An insight into my TV Drama addiction: Cookson Christmas – The Glass Virgin

The Glass Virgin Catherine Cookson

It’s funny that I’ve never really mentioned this before, apart from an aside in a post once upon a time, but I’m a little bit addicted to good old fashioned TV dramas and murder mysteries. One of my favourite times of the year is when it starts getting dark on an evening (although that isn’t such good news for outfit photos!) and all the good dramas start on TV – I’m currently waiting on new series such as Death in Paradise, Midsomer Murders and Father Brown to start up again but lamenting the end of New Tricks and Lewis (boo hoo!).

A couple of years ago, the Drama channel started up; Ben and I had found a new addiction: it shows reruns of all of our favourite series including classic dramas, has introduced us to several more, and has just now introduced me to what could be a new found love: Catherine Cookson. Check out all the different dramas they show at their website here (I’d definitely recommend it!).

Catherine Cookson is a name that’s pretty familiar to me – they’ve been old family favourite books with my Grandma being a big fan, and I’ve frequently spotted her novels on my mum’s bedside table. Strangely enough, I’d never actually read one myself despite her books being the most borrowed from UK libraries for decades and her being a female northern author from South Tyneside.

So when I was offered the chance to watch a film based on one of Catherine Cookson’s novels, The Glass Virgin, which will be showing on the Drama channel this Christmas, I positively jumped at it!

Many of Cookson’s novels portray both the aristocracy and common man in the 19th century in Northern England, class struggles and women’s rights, and The Glass Virgin is much the same. “Annabella Lagrange has only ever known a life of luxury, brought up in a wealthy family, the owners of a large glass-works in the North-East. Immediately she’s shown as a compassionate child, willing to help the poor children whose families live around her family’s vast estate, but rarely ventures outside the gates of her home or socialises with other people. Little does she understand the monetary problems her family is facing or the rather unfortunate circumstances of her birth…”

You know I love a good “nothing is quite as it seems” storyline, whether that’s in a book or a film, and with the truth about her birth sending Annabella’s life crashing down around her on her 18th birthday, this one fits that plot very well. Not only that, but I love seeing a story that depicts “real life” during the 19th century in the North. Many of the stories you usually see set around these times are based more around the higher classes – Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park (favourites of mine from school days!) spring to mind – but this shows the flipside of it. Starting in the grand house, but showing nearly all the staff fired immediately as Annabella accidentally lets it slip that the cook is feeding scraps to orphans, the nurse blindfolds her during her bath (what?!), and a maid allows her to hear someone calling her “bastard”…woops!

The Glass Virgin Catherine Cookson

So The Glass Virgin, along with other Catherine Cookson films, will be showing on Drama over Christmas between December 20th and 31st – you’ll know where to find me! These are the kind of stories that will have the whole family sat around the TV and enjoying together this season. They’re the perfect tale to stick on with the fire blazing in the background when you’re full from your Christmas dinner – heart-warming, timeless and slightly addictive. Will you be watching them?

The lovely Jocelyn at The Reading Residence is also reviewing this film too today, so make sure to pop over to her blog and check out what she thought too and say hi while you’re there!

This is a collaborative post, but this does not affect my judgement of the film – in fact, I can probably only blame them for making my drama addiction worse!

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