Miss Austen vs. Mrs. Gaskell


Penguin Classics’ latest podcast features a discussion on Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell and why their works are often adapted for film.

2 thoughts on “Miss Austen vs. Mrs. Gaskell

  1. Maureen E

    I’m glad that people are thinking about the two in relation to each other, but both interviews bothered me slightly. Sue Birtwistle had some interesting things to say, but it seemed to ignore North and South almost completely (it makes sense, since she didn’t work on that adaptation). Tanya…sorry I didn’t catch her last name…was also interesting, but made a few points that I disagreed with. I wrote a senior thesis on the use of landscape and region in P&P and North and South, so her claim that Austen never went north and Gaskell’s south is a happy rural area jarred with my reading of the novels. Derbyshire isn’t Manchester by any means, but I think a more useful statement is that Austen’s North is not and cannot be Gaskell’s. Also, the return to Hampshire in North and South is a problematic one, as Margaret Hale realizes that her view of it as a perfect place is a fantasy and cannot be sustained.

    But, like I said, I’m glad to hear people talking about these two authors because I think they have a great many similarities, and a great many interesting differences.


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