Friday, 5 December 2008

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

After watching the recent BBC adaptation, I knew I just had to read the book! There is a strong thread of integrity in the book. Mr Hale must stand by his convictions and leave the church, Mr Thornton is his own kind of Master, self made, but not willing to comprimise family or the livelyhood of his workers, Mrs Thornton is the strong matriach who will stand by her son through good times and bad, and Margaret believes that her integrity is blemished by a misunderstanding with Mr Thornton. There is also a knock against unlearned assumptions. When first arriving in Milton, Margaret has certain views about the North, which are changed as she gets to know some of the people, but these assumptions remain concreted in her Aunt Shaw and cousin Edith who destain the place and the people. Mr Bell's humerous dialogue is a treat!