Gilded Age on Television


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Aug 29, 2000
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I do hope you are watching the PBS series "Manor House" which is a real upstairs/downstairs saga of regular folks agreeing to forsake their normal lives for three months to take on the roles of footmen, butler, maids and Lord and Lady. The setting is a 1906 manor house in Edwardian England. The three tape series may be bought by calling 1-800-PLAYPBS and the book, by the greatest coincidence, was just given me this weekend by a visitor from London. The series aired in the UK as Edwardian House on Channel 4 and was a great success. It offers great insight into the monotony of domestic life, the sacrifices and challenges, and also the pressure upstairs of getting everything perfect and never putting a foot wrong in society, something one forgets sometimes in envying The Quality Gentry. It is an eyeopener and highly recommended. Anyone see this?
 

Dave Gittins

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Mar 16, 2000
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I saw the series when it was shown in Oz some months ago. I quite enjoyed it, though I thought that some of the participants never really entered into the role-playing. They brought their modern hangups along with them. Certainly some of them had very little idea of what real work looks like. The French cook was an exception, as he was used to cooking large quantities of food on demand and delivering it on time.

There's a great deal about the program here--

http://www.channel4.com/history/microsites/C/countryhouse/index.html

There are also comments on the BBC TV site.
 
Aug 29, 2000
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The last episode of Manor House aired last evening and featured a Titanic segment. The servants were perusing a copy of The Daily Mirror and discussing the sinking event. One of the "housemaids" remarked that even in death, newspapers were concerned with one's net worth in pounds and dollars-a fact sadly visible in the headlines. This is a remarkable series, the 3 DVD set sells for 69 dollars, VCR, 59dollars and worth every penny. Just about every question we have pondered under this gilded age section is covered in this series. Go to www.pbs.org for more information.
 
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Simon Welch

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Yeah I saw it in England as Edwardian House last year. It was interesting and well done but I agree with Dave it was edited to show too many hang ups and not enough participation.

Just before the year 2000 there was a similar programme call "1900 house" which was a fairly rich family living in the last years of the Victorian era, which in my opinion was more informative. That was followed by 1940's house.

I did enjoy it though.
 
Dec 12, 1999
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I did enjoy the series...it's throughly entertaining (especially watching a bunch of 21st centuriers trying to do Edwardian...classic). It also appeals on the strictly shallow level as well, which for me was the added benefit of young British male eye-candy...I'm telling you, I haven't seen that many gorgeous British guys in one place since A&E's Hornblower...or the Titanic (but in that case, it's more UK than British).
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