Episode #21: The (Second) Christmas Special
Emma and Charlotte get festive by watching The Crown before discussing the problematic humanisation of the royal family, racism and modernisation, dramatic licence and what honour and obedience is really about. Plus: our favourite Reese Witherspoon films.
Spoiler alert: We assume you have watched both seasons of The Crown before listening to this – if you haven’t, we hope you’ll still enjoy it (both the podcast and the show)
The Crown is on Netflix – watch it here;
Patrick Hamilton’s Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky and Slaves of Solitude are two of Emma’s all-time favourite books; Charlotte spoke about her love for Laurie Colwin in episode #15 – listen to that here;
Kara Moskowitz - an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Missouri St. Louis - is one of the many people that have told Charlotte to watch The Crown. We blame her for everything.
Here’s an interview with Claire Foy from Vogue, in which she talks about The Crown. Sample quote: “In retrospect, Foy – who had a very traumatic birth involving haemorrhages and blood transfusions – thinks her hormonal exhaustion might have served her well. ‘Because I was so tired, I just played each moment as each moment,’ she explains. ‘I didn’t over-think it, and I genuinely didn’t have the energy to invent any emotions that weren’t there. It was just one steady bulldozer of emotion pushing me all the way through.’”;
According to this Harpers Bazaar slideshow, “Peter Morgan has no qualms about having cast an American to play Churchill”;
Want to know more about the Profumo Affair? Here’s an article by the National Trust about Cliveden, the country house where much of the scandal unfolded, and here’s an article about Profumo in popular culture. The Guardian published this obituary for Catherine Keeler on her death in 2017;
The Mass Observation Archive at the University of Sussex is an invaluable treasure trove for anyone interested in the social history of 20th-century Britain. An excellent collection of letters from the archive feature in Simon Garfield’s Private Battles: How the War Almost Defeated Us (Ebury Press, 2007). Follow the Mass Observation Archive on Twitter @MassObsArchive;
‘The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh: Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation"’ by Hamid Dabashi, Al-Jazeera, 13 August 2017;
Here’s Tatler’s guide to Gordonstoun in its 2017 School Guide. Sample sentence: “Head Titus Edge is an Old Gordonstounian (as is his wife Marina) so ‘gets’ the school and is hugely enthusiastic. His co-head, principal Lisa Kerr, is passionate about equipping pupils with skills for their working life – she describes Gordonstoun as ‘a world leader in character education.’”
Here’s a clip from The Crown showing the Queen and Nkrumah dancing…
…Here is an original photo…
….And here’s Margaret Thatcher dancing with Kenneth Kaunda:
Want to know where The Crown was filmed? Head to Condé Nast Traveller;
Philip Murphy’s Monarchy and the End of Empire: The House of Windsor, the British Government and the Postwar Commonwealth was published by Oxford University Press in 2013. Follow Philip on Twitter @philipvmurphy;
Here’s the Christmas carol scene from the first season of The Crown:
The Radio Times has a handy guide to Lord Altrincham, the man credited with helping the Queen modernise the monarchy in season 2;
‘High Society: Whatever happened to the last of the debs?’ The Independent, 24 September 2006;
Theresa May is the 13th Prime Minister to serve under Elizabeth II. The others were: Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, Alec Douglas-Home, Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, James Callaghan, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron;
The third season of The Crown is coming to Netflix at some point in 2019. Radio Times has a bit of insider gossip about that;
Are there any historians out there who haven’t read Eric Hobsbawm’s long-19th-century trilogy, The Age of Revolution: Europe 1789–1848, The Age of Capital: 1848–1875 and The Age of Empire: 1875–1914? Or the 20th-century follow-up, The Age of Extremes? We don’t think so… David Kynaston’s ‘Tales of a New Jerusalem’ series includes Austerity Britain 1945-51 and Family Britain 1951-57 so far;
Here’s a bit of Lady Amanda Ellingworth gossip from the Daily Telegraph, the woman Prince Charles proposed to in the aftermath of the murder of Lord Mountbatten in 1980;
Vulture published a handy day-by-day account of how the pay gap scandal evolved in March 2018 – read that here;
Claire Foy on the corsets: “[The Queen] just wore girdles really, but I had to wear a corset because I had quite a lot of baby weight in the beginning. (…) It took about kind of 18 months to get back to sort of [normal]. But the thing I really noticed, looking back now, I’ve got quite a significantly padded brassiere on because the first series it was all my own work. I’ve never known anything like it. But the second time round they were like, “Ha, where have they gone?” And I was like, “I know. They’ve gone.” So, yeah, the first one I did a lot of my own kind of Queen breastwork, I suppose. Oh, she’d be so ashamed of me.” From ‘The Crown's Claire Foy On the Struggles of Being a New Mom and an Actress’ W Magazine, 12 July 2017;
We discussed pregnancy and professionalism in episode #7 – listen to that here;
Charlotte is quoting Elizabeth II by Ruth Stacey:
OUR RECOMMENDATIONS: REESE WITHERSPOON FILMS
Emma recommends two classics - the Johnny Cash-June Carter Cash biopic Walk the Line from 2005 and Election from 1999, both available on DVD or through streaming services;
Charlotte recommends Home Again from 2017, which is currently available on Netflix.
THE NEXT EPISODE…
…Will be available in the early spring, as Emma is on parental leave from mid-October. Can’t wait till then? Catch up with all 21 TNK episodes here!
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