Volume 10 (1996) pp. 14-26.
EDUCATION THROUGH EXPERIENCE IN NORTH AND SOUTH
About Gaskell's fourth novel, Jenny Uglow says, "North and South is part Bildungsroman, part industrial novel." 1 Fused together, these depict the growth of the private main character, Margaret Hale, and the conditions of the public world around her in Victorian urbanized and industrialized Britain, so that Margaret is educated through various experiences of an industrialized society. The title hints that this novel's theme is movement from one physical place to another, places which represent the attitudes and values of those who choose them and those who experience them. In all of Elizabeth Gaskell's fiction, places of movement, like streets, wharves, market places, and railroads, are loci of education. In North and South, moving to and within the industrial city called Milton, Margaret Hale acquires a breadth of understanding and competence that contradicts our own century's stereotype of the sheltered Victorian female. As she travels the public spaces of streets and railroads, she advances in her private educational progress towards understanding both herself and her world, in order to better serve her family and her society.
North and South is neatly organized; its first and last scenes take place in the same back drawing room of the same affluent Mrs. Shaw's house on Harley Street, in neither "North" nor "South" but rather in London. On the first page, Margaret's stereotypically feminine cousin Edith Shaw is asleep in this private space, while Margaret waits for life to begin. In the last scene of the novel John Thornton meets with the heiress who holds his lease. Matured by her journeying through the novel, Margaret offers her tenant a mutually profitable business proposition, and as they form a financial, social and appropriately passionate alliance, they integrate both private and public concerns .
Before learning through experience in this novel, Margaret has had a formal education similar to Gaskell's own. As detailed in biographies, especially Professor J.A.V. Chapple's current studies of Gaskell's formative years, Elizabeth Gaskell was taught at home and at the small private school taught by the Byerley sisters, first at Barford House near Warwick, later at Avonbank at Stratford on Avon. Phyllis Hicks indicates that the broad, conservative education Gaskell was offered there included literature in English (particularly poetry), English grammar, history, music, drawing and dancing, some English composition and arithmetic, some French and Italian. 2 Gaskell's four daughters had similar broad and conservative educations. In North and South, Margaret would have been taught to read and write and to perform household functions at home, and she was sent to London when she was nine years old "to share the home, the play and the lessons of her cousin Edith" Shaw (NS 8). 3 The narrator never mentions boarding school for Margaret and Edith, but does mention a governess and some "masters."
Intelligent women of Gaskell's social class continued their education through formal disciplined study. In letters to Harriet Carr, Gaskell writes of reading, studying, and teaching younger girls to dance the mazurka. In October of 1831 she mentions settling down with "my various books, writing materials & 'helps to learning'." 4 And in 1836, already a wife and mother, Gaskell writes of studying and writing about Coleridge, Wordsworth, Byron, Crabbe, Dryden and Pope. 5 Barbara Brill and Alan Shelston connect works borrowed from the Portico Library by William Gaskell -- the only Gaskell eligible for membership in the Portico -- to MRS. Gaskell's writings and lifelong education. 6
Similarly, North and South shows that a serious young woman continues her education at home. Margaret and Edith's regular morning routine as later teen-aged females in London is to "read, or have lessons, or otherwise improve [their] mind, till the middle of the day" (NS 12-13). Back at home in the Helstone parsonage, Margaret regrets the limitations of her father's library and studies Dante's Italian, as the yet more intellectual and more sheltered Phillis Holman in Cousin Phillis also does. Margaret is working on the Paradiso, making what Gaskell calls "a dull list of words" (NS 23). A bit later, in Milton, her plan for the day includes writing a letter, studying Dante, and walking to the home of a poor family.
The narrative demonstrates Margaret's formal knowledge and skills in the areas of literature, music, drawing, botany, Scripture, needlework, geography, social behavior, enough sociology to do social work, and enough arithmetic to manage household accounts. Margaret asserts that she and her parents are "educated people," and thus at least the social equals of the wealthy Thorntons (NS 148). She knows the Bible; after her mother's death, she recites Chapter 14 of the Gospel of John. She understands a Latin quotation, and reads in French from the spiritual classic, the Introduction to the Devout Life of François de Sales. She has had piano lessons and drawing lessons; she is preparing to go out sketching when Henry Lennox comes to visit her home at Helstone. She knows some botany and flourishes specific names when she defends the dark tint of a quaint thatched roof in her sketch by explaining that "the house-leek and stonecrop have grown so much darker in the rain" (NS 26).
Of course Margaret has been taught needlework; at Helstone she helps her mother with a wool tapestry; in Milton, she is "embroidering a small piece of cambric for some little article of dress for Edith's expected baby" (NS 96). Margaret's other useful skills include map-reading and travel-planning; consulting her father's "great atlas," she finds a "pleasant little bathing- place" (NS 51) of a town where her mother can lodge outside the great industrial city. She knows how to starch and iron clothes, and can be "Peggy the laundry-maid" for a morning (NS 76). She has good interior decorating and entertaining skills; when John Thornton admires the Hales' drawing room in Milton, it "appeared" to him that "all these graceful cares were . . . especially of a piece with Margaret" (NS 79). She has acquired useful social manners; greeting Thornton in the absence of her father, Gaskell says, "She felt no awkwardness; she had too much the habits of society for that" (NS 61). She demonstrates nursing skills when she visits the people of the New Forest and Bessy Higgins. In short, Margaret carries out with unusual elegance the quite usual activities of an educated young Victorian woman.
Most importantly, Margaret makes decisions, takes responsibility, and adds to the comfort of her parents. Yet she lacks much factual knowledge and also what she calls "wisdom." Admitting that she has not taken much interest in formal schooling for poor people, in either South or North, she attempts to explain what real education would mean: "But the knowledge and the ignorance . . .," she says, "did not relate to reading and writing." What Margaret seeks for her society, and though she does not know it, for herself, is what she calls "the wisdom that shall guide men and women" (NS 119).
Gaskell emphasizes that her heroine needs further education towards that wisdom at several points when Margaret simply doesn't comprehend the situation. First, she describes the Northern city of Milton as the Hales first see it chiefly from Margaret's naive point of view:
For several miles before they reached Milton, they saw a deep lead-coloured cloud hanging over the horizon in the direction in which it lay. . . . Nearer to the town, the air had a faint taste and smell of smoke, perhaps, after all, more a loss of the fragrance of grass and herbage than any positive taste or smell. . . . Here and there a great oblong many-windowed factory stood up, like a hen among her chickens, puffing out black "unparliamentary" smoke, and sufficiently accounting for the cloud which Margaret had taken to foretell rain. (NS 59)
Here Margaret "had taken" the wrong interpretation of the "lead- coloured" cloud over the city, because her previous experience has led her to expect that a cloud signifies rain, and to expect "the fragrance of grass and herbage" rather than the surprising "faint taste and smell of smoke." The simile of the hen with chickens to describe a factory also comes from experience with agricultural and domestic, rather than urban and commercial arrangements. Yet the adjective "unparliamentary" is outside Margaret's viewpoint. She doesn't yet know anything about parliamentary legislation which required millowners to construct furnaces to burn smoke before it would be discharged into the city's air. Gaskell slips in her authorial reference on an ongoing urban situation that is totally new to Margaret.
But soon after, Margaret's original ignorance is balanced by a dialogue between Richard Hale and the millowner John Thornton which teaches Margaret lessons about atmospheric science, industrial ecology and political science. Thornton refers to legislation to restrain industrial air pollution. "You had altered your chimneys so as to consume the smoke, did you not" asks Hale, and Thornton retorts, "Mine were altered by my own will, before parliament meddled with the affair. It was an immediate outlay, but it repays me in the saving of coal." He explains Gaskell's earlier use of the adjective as he continues, "I doubt if there has been a chimney in Milton informed against for five years past, although some are constantly sending out one-third of their coal in what is called here unparliamentary smoke" (NS 82).
A second instance of Margaret's lack of understanding comes when she first speaks to the working class Nicholas and Bessy Higgins and proposes to visit their home. Although home visitation of the lower classes by the middleclass woman was part of Gaskell's personal ethical code, and part of her characters' family tradition, this scene gives the reader mixed signals. Newly arrived in this industrial Northern city, Margaret is "attracted and interested" in these working class people and asks their address and name. She is surprised that Nicholas Higgins asks why she wants to know them:
At Helstone it would have been an understood thing . . . that she intended to come and call upon any poor neighbour whose name and habitation she had asked for. 'I thought -- I meant to come and see you.' She suddenly felt rather shy of offering the visit, without having any reason to give for her wish to make it, beyond a kindly interest in a stranger. It seemed all at once to take the shape of an impertinence on her part; she read this meaning too in the man's eyes. (NS 73)
An upper middle class young woman would not have asked for the "name and habitation" of an older man of her own class, nor would she presume to visit with a "kindly interest in a stranger" if he were of her own class. Gaskell holds this scene in a delicate balance, interpreting Margaret's motives as generous, gracious, disinterested, but also revealing the working class view. That a member of the working class might see the middle class woman's determination to come (at a time of her own determining) into his house as having "the shape of an impertinence" may surprise Gaskell's readers as well as Margaret Hale, with the "meaning too in the man's eyes." Higgins then says clearly, "I'm none so fond of having strange folk in my house . . . yo' may come if yo' like."
Yet the scene continues with the middle class reaction; Margaret is "half amused, half-nettled," and "not sure she would go where permission was given so like a favour conferred" (NS 74).
From this dialogue and other encounters with this family, Margaret learns enough psychology and sociology to appreciate the Higginses, though never to lose sight of the class differentiation that she, the author, and their Victorian culture assume. Gaskell balances Margaret's original misunderstanding by a developing mutual appreciation, made explicit when Margaret and her father visit Higgins's home shortly after Bessy's and Mrs. Hale's deaths. Although the exhausted and unemployed Nicholas remained seated, "Margaret could read the welcome in his eye" (NS 290).
Margaret's original ignorance of Northern customs offends John Thornton at the end of his first long conversation with the whole family: "He made an advance to [shake hands with] Margaret . . . It was the frank familiar custom of the place, but Margaret was not prepared for it. She simply bowed her farewell" (NS 86). Margaret also did not know the customs of workingclass hospitality. In the Higginses' home, "although the day was hot, there burnt a large fire in the grate, making the whole place feel like an oven; Margaret did not understand that the lavishness of coals was a sign of hospitable welcome to her" (NS 99). Unfamiliar with these customs, Margaret is still more ignorant of her own future. Gaskell uses nicely ironic foreshadowing when at Helstone Margaret declares "I don't like shoppy people" (NS 19) and that does not expect to associate with "cotton-spinners" (NS 46). When Mrs Thornton asks, "Have you seen any of our factories? Our magnificent warehouses?" Margaret feels "utter indifference" to "manufactories" (NS 86), unaware that she will be investing in a "manufactory" -- and embracing a manufacturer -- on the last page.
Several times Margaret explicitly states her need to learn in her new environment. "You know, I'm a stranger here, so perhaps I'm not so quick at understanding what you mean," she says to Bessy Higgins about industrial life (NS 89). "I know so little about strikes, and rate of wages, and capital, and labour, that I had better not talk to a political economist like you," she says to John Thornton (NS 118). Further,"I am very ignorant," Margaret says to Nicholas Higgins, about the masters' reducing wages (NS 134), and "I don't know enough about it," she says to Bessy, about a strike (NS 137). Naturally, when thinking of Margaret, Mrs. Thornton believes her to be "sadly prejudiced and very ignorant" (NS 210).
But Margaret mitigates her ignorance by first enduring, then actively seeking new experiences. She acquires a new kind of liberal education, with special emphasis on economics and the social sciences. First, already interested in language -- in the New Forest she "learned and delighted in using" the "peculiar words" (NS 17) of the local people -- she now learns new vocabulary, like clem and knobstick, new grammar like Higgins's use of "hoo" for "she" and new idioms heard on the street, the "sayings . . . which amused her even while they irritated her" (NS 72). By the time Margaret and her father attend the Thorntons' dinner party, "She knew enough now to understand . . . even some of the technical words employed by the eager millowners" (NS 163). Besides diction, Margaret learns new semantics; her father tells her, "Don't call the Milton manufacturers tradesmen" (NS 65) and she hears for the first time what experience will further teach her, that the noun "manufacturer" designates a social class she has not previously known.
She learns new ideas of architecture when she visits the Thornton house, set within the precincts of his mill. She has new concepts of interior design to study, although not to practice; Gaskell writes disapprovingly of "the taste that loves ornament, however bad" (NS 61). She must learn applied economics as she finds out the cost of rents in Milton Northern, and the difficulty of hiring a domestic servant from a working population that prefers the higher wages in the mills. She learns industrial public health when Bessy tells her how she became ill because of breathing fibers in the mill: "The fluff got into my lungs, and poisoned me" (NS 102). She notes social geography as the railway first brings her to the North, and she sees Northern "country-folk" and town shopmen as "more 'purposelike'" than their Southern counterparts (NS 58). Lessons about atmospheric science and ecology are in the fogs of November and the year-round smoke in the air of the industrial city. Daily experience there offers lessons in sociology, psychology, human resource management, political economy and industrial relations.
North and South proceeds to educate by three types of experience: 1) event: 2) dialogue 3) movement. First, Margaret learns during and from the dramatic events of the novel's complex plot, including several that force her to be aware of herself as an object of masculine desire (Lennox's proposal, reactions to her shielding John Thornton, Thornton's proposal, Thornton's mistaking her brother for a lover). Scenes of emotion and even violence (a rock strikes Margaret, Boucher strikes Higgins) are interspersed with narrative of a character, usually Margaret or John Thornton, reflecting on an event -- one might say "studying" it. Especially noticeable events are the six deaths that Margaret is closely connected with. Three of these are by natural causes (her parents and Mr. Bell); Margaret believes the death of Leonards is also due to "natural causes," although some readers classify it as a manslaughter. One death is the result of industrial poisoning (Bessy Higgins), and one by suicide (Boucher). Each death adds to Margaret's experiential learning; asked to view the body of Bessy Higgins, she hesitates, saying "I never saw a dead person, No! I would rather not." (NS 216). But she does go. After Leonards's fall and Frederick's escape, although terribly shaken, she accepts responsibility and looks for the fallen man, "somewhat fearfully," in case he needs help (NS 265). When Boucher commits suicide, the men -- both the workingmen and Margaret's father the ex-minister -- declare themselves unable to tell the widow; Margaret goes to the worker's home and, significantly, goes in uninvited and actually locks the door behind her, taking control over the house and situation by right of her personal competence and superior social class. Her father's sudden death leaves her prostrated and dependent on her aunt's care, but when Mr. Bell is dying, she asserts herself and, in effect, passes an important test.
The second method of education is dialogue. As Jo Pryke has demonstrated, Margaret learns much about industrial relations and political economy by listening to, and usually participating in dialogues, or by what Pryke terms the "conversation method." Pryke describes Margaret's growth in one significant dialogue with John Thornton and two with Nicholas Higgins; others in key dialogues are Richard Hale, Frederick Hale, Bessy Higgins, Mrs. Thornton and Mr. Bell. This is a school for more than one pupil: Thornton learns, especially from Higgins. Higgins learns, especially from Richard and Margaret Hale. Mrs. Thornton and Mr. Bell do not choose to learn much, and Mrs. Hale not at all. As Pryke says, in these scenes distinct points of view are explicated, not battled but balanced with differing views. 7 Participants grow in understanding later demonstrated in action, as in the forming of a mutually appreciative relationship between Thornton and Higgins. Speaking in London to a member of Parliament, Thornton says that "starting from a kind of friendship with one, I was becoming acquainted with many . . . we were both unconsciously and consciously teaching each other" (NS 431).
Education through dialogue predates Socrates, but it is significant that Gaskell was familiar with works published to teach female readers through dialogues. On her eleventh birthday her father gave her the two volumes of The Female Mentor, which instructs by moral stories and the conversations of "Amanda." 8 Mrs. William Parkes uses conversations between Mrs. L and Mrs. B to teach topics including "Household Concerns" and "Moral and Religious Duties" in Domestic Duties; 9 Mrs. Parkes was Frances Byerley, one of the sisters whose school Gaskell attended from 1821 to 1826. Pamela Corpron Parker has discussed two other sources for the extended dialogues about political economy in North and South: the didactic narratives of Jane Marcet and Harriet Martineau. 10 Marcet's Conversations on Political Economy uses dialogues between Mrs. B and Caroline to instruct young female readers. 11 Martineau's series, Illustrations of Political Economy, aims its pedagogical narratives including many expository conversations at a general audience. 12
The third type of educational experience in North and South is movement as both agent and symbol of growth, not only in major plot events like the Hales's relocation from a Southern to a Northern address, but also in small psychologically telling scenes, like John Thornton's impulsive trip outside the city on an omnibus as he reacts to Margaret's rejection. Two physical environments, city streets and railways, locate educational experience represented by physical motion.
Walks on city streets engage Margaret in the industrial city's life. Although it is at first "a trial" for her to share streets with throngs of millworkers, she meets Nicholas and Bessy Higgins while out on a walk; she enters their working class neighborhood, not once but many times. Friedrich Engels said that the middle and upper classes of Manchester might never enter the streets inhabited by the working classes. 13 But Margaret Hale does. She is conscious that she has successfully expanded her experience when she walks up an off-street courtyard of laborers' dwellings to say goodbye to the Higgins family, risking, "at every breath of wind [to] have her face slapped by wet clothes, hanging out to dry on ropes stretched from house to house" (NS 367). Small houses of three or four rooms packed into "courts," and drying laundry in the common area of the crowded court are marks of housing for the urban poor, and upper class Margaret has a wider view of life in having learned about them.
Later in London, Margaret also chooses to enter the streets of the poor. Making her single life useful with philanthropy, she goes into what her cousin calls "all those wretched places she pokes herself into" (NS 427). At this point too Margaret is deliberately expanding her experience beyond middle class expectations.
Like these streets, the railway in North and South is also an agent and symbol of personal development. For the early Victorian public, the rapidly expanding steam railway system signified the triumph of their material culture over the lesser achievements of the past, the promise of progress, the rightness of capitalism. Yet Victorian Britain generally accepted the railroad's sudden arrival as just one among many rapid changes. Rail transport and long-distance public transportation were not new; for centuries horsedrawn coaches had transported people, and horsedrawn wagons had carried freight on rails. Other Gaskell novels do mention the steam powered railroad as new, even controversial. In Mary Barton, she describes Mary's travel by railway from Manchester to Liverpool as a great adventure, because "Common as railroads are now in all places as a means of transit, and especially in Manchester, Mary had never been on one before" (MB 332). In Cranford Gaskell depicts some of the rural hostility toward the coming of railways seen in George Eliot's Middlemarch. But more characteristic of her own attitude toward railroads is the millworker in Mary Barton who says, "I'll never misdoubt that power-looms, and railways, and all such-like inventions, are the gifts of God" (MB 454). Usually Gaskell takes the "gift" of the railways for granted. Cranford shows Gaskell's nonchalance about railways in that her fictional Cranford has a rail line, even though its real- life counterpart, Knutsford in Cheshire, was not served by a railway until about ten years after the novel was published. As Jack Simmons says, the railroad rapidly became "part of the furniture" in British society. 14
As part of the narrative furniture of North and South, Margaret Hale moves by railways from London to Helstone to Milton, and then later to London; the plot calls for her to board a train at least fourteen times. Margaret's brother Frederick comes to visit his dying mother by rail; as he is about to leave England, a suburban railway station is the occasion of his dramatic struggle with his enemy. As the other man falls or is pushed off the platform, Frederick escapes into the train that whizzes in at the nick of time. Also contributing to plot movement are other railway journeys taken by Margaret's father and brother, by Mr. Thornton, by Mr. Bell and by the Shaws.
Educational methodologies incorporate repetition and review of patterns in building up associations. As the railways opened up opportunities and connected regions, they did not challenge established social patterns.
When Gaskell's upper middle class characters travel by rail, they do not mingle with industrial workers as Margaret Hale does on streets. Nineteenth century society's assumptions about socioeconomic class distinctions were embodied in the railways' separate classes, with differing ticket costs. People of several social classes must have sometimes crowded together in stations and on platforms, but as Michael Robbins says, "On the trains, and at stations, class distinctions were established and respected." 15 When Mary Barton takes her
train to Liverpool, Gaskell describes a mix of social classes, united in that "each [had] some cause for anxiety stirring at his heart" (MB 332), but probably traveling in separate carriages. In North and South, when the upper class Mr. Bell hurries onto a train, struggling to conceal his grief over the death of Margaret's father, he finds the carriage empty except for one other gentleman. This person cannot be a worker or tradesman; by plot-complicating coincidence, he is Mr. Bell's friend and tenant, the wealthy John Thornton. British railways also reviewed gender role expectations. Women were offered special accommodations, and in North and South, when Margaret Hale feels "terribly sick and faint" at the suburban station after her brother's struggle with his enemy, she can "turn into the ladies' waiting-room and sit down for an instant" (NS 264). As Margaret, still upset, takes the down train for a relatively short journey home, the railway experience repeats established patterns of social class and gender differentiation. When the "train drew up," Margaret is "civilly helped into a carriage by a porter" (NS 265).
Gaskell emphasizes railway travel as both agent and symbol of Margaret's growth in at least two of the changes made to the original version of North and South when she improved the narrative's structure. North and South first appeared as a serial in Charles Dickens's publication Household Words, from September 1854 through January 1855. Feeling that the pressure of deadlines and restrictions of space made the novel's ending "huddled and hurried up" (Letter 225), Gaskell took the opportunity to revise for the first two-volume edition, published later in 1855.
First, she emphasizes growth in travel in that she wrote two completely new chapters. 16 These narrate an overnight journey that Margaret takes with her godfather, Mr. Bell. They travel by train from London back to her former home in the tranquil southern village, and Margaret discovers that her lovely Helstone has changed in the few years since she lived there: "There was change everywhere; slight, yet pervading all" (NS 394). In fact, Gaskell here represents by the pervasive sense of loss and change in the physical setting the losses and changes in Margaret's personal life. Further, this experience brings Margaret to reflect from her "own painful sense of change," that "The progress of all around me is right and necessary." (NS 400) That Margaret grasps this lesson in a single chapter signifies that she has already mastered many previous lessons in wisdom.
In a second, more subtle alteration, Gaskell rewrote the narrative of Mr. Bell's death. In both the serial issue and in the revised two-volume version, Mr. Bell is expected to visit the Lennoxes and Margaret in London but "did not make his appearance," and then a letter arrives from his servant telling that he is dying. Edith is terribly upset and cries. In the original version, Edith says that she will ask her husband to travel to Oxford to see how Mr. Bell really is. Margaret "wished for a long time in silence that she might accompany him," and finally she "surprised herself by asserting something of her right to independence of action." Thus she is rather suddenly in the railway carriage with Captain Lennox. 17
But in the revised version, Margaret waits no "long time" -- or any time at all -- to resolve to go. As we read North and South today, Margaret immediately is packing for the day trip, although her conventional cousin and aunt feel that she should not go alone. She is delayed by "various discussions on propriety and impropriety" (NS 410) until she misses her train. But for Gaskell, this is no problem; Margaret simply travels -- now with Captain Lennox accompanying her -- on the next one. In revising this section, Gaskell retains the words "asserted something of her right to independence of action." In both versions she narrates, "It was always a comfort to her that she had gone," and that Margaret accepted the death of her godfather (who was dead by the time she reached Oxford) with some gratitude that he had been spared a long illness (NS 411). The subtle but significant shift in this episode focuses on Margaret's competence, as it becomes Margaret's own immediate and correct decision to travel to experience the death event and to be of service if possible. Thus, as Gaskell clarifies in her revision, the little day journey is both a sign and an occasion of education.
The result of all this education may be seen in Margaret's growing sense of her mission in life. At that first scene in the back drawing room in London, she looks forward merely to "the delight of filling the important post of only daughter in Helstone parsonage" (NS 6). By the end of the novel, having lost the parsonage and the parents, but having gained experience through dramatic event and reflection, dialogue, and movement, Margaret has learned to take "her life into her own hands," and finds "duties" for herself (especially in visiting the poor) (NS 416-17). This developed sense of personal mission could simply reflect Gaskell's Unitarian ethics, but Gaskell may also have had in mind her analysis of Florence Nightingale as a role model for service to others. Part of North and South was written at Lea Hurst, the home of the Nightingale family, in the fall of 1854, only a few weeks before Florence Nightingale took charge of nursing in the military hospitals in Turkey. Driven from an early age by a sense of mission, Nightingale had already made a name for herself in caring for cholera patients, although her greatest fame as "The Lady with the Lamp" would come a few months later. Writing from Lea Hurst, Gaskell identifies Nightingale's chief limitation as "this want of love for individuals" (Letter 320). In Margaret Hale, as in Elizabeth Gaskell, the determination to help others is balanced by keen interest in individuals.
North and South balances no simple set of opposites (North-South, capital-labor, male-female) but rather a more complex range of possibilities of geography, culture, socioeconomics, politics, psychologies, values and attitudes. Bildungsroman is fused with industrial novel, but many other competing forces remain in conflict: the mother and the aunt cannot welcome Margaret and John's union, and manufacturers and workers will not give up their separate interests. In the final dramatic plot event, as Margaret Hale and John Thornton move into each other's arms, their dialogue assures us that they will not forget the education they have gained by experience. Yet Gaskell also tells us that to grow in understanding for service, a woman must not always stay at home.
- Jenny Uglow, Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories, London: Faber & Faber, 1993, 369.
- Phyllis D Hicks, A Quest of Ladies: The Story of a Warwickshire School, Birmingham: Frank Juckes, 1949.
- For references to North and South and Mrs Gaskell's other works, see 'Bibliographical Note', iv.
- J A V Chapple, 'Before "Crutches and Changed Feelings": Five Early Letters by Elizabeth Gaskell (née Stevenson)', Gaskell Society Journal 4 (1990), 1-27. The quotation is from Letter 3 on 13.
- The Letters of Mrs Gaskell, ed J A V Chapple and Arthur Pollard, Harvard University Press, 1967, No.4, 5-8.
- Barbara Brill and Alan Shelston, 'Manchester: "A Behindhand Place for Books": the Gaskells and the Portico Library', Gaskell Society Journal 5 (1991), 27-37.
- Jo Pryke, 'The Treatment of Political Economy in North and South', Gaskell Society Journal 4 (1990), 28-39.
- Mrs Phillips, The Female Mentor or Select Conversations, London,
1798, 2 vols. I am grateful to Mr C C Waghorn for allowing me to inspect these volumes, which he describes in his article 'Another Birthday Present for Elizabeth' in the Gaskell Society Newsletter, August 1993, 13-15.
- Mrs William Parkes, Domestic Duties, or Instructions to Young Married Ladies on the Regulation of Their Conduct in the Various Relations and Duties of Married Life, London, 1825.
- Pamela Corpron Parker, 'Political Economy and the Woman Writer: Nineteenth-Century Economic Discourse in the Works of Jane Marcet, Harriet Martineau and Elizabeth Gaskell', unpublished essay, 1995.
- Jane Marcet, Conversations on Political Economy, in Which the Elements of that Science are Familiarly Explained, London, 1816.
- Harriet Martineau, Illustrations of Political Economy, 25 issues London, 1832-33; reprinted 9 vols, London, 1833.
- Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1845. Trans. W O Henderson and W H Chaloner, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1958, 54.
- Jack Simmons, The Railway in Town and Country: 1830-1914, North Pomfret, VT: David and Charles, 1986, 16.
- Michael Robbins, The Railway Age in Britain and Its Impact on the World, Baltimore: Penguin, 1962, 48.
- These are now Chapters 20 and 21 in Volume 2 in the World's Classics edition, chapters 45 and 46 in the Penguin edition.
- Chapter 44 in Household Words, 10.252 (20 January 1855): 550-51.
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