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North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
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North and South (original 1855; edition 1970)

by Elizabeth Gaskell, Dorothy Collin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,1691201,202 (4.12)3 / 539
Member:snash
Title:North and South
Authors:Elizabeth Gaskell
Other authors:Dorothy Collin
Info:Harmondsworth : Penguin, 1970.
Collections:Sharon's Collection, Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Literature, Kindle

Work details

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (1855)

  1. 191
    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. 110
    Persuasion by Jane Austen (Anonymous user)
  3. 41
    Middlemarch by George Eliot (PensiveCat)
  4. 00
    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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When Margaret Hale moves with her father from the comfort of the south of England to the industrial north, she is at first repulsed by what she sees; and then when she discovers the conditions under which the workers are forced to live, she is outraged. But this throws her into direct conflict with the powerful young mill-owner, John Thornton. Using personal passions to explore deep social divisions, North and South is a great romance – and one of Elizabeth Gaskell’s finest works. Summary Naxox Audiobooks.

I listened to both the abridged (read by Jenny Agutter) and unabridged (read by Clare Wille) versions of the novel over the course of several weeks. The abridged version lacks the complexity of the complete story; I don't recommend it.

The BBC mini-series of the novel starring Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe was by and large faithful to the content and intent of the original piece and led me to seek out the novel. NORTH AND SOUTH was an important work for northern England, for the new age of the "tradesman" and "merchant" class, and for the importance of the commercial activity it fostered.

Hard to believe NORTH AND SOUTH was published in 1855, a mere six years after JANE EYRE. The political and philosophical concepts it describes seem decades more modern than Ms Bronte's gothic, and let's face it, rather self-centred, tale. I contrast the two famous authors, because (if you read my blog you'll know this) a connection between the two already exists in their friendship with each other and in that Mrs. Gaskell was Charlotte Bronte's first official biographer. Even compared to Dickens, NORTH AND SOUTH seems less freighted with sentimentality, caricature and Victorian morality.

I believe the romance in Ms Gaskell's story could be read as an Industrial Revolution translation of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. I particularly enjoyed the way Mrs. Gaskell contrasts the mores of Mr. and Mrs. Hale with the younger couple, Margaret Hale and John Thornton, who prove themselves open to the social upheaval of their times.

9 out of 10 Highly recommended to readers of fine English literature, political and historical fiction. ( )
  julie10reads | Feb 15, 2015 |
It's worth repeating. Elizabeth Gaskell is perfect for readers who love Charles Dickens, but not his frequently one-dimensional female characters. This is a love story of minds and hearts, so worth the time spent in its' pages. ( )
  Ann_Louise | Dec 14, 2014 |
Done. Finally. So glad I read and finished this book. ( )
  Hollie1122 | Oct 5, 2014 |
Enjoyed except for the abrupt ending. ( )
  MarysGirl | Sep 29, 2014 |
I'm fangirling over here. I seriously found a book to put in my top five, all-time favorites. I read my first Gaskell book this year, Wives and Daughters, and raved about it. But, this one is even better.

Gaskell's style is a cross between Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. This book has the long sentence structure and meandering style of Dickens with his focus on the poor and working classes, combined with an Austen-style love story.

Gaskell's book holds a serious discussion of labor unions and factory owners, with a plea to understand the opposing viewpoints. In the story Margaret Hale and her family move to the North of England and encounter cross-cultural situations. The industrialization of the North and personality of the people contrast the agricultural, genteel South.

Then throw in a good dose of a Mr. Darcy-type main character and you've got the makings of a great book. If it is hard to get into, give the book seventy pages at least. ( )
1 vote heidip | Jun 23, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Gaskellprimary authorall 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
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"Edith!" said Margaret, gently, "Edith!"
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:39 -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

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

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140434240, 0141028122, 0141198923

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