The first episode of Winifred Holtby's South Riding was shown last night, to brilliant reviews (five stars from the Mail on Sunday, and four stars from the Sunday Times). Did you watch it? If so, what did you think?
The novel has also been extensively featured in the newspapers. The preface to the new VMC edition, written by Shirley Williams, was extracted in the Independent on Saturday. In it she remembers 'Aunt Winifred', who she knew as a child. Read the article.
In the Daily Mail, David Morrissey speaks about his role. When he was asked to play 'brooding gentleman farmer Robert Carne, he couldn’t quite believe his luck . . . “I remember thinking, OK, where do I sign?”’ Read more.
Andrew Davies also wrote about adapting the novel in the same newspaper. Read more.
And what do the papers make of the dramatisation?:
'Superb . . . As the story unfolds, a rich portrait of small-town life in 1930s Yorkshire – with its social divisions, rivalries and hypocrisies – develops. But this is above all a love story, and Andrew Davies has brought it to the small screen triumphantly. Don’t miss it.’ Mail on Sunday (five-star review)
‘All Sunday night costume dramas should begin with a steam train and include an eligible gent steamed up on the back of a horse. And so Anna Maxwell Martin as prospective headmistress got off at Winifred Holtby’s fictional South Riding, and David Morrissey, as Robert Carne, the school governor, dismounted his steed . . . It is a highly entertaining destination . . . we are blessed with two wonderful leads. Maxwell Martin, so long TV’s plain odd one, finally allows herself to play brainy and beautiful . . . Morrissey, meanwhile . . . is at his most Heathcliff, a troubled soul’ The Times (four-star review)
‘This epic tale of love and social struggles is set in Yorkshire during the Thirties’ Depression . . . South Riding is sumptuously produced, rich in scenic beauty, and also engages with the era’s turbulent events’ Mail on Sunday
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