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The Handmaid’s Tale

The release of The Testaments by Margaret Atwood is one of the biggest literary moments of the year. Fans of The Handmaid’s Tale author have been awaiting this release forever and it’s safe to say they will not be disappointed.

It has already been shortlisted for The Book Prize 2019 and it hasn’t even hit bookshops yet.

Chair of Booker Judges, Peter Florence said, “[It is] a savage and beautiful novel, and it speaks to us today, all around the world, with particular conviction and power… The bar is set particularly high for Atwood and she soars over it… I can’t wait for everyone to read it.”

The Testaments will answer everything readers have wanted to know about Gilead and its inner workings. Atwood said, “The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in,” so there’s no doubt this tale with hit home, especially for female readers.


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Atwood brings the iconic Handmaid’s Tale story to a dramatic conclusion in this gripping sequel. More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results.

Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood will cement itself in the literary world and become one of the most iconic books of our time.

Published by Penguin on Tuesday, September 10, 2019.


New guidelines of been released by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to reflect the public audience's changing views on sexual content and violence.

Research shows that a surprising 95% of teenagers have been calling for stronger classification on media, with the youth especially worried about watching fictional scenarios which could realistically occur in their own lives.

The BBFC are implementing alterations which sees movies depicting rape and sexual violence as rated 15 rather than 12A.

Keira Knightley's famous period drama The Duchess, which was classified in the 12 category at the time of release, would now be considered as 15 under the new guidelines as a result of the rape scene.

In the study involving more than 10,000 people, 97% of parents as well as young people are asking for stricter guidelines for online content and tougher classification.

David Austin, BBFC chief executive, said: “Over the last five years the way we consume film and video has changed beyond all recognition. That’s why it’s so important that there is consistency between what people watch on and offline."

Austin continued; “The research shows that parents and teenagers want us to give them the information and guidance that they need to view what’s right for them."

“We are updating our standards around depictions of sexual violence and very strong sex references to reflect changes in public attitudes," he continued.

Since 2014, British views of sex have consistently transformed and progressed with the times. Audiences now want higher classifications for sexual content.

BBFC claim that “the language of pornography” and strong sexual references are also expected to gain an 18 certificate.

The BBFC maintain that audiences are more tolerant of violent content than other potentially troubling material, according to their research, which is worrying.

Austin added: “We’re here to listen to what people want, which is why they trust our age ratings. So it’s encouraging to know that we’ve been classifying content in line with what people want and expect when it comes to difficult themes around credible real-life scenarios."

“We also know that people are more comfortable with issues such as action violence," he concluded. The guidelines will be officially released on February 28.


Margaret Atwood is writing a sequel to her novel The Handmaid's Tale. 

The new offering is reported to be inspired by the current state of the modern world.

In a statement, Atwood said: 'Dear Readers, everything you've ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book.'


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'Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we've been living in.'

The new book, called The Testaments, will be published on 10 September 2019.

The original novel, written in 1985, has since sold over 8 million copies. 

The book was then adapted into an exceptionally popular two-series TV show in 2017 and 2018 respectively. 

The show has been nominated for 18 Emmy Awards across both series, of which it has won 6.

The handmaid's red capes and white bonnets became synonymous as symbols of an oppressive society, symbolism which was used in marches to repeal the 8th amendment in Ireland ahead of the landmark referendum in May, and in America in protest against POTUS Donald Trump. 


The Handmaid's Tale is by no means an easy watch – we would never want to even visit the totalitarian society of Gilead – but it is utterly engrossing.

While the TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood's classic novel proves as dystopian as its source material, it still feels awfully relevant to our time. As well, we can't help but be captivated by the grim yet gripping story.

We've been looking forward to the second series ever since we finished the first, and now we have all the info on where you can watch season two when it premieres.

RTÉ2 is set to be the first broadcaster to show The Handmaid's Tale series two in Europe, on Thursday 26 April at 10.35pm, the day after it premieres in the US.

As well, there will be live streaming and on-demand availability through RTÉ Player.

We are so looking forward to Elisabeth Moss' compelling performance, as well as those of her co-stars Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Alexis Bledel, Madeline Brewer, Ann Dowd, O.T. Fagbenle, Max Minghella, and Samira Wiley.

And if you want a sneak peek of series two, be sure to check out the trailer here!

Think you'll be tuning in to the next season of The Handmaid's Tale?


Who else was addicted to the gripping first season of The Handmaid's Tale?

Much like the novel in which the series was based, it presented a dystopian vision of the future so far from our own, but eerily relevant to current times. 

And now, despite the creators having used up the source material for season one, the second season is almost here and moving into uncharted territory.  

Elisabeth Moss's Offred seeks to find freedom — or perhaps something else — as she's left behind the home where she once served as a Handmaid, as we see in the newest trailer. 

It also features a glimpse at Offred’s friend Moira and the Commander and his wife arguing over Offred’s disappearance, and many more familiar and new faces.

But the good news is, despite the book being essentially finished in terms of the original story, author Margaret Atwood, who started writing The Handmaid's Tale in 1984 will have a greater role in the script's development.

'I think I will be more involved in the second season because we will be in uncharted territories, so more invention will have to take place,' she explained to Entertainment Weekly

As you'll see from the trailer below, these uncharted territories look pretty terrifying but we still can't wait for the new series. 

Season 2 premieres on Hulu April 25th in the States and hopefully over here soon after. 



If you're anything like us, you were more than obsessed with Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale in 2017. 

Luckily, season 2 is on the way this coming April, and the trailer has arrived.

As well as giving us an inkling of what to expect from the coming season, the snippet of the show gave us literal shivers thanks to the dramatic scenes and eerie soundtrack. 

The trailer revealed a number of things, following on from the handmaid's final rebellion at the end of season 1.

June, or Offred as she is know in Gilead, can be seen striking a match to her handmaid's uniform. 

According to the trailer, Janine avoided being stoned to death, as she can be seen gazing in to the distance in a stark landscape, widely believed to be a work camp. 

It's clear that the new season will take place in multiple locations outside the walls of the Commander's home, with wastelands, dark tunnels and Moira's new life in Canada all featuring in the ad. 

Well, we won't keep you in suspense, check it out for yourself:



Along with 13 Reasons Why and Big Little Lies; The Handmaid's Tale has fast become one of the most-watched TV series' of this year.

For those of you who haven't seen it yet (where have you been?), it takes place in a dystopian future, where fertile women are held captive to conceive children for sterile women and men.

The Handmaids are forced to live under a fundamentalist dictatorship, and the acts that take place on the show are both shocking and at times, hard to watch.


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Let's just say it certainly gripped us, so we were delighted to find out season two is on the way.

And the next season could very well be filmed in Ireland.

Cinematographer Reed Morano, who directed the first series, is currently in Ireland scouting locations, and many fans believe she's hunting for places to film The Handmaid's Tale.



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Reed is in Wicklow at the moment and posted a picture on Instagram with the caption, "recce."

As we all know, recce stands for reconnaissance, which means she's checking out various places for filming locations.

People in Wicklow – look out for those red cloaks!


The Handmaid's Tale has definitely been one of the most stand-out series of the year so far.

The TV adaptation of the book under the same name blew us away from start to finish, and many believe it relates to issues women face today (the book was first published in 1985).

Well, the author of The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood, recently spoke to The Boston Review, and in between discussing the rise of Donald Trump and speculative fiction, another conversation came about.

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If you don't know already, Margaret is from Canada. And while being interviewed with fellow author Junot Díaz, he pointed out that along with Margaret, the other great person to come out of Canada recently is Drake.

Yep, the rapper Drake.

Junot began by saying, "I just think that, Canada– I’ll say this to the whole nation – you are missing a great opportunity to put these two folks together. Have you listened to his music? Do you have any opinions?"

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To which Margaret replied, "Wouldn’t it be fun for him to have a cameo in season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale?"

She continued, "I’ll drop that notion into the ear of Bruce Miller, the showrunner, and see what he can do with that, because of course the show is filmed in Toronto. Maybe Drake could help smuggle someone?"

OK, yes! How awesome would it be if Drake popped up and helped the revolution?!


Bookworms unite!

Emma Watson is at it again and this time she's been busy hiding copies of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale in mystery locations around Paris.

The distopian novel has experienced somewhat of a resurgence in recent times thanks to its critically acclaimed TV adaptation, starring Elisabeth Moss, so it makes sense that Emma, an avid reader and women's rights advocate, would want to spread the book's feminist message.

The title also just so happens to be this month's selection in the actor's online book club, Our Shared Shelf.  

Emma's post sparked a huge scavenger hunt across the French capital, and lucky fans have taken to Twitter to post their findings.  

We can't help but feel insanely jealous of everyone in Paris right now.