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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 listeners say about The Cazalets

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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 !

13 people found this helpful

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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.

10 people found this helpful

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I couldn't stop listening!

I bought this after listening to a few chapters on the BBC radio app. It was amazing - it's set in the past but had timeless themes - love, adultery, family loyalty and teenagers trying to find their way. Absorbing, and hugely enjoyable. I wish that the story could carry on.

8 people found this helpful

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Brilliant story, so well told.

A woman's book, in my opinion, and I wish there were more like it. This is a many-faceted saga about the Cazalet family which I found totally compelling. The most intimate thoughts of every character are revealed; their reactions to the many problems that arise, their relationships, all are described with understanding and compassion. What obviously concerns this writer is how vulnerable people are exploited and even abused by the ruthless and selfish partners they often attract. This is a keeper!

7 people found this helpful

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Pure Class!

Just wonderful, a great series of novels expertly dramatised by the BBC. Highly recommended! 5 Stars!!

6 people found this helpful

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Family Saga.

Had not heard of the books before purchase and listened through numerous listenings mostly bedtime. Enjoyable .Narration by Penelope Wilton very much in keeping with the piece. I found it flowed well even with the stops and starts. I am now interested in listening to the individual books .

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  • 18-07-17

FrighTfully wonderful!

I loved listening to this drama. It was stylish and the voices were easily distinguishable from one another. There was a big cast and so it was very professionally done without the same actor taking more than one part which is sometimes the case in lesser dramas.

I'm only sad it's over as I shall miss the characters so much. Really a great listen. Don't hesitate you will love it. Thank you BBC.

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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.

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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.

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Master Piece of Literature Perfectly Acted

A master piece of English old style literature perfectly performed & well acted. A wonderfully produced audible that I can listen to over & over and enjoy as much as the first time around. Well done to all. More like this please.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Adeliese Baumann
  • 31-10-14

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.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Amanda
  • 05-10-20

Excellent

If you like the books, you will love this. Even if you have not read them, you will enjoy this if you like soap opera take things. Not everyone does. Anyway, this was very well done.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 23-07-18

Exquisite!

What an incredible journey into the minds and hearts of this family! What an amazing exploration of life and the complexities of human emotion! Wonderfully performed by a gifted group of actors whose voices were able to evoke intense emotional responses, while painting a beautiful series of canvasses depicting each scene, or creating full colour snapshots to be displayed montage-style on the giant HDTV screen of my mind's eye. I heartily recommend this collection to everyone. Cautionary note: once you begin, you will find it hard to stop listening until the very end. Any sleep lost will be worth it!

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  • TashaJRiley
  • 01-08-16

amazing family story

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • WWaller
  • 16-07-21

Cazalet world

Excellent with the sole exception of the voice of Zoe's American lover. Terrible American accent detracted from their story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-05-21

Cazslets

Wonderfully performed. A real family saga. I loved this. I wish there was more radio theater.

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  • Shirley M Moulderi
  • 24-01-21

Cazalets

It was so enjoyable. The characters were just so good. It was nice to have a relaxing book to listen at bedtime. Thanks

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  • agatha christie
  • 29-12-20

the cazelelets

enjoyed it immensely. Penelope Winston read beautifully .A family saga at an important time in life.