RSS

Post 11 – Favourite classic book

05 Mar

As ever, thanks to Blogs of a Bookaholic for creating this challenge.

OK, first things first; I cannot do this question the same level of justice as the creator of this challenge. Click that. I’ve even included the link a 2nd time, just in case you don’t fancy scrolling up a few millimetres to click the 1st link.

Read it. Fall in love with Wuthering Heights either for the first time or all over again.

And now, for my favourite classic. As I mentioned before, I have two favourite classics, one book of poetry, In Memoriam A.H.H. by Tennyson and one novel. As I’ve already blogged about the former, this post is going to be about the latter. So, without further ado, allow me to present the book that I fall in love with again every time I read it: North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell.

So what makes this classic so awesome-sauce? I think it’s because (and forgive the analogy) at the end of the day, I like my books like I like my men– no naughty jokes please!- not just interesting and entertaining but also with some substance; something that will make me aware of the world around me and appreciate my own situation.

It is here that Gaskell really delivers the goods: she was an author whose writing addressed burning contemporary social issues and problems that appeared because of industrialisation. As the wife of a minister in Manchester, Gaskell would have been able to move amongst different social echelons and would undoubtedly have seen and heard the arguments and concerns of both the masters and hands about whom she wrote.

Many of the problems she mentions have yet to be solved, despite the hope expressed that ‘young industry’. If anything, I worry that in some instances, the situation has actually got worse. One example of this is the lack of power of many unions in the UK nowadays. Whereas the Union in North and South is a formidable opponent with the power to cause strikes that seriously affected industry but also won support for their cause (living wages that kept in line with inflation), when unions occasionally attempt the same action for exactly the same reason in this day and age, they are frequently mocked and denigrated, especially by the younger generation.

What I’m trying to say is what Gaskell wrote 159 years ago: ‘the union is a great power: it’s our only power’ and this power seems to be diminishing as people forget that, “It’s the only way working men can get their rights, by all joining together. More the members, more chance for each one separate man having justice done him.”

Well I got carried away there…

The icing on the cake is the romance between Mr Thornton and Margaret Hale. It’s approached so beautifully that some sections gave me goose-bumps and the sexual tension at some points made me go a little fluttery.

They start off as two good in people in their own rights, even though they have different outlooks on life, different experiences and somewhat different values and become- it is implied- the sort of couple that will bring out the best in each other.

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

3 responses to “Post 11 – Favourite classic book

  1. beckyday6

    March 5, 2014 at 15:05

    Great post and I think you did the question perfect justice! Gaskell has been recommended to me quite a few times now, I need to pick some of her work. 🙂

    I’m so glad you liked my post on Wuthering Heights that much!

     
    • wildnightin

      March 12, 2014 at 11:38

      That post was brilliant! I’ve borrowed a copy from the local library and am waiting for the weekend when I’ll have a chance to just sit down and devour it. 🙂

       
  2. lynnsbooks

    March 6, 2014 at 00:01

    I haven’t read this book yet but I do have a copy – and considering I used to pass Elizabeth Gaskell House every day on the way to work I should really pick this up.
    Good post – so difficult to make that choice though. I’m still debating it!
    Lynn 😀

     

Speak your mind!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Flavia the Bibliophile

A blog about books, TV, movies, makeup, and travel!

An Armchair By The Sea

Because it doesn't get wilder than a night spent reading and knitting...

LIGHTEN UP.

Words helping us unwind!

Clockwork Bibliophile

“Real life was something happening in her peripheral vision.”

Deidra Alexander's Blog

I have people to kill, lives to ruin, plagues to bring, and worlds to destroy. I am not the Angel of Death. I'm a fiction writer.

Northwest Mamahood

Appreciate & Support Mamahood

Paul Militaru

Photography Portfolio

%d bloggers like this: