Wives and Daughters

MOLLY GIBSON

The unthinkable has happened.  I have fallen in love with another woman.

MOLLY GIBSON
MOLLY GIBSON
JUSTINE WADDELL
JUSTINE WADDELL
ELIZABETH GASKELL
ELIZABETH GASKELL
FRANCESCA ANNIS
FRANCESCA ANNIS
VICTORIAN WOMAN
VICTORIAN WOMAN
VICTORIAN LADY
VICTORIAN LADY

JUSTINE WADDELL

Fortunately or unfortunately, the other woman is a fictional character who lived in 1830s England. Her name is Molly Gibson.

I had the good pleasure of watching the 1999 BBC film adaptation of Wives and Daughters a few days ago and it is captivating. The story comes from a novel by Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) that was not quite finished when she suddenly died. In the film, the main character, Molly Gibson, is preciously played by the fine actress, Justine Waddell.

Wives and Daughters presents us with a slice of life as it was 175 years ago. After the film ended, I had to pause and reflect on how the relationships between men and women have changed so drastically since that time. We can learn from Shakespeare, and even ancient writers, that human beings are essentially the same through the ages in their emotional makeup. The parameters of their interactions, however, differ greatly.

Wives and Daughters is a story about a young woman, Molly Gibson, on the cusp of adulthood, who has an outstanding relationship with her widower father. The father remarries a rather vain, silly woman; mostly because a friend has convinced him that Molly needs a mother. The father is rather blind to the shallowness of his new bride, though Molly sees it right away—but keeps this to herself. Later in the story, the step-mother's gorgeous daughter comes home from school abroad and she is the opposite of Molly—she is a narcissist with scarcely any real feelings for other people. Nonetheless, Molly loves her as she is and becomes her only friend. It's not long before the young man Molly secretly loves, falls in love with her step-sister instead—breaking Molly's heart. Her heart is more troubled by the fact that the step-sister doesn't love the young man—he is simply a good catch of a higher social class to her—than her own loss.

There is a lot more to the story but I want talk about Molly. She is played by an attractive actress but it is her inner beauty and grace that shines out of her character I found irresistible. Molly is a young woman who shows love to everybody through her actions. She cares about others more than herself. There is nothing she will not do for others, providing it is honorable. She is the very definition of the word winsome.

Molly never reveals a secret; therefore many confide in her. She truly empathizes with people in their troubles and without fail rushes to aid them, even at risk to herself. She is intelligent, dignified, and humble. She is clean and as pure as the driven snow. I think she may be the most wonderful woman ever created as a fictional character.

VICTORIANS

I was struck by the archaic modes of romance in those days.  This is not a "hook-up" culture.  It is old-fashioned, to be sure.  The young men in the story are not focused on sex.  They are focused on marriage.  And before they propose marriage they ask for the permission of the girl's father first.  Quaint.   It was thought that parents knew best whether to approve or disapprove of a marriage partner, using their experience in the world to judge the potential outcome of a match.  These were largely not arranged marriages, but they were approved marriages—with a notable exception to this in the story.  There are always exceptions. 

I found the people in the film—besides Molly—to be flawed, as all people in any time are.  But I couldn't help but notice they seemed, in general, to be of more noble and honorable character than we are today.  There was nothing cheap about them.  Their interactions were more true to the real nature of human heart, which I do not believe ever changes.  I will always love Molly Gibson. 

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Comments 110 comments

jiberish profile image

jiberish 7 years ago from florida

You have a pure heart and can see goodness in others easier than most. Times have changed and has made us a disposable society, with a lack of morals, and today woman like Molly fall between the cracks, may even be considered odd. Her character was portrayed beautifuly. It's refreshing to know that there are still men like you around. Nice Hub.


creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 7 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

Thanks for sharing that touching movie, just reading about it touched my heart, because it was about real people with real emotions. Godspeed. creativeone59


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

jiberish— Thank you. It is striking to watch a Victorian romance film like this and then take a look around our society today. It really made me contemplate the differences. I'm sure I'm just old fashioned. But I see beauty and honor in the people of those days in their romantic relationships. I highly recommend the film. Five stars.

Congratulations! You are my first visitor!


patful profile image

patful 7 years ago

You wrote that movie review with the taste, delicacy, and art that it deserved. Most men would consider it a "chick flick" and take a pass on it, preferring a blood-and-guts, rock 'em, sock 'em story. You took the time and honestly invested in the film with an appreciation of the characters. What a concept---thinking more about marriage than about the next "encounter" between the sheets. You did us all a service by sharing the story.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

creativeone59— I highly recommend the film. It is a lesson in the dynamics of human relationships. You are welcome and I thank you for your gracious remarks.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

patful— Why, I humbly thank you very much for your kind words. I am not a "blood and guts" kind of guy. :)

I love film. I rarely read fiction—being short of time. I constantly read non-fiction about the world I live in (and the supernatural world). So, I prefer my fiction in film. And this one is excellent.


GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 7 years ago from California

James.... I think Molly and I would be very good friends!! ;

I'm going to watch this movie soon. Just my sort of film! I am a huge fan of the time period as well. The romance at that time was "divine." Thank you for the wonderful "review." G


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

GPAGE— It just hit me that you resemble the actress who played Molly! hmmm . . .

Let me know what you think after you watch it. There is much to absorb about people—our favorite subject, after all. :)

You are welcome and thank you for visiting my review and leaving your kind comments.


Scott.Life 7 years ago

Why James you old softy...be careful those stars get to you wink, wink


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Scott.Life— You caught me. I am romantic at heart. I'm glad you came by and left your words.


Kebennett1 profile image

Kebennett1 7 years ago from San Bernardino County, California

Well James, your feminine side revealed! All men have one, so don't despair! What a wonderful summary! You have such a profound way with words! Delicate and fragile like a snowflake when it is needed, powerful and coarse like sandpaper when called for! That is just one of the things that makes you such a good writer! You really have a way of identifying with your readers, even before you know who they will be! Smart tactics :) I would love to see this movie!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Kebennett1— You will love the film. I guarantee it—and my guarantee I do not take lightly. :)

Like a snowflake and sandpaper!? Why, woman, you have a way with the English language yourself. God Bless You!

Your affirmation and encouragement means a lot to me. Thank you.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 7 years ago

James A Watkins,

After reading this wonderful review I must see this delightful movie! I thoroughly enjoy watching the old classic period movies they are my favorite!

I agree with Kebennett1 and think you are "an excellent writer and have a profound way with words."

I had to laugh because my husband says I have this invisible sign on my back that says "ask her and she will try to help you."

I can't wait to see this movie. I already know it will be Great!

Blessings


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 7 years ago from United States

What a wonderful review and I agree with the others, that you are an excellent author. Based on that review I want to see this movie ASAP. Your description of Molly and the circumstances of life at that time were very intriguing. Thanks.


Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

Great review James. Sounds like a must see for me. I have a fascination with that particular time period, but I'm not sure why. From what I have read, I have not seen the purity of intent that seems to be expressed in this movie as you have depicted it, so yes, it is a must see for me. Besides, I am a romantic at heart and certainly look forward to a fresh view.

Time to call in the sisters and spend an evening together with a good movie, a good bottle of wine and some good company!


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

Love these sort of dramas and so does Hubby. Even if it was a chick flick he would love it:). However I know it is not


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 7 years ago from Moundsville, WV

James like you I have always been a romantic. I'll be searching for "Molly Gibson" (forgot the quotes first time). I think the most romantic movie that I have ever seen is "Some Place In Time" with Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymore. It's an extremely romantic movie.

Thank you for the HUB and the glimpse of "Molly Gibson".


heyju profile image

heyju 7 years ago

James,

I want to see this movie now!!! I love movies made about that time period. Jane Austen being one of my favorite writers. Loved the hub and I look forward to the movie.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

DeBorrah K. Ogans— I've only gotten into these period pieces in the past decade. And now I'm hooked on them. The film adaptations of Jane Austen or Charles Dickens novels—I think I have seen them in all their versions. I watched this same actress in "Tess of the D'Ubervilles" (Thomas Hardy novel) yesterday, and it is also excellent—though very sad.

You are probably a similar person to Molly and therefore a blessing to those around you. Thank you for your comments.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Pamela99— I hope you do see it and that you enjoy it. I appreciate you coming to visit and leaving your remarks. And you are welcome. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Duchess OBlunt— You might need a couple bottles of wine as the film is six hours long. That's quite an investment, but to me, it is well worth it. There are a couple of rouges in the story but even they are eventually fleshed out to where one can sympathize with them.

Thank you for reading my little review. And for leaving your kind words.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

ethel smith— I had been looking forward to hearing from you because I figured you had probably seen it already. I guess that's not the case. There is plenty in the story for both of you to enjoy. Thanks for your comments.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Tom Whitworth— "Some Place in Time" is a fine film. I have seen it twice I think, which is unusual because I rarely watch anything twice—unless it is Forrest Gump or Braveheart, which I've enjoyed a half a dozen times each.

The title of this film is "Wives and Daughters." You are welcome and thank you for leaving your words in this thread.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

heyju— I am glad you enjoyed my review and I'm sure you'll like the film. Jane Austen is one of the great novelists, that's a fact. Dickens is my all time favorite—though for different reasons. It's nice to hear from you. I appreciate your remarks.


Robert 7 years ago

James,

Although I am home in Michigan I still check my mail and was delighted to get to read your review from here. My wife and Mother-in-law are big fans of that period and I will recommend the movie to them. I agree with your many fans, great writing and a very true analysis of our society today.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 7 years ago from Moundsville, WV

Correction "Somewhere in Time".


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Robert— I wish I was in Michigan! I am cut my visits down from four to one per year due to budgetary constraints. I'm glad you checked in and left your remarks. I'm sure your ladies will enjoy the film. Go ahead and watch it with them. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Tom,

Oh yes. That is right. Thanks.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

James, I enjoyed reading this review. Is the movie out on video? I think my daughter and I might like to watch it.

I don't share your view that selflessness is a virtue, however. The problem with a social climber who marries for rank and fortune is not that she is too selfish, but that she is not selfish enough. True happiness comes from choosing the person you care about -- and that is sometimes the harderst and most selfish thing to do!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

Great review and opinion. It is just my opinion. We lost a lot if not the lot with everything put down to sex, one night stands, don't care who the other person is, no one makes an effort to safe the marriage when the going is hard and no respect.

I blame the film makers, magazines and press.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Aya Katz— Thank you. Yes, I rented it from Netflix

http://www.netflix.com/Movie/Wives_Daughters/70057...

hmmm . . . that is an interesting take on selfishness. I enjoy that about you. Your ideas seem to come out of left field but they do make a certain sense. You are an original thinker, to be sure.

Thanks for coming by and leaving word. I believe you and your daughter would enjoy the movie.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Hello, hello— Thank you. I agree with you that much has been lost. But it can be regained. The century before the Victorian era was similar in some ways to ours now, and they cleaned it up. I also agree that the mass media has done us a terrible disservice in the name of artistic freedom.

I surely appreciate this visit from you. And your wise insights.


advisor4qb profile image

advisor4qb 7 years ago from On New Footing

Somewhere in Time was an awesome movie. I actually have a plaque on my wall with the poster from that movie inlaid in resin. But it is sad, because he dies.

I have not seen the movie in this hub, but I am moved by the story line. Narcissism just sucks, pure and simple.


Kim Garcia 7 years ago

Wonderful review....now I know I have to see this movie!! Sounds to me like Molly truly had it "going on!!" Her character was definitely one of "Character," and quite intriguing. Thanks for this detailed and well written review. Look forward to seeing the movie!!! Peace ~ K


Moonchild60 profile image

Moonchild60 7 years ago

James, I am so impressed! This sounds like a wonderful movie!! I am also a huge fan of anything Jane Austen or Charles Dickens. I will watch these movies over and over again. I just love the romance and the innocence, the sense of honor and propriety.

I don't mind that Wives and Daughters is 6 hours long as so is the PBS version of Pride and Prejudice and I stayed up until 2 am one night to watch it in its entirety, (I purchased the DVD). I find it far superior to the Keira Knightly version. Keira just does not exude the same class, grace and intelligence as Jane Ehle as Elizabeth, and it matters.

Thank you so much for sharing this James. And it is so refreshing to see a man that loves these period pieces, what a wonderful surprise.


shamelabboush profile image

shamelabboush 7 years ago

Of course James, if you compare love nowadays and love nack then, we will have headache :) The movie sounds very nice...


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

advisor4qb— If you have the poster, it must be a fav. I suppose you would be an expert on narcissism. I remember you wrote a humdinger of a Hub about that subject. Thanks for leaving your comments. It is a pleasure to see you again.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Kim Garcia— Thank you! I hope you do see the film. Molly has unimpeachable character.

You are welcome. I appreciate your visit and remarks. Peace to you.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Moonchild60— Propriety. That's the word I was looking for and I had a brain freeze. I have seen all the film adaptations of "Pride and Prejudice" and they are all great. My favorite, is the 1940 version with Sir Laurence Olivier. If you haven't see that one, you should.

I know the one you mean—with Colin Firth. I enjoyed that version nearly as well.

You are welcome. Thank you for your warm words. It makes a man feel good.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

shamelabboush— HA! I like your comment. We will have headache indeed. Thanks for coming to visit. I appreciate it.


archdaw profile image

archdaw 7 years ago from Brooklyn

This style of movie is not my cup of tea at all, but you wrote such a moving review, I know I will be curled up in my bed with popcorn on Friday watching this movie. It better be as good as you said or you owe me for the pop corn.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

archdaw— I didn't use to like these kind of movies either, but they have grown on me lately as my attention span has lengthened and I have grown more patient. The payoff is enormous.

Thank you for your kind words. If you don't like it—the popcorn is on me. :)


Linda's Hub Pages profile image

Linda's Hub Pages 7 years ago

I also love the old romantic movies.They take me from reality into a dream world,if only for a while.True,men & women are not like they were back then.I am also old fashioned,I love to have my car door opened,my chair pulled out etc.I love to dance,have candle lit dinners....

I'm back'lol.My husband doesn't like any of these things,so I ajust.

Thank you James for this marvelous romantic hub.You are a sweet HEART!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Linda's Hub Pages— It's a pleasure to have you visit, Linda. I am old fashioned myself. It sounds as if you need to give hubby a little training! :)

You are welcome. Thank you for your nice compliments.


Linda's Hub Pages profile image

Linda's Hub Pages 7 years ago

He's untrainable,lol


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

nice hub. I like it. I think it was great movie.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

prasetio30— Thanks! It is a great movie. It's long but good.


vanderhaven profile image

vanderhaven 7 years ago

I like the fact that this isn't a stereotypical "Male" movie and yet you watched it and commented here on the hub about it. I was interested in your take on the movie since I would have considered it a more "girlie" type show and I was impressed at how your depth spoke up and we can see this movie through you. I really want to see the movie because it sounds like the kind of movie, books, etc. that are my favorites. :)

Once again, as I can't help but say every time I read one of your hubs-- Thank you !!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

vanderhaven— This is probably not the usual "male" fare. I am a film buff—a cineaste, shall we say. So, I run the gamut in film including my favorite category: documentary.

I hope you do see it. It is a pleasure and a treasure, in my view. If you do, let me know what you think.

I appreciate your kind comments and thank you for reading.

You are most welcome.


heyju profile image

heyju 7 years ago

James,

Just watched it....exellent!! I loved it.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

heyju— You did! Wonderful! I am glad you did. Thanks for letting me know.


Tracy711 profile image

Tracy711 6 years ago

I loved this hub I guess because I've always wondered what it was like to live then. When women were treated with respect. I don't much care for what we are called now or how it's ok for anyone to call us such nasty things. But I can see you are a gentlemen and it's nice to know that they still exist. God bless you and thank you for sharing. I will have to see this film myself because I know I will like it also.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Tracy711— I am so glad you enjoyed it. Women were absolutely treated with respect. I highly recommend the film. I will accept the appellation of gentleman only because it's true . :-)

You are welcome. Thank you for your comments.


Joy At Home profile image

Joy At Home 6 years ago from United States

James, this was an extremely uplifting review. I have been curious about this story ever since I saw it advertised as a Folio Society selection, several years ago. Alas, I never got hold of the book.

I will keep my eyes open for the film.

You mentioned that men often asked the girl's father for her hand in marriage, before proposing to her. This is wise. Mostly, men (and brothers) who care about their daughters (and sisters) will see major flaws in a suitor long before she will...even when the father (or brother) is not so great himself. I have two sisters. We are all married, and were all married young; my oldest sister, at 20, married at the latest age (I was 19, and my youngest sister, 17). We all married the loves of our lives. However, the only sister who did not see to it that her husband asked our father for her hand, is the only one who has sometimes regretted her choice - the only one who has asked, "What if...?"

I hope all unmarried females who see your remarks on this topic think deeply about it.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Joy At Home— Wow! Your comments are better than my Hub! I used to be in the Folio Society, come to think of it. The film is outstanding. I don't recommend a lot of films and this is the only one I have ever written about.

You are so right. An objective Dad or Brother can surely see things we can't in the midst of our infatuations.

Films from this era make me sad in a way. Sad to see the interactions of men and women and then to look around today . . .

Thank you so much for your warm words.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

Thank you, thank you, for sharing wisdom, and for the movie review. Opened up a great dialogue which is another important reason to read good hubs. Sounds like six hours of honest entertainment--so looking forward to it!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

RTalloni— You are welcome. I am quite the movie buff. This one really touched my heart but at the same time made me lament over the present state of relationships between men and women, which are at a woeful low in America. These people were clean. Many of us are . . . dirty.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

James A Watkins, You were right and so on point! I finally saw "Wives and Daughters" and I did not want it to end! It was Fabulous! The setting and the story line I can not say enough good things about it... I loved and thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful progression of the character Molly. It was so interesting to see because of her trustworthiness she had to endure slander yet handled it so beautifully and graciously!

I say this not in an arrogant way. But my husband said that he liked Molly but I was so much more.... I was touched but of course he is prejudice. Thank you for sharing the wonderful review! Love & Blessings!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

DeBorrah K. Ogans— I am so pleased that you and your husband watched the film together. And I think your husband is right: you are so much more. You're the best!

Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed it and you are most welcome. :)


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

hi James, Oh, victorian era, they seem to be properly composed and have poised and all, but they are all gracious yes, we can never find woman like them now, LOL< difficult in these days where all the influences of modernization takes in,

hmmm, as always i hope the Christmas day will bring a little bit of happiness for you,

Merry Xmas to you and your family, next year will be a better year for you, and all of us too,

Maita


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

prettydarkhorse— Merry Christmas to you, Maita. Victorian Era: when ladies were ladies. At least some of them. :)

I very much appreciate the way we read my work and give me constant encouragement. I hope this Holiday Season finds you happy and joyful.


alextomi profile image

alextomi 6 years ago

oh, it seem to be properly composed really..


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

alextomi— Thank you for your excellent comment. Welcome to HubPages!


christalluna1124 profile image

christalluna1124 6 years ago from Dallas Texas

James,

How refreshing!! I often wonder what happened to those wonderful days. In these days it is rare that a man even holds the door for a woman, much less carries her bag. I also know the feeling of being a friend or lover and giving all and getting nothing in return. I hope you are doing well and wish you very happy holidays,

Chris


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

christalluna1124— The film itself is a breath of fresh air. I think you would love it if your rent it or find it on the telly. Things here are better than they were.

Merry Christmas Chris!

James


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon

I just recently saw the film adaptation of Wives and Daughters and I, too, was struck by the same things you pointed out. Molly and her father have a Biblically beautiful relationship; his parenting is superb, her respect and honor of her father even more so. Though I love the Jane Austen books and always will, there is something more in Gaskell's books, and that is a vivid and vivacious picture of what virtue --and real life-- really is. Thanks for your excellent article! What you were saying resounded with so many things in my heart.

Jane


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Jane Grey--- I am glad to hear that you recently saw the film. I absolutely love your comments. You surely got it--exactly what I got out of this fine adaptation. You are welcome. And thank you for reading my Hub and leaving your keen insights for me to read.


Calling Crow 6 years ago

James, the way you describe it, this movie sounds wonderful! I have always been partial to movies, and stories in general, that center around the Victorian or just about anything before the 60's. Life seemed so pure and true even if it was more difficult. I'd love to live in similar times!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Calling Crow--- It is great to see you here on one of my favorite Hubs. This movie-and the times it depicts (in regard to relations between the sexes)-is wonderful. People were certainly not as jaded. Everybody had not "been around." Thank you for your comments.


Cindy Letchworth profile image

Cindy Letchworth 6 years ago from Midwest, U.S.A.

I will have to check this film out. It sounds like my cup of tea, as I too like the 1800's. I agree with you about the "been around" part. There is a lot of that today.

Good review.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Cindy Letchworth--- Oh yes, you must! You must. There is a lot of that today. You can say that again. Thank you for reading and commenting. :)


stars439 profile image

stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Very nice hub and a great movie. God Bless You


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

stars439--- I appreciate you for helping me out by visiting my Hubs regularly. You are a good man, old man. :-) Great movie? Yes!


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 6 years ago from Michigan

It's been awhile since I've stopped by to read one of your hubs. I'm so delighted to have stopped here. You, dear sir, have my curiosity stirred. As you can tell from my avatar I am drawn to a time past... A time where women were ladies and honesty, purity and kindness were noble traits. A time when men were gentlemen and valued and prized a woman's attention. I will be watching this film, with my daughter ... 'who also feels we were born in the wrong century' ... as a result of your beautiful review. Thank you James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Mekenzie--- Hello my fellow Michigander. It has been a while since I have heard from you. Welcome back. I am delighted that you came to visit this particular Hub. It is one of my favorites. I adore your comments here:

"A time where women were ladies and honesty, purity and kindness were noble traits. A time when men were gentlemen and valued and prized a woman's attention."

Let me know after you have watched the film. Thank you and you are welcome.


Dmrfam profile image

Dmrfam 6 years ago from India

Hoping to see the movie sometime soon. I adore women who thinks about others before herself. I do see such qualities in my moms, aunts, mom-in-law...I mean the older generation. My friends consider me old-fashioned for thinking as such. Modernisation has wiped out many noble thoughts.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Dmrfam--- The movie is well worth seeing. It reminds me of my aunts, too. I am old fashioned in the same way. I'll be coming to read your Hubs soon. Welcome to HubPages!


magnoliazz profile image

magnoliazz 6 years ago from Wisconsin

Another fascination hub-thanks so much!

I think the Victorian knew a lot more about true love than we do. And sex really meant something back then! It was so important that you had to be married first to indulge in it!

It was an emotional and spiritual experience, not something people did after watching ugly porn movies.


magnoliazz profile image

magnoliazz 6 years ago from Wisconsin

LOL...sorry...another fascinating hub!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

magnoliazz— Thank you for the high praise indeed! I appreciate your readership very much. I agree with you that the Victorians understood male/female relationships better than we do today. There is nothing to gain by being nasty. It may look like fun to some. If so, it is an illusion promoted by the Deceiver. If you catch my drift. :-)


Kendall H. profile image

Kendall H. 6 years ago from Northern CA

I've just put Wives and Daughters on my netflix list because I love Gaskell novels. North and South is a wonderful. I highly recommend the film adaption! Justine Waddell is a wonderful actress she was great in Mansfield Park, so I trust your judgement on this.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Kendall H.— I'm glad you did. I'm sure you will enjoy it. I haven't seen the other two films you mentioned. I'll have to rectify that situation. Thanks for the tips. And the visit.


 6 years ago

what a beautiful narration of the movie ! James you are oldfashioned ,no doubt about that ,but that's the way real men are and should be!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

You know what is amazing about your comment? It is the first time out of 20,000 comments I have received that no name is given for you. I didn't even know that was possible. hmmm . . . I am old fashioned in some ways. Thank you for taking the time to read my work. I appreciate your lovely comments.


Rosie 6 years ago

I enjoyed "WIVES AND DAUGHTERS" very much. But I had a few problems with it. One, Molly Gibson came off as rather a bit too perfect. The only flaw in her personality makeup seemed to a bit of a temper. Two, Roger Hamley is one dull dog. He's handsome, charming and decent. He's also dull. And three, Molly and Roger's romance was one of the most dissatisfying ones I have ever come across in a television miniseries. It was rushed in the series' last 20 minutes or so and it seemed to be based upon Molly's adulation of him and Roger's attraction to her looks. That's it.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Rosie— I have known a handful of women just as nearly perfect as Molly. Of course, she is outstanding, that's why her story deserved to be told. :-)

The dull boy idea goes way back in human history. I suppose that's why girls prefer the Fonz to Ron Opie—the bad boy over the good boy. Bad boys are exciting. I know, I used to be one.

But I appreciate your point of view. You do make excellent points and they are well taken. Thank you for visiting and leaving your keen thoughts.


Rosie 6 years ago

I'm sorry James, but I'm not interested in nearly perfect women or men. For me, they are not interesting characters. I'm not interested in Roger being a "bad boy". I've encountered plenty of "nice guys" in real life and in fictional stories who are a lot more interesting than Roger. I simply find him dull.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Rosie— Well, I agree with you that nobody's perfect. But there are surely people who are more virtuous and people who are more vicious, with most nearer the middle. I also agree with you that Roger is rather dull, which is why I didn't speak of him much in my review. However, it used to be that women looked carefully at a man's prospects, which are somewhat determined by character traits that might not be exciting but do lead to a successful and honorable life.

Thank you for coming back with your fine rejoinder.


cosette 6 years ago

i had never heard of this character, and i'm a fan of Victorian anything. and now, a fan of Molly. very nice hub. i will see if i can find this as an i or eBook. thanks for the nice read, i enjoyed it!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

cosette— Thank you for reading my Hub! You are most welcome, too. I appreciate your warm words. The book is in print. I haven't read it but the movie is great!


Rosie 6 years ago

However, it used to be that women looked carefully at a man's prospects, which are somewhat determined by character traits that might not be exciting but do lead to a successful and honorable life.

Well, that's fine in real life. In a fictional story, I would prefer my characters to be interesting, complex and well written. And I don't find Roger Hamley to be an interesting or complex fictional character.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Rosie— Touche'! I agree with you. That's a great point. Why read about the ordinary, we know plenty of them in real life. Great rejoinder! Thanks.


Squidmom profile image

Squidmom 6 years ago from Texas

I absolutely love movies and books set in this time period,(I think people were at their best back then, yes there were some people acting immorally but it wasn't accepted and expected the way it is now) The beauty of this time period has always drawn me in. But to be honest I had never heard of Elizabeth Gaskell before.You've piqued my interest and I really want to see this movie now. (And maybe look for her books?) Great hub!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Squidmom— I share your love of these period pieces. You hit on something important: there have always been bad behaviors but applauding them to exhibit the postmodern sensibility of "tolerance" is new and not good.

I haven't read the books. I am a voracious reader but I only have time for non-fiction. I get my fiction fix through film.

Thanks for visiting and for the compliment. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

I have not seen this television show, but it reminds me of Sense and Sensibility and Jane Austen, i.e., the story ends happily despite the reality of life in that period. Of course women were property of their husbands and, as an Australian reviewer writes, "In reality, Molly would have been left behind in England to look after the children while Roger chased after beetles and native women in Africa. But this is Romance, not life." I think all this is great stuff to read and positive to imagine but I hope you realize there are some pretty ethical and moral people living still. It's not all politics and cheating in the 21st century. There are good folk hubbing and living next door.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Storytellersrus— Great handle, BTW.

This story is similar to others of its genre and time period, as you say. I am sure many stories also had bad endings in those days (as did at least one main character in this story—the bohemian brother). Perhaps the happy ending is part of the appeal.

I appreciate the reminder that there are millions of right fine people still in the world. I know that's right. I know plenty of them. Thank you for your thoughtful remarks.


graceomalley profile image

graceomalley 5 years ago

I love this book! I didn't know it was a movie, I will have to order it from Netflicks. I also found the interlocking relationships facinating - how could Molly's father be such an excellent father & yet bad at choosing a wife? Was the second wife a truly bad character, or mostly ground down by flippant treatment by her "betters"? Elizabeth Gaskell's North & South is also an excellent novel, about industrial change in England, and it's effect on culture. The movie unfortunately removes almost all of the social commentary, leaving just the love story of the rags to riches mill owner and the impoverished, genteel girl. It's a good love story, but the larger backdrop of social change makes it even more powerful. Great hub, thanks for writing.


lilyfly profile image

lilyfly 5 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

Try Elizabeth 1 and I, Claudius too! Great Hub


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

graceomalley— I haven't actually read the book. I highly recommend the movie though. It is truly wonderful.

You ask a mighty good question. What was he thinking? I don't know.

I have heard of "North & South" (the book) but I am not familiar with it much. Is it a film? If so, I will surely look for it.

Thank you very much for coming by to read my Hub. I appreciate the compliments. And you are quite welcome. I enjoyed reading your remarks. :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

lilyfly— Thank you! I have seen both of those films and I agree that they are great! :)


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean

Precocious is one of my favorite words and I'm a sucker for period pieces, so I guess I'd better see this.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Randy Behavior— What a pleasure to hear from you. I shalt not forget those lovely photographs you posted last year. Va Va Voom!! :D


Clairepeek profile image

Clairepeek 5 years ago

Hello James A Watkins! You surely made me want to watch that great adaptation again. Your observations about the people is very interesting and right on target - I thought. It was a good read, indeed! ^_^


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Clairepeek— Hello! I am well pleased that you enjoyed my peek at this fine film. Thank you for your kind comments. I appreciate you coming by to visit. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!! :-)


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

James! So thrilled that I ran into this hub. You, my dear man, are an excellent writer. You had me glued to every word and living every character. Reading between the lines, gives the reader a "peek" into the heart of James and a longing to know him better. This is a movie, I must see and will think of you and be thanking you for bringing Molly alive. Wonderful, in every way! Voted up and across.

vocalcoach~


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

vocalcoach— Hello there! I am glad you found this Hub, too. I sure appreciate the accolades. I do love this film. In fact, after reading your comments I think I need to watch it again. Molly Gibson is a lovely character.

I hope you do enjoy the movie. Thank you for the voted up and across. It is a distinct pleasure to hear from you, my dear. God Bless!

James


Vidya Mallar profile image

Vidya Mallar 4 years ago from India

James...

its just great of you 2 share ths story........and I think some day I will see ths movie.. I love such kind of stories... Voted Up


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Vidya Mallar— Thank you very much for your encouraging note. I am glad you liked my review and I do hope you get to see the film. I sincerely appreciate the visit, your comments, and the voted up! :D

James


Vidya Mallar profile image

Vidya Mallar 4 years ago from India

James you are just grt... keep on sharing such grt hubs,... I vl sure see the film as early as posible... God bless you...


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Vidya Mallar— Thanks again and God Bless You! :-)

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