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Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast Episode 30c - The Favourite

Saturday, January 19, 2019 - 07:00

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 89 (previously 30c) - The Favourite - transcript

(Originally aired 2019/01/19 - listen here)

[Note: The scripted portion of the show is transcribed, but the interview portions are still pending transcription.]

When I saw the trailers for The Favourite, I knew I wanted to talk about it on this podcast. But talking about movies all by yourself isn’t anywhere near as much fun as talking about them with a friend. I managed to rope two friends into discussing The Favourite with me, although not at the same time. First I’ll have Farah Mendlesohn, to chat about historical aspects of the story and how they were adapted for the movie. Then Trystan Bass and I will discuss the visual esthetics, among other things. And, of course, we’ll all talk about the treatment of sexuality in the film and our appreciation for it as queer women.

If you want a refresher on the historic context, pause this show for a bit and go back and listen to my podcast on Queen Anne that came out a month ago. Since we pretty much plunge into the details, I’ll give you a brief synopsis of the plot.

Queen Anne of England is in the later part of her reign. The country is still finding its balance after the upheavals of the mid 17th century, which included the English Civil War. There are those who question Anne’s support for war in France. One strong supporter of the war is Sarah, Duchess Marlborough, whose husband leads the English armies and who has been an intimate friend of Anne’s since they were both children. But Sarah has come to take Anne’s affection and loyalty for granted, and when Abigail, a cousin of Sarah’s, joins the queen’s household, the two find themselves in a struggle for the power and influence that comes with being the queen’s best friend...and lover.

So that’s the background.

The last time we talked to Farah Mendlesohn on this podcast, it was in connection with her wonderful Regency-era lesbian romance, Spring Flowering. This time, she comes to us as a historian. Dr. Mendlesohn is in the middle of writing a book about fiction set during the English Civil War and is a visiting fellow at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England. But she has also recently become managing editor of Manifold Press, which is seeking submissions in the field of queer historical fiction. Check out the show notes for links to her various projects.

[This discussion has not yet been transcribed.]

For the second half of our discussion, I’m joined by Trystan Bass, one of the founders, and the editor in chief of Frock Flicks, a blog and podcast dedicated to the love--and loving critique--of historical movies and tv shows. The Frock Flicks site is a hoot, and the women who run it are extremely knowledgeable about historic clothing and style, and the popular culture of historic costume and its reproduction.

Check out the show notes for links to the Frock Flicks blog and podcast.

[This discussion has not yet been transcribed.]

Show Notes

A review of the movie The Favourite, about the rivalry between Sarah Duchess of Marlborough and Abigail Masham for the favor and affections of Anne, Queen of England.

I’m joined in this show by Farah Mendlesohn, historian and both author and publisher of queer historical fiction, and by Trystan Bass, co-founder and editor in chief of the Frock Flicks blog and podcast. We talk about everything from the necessary historical inaccuracies of film making, to the use of costume and setting in conveying the film’s themes, to how much we loved both the story and the performances in this movie.

Links to the Lesbian Historic Motif Project Online

Links to Heather Online

Links to Farah Mendlesohn Online

Links to Manifold Press Online

Links to Trystan Bass Online

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