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Tony Grist

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Pity About The Beard [May. 10th, 2004|09:24 am]
Tony Grist
I hate it when documentaries rely on dramatized reconstruction. I think of it as fakery. And often it's such bad fakery- Elizabeth I holds court in a country house and there are 18th century portraits on the wall. But last night there was a programme about Anthony Trollope- and the actor playing him- Clive Merrison- was so charming that I was completely won over.

Unfortunately the beard looked as though it was glued on- which, of course, it was.

In later life Trollope enjoyed a romantic friendship with a young American feminist called Kate Field. He'd been a terrible old reactionary, but now his fictional world was infiltrated by bright young American girls who get to kick the anti-masassars about. I haven't read any Trollope since I was a teenager. I found him stolid- the literary equivalent of Sunday lunch in a traditional English hotel- overcooked beef in Bisto gravy with Yorkshire pudding and watery veg- but maybe I was reading the wrong books. He wrote 40 in all- and the ones I was getting stuck into were the famous early ones, all about archdeacons and stuff; Field hadn't yet swum into view. Maybe I should get hold of one of the later ones and give him another try.