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 »
This Masterpiece Theatre production, set at the cusp of the Industrial Revolution, chronicles the life, loves, foibles and politics of the fictional English town of Middlemarch. Adapted ... See full summary »
Based on a little known 1848 novel by Anne Bronte, Tara Fitzgerald stars as an enigmatic young woman who moves to 19th Century Yorkshire with a young son. Distancing herself from everyone ... 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 daughter of a country doctor copes with an unwanted stepmother, an impetuous stepsister, burdensome secrets, the town gossips, and the tug on her own heartstrings for a man who thinks of her only as a friend.
18th-century England and Ireland viewed through the eyes of four beautiful high-born sisters - Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox, great-granddaughters of a king, daughters of a cabinet minister, and wives of politicians and peers.
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.
An adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's classic story of parvenue Becky Sharp's rise from obscure & humble origins to her subsequent ignominious fall from Society; set amongst the ... See full summary »
Unusual Trollope adaptation, which almost succeeds
This latest period drama, written by Andrew Davies, takes a minor and rather unusual Trollope novel and applies the full Davies/BBC costume drama treatment. The sets are sumptuous, whether in a London still with fields and footpaths, the cathedral city of Wells or Italy. The acting is excellent, with outstanding performances by some of the older generation of British actors - notably Anna Massey, Geoffrey Palmer, Bill Nighy and Geraldine James.
But the novel itself is not the usual Trollope of politicians and clergymen (although both are featured). It is rather a psychological study of a man consumed by jealousy, and its effects on all around him. The problem in the 21st century is that the bases for the jealousy, the responses and the social mores which shape them, are so deeply rooted in Victorian England's peculiar class structure that they are hard to comprehend, and even harder to sympathise with. So that this viewer is irritated rather than involved, wanting to ask "what is all the fuss about?" But the director, writer and cast keep the action moving briskly through the four hours of the mini-series, and it is only in the final hour, when melodrama turns farcical, that the irritation overcomes the involvement.
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