Elizabeth Gaskell North And South online talk

Part of our Literature guide

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Daniela Denby-Ashe and Richard Armitage in the BBC adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South.
Daniela Denby-Ashe and Richard Armitage in the BBC adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South.

Online Talk: North and South - An Introduction, online, 26 January 2022, from £4.00 - Book now

The season of events celebrating Elizabeth Gaskell’s classic novel North And South begins with an introductory talk by expert speaker Elizabeth Williams.

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. Along with Wives And Daughters and Cranford, North And South is one of Gaskell’s best-known and most-loved novels, and it has been adapted for television three times.

Elizabeth Williams – a retired English lecturer and former chair of The Gaskell Society – will help you find out more about the context in which the book was written, including the industrial backdrop of Manchester at the time.

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.

This talk will be around 45 minutes, with time for a short question and answer session afterwards. Elizabeth Williams – a retired English lecturer and former chair of The Gaskell Society – will help you find out more about the context in which the book was written, including the industrial backdrop of Manchester at the time, thinly disguised by Gaskell as Milton in her writing, and the influence of the author’s own personal life, along with correspondence (and arguments) with her editor, Charles Dickens.

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. All events are online unless otherwise stated. Look out for further events to be added as the year progresses.

Pictured are Richard Armitage as smouldering mill owner John Thornton and Daniela Denby-Ashe as heroine Margaret Hale in the BBC adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North And South, an instant hit with television audiences when it aired in 2004, renewing interest in the novel and attracting a wider readership. You can join Libby Tempest from The Gaskell Society for a talk about the TV version on 23 March – see the Elizabeth Gaskell’s House website for details.

Once booked, check your email junk folder, and refer to your e-ticket for event joining instructions and links.

Online Talk: North and South - An Introduction, online

26 January 2022 7:00 pm
From £4.00

Accessibility

  • Captioned