Waugh Night on BBC Four and Queer Stately Homes

–The BBC has announced the TV programming for next week that will include two Evelyn Waugh events on Thursday, 27 August. The first will be a rebroadcast of the 2008 theatrical film version of Brideshead Revisited, co-produced by the BBC along with Ecosse Films and Miramax. This will be transmitted at 2100. The Daily Telegraph program guide comments:

In light of the brillliant 1981 TV version, you do have to admire the chutzpah of anyone bringing Brideshead to the big screen. Julian Jarrold’s attempt suffers from a desire to force modern conventions upon a story defined by the mores of upper-class interwar Britain. Hayley Atwell and Ben Whishaw star as the Flyte siblings but Catholicism, the tale’s engine, is only pernicious, never seductive.

This will be followed at 2305 by the 1960 Face to Face interview of Evelyn Waugh by John Freeman. According to the Telegraph:

It is doubtful that interviewer John Freeman faced many tougher subjects than author Evelyn Waugh, puffing disdainfully on a cigar while batting questions away with ease. Still, it makes for an entertaining if rather combative confrontation, with Waugh unbending slightly to talk about his childhood (“it was idyllic which is probably why I don’t remember it”), his time at Oxford and his conversion to Catholicism.

Both programs will be available to watch on the internet on BBC iPlayer after broadcast (indeed, Face to Face may already be available). See links provided above. A UK internet connection will be required.

–Meanwhile, an internet event is scheduled this Sunday that may also be of interest to Waugh fans. This is “Live Like a Queen: a look at Britain’s queer stately homes.” Here’s the description:

Join award-winning tour guides Nick Collinson and Dan Vo as they look at the grand palaces and stately homes that have been the settings for queer love as well as inspired the fantastical imaginations of film makers across the decades.

From novels, to films, romance among the roses, and bust-ups in the bedchamber, stately homes around the UK have been the setting for queer love and heartbreak for hundreds of years. We go upstairs and downstairs as well as outside into the bushes, to look for queer love in some of the most glamourous residential buildings in the UK. Some of the amazing locations you will see are:

  • Knole was the ancestral home of Vita Sackville-West, which inspired Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando. The property is where the original, fragile manuscript is kept today.

  • Sissinghurst Castle is where Vita Sackville-West made her home. Her beautifully designed gardens, while a source of inspiration for English gardens across the country, were first designed by her with same-sex romantic dalliances in mind.

  • Kensington Palace is the current home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their young family. It was once home to Queen Anne, played by Olivia Colman in 2018 movie ‘The Favourite’. Its corridors echo with the turbulent relationships between the queen and her ‘favourites’.

  • Shibden Hall is the focus of the BBC drama series written by Sally Wainwright, ‘Gentleman Jack’ starring Suranne Jones and Sopie Rundle. Within a stone’s throw is also the church where Anne Lister and Ann Walker married.

  • Madresfield Court has belonged to the Lygon family since the 12th century. It was home of Liberal politician William Lygon, 7th Lord Beauchamp and Governor of New South Wales, who had a penchant for youthful, rosy-cheeked footmen. His story inspired Evelyn Waugh to write Brideshead Revisited.

  • Castle Howard was catapulted into the public eye in the 1980s, when it was used as the setting for the TV adaptation of Brideshead Revisited. It is still synonymous with the well-loved novel and in 2008 reprised its role in the big screen adaptation.

Participation in the Zoom.com event will cost $10, and it will start at 2pm New York EDT. Ticketing and other details are available at this link.

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