There was a time when I finally finished all of Jane Austen's books (twice) and I suddenly didn't know where to turn next. I loved reading about dances, and witty banter, and most importantly, Society with a capital S. After getting stuck in a long reading rut, I stumbled upon North and South, and despite the lack of dances, I found beautiful writing, memorable friendships, and a fair amount of tempestuous romance. This book is more political and industrial than my Austen-norm, but it was just the right book for my fix. I found myself sucked into the troubling world of cotton factories, and unjust class prejudices. Margaret Hale has now become one of my favorite heroines. She's pulled out of her comfortable country lifestyle and thrown into this busy working environment, and we are reminded that there are two sides to every story.— Leah
North and South (1855) North and South is one of Gaskell's best known novels and inspired two television adaptations. The novel tackles the situation of workers and their relations with industrialists in the fictional town of Milton, northern England and has been favourably compared to 'Shirley' by Gaskell's friend Charlotte Bronte. It revolves around Margaret Hale, who settles with her parents in Milton in the throws of the industrial revolution. She clashes with John Thornton, a cotton mill manufacturer, in a confrontation reminiscent of Elizabeth and Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
About the Author
About The Author Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (1810 -1865), often referred to as Mrs Gaskell, was a British novelist and short story writer during the Victorian era. She was also the first to write a biography of Charlotte Bronte, The Life of Charlotte Bronte, which was published in 1857. In North and South, Gaskell creates the city of Milton, nicknamed Cottonopolis, where she lived as the wife of a Unitarian pastor. She saw religious dissenters and social reformers, who decried the abject poverty of this industrial region. She described the poor in her writings, showing compassion for the oppressed.