‘But the cloud never comes in that quarter of the horizon from which we watch for it.’
When Margaret Hale is uprooted from Hampshire and moves to the industrial town of Milton in the North of England, her whole world changes. As her sympathy for the town’s mill workers grows, her sense of social injustice piques and she passionately fights their corner. However, just as she disputes the mill owner, John Thornton’s treatment of his workers, she cannot deny her growing attraction to him. Highlighting the changing landscape of nineteenth-century Britain and championing the role of women in Victorian society, Gaskell brilliantly captures the lives of ordinary people through one of her strongest female characters in literature.
'How am I to dress up in my finery, and go off and away to smart parties, after the sorrow I have seen today?'
Elizabeth Gaskell's compassionate, richly dramatic novel features one of the most original and fully-rounded female characters in Victorian fiction, Margaret Hale. It shows how, forced to move from the country to an industrial northern town, she develops a passionate sense of social justice, and a turbulent relationship with mill-owner John Thornton. North and South depicts a young woman discovering herself, in a nuanced portrayal of what divides people, and what brings them together.
The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.