North and South

From Academic Kids

North and South is a title of trilogy by John Jakes and miniseries based on them, that you can read about here.


North and South is a novel by Elizabeth Gaskell, first published in 1854. It originally appeared as a serial in the magazine, Household Words. The title indicates a major theme of the book: the contrast between the way of life in the industrial north of England and the wealthier south.

The book is a social novel that tries to show the industrial north and its conflicts in the mid-nineteenth century as seen by an outsider, a socially sensitive lady from the south. The story: the heroine, Margaret Hale, is the daughter of a Nonconformist minister who moves to the fictional industrial town of Milton after leaving the Church of England.The town is modeled after Manchester where Gaskell lives as the wife of a minister. The change of lifestyle shocks Margaret, who sympathises deeply with the poverty of the workers and comes into conflict with John Thornton, the owner of a local mill, also a friend of a friend of his father. As a result of an encounter with a group of strikers, where she exposes herself before the strikers, he tells that he is in love with her, but she rejects his proposal of marriage, mainly because she sees it as if it were out of obligation for what she had done. Later, he sees her with her brother, whom he mistakes for another suitor, and quarrels with her for that. Margaret, once she believes she has lost his affection, begins to see him in another light, and eventually they are reunited.

Television adaptations

Two television serials based on Gaskell's novel were produced by the BBC. 1975's North and South featured Rosalie Shanks as Margaret Hale and Patrick Stewart as John Thornton. 2004's North & South featured Daniela Denby-Ashe and Richard Armitage in these respective roles.

Other meanings

An American TV miniseries with the title North and South, unrelated to the Gaskell novel, was broadcast by ABC TV. This 1985 miniseries and its 1986 sequel North and South II focused on the lives of two friends caught up in the American Civil War.


North and South is also the name of a classic strategy title focusing on the American Civil War for the Amiga. It was also released for DOS, the NES, the Atari ST, and the Commodore 64.


North and South is also Cockney rhyming slang for the mouth.

External link

fr:North and South

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