Tuesday, August 08, 2006

New on DVD: Aristocrats (1999)

I first became acquainted with Stella Tillyard's ARISTOCRATS, a joint biography of England's Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox, when one of my husband's colleagues kindly sent me her copy of the book years ago with a note that she thought I'd like it. I did indeed.

Tillyard's slice of British history reads like a fascinating novel. Each of the sisters led unique and very interesting lives. (And Emily had 22 children! You read that number correctly.) I note the book is available at inexpensive prices from Amazon vendors.

The 1999 British miniseries based on the book has been released today on DVD. I enjoyed the program very much when it first aired on TV, particularly the earlier chapters. I found the tragedies of the last chapter slower going and didn't care for a different actress, Sian Phillips, playing Emily (Geraldine Somerville) in old age. (They should have used makeup instead.) On the whole, though, it was a well-done and highly entertaining show which I hope to add to my collection of British television DVDs at some point.

Stella Tillyard also wrote a wonderful book published as a companion to the miniseries. It includes a lavish number of photographs from the TV production, mixed with biographical material, and is well worth purchasing.


Blogger Mrs. Happy Housewife said...

I added this to my netflix queue per your recommendation and I moved it to the top of the queue - else I'll never get to it as my queue is nearly 400 titles long right now.

7:08 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I hope you find it as interesting as I did. It almost seems like a soap opera, and yet it's all a true story. (FYI, as I recall, the subject matter is PG-13-ish at times...)


9:04 AM  

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