Calling All Anglophiles

~posted by Frank

Are you an Anglophile who just can’t get enough period drama, droll humor, gray skies or visions of the British countryside? If this describes you, then check out these dozen new television programs and miniseries from BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Acorn that have recently made their way to DVD. Continue reading “Calling All Anglophiles”

Movie Mondays: Seattle loves BBC!

This week’s Movie Monday column is switching things up to discuss TV again, specifically BBC. It’s no secret that Seattleites love all things BBC, and Seattle posted the highest ratings in the country for the season 3 premiere of Downton Abbey. Two other programs – Call the Midwife and Bletchley Circle – have been popular enough that it’s made it to SPL’s list of Most Popular DVDs this year. Continue reading “Movie Mondays: Seattle loves BBC!”

A reading list for Downton Abbey addicts

We know—you’ve heard. The New York Times is mad about itThe Guardian is obsessed with it.  All of your friends on Facebook go on and on about it. Lovers of British period drama (and even quite a few newcomers) agree: the BBC’s Downton Abbey is the greatest thing since crumpets.

But what is it, exactly, that makes this series so compelling? The story—about a family of English aristocrats and their servants just before and during World War I—certainly isn’t heavy on action. The characters spend much of their time drinking tea, sitting at tables, and suffering in silence. But, as in any great novel of manners, their placid faces conceal the Below Stairs the maid who inspired Downton Abbeyplotting, scheming, backstabbing, and longing going on just beneath the surface. And then, of course, there are the beautiful costumes (can I have everything in Lady Mary’s wardrobe, please?) and the gorgeous sets.

If you, like us, find the week between new episodes intolerably long, try filling the gap with some selections from our Downton Abbey reading list.  On it are some of our favorite facts (such as Lady Almina and the Real DownAmerican Heiress at SPLton Abbey), fiction (American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin and A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson),  fashion (The Edwardian Modiste with patterns to make your own fashions)  and photography of the Downton Abbey world. Take a look at the complete list, place your holds and then head on over to The Guardian to take a quiz to find the answer to Which Downton Abbey character are you? My first result was the Dowager Countess, so I took the quiz again and became Lady Mary. I’m sticking with that.

The Men of the BBC

“I’m not hung up about Darcy. I do not sit at home with the pause button on Colin Firth in clingy pants, okay? I love the love story. I love Elizabeth. I love the manners and language and the courtesy. It’s become part of who I am and what I want. I’m saying that I have standards.” — Amanda, Lost in Austen

The men of the BBC make me melt. Maybe it’s their propriety or the way women are seen through their eyes that I find myself missing in my everyday life. The exchanging of glances across a crowded room and a light hand reaching out to touch the other’s for an instant can even been seen as too much. In this day and age, it’s hard to imagine a time when any man or woman would hold back.

Elliot Cowan got my attention in Lost in Austen. Amanda, a lover of all things Austen, finds herself swapping her present day life in London with Elizabeth Bennett’s estate of Longbourn. Clumsily walking through Pride and Prejudice society, she must find her way back home without destroying the best love story ever told. With her modern day language and clothing it’s very hard for attention not to be made to her, but the longer she stays the more the characters of Pride and Prejudice become a part of her — and she a part of them. The biggest question she must face: Can she go back to her real life when her heart has already been given away to the leading man? Continue reading “The Men of the BBC”