Wives and Daughters

This is my favourite period film!

Wives and Daughters is a novel by Elizabeth Gaskell (author of North and South). It was unfinished at the time of her death in November 1865.

Known as her last, longest, and perhaps finest work, it concerns the interlocking fortunes of several families in the country town of Hollingford. Wives and Daughters chronicles the maturation of Molly Gibson, a sincere young woman whose widowed father, the town doctor, marries Hyacinth Kirkpatrick, a charming but petty widow and former governess in the household of Lord Cumnor. Although Molly resents her stepmother, she befriends her stepsister Cynthia, who is secretly engaged to Lord Cumnor's land agent, Mr. Preston. Molly is warmly received at the home of Squire Hamley and his disabled wife. The Hamleys' two sons are Osborne and Roger, both seen as potential husbands for Molly and Cythia.

View trailer...

This 1999 BBC miniseries was written by Andrew Davies.

The cast features the talents of Justine Waddell, Bill Paterson, Francesca Annis, Keeley Hawes, Rosamund Pike, Tom Hollander, Anthony Howell, Michael Gambon, Penelope Wilton, Barbara Flynn, Deborah Findlay, Iain Glen, Barbara Leigh-Hunt, and Ian Carmichael.

For those wanting a preview of the movie,
>>watch a fan-made movie trailer by Skipmaus

Check out page 2 for more

Great info at the PBS Masterpiece website, once you click on the character's icon,
find out actor's name, mini bio of character and a quote from the book

____Molly and Cynthia____

The relationship between Cynthia and Molly was sweet.
Although very different, they were loyally devoted to one another.
I thought it interesting to note their difference in wardrobe.
Even though they both lived in the same household,
Cynthia dressed with dramatic flare while Molly chose simpler gowns.

____Molly and Mr. Gibson____

One of the reasons I love this movie so much has to do with the tender and intimate bond between Molly and her father. (It reminds me of Elizabeth Bennett and her dad in P&P) but here we get to see it more. Molly and her father have been on their own for so long that they are so closely knit.

I love the scene shown on the left.
Mr. Gibson is both furious and worried for Molly.
"How will you bear it Molly?"

____Molly and the Hamleys____

The ties that form between the family of Hamley Hall and young Molly Gibson
are another reason this film stands out with heart.

Molly becomes the daughter they never had
and is fully embraced by Mr. and Mrs. Hamley.
In times of crisis, it is Molly on whom they depend.
We're all wrong at home, Molly....

In response to Mrs. Gibson's refusal to give up her engagement with Molly,
Mr. Hamley respondes in extreme frustration,
"Did I say an engagement was an elephant ma'am?!"

This scene is priceless. As the two sisters wait with baited breath
to see who Mr. Gibson has chosen for a new mother for Molly...
Mr. Gibson: "Of course it has been an anxious thing for me to decide
who I should ask to be the mistress of my family, the mother of my girl;
but I think I've decided rightly at last.
The lady I have chosen—"
Miss Browning: "Tell us at once who she is, there's a good man."

"Well, he rode seven miles to bring her a wasp's nest
and you don't do that for no reason!"

____Mrs. Kirkpatrick and Mr. Gibson____

I loved how comical Mrs. Kirkpatrick (call her Hyacinthe) could be. Francesca Annis did a terrific job of conveying a social climber who was hilarious in her outlandishness.

I thought it cute how Mrs. Gibson and Miss Phoebe both covered their shock with a sip of tea.

See more pictures >> My Favourite Screencaps


  1. LOVE Wives and Daughters. Its been my favorite movie. Looks like you like a lot of my favorite movies. I see North and South, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, OUr Mutual Friend... Great taste!

  2. Wives and Daughters is my favorite too! It was really hard to pick one, but even though many period films give me pleasure, none does it like Wives and Daughters.

  3. I enjoy Wives and Daughters very much, too! It's now my third favorite (after Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice). I just so wish that Molly and Roger could have their kiss in the film! Every time I watch it, that's what I find missing :)



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