• Wheels of Desire: The Popular Adaptations of A.E.W. Mason’s Thrillers from 1900s to the 1930s

      Weedon, Alexis; Baker, William; University of Bedfordshire; Northern Illinois University (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2015-07-01)
      In 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.