My pick for the 1820s is notable for a few reasons: it’s my first pick to be based on a period source, as well as my first pick to have a story focused entirely on women. And that is the 1999 miniseries Wives and Daughters. The novel Wives and Daughters was originally published as a serial from 1864 to 1866, and was the last novel written by Victorian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell. Mrs. Gaskell was a rare Victorian woman author who was successful during her own lifetime, and her writing was and is still known for its remarkable sensitivity and sympathetic portrayals of people from all walks of life.
We’ll be seeing many of these women again in a few weeks…
(I thought Movie Monday sounded snappier than Nineteenth Century Movie Recommendations, so I went with it.)
Here you have my pick for the second decade of the 19th century: 2005 three-part miniseries To The Ends Of The Earth. Based on the book series of the same name by William Golding (author of Lord Of The Flies), To The Ends Of The Earth is a particular favourite of mine because it is Regency but not Jane Austen! (You would not believe how difficult it is to find things that are Regency but not Austen that are any good).
This is the first in a series of movie/TV recommendations for period pieces set in the 19th century by decade. I conceived this idea on behalf of my classmates in Costume History, for whom my professor has recommended selections such as Bright Star and Age of Innocence. As a lover of 19th-century clothes and an avid watcher of television, I have watched a large quantity of period pieces, and as an asexual skeptic who hates love stories, my taste in period pieces tends to veer off the beaten path of Austens, Brontës, romantic epics, and bodice-rippers to some lesser-known selections. I’m going by decade to try to keep pace with what we’re talking about in class, and to show the range, variety, and evolution of 19th century styles. And these are all pieces that I love love love, and I want to tell people about them!