I just realised such a title could be seen as an announcement of something which it is not to someone who has not heard of this series, but no, it is not. It is merely the title of a series that I have fallen completely in love with during the winter.
For anyone not familiar with it this is a new BBC series, season 1 was first aired last year and season two is has just been released, based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth. It is set in East London, in the poorer areas, by the docks, in the 1950’s and is, as you can tell by the title, about midwives.
I saw someone write about it somewhere and thought it sounded interesting, so watched the first episode and was instantly charmed. I told my mum about it and she is not only also a fan of period dramas but has also an interest in the subject of midwifery and has on more than one occasion assisted and helped other women when they’ve give birth. So I thought it was a series that might interest her, and I was right. She fell in love with it just like I had and we have watched, with great enjoyment, the two seasons together.
The main character, nurse Jenny Lee, arrives in the first episode to Nonnatus House, a house/nunnery in the east London area called Poplar, here a group of nuns and two other young nurses all work as midwives, tending to all the hundreds of women in the area who are having babies. It is, like I said, a poor where the people live in bad conditions alot of the time, with large families and plenty of children. So the nurses have their job well cut out for them. For Jenny Lee it is a bit of a shock to come to this place which is so different from the area where she grew up, and assisting mothers in their little crowded homes with children running around her feet is certainly not what she is used to or what she was expecting to encounter.
Through the series there is, of course, many babies and many birth stories, but there is also so much else. There is a multitude of different characters you encounter, and many different stories. There are stories that make you laugh and there are stories where I struggled to not cry, there is joy and sadness, death and romances. Its not all birth and babies even though of course that is very big topic and an important one.
I just love this series. I love the mix of stories and people that fill it, it’s one of those stories that I get so in to it I feel like I almost know the characters. I love the time it is set in, I have romantic image of the 50’s and have been in a “50’s mood” quite often recently, listening to music from back then, trying out vintage-looking hairdos, wearing bright red lipstick and drooling over pictures and dresses from the time.
It does in a way though amaze me, when watching this series, how much has happened since then. The 50’s is not that long ago. My mum was born in the same year the second season is portraying, and she is not in any way old! But still there is so much that has changed since then, and within the medical world things definitely have evolved (not necessarily always for the better but in most cases, it has certainly evolved)! It just fascinates me, it wasn’t long ago at all, yet in some ways it feels like it was.
I would do a lot to get my hands on this outfit! Some of the dresses worn are just amazing!
I shall stop my ramblings and just say that I most heartily recommend this series to anyone who has not seen it but who love a good long period drama (the seasons are both 8 episodes each I think, and with a lovely Christmas special in between them) with plenty of good stories in it. It is funny, enjoyable, well made and touching and just in every way really good. If you ask me. And yes, there are plenty of cute little babies! 😉
Oh and I just recieved a book I orederd from Amazon. Now I have something to quench my thirst for more of this series until season three comes out!