Like most women of her time Jane Austen lived out her life on home ground. Her adventurous brothers meant however that she was very much in touch with her age. Coupling this with her own remarkable personality she produced some of the finest novels in English literature. This film by Malcolm Hossick covers her life and background and ends with an overview of her work.
This film by Malcolm Hossick explores the life and work of William Blake. He was born the son of a hosier in the then respectable district of Soho in London. He had no formal education but was taught by his mother. He was a voracious reader and as a boy he drew constantly. He studied at an art school and learned the trade of engraving by which he lived. His painting and poetry were valued by only a few in his own times and he died in poverty. Gradually over the ensuing centuries his reputation has grown until now he is highly regarded as a remarkable and talented visionary. The film includes several of his unusual illustrated poems. It is followed by a brief overview of his work.
This program introduces the rich imaginative life of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë, exposed to the world of literature by their father Patrick Brontë priest, examiner, and writer. The family struggled with poverty, and the family home Haworth and moorland provided inspiration for the daughters. Charlotte and Emily were educated at Cowan Bridge School, later the inspiration for Charlotte’s Jane Eyre, until their father could no longer ignore the mistreatment they suffered there. Afterward, the Brontë daughters pursued education at home, where they had access to literature, contemporary art, newspapers, and magazines. When their father got sick, the sisters tried to earn a living, but all the girls struggled with the stifling loss of freedom of being a teacher, student, or governess, and Emily returned to Haworth quickly. After years of trying to live as governesses, the three set out to open their own school.
This film by Malcolm Hossick follows the life and times of the 18th century Scottish poet, Robert Burns. Burns came from a simple farming background but his poetry was soon accepted as of remarkable quality and he is now remembered as the ploughman poet. The film includes examples of his work and is followed by an overview of his work.
This film in the Famous Author series by Malcolm Hossick tries to uncover the astonishing life of Daniel Defoe who wrote Robinson Crusoe, one of the earliest novels to achieve world wide success. Defoe was a dissenting Christian when deviation from the norm was dangerous. He made a fortune making bricks just after London burned down: he was a very active government spy and he was one of the busiest writers ever. What a man! The film is followed by an overview of his works.
This film by Malcolm Hossick follows the improbable life of Emily Dickinson writing very imaginative poetry in the little New England town of Amherst in the middle of the 19th century. Against all the odds her work, largely unpublished during her lifetime was printed and has found an appreciative audience. A brief overview of her work follows.
John Donne was born into a fascinating and creative period of human history. He got the best education on offer in the England of Queen Elizabeth and hardly out of his teens he was recognised as a poet of astonishing ability. In a period when the pace was set by no less a mortal than Shakespeare Donne had a unique way with words and ideas which delighted and amazed his brightest contemporaries. But it was an age of terrible religious division and as a Roman Catholic by birth he was at once at odds with the prevailing Protestant faith. It was a problem that coloured his whole life and this film by Malcolm Hossick covers the course of his work and the struggles he had to make his way. It includes several of his delightful poems and we see how in spite of his travails Donne’s positive spirit rose above them all.
George Eliot was born Mary Anne Evans in 1819 near the small town of Nuneaton in Warwickshire. Her father ran the estate of the local landowner. She had an excellent education in local schools and took up journalism. She began writing novels when she was over 30 and became one of the most celebrated and influential writers of her age. The film by Malcolm Hossick traces her life and her remarkable achievements in fields until then dominated by men. It is followed by a brief overview of her work.
Introduces the major themes of Faulkner’s poems, plays, short stories, and novels. The film contextualizes life in the American south in the first half of the 20th century; Faulkner’s southern upbringing, family history, and race relations in the wake of the Civil War were a major influence on his fiction. In 1924, Faulkner left his small town of Oxford and spent six months in New Orleans, where he was finally able to see the conditions of his upbringing from a distance and become acquainted with a literary circle with Sherwood Anderson at the center, jump-starting his serious fiction writing.
- Scott Fitzgerald was born in St Paul Minnesota into a fairly well-off family. He began his first novel while at Princeton University and very shortly after leaving it was accepted by Scribners and successfully published. He went on to be the prophet of the Jazz age of the twenties but his popularity declined. He is now recognised as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. This film by Malcolm Hossick covers his life and background and ends with an overview of his work.
The dramatists of ancient Greece, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides had a huge influence on their own times but they are arguably just as significant today. In this film Malcolm Hossick uncovers how they worked and why their ideas and methods were so revolutionary.
Thomas Hardy was born into the family of a practical country builder in mid 19th century England. He got a good education in the local town of Dorchester on the south coast and after beginning as an architect he soon developed into one of the most prolific and popular novelists of his times. the film follows his interesting life and is followed by a concise overview of his works.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American novelist and short story writer who enjoyed considerable success with his romantic tales usually set in in the puritanical world of his home state Massachusetts. He travelled extensively in England and Italy and reflected American views on the old world of Europe. This video explores his roots in puritanical culture, his growth at Bowdoin College, his explosion in the literary world, his political appointments and his journey abroad.
Traces the life and literary career of Ernest Hemingway, using portraits and views of places associated with his life. “Enigmatic and intriguing, Hemingway is one of America’s favorite authors. His dramatic understatement, dialogue and use of heroes made for great human interest.
Begins with James’ comfortable boyhood in New York, during which his father moved James and his brother around and back and forth from Europe frequently for the sake of education. He eventually went to Harvard to study law and began writing, but felt uncomfortable with American culture and left for England, where he spent most of the rest of his life.
Samuel Johnson was one of the most interesting figures of literature in 18th c England. He founded a literary magazine The Rambler and compiled the first major dictionary of English. He is best remembered as the subject of a biography by his friend Boswell. This film by Malcolm Hossick explores his life and the influence he had on the thought and manners of his age. It is followed by an overview of his work.
Franz Kafka was born in Prague, still under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was well educated and from an early age he determined to become a writer. He worked in an insurance company and in his ample free time wrote a number of remarkable novels and short stories. His heroes are all struggling to find themselves against a background of the totalitarian state or tribe or religion, and his name has become synonymous with the idea of modern man and his struggle to maintain his individuality. The film traces his unusual life and is followed by a brief overview of his works.
The film follows the life of Melville was born in New York, USA. His father was a prosperous business man but the economic climate changed and the business failed. The family moved to his mother’s home in New Albany and he went to Albany Academy. At twenty he went to sea and returned to write very popular books about his adventures. His success did not last and he died in obscurity. His work was rediscovered in the early 20th century. The film is followed by a brief overview of his work.
Proust wrote a remarkable and very long novel called La Recheche de Temps Perdue, translated usually as Remembrance of Things Past. It’s size and reputaiton for density and incomprehensibility mean that not many folk take it on. This is a great pity as once you have started reading it is hard not to be drawn into Proust’s world. This is because you will find yourself there in it’s huge cast of sensitively drawn characters. The film explores how he did it and is followed by an overview of his work. Proust was born the son of a wealthy Parisian doctor and had an easy entry into the higher echelons of French society. His knowledge of this world was the background to the astonishing series of novels called A La Recherche du Temps Perdu (Remembrance of Things Past). He did not have an early success but by the end of his life it was recognised that his work – sensitive, searching, amusing and amazingly perceptive about how humans work – was in a class of its own. The film traces his unusual life and ends with an overview of his works.
The film follows the life and times of the great English dramatist William Shakespeare. It emphasizes the classical education he had in the works of the ancient Greeks and Romans as well as his experience of country life which he used so fruitfully in his work. The quality and variety of life in Elizabethan London played a great part in his development and the rise of theatres and a rich cultural life in general is explored. In the end however Shakespeare’s own unmatched talent in writing about and expressing the astonishing complexity of human life is what marks him out as probably the greatest writer of all time. Shakespeare was born in the country town of Stratford-upon-Avon. He was educated at the local grammar school. He went to London in 1588 to begin a life in the theatre. He was immensely successful and he is now recognized as the greatest dramatist of all time. The film covers his life and background and ends with an overview of his work.
John Steinbeck was one for the most popular writers of the 20th century and several of his books were made into films. This film in the Famous Author series by Malcolm Hossick explores his eventful life. It is followed by a brief overview of his works.
Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorn Clemens in the small town of Florida Missouri. When he was four his parents moved the family to Hannibal, a larger town not far away on the banks of the Mississippi river. There he had an idyllic childhood which was to form the basis of some of his later novels. He began life as a river pilot then became a gold prospector. He finally began writing under the name Mark Twain and achieved immense success with a wide range of novels and essays on every topic under the sun. He was irreverent and funny, optimistic and charming and unsurprisingly this film by Malcolm Hossick of his hectic and fascinating life is equally rewarding. Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorn Clemens in the small town of Florida Missouri. When he was four his parents moved the family to Hannibal, a larger town not far away on the banks of the Mississippi river. There he had an idyllic childhood which was to form the basis of some of his later novels. He began life as a river pilot then became a gold prospector. He finally began writing under the name Mark Twain and achieved immense success. The DVD covers his life and background and ends with an overview of his work.
Voltaire was born the son of a prominent lawyer and from his earliest days showed a precocious literary talent. He wrote plays and novels and historical and philosophical works his outspokenness constantly landed him in trouble with the authorities. He became the leading liberal voice of the French enlightenment and he has had a world wide influence ever since. The video traces his fascinating life and ends with an overview of his works.
The poet Walt Whitman was born in a small village in Long Island, New York State in 1819. When he was quite young the family moved to Brooklyn where he received a modest education. He began work as a typesetter. He published his most famous book of poems “Leaves of Grass” in 1855 and gradually his reputation grew. He died in Camden New Jersey in 1892 already recognised as one of the outstanding voices of the American spirit. The film by Malcolm Hossick covers his life and background and is followed by an overview of his work.
This film by Malcolm Hossick follows the fascinating life of the novelist Virginia Woolf. She was born in London in 1882. Her father was Leslie Stephen, a writer and literary editor. She was educated privately and in 1912 married Leonard Woolf. He encouraged her to write and they began their own publishing house called the Hogarth Press where they printed her remarkable books. The film is followed by a brief overview of her work. Virginia Woolf was born in London in 1882. Her father was Leslie Stephen, a writer and literary editor. She was educated privately and in 1912 married Leonard Woolf. He encouraged her to write and they began their own publishing house called the Hogarth Press. Her novels have had enduring success. The film covers her life and background and is followed by a brief overview of her works.