South Riding (TV Mini-Series 1974)

TV Mini-Series   |    |  Drama


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8.7/10
30

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2 November 2006 | lyn_hardy
8
| A modern Jane Eyre
A great televisions series starring Dorothy Tutin and Nigel Davenport in the early 1970's. The main character, Headmistress Sarah Burton, based on the authouress, Winifred Holtby, is staunchly Labour but falls for Tory landowner, fox hunting Robert Carne who is married and his wife is insane. (Jane Eyre lives on!) There are some fantastic characters in this, Mrs Alderman Bellows being one of them, and many young actors carved their names in this series.

The representation of the women who work in the public sphere in South Riding points to the problems encountered by women in the post-war period. Sarah Burton, the headmistress of Kiplington High School for Girls, is the heroine of South Riding. She is a successful and independent woman. Her success is, however, dependent upon the fact that she works in female education. This was the only arena where women did not have to compete with men. The other important female character in this novel is Alderman Mrs. Beddows, who is the first woman Alderman on the South Riding County Council. In the 1930s, work in local government (an extension of the public work long practised by middle-class women) offered women more opportunities than work in national politics.

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