North and South

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Published: 1855
Language: English
Wordcount: 185,857 / 506 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 85.9
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 30,906 2819

A study in contrasts between rural southern England and industrial northern England. The protagonist is the daughter of a parson whose religious doubts have forced him to resign his Hampshire living and to move his family to an industrial manufacturing town in Darkshire.

Show Excerpt

'But are all these quite necessary troubles?' asked Margaret, looking up straight at him for an answer. A sense of indescribable weariness of all the arrangements for a pretty effect, in which Edith had been busied as supreme authority for the last six weeks, oppressed her just now; and she really wanted some one to help her to a few pleasant, quiet ideas connected with a marriage.

'Oh, of course,' he replied with a change to gravity in his tone. 'There are forms and ceremonies to be gone through, not so much to satisfy oneself, as to stop the world's mouth, without which stoppage there would be very little satisfaction in life. But how would you have a wedding arranged?'

'Oh, I have never thought much about it; only I should like it to be a very fine summer morning; and I should like to walk to church through the shade of trees; and not to have so many bridesmaids, and to have no wedding-breakfast. I dare say I am resolving against the very things that have given me


Average Rating of 4.7 from 7 reviews: *****

A good read! Be warned, the editing gets a little sloppy in the second half of the book--nothing major, but an annoyance nonetheless.


excellent book!! Very romantic. It shows the difficulties of moving to a place so diffident, but also that different is't necessarily synonymous of bad. Sometimes we have to close our eyes and see the reality, a bright truth.


I read this from the public library and loved it. There is a gentle love story, and a theme of the difference in the lives of people at different ends of the same country--leaving one social class and moving down a bit to another. "Cranford," which was on PBS, was by Elizabeth Gaskell. The characterization in this book is not as full as in that, but the characters are sympathetic, and Gaskell explains the parson's dilemma and how it changes his family's situation, very well. Basically, recommended!


North and South represents quintessential Gaskell in many ways. There is strong realism in her characters and the depiction of the conditions of England. Along with Dickens, Ms. Gaskell remains one of the most potent critics and observers of Victorian England.

Lucy Conduff

A very interesting contrast between the industry in the North and the farming in the South of England. Also, a beautiful love story is written a way that will not only teach you but inspire you. The characters are sufficiently realistic but still quite charming. In all, a pretty good read.


Amazingly book,a good read for that warm and fuzzy feeling. Mr Thornton is one of classics most romantic heroes

Leah Cook

Okay, this might seem a little weird, but I'm twelve and I've read all of North & South. Loved it!! Wow, what a fantastic book!
I think everyone should have to read it. (if they don't already, I don't know, I'm not in high school.) And no, it didn't take me five days to get through one, and I understood it all.

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