> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 1 May 2008
  • ISBN: 9780099511489
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 576
  • RRP: $14.99

North And South

Penguin English Library




‘A really remarkable picture of the reality, as well as the prosperity, of northern industrial life, and an interesting examination of changing social conscience’ Joanna Trollope

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY JENNY UGLOW

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 neighbours, and her stormy relationship with the mill-owner John Thornton develops, she starts to see Milton in a different light.

  • Pub date: 1 May 2008
  • ISBN: 9780099511489
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 576
  • RRP: $14.99

About the Author

Elizabeth Gaskell

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell was born in London in 1810, but she spent her formative years in Cheshire, Stratford-upon-Avon and the north of England. In 1832 she married the Reverend William Gaskell, who became well known as the minister of the Unitarian Chapel in Manchester's Cross Street. As well as leading a busy domestic life as minister's wife and mother of four daughters, she worked among the poor, traveled frequently and wrote. Mary Barton (1848) was her first success.

Two years later she began writing for Dickens's magazine, Household Words, to which she contributed fiction for the next thirteen years, notably a further industrial novel, North and South (1855). In 1850 she met and secured the friendship of Charlotte Brontë. After Charlotte's death in March 1855, Patrick Brontë chose his daughter's friend and fellow-novelist to write The Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857), a probing and sympathetic account, that has attained classic stature.

Elizabeth Gaskell's position as a clergyman's wife and as a successful writer introduced her to a wide circle of friends, both from the professional world of Manchester and from the larger literary world. Her output was substantial and completely professional. Dickens discovered her resilient strength of character when trying to impose his views on her as editor of Household Words. She proved that she was not to be bullied, even by such a strong-willed man.

Her later works, Sylvia's Lovers (1863), Cousin Phillis (1864) and Wives and Daughters (1866) reveal that she was continuing to develop her writing in new literary directions. Elizabeth Gaskell died suddenly in November 1865.

Also by Elizabeth Gaskell

See all

Praise for North And South

“Ruth, North and South and Mary Barton are at least as good as any of Dickens's novels”

Sara Paretsky

“Pah! to Dickens. Eat your heart out, Little Nell. That Elizabeth Gaskell could write a death scene to make your socks melt”

Scotsman

“One of the most perceptive novels of the mid-Victorian era”

Glasgow Herald

“North And South explores themes that still seem strikingly modern. One hundred and fifty years after it appeared, the North-South divide - and the social and economic gulf it implies - remains intact”

Daily Mail

“Gaskell saw the emotional and economic realities of ordinary life with a steely honesty”

The Times


Related titles