Holy shizz, people, I've found a Victorian hero who is even sexier than Mr. Darcy. May I introduce you to:
Mill-owner, self-made man, and all around sex God, John Thornton.
My son is studying the industrial revolution, and his instructor asked him to watch North and South. I love a good period drama, so I was all, yeah, I'm there for you, dude. Let me say that my 14-year-old is basically bored out of his head. Mom, on the other hand, is like, whoa.
We've watched the first two episodes, and will finish it this weekend. Thornton's first proposal to Margaret Hale occurs at the end of the second episode, and it is completely swoon-worthy.
John Thornton: Miss Hale, I didn't just come here to thank you. I came... because... I think it... very likely... I know I've never found myself in this position before. It's... difficult to find the words. Miss Hale, my feelings for you... are very strong...
Margaret Hale: Please! Stop. Pray, please don't go any further.
John Thornton: Excuse me?
Margaret Hale: Please don't continue in that way. It's not the way of a gentleman.
John Thornton: I'm well aware that in your eyes at least, I'm not a gentleman. But I think I deserve to know why I am offensive.
Margaret Hale: It offends me that you should speak to me as if it were your... duty to rescue my reputation!
John Thornton: I spoke to you about my feelings because I love you; I had no thought for your reputation!
Margaret Hale: You think that because you are rich, and my father is in... reduced circumstances, that you can have me for your possession! I suppose I should expect no less from someone in trade!
John Thornton: I don't want to possess you! I wish to marry you because I love you!
Margaret Hale: You shouldn't! Because I do not like you, and never have.
John Thornton: One minute we talk of the colour of fruit, the next of love. How does that happen?
Margaret Hale: My friend, Bessy Higgins, is dying.
John Thornton: And that of course, is my fault too.
Margaret Hale: I'm sorry.
John Thornton: For what? That you find my feelings for you offensive? Or that you assume because I'm in trade I'm only capable of thinking in terms of buying and selling? Or that I take pleasure in sending my employees to an early grave?
Margaret Hale: No! No, no, of course not. I'm... I'm sorry... to be so blunt. I've not learnt how to... how to refuse... how to respond when a... when a man talks to me as you just have.
John Thornton: Oh, there are others? This happens to you every day? Of course. You must have to disappoint so many men that offer you their heart.
Margaret Hale: Please, understand, Mr. Thornton...
John Thornton: I do understand. I understand you completely.
Sigh. You're an idiot, Margaret.