Saturday, August 9, 2008

Some Kindly Advice

It's been noticeable that I have both excited and scathingly critical of the upcoming The Duchess because it is something that I take to heart. I've been battling a lot of emotions about it because, of course, it won't look the way it appears in my head when I read the book and this image of mine likely doesn't look like the way Georgiana's life actually was. My father has told me that anyone who goes to see that movie with me is out of their mind. Lauren's first comment about it was, "I am excited, but I dread the outcome of you not liking it." When complaining about how Knightly does not look like Georgiana, my ex reassured me that it was the idea behind Knightly; that Kiera has the same star appeal and beauty that Georgiana had in her time. And for the few, and much-loved readers, you've had to bare my complaints, which are badly sugar-coated because I'm a natural complainer.

But there is someone whose has gone through the same thing as I, but it is 100-1,000 times worse for her and that is Amanda Foreman who, literally, wrote the book on Georgiana. I've been wondering about her thoughts on the production but silly me, didn't think of seeking these thoughts on her website. What if she doesn't like it? When the film-adaption of The Color Purple premiered, Alice Walker, the novel's author, did not like the result. Over time she grew to like it. In this article, Foreman describes the feelings she went through with the script and production of the movie. As always, she is amazing with her words and describes the inner-turmoil of seeing her life's work become a live-action 2-hour display.
"But after a couple of hours of pointless torture it occurred to me that I was behaving like a stage mother. Instead of enjoying my ‘offspring’s’ success and being proud of her achievements, I was dwelling on how I might have done it differently. No wonder directors are notoriously reluctant to have authors on the set."

I read this and went, "Oh my God, that's what I've been doing!" So I would recommend everyone go and read the author's thoughts on The Duchess and get the genuine scoop on whether it will meet her approval or not. I, on the other hand will make a better attempt of focusing on the positive aspects of The Duchess. Like the costumes!!

[Image Courtesy of]


  1. While it would have been nice to see a curvier actress like Romola Garai stepping in Georgiana's shoes, I think Keira Knightley will do an excellent job. Then again, I'm so pleased that they've decided to make a film on her that I'm not being too picky.

    By chance, do you have any good books to recommend on Georgiana and/or those close to her? I've read Foreman's biography, obviously, and Chapman's Bess/Georgiana combo, and Gleeson's Privilege and Scandal...are there any other good ones floating around out there?

  2. Oh, and Beryl Bainbridge's "According to Queeney"!

  3. Yes, I would recommend Perdita, despite it making some untrue claims in favour of Mary Robinson. However, it does get a little boring toward the end, when she looses her celebrity.

    I would also recommend Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette wore to the Revolution; I know it's not pertaining to England, but it's REALLY good.

    I've been dying to get my hands on Privilege and Scandal but haven't been able to spare the funds just yet. So sad! How did you like it?

  4. I absolutely LOVED Queen of Fashion...I didn't think I'd ever find a Marie Antoinette biography I loved as much as Antonia Fraser's until that book was published. I really need to cave in and buy it so I can stop checking it out from the library all the time. I'll have to give Perdita and According to Queeney a try though. I just looked them both up on and they look intriguing! Thanks guys.

    Privilege and Scandal was excellent! I actually read it before I read Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, so it was essentially my "gateway drug" into this particular period of the 18th century. It's not quite as good as Foreman's biography, but then again, poor Harriet just isn't nearly as fabulous as her older sister. It was definitely a must read though.

  5. This is very true. As fun as it is to snipe at it... they are making a movie and teh costumes are beautiful.

    Thanks for that!

    And yes! Queen of Fashion is absolutely fabulous. :D