The refusal to settle for what life has dealt you and the consequences of trying to change it is a theme which hasn’t altered much in the last 150 years, and the astonishing beauty and challenge of Madame Bovary is as electric today as it was then. Very few books have created this much outrage and adoration.
Robert Altman - visionary director, hard-partying hedonist, eccentric family man, Hollywood legend - comes roaring to life in this rollicking cinematic biography, told in a chorus of voices that can only be called Altmanesque.
In 1923 the beautiful, spoiled, and bored Olivia, married to Douglas and his career in the Indian Civil Service, outrages the English and Indian communities by eloping with an Indian prince. Fifty years later, Douglas’s granddaughter, armed with Olivia’s letters, goes back to the heat and dust and squalor of the bazaars to find out for herself how Olivia could have been so affected by India that she turned her back on her own country.
"History repeats itself"
Mrs. Henry Dashwood's husband is dead - and although the elder Mr. Dashwood requested his son John to care for his stepmother and half-sisters, the selfish John dispossesses them of the estate. Consequently, Mrs. Henry Dashwood and her girls retire to a cottage in Devonshire, but not before Elinor and Edward Ferrers (Mrs. John Dashwood's brother) have formed a mutual attraction for each other. In Devonshire, Marianne falls in love with the attractive and unprincipled John Willoughby.
"One of Jane's best!"
Regal and dazzlingly beautiful, Mary Stuarts succumbed to the irresistible impulses of passion and gambled away her throne for love in a deadly game of power against her envious cousin, Elizabeth I. She not only lost her kingdom, but also her life. Betrayed by those she trusted most, pampered and adored even as she was led to her own beheading, she remained an enigma five centuries after her death.
Thomas Hardy's powerful novel of swift sexual passion and slow-burning loyalty centres on Bathsheba Everdene, a proud working woman whose life is complicated by three different men - respectable farmer Boldwood, seductive Sergeant Troy, and devoted Gabriel - making her the object of scandal and betrayal. Vividly portraying the superstitions and traditions of a small rural community, Far from the Madding Crowd shows the precarious position of a woman in a man's world.
"This is NOT the whole book!"
Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor's warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her.
Here is Thomas Hardy's timeless novel, read by Julie Christie. Far from the Madding Crowd is perhaps the best-known of Hardy's works. The story centres around the beautiful and wilful Bathsheba Everdene, mistress of Weatherbury Upper Farm, and the three men who love her. Hardy combines outstanding description of West Country rural life with a deep sense of romantic passion.
Fay Weldon has been one of the most consistently successful of Britain's contemporary women's authors with a career stretching over 30 years. Her prolific output alternating between television plays and vigorous novels such as The Life and Loves of a She-Devil articulate a contemporary feminist consciousness.
Thomas Hardy's novel about a British farm girl and her effect on the men who fall in love with her is read by Julie Christie. This rebellious young woman finds her affections a cause for competition between a soldier, a wealthy landowner, and a modest sheep farmer.
"If for No Other Reason"