There is a for me a special interest in seeing video or hearing a voice recording of a long-dead favorite author. I have heard some recordings of Arthur Machen, an author typically associated with the 1890s, and it almost felt like having a time machine when I heard his lilting voice. I have never heard any recording of Lord Dunsany, but suspect some may survive, owing to his broadcasts on the BBC. There are various recordings and even some video footage of Tolkien, but I doubt I'll ever hear the voice of David Lindsay (alas!). Or Kenneth Morris. Or E. R. Eddison.
I knew from Mike Ashley's excellent Algernon Blackwood: A Bio-Bibliography (1987) that late in life Blackwood did radio and television broadcasts. And some years ago some surviving clips of one of these 1951 television programs showed up in a BBC4 show "The Story of the Ghost Story", broadcast on December 23, 2005. I hoped (in vain) that this show might appear somewhere on US television, but it never did. No DVD came out either, but at last I've found it on YouTube. The program is just under thirty minutes, and on YouTube it appears in two parts, part one and part two. The snippet of Blackwood (less than twenty seconds) appears in part two, from the 6 minutes and 51 seconds mark, through 7 minutes and 9 seconds. Not much, but it is a privileged glimpse at the man, and it whets your appetite for more.
If more footage of Blackwood and other such classic authors survives, and could be complied on a DVD, I'd be first in line to buy it.
2 days ago