The season of events celebrating Elizabeth Gaskell’s classic novel North And South continues with this online talk North And South – A TV Classic, presented by the chair of The Gaskell Society, Libby Tempest.
North And South is one of ElizabethGaskell’s best-known and most-loved novels, and it has been adapted for television three times.
North And South is a social novel published in 1854/5 by Elizabeth Gaskell, who lived in a villa on Plymouth Grove, now known as Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. One of the first industrial novels to describe class strife, it is described as a “condition of England” novel and follows heroine Margaret Hale as she moves from the rural south to the manufacturing north. It tells of her conflicted relationship with mill owner John Thornton, and the romance contrasts starkly with the harsh surroundings. Along with Wives And Daughters and Cranford, North And South is one of ElizabethGaskell’s best-known and most-loved novels, and it has been adapted for the small screen three times.
The hit 2004 BBC adaptation cast Daniela Denby-Ashe as heroine Margaret Hale and Richard Armitage as self-made man John Thornton. But how did the show appeal to both Gaskell fans and new audiences? Why was it so popular? How closely does it stick to the original novel? And what effect did this success have on Elizabeth Gaskell’s reputation? All will be revealed as we enjoy taking a closer look with Libby Tempest, chair of The Gaskell Society. The talk will last around 45 minutes, with time for a question and answer session afterwards.
The North And South season continues throughout 2022, with events exploring the story, industrial background and TV adaptation of one of Elizabeth Gaskell’s most popular and enduring works, as well as her correspondence (and arguments) with her editor, Charles Dickens. All events are online unless otherwise stated. Look out for further events to be added as the year progresses; see the Elizabeth Gaskell’s House website for details.