At the February meeting of the 2nd Tuesday Evening Book Group, Elizabeth Gaskell’s book North and South was discussed.
One group member did not get past the initial opening pages of the book, but all other members enjoyed reading the book.
The theme of the book covers the change of circumstances of the Hale family and their exposure to the northern harshness of industrial life.
Margaret Hale is a firsthand witness of the conditions of the workers, the rise of the union movement, and the changes in society as a result of this.
As a firsthand account of life in Victorian England it is very interesting. The trueness to dialect can be a bit of tedious to follow but the main themes are good.
In many ways, Margaret is very contemporary; she is not bound by class concerns and makes friends amongst the working class. Margaret does not tell her parents about the proposals of marriage which she receives from Mr. Lennox and Mr. Thornton.
The group believes that she may have been pressured into accepting and marrying for financial reasons.
The writer was a contemporary to Charles Dickens who published the original work as a serial.
The ending of the novel is very abrupt and the group learned that this was due to Charles Dickens deciding that the work count was high enough.