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North & South
How am I to dress up in my finery, and go off and away to smart parties, after the sorrow I have seen today?'
Margaret Hale is wrenched from her beloved rural idyll of Helstone and moved with her family to the industrial northern town of Milton, with its grime and all the ugliness of urban life. But from her initial distaste, Margaret develops a new sense of social justice, and a complicated relationship with the mill-owner John Thornton.
First published in 1855, North and South has one of the most full, original heroines in Victorian literature, and spurned the contemporary conventions of the novel to give a compelling, nuanced view of class conflict without easy resolution.