The Making of a Lady

makingladyweb_2419227bBack when I was a wee anglophile, my favourite book was definitely A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The Secret Garden was definitely in the top ten as well. Later, when I grew up, I was delighted to discover that she wrote a number of books for adults as well, including the two books this telefilm is based on: The Making of a Marchioness and The Methods of Lady Walderhurst. I read Marchioness, but I’ll confess, I didn’t even know a sequel to it existed until a couple of years ago, and I never read it. Marchioness is, from what I recall (it’s been several years since I read it), just an ok book. It’s a Cinderella story, but not a particularly romantic one. Instead of falling instantly in love with her prince, the Cinderella in this story (a rather Mary Sue-esque woman who’s pretty unbelieveably innocent) accepts his proposal for purely pragmatic reasons: she’s broke, has few prospects in the world, and is 34 years old, which definitely put her in the old maid category at the time the book was published (1901). A woman that age, with no family or independent fortune to fall back on, was facing a pretty grim old age of complete poverty. If you’re looking at it purely from the angle of women’s roles at the time, it does have some merit and can be interesting. Burnett, who suffered an unhappy, abusive marriage, was speaking from experience on these issues, and she had some rather pointed things to say. What a shame, then, that when the books were adapted for ITV, everything that happens in the first one is basically mashed into the first few minutes, so we can linger on the potboiler that was The Methods of Lady Walderhurst. But we’ll discuss all that later. Here’s how it all happened:

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The Woman in Black: Wuthering Hate

I was going to do a full recap of this, but to be honest, I didn’t want to have to watch it again, so this will be a review instead. Harry Potter is over, which means it’s time for the younger members of the cast to redefine themselves as something other than their Potter roles. For Daniel Radcliffe, that meant taking on a couple of … Continue reading The Woman in Black: Wuthering Hate