Browsing Media and film by Subjects
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An introduction to Elinor Glyn : her life and legacyThis special issue of Women: A Cultural Review re-evaluates an author who was once a household name, beloved by readers of romance, and whose films were distributed widely in Europe and the Americas. Elinor Glyn (1864–1943) was a British author of romantic fiction who went to Hollywood and became famous for her movies. She was a celebrity figure of the 1920s, and wrote constantly in Hearst's press. She wrote racy stories which were turned into films—most famously, Three Weeks (1924) and It (1927). These were viewed by the judiciary as scandalous, but by others—Hollywood and the Spanish Catholic Church—as acceptably conservative. Glyn has become a peripheral figure in histories of this period, marginalized in accounts of the youth-centred ‘flapper era’. Decades on, the idea of the ‘It Girl’ continues to have great pertinence in the post-feminist discourses of the twenty-first century. The 1910s and 1920s saw the development of intermodal networks between print, sound and screen cultures. This introduction to Glyn's life and legacy reviews the cross-disciplinary debate sparked by renewed interest in Glyn by film scholars and literary and feminist historians, and offers a range of views of Glyn's cultural and historical significance and areas for future research.
The origins of transmedia storytelling in early twentieth century adaptationThis book explores the significance of professional writers and their role in developing British storytelling in the 1920s and 1930s, and their influence on the poetics of today’s transmedia storytelling. Modern techniques can be traced back to the early twentieth century when film, radio and television provided professional writers with new formats and revenue streams for their fiction. The book explores the contribution of four British authors, household names in their day, who adapted work for film, television and radio. Although celebrities between the wars, Clemence Dane, G.B. Stern, Hugh Walpole and A.E.W Mason have fallen from view. The popular playwright Dane, witty novelist Stern and raconteur Walpole have been marginalised for being German, Jewish, female or gay and Mason’s contribution to film has been overlooked also. It argues that these and other vocational authors should be reassessed for their contribution to new media forms of storytelling. The book makes a significant contribution in the fields of media studies, adaptation studies, and the literary middlebrow.
The special relationship and the allure of transatlantic travel in the work of Elinor GlynWinston Churchill famously said that the United Kingdom and the United States of America had a ‘special relationship’. This article takes a look at Elinor Glyn's Atlantic travel in her life and in her novels, and her visits to the United States, drawing on her archives, her memoir, magazine articles and contemporary newspaper reports of her trips. Her novel Six Days (1924) was adapted into a popular silent film which was exhibited in Europe and the United States. It is a combination of love and romance, transatlantic travel on a Cunard liner, a secret military mission and political cooperation, and is taken as an example of how the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom has been depicted in romance novels. It draws parallels between the movies 6 Days (1923) and Titanic (1997). This article was the keynote address at the Love Across the Atlantic Conference at the University of Roehampton in June 2017.
Wheels of Desire: The Popular Adaptations of A.E.W. Mason’s Thrillers from 1900s to the 1930sIn the early twentieth century, Alfred Edward Woodley Mason’s (1865-1948) stories were adapted across the media in an early form of today’s practice of transmedia publication. He wrote over twenty stories in the 1920s and 1930s and had a remarkable number of film adaptations. For literary and film historians and scholars of contemporary publishing, he is an example of a British author engaging in process of adaption as his works were transferred to the stage, “realised” by the movie studios and adapted for the new medium of BBC radio. His films were cited as “Britain’s reply to the American talkie monopoly” in 1931. Mason was not as active as some of this contemporaries in exploiting the potential of his work across the different media: authors like H.G. Wells who he commended for being involved in film, Hugh Walpole and Elinor Glyn were far more deeply engaged with the studios. However his particular gifts as a storyteller, traveller and observer of character lead him to write the film-story. And if that story was not yet structured through film grammar to keep suspense or quite with a movie’s narrative arc, the adaptations of his works were milestones in that development.