This Folly Friday we are going to the movies (or as Vicky would say, to the bioscope)! When I was researching A MAD, WICKED FOLLY, I wanted to immerse myself in the Edwardian period as much as I possibly could. And since, sadly, time machines hadn’t been invented yet, I had only books, photographs, and museums to rely on. I’m a pretty visual person and I really wanted to see the clothes and watch how people moved in them. I wanted to know what a road full of horse-drawn carriages and motorized vehicles looked like. And I wanted to see what people ate and hear how they spoke. I’d researched and written the first few drafts of FOLLY before Downton Abbey was out, and even though I love the series, it’s still written by modern hands. My best bet, I thought, was to watch movies adapted from books written by Edwardian authors. The ones I loved the most, by Henry James, E.M. Forster, and John Galsworthy, are about class, the various levels of societal restrictions, and the cost of stepping outside those boundaries. These films really helped me understand why class was so important to Edwardians and why a scandal could destroy a family, an individual, and even a life.
Henry James, by the way, lived and worked in Rye, which is where Will Fletcher, Vicky’s muse, is from. Rye is one of my favorite places in the world but every time I go there James’ house is closed! Here is me from a year ago, on the steps of Lamb House.
Howard’s End by E.M. Forster
The Golden Bowl by Henry James
The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy
What about you? What are your favorite Edwardian-era films?