Thursday, February 09, 2017
Reading and Writing
I'm currently reading a book by Andrew Marr, "A History of Modern Britain." It's about the period from the end of the Second World War right up to the present. I'm not exactly sure how far forward it ends, as it was last published in 2009, so I presume it closes with the financial crash of 2008. I read his other book, "The Making of Modern Britain,"which covers the period from the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 right up until V.E. Day. Apparently they were written and published in reverse order, which doesn't make sense, but I suppose if you'd had a success with one book it would make complete sense to do a history of the 20th Century. I read them in chronological order. I'm around one-third of the way through the book. As I'm interested in history, I was fascinated to read something which put things into perspective, makes some sort of sense of how we got to where we are now. The book covers the Atlee government which came in in 1946 and ushered in the N.H.S., the Welfare State, and other things we now take completely for granted. Particularly interesting to find out about such things as the Profumo Affair, The Bay of Pigs, the Harold Wilson government and the foundation of the E.U., with particular reference to that with relation to the recent E.U. referendum and Brexit. I have the first four volumes of Peter Ackroyd's History of England, the first being 'Foundation', second 'Tudors', third 'Civil War' and the latest, which Carol got me as a birthday present this year, 'Revolution' covering the Glorious Revolution. He seems to bring these books out every two years, so I expect the next will come out in 2018, and the final one (not too sure whether it will reach the 20th Century) in around 2020. Good to read these as it gives a sort of general history of England from about the time of the Romans up until modern times, and, like the Andrew Marr books, puts things into perspective.
I'm still watching 'The Man in The High Castle' and I've two more episodes of the second season to watch. Just as captivating as the first season. It's very subtle and clever. The period detail is quite brilliant. I can't imagine that either the BBC or ITV would produce this series. It's co-produced by Ridley Scott . Meanwhile, on BBC1 on Saturdays there's another series 'Taboo,' which is also a Ridley Scott co-produced series and stars Tom Hardy, who not only acts in it but co-produces the series. It's interesting to see so many film stars and directors moving into television. It must say something about the poor state of the Hollywood film industry when creatives return to television to tell stories, probably because most movies are just so thin plot-wise. Far too many superhero franchises, aimed at the 18-30 age group. Mindless stuff in my opinion. Television can tell far more complex stories, when they can have longer playing times, 10 hour-long episodes. If these shows are then shown on Amazon or Netflix, with all episodes available at the same time, not shown weekly as they would be on traditional television, the audience can binge on as many episodes as they like over a long period, and it saves having to wait a week before the next episode is shown.
I'm busily writing again. I've been spending a lot of time developing storylines and it means that by the time I've tweeted things sufficiently I can use these plot lines to help write stories and keep things ticking over.