The origins of media storytelling

in the 1920s and 1930s

…it is very interesting but most exasperating, as you have to write every scene over and over again, and at the fifth time it is no better than the first…

– Hugh Walpole, British writer in Hollywood, 1934

Elinor Glyn

Clara Bow with Elinor Glyn
Frame from the lost film of Elinor Glyn's novel Man and Maid (Victor Schertzinger 1925)

Early attempts

Early attempts at co-operation between media companies and publishers  particularly in the sale of broadcast rights, film options and in the timing and release of book, film and radio tie-ins were made  in the 1920s and 1930s.

Storylines originally published novels or short stories are retold some daring authors in films, and the characters’ own stories extended though complementary media.



Focusing on British authors who had films made of their work in the 1920s and 1930s, we examined the rate of pay authors received from the different media, researched the business practices by agents and authors and examined the implications of this on the status of authors.

Hugh Walpole  |   Clemence Dane

        G.B. Stern  |  A.E.W.Mason

Cigarette card portrait of G.B. Stern