North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell
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Elizabeth Gaskell

North and South

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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 fuses individual feeling with social concern, and in Margaret Hale creates one of the most original heroines of Victorian literature.
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'Your beauty was the first that won the place, And scal'd the walls of my undaunted heart, Which, captive now, pines in a caitive case, Unkindly met with rigour for desert;— Yet not the less your servant shall abide, In spite of rude repulse or silent pride.'
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