Mrs. Gaskell as she was popularly known, had a hard and lonely childhood, spent with various aunts and relatives after her mother died and her father left her. The young Elizabeth met and married a clergyman and moved to Manchester with him. It was here that she developed her strong sense of social justice and the themes which form the basis of her writing. Her biography of her dear friend Charlotte Bronte is considered a classic and provides a wonderfully human picture of the Yorkshire genius and her equally talented, tragic family.
North and South is set in a fictional town called Milton and located north of England. The heroine Margaret Hale arrives here, having suffered a series of unfortunate events. Her father, a wealthy churchman who lives in the idyllic English countryside suddenly finds himself losing the faith that has sustained him all these years. He leaves the church and moves his family to this preindustrial, ugly and uninspiring city, where poverty, crime and hopelessn