Mr. Harrison's Confessions

Read by NoelBadrian

(4.5 stars; 204 reviews)

It is asserted that the inspiration for Elizabeth Gaskell's marvellous stories of Cranford was her childhood home of Knutsford, a small town in Cheshire and to where she returned for a while as a young woman. This assertion is born out by an essay she wrote in 1849 entitled The Last Generation in England, in which she writes about "The town in which I once resided ...". There can be little doubt when reading this that it provided her with the template for Cranford.

In 1851 the year she began to write Cranford, she also wrote a novella entitled Mr. Harrison's Confessions. It describes the life of a country doctor in a small provincial town. Mrs. Gaskell's model for this town could also only have been Knutsford which she knew and loved so well. The story revolves around the arrival in the town of a young doctor and the attempts of the ladies of the town to place his status within their society and of course to find him a suitable wife. It is often thought of as a prequel to Cranford

Both of these pieces together with the novels, My Lady Ludlow and Cranford were used by the BBC to create the Television series Cranford in 2007. (Summary by Noel Badrian) (3 hr 49 min)


00 - The Last Generation in England 22:14 Read by NoelBadrian
01 - Chapters 1 and 2 31:20 Read by NoelBadrian
02 - Chapters 3 and 4 17:43 Read by NoelBadrian
03 - Chapters 5 and 6 24:55 Read by NoelBadrian
04 - Chapters 7 and 8 21:25 Read by NoelBadrian
05 - Chapters 9 to 13 19:37 Read by NoelBadrian
06 - Chapter 14 24:22 Read by NoelBadrian
07 - Chapters 15 to 19 21:32 Read by NoelBadrian
08 - Chapters 20 to 24 21:56 Read by NoelBadrian
09 - Chapters 25 to 31 24:11 Read by NoelBadrian


very sweet and interesting story

(5 stars)

Fascinating details about life and etiquette along with a sweet love story. Lots of interesting characters and a slice of what life was like in a small town in England. Short and well worth a listen. EXCELLENT reading by the narrator.

Charming Story

(5 stars)

Mrs. Gaskell never fails to provide a captivating story made all the more charming by the thought that these are true accounts. Humor and humiliation are interwoven in the gossip and misunderstandings of a little provincial village of the 19th c in England.


(5 stars)

A very sweet and funny little story by a talented writer. The reader has a nice calm voice and pronounces all of the words clearly. I would highly recommend this to people who enjoy writers such as Dickens or even Jane Austen.

a window on early 19th century manners

(4 stars)

It is hard, in the 21st century, to believe that people acted as they are portrayed in this book. Amusing misunderstandings caused by being too polite never happens today. The reader is very good indeed.

(5 stars)

More delightful small town living from one of the best to ever write about it. Read beautifully, thank you!

Beautiful and witty!

(5 stars)

I loved the reading. Charming little story!

(5 stars)

Thank you dear reader. What a delight!

(5 stars)

A sweet, funny story read perfectly.