“David Copperfield” Material in the BFI Archive

I’ve made this spreadsheet of all the material the BFI Film and Television archive has on various “David Copperfield” adaptations, which I hope may be of use to anyone doing Dickens/adaptation theory research. I’d have added nonfiction coverage of the book too, but none turned up.

Here’s a spreadsheet of their film and video material. My organisation should be pretty self-explanatory.

Just FYI, I believe you can get the full 1913 edition online here. As far as the other video material goes, the 1935, 1970, 1974, and 1999 can be easily found online or bought, and I bet you could shake down the 1986 if you really tried (it’s late enough). The 1966, starring Ian McKellen, is partial, and very hard to find indeed. This is, to my knowledge, the only location for it.

And here’s the simpler information on their scripts, documents and ephemera holdings:

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Here’s what a pressbook is. What I’ve not yet done is look into the BBC Written Archives, which I expect will have a lot more material.
Please check my ‘David Copperfield’ tag for the list of adaptations (which you can cross-reference with this document) and the novel’s timeline.

“The Charming Home”


I wrote an essay for Hypocrite Reader’s “Magic” issue on the history and mechanics of British domestic charms. It’s thesis material, so maybe some facts and formulations you haven’t heard before!

The above illustration, the magazine’s cover art for the issue, is by Rose Lewis.

“The history of human habitation in Britain is simultaneously a history of domestic charms. For over a millennium, marks, architectural decoration and hidden objects worked together to enrich homes and to protect them from both quotidian and exceptional threats. Charms were installed during the building process and maintained and refreshed throughout a structure’s habitation, thus marking out the shared communal life of a home, which usually outlasted the family that had built it. These approaches rely in turns on display and secrecy, thus revealing the seeming contradictions at the heart of domestic magic. “Charm,” in the many senses of the term, is best understood as a network of related phenomena, all of which draw strength from a series of binary oppositions: threat and comfort, public and private, cajoling seduction and violent force. Attempting to reconcile these contrasts is impossible, but more than that it’s beside the point. Charm is a series of practices, affects and relations generated by playing with and traveling between such antitheses: a way of negotiating oppositions and a mode of working in the world, expressed in magic, literature and interaction. In looking into the history and governing logics of domestic magic, we gain valuable insights into the lived experience of people in the past. More than that, we begin to apprehend key aspects of the world we occupy today, and our own behaviours, both of which are still shaped by this inheritance.”

Read the rest here, and check out the rest of the issue here.

Fiction: “No Holds Bard: Modern LGBTQ+ fiction inspired by the works of William Shakespeare”


“Ten authors, twelve extraordinary stories. From a novel solution to the Plantagenet succession crisis to revelations about the private lives of Prince Hal and – separately! – Brutus and Cassius, plus a surprise ending for Twelfth Night, no play is safe. We have marriage proposals and murder; subtle scheming villainy; a missing manuscript; a haunting… Whether set within the framework of a play, or spotlighting actors, characters, or the Bard himself, these stories will have you viewing Shakespeare in a whole new light. It’s definitely not the kind of thing they taught us in school…

Take a deep breath. Dive in. Prepare to be astonished!”

Tag yourself, I’m ‘a novel solution to the Plantagenet succession crisis’.

Couched in a Curious Bed
Erin Horáková
Having lost his youngest son, a shaken but still-living York is determined to bring the War of the Roses to a swift end – preferably one that will benefit his family. The Lancastrian queen and heir are dead, and, medieval diplomacy being what it is, the best hope for peace lies in a highly unexpected royal marriage.

You can purchase this book here.


Engage, Episode 87: “Kirk Drift” (podcast)


Here I am on “Engage”, CBS’s official Star Trek podcast, hosted by Jordan Hoffman.

“March 05, 2018

Episode 87: Kirk Drift!


What if I told you that James T. Kirk Is not really the macho, womanizing captain that he is often remembered as?  This week on Engage, we welcome writer Erin Horáková, author of “Freshly Remember’d: Kirk Drift” which explains just how our collective conscious settled on this exaggerated depiction of our beloved captain.  You can check out the article in full at strangehorizons.com.


Listen here.

Paddington 2 (review)


One night at after-work drinks, a developer on my girlfriend’s team announced without any irony that “Paddington 2 is sick.” “It’s like, really political,” he continued approvingly, his East London accent coming on especially strong a few beers in. Indeed, Paddington 2 is both sick and thoroughly political from start to finish. If the first film was “fuck UKIP, the children’s movie,” Paddington 2 maintains an unimpeachable level of craft, reinforces this stance and pushes itself to think and to say yet a little more.

Read full article here.

Nirvana in Fire / Lángyá Bǎng (review)


In December of 2017, The Wind Blows in Chang Lin, the sequel to Nirvana in Fire, or Lángyá Bǎng, began airing in China. Though it is probable that many readers of this site were completely unaware of the event, it was without exaggeration one of the most anticipated releases in the world. The original Nirvana in Fire had, after all, been an incredible success both as an online serial novel and as a 2015 television series, “surpassing ten million views by its second day, and receiving a total number of daily internet views on iQiyi of over 3.3 billion by the end of the series. Nirvana in Fire was considered a social media phenomenon, generating 3.55 billion posts on Sina Weibo that praised its characters and story-line. As of December 2016, it has a total view of 13 billion views as reported by VLinkage.” [1]

Of course, a Chinese series may have 13 billion “legitimate” views, incredibly well-received Korean and Japanese syndications, and popular fan translations into various languages and yet raise not one whisper in Anglophone media discourse. There the boosterising think pieces sit, chewing the exhausted fat of a mediocre direct-to-Netflix serial with a title not even the pieces’ writers will clearly remember in two years’ time, exalting prestige television that uses its indisputably high production values to tell maybe three discrete, distended soap operatic stories which center middle-class white male subjectivity in played-out Modernist crisis say 80% of the time. We are given to understand that good television began existing a decade ago, exclusively in the US and maybe a little bit in the UK, with special mention of that Nordic crime thing you like, and that the world is even now bounded in the nutshell of the coastal borders of the US. The fact that this is nakedly market-driven, ahistorical nonsense—and frankly racist—is not particularly important to such analyses.

I am reviewing the original Nirvana in Fire now because, quite soon, the fansubs of the sequel will percolate out. They will be very imperfect, but they are all you will get, because there will be no official translations. [2] In order to engage with The Wind Blows in Chang Lin you will probably want to know something about the original Nirvana in Fire, which alas has the same translation issue. And the original is so revelatory that for all this you had better give it a go or I will come to your house and kill you in real life, I swear to god.

Read full article here.