Oh, how I love Christmas TV!
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have no doubt gathered this from my excitement over finding that the Christmas TV guides are out! I spent an hour last week poring over every single page of it and circling everything that we need to watch and record over the festive season. I’m impressed with the line up this year, and I’m happy to be talking about Drama’s Catherine Cookson Christmas with you today.
If you’ve yet to discover the channel, they predominantly show classic dramas, and I was introduced to them when watching The Pinkertons earlier this year. Since then, I’ve found several shows that I like watching there, as I enjoy Jane Austen adaptations, and classics such as All Creatures Great and Small and To the Manor Born – these shows take me right back to my childhood. Now Drama are set to introduce us to several Catherine Cookson adaptations, with their Catherine Cookson Christmas between December 20th and 31st.
I can’t imagine that there are many readers out there who have not heard of Catherine Cookson. She was a prolific British author, who for many decades was the most borrowed novelist in UK libraries. I’d heard of her, of course, but despite enjoying historical fiction, I can’t recall reading her so I was keen to find out more and watch one of the upcoming adaptations. I have previewed The Glass Virgin, which will be showing on Drama this Sunday 20th at 11am, so here’s a little about the story and my thoughts….
The Glass Virgin
Annabella Lagrange was the only child of a wealthy family, the owners of a glass-works in the North-East of England. When Annabella was seven, she thought the world a delightful place to live in, and only occasionally wondered why her parents never took her beyond the gates of their magnificent country estate. When she was ten she decided that the seclusion didn’t really matter because when she grew up she would marry her handsome cousin Stephen and never be lonely again. But when she was eighteen, Annabella learned the circumstances of her birth—and her entire world crashed around her.
I have watched several Austen adaptations, and this production had a similar feel to those as a period drama, though the plot-line was quite different. Cookson seems to focus more on the ordinary people than the aristocracy, and the realities of life in the mid to late nineteenth century.
The film opens with Annabella as a child and we see her privileged upbringing, oblivious to the undercurrents in her parents marriage and her father’s selfish and sometimes cruel character. Then her world changes quite dramatically one day, and our protagonist is forced to grow up and grow up quickly. No longer sheltered and naive she goes out into the world as a young woman, and we see her strength and character develop as a result.
I enjoyed the development and retelling of this story. It’s a riches to rags tale, offering an insight into life during Victorian England, as a gentle romance develops. The lead characters are likeable and you do find yourself rooting for them as the film moves with enough pace to keep you interested throughout.
This is just one of the adaptations featured on Drama this season, as Catherine Cookson Christmas runs from from December 20th to 31st and I’m looking forward to watching more.
Have you read any novels by Cookson before? Are these films that you would be interested in watching on Drama too?
Disclosure: Sponsored by Drama, but all thoughts are my own as always.