Set in the mid-19th century, and written from the author's
first-hand experience, North and South follows the story of the
heroine's movement from the tranquil but moribund ways of southern
England to the vital but turbulent north. Elizabeth Gaskell's
skilful narrative uses an unusual love story to show how personal
and public lives were woven together in a newly industrial society.
This is a tale of hard-won triumphs - of rational thought over
prejudice and of humane care over blind deference to the market.
Readers in the twenty-first century will find themselves absorbed
as this Victorian novel traces the origins of problems and
possibilities which are still challenging a hundred and fifty years
later: the complex relationships, public and private, between men
and women of different classes.