Like A Bolt From The Blue

i don't know how you remember this ****

I laughed when I read that.  We were chatting, my dearest buddy and I. 

He was referring to my quoting him about the struggle to remain true to oneself, to keeping faith with vows they've taken.  Vows he's taken, to be clear.  He's big on the whole Man for All Seasons thing when pondering how he conducts himself.  You know, Sir Thomas More?  That quote about holding water in one's hands.  I wrote about it in my Tale of Two Thomases essay.  My buddy had just read it, and recognized I was talking about him quoting from the screenplay written by Robert Bolt.

him‬: i was just now reading of Thomases
‪me‬: Ah...yes, the Two Thomases
I will tell you something...
that man breaks my ******* heart
he is so naive
so believing
so trusting
even though he's been lied to
and when we sat there
in that pizza joint
I just wanted to cry
‪him‬: i can see that

‪me‬: I learned some stuff about Sir Thomas More 
or perhaps more accurately...
‪him‬: i don't know how you remember this ****
‪me‬: about Robert Bolt
remember what ****?
‪him‬: didn't we talk about that a long time ago?
‪me‬: It was one of our first conversations
I have them all archived
You are important to me, though...
so I remember much of it 
I just check for exact quotations
‪him‬: lol, i'd never remember quotes
but i guess you can search
‪me‬: you do pretty well, kiddo
‪him‬: on key words

‪me‬: yes, like cantaloupe 
‪him‬: i read that play in high school
i knew i never should have shared
thank god i've kept the vid in secret
‪me‬: you will share it eventually, you know

‪him‬: * smiles *

Isn't he darling?  I certainly think so.  My friend Adam commented to me this morning that I appear quite smitten.  He's right.  My buddy is a man who quotes from wonderful films about ethics set in Tudor England, as well as ******* melons on cam for strange women.  That is one blue movie I'd love to own.  He is multifaceted.  I don't know what the future holds, but I would love to feel his hands on me.  I'd like to blow his mind with some sexual play the likes of which he's only dreamt.

I was curious about Robert Bolt, the man who put the words into the mouth of Sir Thomas More.  We tend to believe that the more quotable quotes in films with historic figures are pulled from real life. At least, I used to.  Maybe you never did.  Maybe I'm just gullible, prone to believing stuff until I'm forced to realize it's false.  It is possible, I suppose.  But I think lots of people have that tendency, don't you?  It's not just me. 

Anyway.  Bolt.  I wondered what his own marital situation had been, whether he'd lived his life with integrity.  What I discovered showed me that life is a complex sort of thing.

His obituary in The Independent revealed details of his earlier work:
His first play, The Critic and the Heart, was successfully presented at the Oxford Playhouse in 1957, but it was in the same year with his second, Flowering Cherry, with a distinguished cast led by Ralph Richardson at the Haymarket Theatre, London, that he achieved national recognition and financial as well as critical success. The play realistically depicted a marriage gone stale, a depressed, prevaricating husband (Richardson) undergoing what today is called the male menopause, and his sad, doomed attraction to a younger girl who represents his lost youth and blighted hopes.

Bolt was married four times, twice to the same woman.  He took a break from her for a bit because she'd cheated on him.  But he couldn't deny he loved and needed her.  So he asked her to return, and she did.  I found no reference to him having ever been unfaithful, but I wouldn't be surprised if he was.  So many men and women are.  They just don't get outed as spectacularly as his wife.  Her indiscretion has been followed by those of so many other people that it's long forgotten. 

Sarah Miles' story was described in an article in The Telegraph:

A combination of her natural beauty, obvious sexual allure and fiery personality made her the perfect pin-up for the kitchen sink generation of the early Sixties. Her marriage to Bolt in 1967 made her one half of one of the most famous couples of the Sixties, and the pair would collaborate on Ryan's Daughter and Lady Caroline Lamb. "We were soulmates in the truest sense."

The marriage collapsed in 1975 under the strain of the media spotlight. A year earlier the body of David Whiting, a Time journalist, who had been infatuated with Miles and with whom, fleetingly, she had an affair, had been found dead in her hotel bathroom. In the interview, Miles cannot bring herself to use Whiting's name or to talk about what became one of the biggest scandals of the Seventies.

"I don't want to talk about that particular incident. Robert and I were severed by a tragedy and it was the media's doing. If it had been a private tragedy we would have mended. People need time and space and we weren't given that."

As for the question of Bolt's integrity, I found some interesting fodder further along in the obit.

In 1960 Bolt joined the "Committee of 100", a group of well-known people who had decided that the nuclear arms race needed stronger opposition than was being provided by a handful of concerned politicians and scientists, and the polite Gandhian tactics of CND, then led by Canon John Collins. The danger of nuclear war seemed very real and the committee, chaired by Bertrand Russell and having among its members leading writers, artists and others in the media and arts, declared their intention to use massive civil disobedience to attract public attention. It was easy for the police and MI5 to arrest the ringleaders of illegal demonstrations on charges of conspiracy, but it was another matter where well-known and highly respected public figures were concerned: the arrest of a significant proportion of the hundred celebrities would attract maximum publicity and much sympathy.

At the big Trafalgar Square sit-down in September 1961, Bolt was arrested in the company of John Arden, John Osborne, Arnold Wesker and many other prominent theatre people. He refused to be bound over to keep the peace and was sentenced to a month in gaol. He shared a cell with Christopher Logue.

At the time Bolt was writing the filmscript for Lawrence of Arabia and David Lean, the director, was ready to start shooting. The absence of Bolt put the film in great danger as the script was unfinished and the producer stood to lose a fortune. Finally Sam Spiegel went in person to the prison and prevailed on Bolt to sign a pledge to keep the peace and be released. This surrender, in total contrast to Sir Thomas More's refusal to save his life by signing a royal document, had, according to Bolt's friends, a profound effect on his life and self-confidence, and the guilt lasted for years. It may account for a decline in his stage writing thereafter.

There are opportunities for each of us to keep the faith with what we've pledged to do.  It's not just the Hollywood Ten who've been called upon to sacrifice their principles.  The thing about marital infidelity, though, is that it involves a piece that nuclear disarmament protests and communist blacklisting don't.


But that's another story.
milkynips milkynips
46-50, F
3 Responses May 25, 2012

As I sit here in my office multitasking I find your essays a pleasent distraction to the mundane of humming computers. Desire has is a key to a successful relationship, it has launched wars, crucified men, and broken many a heart. Without monderation, Desire like anything else is a flame that burns hot but dies quickly.

True. Moderation is critical.

"The thing about marital infidelity, though, is that it involves a piece that nuclear disarmament protests and communist blacklisting don't.<br />
<br />
Desire."<br />
<br />
Damn good point, my dear. That one sorta hit a nerve, but in a good way.

I'm glad, TK. :-D

Me too. It's nice to have something to think about that actually make sense, for once.

I often get referred to as Man of Trivial Information because I remember little things so well. It does pay off well remembering certain things about a woman and what she likes ;)

Indeed, as well it should, darling.