The History of British Literature on Film, 1895-2015

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-05-21
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
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From The Death of Nancy Sykes (1897) to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) and beyond, cinematic adaptations of British literature participate in a complex and fascinating history. The History of British Literature on Film, 1895-2015 is the only comprehensive narration of cinema's 100-year-old love affair with British literature. Unlike previous studies of literature and film, which tend to privilege particular authors such as Shakespeare and Jane Austen, or particular texts such as Frankenstein, or particular literary periods such as Medieval, this volume considers the multiple functions of filmed British literature as a cinematic subject in its own right-one reflecting the specific political and aesthetic priorities of different national and historical cinemas. In what ways has the British literary canon authorized and influenced the history and aesthetics of film, and in what ways has filmed British literature both affirmed and challenged the very idea of literary canonicity? Seeking to answer these and other key questions, this indispensable study shows how these adaptations emerged from and continue to shape the social, artistic, and commercial aspects of film history.

Author Biography

Greg Semenza is Associate Professor of English at the University of Connecticut. His books include The English Renaissance in Popular Culture (2010), Graduate Study for the 21st Century: How to Build an Academic Career in the Humanities (2005; 2nd ed. 2010), Milton in Popular Culture (2006), and Sport, Politics, and Literature in the English Renaissance (2004). He has published numerous essays on film and recently edited for Shakespeare Studies a special forum issue entitled "After Shakespeare on Film."

Robert Hasenfratz is Professor of English at the University of Connecticut. His books include Reading Old English (2005/11), Ancrene Wisse (2001), and Beowulf Scholarship: An Annotated Bibliography 1979-1990 (1993). He has written articles on medieval literature and culture and edits the Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: 'Weird, Mystical, Barbaric': Brit-lit on Film, 1896-1906
Chapter 2: 'Crude, Vicious, and Lascivious Entertainments': The Arrival of the Brit-lit Film, 1907-1920
Chapter 3: The High Silent Era (1920-1929)
Chapter 4: The Talkies (1929-1938)
Chapter 5: War and its Aftermath: (1939-1954)
Chapter 6: The Legacy of Auteurism: 1954-1970s
Chapter 7: The Brit-Lit Film as Genre: 1970s-1989
Chapter 8: Globalism, Independence, and Beyond: 1990-2010

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