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North and South (1855)

by Elizabeth Gaskell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,1122151,207 (4.1)3 / 703
North and South draws on Gaskell's own experiences of the poverty and hardship of life in the industrial north of England. Her heroine, Margaret Hale, is taken from the wealthy south by her nonconformist minister father, to live in a fictional northern town. The stark differences are explored through Margaret's abrupt change in circumstance, and her sympathetic reaction to the plight of the northerners. She comes into conflict with a local mill owner who proposes marriage to her. The two undergo a series of misunderstandings and changes of heart before they are reunited.… (more)
  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
    A Heart for Milton: A Tale from North and South by Trudy Brasure (Lapsus_Linguae)
    Lapsus_Linguae: Another sequel to the novel.
  5. 32
    Northern Light by Catherine Winchester (Shuffy2)
    Shuffy2: If you like 'sequels', I recommend this one!
  6. 21
    Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (Anonymous user)
  7. 00
    Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell (Cecrow)
  8. 00
    Hard Times by Charles Dickens (Cecrow)
  9. 00
    Howards End by E. M. Forster (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Another Margaret who extends her sympathy across social strata.
  10. 11
    The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë (Lapsus_Linguae)
    Lapsus_Linguae: A self-righteous heroine leaves the place where she lived for many years, gets wrongly accused of "immoral behavior", has strong Christian views, and so on.
  11. 00
    Nice Work by David Lodge (KayCliff)
  12. 00
    Clash by Ellen Wilkinson (kitzyl)
    kitzyl: Woman inspired to tackle social issues and to stand with the workers against capitalist authority.
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English (206)  German (2)  Spanish (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (214)
Showing 1-5 of 206 (next | show all)
Fieldnotes:
Helstone, New Forest (South) & Milton (North), 1850s

1 Sensitive Southern Young Woman (Raised as a Gentlewoman)
1 Clergyman of Rather Inconvenient Conscience
1 Mother Given to Complaints
1 Overweening Servant

1 Career Change
1 Resented Change of Situation
1 Unyielding Northern Millowner
1 Young Friend Wasting Away of Mill-induced Lung Disease
1 Socially Conscious Union Man
1 Ugly Strike

1 Mutinous Brother in Great Peril of His Life
1 Protective Lie
1 Cancelled Inquest

2 Rejected Proposals
1 Spoiled Brat Matchmaking Cousin
6 Untimely Deaths

1 Rather Abrupt Happy Ending ( )
  Caramellunacy | Mar 31, 2021 |
This is a lovely book that simultaneously draws you in to imagine the marvelous worlds of Margaret Hale, and forces you to stand back to consider and reconcile the contrasting opinions carried by the characters within. It is as much a bildungsroman as it is a romance, because the protagonist suffers through hardship, and grows and matures as she comes to understand the world around her. On the other hand, most romances would also include important changes in the lives, and (if it is a very good book) character (or perception of the character) of the protagonist, just as a coming of age tale would.

I decided to read North and South after having seen the BBC miniseries, and was surprised at how much the two differed. Not only were there deviations in style and details, but some of the major plot events included in the miniseries were completely contrived, which was a disappointment (not that I was consequently disappointed in the book, of course). On the other hand, it was delightful to read most of the characters described in the book almost exactly as portrayed by the miniseries, including Margaret, Mr Hale, and Mr Thornton. I thoroughly enjoyed being privy to some of Mr Thornton's thoughts, and not only to Miss Hale's, as I believe would have been common for books of this nature. I also must admit that I found it necessary to reread some of the talk of factories and manufacturing in order to comprehend exactly what was being said.

My last point of admiration is that this book faithfully draws you ever forward to its conclusion, instead of thrusting it upon you at the very last. I appreciated the contrast between this book and one (any) of Jane Austen's, which tend to leave me with the slight feeling of being cheated out of those moments or processes leading up to the end. ( )
  ctanons | Jan 26, 2021 |
My new most favourite classic. This beats Pride and Prejudice by a mile. Seriously. I loved the book so much, I'm fairly speechless... ( )
  HeyMimi | Jan 1, 2021 |
North and South is not my kind of Victorian novel. True, the part about the class system and the labor strike was appealing, but there was just so much emotion and hand-wringing to get through. In the end, both Margaret and Mr. Thornton develop as characters, but it comes all at a rush in the end. I feel that Gaskell's weakest area is pacing and structure. ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
Perhaps the least convincing marriage plot in the history of marriage plots, until Eugenides' Marriage Plot. A great middle third, but hoo boy, that last third is awful. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 206 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaskell, Elizabethprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Button, FrancesCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Collin, DorothyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cooper, RoseCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dodsworth, MartinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Easson, AngusEditorsecondary 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
Stevenson, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Uglow, JennyIntroductionsecondary 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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She had never come in contact with the taste that loves ornament, however bad, more than the plainness and simplicity which are of themselves the framework of elegance.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

North and South draws on Gaskell's own experiences of the poverty and hardship of life in the industrial north of England. Her heroine, Margaret Hale, is taken from the wealthy south by her nonconformist minister father, to live in a fictional northern town. The stark differences are explored through Margaret's abrupt change in circumstance, and her sympathetic reaction to the plight of the northerners. She comes into conflict with a local mill owner who proposes marriage to her. The two undergo a series of misunderstandings and changes of heart before they are reunited.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140434240, 0141028122, 0141198923

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