Director: Anthony Page
Cast: Douglas Hodge, Juliet Aubrey, Robert Hardy , Peter Jeffrey, Patrick Malahide, Rufus Sewell, Trevyn McDowell, Jonathan Firth.
Central England: Largely filmed in the well-preserved town of Stamford in Lincolnshire. Stragglethorpe Hall in Lincoln was also used as a location.
Originally an 1871 novel by George Eliot , actually the pen name of female novelist Mary Anne Evans, 'Middlemarch' has twice been adapted for television by the BBC. The first was in 1968 and the second a mini-series in 1994. The 1994 adaption was shown in several parts and totals 375 minutes, over six hours! The screenplay was by Andrew Davies and it was directed by Anthony Page. It starred Juliet Aubrey as Dorothea Brooke and Rufus Sewell as Will Ladislaw.
The story takes place in Victorian England at the end of the Industrial Revolution. Dorothea Brooke naively marries a man twice her age, the Rev. Edward Casaubon (played by Patrick Malahide). She is hoping to advance her intellectual capacity through the relationship but it is something of a disaster and the Reverend dies shortly afterwards. She meets Will Ladislaw and falls for him, which in itself bring many additional complications. Despite the Reverend's death she still feels under his will and sees Ladislaw as a means of freeing herself of this bond. She shocks her family by announcing that she is going to marry Ladislaw.
The series was hugely popular and sparked something of a renewed interest in Victorian Britain. The Victorian era has always held a special place in the hearts of both the British and visiting tourists alike. Wealthy and powerful following the effects of the Industrial Revolution and Colonial Expansion, Britain was riding the crest of a wave. The period has left its mark in the large amount of magnificent building work completed during the time, much of which still stands and provides many a landmark for the modern visitor.
The series takes in some picturesque rural locations in the counties of Somerset and Dorset . The Manor House at Brympton d'Evercy near Yeovil is frequently used as a setting in the series. This delightful country house epitomises all that is beautiful about a classic English Country House. It has indeed been described as 'the most beautiful house in England'.
Another magnificent house featured in the series is the awe inspiring Burghley House at Stamford in Lincolnshire. This house has been described as 'the largest and grandest of the first Elizabethan age' and was originally completed in 1587. Culverthorpe Hall in Grantham in Southwest Lincolnshire is another fine building worth a visit that features in the series. The house was built in 1679 to an unusual design for Sir John Newton.
A Picture of Britain
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