The BBC began putting George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) novels on film in 1978. It would take 24 years before the five most prominent – and best – of her novels would be finished for TV airing. Most were done in mini- series. The BBC has a knack for capturing the English countryside, the dress, manners and culture of bygone days in these wonderful period movies. These classics of English lit and filmdom would be too much for Hollywood to attempt.
"Adam Bede" is the third of the Eliot's books done in this series. It is a moving story and drama set in Victorian England of the mid-19th century. All aspects of this film all superb. The main characters turn in excellent roles, and the supporting cast seems so natural that one feels right at home and part of the families in the two homes.
The story has a good plot about true love versus physical attraction. It is a morality play. It is about integrity, honesty, respect, sin and forgiveness. A most enjoyable film. Eliot was one of the great chroniclers of 19th century English society.
The world would indeed have loved to have more of Eliot, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, Anthony Trollope and Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson), even though most lived a little to a lot longer than the average age of life expectancy at the time. In 1850, that was 40 for males and 42 for females. Trollope (1815-1882) lived to be 67; Eliot (1819-1880) lived to be 61; and Carroll (1822-1898) was 66 when he died. Dickens also beat the average age of death, living to 58 from 1812-1870. But Austen (1775-1817) and Bronte (1816-1855), lived to only 42 and 39, respectively.
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