The North and South Crusade

I have been following Kristie’s (from the blog Ramblings on Romance) campaign to make people aware of how awesome the BBC adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskells’ novel North and South is, and I decided to join. I have been a major fan since it was on telly a few years ago. I did not watch it straight away but a colleague taped it and insisted I should watch it. It didn’t take much convincing after she said “the hero is as wonderful as Mr Darcy”. Oh, and what a hero.

Portrayed by Richard Armitage, Mr Thornton was immediately catapulted to the pantheon of my favourite heroes when his voice alone sent shivers down my spine. But not only that, Mr Thornton is one those men that are honourable, charismatic and who has that characteristic I just can’t resist – that he loves the heroine so intensely and thinks so much of her that he can’t even contemplate the idea that she could possibly love him back – him being who he is, a cold, mill-owner who has *gasped* worked his way up.

And this is where, in my opinion, the series shines the most. It is an amazing portrait of the differences between the North and South of Victorian England at a time where industries were developing and a new way of life as far away from the balls of the ton as anything could ever be. Margaret is from the South and has lived that sheltered life of the privileged class and can not understand the struggles of the working classes of the North. She starts by hating that life, who seems dirty and poor but soon starts to do social work and eventually comes to admire and respect the workers and of course, their boss.

I highly recommend this series and if you are a romance lover or a history buff you will not be disappointed. The novel itself is good too, but it doesn’t have Richard Armitage saying “Look back. Look back at me” so that tips heavily the scale to the series side, in my most humble opinion.

So there you go: I am a crusader! I am bringing the light to the infidels! Do you hear me Thea?
You’re next!


  • Katie(babs)
    January 14, 2008 at 6:58 am

    I use to be such a fan of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth, but now it is all about Richard Armitage from North and South. This movie is hands down my favorite BBC telecast ever! And he didn’t even have to go swimming in lake, just take off that cravat of his (I am obsessed with his neck) and kiss Margaret like there was no tomorrow!

  • Thea
    January 14, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Wow, sounds like something I’ll definitely have to pick up!

    And stop calling me out Ana, I’m working on it! *giggle*

  • Kristie (J)
    January 14, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Oh Thea – it’s only just begun (and I’m not referring to the old song by the Carpenters *g*) If you have the predisposed gene that makes you go nuts for North and South, it’s something that stays in your system!!

    And since you both live in the country he resides in, perhaps you could send him over to visit me. I could give you may address if you want.
    But seriously – I can’t remember when (and we are talking a LONG time) a moview or series has captured my attention and heart as deeply as North and South has. Obviously – thus The Crusade. The more I watch it, the more I fall in love with it.

  • Marg
    January 14, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Great review!

    I was never one of those screaming, crying girls that you see in videos and the like, but man, this guy brings me close to it!

    I just bought the DVDs of the first season of Robin Hood even though I hadn’t seen a single episode…just because of Richard! And then there are hours spent on Youtube watching kids bedtime stories, and the Vicar of Dibley episodes he is in.

    Obsessed I tell you!

  • Anonymous
    January 14, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    ooh, I’m a sucker for BBC miniseries. Haven’t heard of this one but will try to track it down. Thanks for the heads up Ana.


  • Dev
    January 15, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Woo-hoo, another crusader!!!

    Thea, have you watched yet?

  • Thea
    January 15, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Unfortunately not yet! Funny story–I went to my local Hollywood Video to find the dvd, and the only “North and South” they had available was this gem from 1985:


    Patrick Swayze? In a civil war epic? What, did he dance and hip-gyrate his way over the Confederates? That can’t be right.

    I have ordered the right dvd off amazon though, seeing as I’ll most likely love it and want to rewatch it, and I probably won’t find it in a rental store. I’ll keep you guys updated! It should be shipped tomorrow, if all goes well!

  • Marg
    January 15, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    I remember that version of North and South as being pretty watchable too, but I haven’t seen it for over 25 years so I could be wrong!

  • Stacy~
    January 15, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Ah, this makes me smile. Before even watching it, I bought the DVD.

    And if you guys are interested, I’m having a contest to win the DVD at my blog:


  • Thea
    January 26, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    I received my copy in the mail!!! Can’t wait to get into it and become a fellow crusader (as I’m sure I’ll love it!)

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