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Apple

Ulysses

This point is mainly aimed at Himadri - as he has mentioned this book a few times, in different threads.

Did anyone see last "Who do you think you are?" on the BBC the other night - the one with Dervla Kirwan, she was tracing her fathers side and her great grandfather was jewish and there was an incidence of a mistrial where the judge committed what seems to be gross acts of anti semitism, that judge was being watched as he had done it before, and questions were asked in the houses of parliament about his conduct and her great grandfather had his sentence quashed after serving 6 months (sadly though the experience had damaged him and he later died).  The point is the historian she (Dervla) was talking to said that the episode was used in the book Ulysses where a character in that story had a hallucination that he was being tried by that particular judge or something like that and that a particular passage of what the judge says is incredibly simular to what he said in real life to Dervlas great grandfather.
TheRejectAmidHair

I'd guess this occurs in the long "Circe" chapter, in which dreams and fantasy and reality all merge in a mad, phantasmagoric sequence. Leopold Bloom, the principal character, is a Dublin Jew, and encounters quite a bit of anti-Semitism.

Ulysses itself is crammed full of all sorts of references, from history, mythology, high culture, poplar culture, current events - everything. It wouldn't be surprising if Joyce made use of a newspaper story, especially one related to anti-Semitic feeling.
MikeAlx

I saw most of the programme, but missed the bit about the Ulysses connection (probably because George woke up and started screaming, as he tends to when there's something good on the box). That she's related to Michael Collins was a big surprise though - never would have guessed that! (The Republican leader, that is, not the poor bloke who sat in the orbiter while Armstrong and Aldrin frolicked on the moon)
Evie

I only caught the last 10 minutes or so, where she was talking about her 'grandfather' Henry and his sad life - though I did wonder how she had a grandfather who died in 1907 at the age of 50 - surely he was her great-grandfather.  I only caught the passing reference at the end to the mention in Ulysses.

It is often a surprisingly interesting programme - surprising in the sense that people I am not normally interested in come across quite differently!  The one I particularly remember was Patsy Kensit's - a wonderful programme, and gave me a new sense of her as a person.  Silly really - it's inevitable that we only see the surface of famous people, but I now often watch this programme even when the person taking part is not someone I have paid much attention to.  I loved Rupert Everett's the previous week.
Apple

Himadri – as soon as the historian picked up that book and mentioned the author I immediately thought about you.  (I did cringe though as the camera panned down to the pages of the book someone had bent the pages over! Shocked ) The newpaper article of the trial (or mistrial) quoted the judge word for word and it was quite sickening what he'd said.

Evie - yes it was her great grandfather, but she did refer to him as her grandfather a few times.

I love this programme as you know I find history in general incredbly interesting.  The worst one I saw I think was that interior designer bloke from changing rooms - Lawrence Llewelyn Bowen. I thought Stephen Fry's one was a really good one how he found out his ancestors were European Jews caught up in the holocaust. I like the really amazing ones where they manage to go back hundreds of years - the one which sticks in my mind was that olympic rower Matthew Pinscent who (if I remember right) was related to Edward I and William the Conqueror and the historian showed him this medieval tree where because kings had to claim a link with divinity to rule it showed his tree going back to god!

It was this programme which inspired me to trace my family tree, and with a lot of hard work I can tell you I have managed to trace one line back to almost when parish records began in the late 1500's but with most lines I have managed to get back to the late 1700's early 1800's. It's true you do unearth some interesting and sometimes uncomfortable stuff, one of my ancestors was murdered, and lets just say the morals of a few others wern't altogether good!

Mike - its being played on the Who do you think you are? section of the BBC website.  Its funny really as I sort of guessed about the Michael Collins thing from the first sentence she spoke where she talked about the intensity of politics and how you had the choice you got involved or you got out and she chose to leave, I turned to my husband and said, blimey is it going to come out she is related to Michael Collins or something! just a flippant remark and just a few minutes later she recounted the tale of when she was told she was as a kid and repeated it at school.
Chibiabos83

I'm embarrassed to say I haven't watched it for ages - no, that's a lie, I watched David Mitchell's one last series - but it's a programme that rarely fails to enthral me. Stephen Fry's was excellent, but I think my favourite episode was Moira Stuart's, when she went back to Dominica to trace her family. I've always had a soft spot for her since I was very little, though...
MikeAlx

I thought Davina McCall's was interesting - with her great grandfather who was head of the French police, and championed Dreyfus.
Evie

The Patsy Kensit one was good because she did manage to go quite far back - like you, Apple, I like it when they go back quite a long way.  She obviously knew about her father's relationship with the Kray brothers, and seemed keen to find some redeeming features in her family's past.  Eventually she traced an ancestor in the 17th century who had been a vicar in a very poor part of the East End of London, and had done amazing work among the poor people there - someone she felt really proud to be related to.  She found out that he had been buried in a rural church somewhere, and was in the church asking the vicar there if he knew where her ancestor was buried; he replied, 'Yes, under where you are standing...' - and as she burst into tears, so did I!  It's hard to convey how moving the episode was, but it's one of my favourites.

The Stephen Fry one certainly was another very moving episode; I missed Moira Stuart's.  Jeremy Paxman's was also good - he was moved to tears by the plight of his great-grandmother, but the minute he was back in the BBC studio to prepare for Newsnight, and someone mentioned this, he snapped back in his usual alligator style and was having none of it!
MikeAlx

Rupert Everett was hilarious, doing his 'old sea dog' impressions. It was bugging me from the start who he spoke like - then I realised, he has almost exactly the same voice as Kevin McCloud from Grand Designs!
Apple

Jeremy Paxman was another of my fav's - I loved it the way he was asked something he'd come out with something like thats a stupid question, he always comes across as hard as nails so to see him genuinely moved was quite poignant, I must admit I do like him though.

I actually missed the Patsy Kensit one (not sure which series that was), but as they have gone on there are always one or two I have missed.
Evie

I like Jeremy Paxman too.  The Patsy Kensit one was a couple of series ago, I think.

Rupert Everett was hilarious, I agree.  I loved it when he met the auntie he didn't know about, and she held his hand as she was talking to him, and then said how much she liked naughty boys (the relative they were talking about had run away to sea, though it was a bit more complicated than that) - Rupert said he liked naughty boys too, and the aged auntie said with a twinkle, 'Ooh, you don't play for the other side, do you?'  They clearly got on very well!
MikeAlx

Yes, she was quite a character too, wasn't she!

Fascinating, the contrast between the Victorian reprobates who fiddled the markets then went bankrupt and ran off to sea, and the "orphaned" lad who was raised in the 'muscular Christian' tradition, and wound up a senior colonial in Africa. Chalk and cheese, really - except in both cases they ended up geographically separated from their wives!
Jen M

Who do you think you are? is my favourite programme - I loved Bruce Forsyth's episode recently - I wondered whether his ancestor's first family knew of the existence of his second family - the diary his cousin had referred to "father visiting us".  They also visited the Park in Atlanta we went to during our Christmas trip - Bruce's ancestor was responsible for its design.  And yes, Patsy Kensit's episode was very moving.

I wasn't so keen on the American ones - perhaps because I know less about their history and there is therefore less scope for personal interest.  They were still worth watching, though.

Apple, you seem to have done well with your own history - mine is proceeding slowly but surely.  Another trip to Yorkshire may be necessary before too long - I'd better start saving.

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