If there’s anything to know about me, it’s that I am a period romance connoisseur.

With the production of period romances running full speed ahead, there are too many period romance movies and TV shows out there to keep up with. How do you choose what to watch?

Don’t worry. Let me be your guide.

Here’s a list of all the best period romance and TV shows streaming right now on Netflix, Hulu and other popular sites.

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Romantic period movies and TV shows on Netflix

‘Anne with an E’

“Anne with an E” is a reimagining of a classic coming-of-age story. It’s based off of the “Anne of Green Gables” series by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

In “Anne with an E,” the young, orphaned Anne is mistakenly sent to live with siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert on Prince Edward Island. After suffering trauma and abuse at an orphanage, the imaginative Anne finds friendship and respite while living with the Cuthberts — while still suffering bullying and cruelty from the children and parents in her town.

“Anne with an E,” while slightly grittier than the novels, still follows the major plot points of the series. That includes showing Anne’s relationship with Gilbert Blythe, the young man with whom Anne has an intense academic rivalry. Eventually, a romance blossoms between the two.

The series was unfortunately cancelled after the third season, but it ends on a satisfactory note for Anne and Gilbert fans.

‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’

“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society,” based on the novel by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer, tells the story of writer Juliet Ashton (Lily James), who begins a correspondence with the residents of the island of Guernsey after World War II.

During World War II, four residents of Nazi-occupied Guernsey — including Dawsey Adams (Michiel Huisman) and Elizabeth McKenna (Jessica Brown-Findlay) — tell Nazi soldiers that they are out past curfew because of their (made-up) book club, dubbed the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on the spot, to avoid arrest. The ploy works and thus the book club is born.

Five years later, Juliet receives a letter from Dawsey, who tells her he has her personal copy of “Essays of Elia” by Charles Lamb and would like to know where he could buy another book by Lamb. The letter begins a correspondence between the two, and Juliet, curious to learn more about the book club, decides to visit their town.

When Juliet and Dawsey finally meet, sparks erupt between them, forcing Juliet to choose between her life in London and the quaint island of Guernsey.

Romantic period movies and TV shows on Prime Video


Masterpiece’s “Poldark” is a sweeping, melodramatic take on the 1975 series of the same name and the book series by Winston Graham.

The series begins with Captain Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner), a redcoat in the Revolutionary War, returning to his town of Cornwall after three years. Circumstances have drastically changed since he left: his father has died and his beloved, Elizabeth (Heida Reed), is engaged to marry his cousin Francis.

With his estate in ruins and considerable debts to pay, Ross decides to reopen Wheal Leisure, his family’s mine. He hires Demelza Carne (Eleanor Tomlinson), a poor young woman, as his scullery maid — who eventually develops feelings for him. Eventually, despite the fact that Elizabeth is married to Francis, Ross finds himself in a love triangle between Demelza and Elizabeth.

“Poldark” explores the relationship between Ross and Demelza — who (spoiler alert!) get married in the first season — and the relationship between Ross and Elizabeth throughout all five seasons.

What’s ‘Poldark’ rated and why?

Per IMDb, “Poldark” is rated TV-14 for mild sexuality, violence and profanity.

‘Downton Abbey’

It is impossible to list top period romances without including the cultural phenomenon that was “Downton Abbey.”

Taking place between 1912 and 1926, the series follows the wealthy, aristocratic Crawley family, who live in the country estate Downton Abbey, and their downstairs staff.

At the beginning of the first season, it’s revealed that the eldest Crawley daughter, Lady Mary, has agreed to marry Patrick, the son of Grantham heir James Crawley. But when both James and Patrick perish on the Titanic, the Crawleys learn that the next in line is Matthew Crawley, a middle-class lawyer.

The first two seasons hinge on Matthew and Mary: Matthew is hesitant to embrace the aristocratic lifestyle that he is newly introduced to and Mary is resistant to her romantic interest in the new heir. The will-they-won’t-they dynamic between the two makes for an interesting love story.

There are multiple other excellent romantic subplots, including one between Lady Sybil, the youngest Crawley sister, and Tom Branson, the Crawleys’ chauffeur.

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‘Emma,’ (2020)

2020′s “Emma.” is, in my opinion, one of the best Jane Austen adaptations out there. It follows the titular Emma Woodhouse (Anya Taylor-Joy), a beautiful, wealthy and meddling young woman who occupies herself by matchmaking the unassuming townsfolk living in the town of Highbury.

Living with her quirky father (Bill Nighy) and often visited by their neighbor (and her brother-in-law) Mr. Knightley (Johnny Flynn), Emma has always insisted that she isn’t interested in a romance of her own. That is, until, the handsome and mysterious Frank Churchill (Callum Turner) finally comes to town.

But we all know that Emma doesn’t end up with Frank, but Mr. Knightley instead — and watching their love unfold on screen in this historical rom-com is a delight.

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‘Doctor Thorne’

Written by “Downton Abbey” and “The Gilded Age” creator Julian Fellowes, “Doctor Thorne” premiered in 2016 with a whimper rather than a bang. It’s a shame — the three-part miniseries, adapted from a novel by Anthony Trollope, is an excellent period drama with an endearing love story at its center.

Taking place in a small village in England, “Doctor Thorne” follows its titular character (Tom Hollander), the doctor for his small village and uncle to Mary, his penniless niece with dubious parentage. Due to her unknown lineage, Mary is unable to marry Frank Gresham, the love of her life and the heir to the Greshambury Estate.

Despite the Gresham’s family elite standing in society, Frank’s father has amassed substantial debt, forcing Frank to marry into a wealthy family.


Masterpiece’s “Victoria” chronicles Queen Victoria’s (Jenna Coleman) reign over three seasons, focusing on the ups and downs over her first 13 years on the throne.

While each season is great, the first is my personal favorite. It follows Victoria’s bumpy accession to the throne, beginning with the death of King William IV, and it closely covers the tumultuous dynamic between Victoria, her mother and Sir John Conroy. The show also examines Victoria’s close relationship and alleged romantic affection for former prime minister Lord Melbourne (Rufus Sewell).

But most importantly, “Victoria” Season 1 explores the romance between Victoria and Prince Albert (Tom Hughes). The two were famously in love until Albert’s death in 1861, per PBS. The show’s portrayal of the pair’s early courtship and eventual marriage is sweet, making for an excellent love story.

Romantic period movies and TV shows on Max


“Belle,” which is loosely based on a true story, explores the life of Dido (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate and biracial daughter of Captain John Lindsay (Matthew Goode). After Dido’s mother dies, her father puts her in the care of his uncle, William Murray.

Dido is raised as a gentlewoman alongside Murray’s other great-niece, Lady Elizabeth Murray. When both girls reach adulthood, Dido’s father dies, leaving her with an enviable yearly income. Meanwhile, Elizabeth has no income.

“Belle” explores how Dido navigates society, and love, as a biracial gentlewoman. Plus, there’s an excellent love story between Dido and John Davinier, a law student.


“Brooklyn” tells the story of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish woman. Dissatisfied with her life in Ireland, she immigrates to New York City in 1951 and finds lodging in a boarding house for young Irish women. Eilis begins working in a department store, but is severely homesick.

Father Flood, an Irish priest who helped Eilis come to the United States, enrolls her in a night school bookkeeping class. Things continue to improve when Eilis meets Tony, a young Italian-American plumber, at a dance. Their romance flourishes, but is stopped short when Eilis must return to Ireland after a tragedy in her family.

Torn between her newfound life and love in New York City and the comforting life at home in Ireland, Eilis must choose between the two countries and the two, very different lives she could lead.

“Brooklyn” is, at first glance, a simple coming-of-age story. But it proves to have humor and depth, and an excellent love story at its center.

‘The Gilded Age’

“The Gilded Age” follows New York City’s elite society in 1882, both old money and new. When Marian Brook’s father dies, she moves to New York City to live with her Aunt Agnes of the wealthy van Rhijn family, and her sister Ada, a spinster.

Around the same time, the Russells move in across the street. They’re a wealthy, but new money, family.

Bertha Russell is determined to gain the favor of New York’s elite families, but it’s proving harder than expected: As a new money family, they’re looked down upon, despite their wealth.

“The Gilded Age,” created by Fellowes, is full of elaborate sets and costumes, melodrama and incredible hats. It also has a few interesting and, in true Fellowes style, twisty romantic plot lines.

The most interesting one is between Marian and Larry Russell, Bertha’s son — but because their love story only came to fruition at the end of Season 2, we’ll have to wait until Season 3 to see how it shakes out.

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‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ (2015)

In 1870s England, Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) meets farmer Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts). The two become friends and Gabriel eventually proposes — but Bathsheba, saying she is too independent, turns him down.

After falling to misfortune, Gabriel is forced to look for employment elsewhere. He eventually finds himself on Weatherby farm, inherited and owned by Bathsheba. Thus begins Gabriel and Bathsheba’s intertwined lives.

Bathsheba, beautiful and headstrong, finds herself catching the eye of multiple suitors — and Gabriel, now working as a shepherd on Bathsheba’s farm, must watch and advise from the sidelines.

“Far From the Madding Crowd” is a beautiful period romance about fate, love and timing, with an excellent cast.

Romantic period TV shows on Apple TV+


“Sanditon,” based on Jane Austen’s last, unfinished novel, follows the young Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams). After a chance encounter, Charlotte goes to Sanditon, a quaint seaside town, with the Parker family.

There, she meets a myriad of quirky townsfolk and is swept up in their schemes. Her new friends include Tom Parker, who is keen on making Sanditon a renowned seaside resort; Lady Denham, a wealthy widow; Sir Edward and Lady Esther Denham, step-siblings vying for Lady Denham’s wealth.

Charlotte also meets Sidney Parker (Theo James), Tom’s handsome, brooding brother. Because Austen never finished the novel, “Sanditon” has quite a few gaps to fill in — but does a great job fleshing out the romance between Sidney and Charlotte.

In my humble opinion, the first season of “Sanditon” is the best in the series (out of three seasons total) — but the ending will likely leave fans frustrated. This is largely because (spoiler alert!) James left the show after Season 1, and doesn’t return.

‘The Buccaneers’

Apple TV+’s “The Buccaneers” is the second stab at an adaptation of Edith Wharton’s unfinished novel of the same name. The series (and novel) follows the five daughters of three new-money families during the Gilded Age: sisters Nan and Jinny St. George; Conchita Closson; and sisters Lizzy and Mabel Elmsworth.

The story focuses on Nan, but it explores the lives of all the friends as they travel to England to find aristocratic husbands. Their prospective husbands have titles, but they are managing estates with significant debt. That’s why the five girls, dubbed the buccaneers, are sought after in British society — while simultaneously looked down upon for their American manners.

The Apple TV+ series is, as the Deseret News previously reported, a “modernized, more feminist take on the book. The characters mostly use modern language and express modern ideas.” It makes for a breezy watch — and seeing the love triangle play out between Nan, Guy and Theo is good fun.

Edith Wharton’s ‘The Buccaneers’ gets a modern spin on Apple TV+. How faithful is the new adaptation to the book?

Romantic period TV shows on Hulu

‘Pride and Prejudice’ (1995)

Regardless of which adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” you favor — 1995 or 2005? — we can all agree that the 1995 BBC miniseries is a great watch.

“Pride and Prejudice” follows the Bennet sisters as they navigate Regency Era society, including their love lives. The story focuses on Elizabeth Bennet (Jennifer Ehle) and her romance with Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth), whom she initially can’t stand.

It’s a classic love story and the BBC miniseries takes its time telling it with an incredible cast. Plus, who can forget the infamous scene in which Mr. Darcy emerges from a lake, sopping wet?

Which version of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is the best? A deep dive into the ‘Pride and Prejudice’ universe

‘Jane Eyre’ (2006)

The 2006 “Jane Eyre” BBC miniseries is likely the most book-accurate adaptation out there. The four-part miniseries, based off of the Charlotte Brontë of novel the same name, follows Jane Eyre, a young girl with a traumatizing past.

After being raised by her cruel aunt and being sent off to a strict boarding school, Jane leaves to work as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets Edward Rochester, the master of the estate and guardian of Adele, Jane’s pupil.

As Jane continues to work at Thornfield Hall, she develops romantic feelings for Mr. Rochester — and eventually discovers that not everything is as it seems.

‘Daniel Deronda’

“Daniel Deronda,” based on the novel by George Eliot, follows the titular character (played by Hugh Dancy). Daniel is a wealthy young man with a mysterious past, caught between two women: Gwendolen (Romola Garai), a beautiful, proud member of the aristocracy who has financial troubles, and Mirah (Jodhi May), a young Jewish singer.

Daniel finds himself helping both young women while trying to uncover his own past — he was raised by the wealthy Sir Hugo Mallinger, but doesn’t know who his parents are. Gwendolen, on the other hand, is pressured to find a wealthy husband to save her family for financial ruin.

She eventually crosses paths with Henleigh Mallinger Grandcourt, a wealthy but cruel man who could provide for her family.

‘Sense and Sensibility’ (2008)

The 2008 three-episode “Sense and Sensibility” BBC miniseries is a great adaptation of Austen’s novel. After their father dies, sisters Elinor and Marianne, along with their mother Mrs. Dashwood and younger sister Margaret, must leave their large and comfortable home for a much smaller country house.

They find themselves getting caught up in the lives of the local folk. Marianne falls for John Willoughby (Dominic Cooper), a passionate and rakish young man, while catching the eye of Colonel Brandon, an older and kind man, and a friend of Sir John Middleton’s, Mrs. Dashwood’s cousin.

Elinor, on the other hand, begins to fall for Edward Ferrars (Dan Stevens), the brother of Fanny, Elinor’s half-brother’s greedy wife. But in true Austen form, the path to true love for Elinor and Marianne proves to be complicated.