Tag Archives: Classics

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell – Review

 Spoiler Free

As a reader picking a classic to read is hard, they feel and read differently from modern novels and if you’re not used to reading them or have just read something contemporary a classic can be a lot to jump into.

north and south review

I have a had a few classics on my TBR for a while, but North and South has always been one my eye as been drawn to again and again. The idea of a young woman pulled away from her home in the South of England and moving across the country against her will to northern England in the mist of the Industrial Revolution was an appealing concept.

North and South follows Margaret Hale, a strong-willed young woman who hasn’t lived amongst high society but is has hardly struggled either- her father is a parson and she has grown up amongst the luscious but slow English Country side with her cousin Edith and friend Henry.

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When Margaret’s father gives up his parsonage following a crisis of faith he moves his whole family to Milton- a city many believed to be based on the real life Manchester. Milton is not like Helston where Margret has grown up it is not green or slow but a busy vibrant city filled with smoke and industry but also there are many poor people. This is something which Margret has been sheltered from in her former life. The people and culture are so different and Margret is referred to as a foreigner more than once, these are two separate worlds that lie next to each other within the same country.

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Margret’s father begins teaching a much lower paid job than his former profession reducing their circumstances considerably but this is how she meets Mr. Thornton her father’s first pupil. Mr. Thornton is a master at a prosperous cotton mill and he and Margret see the world very differently, particularly this new world that she is inhabiting and its people. I don’t think I can continue without spoiling the book all I can say is go and read it now.

Spoilers

I have read a lot of Jane Austen so I suppose with North and South that’s what I thought I was getting a simple love story but North and South is so much more than that. It takes a strong young woman and places her in a world amongst people she doesn’t understand and watches how she negotiates them which I find fascinating. Margret isn’t the kind of character who is interested in making social connections she someone who is interested and passionate about social justice. She can see the awful situation the poor are in and their choices are so limited strike or die, die or strike and that’s why in my favourite scene in the book when the strikers come to Thornton’s mill she begs Mr. Thornton to talk to them, reason with them even through their actions are driven by starvation and desperation. She has hope that all men can just be spoken to and no matter how bad things get they can be resolved.

Best Bits 

Other than Margaret who I’m obviously quite a fan of particularly from a feminist perspective, Mr Thorton is such a well-written character. Thornton is a brilliant business man and a man of incredible morality, and most of all he loves Margaret, amongst all the political angst in this book it was a really great love story to watch unfurl.

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Thornton is a brilliant businessman and a man of incredible morality, and most of all he loves Margaret, amongst all the political angst in this book it was a really great love story to watch unfurl.

Overall I would give this 5/5 stars and it has to be one of my all-time favourite classics, I look forward to reviewing the tv adaptation (which can be found on Netflix) very soon.

I hope you enjoyed my North and South review I’ll see you next time, goodbye!

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The Jane Austen Challenge

Hi guys, recently I have been thinking about how I don’t read enough classics and I have so many of them on my TBR (I won’t name names because it’s kind of embarrassing when I think about how many seriously beloved classics I haven’t read.)

sense and senseability

To help me on my road to literary enlightenment I started thinking about my favourite books of all time and what classic would be the best suit me… Well, one of my favourite books EVER is Pride and Prejudice I have read that book so many times I feel like that girl from Lost in Austen (A good TV show, worth a binge-watch) So I was thinking why not start with Austen and go from there?

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Luckily for me and very helpful for this challenge a few Christmas’ ago I was bought a lovely bind up of all the Jane Austen novels. So between now and the end of the year and dare I say it is only five months away I am going to be reading and reviewing all of Jane Austen’s works including a re-read and review of Pride and Prejudice (it’s been a while!)

pride and prejudice

Anyone who wants to get involved feel free to do so I am starting with Sense and Sensibility  and will be reading and discussing it this August.

Hope you enjoyed today’s update,

Happy reading everyone!

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The Classics Book Tag

Hi everyone –  I have just seen this Classics Tag over at Erika Bookventureland the Tag was originally created by It’s a Book World. Reading more classics is one of my goals for 2016 but for now here’s a look at the classics I’ve read so far and what I hope to read in 2016 and beyond.

An over-hyped classic you didn’t really like.

I’m really on the fence about Wuthering Heights, I love the story in its self but I don’t think it’s written in the best way. I think it’s the fact it’s being told from the perspective of a guest at Wuthering Heights. Everything that happens to the characters is second/third hand information if it was from Kathy and Heathcliffs POV I think the story would have resented much more with me. I adore the (2009) adaptation with Tom Hardy though definitely worth watching.

WH

Kathy and Heathcliff (2009)

Favourite time period to read about.

I really enjoy reading about World War I & II some of my favourites are Bird Song and Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman.

birdsong

Favourite Fairy Tale. 

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My favourite fairy tale is probably Cinderella the idea of being down on your luck and being rescued appeals to most of us when we’re feeling low. But I can’t deny that Beauty and the Beast comes a close second, Belle is a lover of books after all!

What is the most embarrassing classic you haven’t read?

jane eyre

Probably Jane Eyre, thanks to endless adaptations I am very familiar with the story and prefer to read books when I don’t know the plot. But Jane Eyre is on my tbr for 2016 because I’m thinking it’s about time.

Top 5 classics you would like to read soon.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace 1

Emma by Jane Austen

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (I have actually started this and so far so good, the BBC series is what inspired by to start reading this and Mr. Thornton I just… ❤

1984 by George Orwell

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Favourite modern book/series based on a classic.

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Splintered by A.G Howard is a modern day YA Re-telling of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. If you like Alice in Wonderland, fairy-tales and a love triangle to end all love triangles then this three book series is for you.

Favourite movie/tv show based on a classic.

This is a tough one because there are some great adaptations out there but for me Pride and Prejudice would have to be fave. Mathew McFadden has to be my  favourite Darcy (sorry Colin!)

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Worst classic adaptation. 

The most recent adaptation of Anna Karenina, I am a fan of Keira Knightly  and watch most of her films but this particularly adaptation was filmed in a very particular style almost like it was filmed in a theatre and I just didn’t enjoy it.

Anna and Vronsky

Favourite edition you would like to collect (more) classics from.

I love the Penguin English Library editions I already have a few and hope to carry on collecting.

An underhyped classic you’d recommend to everyone.

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Cheerful Weather for the Wedding by Julia Strachey to read my review of the film adaptation click here.

And here are my tags! 🙂

Carries Book Reviews

Art and Soul

The Book Finch

Comfy Reading

Your Daughters Book Shelf

Hope you enjoyed my classics tag, happy reading everyone!

demelza