The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Though written almost 100 years ago, The Great Gatsby is a timeless classic. I picked up my high school copy on a whim, while I was still at my parents’ house and let me say, it’s never felt more timely to read than now. The American Dream gone wrong, voyeurism into the lives of the hypocritical elite, and an impending Great Depression – sound familiar right? I guess you can repeat the past, just maybe not the past you’d like to.
Travel back 3000 years ago and enjoy this movie made for everyone. You’ve got romance that literally started a war, epic battle scenes fought between the ancient kingdoms of Troy and Sparta, and of course, Brad Pitt, Eric Bana and Orlando Bloom in their prime (swoooon). While this is one of my all time favorites, I am a little triggered from my brothers yelling “FOR TROY!” every time they attacked me.
Please note that while both the ‘95 series and the ‘05 film have been plugged here, one is clearly better than the other. Although I did watch the movie for the first time just last year, I did shout “absolutely not!” during Macfayden’s Darcy proposal in the rain. IMO Darcy is always terrible, but only Colin Firth has been able to sway me thus far. We are waiting, Timothée.
This is a fantastic representation of what I like to call, “playing the long game”. Emily Blunt plays Queen Victoria as she learns what it means to be the monarch of England. All the while, Rupert Friend is a patient and supportive friend as Prince Henry, waiting in the wings until she’s ready to marry.
Quite possibly the most romantic movie in existence. Starring all your favorite period actors (Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth, Gwyneth Paltrow), the story follows Will Shakespeare as he tries to write a play that’s not a flop and woo a lady way out of his league. Half Romeo and Juliet and half Twelfth Night, is there anything more you could want from a period romance??
In this telling of a young King Henry V coming into power, Timothée Chalamet and Robert Pattinson are enemies, but it’s kind of delightful watching their feud play out. Fair warning: it’s over 2hrs long, but it goes by in a flash. Is there anyone in this movie who can pull off an accurate accent? (no) But watch and find out for yourself!
Every time, and I’m not kidding every time, I meet someone named Elizabeth, I just want to yell it like Orlando Bloom does in this movie. This series never gets old and 100% deserves a rewatch this weekend. Who wouldn’t want to travel back to the 1700s Caribbean, fight against pirates, and most importantly, go on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disneyland?
Margaret Wells runs a brothel in 18th century England. When her business is attacked by a rival madam, she’ll fight back by any means necessary to keep things running, even if that means putting her two daughters at risk. It’s vulgar, funny, and at times so spot on with how it critiques relationships. If you find anything interesting in the balance of power between women (and men, I guess), try this one on for size.
There is absolutely nothing historically accurate about this show, but will I stop watching it? No, absolutely not. This highly fictionalized series follows Mary Queen of Scots as she returns to French court to formalize her arranged marriage to Francis II and secure an alliance with France. The love triangles, the scandals, the poisoning that seems to take place in every episode; this show is an absolute guilty pleasure that I refuse to feel guilty about watching.
Anne with an E (Netflix)
This show is absolutely perfect in every single way. While remaining true to the original text, Anne with an E updates the mid 19th century story, tackling feminist, racial, and LGBTQ+ stories that are usually ignored in period pieces. You will laugh, you will cry, you will scream at Gilbert Blythe and Anne Shirley to get their sh*t together and just kiss already! A visual treat, you’ll never want the series to end. #RenewAnnewithanE
Starting with Catherine of Aragon and ending with Katherine Parr, Dana Schwartz walks us through all six of King Henry VIII’s marriages. The perfect podcast that offers us the historical context of some of our favorite movies and TV shows.