North and South

North and South

by

Elizabeth Gaskell

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Henry Lennox Character Analysis

Henry, a lawyer, is Captain Lennox’s brother. He is smooth-talking, teasing, and deliberate. He and Margaret enjoy a friendly rapport in London, and she considers him a friend. He visits Margaret in Helstone and proposes marriage, to her shock, and is rejected. Later in the novel, Henry takes up Frederick’s case and tries to locate witnesses who could help exonerate him, though he is not successful. After Margaret returns to London, they renew their friendship, and Henry enjoys teaching Margaret about the law after she becomes an heiress. He hopes that Margaret is softening toward him, but before he can propose again, Margaret pursues Thornton instead.

Henry Lennox Quotes in North and South

The North and South quotes below are all either spoken by Henry Lennox or refer to Henry Lennox. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of North and South published in 1996.
Chapter 1 Quotes

“Oh, [Helstone is] only a hamlet…There is the church and a few houses near it on the green—cottages, rather—with roses growing all over them.”

“And flowering all the year round, especially at Christmas—make your picture complete,” said he.

“No,” replied Margaret, somewhat annoyed, “I am not making a picture. I am trying to describe Helstone as it really is. You should not have said that.”

“I am penitent,” he answered. “Only it really sounded like a village in a tale rather than in real life.”

“And so it is,” replied Margaret, eagerly. “…Helstone is like a village in a poem—in one of Tennyson’s poems.”

Related Characters: Margaret Hale (speaker), Henry Lennox (speaker)
Related Symbols: Nature and the Countryside
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 44 Quotes

“But the truth is, these country clergymen live such isolated lives—isolated, I mean, from all intercourse with men of equal cultivation with themselves, by whose minds they might regulate their own, and discover when they were going either too fast or too slow—that they are very apt to disturb themselves with imaginary doubts as to the articles of faith, and throw up certain opportunities of doing good for very uncertain fancies of their own.”

After visiting with Margaret in London, Henry and Mr. Bell chat about the struggles the Hale family has endured in recent years. Henry remarks that he’s heard from Mr. Hale’s successor, Hepworth, that Hale need not have abandoned his position as rector over a few nagging doubts. Henry argues that “country clergymen” become so morbidly consumed by their own ideas that they make mountains out of theological molehills, and overreact about small things. They have no neighbors of similar education, so they have few opportunities to test and refine their thinking against others. The result is that they become disproportionately fixated on certain pet ideas and sometimes do what Mr. Hale did, walking away from a potentially fruitful ministry for no good reason. While Mr. Hale himself had warned of the risk of stagnation in country life, Henry’s claim is presumptuous—assuming that Hale’s doubts were insignificant, and that his heartbreaking choice to leave Helstone need not have been made. It also lines up with the bias, seen elsewhere in the novel, that concrete, measurable action is to be preferred to thought.

Related Characters: Henry Lennox (speaker), Mr. Richard Hale, Mr. Bell, Mr. Hepworth
Related Symbols: Nature and the Countryside
Page Number: 371
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Henry Lennox Character Timeline in North and South

The timeline below shows where the character Henry Lennox appears in North and South. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
...exotic shawls, as Margaret stands “quite silent and passive.” In the midst of the modeling, Henry Lennox walks in, and Margaret gives him an amused smile, feeling the ludicrousness of the... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
When Margaret mentions that she looks forward to a rest from wedding activity, Henry remarks that lately Margaret has always “been carried away by a whirlwind of some other... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Henry asks Margaret to describe the village of Helstone in greater detail, and then teases her... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Henry is dissatisfied with Margaret’s struggle to put Helstone into words and suggests that he might... (full context)
Chapter 3
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
One October morning, Henry Lennox arrives at Helstone parsonage. Margaret greets him happily, excited to hear news of Edith.... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Henry and Margaret set out merrily. They stop to sketch some old cottages. When Margaret goes... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
When Henry compliments Margaret’s drawing, he thinks to himself that “a regular London girl would understand the... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
After dinner, the family adjourns to the garden to pick pears for dessert. Henry walks through the garden with Margaret, complimenting Helstone’s perfections. He warmly tells Margaret that he... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Taking her hand, Henry tells Margaret that he had wished to find her missing London a little more, because... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Resuming his usual coldness of tone, Henry tells her that, not being given to romance in general, it will take him longer... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...they rejoin Mr. Hale, who has not yet finished eating the pear he had started. Henry spends the remainder of their visit conversing in a more sarcastic, worldly tone, puzzling Mr.... (full context)
Chapter 4
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
After Henry leaves, Margaret sits upstairs thinking over the day, but must rally herself to deal with... (full context)
Chapter 5
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...“seemed to have pressed the youth and buoyancy out of her heart, never to return.” Henry’s marriage proposal seems like a mere dream, next to the painful reality of Mr. Hale’s... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...the path one step at a time. She passes a fretful night dreaming unpleasantly of Henry Lennox, then wakes up unrefreshed, with Mr. Hale’s doubts pressing on her once again. (full context)
Chapter 6
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...be left to act. She walks around the decaying garden, remembering her walk there with Henry Lennox only two weeks ago. Soon she hears a poacher walking in the woods beyond... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...in London, they pass familiar houses and shops, and even acquaintances; Mrs. Hale even spots Henry Lennox passing by in the street. Margaret thinks of him as “a relic of Helstone.”... (full context)
Chapter 8
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...contrast between her untroubled life in London and her present circumstances; she also knows that Henry, had she accepted his proposal, would not have understood her father’s issues of conscience. The... (full context)
Chapter 25
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret can’t help comparing Thornton’s proposal to that of Henry Lennox the year before. The biggest difference, she thinks, is that there had been genuine... (full context)
Chapter 31
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
...sufficient evidence of his well-intentioned motives for the mutiny. Margaret suggests that he meet with Henry Lennox on his way out of England the next day, and she duly writes a... (full context)
Chapter 41
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
...Dolores; he has settled in an excellent position working in Dolores’ family’s trading-house in Spain. Henry Lennox has investigated Frederick’s case and found little hope of clearing his name in the... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
...and wonders, trembling, what will become of Margaret. Mr. Bell assumes that the Lennoxes, especially Henry, will take an interest in Margaret. Thornton hides behind his newspaper again. In Milton, as... (full context)
Chapter 42
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
...niece at once. Edith begs Aunt Shaw to bring Margaret home with her to London. Henry Lennox pretends indifference at the possibility of Margaret’s coming. (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
...visit to England, assumes that Margaret’s male companion at the train station must have been Henry Lennox. Mr. Bell makes some light remarks about the attachment he fancies having seen between... (full context)
Chapter 44
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
Mr. Bell and Henry Lennox pay a visit to Margaret, and they chat about Henry’s attempt to find supporting... (full context)
Chapter 45
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
...about the joys of visiting newlywed Mr. Hale and Mrs. Hale in Helstone. He joins Henry Lennox and Margaret to go over the details of Frederick’s case, which is not strong... (full context)
Chapter 47
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...meantime, Margaret passes her time caring for little Sholto Lennox, renewing a comfortable friendship with Henry Lennox, and looking forward to a possible trip to Spain with Mr. Bell to visit... (full context)
Chapter 49
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Margaret soon learns that she has inherited about 40,000 pounds from Mr. Bell. Henry Lennox becomes her legal adviser and happily teaches her the relevant “mysteries of the law.”... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...the beach, “[putting] events in their right places” and gradually feeling more and more restored. Henry Lennox says that she looks “like the Margaret Hale of Helstone.” (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Henry Lennox becomes determined to woo Margaret once again. He admires her mind and character and... (full context)
Chapter 51
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
When Margaret comes in, Edith informs her that Henry has invited Thornton to dinner. Margaret tries to get out of the dinner-party, but Edith... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
...employ them again. Margaret speaks approvingly of this development, but is silent once again. Before Henry leaves, Margaret stops him and asks if they might meet tomorrow. Henry delights in the... (full context)
Chapter 52
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Henry and Margaret are enclosed in a private meeting for much of the next day. When... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
...be losing him as a tenant. She fumbles over some papers and, trembling, explains that Henry helped her to draw up a proposal, showing that Thornton might take some money of... (full context)