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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 8 December 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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on 5 December 2012
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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on 30 November 2012
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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on 2 April 2013
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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on 17 March 2013
What a great book to look at and a good companion for this great TV series. Since series two finished last week Sunday night TV has lost something I do so hope that series three will follow at some point.
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on 14 May 2013
This companion volume does what it delivers - it delves into the background of the creation of the series and provides lots of behind the scenes trivia - ranging from the costume design to the contents of a midwive's equipment bag. The principals actors are also interviewed in regards to their characters, which offers an amusing insight as well. An inexpensive gift volume for any fans of the TV show - perhaps helping the wait for series 3!
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on 23 March 2014
An excellent read for anyone who has enjoyed the recent BBC series 'Call the Midwife'. The photographs and behind the scenes look, tell the story of how the series was made. The interviews of the cast members are enthralling! A must for every 'Call the midwife' fan!
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on 18 May 2013
This book is amazing, I really cannot believe the price, but I will not dwell on that.
I have so love this series, it is so well acted you feel as though you are there, and I just think everyone in it is perfectly cast. The book, of course, is a very good companion to the series.

Well packaged, no damage at all, which can happen with books. Prompt as well. Great Seller.
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on 24 July 2013
This book is a stupendous companion to the 'Call the Midwife' TV series and books. It is presented beautifully and contains many splendid photographs of the cast, sets and props. It has information about the characters, sets, props-everything you could want to know about Call the Midwife. I highly recommend this book-it is one of my favourites. I hope more books like this about Call the Midwife are produced because they really are treasures. If you love the TV series or want to find out more about the 1950s then I recommend buying this book.
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on 17 April 2013
Arrived quickly and well packed.
This is a companion book to go alongside the television series.
It gives you background information on the casting and production processes. And also gives you a summary of each of the caste and actors who take part.
A really interest and well written book.
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