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11 riveting historical dramas to binge-watch all weekend

Actor/blogger, lover of Jane Austen novels and surprise packages in the mail. I bake so I don't kill people.

These 11 period pieces will keep you glued to your screen

Gorgeously dressed extras parade across a Victorian London backdrop as the spunky heroine and charming hero are reunited for the final kiss. Tears stream down your face from joy, eye strain and the realization that you don't know what to watch next. Dry your eyes and ready your favorite streaming device because this list has got you covered. From the 16th century to the 1950s, here are 11 breathtaking historical dramas you can binge watch tonight.

More: 11 cult-classic TV shows you can binge-watch right now

1. Pride and Prejudice

If you want to binge watch a fantastic British miniseries, you can't go wrong with the 1995 production of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice starring Jennifer Ehle, as the witty Elizabeth Bennet, and Colin Firth, as her haughty suitor, Mr. Darcy. The series single-handedly created the wet shirt Mr. Darcy phenomenon. You're welcome.

Watch on Amazon Prime

2. North and South

If you want a slightly grittier romance fraught with tension and class differences, this adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel is for you. When Margaret Hale moves to the north of England with her parents, she butts heads with a leading mill owner setting off four episodes of emotional turmoil and verbal clashes.

Watch on Netflix

3. Poldark

A feast for the eyes, this series features a brooding hero, a scandalous romance and all the beautiful costumes and scenery you could hope for. When wildcard Ross Poldark returns home after fighting in the American Revolutionary War, he discovers his father has died and the woman he loves has married his cousin. As he rebuilds his life, he finds love in an unlikely quarter.

Watch on Amazon Prime

4. Wolf Hall

For those looking for a spin on the political drama, Wolf Hall shouldn't be missed. Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis star in this thoughtfully produced series set in Henry VIII's court. Thomas Cromwell quietly works his way from blacksmith's son to king's adviser while methodically doing what's necessary to survive the lethal spotlight.

Watch on Amazon Prime

5. Grantchester

At first, a show about the vicar of a small village doesn't sound exciting, but when that vicar solves crimes and is played by James Norton, you know this show is a must watch. Sidney Chambers strikes up an unlikely friendship with a gruff detective, and the two solve crimes in 1950s Cambridgeshire while Sidney deals with PTSD, romance and parish problems.

Watch on Amazon Prime

More: 12 classic novels written by women that everyone should read

6. When Calls the Heart

If you are looking for a heartwarming, family friendly show, look no further than this Canadian series about a wealthy schoolteacher who moves to a small, coal mining town. Elizabeth Thatcher slowly adjusts to small town life while befriending a woman widowed by a recent mining explosion and a Mountie who blames her for his boring new post.

Watch on Netflix

7. The Forsyte Saga

Family drama was never better dressed than in this riveting series covering 34 years of scandal, romance and redemption. Damian Lewis gives an unforgettable performance as the evil Soames, who just wants somebody to love.

Watch on Amazon Prime

8. Murdoch Mysteries

If you like corsets and petticoats with a side of murder, this Canadian mystery follows detective William Murdoch as he solves crimes in 1890s Toronto. Using up-and-coming forensics techniques, Murdoch solves challenging cases while dealing with feelings for the local coroner, Julia Ogden.

Watch on Netflix

9. Daniel Deronda

Class and identity go head to head in this sweeping adaptation of George Eliot's novel, which is brought to life by a fantastic cast that includes Hugh Dancy, Romola Garai and Hugh Bonneville. Daniel Deronda struggles to find his identity while moving in Victorian high society and the overlooked community of English Jews.

Watch on Hulu

10. Bleak House

For those times you want to read but are too tired to pick up a book, this masterful adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel will give you a literary fix. In an exquisitely played game of cat and mouse, Lady Dedlock hides a ruinous secret while her husband's merciless lawyer seeks to discover it. Interweaving a remarkable cast of characters, the series untangles a web of secrets where lives and fortunes are at stake.

Watch on Hulu

11. Downton Abbey

The show that has captured television viewers for the last six years is one that should not be missed by any fan of historical drama. From the sinking of the Titanic to the Roaring 20s, the series follows the Crawley family and their servants as the world and their lives change thanks to war, love and technology.

Watch on Amazon Prime

More: 10 Reasons Downton Abbey continues to be the best show on television

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