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LizzieAnn
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Re: N&S Discussion: Wrap-Up

They use the term "creative license" but since adaptations of novels often change the character of the people, the tone of the story, and sometimes the story itself that I wonder why they even bother with it. I'm almost always disappointed in any book that has been translated in the screen (small or large). I understand condensing some parts of even leaving out smaller subplots due to time restraints (I would imagine that to accurately film most books would make a film 12 hours long!), but I can't understand when they change some of the most basic premises. I cringed through the latest version of Pride & Prejudice.

For me the beating scene in the BBC's North & South made John an unlikeable character - it totally changed the way he was portrayed in the book. With such a John, sympathy would lie with the rioting workers as opposed to worrying about his safety when he faced them. I also couldn't image Margaret trying to protect such a man either.



Choisya wrote:
There were a lot of complaints to the BBC about that beating scene. Goodness knows why they included it except that the producer might have concluded that as it was known that factory owners did beat their workers, it was worth adding it to the story. It also fed the modern public's taste for violence:smileysad::smileysad:


Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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LizzieAnn
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Re: More on JT in the BBC Adaptation of N&S (possible spoiler)

I don't think he was perfect. A perfect character is usually unbelieveable and flat, and for me, not a particularly likeable character. I liked John because of his good points but accepted his lesser qualities as well. For me he was a real person - capable of good & bad things, but always striving, whether to expand his education, to save his mill, to protect Margaret, and for building what he had in the first place. He's a "doer."



Choisya wrote:
...he's almost perfect from the very start of N&S.

Isn't that a rather romantic perception of Mr Thornton? I think Gaskell includes some quite harsh comments about his character. His attitudes towards his workmen (before Margaret 'reformed' him) weren't very good, for instance.
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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Through Chapter LII (Vol. II, Ch. XXVII): Near-Perfection

Well, N&S is a romance, even though it's an unconventional one! Here's another quote from http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/gaskell/sacerdoti1.html:
In Mary Barton and North and South, Gaskell uses the form of the typical Victorian romance novel to bring to the fore certain important social issues, such as industry, the role of women, and the differences between our internal and external behaviours in different settings. It is in how she strays from the traditional superficiality of the style, that much of the interest in her novels lies. She sets these novels in a socially acceptable way to the audience of her day, but deliberately turns the work round so that it is by no means a simple romance.

Choisya wrote:
Isn't that a rather romantic perception of Mr Thornton?

pmath wrote:
... [John Thornton]'s almost perfect from the very start of N&S.
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Favorites

N&S now shares the #1 spot with Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in my list of favorite British novels: I'm very glad I reread it.

Sinéad Cusack's performance in the BBC adaptation was a revelation: Mrs. Thornton is my favorite character now!


Choisya wrote:
Margaret is my favourite character because her Bildungsroman was so great and encompassed so much.
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Choisya
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Re: Through Chapter LII (Vol. II, Ch. XXVII): Near-Perfection

But if we only look at it as a 'simple romance', like seeing only the good points of Thornton, we will miss 'the important social issues' which Gaskell worked hard to bring to our attention. The plight of the Higgins family, for instance, which was in no small part due to Thornton's treatment of his workers and was how mill owners in general treated their workers. The romance genre was the one that would reach most hearts and minds at that time, so Gaskell had to use it.




pmath wrote:
Well, N&S is a romance, even though it's an unconventional one! Here's another quote from http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/gaskell/sacerdoti1.html:
In Mary Barton and North and South, Gaskell uses the form of the typical Victorian romance novel to bring to the fore certain important social issues, such as industry, the role of women, and the differences between our internal and external behaviours in different settings. It is in how she strays from the traditional superficiality of the style, that much of the interest in her novels lies. She sets these novels in a socially acceptable way to the audience of her day, but deliberately turns the work round so that it is by no means a simple romance.

Choisya wrote:
Isn't that a rather romantic perception of Mr Thornton?

pmath wrote:
... [John Thornton]'s almost perfect from the very start of N&S.



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Through Chapter LII (Vol. II, Ch. XXVII): Romance

Yes, it is both a romance and an industrial novel!


Choisya wrote:
The romance genre was the one that would reach most hearts and minds at that time, so Gaskell had to use it.

pmath wrote:
Well, N&S is a romance, even though it's an unconventional one!

Choisya wrote:
Isn't that a rather romantic perception of Mr Thornton?

pmath wrote:
... [John Thornton]'s almost perfect from the very start of N&S.
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Favorite Passage, from Chapter XXXVIII (Vol. II, Ch. XIII)

I love Mrs. Thorton's reaction to Margaret's behavior here:

'You can say nothing more, Mrs. Thornton. I decline every attempt to justify myself for anything. You must allow me to leave the room.'

And she swept out of it with the noiseless grace of an offended princess. Mrs. Thornton had quite enough of natural humour to make her feel the ludicrousness of the position in which she was left. There was nothing for it but to show herself out.
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Choisya
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Re: Through Chapter LII (Vol. II, Ch. XXVII): Romance

Yes, and I am an old sceptic and I prefer to skip the romance:smileyhappy:




pmath wrote:
Yes, it is both a romance and an industrial novel!


Choisya wrote:
The romance genre was the one that would reach most hearts and minds at that time, so Gaskell had to use it.

pmath wrote:
Well, N&S is a romance, even though it's an unconventional one!

Choisya wrote:
Isn't that a rather romantic perception of Mr Thornton?

pmath wrote:
... [John Thornton]'s almost perfect from the very start of N&S.



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For Liz: Gaffes in Adaptations

[ Edited ]
Yes, Liz, adaptations are rarely perfect, but I appreciated the N&S adaptation far more the second time I watched it, when I simply ignored the mill scene. I love the 2005 film adaptation of P&P, BTW, especially the scene in the sculpture gallery, but more on that during our discussion next month!


LizzieAnn wrote (here): ... the famous portrait gallery was changed into a room of sculptures (!) ...

LizzieAnn wrote:
I'm almost always disappointed in any book that has been translated in the screen (small or large). ... I cringed through the latest version of Pride & Prejudice.

Message Edited by pmath on 01-30-200706:55 PM

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1975 and 2004 BBC Adapations of N&S

I watched the deleted scenes, and the interview with RA: I was impressed by how much research he did. I also read the production notes and cast biographies: I see his father is a Yorkshireman!

I also found out that there was an earlier (1975) BBC adaptation of N&S, in which Tim Pigott-Smith played Frederick (instead of Mr. Hale), and Patrick Stewart played JT: did you see it, Choisya?


Choisya wrote:
I liked Armitage better because he wasn't as good looking as Firth - I like the rugged type:smileyvery-happy:

pmath wrote:
I wonder why, considering our earlier discussion [linked here] ... . However, CF's portrayal of Mr. Darcy in BBC's 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice probably wasn't exactly what Jane Austen had in mind, either!

Choisya wrote:
(They were saying over here that Richard Armitage was the new Colin Firth:smileyhappy:)
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Choisya
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Re: 1975 and 2004 BBC Adapations of N&S

I expect I saw it because I watch most classic serialisations but I don;t remember it. I like Tim Pigott-Smith.




pmath wrote:
I watched the deleted scenes, and the interview with RA: I was impressed by how much research he did. I also read the production notes and cast biographies: I see his father is a Yorkshireman!

I also found out that there was an earlier (1975) BBC adaptation of N&S, in which Tim Pigott-Smith played Frederick (instead of Mr. Hale), and Patrick Stewart played JT: did you see it, Choisya?


Choisya wrote:
I liked Armitage better because he wasn't as good looking as Firth - I like the rugged type:smileyvery-happy:

pmath wrote:
I wonder why, considering our earlier discussion [linked here] ... . However, CF's portrayal of Mr. Darcy in BBC's 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice probably wasn't exactly what Jane Austen had in mind, either!

Choisya wrote:
(They were saying over here that Richard Armitage was the new Colin Firth:smileyhappy:)



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LizzieAnn
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BBC & North & South

I just came across the information that Dame Judi Dench will appear in a BBC 5-part mini-series based on Gaskell's novels called The Cranford Chronicles.

For further information, see Dame Judi.
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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Laurel
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Registered: ‎10-29-2006
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Re: BBC & North & South



LizzieAnn wrote:
I just came across the information that Dame Judi Dench will appear in a BBC 5-part mini-series based on Gaskell's novels called The Cranford Chronicles.

For further information, see Dame Judi.




Oh what fun! Thanks for the link, Liz.
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Choisya
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Re: BBC & Cranford

[ Edited ]
Thanks Lizzie - I hadn't caught up with that. Good news indeed! It is a good indication of how popular Gaskell is now because Dame Judi wouldn't bother to appear in such a series if she did not think the audience would be immense - the BBC aren't huge payers, so it isn't the money:smileyhappy: I see that Sue Birtwhistle, of P&P fame, is producing it, so it will be well done. Something to look forward to next winter:smileyhappy:

http://cranfordchronicles.com/




LizzieAnn wrote:
I just came across the information that Dame Judi Dench will appear in a BBC 5-part mini-series based on Gaskell's novels called The Cranford Chronicles.

For further information, see Dame Judi.

Message Edited by Choisya on 02-02-200701:41 PM

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CRANFORD CHRONICLES

Thanks, Liz and Choisya: I see that WGBH is involved, so we'll get to see it on PBS, too!

http://www.playbill.com/news/article/105406.html

Choisya wrote:
Thanks Lizzie - I hadn't caught up with that. Good news indeed! It is a good indication of how popular Gaskell is now because Dame Judi wouldn't bother to appear in such a series if she did not think the audience would be immense - the BBC aren't huge payers, so it isn't the money:smileyhappy: I see that Sue Birtwhistle, of P&P fame, is producing it, so it will be well done. Something to look forward to next winter:smileyhappy:

http://cranfordchronicles.com/

LizzieAnn wrote:
I just came across the information that Dame Judi Dench will appear in a BBC 5-part mini-series based on Gaskell's novels called The Cranford Chronicles.

For further information, see Dame Judi.
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Choisya
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Re: CRANFORD CHRONICLES (Off topic)

Good! I see that they are filming it in the Cotswolds, not Cheshire, perhaps because the Cotswolds are 'chocolate box country' - lots of thatched cottages and neat little gardens. Do you think Dame J looks like a Miss Matty? I think she is too plump and I see Miss Matty as a rather skinny Dame Maggie Smith.




pmath wrote:
Thanks, Liz and Choisya: I see that WGBH is involved, so we'll get to see it on PBS, too!

http://www.playbill.com/news/article/105406.html

Choisya wrote:
Thanks Lizzie - I hadn't caught up with that. Good news indeed! It is a good indication of how popular Gaskell is now because Dame Judi wouldn't bother to appear in such a series if she did not think the audience would be immense - the BBC aren't huge payers, so it isn't the money:smileyhappy: I see that Sue Birtwhistle, of P&P fame, is producing it, so it will be well done. Something to look forward to next winter:smileyhappy:

http://cranfordchronicles.com/

LizzieAnn wrote:
I just came across the information that Dame Judi Dench will appear in a BBC 5-part mini-series based on Gaskell's novels called The Cranford Chronicles.

For further information, see Dame Judi.



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Re: CRANFORD CHRONICLES (Off topic)

I just started reading Cranford again: I think JD is a good choice!


Choisya wrote:
Good! I see that they are filming it in the Cotswolds, not Cheshire, perhaps because the Cotswolds are 'chocolate box country' - lots of thatched cottages and neat little gardens. Do you think Dame J looks like a Miss Matty? I think she is too plump and I see Miss Matty as a rather skinny Dame Maggie Smith.

pmath wrote:
Thanks, Liz and Choisya: I see that WGBH is involved, so we'll get to see it on PBS, too!

http://www.playbill.com/news/article/105406.html

Choisya wrote:
Thanks Lizzie - I hadn't caught up with that. Good news indeed! It is a good indication of how popular Gaskell is now because Dame Judi wouldn't bother to appear in such a series if she did not think the audience would be immense - the BBC aren't huge payers, so it isn't the money:smileyhappy: I see that Sue Birtwhistle, of P&P fame, is producing it, so it will be well done. Something to look forward to next winter:smileyhappy:

http://cranfordchronicles.com/

LizzieAnn wrote:
I just came across the information that Dame Judi Dench will appear in a BBC 5-part mini-series based on Gaskell's novels called The Cranford Chronicles.

For further information, see Dame Judi.
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Choisya
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Re: CRANFORD CHRONICLES (Off topic)

Perhaps she'll lose some weight before they start filming:smileyhappy:




pmath wrote:
I just started reading Cranford again: I think JD is a good choice!


Choisya wrote:
Good! I see that they are filming it in the Cotswolds, not Cheshire, perhaps because the Cotswolds are 'chocolate box country' - lots of thatched cottages and neat little gardens. Do you think Dame J looks like a Miss Matty? I think she is too plump and I see Miss Matty as a rather skinny Dame Maggie Smith.

pmath wrote:
Thanks, Liz and Choisya: I see that WGBH is involved, so we'll get to see it on PBS, too!

http://www.playbill.com/news/article/105406.html

Choisya wrote:
Thanks Lizzie - I hadn't caught up with that. Good news indeed! It is a good indication of how popular Gaskell is now because Dame Judi wouldn't bother to appear in such a series if she did not think the audience would be immense - the BBC aren't huge payers, so it isn't the money:smileyhappy: I see that Sue Birtwhistle, of P&P fame, is producing it, so it will be well done. Something to look forward to next winter:smileyhappy:

http://cranfordchronicles.com/

LizzieAnn wrote:
I just came across the information that Dame Judi Dench will appear in a BBC 5-part mini-series based on Gaskell's novels called The Cranford Chronicles.

For further information, see Dame Judi.



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THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO ELIZABETH GASKELL

It might be worth waiting for this, which I just found, instead:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?EAN=9780521609265


Choisya wrote:
No I haven't read it pmath and probably should.

pmath wrote:
I plan to read Jenny Uglow's biography, Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories, next: have you read it?
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