Generous Orthodoxy  

Monday, December 01, 2014

Bet you didn't know this!

I've become a maniacal Trollope devotee in my old age (OK, "young old") after a friend of my husband's gave me Barchester Towers. I thought I'd better begin at the beginning so I read The Warden first and was hooked for life. How odd that my mother, who was reading Dickens at age six (no exaggeration) never to my knowledge read Trollope. He wasn't in fashion then.

Anyway, while waiting for the rest of the Barchester Chronicles to come in at my indie bookstore, I read The Way We Live Now. What a terrific book. I kept saying to myself, this is about Bernie Madoff. After I'd thought that a dozen times, I went to Google, typed in "Augustus Melmotte Bernie Madoff" and bingo!  All kinds of people have made that connection.

So naturally, after I read it, I ordered the BBC videos of The Way We Live Now. I was immediately thrilled with David Suchet as Melmotte. What a superb performance! Melmotte to the life! wasn't long before I Googled David Suchet. Not being particularly an Agatha Christie fan, I hadn't seen his complete repertoire as Poirot. Don't miss Suchet's charming and touching reflections about Poirot; it's all there on the Wikipedia entry about Suchet. It definitely makes me want to see some of the Poirot performances, and one can't help admiring Suchet for his insights.

And now...are you ready for this? The Wikipedia article (yeah, I know, Wiki is not entirely dependable, but...) tells of his background as a Jew of mixed extraction and his nonreligious upbringing. Then it goes on to say,

Raised without religion, in 1986, Suchet underwent a religious conversion after reading Romans 8 in a hotel Bible; soon afterwards, he was baptised into the Church of England. Suchet stated in an interview with Strand Magazine, "I'm a Christian by faith. I like to think it sees me through a great deal of my life. I very much believe in the principles of Christianity and the principles of most religions, actually—that one has to abandon oneself to a higher good."[31] In 2012, Suchet made a documentary for the BBC on his personal hero, Saint Paul, to discover what he was like as a man by charting his evangelistic journey around the Mediterranean.[32]On 22 November 2012, the British Bible Society announced the appointment of David Suchet and Dr Paula Gooder as new vice-presidents. They joined the existing vice-presidents:John Sentamu (Archbishop of York), Vincent Nichols (Archbishop of Westminster), Barry Morgan (Archbishop of Wales), David F. Ford (Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge),Joel Edwards (International Director of Micah Challenge) and Lord Alton of Liverpool. 

Romans 8! St Paul! I think this amazing story will send us all back to that great chapter. And never underestimate the power of those hotel Bibles.

It's nice to know that Suchet was named an OBE (Officer of the British Empire) by the Queen in 2002 and promoted to CBE (Commander of...) in 2012.