Saturday, May 19, 2007

North and South

Please go here

to read my new article. If you do buy this film, I would strongly suggest you use your Captions , since there are so many different accents and some rapidly spoken dialog. The captions really help to understand the story.
I like her stories and I like the way the filmakers do them. She had a more Christian view than did her contemporary, Charles Dickens. I hope, however, that future films are not done by people who would corrupt the story, and I hope they remain innocent and sweet and always have a happy ending, as she wrote them.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mrs Sherman

I hope you don't mind me emailing again, but I have just read your article on Mrs Gaskell's "North and South". I too thought the BBC adaption was absolutely wonderful! I missed it when it was first shown as my youngest was still a baby and I couldn't commit to the time needed to watch it all. But about a month ago I discovered that *all* of the recent BBC literary adaptions are provided for free on my cable service. I started to watch the first episode at 8:00 with my husband, but just couldn't stop watching! I went to bed very late that night but was engrossed. I was such a wonderful adaption. I am a fan of Elizabeth Gaskell (a godly woman) and I think as a novelist she is rather overlooked in favour of the Brontes and Austen. However, she has so much to say about eternal truths: relationships; charity; family; duty that I think this is a great shame. What I also like is that she is not afriad to portray the working poor in an honest, open and sympathetic manner and I think the characters of the trades unionist (and his daughter) are realistic portrayals of people who would have been very like my anscestors. You may enjoy reading Mary Barton, a very beautiful novel.

I'm sorry to go on. But I have never "met" a fellow Gaskell fan and it was so nice to see her work appreciated by someone who live so far away!


Natalie (formerly of Echo from the Green Hills)

Lydia said...

I agree with the comparison, Natalie. The adaptations of Jane Austen especially seem noisy and full of silliness of the unmarried girls. In contrast, although it is about poor people, it seems more refined in its portrayal of women.

Lydia said... forewarned: There are two discs, and each one has two episodes. Each episode is about an hour. So, you might want to watch one per evening.

Lydia said...

I also thought the filmmakers were very clever, making the north and south meet at the train station. Margaret did not understand the ways of the tradesmen in the north; John did not understand the South. The two characters meet and they both go north ;-)

Isabella in the 21st Century said...

Dear Mrs Sherman

I also thought it was interesting that John loved Margaret even though he didn't really understand her and even though he thought she'd acted immorally. He just loved her and couldn't help himself. And, it wasn't until Margaret *really* understood the people of the industrial north and believed John to me a man of honour that she began to love him. I liked the scene towards the end when John visits her childhood home and we know that he is beginning to understand her initial dislike of the northern city and its trade(based on Bolton, I think). Margaret is a brave woman but before she lived in Millton she was rather sheltered from the inequalities and cruelties of the world.

Anyway, what I liked about that scene, and the romance aspect of the novel/film as a whole, is that she seems to illustrate the differences in the way in which men and women fall in love...the woman being cautious and assessing character, the man falling in love completely and unequivacally. The man is sure that he *loves* the woman, the woman must be sure that she can *respect* the man. I find this very interesting.

Here is a link to a Gaskell fan's website.



(Isabella in the 21st Century is my new blog)

Lydia said...

By "immoral," let us not be mislead. Margaret lied to the police to protect her brother. She also was seen hugging a man who was only her brother, and John jumped to conclusions when he saw her.

Lydia said...

She later confessed and and expressed her sorrow over doing it. (lying)

Lydia said...

You are right: Gaskell's stories have been over looked. They are not as sensational as some of the other writers of her times. She was somewhat in the category of Dickens, only with an optimistic Christian faith. There is always a lot of dignity in her stories. They lift up the heart of the reader, and make you feel like life is worth living.

She actually portrays some things as they really happen today, even though she lived in the 19th century. For example, when my future son in law stood on the steps of our home you could tell he was "smitten" and it would have only taken a few words from my daughter to totally capture him, but she erred on the side of caution. She wanted to observe him a little more and see if he was worthy, by watching and listening to see what he revealed about his character. It took a while for her to like him as much as he liked her.

Anonymous said...

Any idea when you Brits are going to put the other Elizabeth Gaskell novels into movies, as only you can do??

Anonymous said...

If you like Mrs Gaskell's work try reading Cranford. It is an absolutely delightful (and fairly short) story about a young woman who visits two elderly ladies in the genteel town of Cranford. I read it at university and loved it, and have read it several times subsequently.

Proverbs 31 Sisters said...

The BBC North and South is one of our favorite movies. We also like Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell. The costuming is so beautiful in both, especially the colorful dresses in W & D. Our mom is currently reading Wives and Daughters to us.

~Laura and Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

I had a troll on one blog who made terrible accusations. I told them that freedom of speech was conditional on the type of speech that they offered, and if they continued to accuse and insult they would be deleted.

I doubt very much I would be allowed to sit in someone's home and tell them how rotten and no-good they were.

I doubt very much they would stand there tolerantly and serve me tea if I insulted them.

Blogs are the same way. I deleted the person and they persisted in crying "unfair," and accused me of censoring them and whined about free speech.

What many so-called progressives and liberals do not realize is that freedom was never intended for the anarchist and the cheater and the liar and the disrespectful and the dishonoring person. They have to follow the rules or they lose their freedom.

In a courtroom, only those who follow the rules get to speak. People don't get to go in there and holler and squeal all they want. They have to take their turn and be respectful. Also they have t stay on topic, or they get dismissed.

I like the little trash can next to the comments that only the moderators can see. One can click it and the comment disappears.

Those who hate our freedom are now making strides to put a stop to the web, because it is controlled by people, and people who are self-governing.

The web is self-governing and they are scared of the web because they can't control people.

Those who want to break down society cannot stand us being free and unregulated. They want to put a stop to blogs like this because of their influence, and because they can't control women if they can't convince them to go to women's studies classes and learn how to rebel against men and rebel against family authority.

Where women are desperately needed is in the home. That is the most deserted place in the nation, in this decade. It should make one cry to see all the empty neighborhoods and empty houses and all the little children with their faces pressed against the daycare windows, crying for their mothers to come and get them.

I could understand women working in careers and not being home if they were filling roles that could be filled by no other. But most jobs can be filled by men and most homes cannot be filled by any other but the woman. Unfortunately today many homes are occupied by maids or else left empty while the family goes elsewhere during the day.

DonnaB said...

I love this movie too! Margaret's mother and father were great characters as well! I liked that the father took a stand of conscience though it cost him and his family a lot. The mother could have been more supportive to her husband but she was such a delicate lady. I liked John's mother too...she had a tough armour to pierce but she always did what duty dictated. The most insipid character was John's sister. She was so selfish and I couldn't believe when she rejoiced in her brother's misfortune.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Thornton was hard to like, but I admired her son so much because he treated her with honor. His love for her was deeper than the token love so many young men are apt to give. He remembered the hard times they'd had together after his father died. She motivated him and gave him good principles. He would not gamble, as his father did. Even Margaret was kind to her and apologized to her for the way she spoke to her.

Lisa said...

I enjoyed North and South also. I have Wives and Daughters out from the library now and fell in love with Molly Gibson.

Anonymous said...

For anyone who wants to read North and South online, along with other works by Elizabeth Gaskell:

Anonymous said...

Another book by Elizabeth Gaskell, called "My Lady Ludlow" can be found here: