Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Hello! My first post here, and not sure about my english skills.
I saw some years ago the film "England, My England" in the Portuguese television (with legends). The film is about Henry Purcell (1659-1695) life and times. Film recreates some wonderful scenes of theatre in the XVII th. century London. Music is first class too. Film can be bought in amazon.co.uk
I don't know "England, My England" at all, although I'm in the U.S. How old was it? Was it a cinema shown on TV, or a made-for-TV production? If it was accurately done it might be a nice addition for us Pepys-o-philes.
Slight Spoiler--On a related topic can anyone recall a movie of the Great Fire of 1666? Seems like a natural. I can recall movies about the Neronian-era Roman fire, the destruction of Pompeii, the San Francisco earthquake--but not London's disaster.
Thanks for your Welcome BradW.
"England, My England" was made close to 1995 to celebrate the 300 years since the death of Henry Purcell (1695-1995). Its a movie, some two hours or so, very well done on the historical scenes and with some of the best baroque musicians in England (English Baroque Soloists, directed by John Eliot Gardiner), also a CD Audio of the music in the film was produced, I think by "Erato". More information about the move can be obtained here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112964/
The movie "England, My England" have the scenes of the Great Fire in London 1666, also the movie "Restoration", made form the book with the same name, have a reconstitution of it too. Both are very well done.
Yes, I think that movie can be a good addition to "Pepys-o-philes" but at this point I still don't know exactly how to put it there.
While I haven't seen England, My England the description at imdb.com makes it sound very appealing.It also points out that the TV version cut 60 mins. from the 153 min. cinema running time!
Just looking to the cast in the movie, from that link, and... "our" Samuel Pepys is there! I didn't known that before since I just discovered Samuel some days ago.
Film portrayals of Samuel Pepys (from imdb.com) --
1 Hugh Bonneville -- Stage Beauty (2004)
2 Johnny Butt -- Nell Gwynne (1926)
3 Arthur Chesney -- Colonel Blood (1934)
4 Steve Coogan -- Private Life of Samuel Pepys, The (2003) (TV)
5 Edmund Gwenn -- Thank You, Mr. Pepys (1938) (TV)
6 Philip Jackson -- London (2004) (TV)
7 Henry Oscar --Penn of Pennsylvania (1942)
8 Lennox Pawle -- Glorious Adventure, The (1922)
9 Esme Percy -- Nell Gwyn (1934)
10 John Shrapnel -- England, My England (1995)
"Charles II: The Power and the Passion (BBC Original Version)or "The Last King" (A&E US version -see note below) follows the life of Charles II (Rufus Sewell) starting with his father's death, through his exile, restoration and throughout his life. The history includes the political intrigues, religious intolerance, Dutch war, Plague, Great Fire, Treaty of Dover,Popish Plots and his ongoing see-saw of relationshps with his ministers. His friendships and loyalties follow ebbs and flows that track the political unrest of the times as his friend Buckingham, Clarendon and the rest come and go in their glory with the shifts of Charles' political agenda of the day.
His family relationships are also explored in detail including his cold hearted mother (Diana Rigg at her best), brother James wanting to maintain his rightful place as heir to the throne, his much loved sister Henrietta and his corrupted and traitorous son Monmouth.
And it wouldn't be Charles without his numerous and totally self-centered mistresses each vying for prestige, power and wealth, including the cut throat, conniving Barbara Villers (Helen McCrory), the well known actress Nell Gwyn & the most hated woman in England the cry baby French spy Louise de Keroualle.
His relationship with his simple and religously devoted wife, Queen Catherine of Braganza (heartbreakingly portayed by Shirley Henderson), whom history has always disregarded, has a quietly haunting effect as she is blatantly unwelcomed into his life and his licentious court, forced to humble herself to his mistresses, suffers silently in her friendlessness and childlessness and is nearly abandoned along the way. She remains the quietly moral, sincerely pious,loyal and dedicated "servant" who not only stands up to him but also stands by him throughout his life and death, always at peace with God and always holding an unconditional and forgiving love for Charles. Personally, I found her to be the most interesting person in Charles' life as she quietly managed to move through all of the disappointments, the plots against her, the raunchy chaos around her and still remain steadfast in her moral character. She learned to accept her sorrowfully diminished role in Charles' life and as she moved herself towards her God she managed to transform her relationship with Charles to a place where they came to a gentle spiritual understanding and connection. This is a thought provoking portrayal which captures Charles at his best and his worst, a truly flawed human being, and leaves the viewer with mixed feelings about him as a man and a king.
Now to the DVD. Unfortunately there are several cuts of this and some lacking scenes which the others have. In the UK, the BBC version found on Amazon under Charles II:Power and the Passion found at http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000D... is the best generally available. The US version by A&E cuts out an hour of the UK version and is poorly edited so it doesn't flow well.Unfortunately, unless you have a multi-region DVD player that's what the US buyers will be stuck with. It's marketed under "The Last King" at Amazon in the US at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-revie...
There is also a VHS and DVD version on ebay from time to time which is the cut for the Emmys (US TV Awards). This version has a few scenes that aren't in either the BBC or the A&E version and if available for your region these are a good find, and sold under "The Last King" as a 4 hour Emmy version. This includes a key husband - wife scene towards the end that shows the 2 opening up and connecting at an honest and spiritual level that is so unfortunately left out of the other UK and US versions.
The LibertineYesterday I read an interview with Johnny Depp, the actor, in which he said he expected the film The Libertine to be released in the U.S. toward the end of 2005. Depp stars in the film as the Earl of Rochester, and John Malkovich plays Charles II. The film was made a while ago, and has played at some festivals, but has not yet been generally released.
This evening I saw The Libertine. It is in limited release in the U.S., on some 300 screens. If you have a chance to see it, I would recommend you do so.
The story is the later life, and death, of John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester, noted wit, poet, and playwright in the court of Charles II. The story is set in the mid to late 1670s, so after the diary period, but still in an England that has become alive to us in the diary.
The highlight of the film is Johnny Depp's performance as the self-destructive Rochester. He is absolutely riveting on screen, from prologue to epilogue. Malkovich portrays a more mature and sagacious Charles II than we see in the diary, and is willing to cede the center of attention to Depp. The dialogue is sparkling; the writer seems to be channeling the great Restoration dramatists.
The movie is not without its weaknesses, notably the last act depicting Rochester's decay and death from syphilis, which does not work well. But for us Pepys followers, it's two hours well spent.
I'm considerably blessed in having a copy of England My England , The story of Henry Purcell as a video, likewise to others above I've tried getting it on DVD to no avail.Sadly nor does it copy to DVD, not that I have tried of course ha!.It is really a wonderful romp, and an absolute delight watching the said film, the music, actors it is are just great.
England my England has just been issued on DVD. You can buy it from any of the usual DVD sellers. I'm waiting impatiently for my copy to arrive.
Don't forget Forever Amber, a 1947 film directed by Otto Prelinger and starring Linda Darnell. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0039391/It's based on the novel with the same name (already mentioned in the fiction section) by Kathleen Winsor who not only quoted Samuel Pepys in the epigraph to the book, but I strongly suspect, used mightly lot from his dairy.***PS Your site is just terrific!
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