Gaskell Chronicle

The Gaskell Chronicle brings together the best recent blog posts, covering a variety of opinions, and news items related to Elizabeth Gaskell each Saturday.

North and South (1854-5)

Vintage Reads Nicola is featuring Elizabeth Gaskell as the author of the month and shares her thoughts on reading North and South

Described by Jenny Uglow as ‘sexy, vivid and full of suspense’ North and South is a compelling novel with magnetic central characters… Her father takes in students and one of them is the powerful cotton-mill owner John Thornton. Hypnotised by Margaret’s dark beauty, dignity and scornful disdain of capitalism he falls in love with her … read more.

Things that We Love Elisa writes her thoughts on the BBC production of North and South

“North and South” was a revelation to me. A beautiful love story set against an improbable background of a gloomy, industrial town in northern England. Unlike the Jane Austen romances which usually take place in picturesque country settings, “North and South” portrays labor disputes, factories, and even the working poor of the industrial revolution era. Yet for all the grayness, “North and South” is a visually striking film, especially the scenes of the cotton factory. The main characters have real chemistry which makes for a very moving love story… read more.

Smilinglds Girl Weblog ponders why some books are her favorites

On the other hand, there are books that no matter what mood I am in I enjoy reading- North and South, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Cheaper by the Dozen, Mama’s Bank Account.  I have read North and South at least six times in the last two years.  I LOVE it!  It’s like a hug from an old friend.  Why do these books move me every time?  I don’t know. It would be easy to say I like them because I relate to them but that is a stretch- what in my life could possibly relate to Jane Eyre or Elizabeth Bennet?  I suppose I relate to their spunk- their willingness to defy convention for love, honor or friendship. All of these  books also have a full spectrum of emotions.  They are happy, sad, angry, remorseful and hopeful…. read more.

Knittin’ Peace Robin shares how she has more sympathy for the character of Hannah Thornton (Mr. Thornton’s mother)

Recently we re- watched the movie “North and South” based on the novel by Elizabeth Gaskell and put to film by the BBC.   In this story there is a strong Mother who has guided her son through life and has been instrumental in his success as a businessman.   This Mother is a force to be reckoned with and she is not terribly keen on becoming second fiddle to anyone in her sons life… read more.

Consumed by Books Liz is hosting a giveaway for both the novel and DVD of North and South

There is a really stark contrast between the locations. I don’t know where they filmed the scenes in Hellstone, but it’s incredibly lush and green. Milton, however, has a grey and dingy landscape. A lot of scenes in the factories incorporate fluffy, white bits of cotton floating through the air. White is a color typically associated with goodness, cleanliness and purity, so I have to wonder if the director was implying that while there is poverty and suffering in this town, it is not a place that is devoid of good …read more and enter to win!

The blog also had a guest post by Alison highlighting a few of her favorite movie moments including Gaskell’s North and South and Wives and Daughter’s

Now we get to my favorite of them all: North & South. I absolutely adore both the book and the movie and have read/watched multiple times. There are two pieces of the movie that I particularly love, here is the first (which does not happen the same in the book)… watch the clips on her blog.


Zombie’s are Magic Posted a review of Gaskell’s The Old Nurse’s Story

This Victorian ghost story was written in 1852 and has everything you could ever want in a ghostly tale: old crumbling mansion, orphans, storms, closed off sections of the house, two mysterious old women, odd, nervous servants, an absent Master, creepy organ music, ghost children, family secrets, murder, betrayal, and guilt… Mrs Gaskell was a FOD (Friend of Dickens.)  He actually wanted her to change the end of this story, but she stuck to her guns and it was published as she intended… read more.


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