Gold, Violet, Black, Crimson, White
by David Hewitt
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Pub Date 09 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 08 Nov 2022
The early days of cinema certainly weren’t black and white, and if the films were silent, the audiences were anything but.
This spellbinding book reveals just what was seen – and heard, and said – in the picture houses of Britain at that time.
It is a gaudy, raucous, rancorous, glorious world.
And it is the world into which Five Nights emerged.
Hugely controversial, and the subject of a bitter court case, that film hasn’t been seen for a hundred years. But in these pages it comes to life again.
Drawing on long-forgotten documents, David Hewitt reconstructs the film and places it in a setting of his own creation, in the process holding up a kaleidoscope from a different age.
There are actors and actresses here, film producers and film directors. But there are suffragettes and Zeppelins as well, Pimple and Winky, Chinese women – both real and imagined – and countless men trying to make you think they are Charlie Chaplin.
This is a heady world, where everyone speaks at once and a young woman can direct a film of her own. But anyone can lose everything at the whim of a constable or a magistrate – or at the hands of an angry mob.
It is a world of eyots and dulcitones, psalterium, imortelles and bhang.
You might think it a familiar world, but it has surely never seemed so strange.
The author, David Hewitt, can be found on his Twitter handle: @historycalled
A Note From the Publisher
David Hewitt is a writer and a lawyer, and he lives by the sea, half-way between a Dominion and an Orion.