The women of the small country town of Cranford live in genteel poverty, resolutely refusing to embrace change, while the dark clouds of urbanisation and the advance of the railway hover threateningly on the horizon. In their simple, well-ordered lives they face emotional dilemmas and upheavals, small in the scale of the ever-shifting world, but affectionately portrayed by Elizabeth Gaskell with all the weight and consequence of a grand drama. A rich, comic and illuminating portrait of life in a small town, Cranford has moved and entertained readers for generations. With illustrations by the celebrated Hugh Thomson, and an introduction by Dr Josie Billington, a specialist in Victorian literature. Designed to appeal to the booklover, the Macmillan Collector's Library is a series of beautiful gift editions of much loved classic titles. Macmillan Collector's Library are books to love and treasure.