Thanks to Cat Winchester for her successful, brilliant interview with John Thornton, the protagonist of Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South as well, as of her own sequel to that novel, Northern Light. Thanks a lot also to all those of you who contributed to the interesting discussion which followed. Great questions!
Now, one of the commenters is the winner - chosen with random.org - of an e-book copy of Cat Winchester's sequel.
Congratulations and enjoy your new read!