Margaret of the North

ABOUT E Journey

E Journey
I'm a realist in my writing, as well as my art. I don't have as much imagination as many other writers—a handicap (or strength) that comes partly from my training and experience as a mental health researcher/evaluator and program developer. I'm also a flâneuse—a female observer-wander More...



An enduring romance.  Impossible, some people would say. But those are the skeptics and this is a novel, a piece of "blissful escapism for a teeny tiny price, " as one reviewer said. Margaret Of The North continues where Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South leaves off, but takes off from the more compelling ending of the BBc miniseries based on the novel. The love between Margaret and John is deep, lasting, and compelling, full of "small touches and shared looks ... little moments that serve to create a lovely, palpable air" between John and Margaret. They honeymoon in a vibrant mid-century Paris and spends days of ease in Cadiz―experiences that change their outlook. The book is a guilty pleasure. 

Still, this is also the story of a woman who confronts modernity and industrialization in a harsh bustling Northern city while struggling with the age-old complexities of human relationships. Intelligent, independent-minded, and passionate about her own concerns, Margaret whittles away at Victorian repression, curbs a niche and an identity for herself, and becomes a modern woman who remains true to her feelings for the man she loves.

The book resurrects Gaskell's feminist-leaning themes and the tone and style in which it has been written pays homage to Elizabeth Gaskell and Jane Austen.

A consistent thread weaves through most of Gaskell’s books and I believe it stems from her concerns as a woman of her times, when industrialization was changing England radically. But this thread is lost or drowned under the much more vocal voices of the male-oriented society of her time. A lot of Gaskell’s books bear the names of her heroines as titles. But Charles Dickens, who first published the novel, from which Margaret of the North takes off, thought a shift in focus emphasizing the stark contrasts between North and South England was more appropriate than Margaret Hale; hence, North and South. No doubt he also thought that the new title was more in keeping with the interests of the male-dominated society at the time, concerns that were also regarded as more relevant and important. But I think this change took the focus away from Gaskell’s deep preoccupation with women’s issues (evident in letters she wrote to friends and family), which were then ignored, seen as frivolous or, worse, assumed as nonexistent. Victorian women generally were pampered and infantilized, their main functions confined to keeping house, bearing children, and being gracious and pretty enough to adorn a man’s image. Gaskell showed me, with at least three characters in North and South—Mrs. Thornton, Margaret, and the maid Gaskell’s novel has been described as a romance set against a backdrop of occasionally violent strikes as the working class fought for their rights against tyrannical masters. I look at mine as a kind of Victorian feminist bildungsroman (coming-of-age novel) couched in romance.

  • The narrative was tight and strong, and the plots were well thought out and artfully woven together. I am a stickler for grammar and punctuation, and was pleased at the level of editing found here that is rare to find in many Indie published books.  Darla Ortiz, Indie Book Reviewer, in Goodreads
  • I wanted to stay forever lost in the pages of this story, never to leave. I love the way  E. Journey writes, the words seemed to almost put me in a trance at times!   Jhanni Parker, Indie Book Reviewer, in Goodreads