Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Wives and Daughters

One of the final pages from the manuscript for...

One of the final pages from the manuscript for Wives and Daughters (The Works of Mrs. Gaskell, Knutsford Edition) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever eagerly brought a movie home only to discover you’ve watched it before?

When that happens I either slip it out and chastise myself for my negligent memory or shrug and go for it anyway.  Such was the case with BBC’s production of Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters.


Lovely.  I watched the whole thing in one sitting.  I would not do well with the weekly installment watch plan anymore.  I tend to eat all my Haagen-Daaz in one sitting too.

As for Wives and Daughters I think Gaskell should have actually named the series, The Doctor’s Daughter because it all centered on Molly, who was the doctor’s daughter.  I didn’t see much about wives and only a couple of daughters were the focus.  Maybe I will have to read the book.  And right now I am trying to do so.  It’s not working.

One problem I am finding out with watching really wonderful BBC adaptations is that they quench my desire to dig into the book.  I really should stick to my book first policy.


If you should hunger after a character driven historical plot that is reminiscent of Jane Austen’s complicated romance plots, then do look up Gaskell and her Wives and Daughters–watching or reading it is too personal of a decision for me to actually recommend. Umm-I did really like, really like the BBC more than I have Gaskell’s flowery writing.  But don’t let me influence you.

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4 thoughts on “Wives and Daughters

  1. Another great post. I find a good BBC production often makes me enjoy the book more. And with this book I think the opening paragraph is the perfect example of what an opening paragraph should be. So easy and interesting to read that you sink into the book immediately.

    • I’ve been too tired and too busy to enjoy this latest “movie to book” read. I’m hoping to get caught up this weekend. Although it’s sometimes hard to get into a read when I already know how it’s going to turn out. I mainly read to see what the movie didn’t put in.

  2. I bought a book the other day that I was really excited about only to realise when I started it that I’d already read it a couple of months earlier. On the plus side I bought an autographed copy without realising it so it wasn’t a total disappointment!

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