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"Vanity Fair anyone?" Topic

15 Posts

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Gazzola05 Sep 2018 10:47 a.m. PST

Just watched the first episode. Not very Napoleonic military wise, other than groups of British infantry on display now and again. The funniest bit is they appear to show the same small bunch of British soldiers marching up and down in a variety of locations. LOL

But I'm still enjoying it.

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2018 12:59 p.m. PST

Which version is this and where is it on?

I really liked the book.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2018 1:26 p.m. PST

UK's ITV and Amazon got together to make this. It will surely be released beyond our borders. Two episodes in and everyone is spotting anachronisms.

The vast majority are (should be is) talking about a steam driven roundabout, which is a few decades too early, and its (no apostrophe) light bulb illumination, which is not really meant to be taken too seriously.

Some good CGI of London, although the viewing angles are impossible. Carriages show suspension that is mostly mid Victorian (but still looks very convincing).

But you want to know about the uniforms. Officers only, so far. A couple from the 44th of Foot, South Essex. Very well done, but they never change into the proper rig for dinner or balls. Oddly one is a "captain" but has two fringed epaulettes. Nice details, like button and lace colour. A chap from Household Cavalry, again very nicely done, in full dress.

There will be a Waterloo scene, with much CGI, unlike Thackeray's original book. The story so far is harmless nonsense, but actually quite entertaining, if you suspend all credulity. I and Mrs F are quite enjoying it.

Darrell B D Day05 Sep 2018 2:26 p.m. PST

The officers are in uniform all the time. Wouldn't they be in civvies when out on the town or visiting?

Just wondered.


arthur181505 Sep 2018 2:28 p.m. PST

According to Francis Grose's Advice to the Officers of the British Army (1783) one should never appear in public in uniform when off duty lest people assume one cannot afford any better clothing, but the officers in Vanity Fair even wear uniform when visiting Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens…

AussieAndy Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2018 11:13 p.m. PST

It is one of my favourite novels, so I'm not sure that I want to see what they've done to it.

4DJones06 Sep 2018 1:28 a.m. PST

Who cares about frigging frogging? Just enjoy the irony.

Darrell B D Day06 Sep 2018 5:46 a.m. PST

I imagine a lot of people here care about frogging; goes with the territory. Probably quite a few care about frigging too, one way and another.


Gazzola08 Sep 2018 4:34 a.m. PST

There are faults and errors in any historical drama. That's because they don't employ us lot to check them out beforehand. LOL

But you either sit back, ignore them and enjoy the drama, providing it is well written and well acted, which Vanity Fair appears to be, so far, or you simply don't watch it.

In my opinion, better a Napoleonic flavoured drama than none. And the more that watch it, like it, perhaps the more Napoleonic period will be considered in future. One can hope, anyway.

Gazzola30 Sep 2018 4:26 p.m. PST

Just watched the Waterloo episode that I had recorded. Enjoyable as the drama is you can't help but laugh with it containing one of the greatest blunders ever found in an historical drama – no Prussians! I don't think this show would go down well in Germany! LOL

arthur181501 Oct 2018 1:31 a.m. PST

Gazzola, I imagine it would be perfectly possible for the members of one individual British infantry battalion to have experienced the battle without seeing any Prussians (and for many of the latter not to have seen a British soldier!). They would simply be preoccupied with their own immediate surroundings and events, not the bigger, grand-tactical/strategic picture. Vanity Fair deals with the experiences of individuals; it doesn't pretend to be an accurate portrayal of the historical events within which the characters operate.

You might equally complain that we never saw any Dutch Belgian troops…

Personally, I felt the panoramic shots of the battlefield and dwelling on some of the scenes of close combat was a mistake; the focus should have been on George and Dobbin.

Gazzola03 Oct 2018 2:14 a.m. PST


I'm perfectly aware of all that you said. And if you view my other posts on the matter you would see that I mentioned the accuracy or rather, non-accuracy of virtually all historical dramas and we should not expect them to be accurate, as much as we would prefer them to be.

Concerning the Prussians, well, I was joking about it. I should imagine most people who watched it were not concerned with how Waterloo was won or who by, but more concerned about what happens to the characters within the drama.

Anyway, it is fiction, not a documentary, so in that sense not having the Brits saved by the arrival of the Prussians is perfectly acceptable. LOL

ConnaughtRanger06 Oct 2018 1:56 p.m. PST

And there was me thinking Gazzola was joking in all his posts? Just got round to watching the "Waterloo" episode – good effort for a mainstream UK TV channel. For all those on these forums that decry the likes of "Vanity Fair", "Hornblower" and, especially, "Sharpe", feel free to point out the better examples of the many, many Napoleonic period dramas on mainstream TV?

Gazzola09 Oct 2018 2:44 p.m. PST


Ah, but that's the problem, people think because they 'think' something it must be true. But one gets used to people getting it wrong. LOL

And better something with at least a Napoleonic background than none at all, although I think we'd all prefer future period pieces to contain more combat and campaign extracts. We can but hope.

arthur181510 Oct 2018 6:45 a.m. PST

But Vanity Fair isn't really about the Waterloo campaign – other than the behaviour of civilians in Brussels – so to pad it out with battle scenes is to distort the theme and do a disservice to the original book.

The BBC dramatisation of several years ago was far better, IMHO.

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