YORKSGEN-L ArchivesArchiver > YORKSGEN > 2011-02 > 1298206979
From: "Roy Stockdill" <>
Subject: [YORKSGEN] South Riding starts on BBC1 tonight
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2011 13:03:31 -0000
Just a reminder that the three-part television adaptation of the novel by Winifred
Holtby, "South Riding", about a Yorkshire community in the 1930s, starts tonight on
BBC1 at 9.0 p.m. By all accounts it sounds as if it is going to be wonderful!
The series has already received rave previews from the critics before even being
shown and a six-minute video of the cast and crew talking about the making of the
programme can be seen online at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00dtrkr
One of the things that most commends it is that the adaptation of Holtby's novel has
been done by the prolific Andrew Davies, who has been responsible for many of the
finest book-to-screen adaptations of our time.
WINIFRED HOLTBY (1898-1935) was born at Rudston, near Driffield, and her mother
was Yorkshire's first female alderman (a senior local councillor). She went to Queen
Margaret's School, Scarborough, and "South Riding" was really based on Holtby's
East Riding (there never was a South Riding, of course, in reality).
I have to confess (to my shame) that I haven't read "South Riding". Perhaps I will now.
It would seem the novel is partly autobiographical, since there is a woman alderman in
it who presumably was based on Holtby's mother. Holtby herself was a socialist and
feminist and the principal character is a female head teacher who takes over a
Yorkshire high school for girls and strongly believes her pupils are destined to become
more than just wives and mothers. This leads her into clashes with traditionalists,
especially in the 1930s.
Holtby was a close friend of the novelist Vera Brittain (mother of the politician Shirley
Williams) and critics said she would have been just as famous had she lived. Sadly,
she died aged only 37 in 35 and "South Riding" was published posthumously a year
later, so she didn't live to see its success.
Anna Maxwell Martin, the BAFTA Award-winning actress (she played the heroine
Esther Summerson in Dickens' "Bleak House" in 2005), who plays the main
headmistress character, is a Yorkshire lass who was born at Beverley in 1978.
That's my Sunday night viewing set for the next three weeks!
Genealogical researcher, writer & lecturer
Newbies' Guide to Genealogy & Family History: www.genuki.org.uk/gs/Newbie.html
"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about,
and that is not being talked about."
|[YORKSGEN] South Riding starts on BBC1 tonight by "Roy Stockdill" <>|