HISTORICAL NOVELS AND FILM ADAPTATIONS

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    RonPrice
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    HISTORICAL NOVELS AND FILM ADAPTATIONSPart 1:Nearly half a millennium ago now, in 1533, Henry VIII annulled his marriage to Catherine of Aragon so that he could marry his mistress, Anne Boleyn. In the process, he broke relations with the Catholic Church of Rome and created, in the process, the independent Church of England. The new marriage lasted three years before Anne fell from favour, and lost her head to an executioner's sword. Henry had courted her, but she played it cool and coy. He got hotter and hotter for her and, over time, became obsessed.  Henry moved heaven and earth, and did the unthinkable: he broke from the Church of England in order to marry her.Part 2:The story of one of Henry's earlier affairs with Anne's sister, Mary Boleyn, was less well-known until 2001 when the bodice-ripping novel The Other Boleyn Girl was published.  It is a piece of historical fiction written by British author Philippa Gregory. It is loosely-based on the life of 16th-century aristocrat Mary Boleyn. Reviews were mixed; some said it was a brilliant recreation of palace life in Tudor England, while others have consistently pointed out the lack of historical accuracy. The book has enjoyed phenomenal success and popularity since its publication a dozen years ago.Gregory has written novels set in several different historical periods, though primarily the Tudor period and the 16th century. The Tudor period is the period between 1485 and 1603 in England and Wales.  It coincides with the rule of the Tudor dynasty in England whose first monarch was Henry VII(1457–1509).  In terms of the entire century, John Guy(1949- ), a British historian and biographer, argues that "England was economically healthier, more expansive, and more optimistic under the Tudors" than at any time in a thousand years.Part 3:I am not a novel reader, historical or otherwise. Many areas of the print world, many subjects and disciplines of study, have captured my interest and attention in the 60 years from 1953 to 2013. Novels are not one. Sometimes, though, I take an interest in film adaptations of novels; sometimes I watch an entire adaptation. At other times I watch short-slices of such adaptations, if I do not want to invest what is usually two to three hours in an entire film.  A 2008 feature film adaptation of that 2001 novel, The Other Boleyn Girl, was an example of such a slice.  This film was screened in Tasmania on 7TWO TV1 last night. The film starred Scarlett Johansson as Mary, Natalie Portman as Anne, Jim Sturgess as George, Eric Bana as Henry VIII, and Eddie Redmayne as Stafford, I was informed at an internet film site.  In Translating Henry to the Screen, a bonus feature on the DVD release of the film, viewers were informed by screenwriter Peter Morgan of his dilemma in adapting Philippa Gregory's 600-plus-page novel for the screen.-Ron Price with thanks to 1The Other Boleyn Girl, 7TWO TV, 8:30-11:00 p.m., 18/7/’13.I got a chunk of English historyback in grade 8, in 1957; againwhile studying honours history, and philosophy at university in1964-5, and more little chunksduring my life as a teacher andreader-student from ‘67 to ‘13.I got my most recent little chunk last night in the evening of life... just short of 70, as I head into thatlast decade of late adulthood, as amodel of human development usedby psychologists calls those years from 70 to 80. But I must be careful with historical novels and their filmadaptations: their factual accuracy!!11 Some of Philippa Gregory's writing has faced controversy due to lack of historical accuracy, particularly those set in the Tudor Age. Critical reviewers have stated that they would not have minded so much had Gregory not claimed complete accuracy. In her novel The Other Boleyn Girl, her portrayal of Henry VIII's second wife Anne Boleyn drew criticism. The novel depicts Anne as cold and ruthless, as well as heavily implying that the accusations that Anne committed adultery and incest with her brother were true, despite it being widely accepted that she was innocent of the charges. Historian David Starkey described her work as "good Mills and Boon".Ron Price19/7/’13

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