North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. Forced to move from the rural tranquillity of southern England to the turbulent northern mill town of Milton, Margaret Hale takes an instant dislike to the dirt and noise that seems to characterize her new home and its inhabitants - even the handsome and charismatic cotton mill owner, John Thornton. But as she begins to settle in, and to understand the nature of the surrounding poverty and injustice, events conspire to throw her and Thornton together. Amidst the chaos of industrial unrest, they must learn to overcome the prejudices of class and circumstance and admit their feelings for one another. One of literature's greatest romances, North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell is both an incisive social commentary and an electric portrayal of all-conquering love.