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North and South (Gaskell)

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Definition

Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South was her fourth novel, serialized in Household Words from 1854 to 1855 and published in two volumes in 1855. The narrative follows the physical and philosophical journey of Gaskell’s protagonist, Margaret Hale, from the south of England to the north – from a grand house in Harley Street, London, and then her childhood home, a country parsonage in Helstone, Hampshire – to Milton, in the bleak-sounding county of Darkshire. Catapulted into the noisy, smoky, and constantly moving world of the textile industry, Margaret’s prejudices about the brash and ungenteel north are initially confirmed but then upended. When she becomes involved in a strike at a mill owned by John Thornton, Margaret literally and symbolically acts as a mediator, precipitating what critics have described as North and South’s case for “new models of class relations” (Bodenheimer 1991). While industrial relations serve as a focal point in Gaskell’s text, North and South...

Keywords

  • Elizabeth Gaskell
  • “Condition of England” novel
  • Gender
  • Class relations
  • Transnationalism
  • Colonialism
  • Religion
  • Industrialization

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References

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Correspondence to Julie Donovan .

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Donovan, J. (2020). North and South (Gaskell). In: The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women's Writing. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02721-6_27-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02721-6_27-1

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-02721-6

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