Elspeth and her unconventional parents decide to settle down in Kenya and begin a coffee plantation. This is a time of discovery for Elspeth, as she encounters the incredible beauty and ...
See full summary »
Miss Polly decides to spend a few months with her wealthy spinster aunt as a traveling companion. While in India her aunt's demise leaves her alone to pursue her freedom and explore an ... See full summary »
Brenda de Banzie,
A grandmother (Edith Evans) seeks a governess for her sixteen-year-old granddaughter, Laurel (Hayley Mills), who manages to drive away every one so far by exposing their past, with a record... See full summary »
About a veterinarian and his family who travel to South Africa from England to a game reserve. The trip was to initially release a wild animal back into the wild but then the vet falls in ... See full summary »
Young Jenny heads to the South of England to start a new career as a school teacher. Even before she has had a chance to settle in she meets Patrick, one of the local "lads". Within a short... See full summary »
Elspeth and her unconventional parents decide to settle down in Kenya and begin a coffee plantation. This is a time of discovery for Elspeth, as she encounters the incredible beauty and cruelty of nature, and new friendships with both Africans and British expatriates. A side plot involves the beautiful and bored British Lettice Palmer who enters into an affair with a handsome safari guide. Eventually, however, the excitement of Elspeth's life is disrupted by the onset of WW I, and the changes it bringsWritten by
Rhea Worrell <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Although billed as a novel, Elspeth Huxley's 1959 book was in fact a semi-autobiographical work, based on her upbringing in the former British East Africa. She corresponds to the Holly Aird character. See more »
Vivid portrait of English colonial life in Kenya...with a disclaimer
This is an extremely well crafted mini series that depicts one colonial British family's experiences in Kenya. The African wilderness scenery is absolutely breathtaking. It is based on one of three autobiographical books by Elspeth Huxley. I found the series to have a similar flavour to the film Out of Africa (starring Meryl Streep & Robert Redford), another Kenyan coffee plantation saga based on the tale of the Danish woman, Karen (Isak) Dinesen Blixen.
The series chronicles the life experiences of the Grants, an unconventional English family consisting of the mother Tilly, father Robin, and daughter Elspeth. It shows their struggles as they endeavor to establish a coffee plantation in Kenya, their interactions with both the African natives and the other British colonials...all mainly as seen from the perspective of the young Elspeth. The life they establish in Kenya is interrupted by the onset of World War I.
I tuned in to the series mainly because I am quite a fan of Hayley Mills, who is very effective here in her role as Tilly Grant, the lovely mother coping with the challenges of life in an exotic country. Holly Aird is particularly engaging as her inquisitive daughter, Elspeth, who makes friends both from among the British and the native Africans. David Robb plays her handsome father, Robin Grant. Sharon Maughan is the bored Lettice Palmer who has an affair with a safari guide, and Ben Cross the know it all newcomer, Ian Crawfurd.
Personally, I am not much of an advocate of past British (or other European) colonialism which intruded their presumed superior culture onto the supposedly lesser ignorant & savage peoples of Africa, India, or wherever. The efforts of the British to make a good life for themselves were sometimes to the detriment of the native people's. While I am no expert on the historical accuracy of this particular depiction, the natives are portrayed as superstitious, with a possible air of the condescension typical of such colonial tales.
Enthusiasts of the series might not be pleased to read my criticisms of colonialism, but they are true, nevertheless. Despite my general misgivings about such ethical issues, I am ranking this generally well made series quite highly because it does paint such an interesting portrait and is a captivating story of this family's experiences.
20 of 29 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this