Monday, March 4, 2013

Spielberg's Napoleon Miniseries & Scarrow's Young Bloods

From today's BBC story "Spielberg to develop Kubrick's Napoleon for TV:"
Steven Spielberg is to give life to a screenplay by Stanley Kubrick about Napoleon, which was scrapped by the late film maker in the 1970s. He told French TV network Canal+ he would make a TV miniseries - not a film - about the life of the French Emperor... Regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, Kubrick directed groundbreaking films including 2001: A Space Odyssey...  According to the Hollywood Reporter, he was "devoted" to the research involved in the biopic about Napoleon, spending years exploring the French emperor's life in detail.
If you want a rollicking story about Napoleon's life, you don't have to wait for the Spielberg miniseries. Try Simon Scarrow's Young Bloods:
Europe in the late eighteenth century was a tumultuous place, with war and rebellions breaking out on many fronts. Young Arthur Wesley (later Wellington) and Napoleon Bonaparte grow up worlds apart yet immersed from youth in a culture where a military career is a natural choice for men of ambition. While Wellington is blooded in Ireland and Flanders, Napoleon is caught up in the dramas of the French Revolution and war with Prussia, Britain and Holland. None of this is enough to distract Wellington from his pursuit of Kitty Pakenham or Napoleon from his future bride, Josephine, for these men throw themselves into all aspects of life as enthusiastically as they rush to battle.
The courting scenes between Wellington and Kitty are cringe-worthy, but the rest of the novel is good.

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