by Elizabeth Gaskell
A young, single, and handsome doctor joins a medical practice in a rural English village, only to fall foul of virtually every single female in town in this enjoyable and light-hearted prequel to Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford.
Enjoying the comforts of his well-kept home in middle age, country doctor William Harrison is prevailed upon by his long-time friend Charles, a bachelor, to dispense some advice on the ‘wooing and winning’ of women’s affections. So begin the fascinating and varied recollections of one of Gaskell’s best-loved characters.
Lured to rural Duncombe by the promise of a partnership in a country practice, William finds himself trapped in claustrophobic provincial life where society is apparently presided over by the scheming of a set of under-occupied middle-aged women. Their supposed matchmaking prowess in fact leaves much to be desired; so much so, indeed, that before long the hapless young physician finds himself betrothed to three women – none of whom is the beautiful Sophy, the woman he truly desires.
Chaotic, hilarious and poignant, Mr Harrison’s Confessions is a comedy of manners – and of errors – that will resonate with Gaskell aficionados and newcomers alike.
Publication date: 29/08/2014