North and South (North and South, #1) by John JakesSomeone at work was about to take the North & South Trilogy to the library, but offered them to me instead. I took these three massive tomes, which I remembered dimly from the 1980s (along with the TV miniseries adaptation) with muted thanks. No, Ill never turn down a book, but I expected some poorly written, overblown mess -- something like what youd get if VC Andrews decided to write a historical trilogy. I put it off for nearly a year, and then finally cracked open North and South, fully prepared to be underwhelmed.
Wow. Im now on the second volume, and would like to belatedly join the John Jakes Fan Club. Wow again.
Ive lived in the South since 1986, despite growing up as a full-blooded Yankee, ancestry going back to pre-Revolution days. And I read Gone With the Wind, so of course I kind of thought I knew about the Civil War.
Wrong. It seems Im only now starting to understand this not-so-distant history of my country. I strongly recommend this series of books to anyone who feels they need to do some catching up. John Jakes has painstakingly researched the subject and managed to personalize it through his characters. His writing is clear, very readable, detailed without being dense, and entertaining enough to keep you turning the pages. I also need to add that its currently spring of 2012, and the political turmoil that fills the headlines today shows VERY LITTLE change from what Jakes depicts during the mid-1800s. Its sobering and more than a little scary.
Not having finished all three books yet, I cant do proper justice to the series with a review at this point, but if there is to be any criticism, it would be a tendency to draw the villains a bit too floridly. Bent the Butcher and Ashton the scheming nympho have raised my skeptical eyebrows numerous times so far ... but they are, nonetheless, characters you love to hate. Knowing full well that its only a story, I still want to find out just how much more havoc they have up their sleeves.
Im about 2/3 of the way through Love and War, the second book, and will probably not pause before picking up the final installment, Heaven and Hell. I may even get into The Kent Family Chronicles, John Jakess earlier historical series. But regardless, this author has enriched my reading and learning life with North and South, and Id strongly encourage any historically impaired readers to seek out these books post-haste.
NORTH AND SOUTH: Elizabeth Gaskell - FULL AudioBook: Part 2/2
Edith went about on tip-toe, and checked Sholto in all loud speaking that next morning, as if any sudden noise would interrupt the conference that was taking place in the drawing-room. Two o'clock came; and they still sate there with closed doors. Then there was a man's footstep running down stairs; and Edith peeped out of the drawing-room.
North and South
Margaret Hale might not be rich, but she's very well educated and she lives a peaceful life in the hamlet of Helstone. Unfortunately, her father a pastor decides one day that he can no longer serve the Church of England because he doesn't agree with its views on God anymore. For the sake of his conscience, he sacrifices his family's peaceful life and moves them to the industrial Northern English town of Milton, where he gets work as a tutor. What a drag. At first Margaret is grossed out by the filthy, smoky factory town. But over time, she learns to sympathize with its factory workers and their struggling families.
North and South study guide contains a biography of author Elizabeth Gaskell, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and.
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How It All Goes Down
Hale needs a job, and takes on the role of tutor to one Mr. Thornton, a self-made man who, with the help of his budget-conscious mother, pulled his family out of poverty and now owns Marlborough Mills, one of the largest factories in town. The question at the core of this book is whether Mr. Thornton treats his factory workers well enough and compensates them adequately. This is where the book gets interesting. Thornton as the evil overlord who is determined to squeeze every last bit of profit out of his workers.
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell is a social novel set in early Victorian times. Margaret struggles to adapt to the harder lifestyle of the North, but after a series of tragedies, she finds she is a far stronger and braver person than she ever thought. The novel begins in London, where Margaret lives with her aunt and cousin Edith. Edith is getting married to Colonel Lennox, which means Margaret has to move back to her parents' home in Helstone. Once back in the countryside she reverts to her old habits of walking and drawing. It is while she is preparing to go outside and draw that her servant announces the arrival of her old friend Henry Lennox. Lennox tells Margaret he wants to marry her.
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