A Video Talk
The intensely moving love story of Yuri Zhivago and the beautiful nurse Lara is set against the backdrop of climactic Russian history – war, revolution and social upheaval. Visit the vast and snowy landscapes of Russia in this powerful novel.
Did you see the David Lean film version of this novel in the 1960s? Did you fall in love with Omar Sharif, or Julie Christie, or both of them? Did you find yourself humming ‘Lara’s Theme’ for days afterwards? The film was an amazing success and its images, landscapes, and music will probably always be fixed in our minds when we hear the name, Dr Zhivago.
“An important achievement both in contemporary lyrical poetry and in the field of the great Russian epic tradition.”
― Nobel Prize for Literature Committee
But have you read this powerful and wonderful novel? I’d love to encourage you to do so, and come with me on a journey deep into Russia with Yuri Zhivago, a sensitive and poetic hero, as he tries to maintain some sort of normality in his life as his country goes through tumultuous upheavals. Discover more about the man behind the book and see what experiences of his own went into the novel, find out what risks he took in writing it and getting it published, and learn about the poetic language and the themes of the book. Who was the model for Lara, that lovely heroine who is loved and wanted by three very different men? What role do trains play in the symbolism of the story, and where does Fate intervene to change the lives of the characters?
Dr Zhivago is an epic tale, it’s a biography of an intelligent and cultured man, and it is one of the greatest love stories ever told. I find its ending, when Lara takes leave of Yuri lying dead in his coffin, one of the most moving scenes in all of literature, almost unbearable to read in the intensity of its grief and loss: “Your going, that’s the end of me. Again something big, inescapable. The riddle of life, the riddle of death, the beauty of genius, the beauty of loving – that, yes, that we understood. As for such petty trifles as re-shaping the world – these things, no thank you, they are not for us. Good-bye, my big one, my dear one, my pride. Good-bye, my quick, deep river, how I loved your day-long splashing, how I loved bathing in your cold, deep waves.”
This Video Talk is a real treat! In it, I reveal intriguing stories about the author to help you understand what prompted this book to be written. I identify the main characters and their roles, analyse the themes behind the story, and describe the influence that the era, lifestyle and circumstances have on the book’s setting. It is illustrated with photographs, paintings, scenes from different film versions and book covers – you’ll have plenty to look at while you listen. Buy it now and receive a link to view your video immediately.
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COMING SOON. Please check back here from 1st November 2021.
How do you think the movie compares with the book? Did you learn about the Russian Revolution from reading it? I’m interested to hear what you think, so please tell me in a comment.
Oh, Susannah, thank you, thank you! What a marvellous tour! You hit so many of my favourites and introduced me to ones I’ve missed.
Watching your video led me to make my own list. Chawton, of course, my #1 also.
We have just enjoyed your excellent tour of Literary England. Absolutely marvellous! We are so impressed with your presentation, your readings and overall commentary.
We learnt so much! We have visited only 5 of the 10. You’ve inspired us to visit some more on your list.
I did love escaping to literary England with you and reliving my own visits to most of these very special places, some made with you.
Watching the video reminded me that my mother was named Lorna after the heroine of the novel. I have her copy and in it are postcards of the valley of Exmoor my grandmother sent her in 1964, when, as a quite elderly woman, she made her first and only trip by ship overseas to England on her own literary and family history pilgrimage. I am ashamed to say I’ve never read ‘Lorna Doone’ but I grew up with the story of who she was and how she died. I hope to visit Oare Church but a virtual visit was such a treat.
This is armchair travel at its very best. Surrender to the charm of the English countryside as Susannah relates her 10 special literary destinations. It is a total joy to view and hear Susannah’s commentary on renowned writers and to learn more of their intimate lives while visiting their homes and villages. Don’t hesitate – just settle in for the hour and be transported without travel concerns.
I’ve just finished watching your 10 Top Literary Places in England, Susannah, and loved it.
It was fun guessing what you would choose as the numbers went down – some were expected, others were surprises.
I’ve just watched this talk of yours and absolutely LOVED it!
I knew Chawton would be number one but I loved the variety of homes, towns, villages and places around the country.