I’ve decided I can’t have a blog tag-line about bonnets and bustles and then never get around to discussing period drama. So just in case you didn’t know, I love period drama. I realise that’s fairly common amongst women of my age but I don’t think anybody could love it quite as dearly as I do.
That’s a bold claim, I know, and being that I’m fussy as in all things, perhaps it’s not entirely true. It can’t be any old period drama, and I’m not so keen on modern day writing set in the past. It has to be authentic. Here’s my top four (I wanted to chose five but nothing else is good enough to quite make the list):-
Pride & Predjudice (BBC adaptation)
Jane Eyre (BBC adaptation)
Emma (BBC adaptation)
North and South (BBC adaptation)
I know what you’re thinking; ‘whooaahhh, there are a lot of BBC adaptations in there!’. Well, let’s face it, the Beeb do everything better. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve read all the books too (which were, of course, amazing) but there’s something about these stories being visually brought to life, choosing just the right cast, just the right setting. There aren’t a lot of cases when movies/series’ are better than the book, but I think in costume drama’s case, it usually is.
Once a year in Bath, there’s a Jane Austen march where lots of people dress up in Georgian costume and, well…walk around Bath…I suppose. I’ve always secretly wanted to go (Bath being down the road and being that I love dressing up anyway – what could be better than dressing up as Elizabeth Bennett?). But where would you inexpensively source a costume like that? And also, I’m not super keen on looking weird…in the middle of the day. Night time is fine though.
You may think my choice of ‘North and South’ being in the list is a bit of a curve-ball; gritty, northern drama set in t’mills – not at all my usual fluffy, feel-good Austen favourites. But the male lead always swings it for me. There’s something about an enigmatic, misunderstood male protagonist. My husband thinks it’s stupid. ‘Why do all women love bastards?’ he says. But these characters are not bastards exactly, they’re just an acquired taste that you need to really work hard to get to know. And you can say that about all the best male leads (every book should have one 😜).
So whenever my husband is away for any length of time, I’ll crack open the BBC Pride and Prejudice box set (the one with Colin Firth, obviously) and watch the whole six hours over two to three nights. It’s magical. And no matter how many times I watch them, it never fails to cheer me up. ‘Why, you may be an insufferable man – yet I no longer feel vexed. This is most agreeable!’