Tuesday, 19 November 2019


First of all  as an old fan of North and South (1855) and Mrs Gaskell’s work, I was super happy when I  discovered an anthology of short stories inspired to her novel was going to be released.  I can’t wait to read Falling for Mr Thornton! You can bet I’ll do it as soon as possible and I’ll keep you updated of my progress and my response, of course. 
Meanwhile,  I have had the opportunity to ask three of the authors in the anthology a few questions about their approach to the novel. First of all, I asked  Rose Fairbanks, Don Jacobson, Elaine Owen and Nicole Clarkston, four Austen authors you’ve already met on different occasions here at My Jane Austen Book Club, how difficult  it was to move from Austen’s world to Gaskell’s. 

The process was not that difficult for me. My tale, “Cinders and Smoke” was begun about three weeks after I concluded the most recent Bennet Wardrobe book, “The Pilgrim.” I think my own mindset is more attuned to the realities of the Industrial Revolution that were painted by Gaskell. For those of you familiar with my #Austenesque variations (The Bennet Wardrobe Series and the Lessers and Betters stories), I deal with questions around class and income disparity to establish the social context for my writing. As I noted in another forum, I moved into Gaskell’s original after reading Nicole Clarkston’s work. I find Gaskell to be a logical extension of the Universe created by Austen.  

For me, it was actually the reverse, since my first book was No Such Thing as Luck, a North and South inspired novel. However, it took me ten months from start to publish, and only two months after I had begun writing it, I started working on Rumours and Recklessness, a Pride and Prejudice novel. To me, the two worlds can both exist in my mind without conflict or crossover. I suppose that is because despite the differences, there is still something universal between them. The common thread I see is that of ultimate love—sacrificial love, in the midst of circumstances that might not be ideal.
There is a very different feel between the industrial Victorian world and the pastoral Regency. Making each environment feel authentic is always a challenge. It’s not even that a writer’s job is to tell the reader what every building and road and room looked like, but it is of paramount importance that the characters feel the impact of that environment. I think Margaret Hale’s character is almost the crossover between the settings of P&P and N&S, because she is the daughter of country gentry brought to live in the middle of the Idustrial Revolution.
She does have her own personality, which is much softer-spoken than Elizabeth Bennet (actually, I see more of myself in Margaret than Elizabeth). And she is still very Victorian, make no mistake. A truly Victorian woman, for example, actually admired patience and long-suffering, feeling that they would morally justify her in the face of other regrets (tell that to your modern American, right?). Industrial cities like the fictional Milton knew more about death and disease than any country gentry ever could. Margaret’s own deep values and her reaction to this new world are an interesting study for anyone wishing to examine botht the differences and the similarities between the two works.

I will confess that I felt intimidated, at first, with the idea of writing Gaskell’s world. I’ve discovered through the years of writing JAFF that I don’t like to set myself up as an imitation of Austen, so I carried that through to Gaskell. Still, I wanted to honor the emotion, tone, themes, and language. Gaskell is far more expressive. It stretched different “writer muscles” to write that way, but it felt good to challenge myself.  

It wasn’t particularly difficult to make the switch. The commonality, of course, is the clash of two seemingly opposite personalities, and focusing on that conflict helped. I had to get used to slightly different language used and there was some research into Victorian customs. The most difficult part was actually the most enjoyable part—getting inside the heads of the main characters and seeing the events of the story through their eyes. A good love story is a good love story no matter where or when it takes place!

Don, Nicole, Rose and Elaine

Thanks for your answers and, of course, welcome back to My Jane Austen Book Club though with a different task, to discuss one of Mrs Gaskell’s novels. In the past I’ve written a lot about the differences and the similarities between Pride and Prejudice and North and South, Mr Thornton and Mr Darcy, that’s why I’m truly curious to ask your opinion on these matters. 
My next question is for Elaine, Rose and  Nicole:  Mr Darcy vs Mr Thornton. I’m not asking you to choose one of the two,  it wouldn’t be fair, but to draw a comparison between them. Mr Thornton is in many aspects different from Mr Darcy, but they also share a few similarities. What is the aspect of their personality which makes them more similar and what,  instead, is the trait which makes them distant?

What Darcy and Thornton share most in common is their pride, and in both cases their pride works both for and against them. Their pride sometimes blinds them to certain parts of the world around them, but it also provides some of their motivation to be truly upstanding, moral people. Their essential goodness is what unites them and also attracts us to them (well, that and being ridiculously handsome!).
Their biggest difference is in their backgrounds: Darcy has inherited wealth but Thornton has earned every penny he owns. That creates significant differences in writing their stories. Darcy never has to worry about losing his money but it is a constant if underlying concern for Thornton.

I think one of the strongest similarities between the two, and what endears them to so many readers, is the care they take for others. Mr. Thornton is quite devoted to his mother and even his sister, who is rather unlikeable. He also cares a great deal for his factory hands. Mr. Darcy takes care of his sister and directs his friend with the same motivation. We are told he is a good landlord and takes care of his tenants. I think even the way he deals with Wickham shows he cares. 
Obviously, Darcy inherited income, and Thornton did not. I don’t mean to imply that Darcy does nothing. We know it took a great deal of sense and work to manage an estate the size of Pemberley. However, I think the stakes are far higher for Thornton. Throughout North and South, there is never-ending stress for Thornton regarding the mill. Matters are further complicated as it is uncertain who his antagonist is—factory hands or market fluctuations in general? There is not much Thornton can do to control these things. He can’t give the factory hands everything they want for a variety of reasons. He can’t control the market at all. Compared with how Darcy handled the Lydia-Wickham crisis, I don’t know that he could bear the constant strain and the inability to influence his life the way Thornton does.  

My first love was Fitzwilliam Darcy (actually, it was Gilbert Blythe, but I digress), but the first time I started writing was because of John Thornton. Thornton has such an intensity about him that he makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I speak not of Richard Armitage, but Gaskell’s Thornton from the book. The energy this man radiates and the passion that leaps from him absolutely made my eyes pop when I first read him. He is so well-read, so opinionated and directed that I could not help but admire him even when the author deliberately had him say something I disagreed with. He said it in such an intelligent, reasonable way that I was hard-pressed to argue.
Darcy does not lack this kind of intensity; it is just better repressed. His is a world in which a facial flicker is a matter for the tabloids, almost literally. Because of his different responsibilities—equally weighty, but unique in aspect—Darcy approaches his problems very differently than John Thornton, yet with the same degree of fervor and sound intentions. However, Darcy is also a much more reserved personality in general. He confesses that he is not comfortable in crowds, but we never see Thornton struggle thus (except when he’s sitting in Margaret’s drawing room). They say opposites attract, and in these cases, our shy man finds a sparkling socialite for his bride, and the confident man finds a bookish introvert for his. 
I suppose it wasn’t really a transition in my mind, because to me they felt like such unique and original characters. I wasn’t trying to make a Frankenstein out of Darcy to turn him into a Thornton, or vice versa. I suppose it helps that I have been blessed in my life by so many men I admire, and I have come to understand each of them. To me, these were just unique humans with an impressive set of ethics, larger-than-life moral compasses, and (possibly) egos that were just a teensy bit overinflated due to their status in the world.

With Don I’d like to discuss a completely different aspect. In the world of Jane Austen we get to know very little of the poor and the humble, she focuses on the country gentry she belonged to. Gaskell,  instead, writes her industrial novels, Mary Barton and North and South,  to denounce the appalling living conditions of the working classes in Manchester, whose sorrows and pains she knew so well. 
Writing your own short story did you deal with the social background of North and South
The story is written in a tryptich...a short play in three scenes, if you will. Thornton Alone...a Pas de Deux between Thornton and Higgins...and then a trio of Margaret Hale, Thornton, and Higgins. Each segment has telling phrases. To assist in visualization, I suggest you look at “Cinders and Smoke” as being set on a multilevel stage where the first two scenes take place on a catwalk  far above. The third is at a midlevel. The final moments when Margaret leaves the Mill to return to her father’s house takes place upon the floor in front of the footlights in the audience.
Part 1: Thornton is alone on the catwalk wrestling with his demons and reflecting on the riot in which Margaret was injured.
The men were angry, but they were angry because they were afraid.
There was a darkness that surrounded all who worked the mills in Milton. The cloud, mostly hidden, but sometimes taking the form of choking, cinder-filled smoke, was freighted with a foreboding that told all who passed through its mists that exposure spelled a doleful outcome. This was a miasma that sucked men and women dry. This after they poured their lifeforce into those caverns from which men like Hamper, Slick, Watson…and Thornton…extracted their wealth.
Part 2: Higgins climbs up to report on Margaret’s condition and answers Thornton’s question about why the men hate the owners.
“All men have dreams. ...
“Dreams die hard, Mr. Thornton, but they do and, when they expire, they leave behind foul-tasting ash. 
“Dreams die, but the need to feed your family and put a roof over their heads does not. 
“You work your fingers to the bone, and you wear your labor like a badge of honor, aware that your only reward is another day in these mills where the overseers demand unconditional obedience and punish grown men like they are misguided bairns.
“Oh, there is another reward: that we may earn just enough to starve slowly while watching our wives and children cough up brown gore. Their bodies are so wasted that they cannot fight to survive!
“We are at the mercy of men like you who would see us as nothing but cogs and wheels in your giant money-making machine. Your underlings see us as beasts and treat us as such, tossing us out the door when we break down. 
“You say you are building a better world. I ask you, for whom? I would imagine ‘tis for the likes of you, not us. Woe betides any who gets in the way of you and your dreams.
“And I must ask you, of what do you dream? A golden city or piles of gold? 
“You and your ilk are blessed with the riches wrung from our very bones, the muscles of the damned.”
Part 3: Higgins and Thornton have gathered with Miss Hale by the sofa (center stage) upon which she reclines after recoverig her senses. She is mediating between the two men in order to end the strike at Marlborough Mills. Dr. Donaldson and Dixon watch from a seating area stage left. Note the change in tone in the writing.
She paused and looked up at the ceiling, worrying her lower lip in a manner that utterly captivated Thornton. Then she delivered her verdict.
 “Nicholas is correct in that no reasonable man would risk his family’s welfare by damaging any equipment. However, John also has a point when he bridles at paying for idle hands. As I have come to know John to be a responsible man, I doubt if he would allow any of the machinery for which he has paid dearly to deteriorate to the point where it fails. The best defense against both of your concerns becoming reality is to ensure that machinery is producing cloth throughout an entire shift. That way John would be secure in his income without bearing undue costs for laborers being paid without working. And for the workers, they would be confident that they would not be punished for owner greed.
“However, I do not believe that a worker should be paid his entire wage for standing and puffing his pipe while mechanics work.  Half pay seems sensible.
“Perhaps a competent overseer or foreman who knows the equipment and could be trusted to reassign workers to other tasks in the event their primary employment is temporarily unavailable…” She sent a knowing glance at Thornton.

Now, back to Rose, Nicole and Elaine, I’d like to propose to them the following question: Could Margaret Hale be the protagonist of one of Austen novels? Which Austen heroine does she resemble the most?
I think she absolutely could. I see a bit of Elinor, a bit of Marianne, and a bit of Fanny Price. I’ll defend the last first. 
Fanny Price is perhaps Austen’s most devout heroine (Mary Bennet aside) which reminds me of Margaret, the parson’s daughter. She has an almost Victorian way about her life philosophy, having grown up as the poor relation in a rich household (like Margaret). She puts on a happy face, loves where she can, and accepts that all the advantages she sees are not for her. However, she has grown a rather rigid spine. She’s stubborn where no one expects her to be and she absolutely will not compromise on her values. I see a lot of Margaret there.
I say Elinor and Marianne because Margaret can be impulsive at times but painfully self-controlled at others. Her opinions and passions get the better of her at critical junctures, leading her to decide for herself what is “right” and caring little about the consequences of a judgmental society. However, she is discretion itself when necessary, even to the point of personal agony. It almost seems to me like she carries the traits of both our Dashwood sisters. Interestingly, it is always in the defense of another person that Margaret makes these choices. I cannot help but admire her for that.

I certainly see some elements reminiscent of Austen heroines. She misunderstood the hero much as Elizabeth Bennet misunderstands Mr. Darcy. I also see aspects of Emma Woodhouse with her disdain for trade yet willingness to befriend someone far below her. Like Elinor Dashwood, Margaret has to parent her parents. She is far more emotional than Elinor, though. Margaret has moments where she is led entirely by emotion like Marianne Dashwood. Fanny Price was taken in by relatives and often longed to return to her family of birth just as Margaret. She sacrifices so much of her mental well-being to take care of others, which reminds me of Anne Elliot. Finally, Margaret has a bit of naivete about her regarding the mills and her impression that the masters are all monsters, which is similar to Catherine Morland’s overactive imagination regarding Northanger Abbey. 
Despite these similarities, I do not think it is quite fair to say Margaret could be an Austen protagonist. Austen’s heroines all move the story independently. Although events happen to them, they can influence events more than I see Margaret doing. That is not to say that Margaret is weak. She most certainly is not! However, the conflicts involved in her story are far more complex than Austen’s, and there’s no way a single mortal can influence them. I find that Margaret reacts to events more than create them. It works perfectly not only for the themes in the novel but for the stricter notions of propriety and female roles in the Victorian era. I would even say that I find Margaret more true to life than Austen’s heroines because of the limitations she faces.

She could definitely be an Austen heroine! I see Margaret as a bit of a cross between Elizabeth Bennet and Fanny Price, with perhaps a dash of Anne Elliot thrown in. Like Elizabeth she has a practical way of looking at the world even while she is blind to her own faults. Like Fanny, of course, she has her own unswerving moral compass, a compass that never veers from the mark even when it costs her dearly. And like Anne she bears with her trying relatives and circumstances with admirable patience.  I suspect that if Austen could have lived long enough to read Gaskell, she would have wished that she had created Margaret.

My next question for Don is about the proposals in Pride and Prejudice and North and South. They are key moments in both novels. The first proposals of both Darcy and Thornton are unsucceful they are rejected by the heroine,  while the second and final ones lead to the happy ending. What about Mr Thornton first proposal? Was it out of love? 

The first proposal in N&S sounded, in many ways, like that in P&P. No, Thornton did not presume he was above Miss Hale. However, he went down the same path as Darcy thinking that women would measure offers of marriage in the same way men would measure a business transaction. Thornton, I feel, was offering for her out of pride...pride in that he had risen past her in wealth and property...enough so as to offset his roots in trade. There was, I imagine love, but probably more infatuation. I am not suggesting that he would see her as a trophy wife...but, there is an element of that considering that he may well have been seeking to impress the other industrialists. Her words refusing him stung. Her rejection was the plot crux that allows the misunderstanding about seeing Margaret and Frederick at the train station to fester.

Now a question to the four of you, Elaine, Don, Nicole and Rose.  Do you agree with Mrs Gaskell when she considered herself unsatisfied with the end of North and South? Would you rewrite it in a different way? Why do you think she was unsatisfied? 

The way Thornton and Margaret come together seems very natural to me, both for their characters and in terms of the mores of Victorian times. But it did leave me unsatisfied as to what would happen next. How did Aunt Shaw respond to their announcement? What did Mrs. Thornton think? What was the reaction of Milton society to such an unlikely match, and did that reaction create problems for Margaret later on? How did the fortunes of Marlborough Mill change with the infusion of Margaret’s inheritance? Would Thornton really agree to use Margaret’s money to protect his own interests instead of hers? I answered some of those questions when I wrote Common Ground, but if I could write that story again I would explore some of those issues in more detail. 
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t! There is such a tender passion on those few pages… wait… that half a page. I kept flipping my book over looking for the rest. I just want more! I do think their coming together so suddenly at the end was very fitting to their characters, as Mrs. Gaskell once wrote. They would not need a long courtship to determine their feelings. It’s an avalanche waiting to happen! 
And the way she went about it was also very suitable. John Thornton and Margaret Hale would never compromise their dignity with a public display of affection (but I will confess to having watched the train station Kiss enough times to wear a hole in Netflix’s file). The quiet drawing room, the offer of help swiftly reinterpreted as a declaration of love, those are all very John and Margaret. 
What I want is more. And more. I want to see the triumphant entry back to Milton, the teasing and delicious (and SHORT) engagement period, and some glimpse of their future felicity. That is what I want, as a reader. However, as an author, sometimes you have to know when to hang it up. Still, Gaskell could have extended those few pages for my personal benefit—it is only just and fair, after all. 

I actually just had a discussion on Instagram with a reader about the ending of North and South. We know that it was rushed to fit in Charles Dickens’ newspaper. I agree that it seems not quite final, almost as though the curtain closes prematurely. However, I also think that it suits the story. John and Margaret’s marriage is not going to solve all the problems of Milton. Events may transpire later, which makes them lose the mill once more. Thornton was quite depressed over it without Margaret by his side. He had little hope of finding another position he liked. However, he pressed on with dogged determination. Though I wonder how long it would last. I think if such a thing happened after their marriage, he would be kept afloat by the support of his wife. In short, while the ending may feel a tad incomplete, I think any astute reader can fill in the gaps with their imagination. 

The ending did seem rather convenient. I do understand that Gaskell had been setting up Bell’s death from early in the book. A sudden inheritance in the age of coverture...are we to believe that all barriers had been erased? 
I do like the idea of Bell surviving and bringing Margaret and Thornton into harness with him and expanding their interests into other industries.
What if Bell made Margaret and John co-heirs, but kept her funds well-wrapped in the red silken ribbons of a trust? 

What ‘s your favourite scene/moment in North and South?

The Kiss! (Ahem) Aside from that, I love the first time he comes for tea and he can’t keep his eyes off of her. He can’t even resist touching her (accidentally, right?). And I cannot think of that scene without bookending it with the dinner party at Marlborough Mills, where she finally sees how attractive he is. In the book, it says she “had never seen him to so much advantage.” That’s Victorian-ese for “Wow, who is that Adonis?” 
And another favorite (I’m cheating and listing more than one) is when Thornton carries Margaret into the house after the riots. The miniseries commited a felony when they didn’t show Richard Armitage carrying Daniella into the house. Who cut that scene??? Fired! But Gaskell didn’t disappoint us, and she wrote out a stunning confession of love from Thornton that turned my heart to jelly. *Sigh*

This is a tough question! I think the riot scene is my favorite. The juxtaposition of fear, anger, and violence mingled with the tenderness and affection Thornton has for Margaret takes my breath away. I also think it is the defining moment for Thornton, where we see his real integrity and worth.

The riot was so redolent of the essetials of the world Gaskell was portraying.

Do you mean in the book or in the movie? In the interests of thoroughness I’ll answer for both. ☺
My favorite part of the book is the whole last scene where Margaret and Thornton are in company with each other and other people, just before he professes his love for her a second time. By then the reader knows that these people are in love with each other and we are just dying for one of them to admit it! Thornton makes several abortive attempts to speak to Margaret but they still can’t come together due to the presence of other people. Gaskell ratchets the tension higher and higher and sets us up well for the scene the next day, so that when Thornton finally calls Margaret’s name we nearly squeal with excitement! It’s a masterful piece of writing.
In the movie, well, how can anyone beat that train platform scene? The look on Thornton’s face says it all: he loves Margaret devotedly and can’t help showing it. We know he’s going to declare himself before he ever reaches for her hand. And when Margaret takes his hand in hers and raises it to her lips, the moment is unbearably sweet. She has surrendered her heart to him and now he knows it. And that’s before the “real” kiss even happens! 

Who has known me for a while will remember I’m also a great fan of the BBC adaptation of North and South starring Richard Armitage as John Thornton and Daniela Denby-Ashe as Margaret Hale. Have you seen it? What’s your opinion about it? And did you picture your Margaret and your Thornton as the actors in the TV series while writing your short stories?

The miniseries was my introduction to the story. If it had not been for those gorgeous portrayals of the characters, I wouldn’t have been impressed enough to seek out the book and find the gold. Yes, I cannot write John Thornton or Margaret Hale without seeing their faces, hearing their voices, and even interpreting each nuance of expression and posture the actors used. That’s not the case when I write Darcy and Elizabeth. The North and South miniseries will forever stand in my mind as one of the most perfect interpretations of a novel ever filmed. 

As I saw the BBC adaptation before reading the book, it was impossible to not think of them as I wrote. However, what I believe impressed upon me more than the features of their faces, were their movements and mannerisms. I love the production because I think it brought North and South to life in the best way I could envision it. They are both talented actors, and there are so many small details to notice. 

Oh, my, yes. I saw the movie first and that was how I got into the North and South world. Once I had seen the movie I had to read the book, and then I went back to the movie again. At that point I simply had to write a short scene showing what I thought would most likely happen on the train ride back to Milton. It was supposed to be just one chapter but after I had published it my readers urged me to continue the story! So I ended up writing Common Ground. 
When I write Margaret and Thornton I picture Denby-Ashe and Armitage in my head, but to get their voices and speech right I read the novel again . . . and again  . . . and again!
Head bowed...No, I have not seen the television program. That said, I wrote the story “Cinders and Smoke” much as if I were viewing it as a short play.  

My final question for all of you will be about your short stories in  Falling for Mr Thornton. Could you, please,  tell us briefly what moment of the novel did you work on or rewrite? 

I picked up from the moment when Margaret is walking Frederick back to the train station after their mother’s death. Thornton sees her, yes, but so does someone else. Her honor is suspect after the scuffle on the platform, and the wrong man steps up to offer to marry her!

My story, Her Father’s Last Wish, starts at what is an otherwise obscure moment. Mrs. Hale has recently died, Thornton has proposed and rejected. Then, weeks later, Mr. Hale and Margaret are visiting Higgins when he says Mr. Thornton will be there soon. Margaret has a moment of panic. She longs to see Thornton but thinks it would be unseemly to do so. In my story, they meet on the street just as Mr. Hale collapses.
That space between the end of the riot and the new dawn where Thornton faces his demons while Higgins confronts him with questions about his humanity. Then Margaret uses her compassion to bring the two sides together.

The Best Medicine starts just after the dinner party at Milton, when Thornton is trying to figure out a way to get in Margaret’s good graces. Opportunity knocks in the form of an old friend who calls on him, a friend who is a doctor and has just moved to town. Thornton decides that trying to help Bessy Higgins might help Margaret think better of him. It also gives Bessy an opportunity for a happy ending of her own!
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions Nicole, Rose and Don. I wish you good luck in this new non-Austen venture! And I really hope my readers are all ready to fall for  Mr Thornton, soon. 

About the Book

Amidst the turbulent backdrop of a manufacturing town in the grips of the Industrial Revolution, Elizabeth Gaskell penned the timeless passion of Mr. Thornton and Margaret Hale. 

A mixing of contemporary and Victorian, this short story anthology by twelve beloved authors considers familiar scenes from new points of view or re-imagined entirely. Capturing all the poignancy, heartbreak, and romance of the original tale, Falling for Mr. Thornton is a collection you will treasure again and again.

Stories by: Trudy Brasure * Nicole Clarkston * Julia Daniels * Rose Fairbanks * Don Jacobson * Evy Journey * Nancy Klein * M. Liza Marte * Elaine Owen * Damaris Osborne * Melanie Stanford ** Foreword by Mimi Matthews **

The Giveaway

The authors will offer one big prize to one reader following the entire blog tour. This prize will contain 13 different ebooks, once copy of Falling For Mr. Thornton and one other ebook from each author.

Additionally the authors would also like to offer 2 bookmarks of Falling For Mr. Thornton at each blog. Both giveaways are international.

The bookmarks giveaway may be managed by each blogger, who will be able to choose 2 different readers commenting on their blog. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more info about the book and about  the other authors follow the Blog Tour!

Blog Tour Schedule

14/11/2019 More Agreeably Engaged; Blog Tour Launch & Giveaway
19/11/2019 My Jane Austen Book Club ; Author Interview & Giveaway
21/11/2019 From Pemberley to Milton; Review & Giveaway
25/11/2019 So Little Time…; Guest Post & Giveaway
05/12/2019 My Vices and Weaknesses; Review & Giveaway
10/12/2019 Diary of an Eccentric; Guest Post & Giveaway
16/12/2019 Babblings of a Bookworm; Review & Giveaway
20/12/2019 Austenesque Reviews; Guest Post & Giveaway


Vesper said...

I think it will be interesting reading some short stories about this book, it would certainly be a first for me

BeckyC said...

N&S is a favorite (Richard Armitage too!!) I am super excited about this collection of stories! Congratulations!!!!

Maria said...

Oh, I'm so curious about this book!! Interesting interviews.

Kristin said...

I can’t wait to read the book ��

Don Jacobson said...

So excited to be with everybody today! Look forward to your comments and engaging in the lively art of discussion.

Brigid said...

I am so excited for this book! And this is just a mad giveaway :)

darcybennett said...

I am very excited about this release as I love N&S and have never read an anthology for it before.

NovElla said...

I agree – this is an awesome giveaway! I’ve seen so little out there about North and South.

Eva said...

Thank you for the fabulous questions and answers. I was riveted.

Christina Boyd said...

Great interview—enjoyed very much!

Anji said...

Wow, that really was a comprehensive set of questions and answers! Thanks so much to everyone for sharing them with us and for the amazing giveaway.

One thought occurred to me when reading and thinking about the two gentlemen. How about someone writing a crossover, even if it was just a short story, about a meeting between the two of them? If you take Fitzwilliam Darcy as being 28 in 1813 (using the date of publication of P&P, rather than when First Impressions was first written), then he'd be almost 70 by the time 1854 and the publication of N&S. That's a good age for the times but as a wealthy landowner, his diet and living conditions would have been a lot better than many in those times. Assuming his wealth continued to grow with wise business investments, I could see him being a potential investor in the industries of Victorian times, such as Marlborough Mills!

Rita Deodato said...

What an interesting interview Maria! It is visible you love North & South and that you put a lot of work into this.
Thank you so much for your support to this anthology :)

Nicole Clarkston said...

Thank you so much for hosting us here! Those were some thoughtful questions and lots of fun to chat over. I enjoyed reading everyone else’s answers. 🥰

Rose Fairbanks said...

Thanks so much for the thoughtful questions, Maria. I thoroughly enjoyed being part of this interview and this anthology. Thanks for all the support!