“Look back… Look back to me…”

played by Daniel Danbe-Ashe

I finished watching BBC’s North & South and have played its haunting theme music in my head throughout my stay in Italy (though sometimes it got replaced with “Daughter’s Lament” from the Hunger Games soundtrack). A mini-series with 4 glorious episodes, a wonderful cast and (you got the hint already) a soundtrack that gives me shivers. What more can I ask for? A better plot perhaps… I’m curious about Elizabeth Gaskell’s book of the same name, which this series was adapted from, to see if it follows the same plot. If not, then to find out if I would be sorely disappointed with the TV adaptation if I were to read the book first.

But first I want to tell the story of how I came to watch this series because it’s quite old (released in 2004) already. I was reading reviews of Lisa Kleypas’ Tempt Me at Twilight when I came across screen shots of Richard Armitage from this series. The author of the review wrote that he/she pictured the hero of the book, Harry Ruthledge, as Richard Armitage. The rest isn’t difficult to imagine, I suppose. I was instantly intrigued and immediately settled to watch the series, an episode per day.

played by Richard Armitage

As I mentioned above the plot isn’t my favorite thing about the story. But the cast… Oh my! Daniel Danbe-Ashe appears as the perfect specimen of the understanding of a beautiful women in that period. She’s got curves all right but she’s is quite plump in fact. And I can’t bring myself to see that as a setback. It’s as if it only adds up to her beauty. Her dark blue eyes when widened in an expression of innocent frustration, her shapely nose and full lips and her gorgeous dark brown curls… She inspires me to sound totally like a smitten historical romance hero. Which is a good thing I suppose? To be inspired in any way I mean… Anyway, in my mind I picture her to be Amelia Hathaway, the heroine of Lisa Kleypas’ Mine Till Midnight.

As for Richard Armitage… It was when I heard him speak that he made up for what he lacked with his looks. Don’t get me wrong, he is wickedly, soul-stirringly handsome. It’s just that his voice is the best thing about him, though his smile (which is a rare occurrence throughout the series) may come close. And finally, when I found out that he was to play Thorin Oakenshield in the upcoming The Hobbit movie and that he actually sang Misty Mountains (my boyfriend’s alarm clock melody!), I was simply jumping up and down with joy!

John Thornton and Margaret Hale

As a final note, this series features the best (yes the very best) kissing scene I have ever had the pleasure of blushing over.

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