When reading a classic from English literature, particularly a story of passionate romance, it's often impossible not to imagine the characters beyond the bedroom doors. This "Wanton Edition" of Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South does just that. The author offers up the sexual adventures of several characters in the story, but the steamiest and most compelling are those between strong-willed southerner Margaret Hale and fierce northern industrialist John Thornton. Gaskell's story is a classic for a reason, with a memorable cast of characters and a complex plot, but Brenna Chase's additions make the characters, the passion, and the romance truly come alive.
When Margaret Hale is forced to move with her family from her beloved home in southern England to the less genteel northern mill town of Milton, she clashes with handsome mill owner John Thornton. Though she loathes his attitudes and practices as an employer, she cannot deny the sizzling attraction she feels for the man himself.
Margaret Hale’s life changes dramatically when her father quits his living as a parson in the idyllic New Forest in the South of England and moves the family to the northern industrial town of Milton, intending to become a private tutor. There, she is appalled at the poverty surrounding her and at first finds the local mill workers too rough, but soon she can’t help sympathizing with their plight.
John Thornton is a magistrate and owner of a prosperous cotton mill. Forced to become the head of the household at a young age and driven to keep his family from becoming impoverished again, he’s had no time for love. He certainly has no time for a lady who looks down on both him and the industry in which he earns his livelihood. Their beliefs lead them to inevitably clash, but their arguments over his treatment of his workers mask a deep attraction neither wants, and eventually, one that neither can deny.
Although it is labeled as a social novel, North and South simmers with sexual tension. Through the backdrop of a labor strike and a riot, through a possible murder and its fallout, through the deaths of loved ones, and the rise and fall of fortunes, the romance between John Thornton and Margaret Hale still entrances readers as it did when first published in 1855. In this updated version, read the steamy scenes that Ms. Gaskell, a minister’s wife, could not include in the original work, from John and Margaret’s first desperate, yet tender, lovemaking to their sizzling reunion in London.
Sensuality Level: Sensual