Daily Archives for: December 6th, 2021

Fact and Fiction in All This, and Heaven Too: The 1938 Novel and 1940 Film

When it was freshly published in 1938, Rachel Field’s bestselling novel All This, and Heaven Too kept company on the shelf with other contemporary novels titled with allusions to Christianity but preoccupied with romance. Here we’ll be taking a look at the 1940 film All This, and Heaven Too  in the context of the novel that it was based on. 

Consider E.M. Delafield’s Thank Heaven Fasting (1932), in which the touch of Captain Lane’s hand has Monica muse: “This, surely, was love—the most wonderful thing in life.” Or Janie’s relationships and search for fulfillment in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937). Or, soon after, the complicated social expectations in the courtship depicted in Gwethalyn Graham’s Earth and High Heaven (1944).

Indeed, the opening shots of the Warner Bros. film are of the sky—a heavenward if not beatific gaze. It’s a winter sky, presumably—as filming began February 8, 1940—with treetops caught in a tumultuous wind, and only a few leaves clinging to branches. Read More→

Categories: Film & Stage Adaptations of Classic Novels, Literary Musings Comments: (5)

Vera Caspary’s The White Girl, and Other “Passing” Novels of the 1920s

The White Girl by Vera Caspary (1929) bears comparison to several passing novels of the 1920s. “Passing” as white was a theme that fascinated authors of the 1920s, both within and outside of the Harlem Renaissance movement.

Following is an exploration of several 1920s novels of passing by Caspary and two by Jewish women writers like herself, as well as the renowned works of two Black authors of that era, Nella Larsen and Jessie Redmon Fauset.

Excerpted from A Girl Named Vera Can Never Tell a Lie: The Fiction of Vera Caspary by Francis Booth ©2022. Reprinted by permission.
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Categories: Francis Booth, Literary Analyses Comments: (0)