The BBC is making a new 4-part adaptation of E.M. Forster’s Howard’s End. It stars Hayley Atwell and Matthew Macfadyen and is being filmed at the moment. It will be hard to better the 1992 film version with Emma Thompson, Anthony Hopkins etc, but a longer version will hopefully do full justice to the novel.
Later this year we can look forward to a new film Victoria and Abdul (based on Shrabani Basu’s book of the same name) with Judi Dench as Victoria and Ali Fazal as Abdul Karim. Abdul, known as ‘the Munshi’, served the Queen during the last 15 years of her reign – she grew very fond of him, but their closeness caused friction in her court. The film has been billed as a sort of sequel to the wonderful Her Majesty Mrs Brown.
In two years’ time it will be the bicentenary of Queen Victoria’s birth, so we can probably expect a number of new books about the Queen and her reign. I have just finished reading Julia Baird’s acclaimed new biography Victoria the Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire. I loved it and it did make me think about Victoria in a new way. Another book about Victoria which I found most intriguing was Queen Victoria’s Gene: Haemophilia and the Royal Family by D.M. Potts. This book showed how that gene spread amongst the royal families of Europe and helped change the course of history.
While Victoria is remembered as a monarch, don’t forget that she was also an author. She is said to have written an average of 2,500 words a day as an adult. She kept journals (122 volumes of them!) and in 1868 she published Leaves from the Journal of our Life in the Highlands. The book sold extremely well, as did its sequel More Leaves.
Did you enjoy Her Majesty, Mrs Brown as much as I did? Have you read any of Queen Victoria’s journals? They are not easily available here in Australia. (UK readers can access them here: http://www.queenvictoriasjournals.org/) Let me know in the comments area below.
Howards End by E. M. Forster
Victoria the Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire by Julia Baird
Victoria & Abdul by Shrabani Basu
Queen Victoria’s Gene: Haemophilia and the Royal Family by D.M. Potts
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