Our Common Cultural Heritage: Classic Novels and English Television

Platt, Len. 2008. Our Common Cultural Heritage: Classic Novels and English Television. In: Solange Davin and Rhona Jackson, eds. Television and Criticism. Bristol: Intellect, pp. 15-23. ISBN 978-1-84150-147-5 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

Modern media have used the novel as a source for drama from the beginning. The production companies responsible for reproducing ‘classic novels’ have been attracted not just by the ready-made plots and characters, but also, perhaps especially in British film and television, by the status of canonical texts that have a virtually unassailable currency in terms of cultural value. Indeed these two elements are inseparable, with the ‘filmability’ of the classic novel being shaped and determined by its high status in cultural terms. As the cultural form par excellence of the educated classes, the novel gives filmmakers not just a stock of stories and memorable heroes and villains, but also a direct line to prestige. It is not surprising that the adaptation of the novel to film has been seen as playing a considerable part in establishing the reputation of mainstream film as a serious and important ‘popular’ culture.

Item Type:

Book Section

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)


April 2008Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

13 Aug 2010 06:58

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:28



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