Saturday, April 21, 2012

North and South

I read this book by Elizabeth Gaskell after watching the BBC movie in January.  I fell in love with the movie so I had to read the book.  North and South is one of the best love stories I have ever read.  I enjoyed it thoroughly and I will continue to read this book over and over.

North and South is primarily a love story.  The hero is mill owner John Thornton.  The heroine is Margaret Hale.  Mr. Thornton grew up in the industrial North of England.  Margaret grew up in the south.  John Thornton is a strict and no nonsense taskmaster.  Margaret Hale is from a place where life is much slower and calm.  John Thornton falls in love with Margaret immediately, but Margaret cannot stand Mr. Thornton and misjudges him as a human being.  

I love this story even more than Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice because Elizabeth Gaskell does more than highlight social mannerisms and customs.  In North and South there are sub plots surrounding social issues.  There is the clash between the mill workers and the "masters" who own the mills and enable them to feed their families.  The hazardous working conditions in the cotton mills is highlighted.  You also get a picture of what life was like during the industrial revolution in England.

After I finished reading North and South I purchased this unabridged audio version.  Listening to this story being read in its entirety is even nicer.  I highly recommend the book and this audio version.

In my opinion North and South deserves all the same praise and attention that Pride & Prejudice receives.  It is truly a literary classic!


phylly3 said...

I so agree! Reading North and South lead me to enjoy Elizabeth Gaskell's other novels. I believe her to be one of the greatest Victorian novelists who has been sadly overlooked by the masses.
Who does the narration for this audio book? Too bad it isn't Richard Armitage!

collarcitybrownstone said...

The audio book that I purchased is read by Juliet Stevenson and she does a great job. It is an unabridged version too. I could not stomach an audio version that does not include the entire story. I wish that Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe would do an audio version of this book.

Beth said...

I watched North and South and it has blown me away. Really, no movie has ever moved me like this one. I was hesitant to read the novel, but after reading your post I think I will have to! Thanks for your site! I love it! :)

collarcitybrownstone said...

Hi Beth,

I am glad that I inspired you to read the book. The movie blew me away too. I was obsessed with it after watching it. I HAD to own the DVD and when it arrived from Amazon and played it so many times. I have calmed down a bit about watching it but it still is my favorite movie. Like you, no movie has ever moved me like North and South.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope to see you around here again. Make yourself right at home.