A Love Affair with Cranford at Elizabeth Gaskell's House

A Love Affair with Cranford
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House
19th May 2021 – 24th April 2022

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A Love Affair with Cranford
A Love Affair with Cranford

A Love Affair with Cranford is an exhibition about one of Elizabeth Gaskell’s best-known collection of stories – Cranford.

This much-loved book has never been out of print, and from its early serialisation in Charles Dicken’s Household Words to the entertaining BBC television series starring Dame Judi Dench, the Cranford stories have been enjoyed by generations across the world. Despite its chocolate box image, the stories of Cranford challenged the social constraints imposed on women in the nineteenth century whilst stories of cows in petticoats and cats eating lace collars have kept readers giggling since its publication.

This exhibition explores the enduring popularity of Cranford, the portrayal of the ‘Amazons’ who run the town, its worldwide reach from page to stage, and the many translated and illustrated editions that have been published since 1851. There is a chance to see rare editions of the book and one of the costumes worn in the BBC series by Elizabeth Gaskell’s House patron, Dame Judi Dench is on display.

Elizabeth Gaskell said that Cranford ‘is the only one of my own books that I can read again’ and the fact she named her cat after the book is a tribute to her fondness for it, which is shared by many.

A Love Affair with Cranford follows a trail throughout the house and is a fantastic reason for visiting one of Manchester’s best, hidden gem tourist attractions.

Entrance to the exhibition is free with House admission. Covid -secure guidelines are in place.

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