North and south by elizabeth gaskell (book analysis)
Detailed summary, analysis and reading guide
This engaging summary presents an analysis of North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, a realist novel which examines the stark contrasts between the social classes of Victorian England. It centres on the young protagonist Margaret Hale, who reluctantly moves to the northern industrial town of Milton and is shocked by the conditions there. In particular, she soon clashes with the mill-owner Mr Thornton, as she finds his treatment of the working-class individuals in his employ to be utterly lacking in compassion. Over the course of the novel, Margaret and Mr Thornton constantly challenge each other's beliefs and morals, personifying the new divide between north and south that had developed in the wake of the Industrial Revolution. Elizabeth Gaskell was one of the most significant writers of the Victorian era, and was a frequent contributor to Charles Dickens' magazine Household Words, in which North and South was serialised between 1854 and 1855.
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