Ever want to watch a history nerd go shrimping?
September 10, 2021 1:36 PM   Subscribe

Ruth Goodman is a historian specializing in the social and domestic history of Britain. She is also the star of BBC Two's historic farm series. Are you at the "need to watch 40 hours of making cheese and harvesting barley with limited technology" stage of the pandemic? Well then Ruth is here for you.

In production order:

Tales from the Green Valley is set during the Stuart era.
Victorian Farm is set during the, you guessed it, Victorian era. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Edwardian Farm is set during the Edwardian Era.
Wartime Farm is set during WW2.
And Tudor Monastery Farm follows Tudor era tenant farmers.

Not enough historical content for you? Need more bread? Or maybe a lead-based laxative for a good cleanse?

Victorian Pharmacy
Victorian Bakers - 1, 2, 3 (No Ruth in this one sadly but it's still plenty good.)
posted by phunniemee (29 comments total) 81 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh, she's the best! I spent most of the ebbing winter watching Ruth and friends in the Secrets of the Castle series, about building a medieval castle in France. Pure wonderment. I haven't checked out Tales from the Green Valley yet so I am happy to have the link. Thank you!
posted by mochapickle at 1:45 PM on September 10 [4 favorites]


Dang it! Forgot to include Secrets of the Castle, set at the active middle ages recreation Guedelon Castle in France.
posted by phunniemee at 1:45 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


(ha, and jinx!)
posted by phunniemee at 1:46 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


I loved Tudor Monastery Farm! Learned a lot about ancient methods, made me want to build my own wattle and daub fence. I wasn't as much a fan of the more modern era ones (though they're still cool of course). Which should I watch next, Secrets of the Castle or Tales from the Green Valley?
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 1:48 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


I've watched Edwardian Farm, Tudor Monastery, Victorian Pharmacy, and Victorian Bakers, and I just started Secrets of the Castle. I'll be honest I only found out about Green Valley when I set out to make this post! It'll be the next one I watch.
posted by phunniemee at 1:50 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


I think watching them in order-of-historical-era is most satisfying.
posted by clew at 1:57 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


Not that I wouldn't watch any new Goodman recreation in any era she felt like doing!
posted by clew at 1:57 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


These and The Secret Life of Machines compete for my favorite series of all time.

The one where they start up a lime kiln to make quicklime to spread on the field to amend the soil for growing peas; masterpiece!
posted by andorphin at 2:26 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


These and The Secret Life of Machines compete for my favorite series of all time.

Speaking of, Tim Hunkin must have regained the rights to his show in the past year, so he re-released all of them on youtube in somewhat better quality. I mean, it wasn't exactly high budget to begin with, but at least it's not a 240i VHS transfer any more, either.
posted by Kyol at 2:31 PM on September 10 [7 favorites]


Love all of this, thank you!
posted by darkstar at 2:50 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


Oh... that kind of shrimping.
posted by Splunge at 3:15 PM on September 10 [2 favorites]


The Secret Life of Machines rerelease was upscaled with modern ML magic and frankly it looks amazing.

I'm looking forward to watching these; I still have a Victorian Kitchen Garden shaped hole in my life.
posted by phooky at 3:36 PM on September 10


There's a surprising amount of character development in seeing all the different ways to build a pig pen across historical eras.

I also regularly reflect on Edwardians eating nothing but peas, all the time.
posted by kaibutsu at 4:58 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


I think Tales from the Green Valley was one of the first series that she did, so might not be quite as polished as some of the later ones. But Ruth Goodman is ace anyway, and it's an era that is not as extensively covered in social history documentaries.
posted by plonkee at 5:27 PM on September 10


disappointing lack of toes, 4/10.
posted by Makwa at 6:11 PM on September 10 [2 favorites]


Yesssss, I love Ruth Goodman. I also enjoy her books! Thanks for this--some perfect Friday night comfort watching.
posted by theatro at 6:33 PM on September 10


Even more Ruth (and Peter and Alex): Full Steam Ahead, about Victorian Railways. Not as immersive as the farm series, still lots to love.
posted by Advanced_Waffler at 7:36 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


And yeah, these are absolutely my comfort watching jams. Chris Barrie, Mark Williams, Tim Hunkin, James Burke, Suzannah Lipscomb, Ruth Goodman and the lads - there's a certain style of British historical entertainment product that speaks to me _just so_.
posted by Kyol at 8:01 PM on September 10 [2 favorites]


I've been seething with Ruth Goodman Job Envy for YEARS.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:06 PM on September 10 [6 favorites]


I loved that one episode where they laid a floor in one of the outbuildings by chucking down a mixture of clay and animal blood and clog dancing on it.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:07 PM on September 10 [2 favorites]


Forgive me for being a terrible history dork, but what is the right historical timeline? I only ask because I assume a smarter friend can just rattle them off.
posted by lauranesson at 10:21 PM on September 10


Ruth Goodman is one of my personal heroes! No other historian does what she does, she’s done so much for understanding social history, particularly the often overlooked roles and work of women. Definitely someone I’d love to share a meal and a long chat with (especially if we could wear kirtles and cook over an open fire in a medieval cottage). Thanks for posting!
posted by k8bot at 10:48 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


Also if there is a Time Team episode with Ruth Goodman, I need to know about it. I feel like she would be an awesome person to bring in for some of their experimental archaeology segments.
posted by k8bot at 10:50 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


I spent a lot of my maternity leave last year watching Ruth and friends. She’s so enthusiastic about…everything! Spreading straw on the floor, wondering about the beat procedure, delighting in its smell. (I also got Alex Langland’s Craeft book but haven’t managed to get into it yet.)
posted by acantha at 4:17 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


bless the poster and her water
bless the linking and aggregating of her
may the comments cleanse the world
may she keep the thread for her mefites
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:12 AM on September 11 [4 favorites]


Forgive me for being a terrible history dork, but what is the right historical timeline?

Of the ones featured, it goes Tudor, Stuart, Victorian, Edwardian, Wartime. Those aren’t a complete set (the Georgian eats up about a century between the Stuarts and Victoria) but that’s the order.

It looks like Secrets of the Castle would come before all of those chronologically - Guedelon is trying to recreate a 13th century castle but in France so a little bit outside of the English frame of reference the other shows are set in. Sort of the Magician’s Nephew of the set.
posted by nickmark at 7:45 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Ruth Goodman and her associates: Darn good!
posted by james33 at 8:34 AM on September 11


I don't even care that this isn't new Ruth Goodman content, I just appreciate the reminder. The Farm Series is a major comfort watch for me.
posted by Lexica at 5:25 PM on September 14


I’ve been feeling poorly all day, so I decided to treat myself to a binge. Watching the copper mining episode of Edwardian Farm as we speak.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:11 PM on September 15


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