October 9, 2009


To all of my fellow etiquette junkies, I strongly recommend watching the BBC miniseries Cranford, currently playing on many public television channels in the United States. I just finished watching the first episode on my local PBS affiliate, and I almost fell out of my chair with laughter at the delightfully dry English humour.

Described on the PBS website:
Welcome to Cranford, circa 1840...a rural English town where etiquette rules, undergirded by a healthy amount of gossip. Modernity is making a move in town as construction of a railway comes harrowingly close.

The series focuses on "Cranford's eclectic residents, among them Matty Jenkyns (Dame Judi Dench) her sister, the town's arbiter of etiquette, Deborah (Dame Eileen Atkins), and neighborhood busybody, Miss Pole (Imelda Staunton, known to many for playing Delores Umbridge in the fifth Harry Potter movie).

I took the utmost pleasure in watching the ladies of the town deal with the practical challenges of keeping to their customs of holding visiting hours, maintaining strict gender roles, and grappling with the new fashions of the day.

For these efforts, Cranford receives the Everyday Correspondence seal of approval.


phonelady said...

this program sounds delightfull I would love to look at this show I will have to check it out .

Pirate Trish said...

the part with the lace and the cat about killed me! It was a wonderful series!

Stacie said...

I apologise for the late comment. The opening paragraphs of the book, Cranford, are among most entertaining of that period of English literature.

James said...

Apologies not necessary! Comments are always appreciated.

I haven't actually read Elizabeth Gaskell's stories yet, but they are definitely at the top of my list for when I stumble upon some free time.