The novelist, Elizabeth Jane Howard
The author of The Cazalet Chronicle discusses the origins of the story
For a start the books are semi autobiographical. "The young girls -- Polly, Louise and Clary -- are all little bits of me," confides Howard who grew up in rural East Sussex during the War. "The grandparents are inspired by my grandparents, and the governess was so like ours. The house, Home Place, is very real..."
The producers, Verity Lambert and Joanna Lumley
The seductiveness of the tale
"In the manner of things like The Forsyte Saga, and Upstairs, Downstairs, you get to know this family and their lives begin to unfold quite unexpectedly -- sometimes happily, sometimes tragically, sometimes dramatically -- in front of your eyes. There was an extraordinary destructuring of British society that took place around the time of the Second World War..."
The screenwriter, Douglas Livingstone
Vivid characters, opulent settings
"...My mother was a cook for a land-owning family in Hampshire. We had our own quarters, it was very much the upstairs, downstairs existence. The only time I ever went into the drawing room upstairs was at Christmas to collect a small present from the family..."
Realizing the vision
One of the most demanding areas was the huge, rambling garden of the Cazalet home. Once their Home Place had been chosen, Asbridge and his team had to clear the existing overgrowth and lay entire new lawns and gardens. They even had to lay out a lawn tennis court. "With period netting and chalk lines drawn by a machine from the time," he says with pride...
Who's Who | The End of High Society | Story Synopsis | Russell Baker
Production Notes | The Forum | Links and Bibliography
Home | About The Series | The American Collection | The Archive
Schedule & Season | Feature Library | eNewsletter | Book Club
Learning Resources | Forum | Search | Shop | Feedback
Masterpiece is sponsored by: