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North and South | [Elizabeth Gaskell]

North and South

This is the story of Margaret Hale, a young English woman who accompanies her family's move from rural southern England to the industrial north. It proves to be a difficult change, with all the attendant social conflicts and cultural misunderstandings consequent to such situations. It is a study in contrasts. Mrs. Gaskell created one of the Victorian era's greatest heroines in Margaret Hale, a young lady of passionate intensity.
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Publisher's Summary

This is the story of Margaret Hale, a young English woman who accompanies her family's move from rural southern England to the industrial north. It proves to be a difficult change, with all the attendant social conflicts and cultural misunderstandings consequent to such situations. It is a study in contrasts. Mrs. Gaskell created one of the Victorian era's greatest heroines in Margaret Hale, a young lady of passionate intensity. Always filled with a fiery sense of justice, she feels herself, nevertheless, spiritually isolated from society.

Margaret finds her new surroundings shocking. Though appalled by the dirt, noise and the gruffness of the mercantile city, she reserves her greatest contempt for the mill owners themselves. When charismatic mill owner John Thornton begins to take classics lessons from her father, Margaret's distaste for this vulgar "new class" of industrial magnates crystallizes.

Over time, Margaret's opinion of the mill workers begins to soften, though not toward the owners - which makes her strange attraction to John Thornton all the more remarkable. The wrenching series of labor problems and deaths that occur as the story progresses serves as a background to the inner struggles Margaret endures...the turmoil of private family life in contrast to the struggle against the overt poverty and deprivation she witnesses around her.

Listen to one of the greatest of all Victorian novels and let the artistry of Elizabeth Gaskell sweep you away to another time and place. Considered her finest work, North and South will keep you listening breathlessly to the very end.

© and (P)2007 Audio Connoisseur

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (168 )
5 star
 (73)
4 star
 (52)
3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.1 (69 )
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Story
3.7 (67 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    la profesora 04-30-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "boring classic"

    stopped listening after about a third of the book. the voice of the narrator is beautiful but the reading is pompous and overly stressed. there seems to be no storyline. listening didnt keep my mind from wandering.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clara Baltimore, Moldova, Republic of 10-30-14
    Clara Baltimore, Moldova, Republic of 10-30-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    69
    3
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    Story
    "Great story, narration unconvincing"
    What did you love best about North and South?

    I expect that the industrial setting puts off many people who compare the book to Austen's books, but it is well-done and a welcome break from the Victorian fantasy land of great houses and women's frocks. A good halfway station between Austen and Dickens.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The accents and women's voices are unconvincing, to the point where I got another version.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kelly 04-20-14
    kelly 04-20-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "lovely story, sometimes painful narration."
    Would you consider the audio edition of North and South to be better than the print version?

    have not read print


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    if you've ever minded a man performing women's voices, you will find this edition your best argument against the practice. His women's voices are painful to listen too, except perhaps the stern Thornton mother, which perhaps allowed me to enjoy her character more. With the others, I just steel myself to get through it to find out what happens next.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not immediately. The beginning was a bit slow to pick up momentum. Laden with excessive detail as I am learning to expect in Victorian novels. An easy comparison would be Pride and Prejudice where the themes are small and compact in people's characters and immediate lives. But in North and South, the character development is slow and grows in large, dark and continuing themes, such as labor relations and charity, duty to others, both those in your power and you in theirs, family illness, eternal life. Now, I don't want to stop listening till the end.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nora Pacific Palisades, CA, United States 07-29-13
    Nora Pacific Palisades, CA, United States 07-29-13 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    59
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lovely book, but choose a different reader!"

    Get a different reader! This is a lovely book, and Juliet Stevenson was perfection. My guess is that Prunella Scales would also be a better choice. I've listened to a few books that I quit because of the reader, but this was the first time (in 300 audio books) that I actually switched versions because the reader was so inappropriate to the material.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen La Crescenta, CA, United States 04-25-13
    Karen La Crescenta, CA, United States 04-25-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    26
    7
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    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Story
    "No ending!"
    What did you like best about North and South? What did you like least?

    i LIKED THE SETTINGS


    Would you ever listen to anything by Elizabeth Gaskell again?

    PROBABLY NOT


    Was North and South worth the listening time?

    NO...THERE WAS NO ENDING! i FELT LIKE I WAS MISSING A TAPE.


    Any additional comments?

    DISAPPOINTING!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eunique Sagamore Hills, Oh United States 11-23-12
    Eunique Sagamore Hills, Oh United States 11-23-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    63
    13
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    0
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    Story
    "Okay"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    At first I was a bit put off that the story was narrated by a man, even though it is definitely a story about a woman. Overall though, the narration was quite good.


    Would you recommend North and South to your friends? Why or why not?

    Not really. It was okay, but I would first recommend Portrait of a Lady or Anna Karenina


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Okay .


    Could you see North and South being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Possibly.


    Any additional comments?

    Not the best classic I've listened to. It took a while to get into the story. Overall it was an average story. The best part is that Gaskell brought to view the woman's point of view at that time iin history. Her writing was probably quite cutting edge for her time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doris SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, WV, United States 05-15-12
    Doris SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, WV, United States 05-15-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "A really fine piece of literature"
    What made the experience of listening to North and South the most enjoyable?

    The turn of the phrase and the use of description remind me in a way of listening to a very fine orchestra - It takes you away. If you are like me you will remember small descriptive fragments of the story long after you have listened to it. It was very long -18 hrs but it became my desert during my long commute home after the end of a day of caring for other people's sorrows and loss. I really did like the narrator, some would perhaps find the tone old fashioned but it seemed to me to fit the story


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked best the way the writer told the story, so perceptive and subtle.


    What about Charlton Griffin???s performance did you like?

    I liked the performance, there was a good capability to change from character to character and I thought the tone of voice and the performance really matched the tone of the story and the time when it was written. It was soothing and entertaining to listen to.


    Any additional comments?

    I first found this author by looking up the author of the PBS film series Wives and Daughters. I was thrilled to find that she was such a prolific writer. I hope Audible will add to the the collection with some of her stories which are out of print.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ddh 05-08-10
    Ddh 05-08-10 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "Wonderful book, poor voice for Margeret"

    The book itself is very good. The narration, however is poor for the main character, Margaret. All of the other narration is good. He does a good job imitating different English accents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber LaVernia, TX, USA 01-28-10
    Amber LaVernia, TX, USA 01-28-10 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
    Overall
    "Loved the story, could have had a better narrator"

    I loved the story, and thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. However, I was a bit of a drawback listening to the falsetto male voice for the heroine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carole Yonkers, NY, USA 02-21-09
    Carole Yonkers, NY, USA 02-21-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    10
    2
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    0
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    "First negative review of audio book ever"

    This reader might be fine for an American book, but unfortunately has worst "English" accent I've ever heard, with bizarre mispronunciations, eg "Fawncy" for "fancy", "unlooky," for "unlucky," "yong" for "young" and so many others that I had to give up listening to it. Not just being persnickety: this is truly awful.Has he never met an English person, or even watched any BritFlicks? A lesson to me to listen to a sample first next time!

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
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