This is a social novel published in 1854 by Elizabeth Gaskell. The novel uses a protagonist from southern England to present and comment on the perspectives of mill owners and workers in an industrializing city. The novel is set in the fictional industrial town of Milton in the north of England. Forced to leave her home in the tranquil, rural south, Margaret Hale settles with her parents in Milton. She witnesses the brutal world wrought by the Industrial Revolution, seeing employers and workers clashing in the first strikes. Sympathetic to the poor, she clashes with John Thornton: a nouveau riche cotton-mill owner who is contemptuous of his workers.