March 29, 2011

Lark Rise to Candleford: The One Reason I’m Not Ready for Spring

It arrived in a plain box from Amazon, mistaken as the arrival of a yoga book I had ordered. But when I opened up the package, there was the show I had been asking Alison to lend me for months: Lark Rise to Candleford. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Outside, it was gray and still dreary––winter’s signature––but inside, when I popped in the discs, there was a world of warm hearths, rolling green hills, fine silk dresses, stone cottages, gossipy shopkeepers, loving families, and a postmistress with as much pluck as I could hope to have myself. I was, in a word, transfixed.

Though an unpopular point of view, I was a fan of the ceaseless snow this winter. I have since come to understand that the reason for this acceptance was the fact that I had such good programming (and the most marvelous string of novels) inside. While the real world talked about Justin Bieber’s hair, the world of Lark Rise talked about the stuff that felt infinitely more important: the relationships in our communities and families, a yard of scarlet ribbon for your beloved’s hair, a walk through the quiet, lush woods, and a slice  of warm, sweet cake eaten in the afternoon.

Oh, and adorable babies like this one:

I am a sucker for a strong leading lady, and this show has got at least two heroines that fit the bill: Laura Timmins, a dreamy but headstrong redheaded 16-year-old (sound familiar?) and Dorcas Lane, a woman of such self-possession, good humor, and a wickedly sharp tongue, I’d rather like to be her when I grow up. Besides, I love her oft-repeated phrase, announced with a naughty wink as she sinks into a bath of hot milk, drinks champagne, or raises a fork to her bow-shaped lips: “[Insert luxurious treat here] is my one weakness.”

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  • Annie: Oh I LOVE Lark Rise to Candleford! I watched it on PBS this winter, I was so sad when it ended, I didn’t think about ordering it… I should probably do that. I also watched Downton Abbey on Masterpiece Theater – I cannot wait for the second season of that!7 years ago

  • Katie: Oooooh. Sounds completely delightful. I’ve heard about the book but didn’t know there was a series! Must check it out!7 years ago

  • Elizabeth: My mom loves this show and keeps recommending it to me. Going to have to add it to Netflix (if possible).7 years ago

  • Brie.: i have never heard of this. but sounds right up my alley – love the period dramas!7 years ago

  • MaryAnne: OOOhhhhh – this is what you were telling me about- looks divine! I’ll have to rent it (or borrow it 🙂 xoxo7 years ago

  • Jill Marie: Oh my!
    Should I rent or just purchase?
    I love this era of films…always find myself snuggled up watching and getting lost in that time with the clothing and language. Everything just seemed so right.

    Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂7 years ago

  • Sadly, this series isn’t available on Netflix. But check your library to see if they have it, or wherever else people rent movies these days. I tend to be a bit of a tightwad when it comes to stuff like this, but I have to say, I was more than happy to plunk down the $30 for a season. I think it’s the kind of thing you could watch again and again.7 years ago

  • Becky: I just added the series from my netflix…it is there.
    Also, the woman in the first picture of your post appears in another great BBC classic, Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth. She plays the part of the stupid sister, Lydia, who tosses her family’s good name out the window to run away with Mr. Wickham.7 years ago

  • Becky! That is glorious news indeed! So glad they added it. And good call about her playing Lydia! I didn’t even make the connection (she is SO ANNOYING–appropriately–in that movie).7 years ago

  • Maureen: I love this series-I have a multiregion DVD player so I bought it online from the UK when it first came out. I adore the “It’s my one weakness.”

    Julia Sawalha who plays Dorcas, was also the daughter in Absolutely Fabulous. I have seen the first two seasons of Lark, need to get cracking on getting the third.

    I love this site, because no one else I know has ever heard of this series, I feel like I have found my people.

    Have you seen Lost is Austen? Very fun, and available on Netflix.7 years ago

  • Erin: Lark Rise to Candleford is my one weakness. I adore that series. It is poignant and funny. Occasionally I feel that a little of Thomas Brown goes a long way, but otherwise, the stories and each of the cast members are charming. That said, we sometimes tease or reprimand each other in a Thomas Brown voice.
    Your endorsement of this excellent show cements my view of you as a blogger extraordinare!7 years ago

  • Krista: Sarah,
    I haven’t posted a comment in quite some time but still check out your incredible blog very often. This post did me in. Your mix of decadent description, perfect cadence and underlying honesty keep me coming back to this site for inspiration. I can’t wait to check out this series (i will be visiting amazon after i post this comment).

    Keep up the great work. Your writing is simply a joy to read.7 years ago

  • Nishta: Thank you so much for blogging about this series! It sounds exactly like something I would fall in love with.7 years ago

  • Alison: I went right to another tab and bought this for my mom for her birthday….fully planning on “borrowing” it after she’s watched it. I did the same things with those “Mrs. Bradley” mysteries you recommended. They were wonderful.7 years ago

  • I forgot about those Mrs. Bradley mysteries! Thank you for reminding me–they were great! And I don’t think Lark Rise will let you down!7 years ago

  • Rebecca: I love Julia Sawalha… she was perfectly cast in that version of P&P, and the perfect straight man as Saffy in Ab Fab..
    Downton Abbey is also great… lots of fun. I’m such a sucker for a period drama!7 years ago

  • Muffin Tin: Just discovered this show when we moved to a new state (thank you, Iowa Public TV). Great characters. I’m such a sucker for a costume drama, especially if it is British.7 years ago

  • Melanie at Country Cottage Living: Lark Rise to Candleford is my ONE weakness. My mom and I love it! Still waiting for the last season which we put on hold at our local library.6 years ago

  • A Salve for Difficult Times « Pink of Perfection: […] have some news. News which knowing, as you do, how I feel about Anne of Green Gables and Lark Rise to Candleford might come as a bit of a shock, or even seem like a fabrication. But it’s true, and […]5 years ago

  • A Simple Christmas « Pink of Perfection: […] idea was dead simple, just my kind. I made them one afternoon while watching the final season of Lark Rise to Candleford. (My, is that Gabriel smoldering. But don’t tell me what […]5 years ago

  • Lark Rise to Candleford « cakes, tea and dreams: […] had gushed over this series last winter, but for some reason I didn’t pick it up then; perhaps it wasn’t the right […]5 years ago

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