Blogvent Calendar Day 7: Women in Black

Why I love... The Woman in Black | BFI

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without at least one glowering, doom-laden female clad in the colours of the night. Of course the most obviously seasonal example of such a baleful, black-clad lady is the eponymous one from Susan Hill‘s novel The Woman in Black (1983), which transformed the author’s career from a writer of well-received literary novels to a purveyor of snow-crusted, neo-Victorian ghost stories. It’s framed as a festive fireside tale and Pauline Moran as the malevolent eponymous female in Nigel Kneale’s TV adaptation, directed by Herbert Wise and first broadcast on Christmas Eve 1989, gave a generation of people nightmares. For once, perhaps because adapting someone else’s book, Kneale didn’t give the supernatural terror a scientific rationale.

But there are other examples of this archetype in contemporary culture, stern, imperious and forbidding: Mrs Danvers in Rebecca, Sheila Keith in House of the Whipcord, to name but two…

The Villain Does Not Appear: The Invisible Power of Rebecca – Scriptophobic

Finally there’s Brighton’s very own woman in black, Mildred McRaven, the altar ego of Miranda Morris, seen here conducting a very peculiar game of bingo in a very macabre location, the cemetery housing the Woodvale Crematorium, where no less a personage than Aleister Crowley’s mortal remains were consigned to the flames. Mildred is a motivational life coach from the dark side, with a strong streak of control freakery and more than a dash of folk horror. You may notice a certain not unfamiliar personage somewhere in this video, in his capacity as a background artiste…

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5 Responses to Blogvent Calendar Day 7: Women in Black

  1. Mildred McRaven says:

    Mildred here, I approve of any colour, so long as it’s black. Good effort, well done. Now back to work with you! 🦅⚡️🖤⚡️🦅

    • Hi Mildred. Thanks for your kind words. I have since edited the post, adding a link to your Facebook page and a few more words about your video. I hope you still approve. Back to work yourself! 😉

  2. Pingback: Blogvent Calendar Day 10: Beat the Mistletoe Crisis! | tomjohnstone

  3. Pingback: Blogvent Calendar Day 14: Ding! Dong! Scarily on Bly | tomjohnstone

  4. Pingback: Blogvent Calendar Day 22: Finch’s Five-Fold Festive Fears! | tomjohnstone

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