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North and South

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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  139,444 ratings  ·  7,206 reviews
"She tried to settle that most difficult problem for women, how much was to be utterly merged in obedience to authority, and how much might be set apart for freedom in working."

North and South is a novel about rebellion. Moving from the industrial riots of discontented millworkers through to the unsought passions of a middle-class woman, and from religious crises of consci
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Paperback, Oxford World's Classics, 452 pages
Published October 15th 2008 by Oxford University Press (first published January 1855)
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Trudy Brasure Mr. Thornton performs a hell of a lot of self-sacrifice as well. Why doesn't he also grow a spine? I'm acting as devil's advocate here to some degree,…moreMr. Thornton performs a hell of a lot of self-sacrifice as well. Why doesn't he also grow a spine? I'm acting as devil's advocate here to some degree, but I'm curious how working oneself to the bone for the sake of others can be interpreted as self-righteous and wimpy. Thornton and Margaret are a lot alike: they both struggle to support their families.(less)
Trudy Brasure Just for the record, that's a brilliant quote from the screenplay - the BBC mini-series. It's not in the book at all, but this quote helps summarize f…moreJust for the record, that's a brilliant quote from the screenplay - the BBC mini-series. It's not in the book at all, but this quote helps summarize for the film viewers Margaret's loneliness and distraught feelings about the suffering she sees in Milton. (less)

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Barry Pierce
It's Pride and Prejudice for Socialists.
Blacky *Romance Addict*


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This will be a quote/pic review, I don't have time for a long one, and this is such a classic, that whatever I write won't be good enough :)
There will be spoilers as some of my fav quotes, just so you know :)

Thornton and Margaret <3




"He almost said to himself that he did not like her, before their conversation ended; he tried so to compensate himself for the mortified feeling, that while he looked upon her with an admiration he could not repress, she looked at him with proud indifference, taking
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Fiona
Jul 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of pride and prejudice
I have just completed reading this book for the second time and it has been even better then the first time.

I'd already seen the BBC series before reading the first time so I already knew the story, and I wish I'd come to the books afresh in a way though I do not think that would have altered in anyway, the way I perceived them. Though Richard Armitage certainly does help and I swooned over Thornton even more.

What I love about North and South is the passion and the realness of the characters, th
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leynes
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finally figured out why I love North & South so fucking much: John Thornton is as invested in his relationship as I am. And that means a great deal. It's very rare to get such a deep look into the emotions of the male love interest but Gaskell didn't shy away from showing us our beautiful precious son from his most vulnerable side. The way he is (in a non-creepy way) so preoccupied with Margaret and constantly talks about her, so that his mother and sister get super annoyed just by the mention ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
description

So about 5 years ago a friend and I were fangirling about Jane Austen generally and debating the merits of the various film adaptations of Pride and Prejudice--Colin Firth and Elizabeth Garvie (from the 1980 BBC version) FTW, by the way--and she says, "You have to watch this!" and hands me a couple of DVDs of North and South. And I say "thank you" but I'm thinking to myself, well, Patrick Swayze was pretty hot back in the day, but why on earth is she giving me DVDs of a U.S. Civil War miniserie
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Candi
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Update June 16, 2018: I watched the BBC production this past week and it was outstanding! I highly recommend pairing the book with the movie. While I rated the book 4 stars, the entire package of paper and screen is a sure 5+ stars. The movie adds that extra bit of magic that I found didn't come across as well in the writing alone. And the acting? - superb! Yes, I did need to fan myself on several occasions - thank you Richard Armitage. And that ending.... sigh :)

About three or four years ago I
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Lisa
"Pride and Prejudice" wouldn't have been a bad title for this comparative study of English society in the midst of the Industrial Revolution.

I must say that I was prejudiced against it before starting, and have to swallow my pride and admit I was wrong!

I thought it would be a dry copy cat version of Hard Times, as the circumstances of its publication seemed to suggest that. But never trust your prejudices - that is what I learned from reading this highly entertaining and original story, and it
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Katerina
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A true masterpiece.

This story is now buried in my molecules. I can’t remove it even if I try, if I cut my heart open with a scalpel and dig deep, deep, deep. The blood pouring will still hum and whisper Elizabeth Gaskell’s words, will sing about Thornton’s passion, Margaret’s strength, about love and social war and loss and pain and faith.
❝ Take care. If you do not speak – I shall claim you as my own in some strange presumptuous way. Send me away at once, if I must go; – Margaret! –❞

Raised in th
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Em Lost In Books
“Oh, Mr. Thornton, I am not good enough!'

'Not good enough! Don't mock my own deep feeling of unworthiness.”


It took Margaret and Mr Thornton 451 pages (my edition) to reach here and what a journey it was. Painful at times, and adorable at others.

Margaret came to the industrial town of Milton from Haleston, a village. Her father who is a parson took Mr. Thornton as his student. Soon Margaret and Mr. Thornton find themselves on the opposite side of wall which has poor people on one side and ri
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Piyangie
This third reading brought to my notice that certain opinions that I have formed, especially on Margaret's feelings and emotions, were based on a misconception, and that I have failed to give my full attention to the subtle details that were so cleverly presented. To rectify this I'm obliged to amend my original review.

North and South was my first Gaskell read. I read it after watching the BBC TV series and perhaps due to the influence of the TV series got the overall impression that this was
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Melindam
3.5 stars

Recommended to everyone who likes classic Victorian drama whether they have seen the stunning BBC mini series or not.

SPOILER ALERT
N&S is about Hampshire-born (the South) Margaret Hale forced to leave her beloved home in the southern countryside as his father - a former parson - resigns his parsonage because of religious doubts and takes his family to Milton in Darkshire (the North). There Margaret makes friends with Nicholas Higgins, a poor, but honest and upright weaver and union man a
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Ailsa
Jun 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of 19th century lit in general
I can't quite put my finger on why I love this book quite as much as I do. And even for someone who does re-read books as much as I do, to get through 3 copies of one book is quite a feat. For me, the most remarkable achievement of Gaskell is that she is able to combine so many elements of various 19th century novelistic traditions and yet not have the novel collapse into incomprehensibility.

The broad scope of the novel, coupled with insightful depth and comment means that each reading of the bo
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Duchess Nicole
"And yet, yo see, North and South has both met and made kind o' friend in this big smoky place."
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I almost feel like a fraud reviewing books like this. I know that there are probably many details that I miss entirely, some nuances that go straight over my head, but these are my thoughts...however scattered they are.

Margaret Hale's father has been the spiritual leader of his community of Helston for decades. Now he questions his faith...not necessarily his belief in God, but maybe th
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Ahmad Sharabiani
North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell

North and South is a social novel published in 1854 by British writer Elizabeth Gaskell.

Eighteen-year-old Margaret Hale lived for almost 10 years in London with her cousin Edith and her wealthy aunt Shaw, but when Edith marries Captain Lennox, Margaret happily returns home to the southern village of Helstone.

Margaret has refused an offer of marriage from the captain's brother Henry, an up-and-coming barrister. Her life is turned upside down when her father, t
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Olive Fellows (abookolive)
I think I may have loved this even more than I loved Wives & Daughters. I could cry I'm so disappointed it's over. ...more
Amalia Gavea
“Loyalty and obedience to wisdom and justice are fine; but it is still finer to defy arbitrary power, unjustly and cruelly used--not on behalf of ourselves, but on behalf of others more helpless.”

“One word more. You look as if you thought it tainted you to be loved by me. You cannot avoid it. Nay, I, if I would, cannot cleanse you from it. But I would not, if I could. I have never loved any woman before: my life has been too busy, my thoughts too much absorbed with other things. Now I lov
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Bionic Jean
North and South. A simple enough title, but what are its concerns? It dates from the mid-nineteenth century, and has a female author. Is it perhaps a family drama?

The protagonist is Margaret Hale, and her extended family relationships and friendships certainly drive much of the novel. There is drama and tragedy. Two of those dear to both her and us die; one is almost permanently in exile and another branch of the family: the Shaws in London, are wealthy but rather shallow. Entering the scene ar
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Beata
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
At last!! That man and that woman understood they are meant for each other!! This novel is a real gem among the classics. I was only a little acquainted with Mrs Gaskell having read just Wives and Daughters and, I admit, it was a foolish mistake of mine to put off starting on another novel. Margaret and Mr Thornton are beautifully strong characters and they won my heart immediately. The social background, the clash between the rural and urban worlds, was most fascinating for me. Mrs Gaskell was ...more
Dawn
Feb 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this because I'd seen the BBC production, and wondered if Margaret Hale would be less silly in the book. North and South sounds like it should be about social and geographic divisions, but it's actually about finding balance amidst constant change. Although I found her character annoyingly reactive, the Miss Hale of the novel is decidedly less silly than she of the movie.

I've read comparisons of Mr. Thornton to Jane Austen's Mr. Darcy, but I don't personally see much likeness--aside from
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Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
Caution: Spoilers and Snark abound!

I’m afraid this review will not be popular with fans of the author, or those who see classic literature as unassailable. But after slogging through this book (especially so soon after discovering Villette, a truly excellent classic!), I feel obliged to warn potential readers, and let those who were disappointed with the book but wary about criticizing a classic know that they aren’t alone.

So, then: a recipe for North and South:

- Add one romantic plotline borrow
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Merphy Napier
I loved this book. Such a cute story with compelling characters. What I loved most about it though was the ending (view spoiler) ...more
Kim
Nov 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook

I came to this novel, as is the case for many readers, through the BBC television adaptation, which I watched for the first time earlier this year. While I had not consciously avoided the novel and its adaptation until now, it's probably the case that I have been unconsciously avoiding Victorian fiction for some years, preferring the less ponderous novels of the earlier 19th century (particularly Austen) and the leaner style of 20th century fiction.

However at the moment I’m in the mood for Victo
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Jason Koivu
Sep 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Where Austen leaves off, Gaskell picks up.

There is a great similarity in the style of these two 19th century writers. Both wield language with elegance and strength. Call it muscle-bound eloquence!

Gaskell was born during the time in which Austen set most of her books...well round about then anyway. It's hard to tell exactly when most Austen novels are set, but generally they're meant to be prior to or during the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815). Gaskell was born in 1810.

However, Gaskell's writing
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Diane
Jun 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll admit that until about a month ago, I had never heard of Elizabeth Gaskell. I stumbled on her work after watching the BBC's miniseries North & South, which I loved. (All of you Pride & Prejudice fans out there should check out North & South. It's wonderful.)

Anyway, I read up on Gaskell and found that she's a hidden gem of 19th century British literature. Her books have romance, but also strong social themes. North & South focuses on the factories and industrial workers in northern England i
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Phrynne
I usually really enjoy books of this genre but this one left me unmoved.
I liked the characters who were all beautifully drawn and well rounded. Mrs Hale has to take the prize for selfishness although several others came very close.
I enjoyed the story very much but felt that the author rambled a bit too far and also enjoyed her soap box a little too much. These were all important issues of the time but were delivered with a very heavy hand.
The relationship between Mr Thornton and Margaret was d
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Beverly
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love's tortured path

Written in the 1850s, North and South tells the story of Miss Margaret Hale, a young lady from southern, agrarian England and Mr. Thornton, a self-made, wealthy industrialist from northern England. Each is opposite to the other in all things so they begin their acquaintance at a disadvantage and continue being at odds throughout the whole course of the book. Miss Hale is proud, but likes helping her fellow man, because of her religion and because of her integrity. Mr. Thornto
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Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
I wish Thornton and Margaret would kiss but I guess I'll have to watch the BBC mini-series for that ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I loved the growth of the characters most of all (and the ruin of their prejudices) though, so I'm quite satisfied ;)
Jane
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-reading
I shall always remember ‘North and South’ as one of the last books that my mother and I discovered together. She loved books all her life, and even when her short term memory and her ability to follow a story faded she still appreciated lovely prose, being told about the books I was reading, and watching costume dramas on television. She loved the BBC adaptation of ‘Cranford’, and was able to recall studying the book and school and talk about how what she watched and heard compared with what she ...more
Rowena
Jan 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had never really considered reading any Elizabeth Gaskell novels until I watched, and greatly enjoyed, the BBC adaptation of North and South.I have to say, I love both the book and the miniseries equally!

Mr Thornton has definitely acceded to the post of best literary hero in my mind (sorry, Mr Darcy!). I couldn't help but swoon over his thoughts. What a man!

One of the things I really loved about this book was how real the characters were. They had their insecurities, weaknesses and petty jeal
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Sherwood Smith
Gaskell is at her best with the tiny details of life that make the characters and the setting come into sharp focus: Margaret sitting on the worn carpet before the fire, the candles unlit until her parents appear. The observation about how two people, left alone in an enormous room, will speak in low voices as if "unwilling to awaken the unused echoes."

Gaskell's side characters, especially the women, are delightfully rounded, even if her hero and heroine are a tad too uprightly conventional: Mrs
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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 socia ...more

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“I know you despise me; allow me to say, it is because you do not understand me.” 456 likes
“One word more. You look as if you thought it tainted you to be
loved by me. You cannot avoid it. Nay, I, if I would, cannot
cleanse you from it. But I would not, if I could. I have never
loved any woman before: my life has been too busy, my thoughts
too much absorbed with other things. Now I love, and will love.
But do not be afraid of too much expression on my part.”
366 likes
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