a BOOK about Queen Victoria’s relationship with her trusted Indian aide abdul Karim in the late 1800s is set to be turned into a film starring Dame Judi Dench.
Victoria and Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closet Confidant by Sharbani Basu captures the true story of the friendship between the British monarch and her Indian servant Karim in the later years of her rule.
“I’m absolutely delighted that my book is in such safe hands. To have Dame Judi Dench play Victoria is absolutely perfect. With Stephen Frears directing and the screenplay by Lee Hall, it’s a dream team,” said Basu.
The writer is a London-based journalist and author of books including Spy Princess and most recently For King and Another Country. “as a writer, one spends years sitting in archives and researching a piece of for- gotten history. It’s a great feeling when the book goes out into the world and you can share the story. The film will take it to an even wider audience,” she said.
Karim was just 24 years old when he arrived in england from agra to wait at tables during Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee in 1887. He grew close to the Queen becoming her teacher and instructing her in urdu and Indian affairs.
award-winning British filmmaker Frears, who directed The Queen starring Helen mirren, will now transform the tale for celluloid with Oscar-winning Dench.
The film will mark the second time the 81-year- old star plays the historical figure, after her performance in Mrs Brown for which she received an Oscar nomination.