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The Life and Times of Call the Midwife: The Official Companion to Season One and Two

4.41  ·  Rating Details ·  1,768 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
The real stories, lives and dramas behind the smash hit BBC series Call the Midwife which premieres on PBS September 30, 2012.

The official companion to seasons one and two, The Life and Times of Call the Midwife, gives fans a deeper insight into the period, the stories and the characters, and how Call the Midwife, based on the bestselling memoirs by Jennifer Worth, was bro
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ebook, 288 pages
Published November 13th 2012 by Harper Design (first published October 1st 2012)
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Margaret Sankey
Jan 19, 2013 Margaret Sankey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lavishly illustrated, this is the companion volume to the BBC series, providing a look and the development and production. What shines through is that everyone seems to love what they're doing and the production has taken steps to encourage the camaraderie--the actors have sought out and gained the assistance of the real people they are portraying, they're encouraged to work up extensive backstories with them that find their way into the scripts, the actors' and crew's children are frequently fe ...more
Carole
Jan 02, 2013 Carole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was initially wary of this book, but within a couple of pages it had me spell bound.
You need to watch the series of Call the Midwife first (and possibly read the books on the series ) to appreciate what this book entails .
It is a wonderful book well written,full of facts and history which so many of us can remember.
The book details everything from the sets, characters make up and consultations with the late Jennifer, and also a meeting with the lady whom Trixie is based on.
I do think the lat
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Charity
Dec 25, 2014 Charity rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charming little read that casts some insight into the process of scripting the series and meeting the real Jennifer Lee. It delves into some of the practices in the 1950's but is mostly centered around the show. Lots of beautiful photographs and little tidbits from the cast. A lovely coffee table book.
Angela
Aug 22, 2013 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely addition to the series, which I also loved. If you liked the tv series I can guarantee you'll like this too. Lots of interesting facts, and lots of great pictures.
Irma
Jan 30, 2014 Irma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating book to read with regard to the making of series 1 and 2. So much interesting background information and excellently written by Heidi Thomas
Correen
Apr 05, 2014 Correen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Fascinating story. I loved the mix of history mixed with the story.
Sam Still Reading
Jan 02, 2013 Sam Still Reading rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the series
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: I love the series!
For some strange reason, I always like reading books about television programmes in January. Is it because there’s nothing to actually watch on TV then? A plan to reminisce over previous series? Getting ready for the new season? Who knows? This year I went off my usual Top Gear track and received the companion book to one of the most delightful series of the series, Call the Midwife. (Due to all the ad breaks, I simply couldn’t stomach Downton Abbey when it was on).

Call the Midwife is a deceptiv
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Nikki Miller
Apr 27, 2013 Nikki Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous! The stories of the midwives and nuns working in early 1950's England in a poor, post-war environment. I was told about this book previously, and had it on my to-read list, when I discovered the series on PBS. It was the beginning of the second season when I was reminded of the book. (Actually 3 books) While I love the t.v. series, and set it to record weekly, the book has so much more depth. A wonderful insight into historical nursing and recent history, itself. Hard to believe conditi ...more
Megan Palasik
I absolutely loved this book! I loved the first two seasons of the series and can't wait for season three to start!

This book was great for a number of reasons. It gave some back story about how the series same about from who contacted whom in the beginning and how it almost never happened. It was lovely hearing the writer's perspective throughout the book from her relationshop with the real Jennifer Worth to putting the book together. As you can probably tell from the images of the book, it's a
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Sharon Chance
Jan 16, 2013 Sharon Chance rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled upon "Call The Midwife" by accident - just happened to see a commercial for it on my PBS station. But all it took was one viewing of this fabulous show and I was hooked! Season One finished up and I felt so berefit, thinking that I sure would love to learn more about these courageous ladies who were midwives in 1950s London. And lo and behold, there is a Season Two about to begin in March!

Until then, I was thrilled to find this wonderful book that takes readers behind the scenes of t
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Rachel Emms
Apr 21, 2013 Rachel Emms rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The official companion guide to seasons one and two, The Life and Times of Call the Midwife, gives fans a deeper insight into the period, the stories and the characters, and how Call the Midwife, based on the bestselling memoirs by Jennifer Worth, was brought to the screen.

This is a must-read for any fans of the BBC series Call the Midwife. It is full of photographs, not only behind the scenes look, but of the period it is set in. It does a good job reflecting what it was like in the 1950s. I re
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Shelley
Mar 22, 2014 Shelley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: media, 2014
Fun look at the behind the scenes and making of the series. I liked finding out the real order (St John of the Divine) and people (Sister Julienne = Jocelyn, Trixie = Antonia, Cynthia Miller = Cynthia Miller), but I'm a little sad Chummy either didn't really exist or existed at some other job. I've also heard Sr Monica Joan may not have really existed, either. I liked the look at hair and makeup and casting, plus getting a little more info on the characters, too, though I'm not sure how fandom j ...more
Emma Colgrave
Mar 22, 2013 Emma Colgrave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was bought this as a birthday present, as my sister knew that I was enjoying the series. And having been a midwife myself she knew I'd enjoy it. I was fascinated with the books historical referencing, and the indept research they had undertaken to ensure that all the period features were correct. Such details as the colour of the actress' hair - ensuring that they were truly period, by going to the lengths of temporary hair dyes. I think what really sold it for me was when I discovered that Je ...more
Heather
Aug 11, 2014 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Rarely do I take so long to read a book....two and a half months! But this was well worth it!

It's a beautifully illustrated book, full of photos from the series, the time period and the filming. It tells the story of how Jennifer Worth's Memoirs of her time in Nursing & Midwifery became the beloved series 'Call the Midwife', and an unexpected Smash Hit.

It gives a behind the scenes look at the characters and the actors and actresses who made this show a success, and a little insight into the
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Magda Herbert
Nov 17, 2013 Magda Herbert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read the first two books of this series and I find them well written, heart warming, and so interesting to know that not that long ago, not that far away, so many things were so different, yet people sometimes react the same. There are those who take advantage of the less fortunate and those who help the less fortunate. I think Jennifer Worth has told a great story of her years as a midwife in the East End of London after WW II. Can't wait for the library to call me when the third book of ...more
Christine D
Fans of the TV show will love this book. I watched the first three seasons of the show which is why I picked this book up. It's a little bit overwhelming, it has a lot of information and the diary entries were a little boring but otherwise you get a lot of information about the show and the historical content is good.
I am glad they acknowledged that the show embellished on the books written by Jennifer Worth so people recognize the show is not exactly portrayed as what happened to the people in
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Hillary
Jan 16, 2013 Hillary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very fun and informative book for us fans of the the TV series. Beautiful photography, lots of history of the time period--the people, the medical science, how they ate, dressed, and lived in the East End of London. If you love the show, this book is a great companion piece.
American readers, beware! The writing is VERY British, with lots of expressions and vocabulary we don't use here in the States. It's not incomprehensible, but be prepared. (I don't know what a lot of that food is...and I le
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Lauren
Sep 12, 2012 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I simply love this TV series, although I'm not surprised as I've been addicted to British period pieces. I read the real book "Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth" and it was really good. I loved getting all the background information of the time period. When I was in London I visited the East end of London and a real treat if anyone goes there is to visit the docklands museum. Seeing it at post-world war 2 on television gives me an idea of what things where like. I'm ready for series 2 except I' ...more
Anne
Jan 02, 2015 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great background to the BBC series about midwives in 1950s London. Takes us through finding the book, deciding to make a series, convincing BBC to make the series. Letters to and from Jennifer Worth, who wrote the autobiography are noted as well as background on casting the roles. Lots of background on history, clothing, medical information and so on. My favorite part was when the actors answered a series of questions in the voice of the character they play. Thanks, Colleen!
Amanda K
Feb 01, 2016 Amanda K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
I was surprised at how much I came to enjoy this book series. I had watched the TV series sporadically, and I always thought it was great, but it's nothing compared to the books. I learned so much! It was the perfect mix between intriguing drama and the cold, hard truth, and I would recommend it to everybody. It really gives you a better understanding about the stories of life, and it shows just how much we have evolved within medicine. It has been a great read.
Lindasp
Jan 22, 2016 Lindasp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting look at the behind the scenes of Call the Midwife, one of my favourite BBC productions. The author of the book was also the script writer for the episodes and included details of how the show was developed and how the actors were chosen. She also described with great detail of what life was like in London's East End in the 1950's--social, economic, health issues and personal. There were even recipes included!
Molly
Apr 14, 2013 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
This is a fantastic companion to the television series. It gives insight into the historical background of the show and to the real life people who inspired the characters. I was most interested to learn about England's National Health Service which had just begun at the time the show takes place. It seems so wonderful that everyone, no matter how poor, has access to health care. I also enjoyed learning about the wonderful work done by midwives and nuns in the poorest areas of the country.
Sheila
Jun 15, 2013 Sheila rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book would give me some of the stories and experiences the real Midwife had but it is just the behind the scenes story of the television series, who the actresses were, how the scenes were portrayed and even some recipes from that time frame. I enjoyed the first series on TV and was hoping to be able to read them but this book didn't give me that information at all.
Barbara Kling
May 30, 2014 Barbara Kling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An absolute must-read for all who love CTM! Because its written by the screenwriter her passion for the books and series comes shininh thru. From finding the perfect actor to play the young Jenny Lee to shopping on Etsy for authentic vintage pieces for sets, Ms Thomas let's us delight in how the series was brought to the screen!
Ann
Sep 15, 2014 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This reading is a second time reading for me. I read it last year for one book club and now re-read it a second time for my other book club. The book was even better the second time around as I remembered the stories and picked up new details. I also loved the PBS series. A time capsule of war torn England in the 1950s and how difficult life was for the poor.
Linda
Feb 17, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book if you love the series Call the Midwife. I have read all of Jennifer Worth's books about her life as a Midwife so I had to get this. Not only very informative about life in the fifties it also went into detail about how the programme got to be made. Also contains lots of great photos of the past and of the programme.
Jodie
Jan 05, 2013 Jodie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have fallen in love with this series. My grandmother was a nurse midwife in the US starting in the 1940s and I was intrigued. I love the characters and the storyline. Such a great series. I could not help but dive into this book when it came across my NOOK. A great and interesting companion to the series.
Melanie
Sep 24, 2013 Melanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
If you loved the television series of Call the Midwife, you will love this book.

It talks about all the aspects of getting a television series from just a dream to a hit series.

From finding the characters and the stage settings to how they turned 2011 London into 1950 Poplar.

I really enjoyed reading about the history of the East End and how things were done back then.
Atlantis
If you don't watch the show you will not fully appreciate this book but it is a nice 'behind the scenes" look into a very endearing and historically factual show. How it was made, the characters, and the period and area where the stories take place. it gives special tribute to the memoirs of Jennifer Worth on which the majority of the show is based.
Donna
Apr 15, 2014 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heidi Thomas, the screenwriter of the popular BBC series, Call the Midwife, describes the story around the writing and filming of the series. We get to know the real Jenny and her influence on Heidi and the producers. This was a better read than I expected.
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Heidi Thomas is a playwright, television executive producer and screenwriter, whose credits include: the 2010 continuation of the popular series Upstairs Downstairs, and period piece Lilies (2007), alongside adaptions of Jennifer Worth's Call the Midwife, Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford, and a film version of Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle.

She is married to actor Stephen McGann.

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