The Favourite, a true story
Earlier this week director Yorgos Lanthimos’s new film The Favourite cleaned up at the BAFTAs. Nominated for 10 Academy Awards, The Favourite tells the story of the unusually close friendship between England’s Queen Anne and two ladies of her court, Sarah, the Duchess of Marlborough and her cousin Abigail Hill, who manipulate to become the Queen’s favourite.
Writes David Edelstein of Vulture: “Though mostly twaddle as history, Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite is wonderful, nasty fun, a period drama (wigs, breeches, beauty spots) that holds the screen with gnashing teeth and slashing nails.”
If you would like to read the true story of Sarah Churchill, we highly recommend the stunning debut biography by London-based writer Ophelia Field. In her Guardian review last year, Kathryn Hughes wrote, “At the heart of her (Field’s) account lies the question of Sarah's vexed position as the favourite of Queen Anne, that dull monarch who gave the lie to the idea that a woman on the throne of England automatically meant prestige and thrilling achievement. “
Hughes continues: “In time, hurt by Sarah's careless attitude towards her, not to mention her trenchant Whiggism, the increasingly conservative Anne transferred her affections to Abigail Masham, whom she swiftly promoted to Keeper of the Privy Purse.
“What made the snub more pointed was the fact that Abigail was Sarah's cousin, a dumpy country girl whom she had taken under her glamorous wing.”
Meanwhile our bookselling colleagues at Waterstones in the UK also have given the book a big tick. “In this impeccably researched biography, Field strips away the varnish of rumour and gossip to reveal an intelligent and kind-hearted woman,” says Waterstones. “She also paints a fascinating portrait of the turbulent politics of the late 17th and early 18th centuries.”
If you would like to purchase a copy of The Favourite by Opheila Field, please click here