This is the Penguin English Library Edition of Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell. 'Just at this moment he passed us on the stairs, making such a graceful bow, in reply to which I dropped a curtsey - all foreigners have such polite manners, one catches something of it'. Cranford is an affectionate and often moving portrait of genteel poverty and intertwined lives in a nineteenth-century village. One of Elizabeth Gaskell's most beloved works, it centres on a community dominated by women and governed by old-fashioned ways. The formidable Miss Deborah Jenkyns and the kindly Miss Matty's days revolve around card games, tea, thriftiness and an endless appetite for scandal, until change comes into their world - whether it is the modern ideas of Captain Brown, a bank collapse, rumours of burglars or an unexpected reappearance from the past. The Penguin English Library contains 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.