A peek at what I’m reading right now

A couple weeks ago I scrolled through my Kindle to find Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, which I had already read some time ago after volunteering along with a woman who happened to be an English teacher and who had written a dissertation about masculinity in Victorian literature — including the oh-so-manly John Thornton of North and South. (Look out, Mr. Darcy.) The book is tedious at times. It was published in serial form in the 1850s and I suppose Mrs. Gaskell was paid by the page because she enthusiastically wrings out of her characters so much uninterrupted dialogue on such dry topics (primarily, labor relations during the industrial revolution) that in real life, the characters would have put each other to sleep during the lengthy conversations. But there are so many good moments that would cause even Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy to have romantic palpatations.

Plus, the book was made into a well-cast, excellent BBC mini-series in 2004, which I have also watched more than once. When the book gets tiresome, I can flip on the Netflix or the Amazon Prime and get a dose of the to-the-point dialogue and action of the movie.

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