Whether keeping the home fires burning while their men were away, or participating in wars, forging new careers, or making inroads for future women’s rights – these are stories of the strong women that went before us. The selections I have made below are in no particular order as to personal favorites or popularity by someone’s list. This list will be constantly updated. (Always Updating)
In 1585, Catholic Spain ruled by King Philip II of Spain (Jordi Molla) is the most powerful country in the world. Seeing Protestant England as a threat, and in retaliation for English piracy of Spanish ships, Philip declares war. He plans to take over England and make his daughter, Isabella, the Queen of England in Elizabeth’s place. Meanwhile, Elizabeth I of England (Cate Blanchett) is being pressured by her advisor, Francis Walsingham (Geoffrey Rush), to marry, for if she dies without an heir, the throne will pass to her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots (Samantha Morton), who is Catholic. Therefore, the Queen is presented with portraits of appropriate suitors, particularly the very youthful Charles II, Archduke of Austria (Christian Brassington), who has become infatuated with the her. However, she refuses to marry any of them.
English explorer Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen) is presented at Elizabeth’s court, having returned from the New World, and he offers her potatoes, tobacco, two Native Americans, and gold from a Spanish ship that he claims was “unable to continue its journey”. Elizabeth commands that the Native Americans be treated well and refuses to accept the gold.
Elizabeth is attracted to Raleigh, enthralled by his tales of exploration, and asks Bess Throckmorton (Abbie Cornish), her most favored lady-in-waiting, to observe him. Bess also finds Raleigh attractive and secretly begins an affair with him. Elizabeth seeks guidance from her astrologer, Dr. John Dee (David Threlfall), who predicts that two empires will go to war. However, he cannot predict which will triumph over the other, leaving Elizabeth to ponder her and England’s fate. More on Wiki
In Victorian England, the independent and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer; Frank Troy, a reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood, a prosperous and mature bachelor. Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Tom Sturridge, and Michael Sheen star in Thomas Vinterberg’s adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s beloved novel
Based on the actual events that inspired author Peter Rees’ popular novel of the same name, the Australian mini-series Anzac Girls tells the story of a group of idealistic young nurses who must summon great courage to endure the horrors they see while treating soldiers wounded in Gallipoli.
Arriving in Egypt to serve in World War I, a group of idealistic young Australian and New Zealand nurses are full of romantic notions. All too soon, however, they are faced with convoys of the dead and wounded from the doomed Gallipoli campaign. Realizing that war is not quite the splendid adventure they thought it would be, they rise to meet the challenge, finding love, heartbreak, and lasting friendship along the way.
Dustin Clare, Georgia Flood, Laura Brent
The White Queen
Drama, History, War | TV Mini-Series (2013– )
During Britain’s tumultuous 15th century, the battle for supremacy between the houses of Lancaster and York leads to a protracted civil war. This historical drama spotlights three women who become deeply involved in the royal intrigues of the era.
Set against the backdrop of the Wars of the Roses, the series is the story of the women involved in the protracted conflict for the throne of England. It starts in 1464—the nation has been at war for nine years fighting over who is the rightful King of England, as two sides of the same family, the House of York and the House of Lancaster, are in violent conflict over the throne. The story focuses on three women in their quest for power, as they manipulate behind the scenes of history—Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort and Anne Neville. Woodville is the central character in the novel The White Queen, whilst Beaufort and Neville are the focus of the novels The Red Queen and The Kingmaker’s Daughter respectively; however, all three characters appear in all three novels that went to make up the television series.
A mute Scotswoman named Ada McGrath is sold by her father into marriage to a New Zealand frontiersman named Alisdair Stewart, bringing her young daughter Flora with her. The voice that the audience hears in the opening narration is “not her speaking voice, but her mind’s voice”. Ada has not spoken a word since she was six years old and no one, including herself, knows why. She expresses herself through her piano playing and through sign language, for which her daughter has served as the interpreter. Flora later dramatically tells two women in New Zealand that her mother has not spoken since the death of her husband who died as a result of being struck by lightning. Ada cares little for the mundane world, occupying herself for hours every day with the piano. Flora, it is later learned, is the product of a relationship with a teacher with whom Ada believed she could communicate through her mind, but who “became frightened and stopped listening”, and thus left her. Winner of 3 Academy Awards® including Best Actress (Holly Hunter) and Best Supporting Actress (Anna Paquin),
The second world war experiences of brave women recruited as undercover agents behind enemy lines >>trailer
A major 6-part drama, set in former luxury hotel turned Union Army hospital in Virginia during the Civil War. Inspired by memoirs and letters from the era, nurses and doctors struggle to save lives while managing personal hardships. Mercy Street follows the lives of two volunteer nurses on opposing sides of the Civil War New England abolitionist Mary Phinney and Confederate supporter Emma Green. The Green family’s luxury hotel in Alexandria, Virginia, has been transformed into Mansion House, a Union Army hospital tending to the war’s wounded. Inspired by memoirs and letters from real doctors and nurse volunteers at Mansion House Hospital, this new drama reveals the stories of those struggling to save lives while managing their own hardships.