North And South
by Elizabeth Gaskell
First published in serial form, Elizabeth Gaskell's 1855 novel North and South is an important work about the serious changes in life and society that the Industrial Revolution brought about in England. Margaret Hale and her father leave their comfortable surroundings in the South of England for the grittier and more industrial city of Milton.
Margaret is not prepared for the extreme hardship that she finds in Milton. Seeing that the townspeople who work at the local mill are suffering, Margaret resolves to improve their lives. Her advocacy for the workers brings her face-to-face with the mill owner, John Thornton. Sparks fly when Margaret and John meet and realize that they share passionate natures but do not always see eye to eye. Romance blooms between the two people, but when tensions rise over injustice in the workers' plight, Margaret and John are forced to take stock of their feelings for each other as well as their beliefs about what is right. Gaskell paints an emotional and fascinating portrait of human needs and desires set in the volatile political, commercial, and social landscape of nineteenth-century England.
About the Author:
Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, née Stevenson (29 September 1810 – 12 November 1865), often referred to simply as Mrs. Gaskell, was an English novelist and short story writer during the Victorian era. She is perhaps best known for her biography of Charlotte Brontë. Her novels offer a detailed portrait of the lives of many strata of society, including the very poor, and as such are of interest to social historians as well as lovers of literature. (Source: wikipedia)