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North and South

By: Elizabeth Gaskell
Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
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Publisher's Summary

Exclusively from Audible

Written at the request of Charles Dickens, North and South is a book about rebellion; it poses fundamental questions about the nature of social authority and obedience. Gaskell expertly blends individual feeling with social concern, and her heroine, Margaret Hale, is one of the most original creations of Victorian literature.

When Margaret Hale's father leaves the Church in a crisis of conscience she is forced to leave her comfortable home in the tranquil countryside of Hampshire and move with her family to the fictional industrial town of Milton in the north of England. Though at first disgusted by her new surroundings, she witnesses the brutality wrought by the Industrial Revolution and becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of the local mill workers. Sympathetic to the poor she makes friends among them and develops a fervent sense of social justice. She clashes with the mill-owner and self-made man, John Thornton, who is contemptuous of his workers. However, their fierce opposition masks a deeper attraction.

Gaskell based her depiction of Milton on Manchester, where she lived as the wife of a Unitarian minister. She was an accomplished writer, much of her work published in Charles Dickens' magazine Household Words including North and South which was originally published as a serial. She was also friends with Charlotte Brontë and after her death, her father, Patrick Brontë, chose Gaskell to write The Life of Charlotte Brontë.

Narrator Biography

Whether she's up on stage, behind the microphone or in front of the camera, Juliet Stevenson never fails to charm her audience...whoever they may be. Acting roles in Truly, Madly Deeply, Emma, Bend It like Beckham and Mona Lisa Smile have cemented her status as one of the great British actresses of our time. Meanwhile, her popular performances of hits such as Apple Tree Yard, the book that was turned into a TV series that people just couldn't stop talking about, have earned her an overwhelming amount of well-deserved praise for her spoken word talents.

Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"[An] admirable story...full of character and power." (Charles Dickens)

What listeners say about North and South

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Beautiful Classic

This story has such diverse range of emotion, dragging readers through a love story both thick and thin. One of my favourite love stories and the ideal female lead and male love interest.

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5 people found this helpful

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Juliet does it again.

Would you listen to North and South again? Why?

Juliet Stevenson's reading would bring me back to it again, and if not that, the story itself. Margaret Hale is one of my favourite literary characters.

What other book might you compare North and South to, and why?

North & South often gets compared to Pride & Prejudice (boy meets girl, girl kinda hates boy, etc.) -- but with more realism, more misfortune, and therefore a more deserving finish. There is also a broader storyline -- the industrial world of Milton -- that is as interesting as the central story following Margaret Hale.

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4 people found this helpful

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Superb Performance

I watched the BBC series first and then listened to the audio book. It did not disappoint! Juliet Stevenson is outstanding, and reads the roles perfectly with very accurate accents. I really enjoyed this book.

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2 people found this helpful

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Spellbinding

Fascinating story, beautifully narrated. Pride and Prejudice meets the industrial revolution. Gripping, gritty and romantic.

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I Love This Book Even More!

I have long been a fan of North and South and was hesitant about listening to it read aloud because it is such a favourite. Juliet Steven’s has allowed me to love it even more- a sensitive and beautiful reading. Well done!

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Wonderful narration

Enjoyed this audio book very much. The narrator did such a great job, allowing easy identification of the key characters and making it a joy to listen to.

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I've listened twice!!!

My second listening was just as fabulous of this classic novel. Juliet Stevenson is a superb narrator, and the story is divine. I always feel transported in great books, and this one took me deep inside, feeling great passion for all the characters.

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Wonderful

Beautifully written, beautifully read right down to all the amazing accents. How did it take me so long to find this? Oh my heart, I wanted more. Move over pride and prejudice you have a huge competitor, love, love, loved this.

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An old, everlasting classic.

It’s a lovely book to listen to. Although as a modern woman, it grated me in parts where such out dated ideals were made such a fuss of. But that was the writing for the time. And it doesn’t take away the beautiful ending.

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Wonderful

Beautifully read with absolutely superb characterisation. Could not put it down. The novel itself gets away with some didacticism and philosophising by being beautifully written. Did not want it to end. Juliet Stevenson: brilliant.

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