Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Victorian Truth Telling on the BBC

Channel 4 has a new programme for the fall, and I understand one aired in June. If you live in the UK, you can watch at least one full episode online, but we slugs on the other side of the pond cannot yet get access to all of these British shows yet...

From the Channel 4 website about the series "Victorian Passions":

Victorian Passions is a season of four films set to challenge our image of Victorian Britain as a buttoned up, prudish and unsmiling society.

From Queen Victoria's own passionate relationships, to the story of Arthur Munby and his servant lover, these films lift the lid on another side to Victorian life and challenge some of our long-held myths.

About the episode discussing Queen Victoria:

Victoria’s Men presents a seldom-seen side of Queen Victoria, both in childhood and then as a young queen. Through diaries and letters it explores the way her early life shaped the intense and complex relationships she was to have with men throughout her political and private life.

The real picture of Victoria could hardly be further from the dowdy, buttoned-up and forbidding image of the popular imagination. An intensely romantic wife as well as a fierce and effective politician, the programme highlights how Victoria both loved men and needed to be loved by them in return, not only as a queen, but as a woman in her own right. And privately, she revelled in her sexuality.

The potential scandal of some of her relationships set her on a collision course with her Royal court, family and public and at times plunged her monarchy into crisis. But it was one man, Prince Albert, who dominated her life during 21 years of marriage and the 40 years that followed his death.