Sunday Night Treat
Some author’s names have stayed in a special compartment of my girlhood memory: Angela Brazil, Richmal Crompton, Margaret Mitchell, Louisa. M. Alcott and Winifred Holtby. Winifred Holtby wrote South Riding in the 1930’s and it was published posthumously. Set in a fictional part of Yorkshire – there is no South Riding – it tells the story of Sarah Burton an inspirational teacher. Her fiancée is killed in WW1 and she returns from London to Yorkshire – her birth place – to become head of a grammar school. Sarah is a gutsy heroine – she needs to be to make any headway in the male council dominated Yorkshire.
The novel has been adapted by Andrew Davies who has such titles as Middlemarch, Pride and Prejudice and Vanity Fair already under his belt. The cast includes Anna Maxwell Martin as Sarah and Douglas Henshall and David Morrissey are the two male leads. The fantastic cast include Penelope Wilton and Peter Firth. There are three parts on Sundays at 9pm on BBC 1.
I always pictured Wendy Hiller in the part – remember Shaw’s Major Barbara – but I’m sure Anna Maxwell Martin won’t disappoint. I wouldn’t miss it for the world so must record the third episode of The Promise – a dissection of the Palestinian and Jewish problems in the forties – more enthralling than it sounds.