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The Life and Times of Call the Midwife: The Official Companion to Series One and Two [Kindle Edition]

Heidi Thomas , Jenny Agutter
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £20.00
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Book Description

The stories and secrets behind BBC television’s most-loved show. The official companion to series 1 and 2, as well as the forthcoming Christmas special.

The Life and Times of Call the Midwife takes you behind the scenes of the small-screen sensation that has brought to life Jennifer Worth’s experiences as a midwife among the slums and buzzing dockyards of London’s East End in the Fifties.

Find out how Fifties fashions, make-up and homes were flawlessly recreated. Discover the hidden secrets of the nurses and nuns of Nonnatus House and what flavour cake ruled in the kitchen when war-time rationing finally came to an end. Immerse yourself in a world that’s been fondly revived to celebrate a glimpse of history that, like today, has childbirth at its heart.

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Product Description


‘The cast is a great mix of women who all just gelled. I love them all.’ Miranda Hart

About the Author

Heidi Thomas is an award-winning and BAFTA and EMMY nominated TV and Film screenwriter, producer and playwright and writer of the hit BBC TV show Call the Midwife (2012). Her other work includes Cranford (2007-2009), Upstairs Downstairs (2010-2012), Ballet Shoes (2007) and I Capture the Castle (2003). Heidi has influenced British TV for over a decade and brought stories, period dramas and historical events into our homes in such a captivating and original way that her work has regularly received record breaking viewings.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 145791 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; TV tie-in ed edition (25 Oct. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008LQ1OCI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #175,096 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to be treasured... 8 Dec. 2012
CALL THE MIDWIFE was the surprise hit of 2012 and the publishers have gone to town on that fact - this and the book below from W&N will of course cash in on the popularity of the TV pseries, but the same can also be said of all the Hobbit books, and they, like these, are to be treasured, because people want to know how TV programmes and films are made, they want to read all of the extra background information that wasn't included in the original books. THE LIFE AND TIMES OF CALL THE MIDWIFE is written by Heidi Tomas, who wrote the screenplays, and is already a hugely successful TV writer, with Cranford and the successful revamp of Upstairs Downstairs under her belt. But CALL THE MIDWIFE is special, and this fabulous book celebrates that to perfection. For me, the most captivating passages are Heidi's personal diaries, recounting how she met Jennifer and Philip Worth to discuss casting, costumes etc., etc. The book is a veritable treasure trove of ionformation on the midwifery profession post-war, when the series is set, and even before that, with original photographs and advertisements showing their uniforms and their equipment. There was plenty of research into who the original convent-trained midwives really were, and Heidi recounts how Jennifer eventually confirmed their true identities. This is a brilliant book, captivating, heart-warming, sometimes shocking, always entertaining, and is the perfect companion to the TV series. We've been warned by Alison Graham, who writes in the Radio Times, that we will cry at the end of the Christmas special - I don't mind that at all, this is a special series, and the book reflects that to perfection. One of the very best books of the month I've ever had the pleasure to select! This review appears in the Christmas issue of Books Monthly [...]
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! 5 Dec. 2012
By Wriggle
I bought this for my wife, who loved the original books, and adores the show. In the end, we've both been reading it! It's got masses of photographs from the TV series, interviews with the cast, and also pictures from the 1950s, and lots of social history about London. There's also a fascinating diary, which Heidi Thomas has written about the development of the TV show and her friendship with Jennifer Worth. I think anyone who liked the TV series will love this book, as well as anyone who is interested in the details of 1950s Britain - the fashions, medicine, music, the East End etc.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 30 Nov. 2012
By Nicola
This is a total must for all Call the Midwife fans. Not only does this go behind the scenes it also looks into the 1950's. This was so interesting and such a great fantastic read and superb photographs and pictures. Loved it!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 29 Mar. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed the first BBC series of Call the Midwife, which prompted me to read the three books by Jennifer Worth on which the programmes were based. Having read them, I enjoyed the second TV series less, as so much from the books was sanitised, given invented "happy" endings or indeed changed completely.
I had hoped that this book would explain why so much was changed, but it didn't, except that I learned from it that when the first series was planned, Jennifer Worth was expected to be alive to see it (and it is clear from this book that Heidi Thomas dearly wanted her approval) whereas the second series did not suffer from this constraint.
Some of the information about how the TV series was made is quite interesting, but the hard content is spread rather thinly over the padding.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book 24 May 2013
By Andie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After watching every single episode of the T V drama it is wonderful to read about how the stories came about and how the cast were chosen. I think this is a fabulous book to accompany the series. I love real life stories and absolutely love the T V series it make me cry and laugh it was fabulously filmed and written. I think it is a tragedy that Jennifer Worth didn't get to see the finished product but I believe she would have been very proud of what the writer's and actors achieved to bring her stories to l life. Well done to all the cast, crew and writer's I can't wait for the episode.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Life and Times of Call the Midwife 2 April 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is rightly called the 'Companion' to the television series. For someone who has loved the two series it is an absolute gift. Having the same sense of integrity as the programme, and written with the same sincerity, it equally has the power to move the reader. It provides a wonderful backdrop to what has been watched and indeed can give one a longing to view all the programmes again.
Like the Christmas annuals, which are mentioned in the book, and which so many of us received in the Fifties, this book is an assortment of treats. It does not just provide the reader with an historical background of England in the Fifties, nor just a sense of nostalgia as it touches on so many memories of that time, but it also gives one an understanding of the lengths to which those who have worked on the series have gone, in order to recreate so many aspects of the period.
It is very informative to read of how the sense of authenticity is achieved and to get some of the answers to the question we have asked so often, "How do they do that?'
The enjoyment of the book is further enhanced by hearing the views of the participators, -not just the actors, but the wonderful unseen people who make this kind of project a reality. It is interesting to read of how the very well known Miranda Hart became a member of the cast, and at the same time it s pleasing to learn how young, unknown actors have been given the opportunity to be part of this series, at the request of jennifer worth herself.
I would recommend this book to anyone, but with one warning. It is not a book to be read in haste. No, rather it is one to be savoured, shared and then put safely on the shelf and returned to at a later date to be read and re-read.
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