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Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars A sympathetic and impressive dramatisation of Mrs Gaskell's fine book, 2 May 2014
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This review is from: North & South [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
I bought this on impulse with a vague memory of having watched this on television when it was first shown. I have really enjoyed it although it's a bit of guilty pleasure as my husband is not into historical drama and considers it a "romance" so I've had to watch it while he's out doing other things. The "romance" label is a bit harsh as the book is at least as much concerned with industrial unrest and the working and living conditions of the working poor. The script and acting are excellent. Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe are well cast in their roles as John Thornton and Margaret Hale. (Richard Armitage is magnificently moody as John Thornton.)

The story briefly is about the experiences of Margaret Hale, a girl from Hampshire suddenly uprooted and transplanted to a northern industrial town and her changing perception of the people and life of the north of England. She makes friends among the millworkers. The main focus of the story however is on her developing relationship will a mill owner, John Thornton. It has to be said that their relationship follows much the same arc as the relationship of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy although against a background of industrial grime rather than country houses and stately piles. Beware - the third episode is a bit of slog owing to the sheer number of deaths - a whole box of tissues required by the soft-hearted.

I've enjoyed the series so much it has inspired me to finally get around to reading the book which I have also enjoyed. The scriptwriter has invented one or two episodes for dramatic effect and inevitably some episodes are presented differently on screen however I still find this a remarkably sympathetic dramatization which is true to the spirit (if not every detail) of the book.
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Location: Yorkshire, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 13,379