Monthly Elizabeth Gaskell Chroncile – June 2011 Edition, pt 2

The Monthly Elizabeth Gaskell Chronicle brings together news items, the best recent blog posts, covering a variety of opinions, arts and crafts inspired by, and events related to the authoress keeping you updated on happenings within the Gaskell world.

If you’d like to suggest something to be included please contact me. To stay updated between the Monthly publishing of the Chronicle please follow me on Twitter.

Read Part One Here
Read Part Three Here

Book and Adaptation Reviews

North and South

Helen of She Read Novels read North and South for the Gaskell Reading Challenge:

It was interesting to see how both Mr Thornton and Nicholas Higgins also changed due to Margaret’s influence. There’s a lot of character development in this book, which was one of the things I loved about it.

Maria Grazia of Fly High! examines an academic views of the 2004 North and South Adaptation:

Going beyond the initial statement referring  to the series as a visual fullfilment of Gaskell’s boldness and trasgressiveness, Margaret Harris’s academic analysis of the TV series is based on a rather traditional comparison adaptation/novel which aims at answering two questions: How is North and South to be read in the 21st century? And, in particular, what kind of a reading of North and South is this BBC adaptation? (p. 4)… read the pull post.

Laura McDonald of GirleBooks reviews North and South, one of their most popular eBook downloads.

Daniela Denby-Ashe as Margaret Hale

As the story progresses, we see Margaret suffer through many changes, both circumstantial and psychological. Her experiences with the poor and the industrial ruling classes make her rethink her preconceived ideas about Milton and its people. Many call it a social novel, providing insight to ideas at the time on religion, class, and gender However, at heart North and South is a romance, and straight to your heart it will go. The characters are beautifully portrayed and the story hums along at a nice rate for a book of its length… read the full post.

For the Love of Lit writes of the similarities between Pride and Prejudice and North and South

This book runs along the same lines as Pride and Prejudice, only with a greater conflict and more gravity in its subplots. There are many twists within the story’s progression. The deepest chasms between characters are caused by the smallest coincidences and cases of “bad luck.” Irony and symbolism (my two favorite literary words) are both in abundance in this novel. I also found it interesting how this story follows both Margaret and Mr. Thornton individually so the reader gets the full benefit of experiencing the dramatic irony, unlike other novels such as Jane Eyre or Pride and Prejudice… read the full post.

Related Posts on Gaskell Blog:

Wuthering Expectations shares her thoughts on North and South in two posts, the first is her ‘grumbling’:

I did think the novel improved as it moved along.  Gaskell is excellent in individual scenes and passages, and there were more good ones in the second half – she has a deft hand with a death scene, and the back half of North and South has plenty of those… read the full post.

and the second, examining the difficulties in writing for a serial vs writing a novel.

How difficult it must be to maintain any coherent sense of anything but the main thread, and how impossible it must be to set the delightful little traps that will only be sprung a hundred pages later, to develop the harmonies when you are scrambling to keep the melody intact… read the full post.


Brendan Coyle as Nicholas Higgins

hristina of The Royal Reviews writes her thoughts on North and South’s Margaret Hale and Mr. Thornton:

Margaret as a protagonist is not always likable. At times she came across as snobby and condescending but she does improve over the course of the novel. Margaret really shows her strength in the way she is there for her family and Bessy Higgins through the hardships they face. I think it is important for us to see how Margaret felt about the people of Milton and to watch how that sense of superiority gave way as she gained understanding and perspective… read the full post.

Audrey of Books as Food takes a look at the television adaptation of North and South

For all that they took out, I wish the writers had kept the words that Elizabeth Gaskell gives to Thornton and Margaret in the very last scene. They wouldn’t have worked, dramatically, but they were such good lines… read the full post

She also writes how Jenny Uglow’s biography of Mrs. Gaskell has helped her appreciate the novel more fully:

It has been good to read Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South — now the second novel of hers that I’ve read, after Cranford — in the midst of reading Jenny Uglow’s biography.  It has been interesting to understand a little more about the social issues and personal experiences that wound their way into the book, and even about Mrs. Gaskell’s experiences in publishing the book as a serial, still writing it as the first installments were published, with Charles Dickens as her cranky (and possibly plot-stealing) editor.  Even though I think I love the classics, I struggle to enjoy reading a lot of 19th-century fiction; the style and tone doesn’t always resonate with me.  So all of this helps… read the full post.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Barbara Kidder says:

    I can’t wait to delve into this post tonight; it looks to be so interesting!
    Thank you!

    1. My pleasure, Barbara. Hope you’re having a good day! 🙂

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