In the 1840s, Cranford is ruled by the ladies. They adore good gossip; and romance and change is in the air, as the unwelcome grasp of the Industrial Revolution rapidly approaches their beloved rural market-town.
At the center of the story is Augustus Melmotte, a European-born city financier, whose origins are as mysterious as his business dealings. Trollope describes him as 'something in the city',... See full summary »
Set in Victorian London, Gwendolen Harleth is drawn to Daniel Deronda, a selfless and intelligent gentleman of unknown parentage, but her own desperate need for financial security may destroy her chance at happiness.
The tongues of London high society gossips begin to wag when John Harmon --a young man whose inheritance depended on his marrying a woman he had never met-- is found dead in the River Thames. The fortune passes into the hands of the working-class Boffins, who take into their new home both Bella Wilfer (Harmon's would-be bride), and a mysterious secretary known as Rokesmith. Meanwhile, Lizzie Hexam, the daughter of the boatman suspected of Harmon's murder, is pursued by two suitors: obsessive and self-righteous Bradley Headstone and roguish and lethargic Eugene Wrayburn. An expansive and varied cast of characters create an epic intertwining tale. Written by
When Lizzie is adjusting Eugene's position on the boat, a hand can clearly be seen momentarily keeping the boat steady. It then lets go of the boat and can be seen in the water. See more »
To lose the ward and the secretary in one afternoon, that was extremely imprudent of Mr. Boffin. What is worse: Miss Bella Wilfer and the Rokesmith fellow have run off together. Oh really, Mortimer! When you know the man needs counsel.
I hardly see how I am to blame. When two people are inclined to run off together, a lawyer is the last person to prevent it.
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"Our Mutual Friend," is another well done BBC adaptation of a classic Charles Dickens story, set in the complex London of 1860, beset with the poor, overseen by the unseemly rich with a class structure at it's most delineated.
All of these stories deserve the mini-treatment, to allow us into the sprawl of the period and soak up its language and atmosphere and this is right up there with the best of them. The waterfront sets are magnificent as are the sets for the refuse dump where a lot of the action takes place. The cast is enormous and includes many recognised British names, from Timothy Spall, one of my personal favourites, to Margaret Tyzack, another favourite from the original "Forsyte Saga" series.
Each character is well drawn and complex in all its humanity and struggle for survival. Keely Hawes shines as a woman ill suited to a life on the river, retrieving drowned corpses for their clothes and possessions, and as her counterpart, Anna Friel is sparkling with wit and beauty as a poverty stricken woman striving to acquire a rich husband.
The script is authentic to Dickens and the era, underlaid with a haunting musical score and overlaid with a cinematography that sweeps from the multi-layered greys of the slums and river life to the lush English gardens of the well-to-do and their sumptuous parties.
Much like the mini "Pride and Prejudice", all the plot lines sweep to a happy, clean and simple denouement in the end, but the ride is sure-footed with many interesting characters to bewitch and fascinate along the way and a suspenseful drama to hold interest.
9 out of 10 and not to be missed.
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