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Buy for $19.62
A BBC Radio dramatisation of the real-life diaries of a West Country village parson, writing at the turn of the 19th century.
On 25th October 1799—his 18th wedding anniversary—cantankerous Somerset parson William Holland begins his diary, chronicling events at the vicarage and in the small farming community of Over Stowey. He would keep it for the next 19 years, candidly recording the small trials of day-to-day life—from chaotic church services and unruly locals to lazy servants and irksome in-laws.
As the new century dawns, he finds himself dealing with parish problems and domestic dramas: including a madman in the poorhouse, a drunkard in the pulpit and his wife's prattling cousin in the house. At harvest time, he has his work cut out collecting tithes from the local farmers, and his troubles are further compounded by an escaped cow, some curious medical complaints and an audacious plum-plunderer....
Paying a social visit to Bath with his family, the hectic pace has him longing for the relative peace and quiet of home. And back at the parsonage, his life is transformed when his manservant Robert resolves to give up drinking and womanizing. But will it last?
Full of humorous observations and comic incident, this delightful journal paints a unique picture of a wonderful collection of characters and the entertaining and often hilarious things that happen to them. Dramatised by Eric Pringle, it is brought to life by a full cast of well-known actors and stars Ronald Pickup as William Holland, Rosemary Martin and Rowena Cooper as his wife, Mary and Gavin Muir as Robert.
Written by William Holland. Dramatised by Eric Pringle. Directed by Cherry Cookson.
William Holland - Ronald Pickup
Mary - Rosemary Martin/Rowena Cooper
Robert - Gavin Muir
Miss Dodwell - Tessa Worsley
Mr Amen - Gordon Gostelow
Farmer Morle - David Collings
William Frost/Farmer Landsey - David Timson
Rector Reekes/Ben Hunt - John Hartley
Thomas Poole/Farmer Trant/Porter - Stephen Critchlow
Mrs Southcomb - Margaret Courtenay
Farmer CottleMr Lewis - Andrew Branch
Margaret/Hannah/Betty/Little Will - Jane Whittenshaw
Sally Hill/Grace - Caroline Strong
With Tilly Gaunt, Giles Fagan and Ben Crowe
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 7th - 21st February 1996 (Series 1), 29th October - 12th November 1999 (Series 2).
"A good diary can provide an unsurpassed entry into society, and the diary of William Holland is a very good diary indeed." (The Spectator)