Monday, May 12, 2008

What a Tease

Masterpiece's Cranford last night left me feeling lead on. It's bad enough that it was only an hour long, but after Miss Deborah died last week before she and Captain Brown could become "an item", Sophy's brother went and died interrupting her romance with Dr. Harrison, and THEN this week Miss Maddie's fiancee died , I've just been let down. If there isn't some true love in this story, I'm going to be very upset.

Some moments are humorous. For instance, Miss Pole (played by Imelda Staunton - from Vera Drake and Miss Delores Umbridge in Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix!) is sitting with the group of ruling (well, basically) town matrons and they are all complaining about men. Miss Pole says something derogatory, then explains, "My father was a man. I think I know the sex." Ha ha!

However, "humor" does not necessarily mean uplifting. Elizabeth Gaskell's tone is as reminiscent of Dickens' as is her storylines of poor vs. rich. Whereas Austen's stories leave the reader invigorated and excited (well, maybe that's just me!), Dickens' will leave the reader introspective and thoughtful.

Let me be clear, I love Jane Austen's novels, but I am also a fan of Charles Dickens' - my comparison of these novels by Gaskell and Austen is not to say that one is better than another, but only to point out how different authors writing in the same time period and about similar themes can really be. Isn't literature amazing!


Noel said...

Jane Austen doesn't leave me invigorated or excited...

Besides _A Christmas Carol_, the only other Dickens I've read is _Great Expectations_ something like 32 years ago in junior high. Last night's Cranfield had something of those books' feel, particularly as the wealthy woman paid the penalty for the poacher's crime on Christmas Eve. The death of Miss Mattie's male friend had a European film feel. One thing I dislike about American films is the inevitable happy ending.

Lyz said...

Oh, I forgot about Scrooge & the gang! That IS one feel good(ish) Dickens story.

You are right about the poacher's crimes...that actually seemed a little manipulated to me.

I do like a happy ending! But there is definitely something very special about a bittersweet ending...but not after so many ruined love affairs! We'll see what next week holds.