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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Bronte News and Update on BBC Search
Last Sunday Kenneth Griffith, Mr Mason in the 1970 production of Jane Eyre with Susannah York and George C. Scott, died at the age of 84. Thanks to peridramnews for the notice.

Well, now we have this article from the Guardian about the limited re-release of Daphne duMaurier's Rebecca. In passing this painfully psychoanalytic article suggests that all romances are paedophilic.

Whether it's Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Bridget Jones's Diary or any old Mills and Boon novel, the grist that feeds the fantasy mill is the same.

Several Bronteana readers have sent in some info which should be helpful in tracking down some of these remaining adaptations which are not currently available. Liz, who wrote to the BBC about the Villette mini series sends the whole text of their email reply which certainly suggests that the series exists but that copyright arrangements prevent distribution of copies- thus, the letter writing compaign mentioned earlier.

Also, Biedroneczka sends along a list she found of BBC productions of Jane Eyre from a site connected to the BBC archives. This is the list (programmes denote episodes):

6 programmes in 1956
6 programmes in 1963
5 programmes in 1972 (radio)
5 programmes in 1973
11 programmes in 1983
3 programmes in 1990 (radio)
4 programmes in 1994 (radio)
15 programmes in 2004 (radio)

In my travels I came across one source claiming there had been productions in the 1940s as well. It is possible that they were mistaken, or perhaps this list is of those versions extant. The 1972 radio adaptation must be the Megwynn Owen/Patrick Allen series. And possibly the 1994 version is the one with Sophie Thompson and Ciaran Hinds. I have not heard the 1990 and 2004 versions yet (15 episodes?!).


siansaksa said...

LOL! That article in Guardian is hilarious... in a bad sort of way! I am wondering what the author would have said about JE, how she or he would decode the "deeply encoded female pornography" she/he seems to have found in all those novels :)

Liz said...

Ha! I liked that Greer article. All that sub-Freudian feminist stuff is a bit old hat these days, though, and kind of obvious. I much prefer the theory that Maxim has repressed his gay tendencies and all the angst comes from the fact that he secretly wants to get off with Frank! It's interesting though, that although Rebecca is in some ways a sequel/copy of Jane Eyre, the psychosexual dynamics are completely different. And of course subject to many different interpretations.

I don't remember a 2004 Jane Eyre at all!

Brontëana said...

to siansaska:

Oh, I think I can guess what they would have said about Jane Eyre!

Brontëana said...

to liz:

I must say, I'm not a fan of the freudian approach. Psychoanalysis can be really intriguing but often it's more fruitloopy than fruitful. ;) Like the article I read about Rochester being castrated linguistically... (The unholy combination of freudian psychoanalytic theory and structural linguistics!).

Biedroneczka has provided some more info on the 2004 version here.

mysticgypsy said...

"Like the article I read about Rochester being castrated linguistically... (The unholy combination of freudian psychoanalytic theory and structural linguistics!)."

Would you happen to have a link to this article? Or the name of the source where you got it from? I'd like to take a look.

Thanks :)

Alison said...

I think the 1990 radio Rochester may have been Sean Barrett. I remember that I heard bits of it repeated and did have a recording at one point.