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Part 2: Trudy’s Pet Peeves

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This is the second day when I’m fortunate enough to welcome North & South continuation writer Trudy Brasure, author of A Heart for Milton and In Consequence.

You can check out Trudy’s previous post here.InConsequenceSmall

I hope you all did your homework from yesterday and have thoroughly researched the answers to the quiz questions!

You can also get your hands on Trudy’s latest book In Consequence which is a corker, so check out the giveaway info ūüôā

and now, here are ….

Trudy’s PET PEEVES regarding¬†North and South


(John withers away insipid comments with one penetrating stare…)

Mind you, I’m aware that my passion for my favorite book/film can get rather geeky and intense. But I’ve spent the last four years thinking about and discussing Gaskell’s story and characters.¬†Forgive me.

#1 ¬†The constant comparison of Gaskell to Austen and¬†North and South¬†to¬†Pride and Prejudice. Must every story with a failed proposal set in the horse and buggy days hearken us back to Austen’s patented plot? Couldn’t we look at Gaskell’s merits as a writer based on her own style and subject material? Austen and Gaskell aren’t even from the same era for crying out loud! Bronte and Dickens seem more likely comparisons for the passion and social issues dealt with in¬†North and South. I know this annoying occurrence will never cease in my lifetime but …Grrr!

#2 ¬†The half-knowledge behind the oft-repeated fact that Gaskell was rushed to finish her ending.¬†¬†Yes, Dickens forced her to hurry her story’s conclusion during the serial publication of N&S in his magazine. It’s a tasty tidbit of history that sticks in the mind. Poor Gaskell – that mean ol’ Dickens! However, what many don’t realize or remember is that Gaskell went back to add two whole chapters and embellish other sections of¬†North and South¬†before it was published as a book. She left that end scene alone. Hmm…. ( psst! I loved the ending in the book! for more about Gaskell’s ending see my post at WestofMilton here: ¬†LINK)

#3 ¬†That PBS/Masterpiece missed airing¬†North and South¬†in the US. ¬†Will we ever know the mystery behind this omission? I’ve heard a few theories, but I’ll never get over this disservice to the American public. If PBS is meant to bring fine art to the masses, they certainly missed sharing one of the BBC’s finest period dramas…. and the best kiss scene ever recorded on film.

#4 ¬†Interpretations of John and Margaret based solely on the first half of the book/story. ¬†I¬†have to wonder if some people really saw/read the whole thing. Granted that the first half is all spitfire and clashing, but the second half in which each learns to deeply consider the other’s perspective is beautifully, if more subtly, drawn. I can’t fathom that Gaskell intended her characters to stay the same throughout the arc of the story. So pardon me if I disagree wholeheartedly with those that believe that Margaret and John would be forever clashing on ideology and social morality. Where’s the proof of that in the unfolding events, actions, and words of the second half?


Does this look a girl who still holds grievances about the Master’s character and business practices?

#5 ¬†The lousy introduction to the book in the Penguin edition.¬†This almost ruined my appetite for reading the book the first time around. With a heavy emphasis on sexual symbolism and the power struggle between male and female positions, this analysis of Gaskell’s work sapped most of the deeper meaning out of the story and highlighted the dry, intellectual wrestlings that academics feed upon. I’d like to have it out with Patricia Ingham, Ph. D. on a few of the aspects concerning John and Margaret’s relationship that I feel she interpreted completely wrong.



Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of¬†In Consequence!¬†¬†The winner will be announced next Thursday.

Now’s the perfect chance to chat with me, ask me something, or (gasp!) disagree with my interpretation of the story and characters. ¬†I’d love to hear from you.


Quiz Answers:

1.) Margaret is 18 in the opening scene of the book.

2.) The Lennox family is from Scotland.

3.) Anna Beresford married  General Shaw.                                 ns4-063 damn! missed that one!

4.) Adam Bell.

5.) Bessy

6.) Helstone is not too far from Southampton. It’s mentioned that Mr. Hale walked there once from the vicarage.

7.) George Leonards (from Southampton) had a job as a railway porter at the time of the incident.

8.) Maria and Richard Hale.

9.) False. It’s not possible to draw an accurate calendar of the events as they are indicated in the book. The Thornton dinner is on the 21st of July, yet Gaskell has Margaret going to Marlborough Mills for the water mattress three days later under “an August sun.” Frederick also arrives much too early on the scene after Margaret has written for him. (Where was the Dickens’ editing hand here I wonder. lol.)

10.) Aunt Shaw had a lap dog named Tiny.

11.) Frederick married Delores Barbour.

12.) Hannah reads from the Bible every night to the household. She tries to read from Matthew Henry’s Commentaries as she awaits John’s return from the proposal.

13.) Hannah remembers “a little daughter – dead in infancy.”

14.) False. The Great Exhibition is never mentioned in Gaskell’s work.

15.) True. In the book, Mr. Thornton learns that Margaret has a brother from Mr. Bell.

16.) True. Higgins calls Thornton a bulldog in the book as well.

17.) Thornton saw Helstone on his return from Le Havre.

18.) True. ¬†John attends both Mrs. and Mr. Hale’s funerals without Margaret knowing he has done so.

19.) Mr. Colthurst is a the vaunted guest at the dinner party in London.

20.) d. It has been two years of struggle and heartache since John first declared his love the day after the riot and that private meeting sans Henry in Aunt Shaw’s back drawing room.

How’d you do? Thanks for joining in the fun!

The Book Giveaway is now finished!


What’s in a name, Richard Armitage?

Name is Armitage

Let’s play a quick game today ūüôā

Can you guess how many words can be created using the letters from:


Let’s get the obvious ones¬†out of the way:





Now you go!

Below are the answers and I think you’ll be shocked and perplexed at some of them.




There are 616 words.


a aa aah aahed aarrgh academia ace aced acedia ache ached acid acier acme acre acrid act acta acted acti ad adage adamic adamite adamitic ade adit admire admirer admit ae ag aga agama agar agate age aged ager ah aha ahead ahi ai aid aide aider aim aimed aimer air aired airer airhead airier airraid airtime ait aitch am ama amah america amid amide ar arc arcade arcadia arced arch arched archer ardri are area arear aria arid aright arm armada armchair armed armer armiger arrear art at ate c ca cad cadet cadge cadger cadre cage caged cager cam camarade came camera car carat card carder cardia care cared caret carriage carried carrier cart cartage carte carted carter cartridge cat catarrh cate cater cathead cathedra cedar chair chaired char charade chard chare charge charged charger charm charmed charmer charred chart charted charter chat cheat chem chert chi chide chider chimaera chime chimed chimera chirm chirr chit cider cig cigar cima cite cited cithara crag cram crate crater cream credit cried crier crime criteria da dace dacha dag dah dam damage damager dame dare darer dart darter data datagram date dater de dea dear dearth death decagram decigram demit der derma dermat dermic detach dharma di diagram diametric diarrhea diathermic dice dicier die diem diet dietic dig dight digit digram dim dime dimer dimeric dire direct dirge dirt dirtier dit ditch dither drag dram drama dramatic dream dreamt drear drier e each ead ear earth eat ed edh edict edit eh eight em emir emit er era erg err errata erratic et eta eth ethic gad gait gaited gaiter gam game gamed gametic gamic garret garter gat gate gated gather gear ged gem geriatric germ get ghat ghi gid gie gird girder girt girth git grace graced grad gradate gradatim grade grader graham gram grata grate grated grater gratia great grid grim grimace grimacer grime grimed grit ha had hae hag hair haired hairier ham hamartia hamate hard harder hardier hare harem harm harmed harried harrier hart hat hate hated hater hatred he head hear heard heart heat hegira heir hem her herd hermit hermitic het hi hic hid hide hie hieratic him hire hired hirer hit hm i iatric ice iced ich icier id ide idea idem image ira irate ire irradiate irrigate irrigated it itai itch item ma mac mace maced mach mad made mae mag mage magic maid maigre maire maitai mar mara maraca marc march marched marcher mare marge marged maria marred marriage married mart mat match matched matcher mate mated mater materia math matriarch matricide me mea mead meat med media medic medica meg mer merit met meta metic metric mi mic mica mice mid midge midget mig might mightier migrate migrated mir mirage mire mired mirth mite miter mitre ra race raced racer racier rad radar radiate radii rag raga rage raged ragtime rah rai raid raider raite ram rama ramage ramate rara rare rarer rat rata rate rated rater rath rather re reach react read ream rear rearm rec recta red redact reg regard regia rei rem rematch remit ret retard retch retrad rhea ria rice rich riche richer richter rid ride rider ridge rig right righted righter rigid rim rima rime rimed rite t ta tad tae tag tahar taiga tam tamarac tame tamed tamer tar tarda tare tarmac tarred tea teach team tear tec ted teg tem term terra the their them theriac theriaca therm thermic third thread thrice ti tiara tic tide tie tied tier tiger time timecard timed timer timid tirade tire tired trace traced tracer tracheid trade trader tragic tram tramcar tread triad triadic triage triarch trice tried trier trig trigram trim trimer

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