Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mothers in Period Drama for Mother's Day

Mrs. Thornton from Mrs. Gaskell's North and South
Hannah Thornton may not have been the cuddliest mother, but you have to admit she fiercely loved her son. To her flighty daughter Fanny she was more protective than proud, but still a good mother.

Mrs. Bennet from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
OK, Mrs. Bennet is a mother who is really trying to do the best for her daughters but she fails as often as she succeeds. And she gives some good cringe-worthy comedic moments in the process!

Mrs. Dashwood from Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility
Poor Mrs. Dashwood. She loves her daughters dearly and fiercely, but again, often unwittingly causes them harm or pain but without the comedy of Mrs. Bennet.

Mrs. Clennam from Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit
Ouch. Mrs. Clennam. What can I say except that here is one of the most spectacularly horrible mothers in 19th century literature. She does redeem herself in the end however (oops....spoiler alert!)

Mildred Pierce
Try as you might Mildred, you really needed to read a parenting book to deal with that witch of a daughter, didn't you?

Marilla Cuthbert from L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables
Well, even though she wasn't technically Anne's mother, that is really the point of Mother's Day isn't it? Honouring those who mother us, and who was a better mother really, than Marilla? Sigh...

Mrs. Banks from Mary Poppins
Now I think I will end with Mrs. Banks. She tries to balance the job of being a modern woman with being a mother and makes us all feel better by messing up but then redeeming herself at the end. Votes for women and hugs for children!

So Happy Mother's Day to you all, whether you are a mother, have a mother or are remembering a mother today. And feel free to comment below with your favourite mother from a period drama. There are lots more!


  1. Great choices! I love that you began with Mrs. T. - a force to be reckoned with and I had great pleasure in seeing Marilla evolve after Anne's arrival.
    I think my favourite mom would have to be Olivia Walton although she's from a later era. I also adore Penelope Wilton in Wives & Daughters!

  2. Oh, yes, Mrs. Hamley from Wives and Daughters...good one Cheryl! I forgot about her, although I don't know how. Another great mother figure to Molly, although she didn't really do her sons a great favour by making Osborne her pet. I feel very protective of Roger, although he may be one of those children who profits from their parent's neglect!

  3. I didn't really think that Mrs H neglected Roger but I guess I'll need to watch it again, just to notice! :)

  4. Mrs. Jones ( Bridget's mother) is my favorite, she was such a hot mess, it was hilarious! Meryl Streep has played many favorite ( and some not so much.....K. vs. K) mothers throughout the years too.

  5. @Cheryl, good reason for me to watch it again too to see if I have judged poor Mrs. Hamley too harshly. It has been too long! ;)

    @ladytoesocks, yes, Bridget's mother is a classic. Loved her in both the books and in the films. I loved Meryl Streep as the mother in a recent one- It's Complicated. I can't wait to see her as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady which is filming now!




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