Sunday, 5 April 2009

Calling all history buffs

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Do go and have a look at this majestic documentary about Gladstone and Disraeli.

It must have Lord Reith dancing with joy up in the celestial Bush House in the sky, being both educational and informative. Also, William Morris would be pleased, since it is beautiful and useful. My only tiny caveat is that it cannot resist the idiotic habit of using modern actors who look nothing like great statesman of the past to do pointless dramatic tableau, and is occasionally a little heavy on the string section. Otherwise it is a joy and a delight. For you Tintin lovers out there, it will also tell you the origin of the epithet 'bashi bazook', which I am ashamed to say I did not know until now; Captain Haddock was clearly better informed than I.

You can watch until Wednesday, or download and keep for a month. I am a little obsessed by the BBC iplayer at the moment, and am in danger of going up to complete strangers and telling them that it is worth the cost of the licence fee alone.


  1. Unfortunately the documentary is for "UK viewers" only. Darn it. Listening just won't be the same.

  2. UK viewers only? That's just plain mean. Now I am cross with the BBC for discriminating against its many fans abroad. World Service and all that.

    I get the same sadness when I try and watch Stephen Colbert on the internet only to be informed No, Britons, No. What about all this globalisation I keep hearing about?

  3. It was brilliant wasn't it ? I do enjoy anything that feeds the mind - especially as, for me, taught history finished in 1603, and I'm sure one or two things have happened since then !

  4. Titian - so glad I am not alone. Thought this would be a me being a history geek kind of post that everyone would just politely ignore. The 19th century was actually my period at university, but that was 25 years ago and there is so much I have forgotten. Hurrah for the Beeb, I wish everyone would stop bashing it.

  5. Like So Lovely, missed it here in Andalucia too! Any more superb documentaries like that and I may be having words with P again about moving back to the UK - and civilisation!

  6. Perhaps an orchestrated Twitter campaign to get the BBC to change its policy? Something must be done.

  7. Hello there: part of the rules and regs of the lovely award thingy that Mme Guillotine and Katyboo gave me is that I must post you a comment to tell you that I have given you the award now.

  8. Congratulations Tania & Sarah - such a well-deserved award for such witty & entertaining bons mots!

    Truly justifies every second of the mini shout out in my mini Stop Press corner!


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