From 'The Other Boleyn Girl' to 'Elizabeth': historical accuracy and adaptation in Tudor films with particular focus on the Tudor monarchy

Strachan, Emily (2012) From 'The Other Boleyn Girl' to 'Elizabeth': historical accuracy and adaptation in Tudor films with particular focus on the Tudor monarchy. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This dissertation incorporates adaptation studies with the exploration of known historical facts within the two films in the Tudor era. My interest in how films manipulate history stemmed from earlier curiosities with the film 'The Young Victoria' (Vallée, 2009). As there has been a recent revival of the Tudors in film and television, I decided to focus my attentions on 'The Other Boleyn Girl' (Chadwick, 2008) and 'Elizabeth' (Kapur, 1998) as examples of how history is manipulated. Using these films as case studies, historical inaccuracies within the Tudor film are examined along with the social implications of the film-makers’ choices to disregard the notion of authenticity. Primary research was conducted through textually analysing each film along with other similar dramas and documentaries. Secondary research was carried out through the examination of previous critics’ work on adaptation and the historical film, and it was found that many key arguments came from a literary or historical point of view. However, this examination is from a media point of view as this dissertation aims to shed light on the film-makers’ intentions to move away from historical accuracy. Furthermore, it addresses how this can considerably affect society’s understanding of an important period in history. Both case studies highlight how an historical film can be influenced by many factors and how different modes of interpretation can affect the concept of fidelity. For example, 'The Other Boleyn Girl', as an adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s novel of the same name, concerns itself with the more trivial affairs of the Tudor court; that is the themes of love, jealousy and betrayal, whereas 'Elizabeth' seems to be more of a political commentary on the state of England and its monarch at that time. It has been realised that historical fidelity within the Tudor film is important as it shapes our popular perceptions of how the Tudor court under Henry VIII’s and Elizabeth I’s rule transformed the future of England. By giving today’s society an insight into our heritage background, historical film provides a way in which we can imagine what it might have been like to live in that era.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2014 10:52
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:32

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