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    Always historicize? Penda's Fen in the 1970s

    Luckhurst, Roger (2019) Always historicize? Penda's Fen in the 1970s. In: Harle, Matthew and Machin, James (eds.) Of Mud and Flame: The Penda's Fen Sourcebook. London, UK: Strange Attractor Press. ISBN 9781907222689.

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    Book synopsis: In 1974, the BBC broadcast the film Penda’s Fen, leaving audiences mystified and spellbound. “Make no mistake. We had a major work of television last night,” The Times declared the next morning. Written by the playwright and classicist David Rudkin, the film follows Stephen, an 18-year-old boy, whose identity, sexuality, and suffocating nationalism unravel through a series of strange visions. After its original broadcast, Penda’s Fen vanished into mythic status, with only a single rebroadcast in 1990 sustaining its cult following. Penda’s Fen has now become totemic for those interested in Britain’s deep history, folklore, and landscape. Of Mud & Flame includes insightful essays by scholars across a range of disciplines including television history, literature, theatre, and medieval studies. It also contains a wealth of creative contributions from contemporary writers and poets inspired by this unique cornerstone of Britain’s uncanny archive, as well as recollections from actors Spencer Banks and Christopher Douglas, and reflections from Rudkin himself. Together with this breadth of commentary, Of Mud & Flame also includes the full revised screenplay of Penda’s Fen, its first time in print since 1975.


    Item Type: Book Section
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Roger Luckhurst
    Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2021 10:15
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:47


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