Friday, February 10, 2012

The Glass Virgin meets The Wingless Bird

Annabelle LaGrange is a sheltered little girl, brought up in a rich country home, 
and very much a daddy's girl.

That is until one fateful day when she uncovers secrets about her 
father, a glassworks manufacturer, that change her opinion of him forever.

With only her father's groomsman, Manuel (Brenden Coyle–love him in this!) 
as a best friend growing up, Annabelle is unaware of rumors 
of her actual parentage until fast forward ten years when she turns 17.

Her world comes crashing down when in a fit of anger her father tells her she is
actually the daughter of a harlot house Madam. Her prospective suitor 
overhears and assures her no one will marry her now,
including him.

This week's Costume Drama Spotlight is on the 1995 adaptation of
Catherine Cookson's 
The Glass Virgin

Her father meets with an untimely accident and no one else is willing to take her in so
Annabelle is forced to leave behind her privileged world and convince 
Manuel to take her with him so she can find some kind of work to do.
Not that she has ever done a stitch of it in her lifetime.

He reluctantly agrees to help her and so goes this story. 

Full of adventures and heartbreak, 
trials and love born from true friendship,
I found this story to be very engaging and I was really rooting
for this girl to get a new life together and overcome the obstacles she faced.
It reminded me just a little of Tess of the D'urbervilles–only with a better ending :)

Two for one today, folks!
The second spotlight is the 1997 adaptation of another
Catherine Cookson novel:
The Wingless Bird
Agnes Conway is a shop girl in the time period around WWI [think Downton Abbey :)].
She comes from a middleclass working family.
Her father is an alcoholic with a raging temper. 
Her sister gets herself pregnant and in trouble.
Her mother depends on Agnes to run the family businesses.
And Agnes is always the one called on to fix her family's troubles.

Then one Christmas Eve into the sweets shop pops Charles, a rich gent and journalist.
She falls in love.
So does he.
There are family obstacles to overcome on both sides due
to such an unequal match.

Charles has a brother.
He meets Agnes and let's just say, he understands how 
his brother came to fall in love with her.
He's smitten.
They become just friends.

Then the war happens.
One brother joins the army.
The other one remains at home, a conscientious objector.
Sickness and other trials happen.
And through it all, Agnes excels.
She is good at defying societal conventions.
She is confidant in who she is.
And rises to the challenges thrust her way.

This is a thoroughly charming story, and while yes, it is rather slow paced,
I thought that fact added to the quiet allure of this film.
It has a very satisfying love story woven throughout.
And I feel like I really do step back into 
a bygone era whenever I
watch it.

I would highly recommend seeing either or both of these, 
and as always I'm interested in what you think and if you've seen or read either of these!!!

Happy Viewing.


  1. I have the Glass Virgin on my instant queue! the other one makes me want to read it first! I am in need of a classic-ish book to sink my teeth into!

  2. Haven't seen either one of these. But they might be interesting.

  3. Thanks for the recommendations. I will check these movies out. They look pretty good.


  4. Both of these sound wonderful. I am going to research them. I am needing a new book to read.
    Look at Bates in his younger day. Love it!

  5. @Kate: That is where I saw this movie–instant Netflix queue! Yay for that invention :) And they both make me want to read the novels.

    @Rissi: Yeah, I gave the Glass Virgin a chance, never having heard of it and I found that I was really pleasantly surprised. Good story. Love Brenden Coyle :)

    @Callmesnakke: Do check them out and let me know what you think once you do. Thanks for stopping by :))

    @Nonnie: I know, he looked so young and yet, he always seems to play such a good guy character. I wonder if they released these stories to kindle? :)

  6. I streamed both of these movies on Netflix back in January and LOVED them! I saw The Wingless Bird first and it got me in the habit of looking for classic British movies based on books. Others that I streamed are Daniel Deronda, He Knew He Was Right, Wives & Daughters and BBC North & South. If you have not seen BBC North & South you are in for a wonderful love story and if you don't fall for Richard Armitage after watching it you may have something wrong with you...LOL North & South is a 4 part miniseries that debuted in 2004 in the UK. LOVE IT!!! Afterwards I read the book of the same name that it is based and and listened to the unabridged audio book.

    If you love to read is great and you can connect with other people who also are addicted to reading.


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