Wilby

28 July 2012 § Leave a comment

28 July

Last night, a Navs couple and the young marrieds were here for evening merriment, and we watched Amazing Grace.  It’s about William Wilberforce and the abolition of the slave trade.  It had a more truthful presentation of the Gospel and better music than several church services I have attended.  (That is a joke.)  I just want to watch it again right now.  Also, I fell in love with Wilberforce.  His wife clearly did, as well: they met on 15 April 1797 and married on 30 April of the same year.

May the Wilberforce be with you

I eventually realised that he played Pip in Great Expectations (ahh), and the girl who played his wife was Emma in the newest adaptation of the eponymous film . . . and one abolitionist played the evil jouster in A Knight’s Tale (and the kindly man in Tristan and Isolde), and another, Lord Charles Fox, was played by Dumbledore.  Aberforth Dumbledore also made an appearance as Lord Tarleton.  And the Aubrey Montague actor is in it.  And the weird, creepy man from Ever After was a weird, creepy man in this film, as well.  I always wonder how people treat those actors (who play only disagreeable characters) in real life.  Do they have the same annoying habits?

I was curious to see whether the filmmakers followed an historical approach at all similar to that of Hunter; that is, that elites slightly out of the limelight of centres of culture yet still very much in those centres, and well-established in a web of (intellectually, economically, politically) influential people are those who change culture.  They did seem to follow that, judging by the cadre of abolitionists and political people, MPs and otherwise, flocked round Wilberforce.  I also loved learning about the friendship between Wilberforce and William Pitt (the younger).  And one of my favourite parts was his pleasure in lying in the wet grass on a spring day and glorying in spider-webs.

I will always think of John Newton’s story when I sing the hymn now . . .

Albert Finney as John Newton

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