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Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?

GUEST,Penny S. (sans cookie) 11 Feb 10 - 04:17 PM
Y_Not 11 Feb 10 - 04:21 PM
Silas 11 Feb 10 - 04:22 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Feb 10 - 04:28 PM
Wyrd Sister 11 Feb 10 - 04:32 PM
Y_Not 11 Feb 10 - 04:32 PM
bubblyrat 11 Feb 10 - 04:59 PM
Andy Jackson 11 Feb 10 - 05:10 PM
Will Fly 11 Feb 10 - 05:32 PM
greg stephens 11 Feb 10 - 06:06 PM
Alan Day 11 Feb 10 - 06:33 PM
gnomad 11 Feb 10 - 06:40 PM
SteveMansfield 12 Feb 10 - 03:16 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 12 Feb 10 - 03:27 AM
Phil Edwards 12 Feb 10 - 03:41 AM
Gervase 12 Feb 10 - 03:41 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 12 Feb 10 - 03:42 AM
SteveMansfield 12 Feb 10 - 03:59 AM
Alan Day 12 Feb 10 - 04:11 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 12 Feb 10 - 04:11 AM
julian morbihan 12 Feb 10 - 04:21 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 12 Feb 10 - 07:15 AM
Edthefolkie 12 Feb 10 - 07:19 AM
Edthefolkie 12 Feb 10 - 07:22 AM
MGM·Lion 12 Feb 10 - 08:07 AM
MGM·Lion 12 Feb 10 - 08:51 AM
Terry McDonald 12 Feb 10 - 08:54 AM
MGM·Lion 12 Feb 10 - 09:02 AM
Howard Jones 12 Feb 10 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,Baz parkes 12 Feb 10 - 09:21 AM
Roger the Skiffler 12 Feb 10 - 09:32 AM
Bonzo3legs 12 Feb 10 - 09:34 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 12 Feb 10 - 09:43 AM
Steve Gardham 12 Feb 10 - 10:14 AM
Bonzo3legs 12 Feb 10 - 10:48 AM
Phil Edwards 12 Feb 10 - 11:14 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 Feb 10 - 11:18 AM
Bonzo3legs 12 Feb 10 - 11:46 AM
Cats 12 Feb 10 - 12:04 PM
MGM·Lion 12 Feb 10 - 12:16 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 12 Feb 10 - 12:27 PM
Jim Dixon 12 Feb 10 - 01:02 PM
Edthefolkie 12 Feb 10 - 01:05 PM
George Papavgeris 12 Feb 10 - 01:19 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 12 Feb 10 - 01:21 PM
Edthefolkie 12 Feb 10 - 02:01 PM
Edthefolkie 12 Feb 10 - 02:04 PM
Bonzo3legs 12 Feb 10 - 05:31 PM
Desert Dancer 12 Feb 10 - 07:40 PM
MGM·Lion 12 Feb 10 - 09:31 PM
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Subject: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: GUEST,Penny S. (sans cookie)
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 04:17 PM

The other week the BBC transmitted an episode of "Lark Rise to Candleford" which rang a few warning bells for me. I have not yet read the book, to my shame, so I don't know if they have started to extend beyond Flora Thompson's own writing yet. If what was done was in the book, then I am in error, and the time of my grandparents was not as I supposed it. OK, they were in Sussex, not Oxfordshire, however...

Candleford expected the bishop, coming to bless a new font, carved by Robert Timmins. He was having difficulty, as he felt the stone wanted something he hadn't planned. It turned out that the spot which was a problem had a fossil in it, which he worked into the design.

This offended the religious postman, who knew enough about Darwin to have quite modern views (and I mean modern) about the matter. But it was not this that bothered me.

The postman has previously, and in the early, definitely Thompson stuff, appeared to be very religious in a very chapelish sort of way. Probably Methodist, of some type, but could also easily be Congregational or Baptist. He has, I think, preached. For such a man to be eagerly awaiting a bishop, from Oxford, with its leanings towards Catholicism, and regarding him as someone to be looked up to, and meeting him to be an honour, seems unlikely. (In Sussex, people like the postman would have felt very differently. In Cornwall, as recently as the 1920's, men from a chapel could have marched to smash a new papistical font.) This seemed historically wrong, but it wasn't what really bothered me.

There was a tree which started bleeding, and was reputed to hold the spirit of a woman who had died a witch. The postman felt this was an afront to the bishop, and went to chop it down. (I do hope they managed not to really damage a tree - he chopped twice.) Meanwhile, Queenie, the matriarch of Lark Rise, wanted to release the spirit, and this is where my historical sense signalled error to me. I know there are such places in folklore. I know there have been, and until quite recently, folk practices designed to quiet things in some way or another. A few years after the dramatised events, some medium would have been holding a seance. But Queenie turns up and says she has discovered a ritual to solve things, and calls on the compass directions to do so. This offends the postman, but the postmistress explains that paganism simply means things done in the country and should not worry him.

If Queenie had said she remembered something she had been taught, I would have been less bothered, but she sounded as though she had been researching books. If she had called it something that needed to be done, rather than a ritual, it would have sounded better. The word seems wrong. As it was, it seemed more like something derived from the 20th century. I have not seen any record of her sort of behaviour at the time, when people were already recording folk practices. My Dictionary of Sussex dialect, which makes derogatory comments about the ignorance and ways of the locals, mentions no such thing as paganism there. I've not ever heard anyone in the family who would have been alive at the time, or anyone who would have talked to such people, mention any such thing.

Queenie, as a character, knows many remedies, and recites charms, and until this episode had seemed a realistic sort of person, who is apparently based on a real woman, whose descendants still live.

Is it likely that a Victorian would have actually been a pagan in the modern sense? And not regarded in a derogatory fashion by the educated and the churchgoers?

The whole set of views of religion in the episode just seemed wrong.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Y_Not
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 04:21 PM

Not read the book to your shame! Well go and read the book!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Silas
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 04:22 PM

Methinks you take it a tad too seriously


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 04:28 PM

Saw about half of the first episode, but went to sleep.
I might try the book sometime. Often, re-writing for TV changes what the author done writ.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Wyrd Sister
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 04:32 PM

I agree. I think by now the characters have turned into caricatures. This episode bears no relation to anything in the books that I remember (willing to be corrected if need be). But both my daughter and I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at the obvious and preposterous New Age-ing of Queenie.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Y_Not
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 04:32 PM

Good on the BBC they are doing some DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA. Would you prefer some Big Brother?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 04:59 PM

Well now,"Penny S "---
            I don't know what part of Sussex you hail from, but I grew up at Cowdray Park (yes, I lived in Cowdray House !), Midhurst ---although it was actually in the parish of Easebourne . I sang in the choir of the church in Easebourne, and yes, I was ASTOUNDED and ASTONISHED and quite unsettled when, on attending a choir festival in Chichester Cathedral, I was confronted ,for the first time,with such alien (to me ) practices as the burning of Incense ( Shock !! Horror !!) and the playing of music by a BRASS ENSEMBLE ! ( more Shock ! More Horror !). So I take your point !
    Also, I had bad warts,which were "charmed" away from me by a local "mystic" from the village, which was something that no amount of praying in Church ever achieved !!
    I enjoy "Larkrise to Candleford", but a lot of it IS utter Bollocks !!!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 05:10 PM

Well I've never read the book. But I have worked in Telly most of my life, and I would be very proud to have been involved in this fine bit of TV Drama. It is not or even tries to be a historical documentary, or accurate re-enactment of life in those times. It is also not a screenplay version of the book.
It is a very pleasant totally harmless bit of escapist entertainment, no killing, no bad language, not even much blood.
So what is the problem?
Long may it run.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 05:32 PM

TV drama is full of anachronisms. I was watching an episode of "The Scarlet Pimpernel" (Richard E. Grant as the Pimp), in which Robespierre was talking to a countrywoman in France with a speech which included the word "masochism".

Very odd as Sacher-Masoch, from whom the term "masochism" derives, lived from 1836 – 1895...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: greg stephens
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 06:06 PM

There is a problem with this. It is absolutely nothing to do with the fine book Larkrise to Candleford. It is a total travesty, and highly dishonest to use the same title.It may be fun, but why try to pass it of as something which it is not?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Alan Day
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 06:33 PM

I worry about this all night.
It may only be a story, but why does it never rain. Something spooky about that.
I am really glad when Monday comes around ,it always makes me feel better.
Al


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: gnomad
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 06:40 PM

I'm guessing that Penny's problem is that she has noticed the join.

Flora T's writings are a reasonably coherent description of her experiences (wasn't there, or even born, but they are not incredible)

What I have seen of the BBC series was amiable enough, but codswallop, and only dimly related to the books.

As regards Penny's particular query, I would be somewhat surprised that the postman took any significant notice of such goings-on, I would expect him to condemn them all as being outwith his beliefs. Queenie 'discovers' a ritual? NO, either she knows one, or she invents one, but she's no researcher. She 'explains that paganism simply means things done in the country' NO, the postman is a countryman himself, and anyway that isn't so.

I looked forward to the LR production, unlike MM I had read the books, and hoped that something more than the title and a few character names would coincide. I don't remember how many episodes it took, but I didn't last for many.   Ah, well, perhaps I wanted too much.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 03:16 AM

I greatly enjoy Lark Rise, but wouldn't dream of regarding it as
(a) a faithful representation of Flora Thompson's original (which I have read) or
(b) an accurate piece of folklore.

It's just one of the many books that have been taken up by TV, and then the original characters and relationships from that source material have been given extrapolated and developed.

The TV series had pretty much used up all the dramatic scenarios from the source material by the end of the 1st series; there was demand for more; so the writers start inventing new plotlines, new characters (my biggest questions at the moment are (a) exactly where is slimeball journalist Daniel Parrish actually living? and (b) how come Alf can play in so many different keys on that two-row melodeon?), etc etc.

I'm with Miskin, it's good gentle TV for a Sunday night, and long may it run.

The bleeding tree with the witch trapped inside it was in the original book though ...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 03:27 AM

It's cobblers.

If Queenie is a bit of a country 'cunning woman' then she'd have *bound* that witch's spirit fast, and never ever freed her!

What the writers have imposed on Queenie are extremely modern PC sensibilities, entirely at odds with what would have been the case in a village like Lark Rise at that time. To village folk (and to cunning men and women) witches were entirely malevolent and dangerous beings. Much of the work of someone like Queenie (if she is being pitched as a cunning woman by the writers) would be to protect against and reverse a witches evil magic. She would also have had the folk magical tools and skills to trap a witch, most unlikely any of it would have been 'researched' or 'discovered' either, but most likely inherited orally.

No village cunning woman would have used the compass points either, that's a fully modern Wiccan thing hailing from the fifties (with some caveats irrelevant to Queenie's situation).

The writers could easily have worked this stuff out, but why not just perpetuate yet more modern fakelore when that's so much easier and less hassle?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 03:41 AM

The bleeding tree with the witch trapped inside it was in the original book though ...

That's interesting, though. So what did the canonical Queenie do? Did she

a) pop down to the local Library of Pagan Magick and Mystical Folklore and research an appropriate ritual
b) remember an appropriate ritual that a wise old woman taught her
c) make up an appropriate ritual from scratch, being a wise old woman herself (there have to be some perks)
d) just sort of do something without anyone concerned reflecting very much on whether it was 'ritual' or not
or
e) make herself a good sharp axe (shining steel ect ect) and chop the bleeding tree down?

Incidentally, do they show the tree 'bleeding' continuously, or does it just seep for a while and then stop, then start again? And if it is intermittent, how long does it go on before it stops? In other words, what's the bleeding time?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Gervase
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 03:41 AM

Flora Thompson would be spinning in her grave. The series has borrowed some themes from her books, but is essentially 'Heartbeat' in crinoline. The biggest BBC error was commissioning the second series.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 03:42 AM

Oh, and the other thing I forgot to mention, is that virtually the entire plot has been plagiarised from a story written by Wiccan Priest Sanders I think?

The Witch's Bottle


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 03:59 AM

So what did the canonical Queenie do?

Sorry, I've not got The Book to hand: but I don't think the 'canonical Queenie' (great phrase BTW, I'm determined to work that into a random conversation by the end of the day) actually did any wifty-wafty new age rituals around it whatsoever: IIRC, it was just a local odd-shaped tree, that there was a story about a witch being trapped inside, and so the young Laura was frightened of it. Probably a good way of stopping the local kids straying too far - don't go past the tree, it's got a witch in it!

I'm coming over all Michael Winner about this one - Calm down dears, it's only a BBC costume drama ...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Alan Day
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 04:11 AM

About ten past nine Pip,
Very clever and very funny
Al


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 04:11 AM

I like it.....so you'd better hang me, from the Witch's Tree.

In fact, I LOVE Sunday evening television. It's the only time when the violent TV b*stards allow gentleness and kindness back on to the TV screens for a while and you actually feel better for watching it...or at least, I do...

Hell, I still enjoy Songs of Praise and The Antiques Roadshow too.

Me feels a Tripe Hanging coming up... ;0)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: julian morbihan
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 04:21 AM

It strayed from the book in episode one of the first series!

But as stated it is a nice piece of harmless television drama. Just think what it would be like if Holywood ever had a go at it!

Just one thing though, has anyone else noticed that in the current series they have put yellow filters on everything?

And for another discussion, Cranford strayed just as far from the books but stilled remains a lovely television drama. And filmed in Lacock too.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 07:15 AM

Ooh!

:0)<

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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 07:19 AM

The thing I can't stand about this TV farrago is that it's an insult to Flora ("Laura") Thompson, nee Timms, who, in her late (and unhappy) years, wrote an extremely acute and sensitive memoir of her childhood and adolescence. The important point to make is that everybody in the books was a REAL person, not a yellow filtered mannequin. See extract from 1911 census (Flora was married by then).

Albert Timms, Head, 56, Married, Bricklayer, born Bucks Buckingham.

Emma Timms, Wife, 57, Married 36 yrs, 12 children, 6 surviving, 6 dead, born Oxon Ardley

Edwin Timms, Son, 31, Single, Farm Labourer, private army [pension?], born Oxon Cottisford - nb died in WW1

Frank Wallington Timms, Son, 22, Single, Farm Labourer, born Oxon Cottisford

What a filmic life they must all have led, nipping off to Candleford to hob nob with their betters over a latte, popping into the local Holland & Barretts and coming home in time to do the swingle ring round the maypole.

Referring specidically to Queenie - she was an old lady who kept bees; her dream was "A pound a week". She was married to a demented old man who tried to beat her with a strap and brandished knives.

Strangely enough the "Lark Rise" play, written by Keith Dewhurst, which started life at the Cottesloe and has subsequently been performed all over the place, is a far more successful bash at encapsulating Flora's book than the TV parody.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 07:22 AM

Sorry, meant "Specifically". Too much cider under the haycart!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 08:07 AM

I haven't watched any of the Lark Rise or the Cranford spinoffs ~ love both the originals too much to bear 'reworkings' of this sort. For that matter, I generally avoid any adaptations of books I particularly love as they rarely get them right [both the Wodehouse series, the Carmichael & the Fry/Laurie, which have been mentioned recently on the Ian Carmichael obit thread, were honourable exceptions — but the much praised Carmichael~LordPeterWimsey series, otoh, got all the dons in Gaudy·Night as wrong as it possibly could! & I know whereof I speak, having contributed the Dorothy L Sayers entry to The Continuum Encyclopedia Of British Literature (NY 2003)].

My consolation is ever that, when these piddling ephemera are long-forgotten, the books will still be there.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 08:51 AM

=== Sorry, meant "Specifically". Too much cider under the haycart! ===
                            ============
Interesting comment in this context btw Ed ~ as Laurie Lee's Cider·With·Rosie, which you clearly have in mind here, a book right in same tradition as Lark·Rise... An interesting little genre, of rural childhood impressions from late19-early20C. Are there any other significant examples anyone can think of?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 08:54 AM

A Child in the Forest by Winifred Foley springs to mind.....


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 09:02 AM

Yes, indeed ~ thank you Terry. I should have remembered that, esp as my wife knew her, as she was a journalist from the Forest Of Dean where the Winfred Foley books are set: the "Forest" of the title.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 09:08 AM

Reuben's Corner by Spike Mays, about growing up on the Essex-Suffolk border.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: GUEST,Baz parkes
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 09:21 AM

Wot...no cries of outrage at a 1930s melodeon being "played" earlier than it could have been built?

Or the wrong sort of tuning pegs on the banjo...indeed, I guess the wrong sort of banjo...

Catters, you're slipping :-))

FWIW, I love the books, have played in the band for the Dewhurst adaptation, and still enjoy the Sunday night farago. It's Larkrise Jim, but not as we know it...

Baz


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 09:32 AM

The Dewhurst version , fondly remembered from the original production is touring regional theatres at the moment. I gave up on the tv series , too far from the books.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 09:34 AM

Strangely enough the "Lark Rise" play, written by Keith Dewhurst, which started life at the Cottesloe and has subsequently been performed all over the place, is a far more successful bash at encapsulating Flora's book than the TV parody - yes we know that.

If you want the real thing, read the book. If you want the Cottesloe production, go to the British Sound Archive and listen to it - remember it lasts 2hrs 15mins.

I read a lot of half empty glasses on this thread, all trying to be clever!!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 09:43 AM

All the OP asked was 'was what Queenie did in keeping with the period?', and people replied that 'no it wasn't'.

The writers could have decided to make half an effort to keep the story line in approximate keeping with the period, by doing as little as casting a swift eye over Wikipedia just like any dork brain can manage, even the average Beeb scriptwriter.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 10:14 AM

Here's a basic question. Does fiction, or indeed faction, have to be accurate historically? Isn't entertainment the main point, perhaps even the only point.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 10:48 AM

Entertainment is the main point. It has to stand up against all the working class bilge for the masses.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 11:14 AM

Does fiction, or indeed faction, have to be accurate historically? Isn't entertainment the main point, perhaps even the only point.

No, it isn't! This is a real fallacy - just because most of us don't count the cuff-buttons when we watch Master and Commander, that doesn't mean you can ever say that "anything goes", in any genre. Even when they make up some daft bit of pseudo-science in Doctor Who, it sounds like a daft bit of pseudo-science - the Doctor doesn't wave a wand and say "Wingardium Leviosa"!

Here we've got a series ostensibly set in the early C20, just as Cranford was ostensibly set in early C19 and Dallas was ostensibly set in the 1980s. Flint tools would look wrong to all of us in any of those settings; jetpacks would look just as wrong. Wifty-wafty paganism doesn't look that wrong to most of us, so we don't care - but it does look wrong to people who know about the period, so they do.

If the BBC Bonnet Department had just wanted to make stuff up, they'd have prefaced Lark Rise with "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 11:18 AM

What happened to Dawn French's character BTW - I have not really followed it but I noticed she was missing. I tend to agree with both sides here 1 - It is a TV drama and what do you expect and 2 - It is totaly unlike anything that Flora wrote. And yes I have read it - Got that and Cider with Rosie as a companion set. Like bith but preferred the latter. Oddly enough a young American lass wandered off with my copy as we were helping her out. I don't begrudge it - she was in a bad place at he time:-(

Anywho - We are indeed currently awash with Beeb dramas - I prefer Being Human myself but as we are doing a series record on that I tend to watch it whan I have more time. Survivors is also PDG but I think there is already a thread about that.

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 11:46 AM

She is in a debtors' prison.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Cats
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 12:04 PM

I am thoroughly enjoying the series and it is just escapism. It may be inaccurate and bear little relationship to the original but the beeb, bless them, seem to have taken an incident in the book that lasts for an odd line or two, a paragraph or even a page or two and reworked it to a whole episode. As for Queenie calling the quarters... I don't know. I wasn't alive then and don't know anyone who was to tell me if they did do that then.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 12:16 PM

Agree wholeheartedly with Pip above — it is just as easy to be accurate with a bit of trouble as not. Shall never forget my disgust at the opening of the famous itv Brideshead Revisited in late 80s, where Captain Ryder said 'Good morning, Sergeant-Major' to a soldier wearing the insignia of a Colour-Sgt [a lower rank]. With the millions they were spending on the series, and with so many episodes with an Army setting, wouldn't you have thought they could have paid a competent military adviser to avoid irritating those who knew better? I have spelled out on another thread the reasons for this error ~ but confusion as to what is correct doesn't improve matters.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 12:27 PM

I like fiction, I like it because it provides escape. To provide me with escape from here and now, it must create an *internally consistant* illusion of truth which enables me to suspend my disbelief. I just hate shoddy, lazy writing when the writers should know better. Any writer worth their salt will do some degree of background research on their subject matter. Like I said, so much as a swift scan of Wiki would have been perfectly sufficient: Cunning Folk


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 01:02 PM

Writing realistic historical fiction—and especially screenplays—must be one of the hardest jobs in the world. You can spend your life studying the habits, language, and mores of people at a certain time and place, and no matter how much you know, you won't know everything, and there will always be somebody in the audience who knows something you don't, or who notices something you think no one will notice.

You can try to stick to the original, if there is one, but suppose the author says something like "Mr. Watkins paid us a visit, and told us that his mother had died."—and suppose the death of Mrs. Watkins is an important plot point that you can't simply omit. If you're going to turn that into a scene in a film, you've got to put some actual words into the mouth of Mr. Watkins, and some appropriate replies into the mouths of others. Woe betide you if you use some words or phrases that strike someone else as false or inappropriate to the period or setting.

Then, too, someone will have to decide how Mr. Watkins will be dressed, what the furniture will look like, whether Mr. Watkins will arrive on foot, or on a horse, or in a carriage, etc. All these are potential pitfalls.

Case in point: the movie Titanic. On the whole, it was a very well-researched movie, yet it has perhaps the longest list of "goofs" of any film, because hundreds of amateur history buffs have analyzed the film in great detail.

Will Fly: The error about "masochism" would have been caught by my hypothetical "anachronism checker"—that is, a modified spell-checker that uses a historically appropriate dictionary.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 01:05 PM

Mi,. chael, yeah I was indeed thinking of "Cider with Rosie". Much more poetic than "Lark Rise"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 01:19 PM

As someone already said, the characters have become caricatures by now. It's twee. The scripts have diverged so far from the original by now, they're almost in a foreign language. The script writers keep presenting us with ever more unlikely plots and should be tarred and feathered.

And yet, come Sunday I will be there watching it, grumbling and muttering, much to Nessie's annoyance ("watch something else then!").

Don't ask me why. I guess it's "comfort TV" as long as you don't make too many demands of it.

By the way, hasn't Alfie's voice improved? I really liked his singing at the last episode.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 01:21 PM

"And yet, come Sunday I will be there watching it, grumbling and muttering, much to Nessie's annoyance ("watch something else then!")."

He he! Yep, I do that to with stuff! ;-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 02:01 PM

Yet again a duff post, must have hit , sorry.

What I MEANT to say was that it's perfectly possible to do something like Lark Rise or Cider with Rosie on TV with integrity. I was thinking of the version of C with R which the BBC did in the early seventies. It was telescoped, Lee's poetic writing had to be interpreted in a visual way, etc. But it produced gems like the final scene where young Lol is walking down a country lane and sees a middle aged gent walking towards him. Said gent gravely eyeballs Lol and we realise it's Laurie Lee, who proceeds on up the lane.

The NT production of Lark Rise was played in something like a large black shoebox, again action was telescoped, half the cast weren't actors a rock band did the music. But it was truthful and floored the audience. I felt I had been transported back to the


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 02:04 PM

- oops! days of my grandparents before 1914, when the girls all went into service, the lads all became farm labourers, the kids picked peas or scared crows, my Grandad was a carpenter who did coffins as a sideline, and my grandma died at 55 after 13 pregnancies.

Does the current Lark Rise to Candleford do this? Course it don't.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 05:31 PM

The NT production of Lark Rise was played in something like a large black shoebox, again action was telescoped, half the cast weren't actors a rock band did the music. But it was truthful and floored the audience. I felt I had been transported back to the

I'm not sure that the Albions were a rock band - let me go and listen - well, just trawled through all 23 musical items from the recording I have of the show, and not a trace of a rock band!!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 07:40 PM

The Lark Rise Band -- not strictly Albion, though it's an Ashley Hutchings thing...

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Lark Rise: BBC error?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 09:31 PM

In fact, the musicians in the Cottesloe production varied. It was often Martin Carthy and Shirley Collins [I think]; but the matinée I went, I remember that John Kirkpatrick & Alison McMorland were standing in. Ashley was there as ever, or course.


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