Day 55, WP55: North and South

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell is one of my top five favorite novels, and this week, Gentle Reader, I have the privilege of teaching it to one of my classes.  I love teaching novels I love, because it’s important to share the joy and wonder of good books.

But I was thinking about precisely why I love this book so much.  The romance, yes.  I’m a sucker for a good romance, and this one has it in spades.  Its connection to so many other industrial novels or social problem novels of the mid-nineteenth century makes it fascinating.

But also?  I just love the way Elizabeth Gaskell writes.

She’s a fine writer, and a smart one, too, in that she knows how to plot and how to write a story.  Coming off of Vanity Fair, which is another Smart Book ™ but smart in different ways from North and South–its use of a narrator for thematic purposes, its “Novel without a Hero”ness–I find Gaskell’s novel an easier read than Thackeray’s.  It’s more compelling, I suppose, the story of Margaret moving from the pastoral South to the industrialized North, finding love and herself along the way.

What’s your favorite Victorian novel, Friends?


2 thoughts on “Day 55, WP55: North and South”

  1. Sadly I never read these but you have intrigued me. I do love great writing and a good story. I do enjoy the Bronte Sisters.

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