North and South is a social novel by English writer Elizabeth Gaskell. With Wives and Daughters (1865) and Cranford (1853), it is one of her best-known novels and was adapted for television twice (1975 and 2004). The later version renewed interest in the novel and attracted a wider readership.
North and South was originally serialized in Household Words, an English weekly magazine edited by Charles Dickens in the 1850s.
When Margaret Hale's father leaves the Anglican Church in a crisis of conscience, she and her family are uprooted from their comfortable home in Hampshire to move to the north of England. At first repulsed by the hideousness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the suffering and poverty of the local mill workers and is stirred by a passionate sense of social justice. This is complicated by her tempestuous relationship with the mill's owner and self-made man, John Thornton.