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Bending the Willow: Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes
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Bending the Willow: Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes

4.39 of 5 stars 4.39  ·  rating details  ·  138 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Jeremy Brett's portrayal of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective is widely recognised as the best yet seen. Before his untimely death in 1995, Brett had made the part his own, all the time battling against the manic depression which had plagued him for many years. Bending the Willow' examines how this brilliant actor channelled the demons of his debilitating illness i ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published November 1st 1996 by Calabash Press (first published 1996)
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Mary Rocco
I read it because Jeremy Brett was my friend. It didn't contain any glaring falsehoods. Glad to see Jeremy remembered.
This is a great book about an actor that was over looked by Brittain for all his many brilliant accomplishments. The role of Sherlock Holmes in television, and movies the most famous.His inspiring, and troubled life was an interesting mix of joy, and sadness, He slowly grew to ill to keep acting due to a heart condition, and depressive mental illness that he was not properly treated for.He managed to still work, and bring his brilliance to a character that few can achieve, His Holmes will always ...more
Megan Reichelt
This book was incredibly sad. It chronicles the life of Jeremy Brett, a personal hero of mine, as he wrestles with the character of Holmes throughout his career, from energetic, inspired and intellectual performances in the early episodes to his untimely death.

It is easy to romanticize Brett as Holmes, picturing him struggling with the character as he has so often described, and that the struggle is what drove him to several mental breakdowns, but it was not so. His manic depression, along with
Ed Nemo
A little dry, but if you are a fan of Jeremy Brett, (The BEST Sherlock Holmes), this is a must read.
What a great book! David Stuart Davies manages to capture the reader with deep insights of Jeremy Brett and David Burke/Edward Hardwicke as Holmes and Watson, along with facts about production and filming of the Granada show. But he doesn't stop there. Davis peppers it with anecdotes from people who worked with Jeremy as well as his own experiences and newspaper reviews. He manages to treat Jeremy's illness with respect. This book made me cry, but it also made me laugh.
Merri-Todd Webster
Davies' account of actor Jeremy Brett in his most famous role is short but dense. The book focuses squarely on Brett's work as Holmes in the justly lauded Granada television series of the 1980s-90s. It addresses his relationships with his two co-stars, David Burke and Edward Hardwicke (who befriended Brett during some of the most difficult periods of his life), while avoiding any discussions of his sexuality. The account of Brett's mental illness and his determination to keep working is almost h ...more
oOSarahOo ☼Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans☼
This book provides fantastic insight into the Sherlock series and Jeremy Brett's personality. I'd seen Brett in "My Fair Lady" but, like many others, had no idea it was him until reading this book. I didn't know Brett was manic depressive and it was interesting to read how his illness affected the filming of the series. The similarities between Brett's behaviour and the way he portrayed Holmes in some episodes are particularly striking. It was also very interesting to read the comments of those ...more
Sagar Jethani
A heartfelt, bittersweet tribute to Jeremy Brett-- the actor who brought Sherlock Holmes to life from 1984 until his untimely death of heart failure in 1995. A considerable amount of foreknowledge concerning the Granda production of Sherlock Holmes is required to make this book intelligible to the reader. Required reading for serious fans.
Extremely interesting book on Jeremy Brett's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the Granada Television series. Interviews with Jeremy Brett, his fellow actors and information on his battle with manic depression.
Riju Ganguly
I had read about this version, but had actually read only the Kindle version. An outstanding book, depicting an outstanding actor of our times. Recommended.
Excellent study of the peerless Jeremy Brett and his superb turn as Sherlock Holmes in the Granada TV series of the 1980s and 1990s.
Christopher Roden
Re-read this again today, as I've just produced an eBook version. Still holds up as a fine study of the man and the series.
Made me watch the whole series again. Beautiful tribute to Brett. Makes you sad he is gone.
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  • The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes: The Life and Times of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
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David Stuart Davies was born in 1946. He was a teacher of English before becoming a full-time editor, writer, and playwright. Davies has written extensively about Sherlock Holmes, both fiction and non-fiction. He is the editor of Red Herrings, the monthly in-house publication of the Crime Writers' Association.
More about David Stuart Davies...
Sherlock Holmes: The Last Act (Big Finish Sherlock Holmes, #1.01) The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Veiled Detective The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Scroll of the Dead Sherlock Holmes And The Hentzau Affair (Tales Of Mystery & The Supernatural) The Shadows of Sherlock Holmes (Wordsworth Collection)

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