BBC ~ Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot

   O.K. this is kind-of cheating on the Works For Me Wednesday theme but here’s my tip for summer boredom. This tip is for the Moms…Send your kids off to grandma’s (that will help their boredom) then get your flannels on, brew a pot of tea and settle in the comfy chair and choose one of these BBC productions to escape to a quieter, gentler time… (if you have a 16 year or older daughter have her escape with you)

My daughter and I love BBC videos. I found some at a good price and couldn’t resist adding them to our viewing library. These are more typically DVD’s that we will watch over and over again so our money was well invested (in our minds anyway). I’m including a little review of the ones we’ve seen to give you an idea as to whether you might enjoy them. We like the detailed slow plot development that these longer series afford.

 Pride and Prejudice ~ Jane Austen

 Hands down our favorite. Well worth the 5 hour viewing time. This A & E version is a must have. We love this Elizabeth Bennet character Jennifer Ehle over the well acted Kiera Knightley in the new shorter version.

Wives and Daughters ~ Elizabeth Gaskell

Our charming Scottish Cinderella is just as likable as her stepmother is unlikeable in this gossip riddled tale set in the 1800’s. We’d watch this one again, not because of the gossip but the way that the heroine gracefully copes with it and her impossible stepmother.

North & South ~ Elizabeth Gaskill

Takes on the same sorts of class divide issues as Jane Austen but in the English industrial era. It may take a long time to develop but it’s worth the wait.

Persuasion ~ Jane Austen

One of Jane Austen’s later novels with a heroine that combines some of the lovable qualities of Elinor Dashwood and Jane and Elizabeth Bennett.

Mansfield Park ~ Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s most unlikeable heroine, Fanny Price, proves that the meek will inherit the earth by triumphing over the superficiality and virtue-lessness of her relatives and their friends.

Middlemarch ~ George Eliot

In this 19th century George Eliot story the plot is slow to develop and full of unlikeable characters. When the decent characters finally get their reward you don’t care anymore. Tedious but informative about some period customs and practices.

Berkeley Square

There are ten 52 minute episodes in this series that we haven’t had a chance to watch yet. It is described as a warm-hearted family drama set in turn-of-the-century-London, where three young girls come together as nannies and grow to be friends.

Dorothy Sayers Mysteries ~ Gaudy Night ~ Have His Carcase ~ Strong Poison

Dear and I are reading some of the Sayers mysteries and are looking forward to watching these three soon. These are described as three elegant murder mysteries adapted from the crime novels of Dorothy L. Sayers. Set in the 1930’s the relationship of amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane unfolds in a realm of romance and intrigue. Dear and I just watched Strong Poison the first in this series. It’s presented as a serial not a movie. It was prepared for T.V. so it’s 3 one hour long episodes on one dvd.  We really enjoyed it. We like the development of the characters as much if not more than the mystery…

 Now if you’d like more tips about how to beat the summer boredom for your kids go over to Rocks in My Dryer.

10 thoughts on “BBC ~ Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot

  1. Thanks for some titles I didn’t know about.
    Wish I had a daughter to watch with. My boys won’t get near.

    Hi Robin, I love my 2 boys but these aren’t movies they’d endure too well…Maybe you could host a ladies night in or get someone else to host one 🙂

  2. I have a movie for you to look for…it’s called The Namesake and it is just a classy family/ generations story of an Indian/American family. I don’t think it is available on dvd yet, but it will be and this was a story I enjoyed with both my husband and my mother. Not too many movies would meet that criteria!

    Hi Jane, Thanks for the recommendation! 🙂

  3. Grandma is too far away, although she might have them for a few days, she did last year.

    Hi Zoe, Thanks for coming by my blog. Looks like I’m too far away to take care of the little ones while you watch a movie uninterrupted, too.

  4. Thanks for some new titles! My next stop is to the library to reserve as many as possible!
    My mom and I are gaga for these too – did you catch Bleak House on PBS recently? So good. We love Masterpiece Theatre!

    Sara, I happen to have Bleak House in my stash, also. Just haven’t had a chance to watch it yet. I’m happy to hear you liked it…

  5. Love the A&E Pride and Prejudice! But I also loved the Keira version too–both have their strengths and weaknesses in my opinion. Thanks for the other recommendations–I’ll have to check them out sometime, that is when my husband’s gone (he did take me to see Pride and Prejudice in the movies, but that was really really asking too much) and my kids let me have the tv!
    Are you recommending the novels as well as the dvds?
    And to Sara, I missed Bleak House on PBS (the above restrictions applied) but I heard it was great!

    Hi Lisa, I agree that the shorter Keira version has a lot to offer, especially in the cinematography creativeness, etc. I loved them both but I think I’d still go back to the older longer versions again and again. My confession to you is that any book reviews would have to come from my daughter Katie. She has read all the Jane Austen novels. She gives the reviews of Persuasion and Mansfield Park…

  6. Hi Ellen: I’m a Canadian gal who recently stumbled upon your blog and found a “kindred spirit” in you! I can fully relate to your comments about your manicure, your tribute to the 1950’s, your musical background, your spiritual insights, and now I have this excellent list of DVD’s I am going to look for…….Thank you!

    Hi Elsie, I’m happy you found me…Do you have a blog?

  7. Nope, no blog. I just like reading other people’s blogs 🙂

    Elsie, I was just like you once…a blog reader without a blog 🙂

  8. Great idea, if only Grandma would agree to having my 5 children…. hehehehee 🙂
    Rachel xxx

    Rachel, God bless you with those 5 kiddos of yours. If you’d like I could call grandma and ask. 🙂

  9. Please compare Austen and Gaskell. Until the latest Cranford on PBS I had forgotten how detailed and interesting the Cranford series was.

  10. It may take a long time to develop but it’s worth the wait.

    I’ve seen “NORTH AND SOUTH” at least twice. I never thought it took a long time to develop.

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