Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

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

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Cold Comfort Farm 1995

I caught the film Cold Comfort Farm on cable yesterday and now want to read the book. Always a successful adaptation I think if it makes me go searching for the book!

The film of Cold Comfort Farm is an adaptation of the Stella Gibbons novel from 1932, a parody of the doom and gloom novels of the period (DH Lawrence, Thomas Hardy, Mary Webb and even further back, the Bronte sisters). Gibbons was obviously a fan of Jane Austen, as Flora Poste is an Emma Woodhouse type through and through, and Flora even has a line:

"Well, when I am fifty-three or so I would like to write a novel as good as Persuasion, but with a modern setting of course. For the next thirty years or so I will be collecting material for it. If anyone asks me what I work at, I shall say, 'Collecting material'. No one can object to that. Besides, I shall be."

Starring Kate Beckinsale as Flora Poste (I coincidence that the BBC cast her as Emma in 1996) and an all star supporting cast of Rufus Sewell, Joanna Lumley, Ian McKellen, Eileen Atkins, Stephen Fry, Miriam Margolyes and even an impossibly young looking Rupert Penry-Jones!

Flora is a well-to-do twenty year old London girl who finds herself orphaned and with only a hundred pounds a year to live on. She decides to impose on distant relatives who live on a badly run Sussex farm and who all seem to have deep rooted emotional issues which would have sent me running for the hills! Flora, in her best Emma style, sees the potential in not only the farm, but in each of the inhabitants and proceeds to drag them into the twentieth century all cleaned and polished!

So just make sure you are in the mood for some rather tongue in cheek parody as otherwise the OTT style of this might put you off. And I am a little undecided as to whether I should recommend the book or the film first. I leave it to my readers to decide. In any case enjoy. And watch out for "something nasty in the woodshed"!

I am off to order the book now!



  1. I always thought this movie was funny, and it always reminded me so much of Emma. I will have to check out the book now, although I don't know why I had not thought of it before. Thanks, Tami

  2. I love this book/movie, and the movie definitely does justice to the book. As a lover of those gothic books Gibbons parodies, thought the OTT was perfect and frankly Hardy, Lawrence, Webb were OTT themselves :)

  3. LOVE this movie!! It also made me go hunting for the book -- not easy as all had at the time was an abridged version and no libraries/book stores had it in stock. E-Bay to the rescue! :)

  4. I was setting up my PVR to record something else, and came across a movie channel that was about to start a showing of Cold Comfort Farm! I quickly selected "record" for this one, too, and now I have another fun film to watch this weekend (I believe that I did see it when it was first released years ago, but I'm looking forward to seeing it again ... now that I'm primed to look for similarities to "Emma")!

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  6. I really enjoyed this blog post, thank you for sharing it. I’ll return for more.




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