Ok, as far as I'm concerned Jane Austen is out and Elizabeth Gaskell is in! Of course one can say that the latter continued what the former has started, which is creating a strong female character but what Gaskell brings in addition to the plate is the depiction of the other side of the society, of those that struggle to make a living day by day, making her work thus much more complex. Whilst "Mary Barton" is more focused on the lives of the working men and their tragedy (this is the novel where I learned the word "to clem"), in "North and South" she presents the situation from the master's point of view, in addition to the love story which mostly takes place in the background of the restless town. Mr. Thornton, the mill owner from "North and south" is genuinely portrayed by the author and I particularly loved how she made him stand his ground as a ruthless master, with only a slight inclination towards mercy when facts call for it. Additionally I fell in love with Margaret and her character. Of course the movie [and by movie I mean the BBC short series] does not do her justice, it shows little of what she has to go through and what strength she shows in every trying situation, not to mention that in the movie they kinda slaughter the ending. I know, I know, they sometimes can't help that with the movies because they have to compress the action [I'm looking at you "Ender's game" >_> ] but at least they should've kept the ending. The book made me go mad with emotions in the last 2 pages.
What annoys me greatly is that in many "top 100 classics you must read" they recommend by Elizabeth Gaskell her novel "Cranford", which is...goddamn boring and shows nothing of her literary eloquence and mastery! So people don't trust those lists and go read anything else of her work than "Cranford". I'm looking forward to reading her "Wives and daughters", wondering if I will draw some comparison to D.H.Lawrence's "Sons and lovers" which I loved greatly.
On the gothic side of my reading list, not much is happening. I barely managed to go through "The castle of Otranto" which was just meh, but "The king in yellow" is looking good so far, mostly maybe because I've no idea what is happening, yet it does have a creepy aura about it.
Now shoo, go read, create, love, in whichever order you desire and...
take care! M.