By the Sword Divided (1983– )

TV Series   |    |  Drama, History, War

Episode Guide
By the Sword Divided (1983) Poster

Story of the English Civil War as seen through the eyes of two families; the Laceys, loyal to King Charles I, and the Fletchers, loyal to Oliver Cromwell.


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Cast & Crew

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John Hawkesworth

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User Reviews

31 March 2020 | GeorgeFairbrother
| One of the best written and acted historical dramas
Another great period drama from the BBC; two series were made between 1983 and 1985. It follows the fortunes of a Royalist family, the Laceys, during the English Civil War. As the title might suggest, they are torn apart by their opposing politics, with ultimately deadly results. This for me is one of the occasions when the combination of a great script and convincing performances elevate the result to something far greater than the sum of the parts.

I've read some commentary that says that it is heavily biased towards the Royalist perspective, although I disagree, and think they give both sides a fair and sympathetic representation. The characters are wholly relatable in a modern sense, which is not always the case even in the best period dramas, and the human cost of the conflict is a key part of the story. There are some stand out scenes, including a witch trial and the political machinations surrounding the trial and execution of the King.

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