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North and South Read-Along ~ Discussion Post 1

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The read-along for North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell is being hosted by It’s All About Books, Jenni Elyse and Kami’s Library Thoughts.

1.Is this your first time reading this? If so, what do you think so far? If not, are you liking this reread so far?

Don’t laugh, but I always get this book mixed up with North and South by John Jakes even though they are completely different! Otherwise, this is my first time reading the novel and I’m enjoying it, although I find Margaret to be a bit uptight.

2.Have you seen the BBC mini-series? Is the book anything like you expected it to be?

Not yet.

3.Why do you think Margaret refused Henry? He seems like such a nice chap.

Henry’s a real catch! In my opinion, Margaret didn’t see Henry as her equal or that they had any common ground.

4.What are your first impressions of Mr. Thornton?

Right now, I like Mr. Thornton, but he has a bit of a chip on his shoulder. He a self-made man and successful, but seems a bit insecure about his background.

5.Why is Margaret so indifferent to Mr. Thornton, but she can make friends with the Higgins? They are both northern people and have different customs.

I feel that Margaret senses Mr. Thornton wants her to be impressed by his success. I think she looks down on Mr. Thornton as much she as looks down on Milton. With the Higgins she feels sorry for their poverty whereas Mr. Thornton has no financial difficulties.

6.Compare the two moms we’ve seen in the story.

Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Thornton are both drama queens and completely self-absorbed. I think they don’t get along because they are actually so much alike.

7.What differences are you seeing so far between the north and the south?

It seems there’s prejudice on both sides with the north being depicted as a lower class region with factories and an absence of natural beauty. Northerners are hard workers and rough around the edges. Southerners are viewed as a leisure class who only know how to play.

8.Do you think Mr. Hale was justified in leaving the church and his position?

I feel that Mr. Hale was in his rights to leave the church if he questioned his faith. What really bothered me was that he made Margaret tell her mother about his resignation and that they were moving to Milton. I can’t respect him because of his feebleness.

9.What are your feelings on Frederick’s situation?

I think I may need to re-read this section. I don’t remember what the big deal was about! He couldn’t come back to England? … LOL!

10.What are your thoughts on the master and worker relationship?

I find the discussion of the rise of the working class in North and South very interesting because the industrial revolution greatly changed the country both socially and economically. The book seems to be set right on the cusp of all these changes.

Discovered this cool North and South manga-style artwork by Netsubou.

I discovered this cool North and South manga-style artwork by Netsubou on Deviant Art.

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23 comments on “North and South Read-Along ~ Discussion Post 1

  1. janceewright
    January 16, 2015

    I watched the BBC miniseries back in college, but I never worked up the motivation to tackle the book. So you’ll have to let me know whether you think it’s worth it.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      January 16, 2015

      So far, I like the book, although I find the main female character a bit of a snob. Did you like the TV series? I haven’t seen it before.

      Like

      • janceewright
        January 16, 2015

        I remember really getting into it. It’s been several years now, though, so I don’t really remember much plotwise!

        Like

  2. Jenni Elyse (@jenni_elyse)
    January 16, 2015

    Ha ha ha! I love how blunt you are about Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Thornton. Thanks for joining us!

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      January 16, 2015

      Happy to be joining in! Is it just me, I find most of the females in the book snobs.

      Like

  3. The Paperback Princess
    January 16, 2015

    I read this book last year and immediately followed it up with the miniseries. A great decision if I say so myself. I LOVED the book and the miniseries totally lived up to the book. I’m glad you’re enjoying it.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      January 16, 2015

      The book is great! It’s got some interesting themes and I’m always a sucker for a good romance. I look forward to watching the TV series because I want to see for myself if Richard Armitage is all that.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Naomi
    January 16, 2015

    This would be a fun one to do as a read-along! But, I am swamped and would already be behind. I will just have fun following along…

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      January 19, 2015

      I really like the social context of the story, but I find some of the characters a little annoying. I’m hoping a hot romance makes up for it! 🙂

      Like

  5. Tamsin
    January 17, 2015

    I actually read this less than a year ago, so I’m not sure I’m quite ready to do a read along with it, but I did really like it (and would recommend Gaskell’s other novels as well). Hope you enjoy!

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      January 19, 2015

      Thank you! North and South is my first Gaskell novel. What do you recommend I read next?

      Like

      • Tamsin
        January 19, 2015

        Well, I haven’t read all of them (I really need to get around to Mary Barton!), but of those that I have, I’d say Sylvia’s Lovers, maybe? It feels a little different from a lot of her writing, and it can be a little melodramatic at times, but I really liked it.

        Like

  6. mariaawrites
    January 17, 2015

    I hope you enjoy N&S, and I highly recommend the BBC miniseries! 🙂

    Like

  7. Rory
    January 18, 2015

    I enjoyed this one, I also love the miniseries, for what it’s worth.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      January 19, 2015

      Netflix Canada has the series available and I didn’t realize it came in four parts, so it may take me some time to watch the whole thing. But I’m looking forward to seeing the book come to life!

      Like

  8. Amy
    January 19, 2015

    Great answers. The social and economic conflicts shown in the book were really interesting to learn about. Thanks for stopping by my blog as well.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      January 22, 2015

      My pleasure! I wasn’t expecting the social issues to be so interesting. I really feel for both sides of the story between the workers and managers.

      Like

  9. kelley jensen
    January 22, 2015

    I remember reading your post–but I must have forgot to comment. I liked your answers they were all very well thought out. My favorite was the one about the two Mothers and the one about Frederick not being able to come back to England. 🙂 I couldn’t understand why Margaret refused Mr. Lennox either. They were friends and companions and moved in the same social circles. She would have maintained her relationship with Edith, and probably have been happy to the end of her days. But then the story would have been over before it started! And if I am right romances in this era got about as steamy as kissing a hand with a glove off! We’ll probably get a timeless proposal near the end, one that can be quoted and re-quoted. Thanks for visiting my post.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      January 22, 2015

      Thanks for taking the time to come back and comment! I am actually behind in our reading schedule and reading like crazy to catch up. I keep forgetting what old-fashioned romance is like, so I don’t doubt what you say about the romance probably being light in this book. Maybe I should learn to appreciate how special holding hands and kissing a hand was during this time.

      Like

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