Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South 

Dashing off a quick note because I just HAVE to express how much I loved this novel. Emotionally satisfying, intellectually stimulating and a heroine whom I couldn’t help liking. What more could I have asked for? Even more, a novel that is as topical today as when Gaskell published it originally. North and South was written in the early 1850s, a few decades into industrialism if I am not mistaken and yet its discourse on the tensions between “masters and men” is as relevant today as it was back in Gaskell’s days!

I am looking forward to reading the essays on the novel that my Norton Critical Edition has. I also have to admit that this book has fanned the tinder that was sparked when I wrote the piece on Victorian authoresses for Bloom. There is something endlessly fascinating about the Victorian era–so far in the past and yet so astonishingly apropos to today’s times as well. I am strongly tempted to look up Gaskell’s other works, especially the posthumously published Wives and Daughters. Too, I want to try out Anthony Trollope, Emily Eden’s letters as well as George Elliot’s Middlemarch. The last moved from my should-I-should-I-not to uh-hunh-I-should TBR pile after I read this about Dorothea Brooke: “There aren’t a lot of happy outcomes for intense, principled women in fiction. I’m so grateful for this one.”

4 thoughts on “Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South 

  1. I’ve been reading Victorian classics all summer! I still love Gaskell best of all. Wives & Daughters is just delightful, you should read it. Nothing yet has topped North and South for me. I first read it about four years ago and it’s still my favorite novel of all time. There’s so much in it, I never tire of going back to read sections. And the passion! sigh
    I attempted to read Middlemarch, but I couldn’t get interested at all in the characters or the building plot. It’s long and very wordy.


    • Hi there! Oh, I think along with Pride & Prejudice, North and South will become one of my favourite comfort reads! As for Middlemarch, I will probably give it a try once the yearning to read something Victorian hits me again. Well that and Wives & Daughters!

      Glad that you stopped by!


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