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North and South (1855)

by Elizabeth Gaskell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,6012251,184 (4.11)5 / 798
A revolutionary social and political commentary, North and South solidified Gaskell's place in the company of Victorian England's finest novelists.
  1. 212
    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. 121
    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 (214)  Spanish (2)  German (2)  French (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (223)
Showing 1-5 of 214 (next | show all)
I do not agree with those who thought that the main female character was weak -- she may have started that way, in her schoolgirl years, but her involvement with the workers in an industrial town is really interesting. The male lead, Thornton, I did not find as interesting -- I never really felt I knew him, or why he falls in love with Margaret so quickly. Instead, the strengths of the book are in the understanding of owner-worker conflicts in the 19th century, and their impact on everyone. A great way to learn about early industrialization. ( )
  lisahistory | Jun 17, 2022 |
North and South has been on my "must read" classic list for a long time and I finally got around to it. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I've seen the BBC series from a few years ago so I knew the main plot points. But I was never bored - although the number of deaths especially at the end was a bit of a downer! And the final sentence made me laugh out loud - even if it does seem to end very abruptly there. ( )
  infjsarah | Mar 13, 2022 |
This book was great. I loved the MC Margaret. She's very relatable (at least to me. Some of the other reviews seem to think otherwise) from her default of a haughty attitude to her immediate need to parent her parents.
Both MCs had fantastic character arcs and once they (separately) realized they loved each other there was some really nice pining of both sides.
I was wholly unsatisfied with the ending though. I definitely wanted more declarations of ardor and plans made for the future.
It was number 4 on my self-imposed history of romance curriculum, written in 1854. ( )
  Mstufail19 | Feb 2, 2022 |
E' un romanzo che in alcuni punti si trascina, cadendo un po' nel predicozzo, ma l'ho trovato molto interessante dal punto di vista di collegamento storico con la sua epoca e il dibattito tra diverse visioni.

Ad esempio, nelle aree rurali i contadini si ammazzavano di lavoro zappando, in città gli operai si ammazzavano di lavoro ma almeno potevano trovare il tempo di parlare tra di loro e organizzarsi.

Mr. Thornton è ricco perché si è impegnato e ha fatto la fame più degli altri, chi non lo fa, cosa merita? Fin dove deve arrivare il diritto naturale umano di non fare una vita grama, e la meritocrazia per chi cerca di farsi strada nel mondo? Quanto è importanza l'educazione in questi casi, come possono persone tenute nell'ignoranza e nell'abbruttimento più totali uscire dalla loro situazione subordinata, dalla trappola della povertà, magari con mogli e tanti figli da sfamare?

Gli scioperi non danneggiano sia l'operaio che il padrone? Ritardare la produzione e quindi rischiando di mandare in fallimento il padrone, rischiava di lasciare senza stipendio anche l'operaio (d'altronde erano tempi dove potevano schiavizzare un povero irlandese a sostituzione e senza contratto, come oggi succede con gli immigranti clandestini). Perché invece padroni e operai non si sarebbero potuti alleare, accettando le proprio naturali differenze "decise dall'Altissimo", e lavorando per il miglioramento di tutti?

Il bello è che alcune di queste cose non abbiamo mai smesso di chiedercele nel 2021, altre sappiamo, con qualche secolo di esperienza sulla rivoluzione industriale, che non si avvererebbero mai.

Ah, sì, e c'è una storia d'amore. Non sono sicura di quanto la Gaskell abbia sfruttato il romanzo per diffondere qualche considerazione sulla situazione economica e politica dell'epoca, ma l'ho trovata di interesse abbastanza secondario rispetto alla cornice storica. Ma io sono romantica come un portapane, quindi gran cosa che almeno non l'abbia trovata noiosa. :P Anzi, era divertente come Margaret apparisse a tutti un po' con la puzza sotto al naso, mentre lei era solo riservata, e come gli altri personaggi reagissero a questo suo difetto. Purtroppo è anche vero che i personaggi secondari sono relativamente poco approfonditi e vividi (Edith, la cugina/migliore amica, esiste solo per farci sapere che Margaret è più bella, meno frivola, più intelligente etc., infatti si sposa subito e ogni tanto manda una lettera).

Challenge
1001 libri da leggere prima di morire ( )
  JaqJaq | Jan 7, 2022 |
The only other Gaskell I had read was Cranford so I did not expect to be so taken by North and South. I loved the writing, the characters, the wide range of issues that all were so defly woven together. It is not a novel of manners or a romantic tale or a social commentary but all three connected together. The evolution of both Margaret and Mr. Thornton are complex and I really loved picking out the tiny details of their characters. I've been making a dive into the Victorian British authors of late and I will need to add some Mary Gaskell to my list, this was a totally engrossing read.
  amyem58 | Jan 2, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 214 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (91 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
Kranzler, LauraChronologysecondary 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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A revolutionary social and political commentary, North and South solidified Gaskell's place in the company of Victorian England's finest novelists.

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Victorian Q2 Read-Along: North and South in Club Read 2022

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140434240, 0141028122, 0141198923

 

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