Let’s Get Our Documentary On

It’s cold, it has been raining for what feels like the past hundred years and I don’t want to leave my central heating, pyjamas or bed.  What to do with all this extra time indoors?  Why watch documentaries on iplayer of course!  Here’s a look at what I have been enjoying, hope you find some juicy factual goodness amongst this list.

  1. At Home With the Georgians

This 3 episode treat is presented by the glorious Amanda Vickery, who is on top comic form here.  As the title suggests this series focuses on the importance of the home in Georgian society.  Now I love the Georgians in general, but this documentary really is a stand out because of the sources used by Vickery.  She delves into contemporary personal accounts, diaries, letters and scribblings which are used to explore the meaning of ‘home’ on a very personal level.  Some are sad, some sweet, and some would make you weep. Big shout out to the fact that there is just as much focus on the positive male emotional reaction towards the home as there is on the female, we do love a bit of domestic equality.  All 3 episodes as available for your viewing pleasure now.

2.  The Secret History of the British Garden

Sounds incredibly dull but is an absolute delight.  Episodes 1 and 2 are up, and episode 3 will be on the tellybox on Sunday at 9 on BBC Two.  Each programme delves into the people and the ideas behind Britain’s most interesting gardens, taking it a century at a time.  Monty Don is incredibly charming, I would love to drink Earl Grey and have a natter with him.  His enthusiasm for the featured gardens is infectious, and the array of subjects covered include religious persecution, ruthless landscaping and proper scything techniques, unfortunately Poldark does not make a topless appearance to demonstrate…

3. Clara Bow: Hollywood’s Lost Screen Goddess

Clara Bow is such an interesting woman, a movie star and fashion icon, and this mouth-wateringly beautiful documentary explores her tragic and glamorous life.  There is plenty of gorgeous footage and photographs which show Bow at her most magnetic, and after watching this you can’t help but feel like dressing like a flapper could be the best fun ever, minus the crazy eyebrows.  If you love silent movies, fashion, and mysterious women, then this one’s for you.

4.  The Fairytale Castles of King Ludwig II

I love a castle, I really do, and these take the biscuit.  They are like castle theme parks, you are expecting to find pre-nap Aurora slip round a corner at any minute.  Poor old Ludwig II of Bavaria, also known as the Swan King or Dream King, built these mad structures during his reign in the 19th century.  He was by all accounts a bit of a fox but he had a tragic and mysterious death and was quite a sad figure, obsessed with beauty.  A must watch for anyone who has ever seen a Disney film involving a castle, or for anyone who wants to learn more about how crap it is to be royal.

5.  Sophia: Suffragette Princess

The title has it all, the word ‘Suffragette’ and the word ‘Princess’, sold.  As a big fan of being able to vote I like to think I know a fair bit about the suffrage movement, but I had never heard of Princess Sophia Duleep Singh before.  This beautiful woman was descended from royalty and was a goddaughter of Queen Vic.  She was also a total badass suffragette who wouldn’t pay her taxation until she got her representation, and who protested with the Pankhursts.  A great 30 minute documentary which will leave you feeling all fired up and in awe of how totally great women are.


All that’s left for me to say is curl up with a cuppa (or alcoholic beverage) and enjoy!




2 Comments Add yours

  1. Anabel Marsh says:

    I’ve recorded Sophia but not watched it yet – I’m looking forward to that. Anita Anand’s book about her is in Glasgow Women’s Library (and no doubt is also available from many other good libraries!) Sophia featured in GWL’s March of Women for this year’s International Women’s Day and the film, March, made from that – along with about 99 other wonderful women from history. I hadn’t heard of her either before this year.


    1. I’m pleased to hear I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know about this incredibly interesting woman! I still haven’t had the chance to see the newly refurbished GWL but keep seeing gorgeous photographs of it all over the internet, must visit soon, the book would be a great read, will add it to my list!

      Liked by 1 person

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