Elizabeth Gaskell's great Victorian novel combines romance with social conflict. When Margaret comes to live in the industrial north of England, she is shocked by the antagonism between mill workers and their masters. Her sympathies lie with the workers, yet she is increasingly drawn to the stern mill-owner John Thornton. This abridgement of Elizabeth Gaskell's humane and thoughtful work is two thirds of the original length, and includes a section on the book's historical context. It makes this classic novel more approachable for the modern reader.