My Bright Star review and impressions

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Re: My Bright Star review and impressions

Postby Raphael » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:10 pm

I was a little perturbed that they gave him a Scottish accent when he is of Scottish *ancestry* and was actually born and pretty much raised in England. But I can see why this character is the way he is; he needs to be a bit of a brute to be a good foil for Fanny. I think he would have been less "cartoonish" had he just dropped the Scottish accent and gone with an English one. However, his brutishness isn't *too* far off the mark; Brown was most definitely a misogynist who got his maid pregnant and then married her in a Catholic ceremony (not legally recognized) so that he could eventually take the child for himself and send the woman packing. Not a pretty portrait of Brown, but historically accurate.


Yes- he could be rather mean to women at times- we know John didn't approve of the way Abigail was treated. He was kind to John , lending him money etc so he wasn't all bad- I get the impression he was a practical joker and probably made John laugh- that's why he hung out with him.


Brown *was* also highly jealous of Keats and he tried to keep Keats and Fanny away from each other while Keats was convalescing at Wentworth Place by flirting with her in a rough and rude manner and sending her inappropriate Valentines. This made Keats extremely upset (I wish he'd been a little more openly upset in the film, but that's another commentary!


The scene in the rain shows him VERY upset! Yes, Bronw was very jealous of John's affections for Fanny- I think he was scared he'd get ousted out and not see him as much.

Brown was also the kind of person to make enemies if he felt he or a friend was slighted--especially regarding money matters. Thus, after Keats's death, he considered George a consummate enemy for the rest of his life--even after George paid all of Keats's posthumous debts.



Yes, true. And last night I was reading a letter when John says that Brown had a tendency to take irrational /unwarranted dislikes to people.


I don't remember the Chichester comment in the movie, but it is true that they went together in real life to visit Brown's friends the Snooks, right? And Keats stayed on about 2 extra weeks by himself in order to rid himself of his "plaugey" sore throat


I'm gonna check that out tonight!
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: My Bright Star review and impressions

Postby Raphael » Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:24 pm

Proof of my geekdom is here- I did indeed look in my Guy Murchie book last night for the chronology and here it is:

JK goes to Shanklin with James Rice, 27 June 1819. They are joined by Charles Brown at the end of July. JK and CB start Otho the Great . JK also re works The Eve of St Agnes and The Fall of Hyperion

Mid August- CB and JK go to Winchester as JK needs a library to consult.

CB visits the Snooks in Bedhampton in early September 1819. He goes back to Hampstead.

JK goes to London on 11 September to see Woodhouse and Hessey ( he doesn't go to see Fanny to her disappointment).
JK returns to Winchester on 15 September alone.

Guy Murchie says that CB returned in late Sept to Bedhampton and could have been in Ireland or London "for the purpose of consummating an intimacy with his housemaid Abigail Donahue." and that CB hid it from JK "knowing John's ethical code about the responsibilities of marriage."

4 letters from JK to CB are found by CB in Bedhampton so CB goes immedialtely to see JK.

8 October 1819 JK and CB return to London.( Dilke finds JK lodgings in Westminister)

Sunday 10 october JK visits CB and sees Fanny ( the next day JK sends Fanny a letter referring to "the seemingly true story against me" that CB brings up, but before CB can say this isn't true Fanny doesn't believe it anyway. i wonder what this was about?)

Mrs Brawne invites JK to stay for a few days at Wentworth Place. CB suggests JK come back to live there with him, so JK does and he resumes his revision of tTe Fall of Hyperion.

i really love this book by Guy Murchie :
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=s ... S&x=7&y=13

I got it for £3.99 which is an absolute bargain as it's out of print. It uses the places John lived in as the framework for the biography and has a very readable style, some nice photos and appendices. I really like the appendix on his personal appearance.It isn't a large book but a good one to have in the collection.It hasn't a review on amazon yet- I might write one for it.
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: My Bright Star review and impressions

Postby keatsclose » Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:03 pm

Re the Sussex trip:
Brown and Keats went first for a few days to Chichester, where they spent a few days with Dilke's parents who lived there, in Eastgate Square.
(The biography on this website gives details of this, as does Motion's biography.)
We are told that Brown and Keats walked from Chichester to the Snooks's mill in Bedhampton, about 13 miles.
So when the irritating Brown actor says in the film - sounding jubilant- to Fanny that Keats 'has gone to Chichester' this is unrealistic as he would have
been there too!

Something else:
I believe Jane Campion is a New Zealander, and googling for details of Brown I came across a Brown NZ family website run by his proud descendants.
One member of the family even has 'Keats' as one of their given names. It would be interesting to know of their reaction to the characterization in the film
of their ancestor - who, despite his misogyny and hostility towards our heroine - was responsible for helping Keats in a number of practical ways and particularly
for ensuring the preservation of his manuscripts.
As is well known, having abandoned the mother of his only child, he later emigrated with his son to new Zealand, hence the connection. Interesting that the film
should have been made by an NZ director.
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Re: My Bright Star review and impressions

Postby Raphael » Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:26 pm

Re the Sussex trip: Brown and Keats went first for a few days to Chichester, where they spent a few days with Dilke's parents who lived there, in Eastgate Square. (The biography on this website gives details of this, as does Motion's biography.) We are told that Brown and Keats walked from Chichester to the Snooks's mill in Bedhampton, about 13 miles.
So when the irritating Brown actor says in the film - sounding jubilant- to Fanny that Keats 'has gone to Chichester' this is unrealistic as he would have been there too!


Yes- I think this was put in for effect, to show how much Fanny has been missing Junkets!


Something else: I believe Jane Campion is a New Zealander, and googling for details of Brown I came across a Brown NZ family website run by his proud descendants. One member of the family even has 'Keats' as one of their given names. It would be interesting to know of their reaction to the characterization in the film of their ancestor - who, despite his misogyny and hostility towards our heroine - was responsible for helping Keats in a number of practical ways and particularly
for ensuring the preservation of his manuscripts.As is well known, having abandoned the mother of his only child, he later emigrated with his son to new Zealand, hence the connection. Interesting that the film should have been made by an NZ director


That was very interesting info!
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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