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 the film Munich–The Edge of War and shared, in a non-spoilery way, that I learned new things about Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. Tina reviewed the television series Magpie Murders, based on a book she enjoyed.
The library had three series. These were originally broadcast on Channel 4 in 2013 and 2014. Wikipedia says that there are four series, but series 2 and 3, by their count, were put together on the second DVD.
Americans are most likely to recognize Tony Robinson as Baldrick from the 1980s sitcom Blackadder. Since then, he may be more famous in the UK as a program presenter, often for historical topics.
Given my recent interest in World War II, I was fascinated by the second episode. Tony Robinson takes a walk along the Dorset Coast learning about its role in defending the island in the Battle of Britain and in the preparation leading up to the D-Day invasion of Europe.
We got a second World War II story later in the series when Tony visited the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey to learn about the Nazi Occupation. Of course, that put me fully in mind of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and the fantasy Guernsey trip that book and movie inspired.
But before you think that this series only covered World War II, I’ll say that there are episodes about pre-history and about many different events in the history of Great Britain, some that I knew a little about and some that were completely new to me.
Rick really enjoyed the ones focused on the Industrial Revolution, which was a major theme of our 2014 trip to England. We learned about Richard Arkwright and his mills in the Derwent Valley and the construction of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
For my #BriFri bookish friends, here are the episodes that had a literary connection (besides the above-mentioned Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society):
- “Smugglers Cornwall” with a mention of Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier.
- “Bronte Country” including a walk through West Yorkshire.
- “The Norman Quest of Pembrokeshire” with Gerald of Wales and his twelfth-century guidebook to Wales.
- “King John’s Ruin: The Peak District” which reveals that the story we tell about Robin Hood today is mostly of Walter Scott’s 19th century invention in Ivanhoe.
These DVDs gave us several nights of enjoyable viewing. Have you seen Walking Through History? What did you think?