Monday, April 18, 2005

History from movies and books

I just finished reading Tom Holland's book entitles, "Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic". It tells of the different events that led to the demise of Republic and the rise of Roman Empire. An informative and enjoyable read. After reading the book, I had to view again Stanley Kubrik's Spartacus and as much as I enjoy parts of the film I began to note down the facts and characters that were creatively embellished. The movie was adapated from Howard Fast's novel of the same name (?) and I wonder did Mr Fast remain true to the story of Spartacus? So much so for learning history from movies. But then again history is also not that accurate since history is written by the winner. The last Plantagenet Richard III was demonized by historians and writers from the Elizabethean period that he is widely remembered as hunch-backed monster who killed his own nephews. Even most of his portraits depicts him as such. In fact Richard III was not that foul-shaped(he was not a hump backed) and there may be doubts that he killed his nephews, or at least his rival Henry was as bad as him. There is even a society , called Richard III Society, dedicated to redeeming the reputation of Richard III. In the end I think its up to the reader to peruse books and movies with a questioning eye. For history books aside from the facts more they also showcase a particular point of view and for movies they are there to inspire and entertain.


Blogger blackshama said...

Henry VIII has come down to us as a lecherous man based on Victorian biographers, he is more of a complex political character above anything else. After reading Geoffrey Moorehouse's "The Pilgrimage of Grace" we get a different idea of Henry VIII.

More so with Anne Bolyen, perhaps the most vilified queen in English history.

4/19/2005 07:32:00 PM  

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