Sunday, May 4, 2014

I love Anthony Tollope

I have just finished The Barchester Chronicles. I got it as part of a package of BBC videos that also contained He Knew He Was Right and The Way We Live Now—all adaptations of the writings of Anthony Trollope.

I watched The Way We Live Now first and then He Knew He Was Right followed by Barchester and I am glad I watched them in that order. By the time Barchester was ending, I was weeping with delight at both the characters written by Trollope and the performances.

Donald Pleasance, Nigel Hawthorne, Alan Richman, Geraldine McEwan and Susan Hampshire make Barchester a masterpiece. I found the company of all of them to be absolutely breathtaking, but Barchester is unparalleled entertainment for this blogger.

There is no score to Barchester; everything is in the word, the look, the pause and the gesture and it is richer than anything modern. Oh my God, dramatic perfection happens when Mrs. Bold and Mr. Arabin declare their love. Or is it just me?

I would hate to have lived then, being the nobody I am, but how they could speak! Oh my God. It was dramatic perfection to watch the scene in which Mrs. Bold (Barbara Flynn) and Mr. Arabin (derek New) declare their love. Watch her hand, or is it just me?

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