Drama, glamour and performance: Alex von Tunzelmann‘s book about the Mountbattens is made for film. From The Sunday Times:
Had Dickie Mountbatten lived long enough to read Alex von Tunzelmann’s Indian Summer – a lively history of India’s partition in 1947, in which, as last viceroy, he plays a central role – a few details might have irked him. Her portrayal of his early naval career as a catalogue of catastrophic blunders, for instance, might have grated. The open discussion of Nehru’s affair with Mountbatten’s wife, Edwina, would likewise have offended his sense of decorum. One thing about Indian Summer, however, would have thrilled him: the book is to become a film. Even better, Hugh Grant is rumoured to be playing Dickie and Cate Blanchett his wife.
Mountbatten loved the movies. He and Edwina, always a handsome couple, even appeared in one during their honeymoon of 1922: Nice and Easy, starring Charlie Chaplin. Mountbatten’s life, moreover, was a constant performance. He loved the pomp and ceremony of officialdom, and in particular the brilliant white uniforms it allowed him to strut about it in. Indeed, so inherently cinematic were the lives and loves of the Mountbattens that their friend Noël Coward based the leads in In Which We Serve and Brief Encounter on them – the latter picture prompting the viceroy to exclaim “how deeply it moved me”.