History On Netflix

I can honestly say I’ve never had so much pleasure from £6.99. For someone who has lived with a broken TV for years Netflix has been my saviour. When i get home from a long day at work, i curl up in bed, switch off, and transport myself back to yesteryear. Sometimes I’m Cathy galloping around the moors with Heathcliff, sometimes the tempestuous Anne Boleyn at the Tudor Court. Wherever I choose to be that night, Netflix is there to help. With thousands of movies, TV shows and Documentaries at your fingertips (with no adverts!) it really is money well spent.

For the majority of us, or the people who live in the UK, Christmas means 2 weeks off, and what better way to spend this time than reconnecting with old friends on the box.

Here is our run down of the very best on both sides of the Atlantic:

The Forsyte Saga (US & UK)

2 Seasons: 2002-2003
Average rating: 4/5 Stars

This epic miniseries follows the Victorian pride of the Forsyte clan through the scandals and mistakes of the patriarch, Soames. His ways change when he sees his cherished daughter grow into a captivating young woman who carries on the family pride.

I know it doesn’t sound like the most captivating of TV dramas, but trust me  when i say it will have you hooked.

Borgia (US & UK)

2 Seasons: 2011-2013
Average rating: 4/5 Stars

The name Borgia stands for betrayal, intrigue and corruption in the Vatican, which was the center of the world during the Renaissance. Rodrigo Borgia — later Pope Alexander VI — embodied the spirit of the time with its unimaginable contradictions.

Forget the Showtime version, that is a wet blanket compared to this. With so much deceit,  scandal, tretchery and sex, it does the legend of Borgia proud.

My Week with Marilyn (US)

2011: 1hr 38m
Average rating: 3.5/5

While filming a movie in England, Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe slips away with a young Brit for a week of self-discovery and frivolity. The story that ensues is based on the real-life memoirs of Colin Clark, once assistant to Sir Laurence Olivier.

I would never disrespect the original screen goddess by saying this is the best movie I’ve ever seen, but Michelle Williams does play her beautifully. If you are a fan of Marilyn and old Hollywood it does give you an insight into their world. And at the end I bet you will be SCREAMING  “WHY didn’t they!?” at your TV.

The Tudors (US & UK)

6 Seasons: 2007
Average Rating: 4/5

All the splendor and scandal of England’s 16th-century royal court comes to life in this series that follows notorious Tudor monarch Henry VIII. The king often lets his passions rule, making for one of the most tumultuous periods of the throne.

I mean, WHY wouldn’t you?!

World Without End (US)

1 Seasons: 2012
Average Rating: 4/5

With 14th-century England as the backdrop, this epic sequel to “The Pillars of the Earth” picks up events 200 years later as the king leads the country into the Hundred Years War, and the plague begins to spread throughout Europe.


If you like Game of Throne then you will love this. The story follows on from Ken Follett’s other masterpiece, Pillars of the Earth, which is set around the building of a cathedral. Sounds dull,  but is the best thing we’ve seen in years.
Also its worth it to watch Miranda from SATC put on a British accent…!

Shakespeare in Love (US)

1998: 2hr 3m
Average Rating: 4/5

Young Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) is forced to stage his latest comedy, “Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter,” before it’s even written. When a lovely noblewoman (Gwyneth Paltrow) auditions for a role, they fall into forbidden love — and his play finds a new life (and title). As their relationship progresses, Shakespeare’s comedy soon transforms into tragedy. This bittersweet romance won seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actress.


I know, Gwyneth Paltrow is as annoying as sin, but there is no denying this is a sumptuous Elizabethan feast for the eyes!

Caesar and Cleopatra (US)

1945: 2hr 7M
Average Rating: 3/5

In this Oscar-nominated film adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s play, the aging Caesar (Claude Rains) comes to Alexandria to tutor young Cleopatra (Vivien Leigh) in the ways of rule, allowing her to wrestle the throne away from her brother, Ptolemy. But as time progresses, Caesar’s feelings for Cleopatra turn romantic and he vows to marry her. Stewart Granger co-stars in this epic drama directed by Gabriel Pascal.


Before Elizabeth Taylor stole the show with Cleopatra in 1963, Vivien Leigh was the golden star of Hollywood. With a Marilyn quality about her, she captivates the audience in every scene of this almighty production.

W.E (US)

2011: 1hr 58m
Average Rating: 3.5/5

This glossy ensemble drama juxtaposes the lives of famous divorcée Wallis Simpson and Wally Winthrop, a young 1990s housewife. Wally yearns to have a romance as dramatic as Wallis’s but soon discovers that history can be misleading.


The only thing more irritating than Gwyneth Paltrow, is Madonna directing a movie. But as much as it pains me to say it… the material girl did a good job. This story weaves itself behind the facade and tells the real story of the people behind ‘the greatest love story of the Twentieth Century’. It really will surprise you.

Elizabeth I (UK)

1 Season: 2005
Average Rating: 4/5

Emmy winner Helen Mirren portrays Queen Elizabeth I in this miniseries that explores the effect of the monarch’s public role on her private life. Unable to wed the man she loves, Elizabeth later sets her sights on the earl’s stepson.


Forget whatever you have seen with Cate Blanchett, Helen Mirren IS Elizabeth.

War Horse (UK)

2011: 146 minutes
Average Rating: 4/5

During World War I, the bond between a young Englishman and his loyal horse, Joey, is tested when Joey is sold to the cavalry and sent to France.


An epic story set in the backdrop of WW1, with a sensational cast – horse included!

The Painted Veil (UK)

2006: 2hr 5m
Average Rating: 4/5

Shunned by a husband who’s more interested in his scientific research than his marriage, Kitty Fane embarks on a quest for fulfillment, igniting a passionate affair with dashing womanizer Charles Townsend.


A surprising one, but an eye-opener to the Cholera outbreak in China at the beggining of the 19th Century. Obviously its not all morbid, there’s a love triangle in there too!

Little Women

1994: 1hr 58m
Average rating: 4/5

Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel comes to life in this sensitive, soulful adaptation. Four sisters and their mother battle life’s vicissitudes in Civil War-era America after their father leaves to join the conflict.


WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU WATCH AT CHRISTMAS?!

 

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Historical Honey 2013 ©

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