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The Elizabeth Gaskell Collection (Wives and Daughters / Cranford / North and South)
The Elizabeth Gaskell Collection
Wives and Daughters / Cranford / North and South
Actors: Daniela Denby-Ashe, Richard Armitage, Tim Pigott-Smith, Sinéad Cusack, Brendan Coyle
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2008     13hr 44min

Three BBC miniseries adapted from Mary Gaskells classic novels. Cranford, a market town in the North West of England, is a place governed by etiquette, custom and above all, an intricate network of ladies. It seems that li...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Daniela Denby-Ashe, Richard Armitage, Tim Pigott-Smith, Sinéad Cusack, Brendan Coyle
Creators: Kristina Hetherington, Sue Birtwistle, Susie Conklin
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Love & Romance, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: BBC Warner
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 05/20/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 13hr 44min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 7
SwapaDVD Credits: 7
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 38
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

3 of BBCs finest costume dramas in one dvd set. Amazing!!
Marcy Gomez | Kansas City, USA | 06/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

""North & South" alone is reason enough to buy this dvd collection. This coupled with two other period drama powerhouses "Wives & Daughters" and "Cranford" makes this a collection that any period drama/classics/romance fan should be without. These dramas by author Elizabeth Gaskell represent the finest that BBC drama has to offer.

** "North & South" is the spectacular adaptation of the novel that centers on John Thornton (who represents the industrial north) and Margaret Hale (who represents the idyllic, agricultural south). Theirs is a war of words, cultures and personalities as Margaret Hale (Daniela Denby Ashe) and her family struggle to adapt to life in the dirty, noisy, mill town of Milton after a carefree, comfortable life in the southern town of Helstone. There her family meets manufacturer John Thornton (played by the unforgettable Richard Armitage) and his family and it is dislike-at-first-sight for Margaret. She finds Mr. Thornton a rough, proud and haughty man who treats his employees with disdain. Mr. Thornton, however, is instantly smitten with the outspoken and fearless Margaret. But as Margaret gradually learns to appreciate Mr. Thornton, events take place that threaten to divide them from each other forever.

** "Wives and Daughters" is the story of young Molly Gibson (Justine Waddell) and her widowed father (Bill Paterson). Molly lives a carefree life, until her father remarries and brings home his new wife, Hyacinth (Francesca Annis). She and her lovely daughter Cynthia (Keeley Hawes) bring change and sometimes chaos to the Gibson's lives and Molly finds herself in competition with Cynthia for the affections of Roger Hamley (Anthony Howell), the son of the local squire (Michael Gambon). We soon find that all is not as it seems and long-kept secrets are unearthed which threaten the love lives and reputations of both Molly and Cynthia.

** The splendid "Cranford" starring a bevy of British acting greats led by Judi Dench, Michael Gambon, Eileen Atkins, Francesca Annis and Imelda Staunton. The story centers around the locals in the sleepy town of Cranford, where everyone makes it their business to know everything about their neighbors. Their lives are turned topsy turvy when a handsome young doctor (Simon Woods) with new ideas arrives and rumors of the railroad threaten to destroy their idyllic town. This is truly an ensemble cast, as all stories intermingle and each character makes an impact of the lives of others in the town. Judi Dench and Eileen Atkins play the Jenkyns sisters; Lisa Dillon play their cousin Mary Smith; Deborah Findlay and Selena Griffiths play the Tomkinson sisters; Imelda Staunton is the quirky and nosy Miss Pole; Barbara Flynn is the elegant Mrs. Jamieson; Julia Sawalha is the quiet spinster Jessie Brown and Jim Carter is her outspoken father; Francesca Annis plays the haughty and aristocratic Lady Ludlow; Greg Wise plays her cousin Sir Charles Maulver; Phillip Glenister plays Lady Ludlow's land agent, Mr. Carter; and Alex Etel is a young man that Mr. Carter takes on.

What sets these apart from other costume dramas is the consistency of the acting, the high production values, the compelling stories, and memorable characters. I dare you not to feel John Thornton's pain as he says "Look back at me" as he watches Margaret climb up the carriage on her way back to London, or Harry Gregson's pain as he says goodbye to a beloved mentor, or the thrill as Roger Hamley sees Molly's transformation at the Cumnor's ball. These are wonderful stories that you will want to watch over and over, which make this dvd collection an absolute gem."
The Elizabeth Gaskell Collection (Wives and Daughters / Cran
Quilt Zone | CT USA | 06/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I had heard a little about Elizabeth Gaskell before. I knew that she had written the biography of Charlotte Bronte but that is all I knew about her. I had never read any of Mrs. Gaskell's books myself. Recently, I saw Cranford on PBS and decided to purchase the DVD of it. When I saw that Amazon offered a collection of three of Mrs. Gaskell's stories, I decided to buy the whole collection. I must say, I LOVE all three of these stories and I have come to appreciate Mrs. Gaskell as a writer, even more. If you are a Jane Austen fan, you will enjoy Cranford, Wives & Daughters and North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell, too.

The Elizabeth Gaskell Collection (Wives and Daughters / Cranford / North and South)"
Three Great Productions
EB | Montreal, QC | 10/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"All three of these shows are so good, you'll be glad to have them on hand to watch again and again. (And in such a compact package that saves shelf space!) North and South gets my nod as the best, but the other two are fantastic as well. Each contains several performances that are marvels of acting--Michael Gambon and Francesca Annis in Wives and Daughters; practically the whole cast of Cranford; and Richard Armitage and Sinead Cusack in North and South. There is also a nice bio of Elizabeth Gaskell included, which was interesting.

A warning to Gaskell fans: The screenwriters are not always faithful to the stories of North and South and Cranford; the results, though, are so entertaining that it's hard to quibble."
Slower than Pride and Prejudice but the acting is wonderful
E. Finnerty | army wife & mother | 03/22/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I bought this set because I had heard high praises for it.. if you like period pieces. I like the A & E version of Pride and Prejudice so I thought I would treat myself. The costumes and set design was wonderful; I was delightfully wisked away from reality as I watched these wonderful movies. These are slower stories and I had to watch Wives and Daughters a second time to catch everything. North and South has an industrial era setting. I don't think I'd ever seen a piece taking this setting and these challenges into the story. Wonderful acting, great story, however, it is a bit slow moving. Which is wonderful for me but some viewers might fall asleep with the pace. Judi Dench shines with the Cranford piece which is set in a small town in England. The dynamics, gossip, costumes and minds of the women of the time seem to come to light. Change is not something that they embrace. Along that same line Wives and Daughters also involves change and it's fascinating how new technology effects people differently. As a fan of historical fiction I look forward to reading Elizabeth Gaskell's novels from which these are based."