"My Wife's Not My Wife, She's My Daughter": Relocating A Bill of Divorcement from Stage to Screen
Clemence Dane’s hit West End play A Bill of Divorcement (1921) was adapted into a successful Hollywood film from RKO Studios, a 1932 David O. Selznick production directed by George Cukor and starring John Barrymore and Katharine Hepburn in her screen debut. This essay argues that the combination of the text’s formal, geographic, and temporal relocation from one medium to another shifts the message of the text, emphasizing different aspects of its content and thereby reconfiguring its meaning for a new audience. An analysis of the social norms, notions of inheritance, sickness and health, marriage and family and, in particular, the treatment of eugenics in the two versions of the texts, elucidate the shifts in their historical contexts and imagined audiences.
The Space Between: Literature and Culture 1914-1945
Council of Editors of Learned Journals
Copyright © 2020 Nicole Flynn
Flynn, Nicole, ""My Wife's Not My Wife, She's My Daughter": Relocating A Bill of Divorcement from Stage to Screen" (2020). English Faculty Publications. 37.