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Fascinating and inspiring insight into the life and career of Jeremy Brett,
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This review is from: Dancing in the Moonlight: Jeremy Brett - A Celebration (Paperback)
The comment has been made here that David Stuart Davies rehashed much of the text of his earlier work "Bending the Willow" for this edition. He certainly has done the same for the parts about Mr. Brett in his other Sherlock Holmes tribute "Starring Sherlock". I was slightly disappointed by that.
Having said that I still completely love this book! Unable to find (or indeed afford, since they are very rare) a copy of "Bending the Willow" this book is the nearest thing to a biography of one of my all-time favorite actors I could find. Unlike that ghastly tabloid-writer Terry Manners, Mr. Davies actually met with Mr. Brett on many occasions during the last 8 years his life, both on the set, at the Wynhams Theatre during the run of the play "The Secret of Sherlock Holmes" and at his London home. They clearly struck up a friendly relationship during these many interviews, which shines though in this book. Mr. Davies paints a delightfully insightful picture of the personality and the professional career of Jeremy Brett and particularly of the highs and lows of becoming Sherlock Holmes on screen and stage. The book does make for sad reading at points, especially when dealing with the later years of Mr. Brett's life when, following the death of his second wife, his manic depression increasingly became a sad and cruel influence. Yet at the same time it is so incredibly inspiring to read how Mr. Brett dealt with such huge obstacles in his life so bravely and full of self-effacing humour and kindness. This man is my example of how to live life to the full and how to remain a kind, warm, generous and caring person whilst suffering from a crippling mental illness. The many little anecdotes from Mr. Brett's colleagues and close friends (like the two Watsons) also make this book a highly enjoyable read and firmly keep it from becoming too depressing.
Mr. Davies does occasionally add his own personal philosophies about the emotional inner life of Mr. Brett, which I found to be slightly too speculative at times. But overall he manages to maintain an objective tone, while at the same letting a warmth and compassion for his subject subtly shine through.
A fascinating account of a fascinating man, who sadly died before his time and who is still greatly missed by many.