From Biographical Text to Biopic: Adapting the Cultural Memory of the Eighteenth Century
AbstractThe article investigates how recent biopics of eighteenth-century women can be seen to form and/or revise the cultural memory of the period, with a particular emphasis on how the individuals represented in biographical texts are portrayed as figures with which a modern audience can sympathize as the material is adapted for the screen. An analysis of changes that have been made in the adaptation processes of The Duchess (2009), A Royal Affair (2012), and The Scandalous Lady W (2015) shows some of the ways in which the concerns of the present are central to representations of the past. The cultural memory of eighteenth-century womanhood as constructed by and represented in biographical films of the past decade is inherently paradoxical: the almost exclusive focus on ‘scandalous’ women co-exists with consistent attempts to purge their life stories of elements that are regarded as scandalous today.
Since 2013, 1700-tal publishes all content online, currently with a one-year delay after the printed version is distributed.
Copyright on any content in 1700-tal is retained by the author(s).
Authors grant 1700-tal a license to publish their contributions in print and online or any other medium and to identify itself as the original publisher.
Authors give 1700-tal the right to distribute their contributions freely under a Creative Commons Attribution License. This implies that any third party has the right to use the contribution freely, provided that its original author(s), citation details and publisher are identified.
For more information on the Creative Commons Attribution License see https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Authors have the right to self-archive their contribution in its final form (publisher’s PDF) as soon as the printed version has been distributed.