I've been cruising the blogosphere of late and have come across some first-rate blogs that are now on on my list of places to visit often. One of them I found mentioned at Random Jottings of a Book and Opera Lover. It's written by an Englishman named Simon Thomas who describes himself as a Christian bookaholic vegetarian twin. Check him out at Stuck in a Book.
Elizabeth Gaskell is a favorite of mine so while shopping for something else at Amazon recently I impulsively bought myself the Gaskell Collection DVDs of Cranford, North and South, and Wives and Daughters.
I had seen the last two but I somehow missed Cranford, though it stars one of my favorite actresses, Judy Dench, and has Eileen Atkins and Michael Gambon for good measure. I watched my way through the five episodes the other day and immediately re-read the three novellas on which it is based: Cranford, Mr Harrison's Confessions, and My Lady Ludlow.
What a fine job they have done adapting these books for the screen. They have amalgamated some characters, cut some out completely, migrated some from one story to another, and put all of this together with lovely sets, costumes, and photography.
I have finished reading the fourth book in the Cazalet Chronicle and I'm going to miss these people. No more giggling with Poly and Clary, no going to the Duchy for advice, no appeals to Rachel to help with things, no wisdom from Miss Milliment, no further swooning over Archie.
Fortunately, the novels were made into a fine BBC made-for-TV production which I have just ordered online for delivery Thursday or Friday. I borrowed the first of three DVDs from Netflix and it was delightful watching it on my laptop. But the second disc had some sort of problem and I couldn't play Episode 3. This was not to be borne and so I ordered the set from Amazon.com.