Research Tools: DVDs - SANDRA SCHWAB | Historical Romance Author

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Research Tools: DVDs

Research > Researching the Past

Documentaries can be very useful to give you a feel for a particular landscape as well as for a particular historical era. There are a number of great DVDs available on the nature of the British Isles, on British history, and on various aspects of everyday life in the past. Here are a few of my favourites:

British History: General

  • How We Built Britain, presented by the wonderful David Dimbleby. A history of Britain told through its architecture.

  • The Seven Ages of Britain, again presented by David Dimbleby. More about the history of Britain. One of my favourite segments deals with the Bayeux Tapestry.

  • British Isles: A Natural History, presented by Alan Titchmarsh. This is indeed more of a natural history and explores how the landscape of Britain changed over time. Still, extremely fascinating!

The Nature and Landscape of the British Isles

  • The Nature of Britain, presented by the lovely Alan Titchmarsh. The documentary explores various different habitats, such as "Farmland Britain", "Urban Britain", and "Coastal Britain". (Watch little ducklings fling themselves heroically from a second-floor balcony to land in a shallow pool in the middle of an appartment building complex.)

  • Rivers with Griff Rhys Jones. (And his dog.) Jones explores several of the great rivers of Great Britain.

  • Islands of Britain, presented by Martin Clunes. Did you know that the British Isles consist of over 1000 islands? Martin Clunes introduces some of them in this series.

British History: Specific Eras and Events

  • At Home with the Georgians. This series is based on Amanda Vickery's book Behind Closed Doors and gives unexpected insights into the everyday lives, the dreams and aspirations of people in the 18th century.

British History: The Country House

  • The Country House Revealed, presented by Dan Cruickshank. This series explores the history of six private country houses, ranging from an Elizabethan manor (South Wraxall Manor) to an Edwardian mansion (Marsh Court).

  • The Manor Reborn, presented by Penelope Keith and Paul Martin. This charming series covers the transformation of Avebury Manor from a sad, empty house into a stunning feel-free-to-touch-anything, sit-on-anything, try-out-anything museum. The rooms in the house were decorated to reflect the houses various owners, from a wealthy Tudor merchant to a Georgian politician fond of lavish parties and an early 20th-century playboy and amateur archaeologist.

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