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North and South: All Volumes by [Gaskell, Elizabeth]
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North and South: All Volumes Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Review

"A really remarkable picture of the reality, as well as the prosperity, of northern industrial life, and an interesting examination of changing social conscience." --Joanna Trollope, author, "Second Honeymoon"

"Gaskell saw the emotional and economic realities of ordinary life with a steely honesty." --"The Times"

"Pah! to Dickens. Eat your heart out, Little Nell. That Elizabeth Gaskell could write a death scene to make your socks melt." --"Scotsman"

"One of the most perceptive novels of the mid-Victorian era." --"Glasgow Herald"

Product Description

Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) was a British author during the Victorian era. Gaskell also was an accomplished writer of ghost stories and had many of her stories published in Charles Dickens’ magazine Household Words.


This version of Gaskell’s North and South: All Volumes includes a table of contents.


Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1273 KB
  • Print Length: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Waxkeep Publishing (June 24 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DMIDH8Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #993,480 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed this novel on my Kindle. I was travelling and needed something to read while on a long 9 hour flight. Something that was entertaining, and had a "sappy ending" as my husband would say. This novel has it all. Good descriptive words, the story line is well developed, and moves along at a nice pace. Not a difficult read, although some of the plane turbulence lent me to put the book down at times. Exploiting of women is a real thing, as is exploitation of the "working class" even to this day. I would read this to my grandchildren, as an example of history.
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Format: Paperback
I agree with a lot that is written in the previous reviews here. Yes, there is a very slow start to this novel. I wonder whether that's because it was first serialized by Dickens, and Mrs. Gaskell was paid by the word. And, yes, the ending is rather abrupt, especially preceded by the last few slow chapters. Maybe Dickens lost his patience.
In so many ways, though, this novel is a treasure. It's not easy to write a political novel with a strong love story and good characterizations. Gaskell takes on quite a bit and mostly succeeds in her task of describing the changes industrialization brought to England. She balances her sympathy for the workers in the factories with the dilemmas posed to the mill owners by new machinery, competition from abroad, and the threats of potential workers' strikes. She contrasts very effectively the excitement of this new way of life against the nostalgia for the agrarian past. These were new concepts in Victorian England, but they are not so foreign today that we cannot readily understand their significance.
She gives us a sympathetic and spirited heroine in Margaret Hale, who is wise beyond her years. Another colorful character is Nicholas Higgins. I found myself looking forward to his scenes because he provides the humor in an almost-humorless book. (It is funny at the end, though, and I would have liked to have seen more of this tone.)
Mr. Thornton is a character we can readily identify with--someone who triumphs over adversity and seeks to constantly better himself. Someone with high standards, yet none higher than he holds himself to. Margaret is his match in every way.
I did see many plot similarities with "Pride and Prejudice" in the love story.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book by mistake actually; I thought it was the "North and South" of the Civil War story and I wanted something I wouldn't have to put much effort into reading, but....

Lo and behold, Elizabeth Gaskell's "North and South" turned out to be a most thought provoking yet romantic read. The characters were beautifully drawn and their interactions very human and realistic, given the time Mrs Gaskell wrote the novel. It is not a light novel; it has serious themes that reflect Mrs Gaskell's concerns and her own experiences. (Her father was a clergyman who questioned the church, and she herself married a clergyman involved in charitable work. As mentioned in a previous review, she was associated with Charles Dickens and shared his concerns about the poor, the rich and the disparity between the classes.

Other reviews have mentioned that the first 200 pages are difficult to get through. I would say that the novel takes some effort to read deeply. The first time I read this, I read it for the story, the romance. The second time I read it, I read it to savour the language and how Mrs. Gaskell took her plot from the salons of London and ladies coveting Indian scarves to labor struggles and cotton production in a mill town.

This novel is a window to another time. The values that Mrs. Gaskell wrote about should be considered as very forward thinking; almost revolutionary. The love story between a gentle, educated, well connected young woman and a working class, pulled-up-by-his-own-bootstraps mill owner is very moving. These characters are polar opposites, but they share integrity and intellectual curiosity. They are not cardboard cutouts, but people with histories that help to understand their motivation and actions. They change and grow.
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Format: Paperback
Gaskell's sprawling and sometimes frustratingly uneven novel was in fact almost impossible for me to put down. Her characters--particularly Margaret, the conscience of the novel--are well-developed and more sophisicated in their construction than the characters in many of the other classically Victorian novels. The plot is slightly unwieldly, but certainly entertaining. Gaskell well understood how to keep an audience's attention. We are treated to what feels like a rich panorama of British society at the time Gaskell was writing, from the drawing-rooms of London to the smoky streets of the newly forming northern industrial cities.
And the social mores of newly industrial Britian are thoroughly dissected by Gaskell and though she certainly moralizes, her social conscience is intellgient and more subtle than that present in the works of some of her contemporaries. Ultimately, there are real issues at stake in this novel--the inhumanity sometimes present in capitalistic societies and the inevitability of technological progress and societal change. Themes that certainly still apply to our contemporary world situation. In this way, Gaskell's novel has an interresting twinge of modernity in its implications. Plus, there's a moving love story as well, about fully-realized and interesting characters, with some of the best and wittiest dialogue saved for the very last scene...
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