Thursday, October 25, 2012

North & South BBC Miniseries

I was looking for something Austenesque on Netflix one night and came across this brilliant miniseries by the BBC called North and South. I read the teaser and proceeded to watch over the next few nights as it is a four hour film broken into one hour segments. It is based on a book by Elizabeth Gaskell. I haven't grabbed a copy of the book yet, but look forward to picking up a copy and enjoy it. Because even after four hours, I'm sure there is still stuff that got left out. There always is, when you convert book to film.

This is the blurb from Amazon about the book.
And the link:

"How am I to dress up in my finery, and go off and away to smart parties, after the sorrow I have seen today?"

When her father leaves the Church in a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the north of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of the local mill workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice. This is intensified by her tempestuous relationship with the mill-owner and self-made man, John Thornton, as their fierce opposition over his treatment of his employees masks a deeper attraction. In North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell skillfully fused individual feeling with social concern, and in Margaret Hale created one of the most original heroines of Victorian literature.

In this story we learn about industrial England, specifically about the life of cotton mill workers and their relationships to the owners. It is very eye opening about what life was like for these working men, women and children. Yes, children. I think that is what is the saddest part for me. The love story is definitley one of hate at first sight that turns to love over time and unexpected circumstances. As in any good love story, there is plenty of miscommunication and misunderstanding of one another and an inevitable happy ending. If you like Austen type films and book, you'll enjoy this one too even with it set in a different era.

I did notice in looking up the book, that there is a 1996 print and a 2010, plus  a Kindle. It looks as if this book may have been originally printed before 1923. Guess it's time to do some research on Ms. Gaskell

Here's the link for the BBC 2004 miniseries.

Do you have a Victorian romance you recommend?


  1. This is one of my daughters favorite movies! She LOVES it. My favorite is Wives and Daughters. Good book too...except the ending.

  2. Oooh thanks for the recommendation.

  3. I talked about this on my blog as well! But I took a slightly different take on it ;)

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  5. Awesome movie (one of my favorites of all time) and okay book. Elizabeth Gaskell is the only instance I can recall where all the movies are better than the books. But hey, I'm not complaining, because I love the movies!

    And be warned, "Wives and Daughters" does not have an ending in the novel. She wrote it serially and passed away before finishing it. BBC did brilliant work with the ending they wrote for the film--it was the best part of the whole story!

  6. I've been hearing a lot about this book!