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Cover Image of Sanctuary: The Corrected Text by William Faulkner published by Vintage Books
Cover Image of The Help by Kathryn Stockett published by Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
Cover Image of For Whom the Bell Tolls (Scribner Classics) by Ernest Hemingway published by Scribner
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Masterpiece Classic: January Brings Gaskell, Austen and Buchan

abstract:We're back into Classic Season at Masterpiece hosted by Laura Linney. BookBuffet partners once again with WGBH Boston to give our members free books (5 copies of the current book) from which the new series is adapted. As a television viewer you can luxuriate in the stunning performances of the actors playing the parts: Dame Judy Dench and Dame Eileen Atkins are just two of an ensemble cast of 50 playing opposite each other in the first 3-part drama titled, Cranford adapted by Heidi Thomas from 3 separate books by the Victorian author, Elizabeth Gaskell. Praised by both Dickens and Carlyle in her time, Gaskell was inspired by the changing social and economic times of the late 1800's as the classes met the challenges and opportunities of the Industrial Revolution. Raised by her Unitarian Minister father and later married to a Unitarian husband, Gaskell covers the topics of the day as diverse as: revenge of a trade unionist through murder, individual travails after the Napoleonic Wars, and the interlocking fortunes between 3 country families. (Wives and Daughters, 1864-66) adapted and aired previously by BBC-Masterpiece is considered to be her best work. Gaskell was a close friend of Charlotte Bronte and became her biographer, (The Life of Charlotte Brontë, (1857). Of the series, Director Simon Curtis says, "Treat classics like contemporary material and contemporary material like classics." Get the insider scoop on the making of the series and take advantage of the BBC production team's reverence for classic literature through the many resources available on the Masterpiece website. Limited online viewing of the series is available in the US (not Canada) and you can of course tune-in to the series on television, as well as read the book. Win copies of Elizabeth Gaskell's novels for your book group by participating in our online discussion group. Details below.


January 03, 2010

Join The Book & Film Club

Here's how to join BookBuffet's own "Masterpiece Book To Film Group."
On the BookBuffet website home page:
Click: JOIN
Select: "Invited to join an existing group."
Type: Masterpiece Book To Film Group
Then type your own member details. That's it!
You will see the "current book" posted on the group calendar, as well as the dates the series airs on television. You'll be on the member list and receive email updates on new content such as podcasts and WGBH material. You'll also be able to chat on the online forum for this group. JOIN TODAY

Members in the group are entered into a draw for give-aways of book sets, and DVD's as part of our continuing BookBuffet-Masterpiece partnership.

For our in-depth interview with Masterpiece Executive Producer of 20 years, Rebecca Eaton, click on the following BookBuffet Podcast.

Program Line-up

Return to Cranford
Sundays, January 10 and 17, 2010 at 9pm on PBS
Dame Judi Dench reprises her role as Matty Jenkyns in the highly anticipated two-part sequel to the Emmy-nominated Cranford mini-series, based on Elizabeth Gaskell’s beloved novels about a small village in the 1840s on the cusp of great change. " target="_offsite">(Buy Book)Cranford (Penguin Classics)
Also by Elizabeth Gaskell, Wives and Daughters (Oxford World's Classics)
Own the Cranford, DVD starring Judy Dench.

Sundays, January 24 - February 7, 2010 at 9pm on PBS
A fiercely funny new four-hour adaptation of Jane Austen’s delightful love story starring Romola Garai (Atonement) as a young woman whose attempts to play cupid go disastrously awry. Rich, beautiful, and hopelessly self-deluded, Emma Woodhouse can’t help meddling in the romantic lives of others, while neglecting her own. Jonny Lee Miller (Endgame, Eli Stone) stars as her shrewd, attractive neighbor, Mr. Knightley, and Michael Gambon (Cranford, Harry Potter) as Emma’s affectionate, doom-obsessed father.

Northanger Abbey
February 14, 2010, 9pm
(Encore Presentation)
In a medieval house that appeals to her most lurid fantasies, romance addict Catherine Moreland (Felicity Jones) begins a relationship with the younger son of the estate in this adaptation of the Jane Austen novel.

The 39 Steps
Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 9pm on PBS
Secret agent Richard Hannay battles German spies on the eve of World War I in a riveting and romantic new version of the classic thriller by John Buchan, made famous in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 movie. MASTERPIECE favorite Rupert Penry-Jones (Persuasion) stars as Hannay, with Lydia Leonard (Jericho) as suffragette Victoria Sinclair, his unlikely accomplice in a quest to expose German plans to destroy the British navy and invade the country.

Sharpe's Challenge
Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 9pm on PBS
In 1817, soldier-adventurer Richard Sharpe comes out of retirement to quash a rebellion in British India and rescue his old friend Patrick Harper. Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings) returns as the swashbuckling hero of this legendary long-running series based on the best-selling novels of Bernard Cornwell, with Daragh O'Malley as Harper. The duo’s exploits put them at the center of a blood-thirsty insurgency, led by a psychopathic former English officer. Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi guest stars as Madhuvanthi, a beautiful schemer who is out to seduce Sharpe.

Sharpe's Peril
Sunday, April 4, 2010 at 9pm on PBS
The thrilling adventures of Colonel Richard Sharpe continue as he leads a ragtag party of civilians and soldiers on a march across India, with the murderous army of an opium lord in hot pursuit. Sean Bean Lord of the Rings) stars as Sharpe, with Daragh O'Malley as his comrade-in-arms, Sergeant Major Patrick Harper, in this latest installment of the series based on Bernard Cornwell’s best-selling novels.

The Diary of Anne Frank
Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 9pm on PBS
The most accurate-ever adaptation of Anne Frank’s moving account of life hiding from the Nazis stars newcomer Ellie Kendrick (An Education) as a maturing teenager who undergoes an extraordinary ordeal. Iain Glen (Into the Storm) stars as Anne’s steadfast father, Tamsin Greig (Emma) as her reticent mother, and Felicity Jones (Northanger Abbey) as her studious older sister. Together with four others, they hide for two years in the back rooms of an Amsterdam business, while Anne records their tense daily life in one of history’s most remarkable memoirs. The Diary of Anne Frank airs on Holocaust Remembrance Day 2010.

Small Island
Sundays, April 18 and 25, 2010 at 9pm on PBS
Adapted from Andrea Levy’s best-selling, award-winning novel, Small Island tells the moving saga of two couples—one Jamaican, one English—whose lives intertwine in both friendship and tragic misunderstanding in post-World-War-II Britain. Naomie Harris (Pirates of the Caribbean) and David Oyelowo (The Last King of Scotland) star as the Jamaican immigrants, with Ruth Wilson (Jane Eyre) and Benedict Cumberbatch (The Last Enemy) as their English landlords.



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