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Catalog > Seacoast > Arts & Humanities

Elizabeth Gaskell's "North and South:" a Moving Experience  

In "North and South," the English novelist Elizabeth Gaskell breaks the traditional pattern. Her heroine, Margaret Hale, moves from the south, home to the educated and comfortable middle class, to the manufacturing heartland of the north of England. Here Margaret confronts a world where masters and men are in a Darwinian struggle, the masters striving for financial success, the workers struggling just to survive. In the traditional 19th century industrial novel, Margaret would return to the 'civilized' south. In "North and South" she stays. The novel charts her evolution from genteel young woman to one who will question why things are the way they are. Why is it necessary for the workers to be so poor and to suffer so? Why is it necessary for the masters to exercise their power in such a tyrannical way? Gaskell raises questions central to any modern society. Find out why Dickens, who called her his "dear Scheherazade," thought so highly of Gaskell and why her novels have attracted renewed interest, firmly establishing her as a major figure in the English literary canon. Please read "North and South" by Elizabeth Gaskell in the Penguin Classics edition, ISBN: 978-0-140-4324-8.

 

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