Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I reviewed Secrets of the Six Wives with Lucy Worsley. Tina reviewed two books in one round-up post: The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell and To the Lions by Holly Watt. Jean enjoyed The Golden Skylark by Elizabeth Goudge, a collection of delightful short stories.
Man in An Orange Shirt anchored the BBC’s Gay Britannia season, a series of programs in 2017 celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality. It was shown on PBS’s Masterpiece in June 2018 as part of Pride Month. I missed that, but enjoyed watching it with my PBS Passport. It’s out on DVD and widely available in public libraries.
This drama looks at two love stories of gay men in two eras of British history.
After World War II, men who loved men took an enormous risk of prosecution and imprisonment. We watch as Flora (played by Joanna Vanderham who I loved in The Paradise and Dancing on the Edge) copes with a husband who is more attracted to an army buddy than his wife.
In modern times, things have loosened to the point that Flora’s grandson struggles with how much he wants to be part of the gay hook-up scene versus how much he wants to have a long and rewarding relationship. And how do we think Flora, with her history, will cope with this?
As a grandmother, Flora is played by Vanessa Redgrave. I feel like I should watch more of her films. I know her most, currently, as the narrator of Call the Midwife.
I really loved this one. The viewer feels sympathy for all the characters and their very different journeys through life.
One of the filming locations was The London Charterhouse. I didn’t know anything about this place. It’s a large complex of buildings, originally built as a monastery in the 14th century. Since then, it’s been a private home, a boy’s school, and an “almshouse.” An almshouse is a charity that provides housing. The Charterhouse still has that mission, in an environment that we would call “assisted living” in the US.
In 2017, The Charterhouse (in partnership with the Museum of London) opened a museum that looks really fascinating. Given their history and longevity, they have a lot of stories to tell in their spaces.
Of course, all those old buildings provide great exteriors and interiors for period filming locations. This blog post lists the shows that have filmed there.
Have you seen Man in an Orange Shirt? Or visited The Charterhouse? What did you think?