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Mary Smith is a young woman from the industrial city of Drumble in England who frequently visits the small town of Cranford. When away, she remains abreast of events through correspondence with her friends, telling the stories of Cranford's illustrious citizens, and sympathetically portraying transformation of a small town customs and values in mid Victorian England.
Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) was an English novelist and short story writer. Her novels offer a detailed portrait of the lives of many strata of Victorian society, including the very poor, and are of interest to social historians as well as lovers of literature. Some of Gaskell's best known novels are Cranford, North and South, and Wives and Daughters.