North and South

North and South

A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation


A major BBC Radio dramatisation of Elizabeth Gaskell's famous Victorian novel of pride, prejudice, politics and passion

When 19-year-old Margaret Hale is uprooted from her home in the rural South of England and transplanted to the industrial North, she struggles to adapt. Smoky, grimy and ugly, Milton seems like a different country - one run by men with very different beliefs to her own, like charismatic mill owner John Thornton.

A self-made entrepreneur and pragmatic capitalist, Thornton represents everything the idealistic Margaret hates. Witnessing the conditions at his mill, her social conscience is awakened, and she clashes fiercely with him over his ruthless treatment of the workers. But when a strike turns into a violent riot, and Thornton is put in danger, Margaret is forced to face up to her conflicted feelings. Can the duo overcome their ideological differences and find love?

Also included is the fascinating programme In Our Time: North and South, in which Melvyn Bragg and guests examine how Margaret Hale's experiences echo the author's own life, and discuss Gaskell's insights into social conflicts and the changing world in which she lived.

Written by Elizabeth Gaskell
Dramatised by Lin Coghlan

Margaret ­- Patsy Ferran
Mr Hale - Paul Chahidi
Mrs Hale - Ruth Everett
Dixon - Felicity Montagu
John Thornton - James Cartwright
Mrs Thornton - Pooky Quesnel
Higgins - Sean Gilder
Bessy - Olivia Barrowclough
Aunt Shaw - Joanna Monro
Henry Lennox - Jonathan Forbes
Henderson - David Hounslow
Boucher - Lloyd Thomas
Frederick - Colin Ryan
Mr Bell - Roger Ringrose
Mrs Boucher - Evie Killip
Leonards - Luke Nunn

Directed by Sally Avens
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 4-18 September 2022

In Our Time: North and South
Presented by Melvyn Bragg
With Sally Shuttleworth, Dinah Birch and Jenny Uglow
Produced by Simon Tillotson
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 9 March 2017

© 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. (P) 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

About the author

Elizabeth Gaskell

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