Pillars of the Earth - so far

I'm almost finished reading Pillars of the Earth, a novel that I've been curious to read for several years so I finally took the plunge once I heard of it being adapted into a mini-series. I had heard that Matthew Macfadyen was cast as Prior Phillip but had no idea just how central a character he is! (I assumed from some of the press that Rufus Sewell was the lead character.) Although I knew MM was a monk, for some reason it completely slipped my mind that he would have a shaved head. When I read about the "fringe of hair around his shaved pate", (all the way on page 397), I actually gasped with shocked realization. I love the character of Prior Phillip, noble and good and pious. I can envision MM embodying that role. I don't consider myself a person obsessed with looks but I'm just not that thrilled with the prospect of seeing screencaps and icons made of a bare-headed Matthew. I'm holding out hope that the monks of his particular order just happened to sport some fashion of a hat! :)
[This doctored photo is a novice attempt at preparing myself for the actuality of seeing this beloved actor with a tonsure.]

By the way, I have mixed feelings about this novel. I have to say that it's been disappointing in some aspects from what I expected. Too graphic in some scenes, too boring in others and yet, I've stuck with it and I'm nearing the end of it, eager to find out what transpires for each of the characters.

>>back to info and cast pictures from upcoming Pillars of the Earth miniseries


  1. Charley, that is hilarious but of course it's always good to be prepared! We've been wondering the same thing on our forum and thought perhaps the same thing but not like this:

    tee hee!;-)

    Kathy SF

  2. i just finished re-reading Pillars and enjoyed visualizing all the actors in the roles. It made it much more interesting than the first time around 15 years ago. I agree that the press is making the Bishop (ian McShane) into the primary character but let's just acknowledge that Prior Phillip is the soul of the novel. I hope Mcfaddyn gets his proper creditr. I'm working on World Without End (the 200 year later follow-up) and it drags on forever.

  3. Kathy, I thought they would have posted pics of him by now and I'm surprised by my apprehension...but I just know that he'll make a perfect Prior Phillip!

    Judi, I thought they were featuring Rufus Sewell as the main character. I'm just surprised after reading it and seeing how Phillip is the character that ties everyone together, that they didn't come out saying, "starring Matthew Macfadyen". It's a great cast all around though!

  4. I read (listened) to this book on tape years ago, and can hardly remember it, except as you pointed out, the graphic details of carnal lust (to put it politely). But what most stood out was the descriptions of the building of the cathedral. I think I enjoyed that part the most, which fortunately took up a large part of the story.
    I'm also looking forward to seeing it come to life.

  5. @Time Traveling in Costume
    Val, This post is an older one. I did tune in for part of the first episode of the series but didn't stick with it. Just didn't appeal to me and after hearing feedback from others regarding content and changes made from the novel, I'm glad that I didn't watch it but that's just my take on it!

  6. I saw that it was an older one too late. I don't remember this ever being on tv because I certainly would have tried watching it. I guess I didn't miss much.



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