Saturday, 12 March 2011

A Recommendation: The Edwardian Farm Series

Reading memoirs of the leisured classes during the Edwardian period, a frequent theme is boredom and lack of stimulating activities with which to fill long days. With our modern diversions -- most particularly that of the Internet -- this is hardly a terrible challenge. Consequently, while the Idle Historian is also ostensibly leisured, it can come as a shock to realize that one's last blog post was well over one month ago. The sturdy Edwardian has not been adequately fed.

While yours truly prepares ideas for more substantial posts, let me in the meantime recommend to your attention the excellent series BBC Edwardian Farm, which follows on the success of Victorian Farm and "stars" the same presenters -- archaeologists Peter Ginn, Alex Langlands, and historian Ruth Goodman. The excellence of the programs are largely due to their extensive knowledge, energy, enthusiasm and sense of fun. The combination of the three presenters works perfectly, in terms of both their roles on the farm and their personalities.

Edwardian Farm encompasses 12 episodes representing an entire year on an Edwardian working farm in Morwellham Quay, Devon -- a country of Southwest England which is incomparably beautiful, as the Idle Historian can attest. They experience the unique circumstances of farming in this particular area -- "one leg on the land and one in the sea" -- and accomplish it all with characteristic aplomb.

You should view it. As one enthusiastic commentator in The Guardian puts it: "Oh, Edwardian Farm. How will we cope without your warm smile, your jaunty cotton neckerchief and your ability to remain straight-faced when an academic in a bowler is teaching you how to wassail an apple tree?"

Read more reflections on history, idleness, and the art of living from the Idle Historian in To The Idler The Spoils 
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