North and South

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel North and South, published in 1855 after serialisation in Dickens’ Household Words magazine. It is the story of Margaret Hale, who was raised in the South in the New Forest and London’s Harley Street, and then moves North to a smokey mill town, Milton, in Darkshire. As well as Margaret’s emotional life and her growing sense of independence, the novel explores the new ways of living thrown up by industrialisation, and the relationships between ‘masters and men’. Many of Margaret Hale’s experiences echo Gaskell’s own life, as she was born in Chelsea and later moved to Manchester, and the novel has become valued for its insights into social conflicts and the changing world in which Gaskell lived.

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  • Sally Shuttleworth No other episodes
    Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford
  • Dinah Birch 13 episodes
    Pro-vice Chancellor for Research and Professor of English Literature at the University of Liverpool
  • Jenny Uglow 3 episodes
    Biographer of Elizabeth Gaskell

Reading list

  • Shirley
    Charlotte Bronte (Wordsworth, 1993) Google Books →
  • Elizabeth Gaskell: A Portrait in Letters
    J. A.V. Chapple and John Geoffrey Sharps (eds.) (Manchester University Press, 2012) Google Books →
  • Hard Times
    Charles Dickens (Wordsworth, 1995) Google Books →
  • Mary Barton
    Elizabeth Gaskell (Penguin, 1996) Google Books →
  • North and South
    Elizabeth Gaskell (ed. Sally Shuttleworth) (Oxford University Press, 1998) Google Books →
  • The Life of Charlotte Bronte
    Elizabeth Gaskell (ed. Elisabeth Jay) (Penguin Classics, 1998) Google Books →
  • The Cambridge Companion to Elizabeth Gaskell
    Jill L. Matus (ed.) (Cambridge University Press, 2007) Google Books →
  • Scheherezade in the Marketplace: Elizabeth Gaskell and the Victorian Novel
    Hilary M. Schor (Oxford University Press, 1992) Google Books →
  • The Life and Adventures of Michael Armstrong: The Factory Boy
    Frances Trollope (Routledge, 2004) Google Books →
  • Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories
    Jenny Uglow (Faber & Faber, 1993) Google Books →
  • Women, Writing, and the Industrial Revolution
    Susan Zlotnick (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998) Google Books →

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Programme ID: b08h0654

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Auto-category: 823.8 (English fiction)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello, in 1854 Charles Dickens published a serialised novel, North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell.