Wednesday, June 4, 2014
I caught the film Cold Comfort Farm on cable yesterday and now want to read the book. Always a successful adaptation I think if it makes me go searching for the book!
The film of Cold Comfort Farm is an adaptation of the Stella Gibbons novel from 1932, a parody of the doom and gloom novels of the period (DH Lawrence, Thomas Hardy, Mary Webb and even further back, the Bronte sisters). Gibbons was obviously a fan of Jane Austen, as Flora Poste is an Emma Woodhouse type through and through, and Flora even has a line:
"Well, when I am fifty-three or so I would like to write a novel as good as Persuasion, but with a modern setting of course. For the next thirty years or so I will be collecting material for it. If anyone asks me what I work at, I shall say, 'Collecting material'. No one can object to that. Besides, I shall be."
Starring Kate Beckinsale as Flora Poste (I know...no coincidence that the BBC cast her as Emma in 1996) and an all star supporting cast of Rufus Sewell, Joanna Lumley, Ian McKellen, Eileen Atkins, Stephen Fry, Miriam Margolyes and even an impossibly young looking Rupert Penry-Jones!
Flora is a well-to-do twenty year old London girl who finds herself orphaned and with only a hundred pounds a year to live on. She decides to impose on distant relatives who live on a badly run Sussex farm and who all seem to have deep rooted emotional issues which would have sent me running for the hills! Flora, in her best Emma style, sees the potential in not only the farm, but in each of the inhabitants and proceeds to drag them into the twentieth century all cleaned and polished!
So just make sure you are in the mood for some rather tongue in cheek parody as otherwise the OTT style of this might put you off. And I am a little undecided as to whether I should recommend the book or the film first. I leave it to my readers to decide. In any case enjoy. And watch out for "something nasty in the woodshed"!
I am off to order the book now!