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Teen Millennials Meet (and Adore) Queen Victoria 170 Years after Her Reign

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As a historian, juggling the challenge of being the consultant on a TV historical drama series where the original story often has had to be tailored to the need for dramatic effect, my bottom line is this: does it arouse the viewers’ interest in the real story? It became apparent very early on during the UK transmission of ITV’s (PBS in the U.S.) Victoria, which premiered in the U.S. in January 2017 starring Jenna Coleman, that this series, of the many historical dramas we have had and enjoyed — from The Tudors to Downton Abbey to Wolf Hall — had really struck a nerve. What was striking, however, was that it had done so, not so much with the mature and better read…

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Terry Gilliam: And Now for Something Completely Different

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If there’s one thing that Monty Python’s Flying Circus has taught us, it’s that nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. And when you’re reading a memoir, you don’t expect it to be festooned with the deliciously bizarre artwork that was the hallmark of the comedy troupe’s legendary run, either. Unless, of course, that memoir is written by the group’s illustrator, animator and highly influential (if not frequently seen) member, Terry Gilliam. That memoir is Gilliamesque: A Pre-Posthumous Memoir (Harper Design; October 20, 2015), and it’s filled not only with the comedy legend’s life story, but with a collection of his distinctive artwork, some of which has never before been seen. The book traces the life and career of the celebrated screenwriter,…

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