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Extended Audio Sample North and South Audiobook, by Elizabeth Gaskell Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (110,585 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Elizabeth Gaskell Narrator: Heather Wilds Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2018 ISBN: 9781501929311
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As relevant now as when it was first published, Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South skillfully weaves a compelling love story into a clash between the pursuit of profit and humanitarian ideals. When her father leaves the Church in a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the North of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of local mill workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice. This is intensified by her tempestuous relationship with the mill-owner and self-made man John Thornton, as their fierce opposition over his treatment of his employees masks a deeper attraction. In North and South Gaskell skillfully fused individual feeling with social concern, and in Margaret Hale created one of the most original heroines of Victorian literature. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Drucilla | 2/18/2014

    " The background and setting for this book is remarkable. The industry is described with such color. If you're a fan of Dickens, but perhaps don't like the depressing nature some of his novels take, you should try this book. I will admit everything seems to be rushed towards the end, but everything works out. Oh, and if you like this book, be sure to read Shirley by Charlotte Bronte. It has similar themes to this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane | 2/18/2014

    " Interesting themes of mutiny in this - at first glance - rather soppy book about love in a gritty Northern town. But there is more to it than that. The father mutinies against the established church, the brother mutinies on board his ship, the mill workers go on strike and the main characters fight against love. Great psychological stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacy | 2/14/2014

    " Loved the book and loved the movie as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 DeAnn | 2/8/2014

    " Loved it...did move a little slow at times but loved the development of the characters and the human interaction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rakesh | 2/3/2014

    " A really fine book and it reveals an in-depth understanding of Victorian society and the problems faced by it due to industrial revolution. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Memmis | 2/1/2014

    " I'd wanted to read this for a reaaally long time, and it was awesome. I can't believe how much I fangirled while reading it. I'm really glad that, even though I've watched the mini-series a couple of times ("a couple"), I still got excited about every little thing. It gave me lots of feelings. I enjoyed it thoroughly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 1/22/2014

    " This is book is so good! Read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peach | 1/20/2014

    " A beautiful love story that took place in the background of the class conflicts of North and South and the industrialization of the North. Margaret Hale and John Thornton were wonderful characters and both of them had strong family values. Margaret was a strong and courageous woman who was able to stand up to the trials and tribulations thrown her way. John was absolutely swoon-worthy and his unyielding love for Margaret made your heart swell. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kirk | 1/19/2014

    " 2nd reading. Still loved the story, didn't enjoy the storytelling as much as the first time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 ☽ Moon ☯ 佛月球 Будда Луны | 1/18/2014

    " North and South, as a novel about love caught in the strings of differences, torn apart by modernity and tradition, of upbringing and experiences, of the aristocratic rule and the rise of the commoners, accentuated by the striking contradictions between the masculine role and the feminine role in society, might as well be entitled simply as The Man and The Woman or perhaps, The Industrial City and The Provincial Vicarage or more aptly, Of Liberty and Slavery as Elizabeth Gaskell composes with captivating eloquence the extraordinary love story of Margaret Hale and John Thornton, vividly disentangling a society built in clashing contradictions, where the peaceful serenity of the southern suburbia meets the smoky, bustling city of the Industrial north, painting a picturesque dissection of her time that reflects the conditions of a world thereafter."Your Union in itself would be beautiful, glorious---it would be Christianity itself---if it were but for an end which affected the good of all, instead of that of merely one class as opposed to another." Perhaps, one of the most important elements in Gaskell's narrative, which can be considered striking, is her ability to expostulate at the same time harmonize the differing perceptions to the benefit of all, not just shown through the closure of the rift between Margaret and Thornton as they are bound by their fervent passion, but in the same manner, it provides an edification worthy of illumination as Gaskell shows the power of love and compassion, its enigmatic ability to change people directly or even indirectly towards the understanding of all, as North and South is not just a simple love story between a man and a woman, nor an eccentric love and hate story between the master and his people especially reflected with the relationship between Thornton and the staunch Union leader Nicholas Higgins, but most importantly, it is a story of love in its sacred unification, the kind of love that can melt even those with the hearts of stone as Gaskell defines it in its Utopian form that should exist amongst all men regardless of who and what they are. ☾☯ "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tina | 1/15/2014

    " My love for North and South goes back a few years to a summer I spent in England. I was dreadfully sick for several days and confined to my host's house--so she took the opportunity to deluge me in all things British. One such British treasure she shared with me was the BBC's film rendition of Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South. As an avid Jane Austen fan, I found the storyline and themes to be very similar to my favorite author's work. The story centers around a strong female lead, Margaret Hale, who is pushed outside of her comfort zone and familiar lifestyle as a result of her father's change in career. One thing I particularly appreciated about Gaskell's story as opposed to an Austen work is that the reader sort of develops as the character does. I felt much more of a connection with Margaret than I ever have with Elizabeth. I also liked that this book was written in third person omniscient, which delved more in-depth into the thoughts of each character and gave me a better overview of everything as it was happening. Like any non-contemporary piece, the language and style of writing is an adjustment at first, but once you're used to the flow, the story flows nicely. As an end note, I would highly recommend watching the BBC film after reading the book. It's really a fantastic and accurate portrayal of the study. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 1/12/2014

    " I realy like the book. It was a realy good story. When I wrote this I only read the first 19 chapters after finishing all 60 I must say it was butter then I expected and the end was perfect. Though I know it was unfinished I must say that anymore would have destercted from the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 1/12/2014

    " Disappointed that I didn't like this more. I was looking for a great Austen-esque read. and this fell short. Gaskell has a lot to say here about unions, industrialization, religion, women's rights, etc. However, a lot of that just went on and on and got in the way of the story. Thornton is a good character, but Margaret is too busy hating his politics to see past that to the good man he is. And then at the end, all of a sudden, they fall in each other's arms. Rather unrealistic because they spend very little time getting to know each other, just talking about his mill and master vs. worker. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tamara | 1/9/2014

    " I recently finished listening to North and South on my Ipad. It was fine, very predictable and nothing overly exciting. Just another book I can check off my list. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Drucilla | 1/4/2014

    " The background and setting for this book is remarkable. The industry is described with such color. If you're a fan of Dickens, but perhaps don't like the depressing nature some of his novels take, you should try this book. I will admit everything seems to be rushed towards the end, but everything works out. Oh, and if you like this book, be sure to read Shirley by Charlotte Bronte. It has similar themes to this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicola | 12/31/2013

    " I could not put it down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eleni | 12/29/2013

    " the story is very nice and the tv adaptation was great too...!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sashedblue | 12/28/2013

    " Elizabeth Gaskell is like Jane Austen punched with grit and realism. I love this book. It is comparable to Pride and Prejudice in terms of the relationship (mucho misunderstandings) but wow. Just wow. It is absolutely beautiful, heart-wrenching, and yet somehow happy. A favorite for sure. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Haidy Mohamed | 12/23/2013

    " It's an amazing and gloomy novel "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashley Harris | 12/14/2013

    " Loved the book, but the frivolous part of me loves the movie better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 12/4/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book but I wasn't prepared for the abruptness of the ending. I thought it out of character for the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beth | 11/30/2013

    " the Movie is better than the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stacey O'driscoll | 11/22/2013

    " amazing. johm thornton - yummy! i want him all. to myself. i cannot believe what margaret said to him when he was proposing, but i forgive her, she seen sense in the end :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mindy | 11/16/2013

    " She really knows how to draw out the suspense. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wagga Library | 11/10/2013

    " Oh, how I love this book! Like Jane Austen only better.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bookworm R | 10/25/2013

    " I just couldn't get into this book. Part of the dialogue was hard to slog through. I did find Margaret's life interesting to follow, but some of the details were slow to read through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily Elizabeth | 10/19/2013

    " Good tension between the characters. Unconventional gender roles. The end wraps up too quickly. Overall, great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sue Schwab | 10/11/2013

    " If you love Pride and Prejudice you will love this Elizabeth Gaskell book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Monique | 9/9/2013

    " Meh.....it was recommended as a "if you like Pride and Prejudice, you'll like this". Can't say any of the characters really stood out for me. It was an okay read that fell short of expectations. The main characters can't really compare to Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karren | 6/12/2013

    " I had seen the BBC / A&E series, but loved the book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janelle | 5/15/2013

    " I simultaneously started watching the series of these (and have yet to finish them), and had a very different picture of what the protagonist should look/act like. I hear the ending of the movie is great, but I also liked the ending: abrupt yet satisfying. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cynthia Dunn | 5/8/2013

    " I wish I could give it more than five stars! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carolyn Stow | 3/21/2013

    " Wonderful, wonderful book! If you liked the movie, the book is just as good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne | 12/10/2012

    " i'm a sucker for this type of novel. I read it when my son was reading it for Higher English and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it! (more than he did I suspect!!) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Misteeyed | 11/13/2012

    " The storyline is too much like Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I found no surprises and the pace of the story was too slow. The parsing of human emotions ad nausea, a popular 19th-century novel subject for female readers, is just not that interesting to me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hannah Kolus | 11/1/2012

    " MOST ROMANTIC BOOK EVER. Although I prefer the ending as told by the Masterpiece mini-series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul Greer | 10/11/2012

    " Actually changed an opinion I had about the way I behave. Lots of people die in it, though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bluenoon | 10/2/2012

    " Gaskell one of the best authors there ever was, and I love all her works. Her writing is a reflection of the pristine times we've lost as a species. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deborah Borges | 9/17/2012

    " Amazing story!!! The way Mr. Thornton loves Magaret is beautiful!! And, for a History teacher like me, is an amazing view of the industrial revolution period. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wagga Library | 8/2/2012

    " Oh, how I love this book! Like Jane Austen only better.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chelsea Monroe-Cassel | 6/11/2012

    " Although a bit cumbersome in places, the story is enticing. Here and there, bits of prose stand out, memorable and striking. I enjoyed watching the BBC production first, as the show and book line up beautifully and suit one another. A lovely book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 4/27/2012

    " This was a darker Pride & Prejudice but I really enjoyed it. BBC made a great mini series from this book. I just wish the book had ended as well as the mini series did. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 NL | 2/29/2012

    " similar love story principle as Pride & Prejudice: wrong first impressions, then guy loves girl, then girl loves guy, then both understand each feelings and live happily forever. But loved it nonetheless. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Claire | 2/14/2012

    " I finished this a while back, but it is a fantastic book. Light enough for easy reading, but with characters compelling enough that they stay with you. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Velvet | 1/1/2012

    " So far, I'm at the part where Mr. Thornton is hanging out with mom and sis...Pretty good so far! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cbringhurst | 12/28/2011

    " This might be blasphemy, but I think I liked this one better the Pride and Prejudice. It is in the same time period, and I just love the story. It also shows more than just the higher class, it also shows the workers, and I really enjoyed their story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jb34 | 12/11/2011

    " It was a bit slow-moving, especially since I'd seen the movie before. However, the book enhanced the movie so much when I watched it again! I've heard this compared to Pride and Prejudice, but it's a much deeper class warfare than that. You can't get much better than Thornton and Margaret. *sigh* "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 11/13/2011

    " Really good book. But don't fool yourselves, this is not Jane Austen. So for those of you reading it to get the same feeling that you got when you read Pride and Prejudice, just go read Pride and Prejudice again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 9/9/2011

    " Oh, I loved it! Sort of slow at times, so I did some skimming. But the story was wonderful and so romantic. I just added the movie to my Netflix queue. Can't wait to see it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bobword | 7/28/2011

    " Such a good classic read. Does not disappoint. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 6/26/2011

    " Finally got around to reading this Gaskell classic, and it did not disappoint. Excellent. (Grade: "B+".) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 5/27/2011

    " I liked this book, but it was so long! It wrapped up in the last couple pages, and after reading the book for so long, I thought I deserved a little longer on the happy ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nour Almalki | 5/25/2011

    " Try new things you MIT find something you like better ... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bodagirl | 5/22/2011

    " It's a great book for any reader who is looking for a read-alike to Pride and Prejudice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cranberrycuppycakes | 5/22/2011

    " one of the best period novels i've read :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 5/12/2011

    " While I already knew the storyline of this book, I absolutely loved reading it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becca | 5/11/2011

    " This book and the BBC miniseries is my least obsession. If you like Pride & Prejudice, you'll love this book and movie. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer | 5/5/2011

    " Reading this again with PEMBERLEY LADIES. LOVE it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bridget | 5/4/2011

    " Second half of the book was better than the first. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christina | 5/4/2011

    " Loved the story and the characters. And loved the BBC movie! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Molly | 5/2/2011

    " 19th century romance + labor relations = right up my alley. Some of the religious sentiments carried on too much, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. "

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About the Author
Author Elizabeth Gaskell

Elizabeth Gaskell (1810–1865) was an English novelist and short-story writer born in London and raised in Knutsford, Cheshire, which became the model for village settings in her novels. In 1832 she married William Gaskell, a Unitarian minister. Her first novel, Mary Barton, published in 1848, was immensely popular and brought her to the attention of Charles Dickens, who solicited her work for his periodical, Household Words, for which she wrote the series subsequently reprinted as Cranford.

About the Narrator

Heather Wilds is an audiobook narrator and an award-winning actress. She trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and the University of Glamorgan and has appeared in numerous plays, receiving critical acclaim. She has also performed in award-winning short films, appeared on television and in commercials, and has worked extensively as a voice-over artist.