>If you swoon whenever Mr. Darcy appears or melt when Darcy and Elizabeth finally get together, then I think you will love North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell. A contemporary of Dickens (he was a big fan of her work), Gaskell does not get the attention that other authors of her time do, though she certainly deserves it. North & South, one of her best novels, is a romance complicated by politics, attitudes, and misunderstandings.
Margaret Hale has been forced to move to a fictitious mill town in northern England under unpleasant circumstances with her family. She’s resentful and harbors prejudice against northern ways. She’s been raised as a lady, living a good portion of her life in London, and starts out as a bit of an uppity-up. John Thornton owns one of the mills and is a rough, working class kind of guy. The two collide amidst a backdrop of restless mill workers ready to strike and hard family times.
Margaret and John follow similar character paths as Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, and are rather similar in some ways. One of my favorite aspects of the story, however, is that Gaskell tells the story from both Margaret’s and John’s perspectives so you know exactly how both of them feel.
If you’ve been looking for more books like Pride & Prejudice, go get a copy of North & South today.
What novels would you recommend that are similar to Pride & Prejudice?