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The Cazalets Radio/TV Program

The Cazalets: The Epic Full-Cast BBC Radio Dramatisation

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Publisher's Summary

Penelope Wilton narrates BBC Radio 4’s epic dramatisation of the treasured family saga, Elizabeth Jane Howard’s five book chronicle of the upper-middle class. Cazalet family begins in 1938, as siblings Hugh, Edward, Rupert, and Rachel join together for another family holiday at Home Place, their house in the Sussex countryside.

During the course of The Light Years, Marking Time, Confusion, Casting Off, and All Change, the progress of their lives, and those of their children, will be charted. As their stories unfolds we gain a vivid insight into the lives, hopes, and loves of three generations during the Second Word War and beyond.

Dramatised by Sarah Daniels and Lin Coghlan, and with a large cast of actors across all five books, this remarkable radio event adds a new dimension to Elizabeth Jane Howard’s extraordinary chronicles. The first four Cazalet novels sold over a million copies, with the fifth being published in 2013, shortly before the author’s death.

©2014 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2014 BBC Worldwide Ltd

What Members Say

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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • Die Falknerin
    31/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Return to Home Place"

    If you've never met the Cazalets, let this be your introduction. And if you have, you'll love returning to Home Place to see them all again. The casting is perfect: every performance was distinctive, powerful, and absolutely top class. It was enjoyable to hear the ever-ladylike Penelope Wilton's narration throughout. It is a bit of a soap opera, of course, and rather melodramatic in parts. (I would have liked deeper characterization in several places). But what a story! It has everything: war, peace, love, desire, denial, regret...all of human life. You won't forget these characters, nor "Home Place" the estate that is, if you will, a character in itself. Highly recommended to those who love a sweeping family saga, and to all who enjoy hearing BBC Radio at its very best.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Natasha13
    New Orleans
    1/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "amazing family story"

    so well done. so much family detail in this story, its hard not to be completely hooked.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • sarah
    22/07/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lose yourself in this epic family saga"
    What made the experience of listening to The Cazalets the most enjoyable?

    The story, it's always all about the story telling


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rachel, lovable and believable


    What does Penelope Wilton and Full Cast bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Listening while on holiday so lying on a beach was transported into their world


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, too long for that !


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • blueannacee
    London, UK
    6/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Like snuggling up with a duvet and a box of chocs"
    What made the experience of listening to The Cazalets the most enjoyable?

    Penelope Wilton's beautiful narration and the perfect dramatisation.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Cazalets?

    Sid's fight against cancer.


    Have you listened to any of Penelope Wilton and Full Cast ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No not yet but I am looking forward to listening.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Numerous moments moved me. Although my hanky was used many times for sad bits, there is a lovely sense of hope throughout.


    Any additional comments?

    The Cazalets books are one of my favourite reads and this dramatisation is just wonderful.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • kaz
    17/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"

    I didn't want this to end. I would like to know what happens next. I felt bereft when it ended. I loved every character played, even if I disliked the portrayed character traits. I wish there was more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Miss Rose Edwards
    12/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A joy"

    I have read the Cazalet Chronicles so many times that the characters are like old friends. The adaptation is so beautifully abridged and acted that I think I will always hear these voices when I next return to the books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rachel Redford
    17/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A superb, sensitive saga brilliantly dramatised"

    This is a dramatization of all five novels which make up Elizabeth Jane Howard's Cazalet Chronicles, the fifth one completed shortly before her death in 2014. With the narration within this BBC dramatisation spoken so beautifully by Penelope Wilton, and with an excellent full cast, it is a truly wonderful listening experience. It just couldn't be bettered and is a fitting tribute to EJH.

    Beginning in 1937 it follows the fortunes - and misfortunes - of the extended Cazalet family from the end of the 1930s to the 1950s, from servant-supported idylls of family holidays in Sussex full of fun and promise, through the tragedies of wartime, to a changed world and shattered family finances. There are so many poignant episodes that are deeply moving - the tough old family matriarch they call the Duchy struck dumb in her planting as her son walks into the garden after being missing for years during the war; the heart-breaking death scene between Rachel and Sid who had loved each other faithfully for so many years... There are many, many more, all presented with infinite subtlety as the various members of the family face every variation of pain and joy.

    The background of social change from before, during and after WW2 is totally authentic (EJH lived through it), and the family members experiencing it all are complete people, not merely characters, their voices capturing every nuance of feeling. The sufferings to be endured through the agonies of love, and the loss of love, are a major part - there is an awful lot of heart-rending weeping as affairs rage, destroy and die, and love is yearned for and usually only fleetingly captured.

    What gave listening to the Chronicles an extra dimension for me was that I had just read EJH's autobiography Slipstream, which obviously covers the same ground as the biography Elizabeth Jane Howard A Dangerous Innocence by Artemis Cooper newly published and released on Audible. The fascinating thing is the way that EJH's life was a catalogue of thwarted ambitions, affairs and unhappy relationships conducted with an unattractive heartless selfishness. I really didn't warm to her as a person as she presented herself, but she translated all her feelings and imagination into the world she creates here in the Chronicles. It is shot through with the most touching sensitivity, and a deep understanding of the human heart.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    5/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absorbing and wonderful..."

    ...Just like the books. This is a fabulous story, beautifully told. I loved it and will be recommending it to friends and family. And listening to it again very soon!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    18/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Marvellous!!!!"

    Hours of being in the company of the Cazalet family - pure joy! I couldn't recommend highly enough!! Great story and great performances - such a shame when it ended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs Maureen Cate
    Wollaston, Northamptonshire United Kingdom
    24/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poignant family saga..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Cazalets to be better than the print version?

    No


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Cazalets?

    Too many to choose one...


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Polly's first visit to Gerald's home.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I spread it over three days - one has to sleep!


    Any additional comments?

    I loved the books and the dramatisation is essentially truncated but, none-the-less, the spirit of this moving story of a large family is encapsulated here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Helen Dilworth
    8/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just blissful!"

    I've read all five books about the Cazalets and enjoyed them so much I thought it would be nice to hear the story read aloud to me. The play was perfect, the actors sounded just like the way I heard them in my head when I read the books. I really enjoyed this and would happily listen to it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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