British Finds for your Summer

By Monday, July 06, 2015 , , , , ,

Hello and happy Monday! I hope my fellow Americans enjoyed the Independence Day weekend. But, irony of ironies: I realized on my Friday holiday that as I was observing a holiday celebrating American freedom from Great Britain, I was busily writing about British things. Surprise, surprise But even so, I have some good stuff for you. I’ve discovered some good new British drama that’ll last me the summer at least, and I’m here to share its joys with you. Who doesn’t need a few new summer fixes now and then? I’ve got a TV show and an author for you.

The TV Show: Poldark
It’s no secret that once Downton Abbey’s fifth season ended in March, all of us fans were lost as to what to do with our Sunday nights for the rest of the year. So when I saw Poldark advertised on Masterpiece’s social media accounts, I thought it’d be worth a try. We’re now three episodes in, and I must say, I’m impressed. I’d never heard of it before, but it’s based on a series of novels by Winston Graham, and this is actually the second screen adaptation. It’s the story of Captain Ross Poldark, a stubborn, fiery British general from Cornwall, England. It opens with him returning to Cornwall after fighting in the Revolutionary War. He’s been gone for three years, and everyone had thought him dead. Upon his return, Ross discovers his father has died, his land and copper mine are in disrepair, and the woman he loves is engaged to another. From there, we see him begin working hard to rebuild his life amidst a difficult economy in Cornwall. Ross compassionately identifies with the nearly-starved working class, which prompts him to consider reopening the copper mine and to take in an abused girl named Demelza as a kitchen maid. The show is shot on location in Cornwall, and it’s positively breathtaking. There are so many scenes that overlook majestic cliffs and clear blue ocean that I can seriously almost smell the balmy sea air. Everything looks idyllic. And similar to Downton, it does well incorporating the surrounding history, which makes it so much richer. I appreciate the emphases on poor areas, working classes, and rougher economic and social times of England as well. It offers a good contrast to Downton in that respect. And I find the British perspective during post-Revolutionary War fascinating. Check it out if you need something to do on Sunday nights! I know it’ll carry me through the summer on the edge of my seat. Watch online here at Masterpiece’s site!

Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark in Poldark
{Via FanPop}
The Author: Julianne Donaldson
One of my equally Jane Austen-obsessed friends texted me a few weeks ago just raving about this author. She recommended Edenbrooke to me, and I think I read it in a total of about 10-12 hours between a few different sittings. I read the first three chapters in Barnes & Noble and then promptly ordered it online that evening (hashtag bookworm problems/post-grad life problems). I’m now anxiously awaiting the arrival of her other book Blackmoore. She writes with all the charm of a classic Regency romance, but draws in her modern readers quite skillfully. As I read Edenbrooke, I could picture everything so well from her descriptions and characterizations, and the romantic tension she creates is spot on. And the mystery of it had me guessing till almost the very end! Marianne Daventry is the heroine (pretty great Regency name, I must say), and the story covers her summer visit to a family friend’s country estate called Edenbrooke. On the way there, her carriage is attacked by an armed highwayman…quite the mysterious twist right off the bat. Then she encounters another cryptic stranger at the inn where she receives help. As the cover summary says, there was more than a relaxing summer in store when she set off for Edenbrooke! Intrigue, secrets, flirtation, jealousy, and country dances abound in this one. I literally can’t wait for Blackmoore. I expect I’ll be just as engrossed! Click the book to find both books on Amazon!

There you have it, my fellow Anglophiles. Here’s hoping that gives you some good new British delights for a few weeks to come!

*I do not own the rights to the photos in this post. Photos used were retrieved from credited and linked Internet sources*

You Might Also Like


  1. Great Poldark thoughts, Elizabeth. I adored this series. It had a style reminiscent of the "old" British dramas we now no longer enjoy since the 40s and 50s have taken over BBC's programming (not that I'm complaining as I love those as well). Hope you continue to enjoy. :)

    1. Thanks for your input, Rissi!! I've really been loving Poldark and am so excited to see where it goes next! The hour-long episodes are never long enough! :)