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Oh for a Regency Beau

April 23, 2009

I’ve been losing myself in costume dramas this past week or so. It all started with Marg’s post about Richard Armitage. Now, I had heard of this Armitage character before, but I’d never seen a picture! I immediately ran off to Netflix and discovered I could watch North and South instantly.

OMG. For everyone who loves the BBC Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle P&P, North and South is just as good. And Armitage’s character is just as yummy as Firth’s Mr. Darcy; I promise. You know the first proposal scene in P&P? The first one in North and South lives up to it. Check this out (especially once it hits the two minute mark):

(As a sidenote, I’ve apparently become obsessed with YouTube lately!) I don’t want to belabour the point, but North and South isn’t nearly as well known as P&P, and the whole time I was watching it I kept thinking “Why didn’t anyone tell me it was this good?!”

Ok-I’m going to cut off my gushing. But let’s just say that Netflix kept recommending other period films that I could watch instantly, and I’ve been revelling in it all. Except it’s made me awfully jealous for their world.

I want an ankle length hooded cloak, preferably red. I want to wander around the British countryside, popping over fences and resting on huge trees. I want a loving, somewhat clueless father who gives helpful advice and makes me laugh. And most importantly, I want a handsome man dressed in those wonderful pants and jackets with a big floppy cravat with whom I can have months of misunderstandings and meaningful, tortured eye contact and just when I’ve given up hope he’ll break his emotional facade and declare his true love. And I shall agree to marry him and we’ll kiss, and he’ll twirl me around which will be even more fun because my long dress will swirl too.

I promise I’ll come back to the twenty-first century soon. But right now, all I want to do is ignore all of the books I have out from the library and dive into Trollope and Austen and Gaskell and Collins and who knows who else. And I probably shall do just that.

In the meantime, if anyone knows any chivalrous men secretly in love with me, please encourage them to write me an adorable letter, or confess their feelings during a ramble in the English countryside, or just give me a passionate kiss at a train station. ;)

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41 Comments leave one →
  1. April 23, 2009 4:25 am

    I have never seen North & South, either! I really have to remedy that in the near future!

  2. tuulenhaiven permalink
    April 23, 2009 5:02 am

    Ooo, lovely. I’ll be adding North & South to my Netflix list pronto. I too love the Regency period.

    Have you read Sorcery and Cecilia (full title – “or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot: Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Various Magical Scandals in London and the Country”!) by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer? It is the perfect mix of Regancy romance and fantasy. I think you would love it. :)

  3. April 23, 2009 5:22 am

    Oh I’ve worn You Tube out lately lol this looks like a great story! I haven’t seen any of the P&P movies before but I do love a good costume drama so I may have to try this North and South that everyone is buzzing about lately :)

  4. April 23, 2009 6:29 am

    OMG! You cannot disapear into a period piece without me, and then proceed to steal my man!!!! Hahaha! :) This post cracked me up. My life would be 100% complete if a guy professed his love to me on the English countryside.

  5. April 23, 2009 6:53 am

    Isn’t North and South the best?!? I discovered it last summer, and have been recommending it to Regency/Victorian Period lovers whenever I can. Doesn’t Richard Armitage just make you smile. ;) I actually dedicated several posts last year to him. Sigh…ditto on the train station kiss.

  6. April 23, 2009 6:54 am

    I’ve had North and South on my instant queue for awhile and I’m glad to hear it’s as good as P&P! I’m not sure if I’ll be able to convince my husband to watch it, though, so I might have to save it for a night alone ;)

  7. April 23, 2009 7:35 am

    Oh, Eva, I adored this post :0) What woman in their right mind wouldn’t want exactly what you described?? You made me want to rent P & P and now North and South…thanks!

  8. April 23, 2009 7:46 am

    I’ve always thought that I was born in the wrong place and time. I would be very happy in the English countryside that you describe.

  9. April 23, 2009 7:53 am

    Eva . . . go for it! This is a good place to be. Stay away from social networking applications for as long as you can, and hold out for your Mr. Darcy.

    Seriously though, you MUST add Daniel Deronda to your Netflix cue. I just saw it recently, and can tell you that you will be totally in love with Deronda. (Doesn’t hurt that he is a total babe.) It is one of my favorite Eliot novels (I know you like Middlemarch too), but don’t expect the “breaking of the emotional facade” and eventual happy marriage that you get in Austen (and Dickens!) Deronda is a little bit more serious and less fantasy, but still so, so, so passionate.

  10. April 23, 2009 7:57 am

    Thanks for letting me know about this. I can’t wait to see it!

  11. April 23, 2009 8:14 am

    I love North and South. I just discovered a BBC modern adaptation of Wuthering Heights called “Sparkhouse” also staring Richard Armitage. It’s set in the modern day with a female Heathcliffe. I don’t think you can get it on DVD here in America (because it’s too British…DVD format is still England), but you can watch all the parts on YouTube!

  12. April 23, 2009 8:23 am

    You know, I’ve heard a lot of good things about North and South, but not in relation to P&P. And I LOVE P&P so now I’m pretty excited about North and South.

    And I hear you about Regency beaus, etc.! I’ve often thought it would be a great time period to live in, despite all the pesky inconveniences of the day :-)

  13. April 23, 2009 8:43 am

    I love period pieces. I love the clothing! I agree with you. I want a long dress I can twirl in!

  14. April 23, 2009 9:37 am

    Eva, if you ever get a change, head on up to West Point for a day – you can hike a hill to the fort they boys meet at. It’s rather cool to walk around and recognize where different bits of the story took place.

  15. April 23, 2009 11:09 am

    I’ve decided to read North and South before I watch it but that puts it off indefinitely which bums me out!

  16. April 23, 2009 1:06 pm

    I’m there if there’s Colin Firth!

  17. April 23, 2009 2:28 pm

    I love period pieces. They’re so good, and the men are perfectly polite. Sigh.

  18. April 23, 2009 3:30 pm

    Oy, that train station kiss! North and South is hands down one of my favorite adaptations!

  19. April 23, 2009 4:15 pm

    Oh, I ADORE Richard Armitage! Totally Swoon-worthy, and yes North and South is wonderful. So glad you discovered this!

  20. April 23, 2009 4:53 pm

    I read the book and really enjoyed it – I didn’t even know there was a film! Thanks, Eva, I have to go watch it now. =)

  21. April 23, 2009 5:32 pm

    I’ve been in love with Richard Armitage since I started watching the BBC series Robin Hood – but I haven’t watched North and South yet. I want to read the book first.

    If you want more of Richard, watch the Christmas special from The Vicar of Dibley. :)

  22. April 23, 2009 6:37 pm

    I love North & South! (ok, so probably mostly because of Richard Armitage..) But I found the book better; I liked the book’s restrained ending better than the train station kiss (sorry everyone!) which I found quite unbelievable and out of period. Still. I loved it.
    I also like Wives & Daughters, if you want to watch another Gaskell. The adorable Anthony Howell (from Foyle’s War) plays the love interest, Roger. He’s less dark and angsty than John Thornton but sweet in his own way. :)

  23. shelleyatchainreading permalink
    April 23, 2009 8:36 pm

    This is my all time favorite! You’re making me want to watch it, but I have it loaned out to a friend. That’s actually why I bought it–so that I could share it with everyone!

  24. April 23, 2009 9:27 pm

    “And I shall agree to marry him and we’ll kiss, and he’ll twirl me around which will be even more fun because my long dress will swirl too.”

    Yes, a thousand times yes :)

  25. April 24, 2009 5:57 am

    Oooh, this sounds good. We have Netflix and can do Watch It Now, so I think I need to get on this! I haven’t read any Gaskill before, but why do I think that’s about to change? (Sometimes I worry I’ll wear my P&P DVDs out by constantly rewatching certain scenes, such as that first proposal… and the second proposal… and all the good stuff in between! ;) ). Thanks for the recs!

  26. stacybuckeye permalink
    April 24, 2009 6:32 am

    Last year I went through a P & P and Jane Eyre marathan and someone suggested North & South. Now you’ve convinced me I need to see it :)

  27. April 24, 2009 11:54 am

    I have thought, on and off for years, that if I could go back and re-do my wedding, I’d do it in regency costume. I’d not like to go back and live in the time period, but to dress up in the costumes… oh, that would be heaven.

    And I really should watch North and South. :)

  28. April 24, 2009 4:19 pm

    Oh yes, Richard Armitage! I’ve only just recently discovered him when he joined the cast of my beloved Spooks, and I didn’t realise he was in North and South – which I’ve actually watched before! I need to rent it again, I think.

  29. April 24, 2009 5:44 pm

    I am so glad to read this post and even gladder when someone else loves it just as much as I loved it!

    I have seen the mini-series and read the book, and while I totally agree that the train station scene doesn’t fit the social values of the period still think that it is one of the most romantic scenes in TV. I did like the ending of the book as well, ending on that note of humour!

    Now, there’s no Richard Armitage in this next recommendation, but it is still a lot of fun to watch and it is another adaptation of an Elizabeth Gaskell book. You should try and see if you can watch Cranford as well. It is a longer series, but another BBC production that is well worth watching!

    If you want more Richard, then you could also try getting hold of the last episodes of The Vicar of Dibley where he is totally droolworthy as a modern man, and then there is also the current series of Robin Hood where his completely gorgeous as Guy of Gisborne!

  30. April 25, 2009 4:56 am

    If by some miracle you should find more than one fabulous old-world gentleman, could you Fedex the spare to Brisbane?

    And Megan – Spooks has just about reached that point down here, and I am very much looking forward to Monday night :-)

  31. April 25, 2009 5:54 pm

    Ha, I just watched (and posted about this) a few weeks ago. It is really well made (and as you said, he sure is easy on the eyes).

  32. April 27, 2009 11:23 pm

    Armitage makes my soul melt :)
    North and South is great, and I love him being wicked in Robin Hood

  33. May 3, 2009 5:39 pm

    So that’s who Richard Armitage is! I first saw him on Vicar of Dibley and swooned as much as the Vicar did. Now I’m going to have to find some You Tube since we don’t get Netflix up here! At least I don’t think we do…..who knows. But I’m with you on Regency men! I just saw two Austen movies on tv, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, and *sigh* I LOVE her men. I’m with you about living in the English countryside too, and I want a cloak!!! Great post Eva!!

  34. May 3, 2009 5:45 pm

    I just watched your you tube clip. I have to get this! and I have to read the books too. Wow. I might be drooling…..he’s gorgeous…..how did I not know about this???

  35. May 4, 2009 9:39 pm

    I LOVE this movie. I just watched it again a few weeks ago. Richard Armitage has (sacrilege, I know!) probably overtaken Colin Firth for me in terms of brooding costume drama heroes…

  36. May 5, 2009 4:09 am

    How have I never heard of this? Adding it to my queue ASAP.

  37. May 6, 2009 12:29 pm

    Oh, Eva, welcome to the small but oh-so-dedicated circle of viewers around the world who have both a small “North and South” AND Richard Armitage problem. And it’s only a “problem” because we can’t stop doing everything else and do nothing but watch Richard Armitage and BBC videos all day!

    I’d second the recommendations to Robin Hood, Spooks, and Sparkhouse, but I’d also point out he’s in a Miss Marple adaptation (“Ordeal by Innocence”) and you can hear his oh-so-sexy voice reading poetry here:

    http://www.richardarmitageonline.com/war-less-ordinary/war-less-ordinary-excerpts.html

    If you’re up for period dramas might I also suggest the fantabulous “Under the Greenwood Tree” starring Keeley Hawes and James Murray? It’s not as dark as “North and South” but it is wonderful as well, and Murray’s nothing to sneeze at either.

  38. May 6, 2009 1:03 pm

    I’m so glad you found the BBC’s North and South–it’s been one of my favorites since I first saw it a couple of years back. My mom bought it for me for Christmas! Like the Firth/Ehle P & P, it’s one I return to over and over!

    By the way, I’m also a Vicar of Dibley fan :)

  39. May 7, 2009 6:06 pm

    Netflix has been recommending North and South to me, too. After watching that clip, I think I’ll be watching it tonight! It looks fantastic.

  40. August 28, 2009 3:26 pm

    I haven’t seen this but this video makes me want to check it out now. Wow, this is very similar to P&P. Hilarious.

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