Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Movie about Dido Elizabeth Belle Coming Spring 2014

Update: Movie due to be released May 22nd. 2014!!!

I saw a posting by the author of Snowbound Kim Golden on Goodreads that she had seen a trailer for this movie and I almost fell out of my chair. I am so excited! I can not wait to see this movie. I knew nothing of Dido Belle until I saw the famous painting of her and her cousin when I went to Scotland and visited Scone Palace in Perth where it was displayed. I almost missed it until my daughter pointed it out in an area that I had not yet wandered into. I was so grateful that I did not miss seeing this in person, I would have been very upset to say the least. I looked up information on her when we got back home to England where we were living at the time, but I didn't find much and soon forgot all about it. Now there is a movie about her life due out this spring and I am beside myself with glee! I am a big history nerd and I am especially interested in the lives of people of African descent during this time period. THIS. IS.AWESOME!

Here's a little information on Dido Belle from Wikipedia:

Dido Elizabeth Belle (1761–1804) was an illegitimate daughter of Admiral Sir John Lindsay and an enslaved African woman known as Maria Belle: little is known about the latter except that she was biracial.[citation needed] Her daughter Dido was sent to live in the household of William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, who was Lindsay's uncle and thus Dido's great-uncle.

From acclaimed biographer Paula Byrne, the sensational true tale that inspired the major motion picture Belle (May 2014) starring Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Emily Watson, Penelope Wilton, and Matthew Goode—a stunning story of the first mixed-race girl introduced to high society England and raised as a lady.  

The illegitimate daughter of a captain in the Royal Navy and an enslaved African woman, Dido Belle was sent to live with her great-uncle, the Earl of Mansfield, one of the most powerful men of the time and a leading opponent of slavery. Growing up in his lavish estate, Dido was raised as a sister and companion to her white cousin, Elizabeth. When a joint portrait of the girls, commissioned by Mansfield, was unveiled, eighteenth-century England was shocked to see a black woman and white woman depicted as equals. Inspired by the painting, Belle vividly brings to life this extraordinary woman caught between two worlds, and illuminates the great civil rights question of her age: the fight to end slavery.

Belle includes 20 pages of black-and-white photos.

Now the trailer!

If you would like to read up a little more on Belle you can click Blouin Art Info to read the article on the movie. There is also a good posting about Dido at  Elizabeth Hanbury's blog you may enjoy. If you would enjoy viewing some still shots from the filming click here to go get a peek!


  1. I am really looking forward to seeing "Belle". The trailer had me hooked! And it's not so often that we hear anything about the experience of blacks in Georgian England, so this should make for a very interesting film. Must read the book too! I hardly knew anything about Dido Elizabeth Belle, other than having seen the painting in an art history book. Now I am very curious to learn more about her :)

    1. Me too Kim! The film is by the same director of 40 Years a Slave and it looks amazing! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Enjoyed this! Wow, we have a bit in common in that we lived in England for a spell, I was there almost 12 years. ;-) As for this exciting movie and tale, I learned about it years ago in the 80's while I was researching for my story Princess Ces'alena - and it gave me such purchase, basis, and great foundation to build my story in confidence. My daughter has screening tickets, for the 13th - I cannot wait! A group of us are going and I'm taking pen and paper for notes to give it a serious review.

    Well done and written - and I can't wait to talk about it after we all see it!

    1. Getting to see a screening is so exciting! I will definitely be seeing this one with both of my daughters!


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