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North and South (Vintage Classics)by Elizabeth C Gaskell
Not to be confused with the conflict of the North and South in the United States, this is a tale of the split in England during the Industrial Revolution. A beautiful gossamer web of social unrest, workers' rights, and bosom-heaving unrequited love. Super-fantastic if you lurve period pieces and costume dramas. And as a sparkly bonus, Elizabeth Gaskell was BFFs with Charlotte Brontë and Charles Dickens.
Synopses & Reviews
North and South is Elizabeth Gaskell's 1854 novel that contrasts the different ways of life in the two respective regions of England. In the North the emerging industrialized society is sharply contrasted with the aging gentry of the agrarian based South. The plot of North and South centers around the main character Margaret Hale, the daughter of a non-conformist minister who moves his family to an industrial town in the North after a split from the Church of England. With important underlying social themes, North and South stands out as one of the greatest novels in the history of English literature.
Milton is a sooty, noisy northern town centred around the cotton mills that employ most of its inhabitants. Arriving from a rural idyll in the south, Margaret Hale is initially shocked by the social unrest and poverty she finds in her new hometown. However, as she begins to befriend her neighbors, and her stormy relationship with the mill-owner John Thornton develops, she starts to see Milton in a different light.
About the Author
Along with short stories and a biography of Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell (18101865) published five more novels including Mary Barton (1848) and Wives and Daughters (1865). Jenny Uglow is the author of Elizabeth Gaskell and Hogarth—both shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize; The Lunar Men, which won the PEN Hessel-Tiltman prize and James Tait Black Memorial Prize; and Natures Engraver.
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