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Title: Mrs Gaskell's 'North and South', considered as a social novel and in relation to her development as a novelist
Author: Rayner, Dora Florence
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1968
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The purpose of this study is to make a critical assessment of North and south, with particular attention to its contemporary context. Chapter 1 considers its literary context, the statue of the social novel in 1854. Its social context is discussed in Chapters 2 and 3- Chapter 2 summarises some aspects of the contemporary significance of Manchester, and the theories of the industrialists which are expressed in the novel. Chapter 3 suggests that Mrs Gaskell's reaction against them was backed by an awareness of the reactions of contemporary social critics, and traces some of the ways in which the novel reflects attitudes to industrial society similar to those expressed in Carlyle's works. The relation of the novel to Mary Barton and the extent to which it shows a change in her attitude to society are examined in Chapter 4. For this purpose, the circumstances of the composition of both books, the influence of criticisms of Mary Barton, which were answered in the later novel, and the possible influence of changes in social conditions are taken into account. Chapter 5 deals with some aspects of her other work relevant to a study of North and South. Her treatment of industrial life and social change is considered, and Ruth is examined for the evidence it provides of her artistic development at an intermediate stage between Mary Barton and North and South. The final chapter is a consideration of the artistry of the novel, suggesting both the ways in which the social message is communicated, and its success as a study of Margaret's development. Some of the main dates connected with its composition and publication are listed in the Appendix.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: English Literature