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North and South (Penguin English Library) (original 1855; edition 2012)

by Elizabeth Gaskell

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4,5551681,051 (4.11)3 / 562
Member:esme-rose
Title:North and South (Penguin English Library)
Authors:Elizabeth Gaskell
Info:Penguin Classics (2012), Paperback, 560 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
Tags:Read in 2012, Fiction, Eng-Lang/EV

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!
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English (160)  Spanish (2)  German (2)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (168)
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Sé muy bien lo que dicen de que no debe juzgarse un libro por su película (o en este caso miniserie), pero comparativamente la miniserie de la BBC es mejor, mucho mejor. Lo que hace que este libro sea simplemente: ok.

Y es que todo lo que me había gustado de los personajes cuando vi la adaptación, me disgusto mientras leía esto. En la serie Margaret parecía dulce e inocente, en cambio aquí es una total snob!

Además de eso, me dio tristeza darme cuenta que mis partes y frases favoritas no están en el libro (como cuando Margaret va caminando por la fabrica con un montón de restos de algodón volando a su alrededor y dice que acaba de darse cuenta que el infierno es blanco).

El primer encuentro entre Margaret y Mr. Thornton es también bastante diferente, y me parece que el de la serie es más adecuado para mostrar la naturaleza real de Mr. Thornton. Quien debo añadir es un poco más falto de carácter que su contraparte actoral.

En definitiva, aunque no es una mala historia -es algo así como un Orgullo y Prejuicio en una realidad alterna donde Mr. Darcy trabaja. Mas o menos- no la disfrute. Y recomiendo que en vez de leerla vean su adaptación, que son sólo 4 capítulos, de una hora cada uno, hechos por la BBC. ( )
  Glire | Jun 22, 2016 |
I shall always remember ‘North and South’ as one of the last books that my mother and I discovered together. She loved books all her life, and even when her short term memory and her ability to follow a story faded she still appreciated lovely prose, being told about the books I was reading, and watching costume dramas on television. She loved the BBC adaptation of ‘Cranford’, and was able to recall studying the book and school and talk about how what she watched and heard compared with what she had read decades earlier.

When we talked about Mrs Gaskell and her work she said that she had never read ‘North and South’, and I recalled that it had been adapted for television too, and that that adaptation had been much praised and much loved. And so I ordered a book and a DVD so that my mother could watch and I could both watch and read.

We were both smitten, but I couldn’t help feeling that I had rushed the book a little, to match the pace of the dramatization. And so I came back to the book, to read it again at a steadier pace.

‘North and South’ has all of the attributes of a great novel.

It has a wonderful cast of characters, richly and deeply drawn, utterly believable, and so very engaging.

I was very taken with Margaret Hale, who coped so well when she returned from the London home where she had been raised and educated with her cousin Edith, after Edith’s marriage, to live again with her mother and father in his country parish. She was prepared for a life there but she was tipped into a very different life, because her father had a crisis of faith, gave up his parish, and moved his family from the south to the north, where he believed he would be able to support them by working as a tutor.

It fell to Margaret to manage everything, as her mother was fragile, and her upbringing in a family much better placed than her husband’s left her ill prepared for the future she was facing. That Margaret understood her parents so well, that she loved them both so dearly, and that she was exactly he daughter she needed to be did her great credit. That she became involved with the lives and concerns of the mill workers of her new home town, in the same way that she might have been involved with the lives of her father’s poorer parishioners, did her yet more credit

But Margaret could be proud and haughty, she looked down on the mill owners, and she failed to see their side of any argument. In particular she looked down on John Thornton, who worked hard to support his mother and his sister, and who studied with her father; believing him to be arrogant and uncaring. He realised that she looked down on him, but he found much in Margaret to admire ….

The story grows quite naturally out of these characters, their lives, their families and their times. There is poverty and there is industrial unrest in the industrial north. And the Hales have a son who is in exile as he is wanted – unjustly – for naval mutiny. His mother’s dearest wish was to see him again before she died ….

Mrs Gaskell constructed her plot very cleverly, drawing in all of her character in the north and in the south. It is in a large part driven by familiar devices – a misunderstanding and an inheritance – but they are woven in so well, every thing that happens, every character, every relationship, every interaction, rings completely true.

On my second journey through ‘North and South’ what struck me was the wonderful depth of everything: character, plot, time and place. The has things to say about people, families and communities that are timeless; and it speaks equally well about its period, about the consequences of industrialisation; about the social history of a particular time and place.

You might say that it was the book with everything: class conflict, politics, religion, family, women’s rights, social responsibility, and maybe love ….

I couldn’t doubt for a moment that Mrs Gaskell knew and cared deeply about everything in this particular story. I wondered if she had known a maid as strong and as devoted as Dixon; if she had known a matriarch as proud and as loyal as Mrs Thornton; if she knew a couple who were as different from each other and who loved each other as well and Mr and Mrs Hale.

There’s a wealth of detail woven in – details of character, description, dialogue – and that really enriches the story.

The moments of drama, the connfontations, the dialogues, were particularly well handled. The pace was wonderfully controlled; almost, but not quite stately.

I remembered much of the story, of course I remembered the final outcome, and yet the story held both my head and my heart from the first page to the last.

And now I know that I love the book both for its own sake and for its associations. ( )
  BeyondEdenRock | May 11, 2016 |
'He could not forget the touch of her arms around his neck, impatiently felt as it had been at the time; but now the recollection of her clinging defence of him, seemed to thrill him through and through,--to melt away every resolution, all power of self-control, as if it were wax before a fire.'

'I wish I could tell you how lonely I am. How cold and harsh it is here. Everywhere there is conflict and unkindness. I think God has forsaken this place. I believe I have seen hell and it's white, it's snow-white.'

Margaret Hale, and her father and mother, forcibly move to Milton-Northern (Manchester in reality) when her father, a priest in the Church of England, decides he must leave the church due to doubts of faith. Until that time, he and Mrs. Hale had been living in the rural Hampshire village of Helstone. Margaret had only been there a short while, since she had been brought up at her wealthy Aunt Shaw, where she had her vivacious cousin Edith to keep her company until Edith married Captain Lennox. The same day that Margaret learns she and her family are to move north, Mr. Henry Lennox comes to visit and proposes marriage to Margaret, who rejects him due to lack of feeling between them, though they had always been friends.

Margaret and her family get settled in Milton, though they find it smoky and unpleasant, especially to Margaret and her mother, who has health issues, though it is not certain they are connected to the bad air of the city. Mr. Hale works as a tutor and one of his favourite pupils is the important manufacturer, Mr. Thornton. Whenever Mr. Thornton stays to tea, he and Margaret inevitably argue over various issues relating to the treatment of workers in the factories, the right to strike, and Milton versus Helstone. Margaret sees Mr. Thornton as coarse and unfeeling while he sees Margaret as haughty and full of pride, even though in terms of Milton people, there is no reason she should be so as she is quite poor. To Margaret, this is silly, for she is a lady. However, Margaret does feel sorry for Mr Thornton when she learns that his father had made unwise investments and killed himself leaving many debtors whom his son eventually repaid.

Margaret begins to take a better liking to life in Milton when she befriends Mr. Nicolas Higgins, a factory worker, and his sick daughter Bessy, who is about Margaret’s age, 18 or 19, though she is very ill and dying from having worked in the carding room at a young age in the factories. She visits the family as often as she can, which is not very often because her mother is becoming more and more ill. Finally a doctor is called in and he gives the diagnosis that Mrs. Hale will not live long. He suggests getting a water-mattress for her since she is an invalid.

Although Mr. Thornton has tried to get his mother, Mrs. Thornton, to like and visit the Hales, there is no love lost between them. Mrs. Thornton sees Margaret as even haughtier than her son, who has a lot of respect for Margaret. When the water-mattress is needed, however, Margaret goes to the Thorntons' house, which is next to the factory, to ask for theirs. She does not realise, though, that a strike has been going on, and Mr. Thornton had brought in cheap Irish workers to break the strike, and the city is in riot. It is very dangerous to be at the Thorntons’ at that moment. When Margaret realizes how close the people are to tearing down the doors and the police and army are nowhere to be seen, she encourages Mr. Thornton to go down and appease the people. He does so and she sees that he is in danger. She comes out herself to the people and throws herself on Mr. Thornton to protect him and is hurt by a flying stone. Finally the army arrives and the crowd disperses.

Mr. Thornton realizes how much he feels for Margaret when he thinks she has been seriously hurt. She is actually only mildly injured and returns home. Mr Thornton believes that Margaret does not love him but is impelled to proposes marriage to Margaret the next morning, knowing that she is likley to reject him, which she does. Mrs. Thornton hates her all the more for it, so when Mrs. Hale is dying and asks Mrs. Thornton to look after Margaret, Mrs. Thornton only promises to chastise Margaret if she is about to make a mistake. Frederick, Margaret’s brother who is wanted for mutiny, visits in secret their dying mother. When Margaret takes him to the train station on his way to London, Mr. Thornton sees them and thinks Frederick is Margaret’s real lover. On top of this, on the train platform Leonards, who served with Frederick but did not mutiny and wants to hand him in to get a reward, sees Frederick and makes to hand him in, Frederick pushes him over the platform few feet onto the tracks, then jumps into the train. When Margaret is questioned by the police about it, she lies and says she wasn’t there. Leonards dies a few days later and Mr. Thornton is the magistrate who oversees the investigation into his death. He knows of Margaret’s lie and covers up for her, though of course he doesn’t understand it and she feels slighted in his respect because she cannot explain her actions. Amidst all this Margaret gradually comes to realize that she loves him.

Bessy dies eventually too and Nicholas gets a job with Mr. Thornton. The latter has stopped, however, going to his lessons with Mr. Hale, pleading that he is busy with the factory. In the mean time, Mr. Bell, Mr. Thornton’s landlord, comes to visit the Hales, for he is long-time friends with Mr. Hale. Mr. Hale goes down to visit Bell in Oxford and suddenly dies there, leaving Margaret in shock. Aunt Shaw and Captain Lennox are summoned to take her back to London, where she will lead an easy life with her pampered cousin. Mr. Bell, who has promised to take care of Margaret like a father, suggests going to Helstone, which they do. Margaret realizes it is not and never will be the same place she used to live in. Mr. Bell dies soon after, leaving everything to Margaret, including all the property he owns in Milton. Meanwhile, business has not been going well for Mr Thornton but he refuses to participate in a risky investment with his brother-in-law. Eventually, the mill has to close and Mr. Thornton comes down to discuss business with his lawyer, Mr. Lennox. In the meantime, Mr. Thornton had found out from Nicholas Higgins that Margaret had been protecting her brother, who is now safe back in Spain with his Spanish wife. Finally they are left alone together and admit their feelings to each other, enjoying a time of "delicious silence", and the mill can be restarted again with Margaret’s inheritance. ( )
  mrsdanaalbasha | Mar 12, 2016 |
'He could not forget the touch of her arms around his neck, impatiently felt as it had been at the time; but now the recollection of her clinging defence of him, seemed to thrill him through and through,--to melt away every resolution, all power of self-control, as if it were wax before a fire.'

'I wish I could tell you how lonely I am. How cold and harsh it is here. Everywhere there is conflict and unkindness. I think God has forsaken this place. I believe I have seen hell and it's white, it's snow-white.'

Margaret Hale, and her father and mother, forcibly move to Milton-Northern (Manchester in reality) when her father, a priest in the Church of England, decides he must leave the church due to doubts of faith. Until that time, he and Mrs. Hale had been living in the rural Hampshire village of Helstone. Margaret had only been there a short while, since she had been brought up at her wealthy Aunt Shaw, where she had her vivacious cousin Edith to keep her company until Edith married Captain Lennox. The same day that Margaret learns she and her family are to move north, Mr. Henry Lennox comes to visit and proposes marriage to Margaret, who rejects him due to lack of feeling between them, though they had always been friends.

Margaret and her family get settled in Milton, though they find it smoky and unpleasant, especially to Margaret and her mother, who has health issues, though it is not certain they are connected to the bad air of the city. Mr. Hale works as a tutor and one of his favourite pupils is the important manufacturer, Mr. Thornton. Whenever Mr. Thornton stays to tea, he and Margaret inevitably argue over various issues relating to the treatment of workers in the factories, the right to strike, and Milton versus Helstone. Margaret sees Mr. Thornton as coarse and unfeeling while he sees Margaret as haughty and full of pride, even though in terms of Milton people, there is no reason she should be so as she is quite poor. To Margaret, this is silly, for she is a lady. However, Margaret does feel sorry for Mr Thornton when she learns that his father had made unwise investments and killed himself leaving many debtors whom his son eventually repaid.

Margaret begins to take a better liking to life in Milton when she befriends Mr. Nicolas Higgins, a factory worker, and his sick daughter Bessy, who is about Margaret 19s age, 18 or 19, though she is very ill and dying from having worked in the carding room at a young age in the factories. She visits the family as often as she can, which is not very often because her mother is becoming more and more ill. Finally a doctor is called in and he gives the diagnosis that Mrs. Hale will not live long. He suggests getting a water-mattress for her since she is an invalid.

Although Mr. Thornton has tried to get his mother, Mrs. Thornton, to like and visit the Hales, there is no love lost between them. Mrs. Thornton sees Margaret as even haughtier than her son, who has a lot of respect for Margaret. When the water-mattress is needed, however, Margaret goes to the Thorntons' house, which is next to the factory, to ask for theirs. She does not realise, though, that a strike has been going on, and Mr. Thornton had brought in cheap Irish workers to break the strike, and the city is in riot. It is very dangerous to be at the Thorntons 19 at that moment. When Margaret realizes how close the people are to tearing down the doors and the police and army are nowhere to be seen, she encourages Mr. Thornton to go down and appease the people. He does so and she sees that he is in danger. She comes out herself to the people and throws herself on Mr. Thornton to protect him and is hurt by a flying stone. Finally the army arrives and the crowd disperses.

Mr. Thornton realizes how much he feels for Margaret when he thinks she has been seriously hurt. She is actually only mildly injured and returns home. Mr Thornton believes that Margaret does not love him but is impelled to proposes marriage to Margaret the next morning, knowing that she is likley to reject him, which she does. Mrs. Thornton hates her all the more for it, so when Mrs. Hale is dying and asks Mrs. Thornton to look after Margaret, Mrs. Thornton only promises to chastise Margaret if she is about to make a mistake. Frederick, Margaret 19s brother who is wanted for mutiny, visits in secret their dying mother. When Margaret takes him to the train station on his way to London, Mr. Thornton sees them and thinks Frederick is Margaret 19s real lover. On top of this, on the train platform Leonards, who served with Frederick but did not mutiny and wants to hand him in to get a reward, sees Frederick and makes to hand him in, Frederick pushes him over the platform few feet onto the tracks, then jumps into the train. When Margaret is questioned by the police about it, she lies and says she wasn 19t there. Leonards dies a few days later and Mr. Thornton is the magistrate who oversees the investigation into his death. He knows of Margaret 19s lie and covers up for her, though of course he doesn 19t understand it and she feels slighted in his respect because she cannot explain her actions. Amidst all this Margaret gradually comes to realize that she loves him.

Bessy dies eventually too and Nicholas gets a job with Mr. Thornton. The latter has stopped, however, going to his lessons with Mr. Hale, pleading that he is busy with the factory. In the mean time, Mr. Bell, Mr. Thornton 19s landlord, comes to visit the Hales, for he is long-time friends with Mr. Hale. Mr. Hale goes down to visit Bell in Oxford and suddenly dies there, leaving Margaret in shock. Aunt Shaw and Captain Lennox are summoned to take her back to London, where she will lead an easy life with her pampered cousin. Mr. Bell, who has promised to take care of Margaret like a father, suggests going to Helstone, which they do. Margaret realizes it is not and never will be the same place she used to live in. Mr. Bell dies soon after, leaving everything to Margaret, including all the property he owns in Milton. Meanwhile, business has not been going well for Mr Thornton but he refuses to participate in a risky investment with his brother-in-law. Eventually, the mill has to close and Mr. Thornton comes down to discuss business with his lawyer, Mr. Lennox. In the meantime, Mr. Thornton had found out from Nicholas Higgins that Margaret had been protecting her brother, who is now safe back in Spain with his Spanish wife. Finally they are left alone together and admit their feelings to each other, enjoying a time of "delicious silence", and the mill can be restarted again with Margaret 19s inheritance. ( )
  mrsdanaalbasha | Mar 12, 2016 |
I had totally forgotten about these books. I loved them back in the day. Were there not more? Must check. TV series were good too but I am 100% sure i read the books as well.

I want to read these again as well. Too much to read and not so much time left. ( )
  Marlene-NL | Mar 12, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Gaskellprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gaskell, ElizabethAuthormain 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 DuIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sorbier, Françoise DuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vonghizas, ConstantinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Edith!" said Margaret, gently, "Edith!"
North and South is one of the most intricately structured novels of the Victorian age. (Introduction)
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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)

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