Wilde Video

The positive response led to the conclusion it is worth a re-blog. To those who have seen this thank for your support and truly inspiring comments.

If anyone is new to this page here is an opening film which is part of a lost story about Alfred Douglas and Oscar Wilde.  They meet in Rouen after his release from prison in 1897.

All the players are from the north west of England and it was filmed by Lancaster Film Makers’ Co-op in 2015.  Students of Lancaster Royal Grammar School play the main parts.

Here is the link.

For my followers, visuals on Wilde Reflections, my last post, showcasing the work of Mr Fraser and Ms Bryony Rogers will hopefully arrive soon.



Arthur and Oscar - Anne Gaelan

If anyone is new to this page here is an opening film which is part of a lost story about Alfred Douglas and Oscar Wilde.

All the players are from the north west of England and it was filmed by Lancaster Film Makers’ Co-op in 2015.  Students of Lancaster Royal Grammar School play the main parts.

Here is the link.

For my followers, visuals on Wilde Reflections, my last post, showcasing the work of Mr Fraser and Ms Bryony Rogers will hopefully arrive soon.

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Schumann on Film: – A Tale to Haunt




Adieu with Love – A Ghost Story

As we all await the Halloween spectacular on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing,  perhaps followers of this blog would like to watch a video which tells a Victorian-style story set in the modern age through the use of movement and classical ballet.

Just click the link above!

The film, made in 2006, was inspired by Richard Schumann’s hauntingly beautiful Kinderscenen, in English, Scenes from Childhood .  It is for the family, like Wilde’s Canterville Ghost.  (See below)


Adieu with Love is about a brilliant ballerina  who dies before she can reap the benefits of her talent.

The family, who keep the girl’s room as a shrine,  try to turn their younger daughter into a replica of her dead sister.

The older sister comes to visit her younger sister in a dream, dances for her and says “Goodbye with love,” to the whole family through dance.

For more Wilde stories for children see




Lakeside Lovers

Dance with a Difference

A lot of people in the UK will soon eagerly tune  in to Halloween week on the BBC TV show Strictly Come Dancing.

This is always great fun and surely a season favourite!

After the show I personally won’t “Keep Dancing!” as advised by the ultra-glam presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman!

Personally blessed with two left feet I stick to poetry or else it’s the CD Basic Yoga for Dummies with Sara Ivanhoe! (Recommended).

So for my Thursday post here’s my own poem with a Victorian feel on video inspired by Lake Windermere, the heart of Arthur Ransome country which is also related to Oscar Wilde with his celebrated play Lady Windermere’s Fan.

Believe it or not after the sun goes down and the tourists disappear Lake Windermere can be quite spooky.

Hope you enjoy this work from my first collection Pathways!  Just click the link above!

Also take a look at Wilde’s ghost dancers in his poem The Harlot’s House!

Happy Halloween!




autumn treejpg

October is the month of Oscar Wilde’s birthday; surely the best time to join
The Oscar Wilde Society  and celebrate his genius?

To do so, just click the link above!

The society’s’ publications for members are Intentions and The Wildean.

There are some charming titles and articles to savour in the most recent editions.

Examples are Cider with Bosie, and Constance Wilde in Yorkshire!







Wilde Season

autumn treejpg


Cellar Theatre

Autumn was Oscar Wilde’s favourite season.

For us today, it’s certainly the spookiest!

In nearby Lancaster which had witch trials, events really start to happen by October!

There are cat walks and ghost walks which are ever-popular.

The Victorians loved this aspect of autumn and its literary offshoot, the ghost story.

Wilde certainly made his name in this timeless genre with The Canterville Ghost.

M R James also made his fortune from it.

Tales of departed souls also made great theatre for them because it was FUN!

You may want to check out the above link for a contemporary taste of old-style theatre.

If you’re new to my website, you may also want to check out for a previous post about Cellar’s production Tea with Oscar Wilde.



TARS Treats!

Saturday in Edinburgh

Members of TARS at Duddingston Kirk Church

The Arthur Ransome Society Conference was from Friday 1st September to Sunday 3rd September 2017 at Edinburgh University.  Here is an update with a member photo.

After registration the President of TARS Sophie Neville welcomed everyone.

The talks were as follows:

  1. Wilde Ransomed by myself
  2. Arthur Ransome and the Dymock Poets by Jeff Cooper,  who is Lascelles Abercrombie’s grandson
  3. Nancy Blackett in Life, Literature and Life by Peter Willis
  4. Better than Gold:  Arthur Ransome and the Carnegie Medal by Dr Lucy Pearson
  5.  Call the Agent or How Children’s Books Can Save the World by agent Lindsey Fraser
  6. Faery Stories Which in the Time of Armaggedon Nobody Will Read by Mary Pritchard
  7. Arthur Ransome’s Rewriting of the Russian Folk Tale by Tatiana Bogdranova
  8. Caught in the Russian Revolution: The British Community in Petrograd 1917-1918 by Richard Davies

It was a privilege to be invited to speak and I had a most fulfilling and enjoyable weekend with interesting, friendly people of diverse interests.

On Saturday afternoon we were left to enjoy the delights of Edinburgh and along with Sophie I joined TARS member Malcolm on a walk to a nature reserve where we saw some deer and stopped off at an old church.

On Saturday night there was a splendid gala dinner with a dessert to die for!

The  TARS bookshop and library were open throughout the weekend and I bagged the most beautiful hardback book for only £7.50 about Arthur Ransome in China.

I find  the amount of places associated with this writer amazing.  They include  Chelsea, Camden, Russia, China, Suffolk, Wiltshire, Norfolk, Cumbria and Lancashire.  There is also a French connection which you can read in a previous post.

I promised you films.  Here is the first film shown at the TARS Conference.


It was made in co-operation with Lancaster Royal Grammar School and Lancaster Film Makers’ Co-op.  Both films were highly praised.

The film shows the relevance of Ransome to older school students.

TARS, however, does have a junior magazine for children – Outlaws!

For more about joining TARS go to http://www.arthur-ransome.org.uk















A Review of The Making of Swallows and Amazons (1974) by Anne Gaelan



Photos are used with the kind consent of the author.

The Arthur Ransome Society

This uplifting memoir by Sophie Neville tells us how a schoolgirl’s life was transformed by unexpectedly starring in a major film adaptation of the world famous classic tale by Arthur Ransome.

A minor role as author Laurie Lee’s childhood sweetheart led to her winning the role of Ransome’s much-loved tomboy Titty Walker.

Interspersed with the narrative are charming diary entries twelve-year-old Sophie made of her day-to-day experiences.

The book captures the demanding work required of child actors and the additional pressures they faced of discomfort and school work.

The narrative also opens a window onto the detailed process of film making and the many  skills involved.  Photographs include examples of call sheets.

However, the book’s greatest asset is how it communicates a sense of camaraderie between players and crew.

In a profession notorious for back-stabbing it is refreshing to read how such a community worked with mutual respect for each other on a highly commercial enterprise.  Claude Whatham, the director particularly comes across as a kindly and empathetic influence.

This production you feel had heart and its success was deserved.

This work is a treat with an afterward not to be missed!











A Wilde Winner

If Arthur Ransome made Wilde in the twentieth century by his brilliant, bold and distinguished bestseller Oscar Wilde: A Critical Study, Mr Gyles Brandreth has made Wilde in the twenty-first century with his superb Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries.

Anne Gaelan with Gyles Brandreth

Location: Chester Cathedral June 2017 Mr Brandreth very kindly autographed the Reading Gaol and Candlelight Murders in his series. Recommended!

Theatre: Tea with Oscar Wilde

Venue: The Heron Theatre, Beetham, Cumbria

Date: Friday, 7th April

Wilde would have made a great chat show host and materialises as this in the production I attended by the Birmingham based production company Don’t Go Into the Cellar.

Written by actor-playwright Jonathan Goodwin who plays Wilde, the show uses the same format in the first and second half which includes audience interaction.

Mr Goodwin, sweeping onto the stage  in a green velvet jacket and flowing cloak was every inch the gypsy academic of Arthur Ransome’s description in his bestselling book  Oscar Wilde, a Critical Study.

Sali Graham as music hall legend Marie Lloyd was the perfect guest for Wilde, displaying an earthy warmth in an energetic performance bubbling with humour laced with innuendo.

Her cockney sparrow chatter interspersed wth old music hall favourite songs which she  invited the audience to join in added an air of insouciance to the evening appropriate to the spirit of the stage host.

It was  unfortunate the songs are so old that the audience  were unable to rouse the atmosphere a notch as they did not know the words.

Nevertheless it all contributed to a sense of relaxation  appropriate to the chat-show setting and engagingly tiny theatre.

In the second half I found myself invited onto the stage to perform simple actions with “Miss Lloyd” which gave a delightful flavour of old music hall fare.

The bite which the company promises was in the adapted stories of Wilde read by Mr Goodwin.  At the end of The Happy Prince I was wiping away tears. The second story he performed was The Nightingale and the Rose.

Wilde’s masterpieces brought home the inequity, vacuous social matching and heartless materialism at the centre of Victorian England and Wilde’s recognition of the need for social change.

It was a charming evening whcih cut through to a darker world beyond the sparkle.

The ending is not to be missed.






Winter’s Glory Captured by Wilde

Now Rupert Everett’s film about Oscar Wilde The Happy Prince is about to be released, now is surely the time to appreciate Wilde the poet.

Click the link to hear an excerpt of his poem Humanitad on video.  Wilde’s verse perfectly captures the haunting glory of the English winter, specifically in the north of England which is the haunt of the bittern.

The film is an excerpt of Lancaster Film Makers’ Co-op’s short The Genius and the Rebel about how Arthur Ransome came to accept a controversial commission for a book about Wilde proposed by his publisher Martin Secker.  Enjoy.