Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (née Stevenson; 29 September 1810 –
12 November 1865), often referred to simply as Mrs. Gaskell, was an
English novelist and short story writer during the Victorian era.
She is perhaps best known for her biography of Charlotte Brontë.
Her novels offer a detailed portrait of the lives of many strata of
society, including the very poor, and as such are of interest to
social historians as well as lovers of literature.
With an Introduction and Notes by Dr Patsy Stoneman, University of Hull.
Set in the mid-19th century, and written from the author's first-hand experience, North and South follows the story of the heroine's movement from the tranquil but moribund ways of southern England to the vital but turbulent north. Elizabeth Gaskell's skilful narrative uses an unusual love story to show how personal and public lives were woven together in a newly industrial society.
This is a tale of hard-won triumphs - of rational thought over prejudice and of humane care over blind deference to the market. Readers in the twenty-first century will find themselves absorbed as this Victorian novel traces the origins of problems and possibilities which are still challenging a hundred and fifty years later: the complex relationships, public and private, between men and women of different classes.
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