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Cranford and Selected Short Stories (Wordsworth Classics) [Paperback]

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

10 July 2006 Wordsworth Classics

This Wordsworth Edition includes an Introduction and Notes by Professor Emeritus John Chapple, University of Hull.

The sheer variety and accomplishment of Elizabeth Gaskell's shorter fiction is amazing. This new volume contains six of her finest stories that have been selected specifically to demonstrate this, and to trace the development of her art.

As diverse in setting as in subject matter, these tales move from the gentle comedy of life in a small English country town in Dr Harrison's Confessions, to atmospheric horror in far north-west Wales with The Doom of the Griffiths. The story of Cousin Phillis, her masterly tale of love and loss, is a subtle, complex and perceptive analysis of changes in English national life during an industrial age, while the gripping Lois the Witch recreates the terrors of the Salem witchcraft trials in seventeenth-century New England, as Gaskell shrewdly shows the numerous roots of this furious outbreak of delusion. Whimsically modified fairy tales are set in a French chateau, while an engaging love story poetically evokes peasant life in wine-growing Germany.

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Frequently Bought Together

Cranford and Selected Short Stories (Wordsworth Classics) + Wives and Daughters (Wordsworth Classics) + North and South (Wordsworth Classics)
Price For All Three: 5.74

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd (10 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840224517
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840224511
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Wordsworth Classics are inexpensive editions designed to appeal to the general reader and students. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read 16 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I recently have discovered Elizabeth Gaskell, after reading North and South I wanted to get a better idea of her writing so I thought this would be a great book. Some of the stories were wonderful. My favorite being one of her most well known Crandford followed by Mr. Harrison's Confessions. These two stories were so well-written and were surprisingly quite funny. Some of the stories I found quite dull and I could just about finish them. Lois the witch was one of them. I found myself just wanting to skip to the next story, I had to force myself to finish it.
The majority of the stories were interesting and well written so this book is a good buy. There is quite a variety in the types of stories included. Although since they are only short stories a lot of the ending are abrupt and disappointing.

North and south is so far my top read from Elizabeth Gaskell followed by Wives and Daughters.
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I had enjoyed reading "Wives and Daughters" and liked the bits I saw of the recent TV series of "Cranford", so I expected this book to be mostly "Cranford" and the short stories to be along the same lines. In fact "Cranford" is really rather short, and only one of the short stories has a Cranford flavour to it. The others are much darker and deal with fate and obsession, ghosts and witches.I hadn't thought that Mrs G went in for that sort of stuff, but I rather enjoyed them - so much so that I chased down the original collections on Project Gutenberg and read a lot more of them. I'm now looking forward to "North and South" which I gather is different again.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars lots of footnotes 9 April 2010
this is like a school edition with lots of numbered footnotes explaining words or references which is useful but interrupts your reading. the biography and background material are interesting though and some elements from the short stories were used in the 'cranford' adaptation on tv so a good link for people who enjoyed that. i particularly enjoyed the poignant 'cousin phyllis'
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A late comer to Mrs Gaskell 23 May 2011
Why oh why did I not discover Mrs Gaskell before? This Wordsworth Classics edition was seen by me at a conference book stall in Timisoara and, as I perused it, I thought 'wonderful'. The Doom of the Griffiths short story had distinct overtones of M.R. James and Lois The Witch something of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter about it (but better!). Of course, the main part of this volume is Cranford and what a gem it is. I really wish I had discovered her oeuvre before.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Includes notes to help us understand words used 25 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was expecting a copy with basic quality paper as it is a Wordsworth classic. However it was brand new as promised and the introduction to the book and notes on words and phrases used were especially helpful in this edition.
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