Housewife, 49

Not really having anything to do with Jane Austen, I write today about Housewife, 49 – which I first heard about when actress and writer Victoria Wood won a BAFTA for her role as Nella Last just about this time last year. (The show also took the best drama award.)

Housewife, 49 tells the true story of Nella Last, a woman who sent in diary entries to the Mass Observation Archive, as part of a government effort to hear the voices of the average people on the homefront. This has truly moving performances by all the actors (especially Wood; David Threlfall as her taciturn husband; Christopher Harper as their younger son), and a nicely-observed script by Wood. There is a JA connection in that Sylvestra Le Touzel, who plays Nella’s rather ferocious Mrs Lynch, played Mrs Allen in the 2007 Northanger Abbey — which book, of course, is a focal point at JASNA-Vermont’s next meeting, on June 22nd.

If you love British drama, enjoy wartime stories, and are wanting to see something very uplifting in the transformation of dear Nella over the war years, then I heartily recommend Housewife, 49. Can’t wait for the book to be returned to the library…