- Summaries (2)
It's August 1844 and Miss Matty knows only too well that faces will always come and go in Cranford, but for now she is happy that her dear brother, Peter is home from India and that Martha, Jem and baby Tilly make for a lively household. Lady Ludlow is awaiting the return of her son, Septimus, and young Harry Gregson is about to start his education at Shrewsbury, benefiting from the moral support of Miss Galindo. Then there's news that wealthy widower, Mr Buxton has returned to live in Cranford, bringing with him his charming ward, Erminia and his handsome Eton-educated son, William. Whilst at nearby Thorn Cottage, Peggy Bell tries to make the best of things caring for her mother and brother Edward. Elsewhere, the world continues to change, but for now the railway has stopped five miles outside Cranford in spite of the efforts Captain Brown. All too soon life in Cranford will change in some very unexpected ways.
The residents of Cranford are still fearing the change in their lives that seems inevitable. The railway is now only 5 miles away but apparently stopped when Lady Ludlow refuses to sell the land they would need to complete construction. Her death however results in the return from Italy of her son Septimus, who cares little of the family name and only for the money he may get from his inheritance. He's also prepared to swindle young Harry Gregson, now at Eton, to get what he wants. For Martha and Jem, they are happy living with Miss Matty but tragedy will strike. All of Cranford is abuzz with the arrival of Mr. Buxton and his son William and ward Emilia Whyte. He's made his fortune in salt but like many of his generation, is wary of the future and believes that the railway is just another unproven fad. In these momentous times, Miss Matty decides to take the lead and see just how she might be able to influence her friends and Mr. Buxton into accepting what she sees as the inevitable.
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