Sunday, March 09, 2014

Sunday, March 09, 2014 12:30 am by M. in ,    4 comments
Tomorrow, March 10, BBC Radio 4 will air the first episode of a new radio adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's Shirley. The author of the adaptation is Rachel Joyce, who knows her Brontës as she previously adapted The Professor and Villette. These are the details:
Woman's Hour. 15 Minute Drama
Shirley  (Monday to Friday, 10:45 AM / 7:45 PM)

Charlotte Brontë ... Lesley Sharp
Shirley ... Jemima Rooper
Caroline ... Joanne Froggatt
Robert Moore ... Joseph Kloska
Louis Moore ... Joel MacCormack
Mrs Pryor ... Christine Kavanagh
Helstone ... Sean Murray
Hortense Moore ... Priyanga Burford
Mr Sympson ... David Seddon
Director ... Tracey Neale
Adaptor ... Rachel Joyce

Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, dramatises Charlotte Brontë's tale of romantic entanglements and turbulent times in the Yorkshire of 1811.

"Something unromantic as a Monday morning." And so begins this passionate love story ...

Set against a Yorkshire industrial background, Charlotte Bronte's powerful second novel is also an impassioned plea for social equality - for workers and women alike. Set during the time of the Luddite unrest, two strands weave together. One, the struggles of workers against mill owners, the other involving the romantic entanglements of the two heroines - Shirley Keelder and Caroline Helstone. It is the friendship of these two women, and the contrast between their situations, that lies at the heart of the piece. Many believe the character of Shirley was written for, and about, Charlotte's sister, Emily, who was dying as Charlotte wrote the novel.

Like The Professor, Villette and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, produced by the same team, this is an earthy, vivid and poignant re-telling of one of the lesser-known Brontë classics. The scenes of dangerous social unrest and conflict and love are as relevant today as when the novel was published. It's a story of friendship and love, longing and loss. A rollicking good story with plenty of cliffhangers to keep the listener hooked to the very end.
March 10
Cousins 1/10 Charlotte Brontë's tale of romantic entanglements set against turbulent times in Yorkshire.
March 11
Caroline Goes Visiting 2/10 Caroline receives an invitation to meet Shirley Keelder, new owner of the manor house.
March 12
Good Works 3/10 Shirley questions Caroline, when she discovers that her friend has lock of Robert's hair.
March 13
Whitsuntide 4/10 Shirley's charity has begun to alleviate the suffering of the poor in Briarfield.
March 14
A Proposal 5/10 The Rioters have stormed Robert's mill, and Shirley and Caroline wait anxiously for news.
March 17
The Valley of the Shadow of Death 6/10 Robert has suddenly left Yorkshire, unaware that Caroline has fallen into a deep sickness.
March 18
The First Blue Stocking 7/10 Shirley is horrified that her uncle is determined to find her a husband of his choosing.
March 19
News 8/10 Something is very wrong with Shirley but she refuses to tell anybody what ails her.
March 20
Confessions 9/10 As they wait to hear Robert's fate, Shirley tells Caroline why she has been so secretive.
March 21
The Winding Up 10/10 It is a time of change, and decisions need to be made.


  1. The story is set in 1811 so why oh why is the background music by Rachmaninoff, from over 100 years later? Couldn't you find something less anachronistic?

  2. I'm really into this one. I downloaded through BBC radio podcasts the first episode but couldn't find the second one. Is there any way I can download or buy the last one? Btw to me Rachmaninov's works were the best choice.There was a chemistry between atmosphere of the music and that of main characters.

  3. The whole series can be found on the torrent usual suspects.

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