I received an email from an editor at Wiley Blackwell informing me that a book I contributed to has been published, and will be available soon in bookstores. This book is quite expensive, and will most probably be used as a university textbook, but I do want to share details about it here (I should probably mention however that the paperback version, which will be published later, will be MUCH cheaper). It feels like so much of the work I do is for a selective and small audience, and I often feel frustrated that it won’t reach more people. At the same time though, I understand the importance of publishing years’ worth of research in concrete form. So much of my writing and research is shared via a balancing act of what will be published in print form and what gets published on this blog. I like this balancing act, because it’s like a bridge.
The book is called A Companion to the Historical Film, published by Wiley Blackwell, and edited by Robert A. Rosenstone and Constantin Parvulescu. Robert Rosenstone is a historian whose work I often read when I was doing my PhD. To be accepted by him for a book collection was a great thrill. He’s also worked on movie sets as a historical consultant, and so he brings practical experience to the examination of the relationship between film and history. Which is what this book is about. You can read the book description here, and this is the table of contents. Amazon also allows you to peek inside.
My essay is chapter 10 of the book: ‘Authorial Histories: The Historical Film and the Literary Biopic’. I talk about the developing film genre of the literary biopic (biographical historical films of an author’s life), and how this genre shapes and reflects our current perceptions of history. I specifically analyse two films from this genre: John Maybury’s The Edge of Love (on Dylan Thomas and his ‘muses’) and Jane Campion’s Bright Star (on John Keats and Fanny Brawne). Some of the things I talk about in this essay are expanded forms of topics I’ve raised on this blog about history, film and literature.
And on a somewhat related note: HIRE ME! I made a deal with myself that this year would be the year I would put more effort into submitting both fictional and critical work for publication, and also seek out more freelance writing and research work. I have experience doing all manner of freelance writing, editing and researching. For example, some of the freelance writing and editing work I’ve done includes proofreading book manuscripts, acting as an external reviewer for publishers, helping individuals edit material to be published on professional websites, online content creation, writing poems for someone’s wedding invitations, writing essays for art programs and exhibitions, writing online journalism and for magazines, writing material for various companies’ blogs (The Australian Ballet, and others), and other marketing materials.
I also have extensive research experience and have been hired to do research for both individuals seeking specific information, to large institutions seeking help on specific projects and grants, including government grants. I’ve researched many, many topics, and they have not been limited to just arts and humanities areas. My rates are reasonable, so if you’re interested, please email me for more details.
However, one final note to students: please don’t send me requests to write university/school essays for you, or to research such essays. This is cheating, and I obviously don’t endorse that. You’d be surprised how many times I get these requests. The answer will always be a firm no. And please remember that many of my friends may also be your lecturers, tutors and professors, so it’s not a smart move to send me such emails. Just saying (hint, hint).
Image credits: My own screen captures from Bright Star and The Edge of Love, published in A Companion to the Historical Film.