11 Important and Interesting Facts about Anne Bradstreet

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

Anne Bradstreet (1612-72) holds a special place in American literature, and has a notable claim to fame. Her life as one of the first immigrants to the New World in the 1630s helped to inform the poetry she wrote, which often deals with everyday themes: family life, her marriage and her children, and the various challenges and tribulations faced by early colonial settlers in America.

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10 Fascinating Film Adaptations of American Novels

In this guest post, Andrew Dix discusses ten cinematic adaptations of US novels

Film, right from its beginnings very late in the nineteenth century, has been obsessed with literature. Literary adaptation appealed to early filmmakers as a source of cultural respectability: the first movies were shown in venues of popular entertainment such as fairgrounds and circuses, and an association with literature, it was felt, would give film greater artistic prestige. Literature, and novels in particular, also offered a ready source of stories to feed the new medium’s appetite for narrative material.

It was not only English, French and other European novels that proved attractive to these pioneering filmmakers, but American novels too. The earliest screen version of Uncle Tom’s Cabin appeared in 1903, condensing Harriet Beecher Stowe’s long novel into nineteen minutes. Louisa M. Alcott’s Little Women made the first of many appearances on film in 1917; Twain’s Huckleberry Finn debuted in cinemas in 1920. Herman Melville’s Moby Dick was adapted for the first time in 1926, as a silent movie entitled The Sea Beast. There are several curious things about this adaptation, one being that it was remade as a ‘talkie’ four years later (this time called Moby Dick), another that it invented a half-brother for Captain Ahab and gave him the unlikely name of Derek.

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December 2 in Literary History: Dickens Gives First Public Reading in America

The most significant events in the history of books on the 2nd of December

1814: Marquis de Sade dies. As well as giving us the word ‘sadist’ for one who enjoys inflicting pain on others, Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade (to cite his full name) was also a novelist who wrote Justine in just two weeks in 1787, while imprisoned in the Bastille.

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Five Fascinating Facts about Just William

An interesting history of the popular children’s books, Just William

In 1922, T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land was published, James Joyce celebrated the publication of his novel Ulysses and Virginia Woolf’s third novel Jacob’s Room appeared. But amongst all this highbrow modernist literature, there was also another literary phenomenon arriving on the scene. He was eleven-year-old English schoolboy William Brown, who would become known to millions of devoted readers as ‘Just William’.

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Five Reasons Everyone Should Know Ernest Dowson

What’s the connection between wine, poetry, Gone with the Wind, and soccer? In a couple of previous posts, on George Meredith and Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, we’ve endeavoured to find five interesting things about two of Victorian literature’s neglected figures. Now it’s the turn of Ernest Dowson – decadent poet. Some of these are particularly surprising. 1. … Read more