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parrot_knight [userpic]

The Devil's Crown

October 10th, 2013 (12:09 am)

nwhyte has directed me towards the long-sought The Devil's Crown, the BBC's lavishly non-naturalist drama about the early Plantagenets from 1978. A French edition, though with English soundtrack, has turned up on YouTube. I'm only a few minutes into the first episode, with Brian Cox's Henry not-yet-II courting Eleanor of Aquitaine (Jane Lapotaire) despite her being married to the pious guilt-ridden Louis VII of France. Lots of familiar faces from British television drama in the 1970s wander through, including (so far) Charles Kay, Bruce Purchase and Paul Greenwood, and Brenda Bruce choosing to play the Empress Matilda with a German accent (slightly confusing if one doesn't know her backstory). All wholeheartedly perform a vigorous script from Ken Taylor. A pity that the BBC's illuminated-manuscript title sequence (IIRC) is missing from this version in favour of the less dramatic French titles.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/634679.html.

Comments

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: October 11th, 2013 06:57 pm (UTC)
dunwich

(slightly confusing if one doesn't know her backstory)

As is the nickname Empress. I guess back then people would have been expected to know that kind of thing.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 11th, 2013 07:22 pm (UTC)

They would - and Matilda would object to Empress being a nickname, as she always used her title as an imperial widow, even when married to Geoffrey of Anjou and also when reigning as lady of the English!

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: October 11th, 2013 07:51 pm (UTC)
dunwich

But was that technically valid? She was his widow and not the heir to the Empire.
I was going to say "title" originally, but then had second thoughts.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 11th, 2013 07:53 pm (UTC)

It was valid by courtesy; women usually kept the highest title they had held even after marriage to someone of a lower rank than their previous husband.