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Silent Serial SensationsThe Wharton Brothers and the Magic of Early Cinema$
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Barbara Tepa Lupack

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501748189

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501748189.001.0001

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Asking Beatrice

Asking Beatrice

(p.150) Chapter 10 Asking Beatrice
Silent Serial Sensations

Barbara Tepa Lupack

Cornell University Press

This chapter recounts how, soon after completing The Mysteries of Myra, the Wharton brothers undertook a new production, Beatrice Fairfax (1916). This serial was financed once again by William Randolph Hearst and distributed by his International Film Service through the Pathé Exchange. Originally titled Letters to Beatrice, it capitalized on the recent trend of real-life female reporters, who “became familiar, consistent personalities, much like serial queens” and who sought out “novel and thrilling experiences that extended the experiential sphere of women” by vivifying places and activities that were typically “out of reach to women, restricted by virtue of either their danger or their indelicacy.” The Whartons' serial, which reflected the strong real-life collaboration with newspapers that had made the serial genre so popular, was based on Fairfax's widely read “Advice to the Lovelorn” column syndicated by Hearst. But, in fact, there was no actual Beatrice Fairfax; that was a pseudonym used by Hearst employee Marie Manning.

Keywords:   Wharton brothers, Beatrice Fairfax, serial, William Randolph Hearst, female reporters, newspapers, serial genre, advice column, Marie Manning

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