Nineteenth-century women at the movies: adapting classic women's fiction to film

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Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1999 - Literary Criticism - 321 pages
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Even in Hollywood's world of blockbusters and special effects, there continues to be an interest in adaptations based on the works of writers of other eras, especially the classic novels of nineteenth-century women. Those novels, as accessible, as relevant, and as endearing to modern film audiences as they have been to generations of readers, emphasize strong female protagonists, fine language, and sensitivity to social nuances. And the important issues explored in much of that classic fiction -- inequities of patriarchal structures and ambivalence over male domination (Jane Eyre), fear of science and technology gone awry (Frankenstein), unconventional notions of gender and sexuality (Under Two Flags), evils of slavery (Uncle Tom's Cabin) -- speak as strongly to contemporary women as to women of Shelley's or Bronte's age.

Nineteenth-Century Women at the Movies analyzes in detail the adaptations of novels by eight popular writers -- Mary Shelley, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Louisa May Alcott, Ouida, and George Eliot -- and examines the ways in which those writers' themes are reinterpreted, updated, and often misconstrued by the filmmakers who bring them to the screen. The volume's twelve essays, whose authors include some of the foremost scholars of contemporary literature and film, offer critical insights not only into the visions of the novelist and the filmmaker but also into contemporary cultural concerns.

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Contents

Frankenstein and Film
23
Adapting Pride
78
Screen Adaptations of Emma
106
Austens Sense and Sensibility
140
The Problem of Heathcliff
167
Feminism in Brontes Jane Eyre and Its Film Versions
192
Little Women
257
Reviving Cigarette
275
George Eliot on the American Screen
299
Contributors
319
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