North and South (2004 TV Drama)

by missizziemcguinness

‘A mother’s love holds fast and forever’ 

North and South is a television miniseries starring Daniela Denby-Ashe, Sinead Cusack, Richard Armitage and Tim Pigott Smith and it is about a woman called Margaret Hale (Denby-Ashe) who moves up to northern England. Hale is sympathetic towards the town cotton mill workers but she is despised by the family of the cotton mill owners, a rich family called the Thortons, who think of her as inferior to their social customs.

The cast members were good in their roles. I’ve only ever seen Daniela Denby-Ashe in My Family, and to be honest, she was a one dimensional shallow character in that show. Here, she has feelings as a proper character and you can connect with her. There’s so much conflict between the strikes and riots of the mill workers, Thorton’s growing attraction for Margaret that is largely disapproved by his mother and mostly everything else in the story. To be fair, Thornton is a mummy’s boy and I think that Richard Armitage plays his part to the very best of his high ability as an actor to show charm right through the screen. Thornton is not a conventional leading romantic hero, in fact, he is anything but that prototype of the leading man that had previously been stereotyped by Pride and Prejudice’s Mr Darcy. I’ve seen Sinead Cusack and Tim Pigott Smith in the film V For Vendetta but they’re so diverse as actors that they can adjust quickly to different characters. I saw this as a recommendation on Netflix and I decided to watch it because my older sisters have seen it. I also shipped Margaret Hale and John Thornton to be together ever since they met, and I was delighted when they eventually did.

North and South is also based on a book by Elizabeth Gaskell. The book of North and South is high up on my reading list as I am yet to read it.

Overall, a great television series that explores so many themes and issues and ignores every stereotype of Victorian dramas. I particularly liked how they didn’t overload it with too many flashbacks and great performances from all of the cast.