BBC Production of North and South better than Pride and Prejudice
By G.G. Vandagriff
Heresy, you say? Are you getting ready to e-mail me or show up at my door and clobber me? Hold that thought and look at the evidence.
North and South, a novel of the industrial revolution in Victorian England, by Elizabeth Gaskell is the most perfect love story I have ever seen dramatized. Its characters are richly complex – all of them, not just the hero and heroine. Though the setting looks like something out of Dickens, it is not Dickensian, in that the characters all have real depth and actually change and develop throughout the book.
Also, because of true principles of light and love, real progress is made toward closing the wrenching schism in the industrial town of Milton.
The love story has every bit as much pride and prejudice as Darcy and Elizabeth’s, if not more. But the characters are concerned with real problems of life and death and philosophical differences caused by the rise of the English working class and the social position of those “in trade.”
There is also the subplot concerning the attempt by the Church of England to keep the lower classes uneducated. The romance is passionate, but it is all about the eyes. Let me just say, that if I were casting one of my books, I would want Richard Armitage for my brooding hero.
It is not just a chick flick. My husband adored it – it has much meat for the masculine mind to chew on.
Elizabeth Gaskell is probably best known as the biographer of Charlotte Bronte. Jane Eyre has always been one of my favorite books and I love the most recent dramatization. But, trust me, North and South is better. Check for it online. That’s where we found it! I’ve already watched it four times.
2007 Meridian Magazine. All Rights Reserved.