Just as I like losing myself in a book of historical fiction, I’m quite partial to historical adaptations, particularly for television. I like the depth and languish a TV series allows for bringing a novel to dramatic life, as opposed to the more condensed option of a movie. This summer, I have been watching a bit less than normal, but I still have a couple of weeks of holidays left so you never what I’ll cram in between now and then, particularly as the thermometer seems determined to burst from the searing temperatures we’ve been having out here in the North West of Queensland.
The Miniaturist (BBC)
Based on the novel by Jessie Burton
A young woman moves to 17th century Amsterdam and hires a mysterious local miniaturist to furnish the dollhouse she received from her merchant husband as present, but the lifelike miniatures somehow start eerily foreshadowing her fate.
I haven’t yet read The Miniaturist, but my copy is currently on its way to me from Booktopia. What a gorgeous series this was, so beautiful with the costumes and the miniatures that were made for the doll house! I loved the story too, the drama and the emotion tied up in the mysterious ways of this family; it was all very well done. If the novel is at all like the television series, I can see this becoming a favourite of mine.
Vanity Fair (ITV)
Based on the novel by William Makepeace Thackeray
Vanity Fair follows poverty-stricken Becky Sharp as she attempts to claw her way out of the dregs of society and to scale the heights of English society in the years following the defeat of Napoleon. Set against the Napoleonic Wars, Sharp strives to rise above her station with little regard for the consequences. In her efforts to advance herself, her manipulation, merriment, forbidden romances, fighting, and dancing catapults her into the court of King George IV while breaking hearts and losing fortunes along the way.
I am only a couple of episodes into this but what an absolute treat it is! The cast is very well placed and the atmosphere is sublime. The satire has translated perfectly onto the screen. There’s a little bit of a modern twist in the way each episode concludes with a contemporary song in tune with the theme of the episode. Purists may rebuke this but I quite like it. Becky really is a bit of a girl out of place within her time, I always thought. I’m thinking of reading this again for my classics challenge, all 900 pages! But it really will be worth it. I highly recommend this series, whether you’ve read Vanity Fair or not. It’s perfection!