they show it only to their own country. But I'm going to look for them here on dvd. I don't like amazon because they charge alott of postingcost to netherlands :) Sometimes more then the thing you bought.

  12. Watched Emma last night! Wonderful! Thanks for reminding me that it was on.

  13. Me too! I see that PBS is going to repeat more episodes of the Jane Austen series it ran last year.

  14. Thanks for the link!! I will have to check it out!


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