I’ve been making this list for a while, and it is neither exaustive nor finished at the moment. I feel that it is ready to begin to share and gather comments. I should also point out that I have included ones that have a slight fantasy element to them also, if they mainly appear historical.
How about adding your favourite historic films and tv dramas to the list?
- The Company of Wolves (1984) Fantasic Neil Jordan film, fantasy and fairytale. Based on the short story from the collection ‘The Bloody Chamber’ by Angela Carter which should also be read, it’s brilliant.
- Ladyhawke (1985) Great film, though the soundtrack has dated somewhat! Matthew Broderick as the loveable thief and Rutger Hauer and Michelle Pfeiffer as the starcrossed lovers.
- Lady Jane (1986) I love this film, based on the short period of Lady Jane Grey’s life leading up to her coronation and ultimate execution. Beautifully made and acted, starring Helena Bonham Carter.
- Shadowlands (1993) Covering the period of time when C.S Lewis met and fell in love with Joy Gresham. Beautiful and moving.
- Sense and Sensibility (1995) It’s an engaging version of the story, and I’m always pleased to see Margaret Dashwood included. I do not, and will never approve of Emma Thompson playing Elinor however.
- Twelfth Night (1996) I love Shakespeare, and this is one of my favourites. Has great moments of comedy and tragedy. Plus I love Toby Stephens.
- Elizabeth (1998) Oh, what a stunning and epic film! Cate Blanchett blows everyone else out of the water as Elizabeth I. The follow up isn’t bad either.
- Gladiator (2000) If you haven’t seen this, are you dead? Russell Crowe as Roman General turned gladiator, ’nuff said.
- Moulin Rouge (2001) People have said to me, you either love it or hate it. I love it, Nicole Kidman as the courtesan and Ewan Macgregor the writer, musical-tastic!
- Possession (2002) A beautiful Victorian love story, with some unexpected twists. Parallels with modern day London. Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Ehle. You should also read the fabulous book by A.S. Byatt.
- The Abduction Club (2002) A funny and engaging romp set in 18th Century Ireland. Great cast, feelgood story.
- King Arthur (2004) I love this film, but many didn’t give it a chance. A new take on the legend, bloody, sexy and enjoyable starring Clive Owen.
- Sherlock Holmes Memoirs/Return (1984-1988) Arthur Conan Doyle
- The House of Eliott (1991-1994) Two sisters, fashion and the roaring twenties.
- Cadfael (1994-1998) Ellis Peters
- The Glass Virgin (1995) An adaptation of a Catherine Cookson novel. My fave one.
- Pride and Prejudice (1995) Jane Austen
- The Bucaneers (1995) Edith Wharton
- Persuasion (1995) and (2007) Jane Austen
- The Aristocrats (1999) From a biography by Stella Tillyard, read it, it’s fantastic.
- Wives and Daughters (1999) Elizabeth Gaskell
- The Murder Rooms – The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes (2000) Inspired by the life of Arthur Conan Doyle.
- Lorna Doone (2000) R.D. Blackmore
- Foyle’s War (2002-2008) A detective, in 1940s war-torn England.
- North and South (2004) Elizabeth Gaskell
- Bleak House (2005) Charles Dickens
- Jane Eyre (2006) Charlotte Bronte
- Northanger Abbey (2007) Jane Austen
- Cranford (2007) Elizabeth Gaskell
- Lark Rise to Candleford (2007-) Flora Thompson
- Little Dorrit (2008) Charles Dickens
More to follow when I have time!