I really enjoyed the Lady Ludlow part of the recent Cranford BBC production, so I decided to dive into this novella next. Chronologically, she wrote My Lady Ludlow shortly after The Life of Charlotte Bronte, and it's much more comfortable to read than the bio, where I felt that Gaskell was walking on eggshells, either from the fear of offending interested parties or from wanting to portray Charlotte in a certain way.
So far, the book is very quiet, much like Lady Ludlow herself, and it is told in the first person, who then narrates stories told to her by others, including Lady Ludlow.
Mr. Carter from the mini-series appears to be a composite of Mr. Gray, the rector, and Mr. Horner, her steward. The former teaches Harry Gregson to read and the latter is her steward, the role Mr. Carter had in the mini-series.
The book wasn't easy to find--I scanned several different Gaskell collections at Amazon, and found the one I'm reading, which is published by www.BookSurge.com/classics. BookSurge.com is a self-publishing outfit, but the /classics page no longer exists. I don't think I'll go this route again--several typos, and no notes or introduction or afterward.