Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

North and South (original 1855; edition 1970)

by Elizabeth Gaskell

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,2711251,161 (4.12)3 / 550
Title:North and South
Authors:Elizabeth Gaskell
Info:Penguin Classics (1970), Edition: Reprint, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, 19th century, Manchester

Work details

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (1855)

  1. 211
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Shuffy2)
    Shuffy2: Mr. Darcy and Mr. Thornton are both of the same cloth, a love story you can really sink into!
  2. 120
    Persuasion by Jane Austen (Anonymous user)
  3. 71
    Middlemarch by George Eliot (PensiveCat)
  4. 10
    Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (Anonymous user)
  5. 02
    Northern Light by Catherine Winchester (Shuffy2)
    Shuffy2: If you like 'sequels', I recommend this one!

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (117)  Spanish (2)  German (2)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (125)
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
A thesis on the social problems of the industrial revolution in 19th century England masking as a love story, the novel expertly portrays the timeless conflicts which arise between employers and employees as well as their well-justified opposing points of views while following the age-old opposites-attract vein. The rough seam of these two facades would have almost burst with its far-ranging cast of characters if not for the occasionally-surprising linking threads between them.

The love story, which seems almost an afterthought as something to make the original serial format more palatable to its original readers, is no less delicious in its denouement, as frustrating, emotionally manipulative and unnecessarily cruel the lovers were at times. Following their tendency for unnecessary cruelty, the novel is splattered with deaths, - seriously, Lennox' death was so unexpected and swept under the rug so quickly that I was almost shocked (instead, I laughed at the callousness) when Mr Bell responded to Margaret's confession of involuntary manslaughter with, "How awkward" -, a circuitous way to have Margaret Hale, social dilettante whose main skill is being a snob, have one , specifically money, lots and lots of money, over John Thornton, self-made man so needy that he falls in love with a woman just because she threw her arms around him after goading him into facing a violent mob, using her gender as an shield against violence.

Despite all the warranted criticisms of the characters - Mr Hale, it is good to have integrity, but at your age with no other skills? Best to be practical, no? - , it is important to note that my issues with them are not their portrayal, not that they are not convincing, but because they are such incredibly flawed people. I very much enjoyed the rich theme of power shifts of authority in society and domesticity, and characters, especially Edith and Frederick, who I imagine have secretly, elaborately and wile-ly constructed the lives they wanted even if it might appear that they were somehow choiceless in the events.

This book!

Aside: my alleged sample copy of the book, has a very distracting misspelling percieve floating about. ( )
  kitzyl | Nov 26, 2015 |
I enjoyed the book a lot! It paints a wonderful picture of the differences between the North and the South of England at that time, deals with social problems, it is tragic and a love story at the same time. *sigh* I didn't give it 5 stars because I thought the end was a bit to abrupt and for me some discussions between the characters were a little bit "chunky" so that I had the feeling that the story stopped until the conversation would be over. Apart from that I found Margaret repetitive in her suffering at some point.
But I'll definitely read it again and try more from Elizabeth Gaskell! ( )
  squirreltina | Aug 22, 2015 |
This was not my favorite book to read and I was sadly disappointed as I really loved the movie. The author's style just clashed with my preference. It did not draw me in very well. The characters were well developed and the plot itself was fine, but I think the flow was lacking. I also hated the bits of poetry that began with each chapter on my Kindle.

As I said before, the plot is good, but I think that the author just needed to tweak her writing style a bit. ( )
  caslater83 | Jul 24, 2015 |
In a word: enchanting.

This book does not only have very interesting characters, but it also provides one with a rare insight into social issues of nineteenth-century Britain When I started reading this book I thought it would be a perfectly good way to kill some time. Little did I know I would be staying up until two o'clock in the morning because I can't rest until the many persistent misunderstandings between Mr Thornton and Margaret are cleared away.

North and South is about Margaret Hale who moves with her mother and father from the country to an industrial town. Originally prejudiced against the working class, she finds an 'human interest' as she calls it in the people of the town. Her father's new position as tutor throws her into the path of Mr Thornton, who is an owner of a mill in Milton and a man who seems to be at odds with all of her opinions. Their growing attraction to one another is a major plot line in the book, but it is not solely a romantic novel. This book addresses many social themes and contrasts the busy town-life with the stagnant southern manners of nineteen-century Britain. Margaret is a strong, likable heroine that I found very easy to relate to.

The rest of this review contains plot details.

I loved this book. I liked every single character, even Margaret's insipid cousin who was used by Gaskell as a foil for the hard-working and interesting people of Milton. Also Mr Lennox, who I felt was not a favourite of Gaskell's (only because she continually gave him opportunities to show his unpleasant side but never gave him a chance to redeem himself) provided some enjoyment.

I see a lot of people comparing North and South with Jane Austen's work, but I don't think that is possible. Margaret and Thornton are far from perfect characters. They have real, believable faults (unlike Austen's characters who's faults are very forgivable, if they have any at all. Looking at you, Elizabeth and Elinor and Fanny). Margaret is very opinionated, often about things that she doesn't really understand. She's naive and doesn't know what she wants. Thornton is too proud for his own good and in his own way, very sensitive. These are not the type of characters we see in Austen's work and they appear to annoy a lot of people. I found them real and honest.

The only reason I gave this book four stars instead of five is because I would've liked to see a better resolution. As I understand, there were some external factors that forced Gaskell to cut the ending short. It really is a shame because the build-up is so dramatic. The ending was perfectly adequate but I would've liked to see one worthy of Margaret's and Thornton's passionate, combative relationship. They spend so much of the time disagreeing and thinking ill of one another that I hoped there would be a conversation where some of the misunderstandings are cleared away for good. As it is, a lot of the 'clearing away' happens off-screen.

Another thing that surprised me in this book was the alarming number of people close to Margaret who died. I didn't see the point of her father or Mr Bell dying at all. Quite possibly Gaskell wanted to do something more with the fact that she was so alone in the world, but had to follow another course when she had to end the book so suddenly. As it is, it feels as if Mr Bell had to die simply to make Margaret rich so that she could go on and finally declare her feelings for Thornton on the next page.

All in all, this book made me feel a whole range of emotions and it has joined the pile of books that I wish I could forget only for the pleasure of discovering them again. ( )
  Ariza_E | Jun 11, 2015 |
5 Stars!

If you are a fan of [a:Jane Austen|1265|Jane Austen|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1380085320p2/1265.jpg] then you will love [a:Elizabeth Gaskell|1413437|Elizabeth Gaskell|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1223499865p2/1413437.jpg] [b:North and South|156538|North and South|Elizabeth Gaskell|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1349633381s/156538.jpg|1016482].

This is a story of two worlds colliding in all the wrong ways. From the first encounter you know things are not going to go well.

I was captivated from the start, and it was hard to pick a side. I wanted to be on Margaret side, but it was hard when she showed her naivety and lack of understand of her new home came out.

I loved how she spoke her mind and dished out just as much as was thrown at her.

The love story, I don't know what it is but I love the old style romance. There's just something about thoes minor subtle things that makes it all the more intimate.

Call me old fashion but it's that romance I like.

I highly recommend this book. As I said, if you're a Jane Austen fan, then you'll love North and South..

Happy reading

-Emily ( )
  E.A.Walsh | Jun 11, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Gaskellprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Collin, DorothyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dodsworth, MartinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Easson, AngusEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ingham, PatriciaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ingham, PatriciaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jong, Akkie deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kwiatkowska, KatarzynaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leyrer, GindaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pérez, ÁngelaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shelston, AlanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shuttleworth, SallyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sorbier, Françoise DuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sorbier, Françoise DuIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vonghizas, ConstantinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
"Edith!" said Margaret, gently, "Edith!"
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140434240, Paperback)

"How am I to dress up in my finery, and go off and away to smart parties, after the sorrow I have seen today?"

When her father leaves the Church in a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the north of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of the local mill workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice. This is intensified by her tempestuous relationship with the mill-owner and self-made man, John Thornton, as their fierce opposition over his treatment of his employees masks a deeper attraction. In North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell skillfully fused individual feeling with social concern, and in Margaret Hale created one of the most original heroines of Victorian literature.

In her introduction Patricia Ingham examines geographical, economic and class differences, and male and female roles in North and South. This edition also includes a list for further reading, notes and a glossary.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:43 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

From her home ground, her father's comfortably middle-class living in Hampshire and her aunt's establishment in Harley Street, Margaret is exiled to the ugly northern industrial town of Milton. Surprisingly, her social consciousness awakens. It is intensified by a relationship with the local mill-owner, Thornton, that combines passionate attraction with fierce opposition. The novel explores the exploitation of the working class, linking the plight of workers with that of women and probing the myth and reality of the 'north-south divide'.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.12)
1 10
1.5 1
2 36
2.5 11
3 129
3.5 60
4 362
4.5 73
5 369


18 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140434240, 0141028122, 0141198923

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 100,860,045 books! | Top bar: Always visible