Edwardian Themes & Topics

Widows & Widowers in the Period Drama

What does life after the loss of a beloved one seem like in the period drama? The narrative of the widow might be as putting as the mourning costume she wears, but explored via the position of emotion in historical past, life after the loss of any liked one, is an interesting subject.

Victoria & Abdul, courtesy BBC Movies


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In 1861, the early dying of Prince Albert put the spotlight on grief for the entire nation. Queen Victoria gave widowhood new which means and importance: now, dying was personal, and mourning was public: a change from customs of the earlier centuries, where dying was public and mourning personal. After Albert’s passing, the “Widow of Windsor” continued to reveal her love in the direction of husband (her counsellor, advisor, information) in such a passionate means that Home of Commons feared she was neglecting her position as regent, nevertheless it inspired her subjects.

Victoria formed the concept of the virtuous widow, turning into the prototype for the nation, and setting a new commonplace for mourning etiquette, which trickled down by means of all courses. For the widespread 19th century lady, social position would all the time be tied to the loss of her spouse till she was to remarry. Beyond dropping a associate, and probably status, widowhood also meant an outward change in her life, via demeanor, way of life, mourning gown and jewellery, typically containing a lock of hair of the deceased.

These new societal expectations about right conduct throughout mourning prolonged to the loss of any liked one. Mourning put on, black like the religious darkness of the the individual in mourning, was aligned with trend in common. It protected the wearer’s feelings, as individuals would recognise that “this person” was in mourning. Manuals advised on customs like the applicable period to mourn a distant relative, how long to keep away from public amusements, and on the levels of mourning, so a person would know when to wear the veil on the back of the bonnet, as an alternative of masking the face. Although some chose to outwardly show their grief for life, most transitioned out of mourning in the period deemed applicable by society.

Period dramas about lack of a liked one don’t start or finish with the Victorian period, but parts of the 19th century image of widowhood reverberate via lots of them. The subject has lengthy been a well-liked one, and not simply the story of the brave however heart-broken lady who forges ahead into a brand new life, or quietly holds vigil to the reminiscence of her husband. Franz Lehár’s 1905 operetta “The Merry Widow,” the story of a widow wanted for her riches, has been tailored five occasions; “Imitation of Life,” the emotionally-charged drama about two 1940s-era widows and their troubled daughters, twice, and “Gone with the Wind’s” Scarlett O’Hara captured the world’s imagination as an unfeeling two-time widow. Filmmakers continue to discover the matter with a variety of views: tenderness, honesty, humor, and even by means of themes of intrigue.



Under, we’ve listed chronologically, some period dramas portraying what comes after the loss of a beloved one, for queen and commoner, all through the totally different eras.

We determined to start out our choices at the close of the 18th century and conclude in the 1960s. Then, we take a look at a couple of titles that target men (as widowers or suffering loss), and eventually have a special section in case you’re on the lookout for one thing more “Hallmark-y.”

Mrs Brown, courtesy BBC Scotland

Widows & Ladies Suffering Loss in Period Dramas



Love & Friendship (2016): Set in 1790s London, this adaptation of the Jane Austen novella “Lady Susan” facilities on the lately widowed Woman Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale), who seeks refuge together with her in-laws to flee the scandalous rumors surrounding her personal life. Whereas at their property the scheming Woman Susan decides it’s time to secure a husband for herself and for her considerably reluctant and awkward daughter.

Starring Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny, Xavier Samuel, Emma Greenwell, Justin Edwards, Tom Bennett.

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Rated PG

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Additionally value noting: the premise of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility is that the Dashwood sisters, members of a rich English household of landed gentry, should cope with circumstances of sudden destitution, when their mother becomes a widow.


Vainness Truthful (2018): Though the cunning, social ladder climbing, Becky Sharp turns into a widow during the course of this lavish seven-episode collection, “Vanity Fair” is listed right here due to her childhood pal Amelia. At turns, the circa 1810 – 1820 paths of Becky and Amelia run parallel, diverge, zig-zag and re-converge, but they couldn’t be extra totally different in character. Innocent Amelia marries George, a person completely unworthy of her unfaltering blind devotion; he’s killed at struggle. Ameila, now a widow, refuses to see her George for the selfish man he was, and her ardent protection of his memory might rob her of real love, if she doesn’t face the fact.

William Makepeace Thackeray wrote “Vanity Fair” a decade into the Victorian period, earlier than Victoria had endlessly impacted perceptions of widowhood, however managed to infuse it with loads of Victorian morality.

Starring Michael Palin, Olivia Cooke, Tom Bateman, Johnny Flynn, Claudia Jessie.

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Rated TV-14

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The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall (1996) BBC: This three-part adaptation of Anne Bronte’s novel tells the story of a young lady with a mysterious previous, who moves to a small Yorkshire group together with her 5 yr previous son. Set in the early 19th century, Mrs. Helen Graham arrives as a widow however shares no extra details about her life. She and her baby reside in an previous mansion, and she or he takes up work as a landscape artist. Two men are interested in Mrs. Graham, and because she keeps to herself, earns a dwelling, and is outdoors of society, the town’s individuals begin gossiping about her impropriety. Although the drama begins in the late Georgian period in 1827, Bronte infused the narrative with Victorian era notions about what a wife, and widow, ought to be, but did so from a feminist perspective.

Starring Toby Stephens, Rupert Graves, James Purefoy, Tara Fitzgerald.

Rated TV-14

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Middlemarch (1994) BBC: After his takes on “Les Misérables,” “Pride and Prejudice” and “Bleak House” (among others), we’ve come to anticipate Andrew Davies to be the man to adapt the classics, but “Middlemarch” was his first. Davies’ trustworthy adaptation of George Eliot’s Victorian masterpiece, with it’s interiors designed to appear to be Dutch work, is a handsome mini-series that follows Dorothea Brooke from 1829 – 1832, a lady quickly widowed after the marriage of her significantly older husband. Eliot puts the spotlight on the consequences of choosing the mistaken associate, and in the case of our protagonist, on its lasting, unhappy implications for the early 19th-century widow.

Starring Caroline Harker, Rufus Sewell, Clive Russell,  Colum Convey, Douglas Hodge, Elizabeth Spriggs.

Rated TV-PG

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Confession of a Youngster of the Century (2012): After the end of the Napoleonic Wars, in the 1830s French countryside, a decadent Parisian libertine (betrayed by his mistress, and in the wake of the loss of his father) falls in love with Brigitte, a mild, older widow. His cynicism about love in the new century compete together with his ideals about love.

This adaptation of French Romantic Alfred de Musset’s 1836 novel of the similar identify, is predicated on his personal affair with female novelist George Sand. The interval drama’s many destructive critiques come largely from criticism of Pete Doherty’s (a musician, not knowledgeable actor) performance as the dandy a la Beau Brummell, however the story of the relationship between his character, and the provincial widow (a superb Charlotte Gainsbourg), might warrant a look ahead to those interested in the matter.

Starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Pete Doherty, August Diehl, Lily Coyle.

Rated TV-MA

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My Cousin Rachel (2017): Daphne Du Maurier’s “Rebecca” will get a variety of attention, but she authored one other suspenseful story about widowhood that made it to display. “My Cousin Rachel” was first adapted in 1952, again as a TV mini-series in 1983 by the BBC, and extra just lately in 2017. The mid-19th century set title engages the mood and themes of the romantic Gothic novel that fascinated the Victorians. Philip, a twenty-something Englishman who learns that his rich guardian Abrose is lifeless, and that he has inherited Ambrose’s farm in Cornwall, narrates. Regardless that they’ve never met, Philip is satisfied that Abrose’s new wife, Rachel, have to be chargeable for the demise.

When Philip and Rachel do meet, Philip isn’t so positive she is a murderess, regardless of the soporific tea she serves him, and her mysterious past. The sexually harmless Philip turns into captivated by the unconventional widow, and here the real ambiguity begins: is Rachel truly evil, or just a lady making an attempt to stay on her own terms?

Starring Sam Claflin, Rachel Weisz, Holliday Grainger, Iain Glen.

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Rated PG-13

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Mrs Brown (1997): “Mrs Brown” lays powerful emphasis on the social implications of Queen Victoria as a widow, a broken recluse. Set in 1861, the queen (Judi Dench) is inconsolable after Prince Albert’s demise, and the courtroom is at a loss as to the best way to deal with the brokenhearted, however headstrong, ruler. They wish to console her, but worry that her dedication to Albert is growing her reputation with the public.

Scotsman John Brown (Billy Connolly), a former servant of the beloved Prince Albert, is summoned to the courtroom. His obligation is to help Victoria resume a public life – and this works higher than expected.

Brown’s empathy is a salve to the queen, and he makes use of unconventional means (even addressing the Queen as “woman”) to shake her from her grief. As their friendship deepens, servants and different members of the household, including the Prince of Wales (David Westhead) begin to query whether or not this is still all “proper” and right. Even for Victoria, widowhood was a walk on the tightrope, and every shut relationship to a man could possibly be construed as a betrayal of the lost love.

Look for elaborate examples of 19th century mourning gown, and anticipate a your heart to be warmed as you watch the queen regain her lust for life.

Starring Judi Dench, Billy Connolly, Geoffrey Palmer, David Westhead.

Rated PG

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Affinity (2008): On this 1870s-set gothic drama based mostly on the novel by Sarah Waters and adapted by Andrew Davies, protagonist Margaret (Anna Madelay) is in mourning not for a husband, however for her father. She is consumed by grief, unable to take pleasure in her lifetime of privilege and wealth. Margaret decides to take the focus off her own considerations by turning into a “Lady Visitor” at the Millbank Jail for ladies. There, she meets the young Selina (Zoe Tapper), one among the inmates. Selina was a celebrated London medium, and shortly we – and Margaret – study that issues aren’t all the time as they appear.

“Affinity” develops right into a suspenseful thriller with forbidden romance, obsession, and the supernatural at its core. The film’s rigorously crafted period settings and costumes make for a plausible foray into the Victorian period, while its plot creates an attractive take a look at how blinding grief and desperation might be. “Affinity” should attraction to readers who take pleasure in the works of Henry James and Wilkie Collins, and to followers of costume dramas like “Fingersmith” and “The Woman in White.”

Starring Zoë Tapper, Amanda Plummer, Anna Madeley, Anna Massey, Anne Reid.

Rated 16+

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Conagher (1991): Based mostly on the novel by Louis L’Amour, sometime round the 1870s Evie Teale (Katharine Ross) travels together with her husband and youngsters to the distant, isolated West to homestead a ranch, but her husband quickly dies in an accident far from house. Evie and the youngsters are left to fend for themselves removed from civilization, not understanding if her husband is lifeless or alive. The robust but lonely widow runs a stagecoach means station, and her life intertwines with a cowboy named Conagher (Sam Elliot). Their rising affection for one another and Conagher’s have to travel the wide-open areas mean they should tread cautiously toward love. A slow-burn frontier romance and Western wrapped into one.

Starring Sam Elliott, Katharine Ross, Barry Corbin, Ken Curtis, Paul Koslo.

Rated PG

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Lady Walks Ahead (2018): This is the story of Catherine Weldon, a headstrong widowed artist from New York who, in the 1880s, traveled alone to North Dakota to paint a portrait of Chief Sitting Bull. Her arrival at Standing Rock is met with open hostility by a US Military officer, who has stationed troops around the Lakota reservation to undermine Native American claims to the land. As Catherine and Sitting Bull grow closer, and as their friendship—and his life—are threatened by authorities forces, Catherine should rise up and struggle for what’s most essential to her.

Starring Jessica Chastain, Michael Greyeyes, Chaske Spencer, Sam Rockwell.

Rated R for temporary violence and language

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Victoria & Abdul (2017): This biographical display adaption of Queen Victoria sees Dame Judi Dench in the position of her majesty for a second time. Released, and set, twenty years after “Mrs Brown,” the historical drama is perhaps considered its sequel.

It’s 1887 – the yr of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Younger prison clerk Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal) is instructed to travel to England to present her a token, which has been minted for the occasion of the jubilee. The queen, still in sorrow after the loss of her husband, develops an interest in Karim which blooms into friendship, while her curiosity about India and its tradition grows.

The Prime Minister, and the Prince of Wales try to dissolve the bond, but Abdul’s loyalty towards Victoria is unshakeable. “Victoria & Abdul” is a vigorously entertaining imagining of the queen’s controversial insistence of dwelling, as a widow, on her personal terms.

“Victoria & Abdul” offers the audience with an in depth choice of mourning clothes, and is a visible feast all around, as acknowledged by its Academy Awards® for “Best Costume Design” and “Best Make-Up and Hairstyling.”

Starring Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Eddie Izzard,  Adeel Akhtar, Michael Gambon.

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Rated PG-13

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Picnic at Hanging Rock (2018): In the last decade of the 19th century, a mysterious lady who says she is a widow, Hester Appleyard, arrives in Australia, haunted by a secret past. Here, in the new world, she establishes a successful faculty for young women. However six years later, on Valentine’s Day, 1900, the enigmatic headmistress permits her pupils to picnic at Hanging Rock. And there, in the unusual brooding panorama, one thing unthinkable happens.

Via six episodes chock-a-block with basic Victorian themes, the reimagining of the iconic Australian novel plunges us into the mysterious disappearances of three schoolgirls and their governess. Exploring the event’s far-reaching influence on the college students and employees of Appleyard School, their enigmatic headmistress and the close by township, theories quickly abound, paranoia sets in, long-held secrets floor, and the mystery deepens.

Starring Natalie Dormer, Lily Sullivan, Lola Bessis, Irma Leopold.

Rated TV-14

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The Ghost And Mrs. Muir (1947): Defying her typical in-laws, younger widow Lucy Muir (Gene Tierney) leaves turn-of-the-century London together with her young daughter and moves away for a quieter, extra unbiased, life in a secluded seaside cottage. Lucy discovers the ghost of the deceased former proprietor, good-looking sea captain Daniel Gregg (Rex Harrison), is haunting the house, but manages to speak to him.

Confronted with dwindling funds, Lucy agrees to the Captain’s challenge to write down his colorful life story, they usually develop an in depth bond. So shut, that things get difficult: “Is Lucy Muir’s lover really a ghost? Or is it a man of flesh and blood she yearns for?” Lucy has a second-chance at love when she meets a dashing writer, however her fortunately ever after might have to wait.

Starring Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, George Sanders, Edna Greatest, Vanessa Brown.

Rated 7+

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Where Angels Worry to Tread (1991): Lately widowed and anxious to escape the clutches of her oppressively meddlesome in-laws, the wealthy and free-spirited Lilia (Helen Mirren), visits Tuscany together with her good friend Caroline (Helena Bonham Carter). Lilia falls in love with good-looking, younger, and poor Italian man, “tasting passion and love for the first time” (Roger Ebert). Her mother-in-law Irma doesn’t assume the match is an appropriate one, however she will’t persuade Lilia to return to England. Irma sends her son, Philip and his priggish spinster sister Harriet, to take issues in hand, however they encounter a number of obstacles.

Based mostly on E. M. Forster first novel (1905), the guide and costume drama critique Edwardian English society and morals, offering an insightful, funny, and tragic take a look at the the expectations of the the turn-of-the-century upper-class British widow, and the collision of two totally different cultures.

Starring Helena Bonham Carter, Judy Davis, Rupert Graves, Giovanni Guidelli, Barbara Jefford, Helen Mirren.

Rated PG

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Winchester (2018): Set in 1906, “Winchester” is a gothic-style thriller about most haunted home in the world, constructed by Sarah Winchester (Helen Mirren), heiress to the Winchester fortune. Seven tales tall, with lots of of rooms, it seems like a monstrous monument to a disturbed lady’s insanity. However Sarah’s truly constructing a prison, an asylum for a whole lot of vengeful ghosts – and the most terrifying amongst them have a score to settle with the Winchesters.

Starring Helen Mirren, Jason Clarke, Sarah Snook, Angus Sampson, Finn Scicluna-O’Prey.

Rated PG-13

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Heartland (1979): In 1910, plucky widow Elinore Randall (Conchata Ferrell) and her younger daughter, Jerrine (Megan Folson), travel to Montana so that Elinore can take a job operating the family of gruff, undemonstrative rancher Clyde Stewart (Rip Torn). Though the Wild West days have pale into the current past, life in the mountainous area stays troublesome. Nonetheless, Elinore and Clyde type a quiet but loving bond in the face of backbreaking labor and sudden adversity. Wonderful, highly advisable! Read more about it here.

Starring Rip Torn, Conchata Ferrell, Barry Primus, Lilia Skala, Megan Folsom, Amy Wright.

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Rated PG

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Frantz (2016): In the aftermath of WWI, Anna (Paula Beer), a younger German lady grieving the demise of her fiancé, meets a mysterious Frenchman (Pierre Niney) who visits the fiancé’s grave to lay flowers. Anna welcomes him into her life and their shared connection to Frantz propels a haunting tale. With thriller and suspense, via remorse and forgiveness, “Frantz” explores personal loss and the tragedies of World Struggle I. Set in a small city in Germany in 1919.

Starring Pierre Niney, Paula Beer, Ernst Stötzner, Anton von Lucke.

Rated PG-13

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Widow’s Peak (1994): This lighthearted period drama about widowhood stars Mia Farrow, Joan Plowright and Natasha Richardson. Set in Kilshannon, Eire in 1920 – shortly after World Struggle I, a tightly knit group of widows stay collectively in small cottages on a hill outdoors of the town – Widow’s Peak. The First World Struggle has left deep traces in society and this group of widows is certainly one of them: grief turned an ingrained part of society during the struggle. A brand new (younger, engaging) widow – Edwina Broome (Richardson) – joins the group and stirs issues up – she’s not appearing like a widow ought to. Sudden events (together with comedic moments, well-written dialogues and moments of witty banter) ensue.

Starring Adrian Dunbar, Jim Broadbent, Mia Farrow, Natasha Richardson, Joan Plowright.

Rated PG

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Downton Abbey: Our favorite upstairs-downstairs drama provides a compelling take a look at how mourning performed out in early 1920s England, for one very unhappy aristocrat. In the first collection, Lord Grantham’s distant cousin once eliminated, becomes heir to the family estate. Grantham’s daughter Mary (Michelle Dockery), and the heir Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens), develop a friendship. After an unaccepted marriage proposal, different relationships and a conflict, Matthew would go down on bended knee in the falling snow, to ask once more for Mary’s hand. In collection three, Matthew and Mary wed, honeymoon in France, and Mary conceives a toddler.

When Mary provides delivery to a wholesome child boy, Matthew is overjoyed, and professes his everlasting love for Mary. Moments later, their fates would change, and by the end of the season, Mary is a widow. She enters mourning, saddened each by dropping Matthew and the individual she was with him. Earlier than she remarries, she visits Matthew’s grave to ask his permission for her to maneuver on.

Starring Michelle Dockery, Dan Stevens, Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter.

Rated TV-14

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Enchanted April (1992): Two proper 1920s Englishwomen are determined to get away from their drab lives and inattentive husbands, and discover paradise in the serene countryside of the Italian Riviera in this enchanting journey. When the pair lease a powerful villa for a month, they share expenses with two unlikely companions – an austere widow and a bored socialite. At first, personalities clash, however the hideaway holds a particular magic that soon sparks friendships and reminds the ladies of the way to stay and love that have long eluded them. Stellar performances and breathtaking surroundings make the Academy Award nominated “Enchanted April” a fascinating delight for everybody who’s ever dreamed of taking the good vacation.

Starring Josie Lawrence, Miranda Richardson, Polly Walker, Joan Plowright, Alfred Molina.

Rated PG

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Places In The Heart (1984): A widow struggles to save lots of her farm during the Great Melancholy. Sally Area gained an Academy Award for her position in this stirring interval drama, which pushes again towards the societal expectations for a widow.

Starring Sally Subject John Malkovich, Danny Glover, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan.

Rated PG

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You might also like Mildred Pierce: Midred isn’t a widow, however it is a wonderful research of a Melancholy-era lady desperately making an attempt to create a new life for herself and her daughter, after she suffers the lack of her marriage.


Tea with Mussolini (1999): An orphaned Italian boy is raised amongst a circle of British and American ladies dwelling in Mussolini’s Italy earlier than and during the Second World Conflict. The group of girls, referred to as the “Scorpioni” by the Italians, embrace Woman Hester Random (Maggie Smith), widow of the former British ambassador to Italy, and Elsa Morganthal (Cher), a brash wealthy younger American widow, whom Scorpioni matron Woman Hester barely tolerates.

Starring Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, Cher, Lily Tomlin.

Rated PG

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Comes a Horseman (1978): Motion, journey and romance on the American frontier in the 1940s. When a stunning widow (Jane Fonda) is pressured to sell her failing cattle ranch to her unscrupulous and powerful ex-lover (Jason Robards), she enlists the help of an antagonistic neighbor (James Caan) in a determined try to restore the ranch’s fortunes. With nice talent and willpower, the duo wrestle to rope enough cattle to pay off their money owed…but their problems are simply beginning. Driven by a deep-felt rage towards their adversary and a growing affection for one another, they stand tall towards stampedes, betrayal and sabotage.

Starring Jason Robards, James Caan, Jane Fonda, George Grizzard.

Rated PG

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The Bookshop (2018): Starring Emily Mortimer and Bill Nighy, this current release takes place in a 1950s English seaside city. A free-spirited widow follows her lifelong dream by opening a bookshop, spurring a cultural awakening over the objections of conservative locals. Bookshop proprietor Florence earns the polite however ruthless opposition of an area grand dame, and the help of a reclusive, book-loving widower. As obstacles amass, she reminds herself that a town with no bookshop is not any city at all. Based mostly on Penelope Fitzgerald’s acclaimed novel, “The Bookshop” is a chic rendering of private resolve and the battle for the soul of a group.

Starring Emily Mortimer, Invoice Nighy, Patricia Clarkson.

Rated PG

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A Place to Call House (2013): Gorgeously filmed and masterfully acted, this acclaimed interval drama brims with romance and intrigue – and over the course of the collection, focuses on two widows and two widowers. When nurse Sarah Adams (Marta Dusseldorp) returns residence to 1950s Australia after 20 years in Europe, she shortly becomes entangled in the lives of the rich Bligh family. Sparks fly with dashing widower George (Brett Climo), but she clashes together with his formidable mom, Elizabeth, who enlists George’s devious sister-in-law to disrupt their romance.

As Sarah settles into rural Inverness, she befriends a good-natured farmer and finds an sudden ally in the local doctor, Jack, who has a sophisticated previous with George’s bohemian sister, Carolyn. In the meantime, George’s daughter, Anna, pursues her personal illicit love, and his son, James, hides a painful secret from his insecure new spouse, Olivia.

Tackling weighty themes of social class, sexuality, prejudice, and the lack of a beloved one with insight and intelligence, this award-winning collection has earned rapturous praise from critics and fans alike. By means of six fascinating seasons, “A Place to Call Home” explores the ties that hold households collectively and the betrayals that may tear them aside.

Read our Q&A with the stars.

Starring Marta Dusseldorp, Brett Climo, Noni Hazlehurst, Craig Hall, Jenni Baird, Noni Hazlehurst.

Not rated, but incorporates mature themes.

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Mrs. Wilson (2019): Alison Wilson discovers in her widowhood that her marriage wasn’t what she believed it to be. Her husband Alec has just died when a lady arrives claiming to be Alec’s ‘real wife.’ Alison must attempt to find out who her husband actually was; however it quickly turns into clear that Alec died holding his secrets close to his chest. Every of the three episodes deepens the drama, and finally supplies Alison with a option to make peace together with her husband, herself, and her past. Set between the 1940s and 60s. Learn extra about the interval drama from PBS Masterpiece here.

Starring Ruth Wilson, Iain Glen, Calam Lynch, Fiona Shaw, Keeley Hawes.

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Rated TV-14

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Jackie (2016): After her husband’s assassination in 1963, Jackie Kennedy’s (Natalie Portman) world is totally shattered. Traumatized and reeling with grief, over the course of the next week she should confront the unimaginable: consoling their two young youngsters, vacating the residence she painstakingly restored, and planning her husband’s funeral. Jackie shortly realizes that the next seven days will decide how history will outline her husband’s legacy – and how she herself can be remembered.

Starring Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup.

Rated R temporary robust violence and some language

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Agnes Browne (1999): Based mostly on the guide The Mammy by Brendan O’Carroll, “Agnes Browne” is an Irish romantic comedy-drama set in 1967 Dublin. The sudden dying of Agnes Browne’s husband sends her household, consisting of seven youngsters aged between two and fourteen, into emotional turmoil and monetary disaster. Agnes begins selling vegatables and fruits at an open-air market, where she spends time together with her greatest pal Marion, who proves to be a terrific source of encouragement in her difficulties. Nonetheless, she’s pressured to borrow money from a loan shark to pay the payments. Wishing to flee her troubles, if just for a short time, Agnes goals of discovering enough cash to attend an upcoming Tom Jones concert, and with just a little luck and loads of love, things might work out higher for Agnes than she dares to dream.

Starring Anjelica Huston, Marion O’Dwyer, Ray Winstone, Gerard McSorley, Tom Jones.

Rated R for language

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Rebecca (1997), courtesy PBS

Widowers & Males Struggling Loss in Period Dramas



Wuthering Heights (2011): Though the motion takes place in the late 1700s, “Wuthering Heights” was written in 1847, and is narrated from a Victorian period perspective. This daring interpretation of Emily Brontë’s eponymous novel, with Kaya Scodelario as Catherine and James Howson as Heathcliff, is a research in grief. As ever, Heathcliff can’t bear the lack of Catherine, nor the loss of her love; not in life, and not in dying.

As directed by Andrea Arnold, the stripped-down telling of the basic is as desolate as Heathcliff. The story of uncooked, wild want fed by rejection and vengeance, unfolds on the Yorkshire moor, partly in flashback. It’s a cruel story, as bitter as the feeling of being robbed of the one true, pure thing in this world: love.

Starring Kaya Scodelario, James Howson, Solomon Glave, Shannon Beer.

Rated 14+

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Jane Eyre (2006) BBC: “Jane Eyre” presents an unforgettable, tragically romantic story of a man laid low with the lack of love. It’s not simply that each one Mr. Rochester’s (Toby Stephens) hopes of happiness are dashed when discovers he’s been fooled into marrying the insane Bertha Mason. Brooding Rochester suffers the loss of love most deeply when he is prevented from marrying his, and our, heroine, Jane Eyre (Ruth Wilson). He’s not free to do so – and Jane isn’t about to compromise herself by accepting anything less – a minimum of not at first. By the time Rochester does develop into a widower, Jane has absolutely transitioned from an unloved orphan hoping to be beloved, to a financially secure individual able to choosing her own destiny.

Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” is about in the early 1800s, but lots of its social and moral themes mirror the Victorian era, when it was penned.

Starring Ruth Wilson, Toby Stephens, Lorraine Ashbourne, Tara Fitzgerald.

Rated TV-PG

Observe: At the time of this writing, part of the description in the hyperlink under is improper, but it is for the right 2006 BBC manufacturing starring Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens.

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Rebecca (1997): The last word tale of the worst case state of affairs of being married to a widower, when the reminiscence of the first refuses to die is informed in this lavish adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s basic tale of romance, suspense and jealousy. Set in elegant Monte Carlo and dramatic Cornwall in the 1930s.

Maxim de Winter (Charles Dance) proposes to a young lady (Emilia Fox) a lady who is the reverse of Maxim’s first wife, the lovely Rebecca, who mysteriously died in a tragic drowning accident. After Maxim takes his new spouse again to his house in Cornwall, the historic and luxurious Manderley, it soon turns into evident that the shadow of Rebecca is all-pervasive, nurtured all the more by the sinister and gothic housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers (Diana Rigg). The new Mrs. de Winter begins to uncover the darkness of the past that taints the current and threatens to haunt her future.

Starring Charles Dance, Emilia Fox, Diana Rigg, Faye Dunaway, John Horsley, Geraldine James.

Rated TV-PG

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Mary Poppins Returns (2018): Set in 1930s London, twenty-four years after the events of the unique movie, the film sees Mary Poppins, the former nanny of Jane and Michael Banks, returning one yr after a household tragedy. After the demise of his spouse, Michael Banks lives in his childhood residence together with his three youngsters, Annabel, John, Georgie, and together with his sister Jane, they usually might really use the help of Mary Poppins to being some magic again into their lives.

Starring Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters.

Rated PG

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The Sound of Music (1965): Retired naval officer Captain Georg von Trapp Captain (Christopher Plummer) has been raising his youngsters using strict army self-discipline following the dying of his wife. As the new governess, free-spirited Maria (Julie Andrews) breathes life, and in time, love, into the von Trapp household. Set in 1938.

Starring Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker,  Richard Haydn, Peggy Wooden.

Rated G

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Shadowlands (1993): C. S. Lewis (Anthony Hopkins), the renowned writer of “The Chronicles of Narnia” collection, is a bachelor and Oxford College professor who spends his free time debating with fellow teachers at a pub. Though he seems solely uninterested in love, Lewis agrees to marry Joy Gresham (Debra Winger), an American writer who is trying to secure British citizenship. Their association quickly becomes a romance. When Joy is recognized with terminal cancer, their bond grows even stronger, and Lewis should confront a horrible fact: that a coronary heart awakened to nice love can also be opened to nice pain.

Starring Anthony Hopkins, Debra Winger, John Wooden, Edward Hardwicke, Robert Flemyng, Scott Useful.

Rated PG

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And, a man loses his spouse in Evelyn (2002), however a higher loss happens when his youngsters are taken away from him because of an arcane Irish custody regulation that requires youngsters to be raised in a house with two mother and father. Based mostly on the true story of Desmond Doyle (Pierce Brosnan), who after dropping his job and watching his wife depart the nation with one other man, pulls himself out of despair to wage a authorized battle to regain custody in the 1950s.


There’s additionally Charles Dickens’ Dombey and Son, which provides one other angle on Victorian era widowhood, from the perspective of a daughter looking for her father’s love after the dying of her mother.



Love Comes Softly, courtesy Hallmark

In search of something extra Hallmark-y?



Little Men is about in rural Massachusetts in the Victorian era, and is predicated upon Louisa Might Alcott’s basic 1871 sequel to “Little Women.” The collection chronicles the heroic struggles of Jo Bhaer (Michelle Burke) as she makes an attempt to handle Plumfield, a boarding faculty for boys, after the tragic demise of her husband Fritz.

Sarah, Plain & Tall is a wonderful a Hallmark Corridor of Fame movie, based mostly on the youngsters’s guide by Patricia MacLachlan. Around the flip of the century, a single New England lady (Glenn Close) responds to an commercial by a Midwestern widower (Christopher Walken) in which he asks for a bride to assist him increase his two youngsters. Followed by the sequels “Skylark,” and “Winter’s End.”

Several of the films in the romantic Love Comes Softly collection have a widow or widower at their middle. In Loves Comes Softly, a younger lady’s husband dies shortly after they arrive to start out a brand new life on the frontier, and with no options, Marty (Katherine Heigl) agrees to spend the winter with a widower named Clark (Dale Midkiff). Her dream of a new life on the prairie turns into a check of her pioneering spirit, her internal power, and her timeless faith.

In Love’s Endless Legacy, a lady struggles to manage after the dying of her husband, the native sheriff, in the line of obligation. As she puts her life back together, the lady adopts a teenage orphan woman – only to turn out to be concerned in a wrestle to save lots of the woman’s younger brother. In Love’s Eternal Braveness, the spouse of a struggling homesteader unexpectedly dies, and the man searches for the power and courage to boost his younger daughter and finds it with the help of his mother and father. Based mostly on the well-liked novels by Janette Oke set on western frontier round the flip of the century, and suitable for household viewing.

The tv collection The Man From Snowy River takes place in a small city set in the mountains close to Melbourne during the late 19th century. It tells the story of Matt McGregor, one among the richest and most influential men in town, and a widower father of three youngsters.

Civil Love is a flawed however “clean” romance that may attraction to those in search of a family friendly film set in the Victorian era: Rachel (Elise Groves) is a widow during the Civil Warfare who holds the South answerable for her husband’s demise. When a wounded enemy soldier (DeMoyne Hunt) takes refuge in her barn, Rachel reluctantly helps him. As she will get to know him extra, she realizes she must shield him from the dangerous males pursuing him, and discovers a braveness she didn’t know she had – the courage to love once more.

Also attempt The Redemption of Henry Myers: Henry Myers (Drew Waters) lives a hard life, getting by on the frontier nevertheless he can… even when it means robbing a bank. After his newest heist goes fallacious and his outlaw associates betray him and depart him for lifeless, Henry is stunned to seek out extraordinary kindness from a widow named Marilyn (Erin Bethea) and her youngsters.

In an analogous vein, there’s The Outsider: A western love story revolving around the forbidden love between a young widow (Naomi Watts) from a Mennonite-like spiritual group and a cold-blooded gunslinger (Tim Daly) whom she takes into her house after he’s wounded. Apparently the TV-PG version obtainable by way of Hallmark has been edited to make it suitable for watching with older youngsters, however you might need to watch it alone first to verify that.

Diane Lane stars in The Oldest Dwelling Confederate Widow Tells All: On her 100th birthday, Lucy Marsden recollects her life as a Civil Struggle veteran’s 14-year-old bride.

Set in the wake of the Civil Warfare, in Legacy, rich widower Ned Logan struggles to boost his family alone whereas upholding the legacy of operating a prestigious Kentucky horse farm.

Ardour’s Method is about in early 1900s France. Reunited underneath unfortunate circumstances, a widow (Sela Ward) renews an previous romantic curiosity (Timothy Dalton), till she discovers that he had a fling with one her new staff.

Season 6 of the household frontier drama When Calls the Heart sees the group of Hope Valley supporting schoolteacher – and new mom – Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) after the dying of her husband Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing). The plot line of the collection, and the unique 2013 When Calls the Coronary heart film starring Maggie Grace also includes coal miner widows.

In the first episode of Season 7 of “The Waltons,” The Empty Nest, Grandpa Zeb (Will Greer) has died and everyone seems to be mourning. The yr is 1941, and Grandma (Ellen Corby) will reside the remainder of her days as a widow, surrounded by her household.

The Valley of Mild is a A Hallmark Hall of Fame unique romance. Noah Locke (Chris Klein), a veteran of World Struggle II, wanders the rural roads of North Carolina in search of a spot to belong and develops an in depth bond with Eleanor (Gretchen Mol), a younger widow, and Matthew, a mute boy.


Dilara Scholz researches the material culture of dying in nineteenth century England, at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her blog Lilac & Bombazine is a journey by way of Victorian mourning customs and the Victorian closet. Scholz contributed to the analysis and writing of this text.


Remember to see The Period Movies Record,with the greatest British, historic and costume dramas sorted by period. You’ll especially like the listing of Robust Ladies in Period Dramas.