FILM RECON Interviews: Brian Cox and Alex von Tunzelmann on "Churchill" | HistoryNet
A film version of Alex von Tunzelmann's Indian Summerwill only spread more forward the date of the transfer of power to 'save his marriage'. For a bank holiday on the day of. Alex von tunzelmann relationship dating s wedding to Meghan Markle and, frankly, it. The leading international weekly for. Alex von Tunzelmann (born ) is a British historian and author. Contents. 1 Early life and ancestry; 2 Education; 3 Books and writings; 4 Personal life.
I thought it was very truthful. It has an enormous veracity about it. And it seemed to me that this was something I would really like to be involved in. It is no easy feat to play a real life character, especially one as well-known as Churchill. How did you approach playing him as a complex, real human being? Well, the thing is that character comes from contradiction. Winston was incredibly rich as a character. He has this constructed side of him—the Churchill of the public, the Churchill of the rhetoric, the Churchill of the writing.
Especially the way he spoke in his broadcasts: You realize that this is a construct, this is a performance.
This is somebody who is doing something to an effect, and it was a very important to give the British people the confidence to get through one of the worst periods in our history. In that sense, it was remarkable. In a day, he consumed an amazing amount of alcohol. He started with breakfast with champagne, lunch was brandy, and in the evening it was whiskey or the other way around.
And then topped-up during the day with wine. Of course, it is a form of self-medication. For a long time, it was assumed he would be the heir to the Duke of Marlborough in Blenheim.
A partition in the family
He was the heir until his uncle had a child. Winston was quite a lonely little boy, with his syphilitic father. He had this very ambitious American mother who was not present a lot of the time during his childhood. He was a chubby little boy. He got healthier as he got older.
So there was that element in him, the element of the child. So you put that together through that sort of detective work you do as an actor, and you create this rather extraordinary character. You know Churchill has all these elements to him, which gives him a kind of Shakespearian density. The doubt—and yet I think that is also the making of him, the questioning that eventually leads to a conclusion.
Gandhi the man remains elusive. Partly, this is because Rajmohan refuses to personalise the account. He does not mention any first-hand memories of his grandfather, and the reader is more than pages in before there is much recalled from the memories of his father and the Mahatma's youngest son, Devadas, either.
This restraint is admirable in a book of academic intentions, but it deprives the biography of a true sense of intimacy. Rajmohan has produced a serviceable and learned narrative, generous in its estimation of Gandhi, but lacking his warmth and spark.
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The definitive biography has yet to be written. Those interested more in the people and the Empire than the man may turn to Yasmin Khan's The Great Partition, an elegant, scholarly analysis of the chaotic severing of two Pakistans now Pakistan and Bangladesh from India in Khan's book is splendidly researched, and she has an eye for illuminating details of how Partition affected everyday lives.
Indian princes pledged publicly to grow religiously symbolic beards. A street fight was held up so that the wife of a British newspaper editor might be allowed to cross the road.
Punctilious officials divided library books equally between India and Pakistan; in the case of the Encyclopedia Britannica, alternate volumes were allocated to each nation. Such vignettes do not detract from the serious reality of a war in which perhaps one million people were killed, and 13 million dispossessed. Khan's assessment of the violence that flared up between formerly peaceable neighbours is often harrowing. One Indian journalist opined that the creation of the Pakistans would inspire endless imitations: TOI Crest Nov 14, A film version of Alex von Tunzelmann's Indian Summerwill only spread more untruths and myths about the Nehru-Edwina relationship and Partition The proposed script of a movie based on Indian Summer, a book by British author Alex von Tunzelmann, has attracted the disapproval of the ministry of information and broadcasting in India.
The ministry has asked for disclaimers, changes, and cuts. Is the Indian government right to be concerned? By describing itself as 'history'Indian Summer delivers its first inaccuracy on the front cover.Dating/Relationship Q&A
What follows inside is entertaining enough, but instead of 'history' we get misinformed and unsubstantiated claims about Winston Churchill's role in a plot to create Pakistan, warmed-over speculations about the influence of Lady Edwina Mountbatten on Nehru, and the extraordinary statement that Lord Mountbatten brought forward the date of the transfer of power to 'save his marriage'.
Indian Summer is a curiously inconsistent book.
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It portrays Mountbatten as a vainglorious, incompetent, lying buffoon, yet also hails him as the saviour of his country. It claims that Edwina Mountbatten fell profoundly in love with Nehru within a week of arriving in India, but also that she was always desperate to return home. Its main source for the early blossoming of love between Edwina and Jawahar - Shahid Hamid's memoir Disastrous Twilight - is admitted by the author to be 'widely disputed'yet she cites it repeatedly.
Overall, the book manages to bring nothing valuable to the sizeable body of literature peddling myths about Partition ; it fits squarely into several well-established patterns of misunderstanding.
What is novel is that Alex von Tunzelmann is an English media insider, not an Indian or Pakistani nationalist partisan.
Pitched somewhere between gossip and conspiracy theory, Indian Summer makes no attempt to avoid the pitfalls of either genre. Instead it remains constantly driven by its subtitle to find 'secret history'real or imaginary. First, von Tunzelmann digs up the old chestnut about MA Jinnah and Churchill doing a deal to create Pakistan after the war. This bizarre and historically untenable idea was never based on anything other than a conviction among some Indian nationalists that their two main villains simply must have been in cahoots.
The author herself admits that there is 'scant evidence' for it beyond rumourand she gets no nearer to proving it than did M N Das, whose book End of the British Indian Empire appears in her bibliography. She follows his argument point for point, but she has been woefully misled; Das piles up error on error.
His book is full of basic misunderstandings about Churchill, and has no value as history on this subject. In Simla, around MayEdwina 'persuaded' Nehru not to insist on an immediate transition to full independence, but to accept Dominion Status for India instead, thus 'saving her husband's political career as well as the entire process of the transfer of power'. Very big claims, but to support them she produces only two pieces of gossip.
The first is taken from Edwina Mountbatten by Jane Morgan, who writes that V P Menon, a civil servant, told his daughter that Edwina played a 'significant part' in persuading Nehru. Menon, who was present at the time, wrote a political memoir that covers this incident and in it he does not mention Edwina at all. On the contrary, he describes discussions with Nehru several days before on the subject of Dominion Status, during which he 'gathered the impression that [Nehru] was not averse' to Dominion Status Transfer of Power, Menon also writes that on 10 May Nehru told the Viceroy that 'it was very desirable that there should be a transfer of power as soon as possible on a Dominion Status basis'.
So, to believe that Edwina 'persuaded' Nehru we must ignore what Menon wrote in favour of what he allegedly told his daughter. We must also overlook the fact that Nehru would have talked to many other equally persuasive and rather more important people on the same subject.
The credit for persuading Nehru cannot possibly go to Edwina alone, and to go on to claim, as von Tunzelmann does, that Nehru's acceptance of Dominion Status was a 'clear demonstration of Edwina's extraordinary intimacy with Jawaharlal Nehru and her influence over policy' is simply to prop up one mistake by using another.