Harold Pinter and Elizabeth Bowen: men and women at war

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Using the Harold Pinter Collection held at the British Library, this article investigates Harold Pinter’s 1989 screenplay and television film of Elizabeth Bowen’s 1949 novel The Heat of the Day. It argues for the detailed and direct ways in which Pinter used Bowen’s language and dialogue to convey the complexities of wartime London. However, it also suggests that Pinter’s adaptation deliberately excludes elements of women’s experiences of the Second World War in favour of a more masculinised presentation of war and the spy genre.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-567
Number of pages17
JournalHistorical Journal of Film, Radio and Television
Issue number3
Early online date22 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020


  • Harold Pinter
  • Elizabeth Bowen
  • modernist novel
  • wartime novel
  • adaptation
  • women and the Second World War
  • spy genre


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