Dear Lord Fellowes,
I read in the paper today some of the remarks you have apparently made concerning your recent adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
I'm afraid I have some problems with these. You say that to understand Shakespeare, "you need a kind of Shakespearean scholarship, and you need to understand the language and analyse it and so on. I can do that because I had a very expensive education. I went to Cambridge."
Ah. So you had a very expensive education, did you? Well, bully for you. I, on the other hand, had a very cheap education (free, actually), and have never had any trouble understanding Romeo and Juliet. I know many people who are like me in this respect. How dare you patronise us in this way?
In the meantime, I suggest you leave Shakespeare alone (after all, he has managed without you for several hundred years, and will no doubt continue being loved and admired long after you are forgotten), and concentrate on correcting some of the clunky prose and glaring anachronisms* in the script of Downton Abbey.
*You see - you don't need an expensive education to use long words after all, do you?
(I apologise to any readers who are fed up with me banging on about Lord Fellowes, but one of the joys of having a blog is that it is my own personal platform my for own personal rants, and at least it stops me from running amok in the streets, screaming obscenities.)
Monday, 21 October 2013
Open letter to Julian Fellowes
Posted by Frances Garrood at 18:39
Labels: Julian Fellowes, Romeo and Juliet
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I'm not entering into this debate Frances because I didn't read what JF said in context nor have I seen anything after the first two series of Downton. However I think you probably did have an expensive education even if you didn't pay for it. JF reportedly said he had an expensive education at Cambridge. Did he say that he (or his parents) had paid for that education? Just a thought.ReplyDelete
I doubt very much whether he paid for Cambridge, GB, but he was probably referring to some posh public school. Both my late and present husbands went to Cambridge, and were/are probably the same generation as JF. Neither of them paid for that or for their schooling, but one of them played Juliet in his school play when he was fifteen!Delete
Frances, never apologize for anyhting that you put on your blog. As you so rightly say, it is your own personal platform for your own personal rants, and if anyone does not like what they read here, they can just skip the one post and wait for the next, or read something else altogether. Blogland is, after all, a (mostly) free country, isn't it?ReplyDelete
Thank you, Meike. That's exactly what I feel (although I'd hate to hurt anyone).Delete
My grandfather, my father, and I were all born in British Columbia, one of the far-flung mountainous seaside parts of Empire, and considered Colonials by such scholars as Lord Fellowes. Alas, we lacked "a kind of Shakespearean scholarship, and you need to understand the language and analyse it and so on" but we knew an incomplete sentence when we read one.ReplyDelete
"...and so on" means absolutely nothing, except to say his argument had fallen apart at that
point, and he didn't want to say "etcetera etcetera" which would have made him sound even more pompous than he'd sounded already.
What an ass.
It's your blog, Frances, and your friends can leap to defend you or concur with you at any time.
Take me as both of the above,
Thanks, Kay. Actually, the mild and sensible Libby Purves, whom I much admire as an excellent journalist, and who wrote the article, also called him pompous. I just hope this film of R&J bombs. After all, we all understood Zefferelli's flim, didn't we?Delete
If it's as bad as DA it'll presumably do really well given that DA is one of the most widely watched television series in the world. But then we all know how R & J ends don't we? Mind you from what I've been told about Series 4 of DA I won't even be watching Series 3. Qui sait?Delete
I didn't read his remarks, but he sounds like a pompous twit! I was educated at a girls' grammar school and had no problem understanding R & J...(in fact I think I " did it" for "O" Level )ReplyDelete
Ah. We did Hamlet. I think at that age, we would much have preferred Romeo and Juliet. What teenage girl wouldn't?Delete
I went to a distinctly run of the mill comprehensive, where nonethless we must have covered half-a-dozen Shakespeare plays. I enjoyed (and presumably understood) them well enough to convince a university admissions tutor that I was worth unleashing on an English degree.ReplyDelete
Fellowes' comments would be objectionable enough even if they did not come from a dramatist of such pitiful accomplishments. They merely draw attention to the superficiality and stereotyping which so grossly mars Downton Abbey.
Hi, Tim. I'm so glad you agree about DA. What I'd like to know is, how does Fellowes manage to be so successful? Have we missed something?Delete
Oh what ridiculous sentiments (from Fellowes, not you, Frances!) - I loved Shakespeare and went to a free school. But even more importantly, my d-in-l teaches English at a very mixed school and they performed unabridged Shakespeare at a special event. The teens loved doing it and the audience were delighted at their talent!ReplyDelete
Well done your d-in-l, Rosemary! some acheivement - not least, all those words to learn.Delete
I wonder if it was his expensive education that taught him to look down on those less privileged than himself, or if that comes naturally.ReplyDelete
Bit of both I suspect, Patsy.Delete
How about all those well known authors re-writing the works of Jane Austen? Can you feel another rant coming on?ReplyDelete
Does that include "sequels"? I'm currently reading P D James's Death at Permberley, and enjoying it, although I'm a huge Austen fan. But then P D James can write, and she's not re-writing anything. As for the porn re-writes of classic novels, that's such a pathetic idea it's not worth discussing!Delete
Just saw you comment about PD James book, Frances - I thought it was terrible on the whole, apart from the crime bit, and I'm a huge Austen fan! Mostly a rehash of P&P for a large part of the book and the structure of repetitive start of paragraphs should not have got through an editor! That's my rant.ReplyDelete
Oh dear. I've only just started it. Maybe it was a mistake...?Delete
What a crashing snob he must be.ReplyDelete
I think he must be, Jenny.Delete
Can't bear the man.ReplyDelete
Neither can I, Colette!Delete
I must say, I found his words extremely condescending. And by the way, I did go to a rather well known, expensive, school (not that I ever mention it).ReplyDelete