Gaskell Season for PBS Masterpiece

Here's a promotional plug for a group that has just been created on Facebook seeking others of a similar mindset that would like to see PBS Masterpiece feature the works of writer Elizabeth Gaskell. Previously, PBS featured an Austen season which was highly successful with so many fans of the works of Jane Austen tuning in to watch. There are many of us who would love to see something done in a similar vein to highlight the adaptations of novels written by Ms. Gaskell.

As previously mentioned on here, there is a Facebook group trying to persuade PBS to air North and South, one that I still can't believe hasn't been shown already! I can't help but think that it would be a most excellent proposition to not only present North and South, but also include other adaptations that they've shown such as Wives and Daughters (shown in 2001) and of course Cranford (shown in 2009).

And wouldn't this be made complete by including a brand new production of one of Gaskell's works that hasn't been adapted in recent years such as Mary Barton, Ruth or Sylvia's Lovers? Just a recommendation...


  1. I love North and South! Richard Armitage as Mr. Thornton - need I say more?

    Also, Wives and Daughters is excellent and Cranford is quite amusing. Especially with the recent success of Downton Abbey, they should air more period drama.

  2. I would love to see more Gaskell adaptations. She's such an overlooked author, and definitely merits as much attention as Austen and Dickens. While I found the novel "Mary Barton" a bit melodramatic, I think it would make an excellent miniseries (in part because of its melodrama). I personally think that the best period dramas are adapted from novels, and original works such as "Downton Abbey" never seem to be quite as good. I'd also love to see more Thomas Hardy films - he was very prolific and, like Gaskell, had a wide range of works, from light-hearted comedies to dark tragedies.

  3. I LOVE Elizabeth Gaskell and would most definitely like to see a Masterpiece season dedicated to her works!!! I own most of the adaptations mentioned on DVD, but it would be fantastic to have one of her other novels done in film.

  4. I have to join this group. Who is in charge of programming for Materpiece/PBS that they missed out on North and South! I didn't realize that it hadn't aired in the US yet, as I have my own copy which is now getting warped from overuse!

  5. Wow... I just stumbled upon your blog yesterday and this morning I have explored your other blogs. I will be back often. I love what you are doing on your blogs!

  6. Loved North&South and Wives and Daughters, two of my very favorites.

    Another suggestion would be Mary Elizabeth Braddon. Lady Audley's Secret was made 2000, but since Ms. Braddon wrote over 70 novels there are lots to choose from!

    First time commenting. Love your blog since I do not have commerical TV, it keeps me updated on period films. Thank you !

  7. I love North & South! I hope PBS Masterpiece will have an Elizabeth Gaskel season too as I also enjoyed watching Wives and Daughters, Cranford, and Return to Cranford.

    North & South is my second all-time favorite period drama to watch (over and over again) after P&P movie (with Keira Knightley).JT and Margaret's love/hate relationship was quite similar to P&P's Elizabeth & Darcy especially with two proposal scenes (both handsome Thornton and Darcy rejected on the first proposal). I even blogged about a P&P/N&S comparison on my P&P Blog:

    charleybrown - I love, love, love your blog (as I told you before). I love following/reading it (even though it's my first time to comment here, lol). You do such an excellent job in posting all about the period drama genre and I love your top 10/30/150 list of period films. I've seen a lot of the ones listed in your list of period films. Some of them happen to be my favorite period films (ie. P&P, N&S, Love in A Cold Climate, Doctor Zhivago, The Inheritance, Little Dorrit, and now Downton name some). Keep up the great work! :-)

    P.S. Looking forward to this Sunday's episode of Downton Abbey! Loved and enjoyed watching last week's first episode! Can't wait to see the rest of the episodes!

  8. Thank you to those who've left such kind comments! It's great to know that we all share a love for these films!

  9. I discovered this post today and I want to tell you that I really appreciate it. I've always thought Sylvia's Lovers would become a wonderful screenplay... it's my very favourite among Gaskell's novels (I wrote my MA thesis on it). Thanks for your work!

  10. MaraB,
    Interesting that you wrote your thesis on Sylvia's Lovers! I've not read it but glad to hear that you think it would adapt well to screen. We can only hope that producers out there will choose new projects instead of countless remakes!

  11. Cranford was perfection. Dame Dench was the pentultimate example of morality and friendship. My heart ached when there was nothing left to I began to download as many period drama movies and BBC or ITV mini series and tv shows I could. My other favourites:
    Lark Rise to Candleford
    Downton Abbey
    Tess of the D'Urbervilles
    North and South
    Pride and Prejudice
    The Forsyte Saga
    Little Dorit

    It's because of Cranford that my on and off fancy with period dramas has become a downright addiction and makes me stay up until 3am researching what is left out there that I have not yet seen (fortunately for me, there is still basically everything pre-1990 that I have missed) and buying tattered Edwardian era blouses with what little left-over student loan money I have.

    Anyhow, your blog is the ONLY one I have come across that is so comprehensive and useful as a resource for both film and fashion. I thank you!

  12. Realistic Chic,
    After watching Cranford, I became reluctant to watch any other period dramas for fear that they just couldn't compare! There are some that got crossed off my to-watch list because I don't wish to waste time on lesser films! Glad that you discovered other period dramas and that you've found the blog useful - makes me happy to hear since I had a hard time discovering new ones a few years ago and hoped that this might help others to do so!

    Jealous of your Edwardian blouses, tattered or not!



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