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North and South

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, who set her 1855 novel in a version of Manchester she called Milton in the county of Darkshire.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North and South, published in 1855 after serialisation in Dickens' Household Words magazine. It is the story of Margaret Hale, who was raised in the South in the New Forest and London's Harley Street, and then moves North to a smokey mill town, Milton, in Darkshire. As well as Margaret's emotional life and her growing sense of independence, the novel explores the new ways of living thrown up by industrialisation, and the relationships between 'masters and men'. Many of Margaret Hale's experiences echo Gaskell's own life, as she was born in Chelsea and later moved to Manchester, and the novel has become valued for its insights into social conflicts and the changing world in which Gaskell lived.


Sally Shuttleworth
Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford

Dinah Birch
Pro-vice Chancellor for Research and Professor of English Literature at the University of Liverpool


Jenny Uglow
Biographer of Elizabeth Gaskell

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Available now

48 minutes

Last on

Thu 9 Mar 2017 21:30


Sally Shuttleworth at the University of Oxford

Dinah Birch at the University of Liverpool

Jenny Uglow

Elizabeth Gaskell - Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

North and South: first instalment in Household Words – British Library

Romantics and Victorians: Manchester in the 19th century – British Library

Romantics and Victorians: The Condition of England novel – British Library

War of the Words: Engel on 19th-century Manchester – The Guardian

The moral and physical condition of the working classes employed in the cotton manufacture in Manchester (published 1832)

Elizabeth Gaskell – Wikipedia



Charlotte Bronte, Shirley (first published 1849; Wordsworth, 1993)

J. A.V. Chapple and John Geoffrey Sharps (eds.), Elizabeth Gaskell: A Portrait in Letters (Manchester University Press, 2012)

Charles Dickens, Hard Times (first published 1854; Wordsworth, 1995)

Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Barton (first published 1848; Penguin, 1996)

Elizabeth Gaskell (ed. Sally Shuttleworth), North and South (Oxford University Press, 1998)

Elizabeth Gaskell (ed. Elisabeth Jay), The Life of Charlotte Bronte (first published 1857; Penguin Classics, 1998)

Jill L. Matus (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Elizabeth Gaskell (Cambridge University Press, 2007)

Hilary M. Schor, Scheherezade in the Marketplace: Elizabeth Gaskell and the Victorian Novel (Oxford University Press, 1992)

Frances Trollope, The Life and Adventures of Michael Armstrong: The Factory Boy (first published 1840; Routledge, 2004)

Jenny Uglow, Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories (Faber & Faber, 1993)

Susan Zlotnick, Women, Writing, and the Industrial Revolution (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998)


Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Sally Shuttleworth
Interviewed Guest Jenny Uglow
Interviewed Guest Dinah Birch


  • Thu 9 Mar 2017 09:00
  • Thu 9 Mar 2017 21:30

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