The Writers of Wales Database
DAVIES, ANDREW (WYNFORD)
Lemon, Unna and Durbridge, 24 Pottery Lane, London, W11 4LZ
Novelist and scriptwriter. Born in Rhiwbina, Cardiff in 1936. Andrew attended Whitchurch Grammar School, Cardiff; University College, London, B.A. in English, 1957. He married Diana Huntley in 1960 and began his career as a teacher in London in1958–61. Andrew then lectured at Coventry College of Education and the University of Warwick, Coventry. He began his literary career in 1960, writing radio plays, moving later into television, stage plays, children’s books, novels, and films. Until the age of 50 he combined writing with his work as a teacher. Both professions inform some of his writing: for example his autobiographical Bavarian Night (BBC Play for Today), which deals with a Parent–Teacher Association evening and the series A Very Peculiar Practice, about general practitioners on a university campus.
Davies is also well known for adaptations and dramatisations, including R. F. Deiderfield’s To Serve Them All My Days, Michael Dobbs’ House of Cards and its sequel, To Play the King, George Eliot’s Middlemarch, and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. His most recent adaptation, of Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, was aired on the BBC in January 2008. He is, in addition, an award-winning writer of children’s television (he wrote two original series of Marmalade Atkins and dramatised Alfonso Bonzo from his own children’s novel) and has written feature film screenplays, including Circle of Friends and an adaptation of his own book, B. Monkey.
Andrew was recipient of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award, 1979; Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, 1980; Broadcast Press Guild Award, 1980, 1990; Pye Colour TV Award, 1981; Royal Television Society Award, 1987; British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award, 1989, 1993; Writers Guild Award, 1991, 1992; Primetime Emmy Award, 1991. Forthcoming projects include the screenplay for a film version of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited and an adaptation for the BBC of John Cleland’s once banned erotic novel Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (1749).
Photograph by Steve Poole. Copyrighted to the National Portrait Gallery.
”… Davies has been the undisputed champion of the modern TV adaptation of the classics since the mid-1980s. He was being called "king of the adapters" as long ago as 1992…He specialises in taking baggy, 800-page Victorian monsters and turning them into lean, edgy, sexually charged, emotionally coherent dramaticules…”
With respect to his adaptation of Sense and Sensibility 2007
”…So a sexing up? With some of the dialogue, perhaps. Brandon, for instance, invites Marianne to practise on his “very fine pianoforte that deserves to be played rather more often”. We bet it does. And if you can sex up landscape, Davies has done that, for the cottage is transposed from Barton Valley to a Daphne du Maurier coast, all the better to fleck our heroines with spume. But a dumbing down? Certainly not…”
The Fantastic Feats of Doctor Boox (Collins, 1972)
Conrad’s War (Blackie, 1978)
Marmalade and Rufus (1st American edition) (Crown, 1980)
Poonam’s Pets (co-writer with Diana Davies) (1st American edition) (Viking, 1990)
B. Monkey (Lime Tree, 1992)
To Serve Them All My Days 1980; A Very Peculiar Practice 1986-88; Mother Love 1989; House of Cards 1990; To Play the King 1993; Middlemarch 1994; Game On (with Bernadette Davis)1995; Pride and Prejudice 1995; Tipping the Velvet 2002; Bleak House 2005; Northanger Abbey 2007, Sense and Sensibility 2007; Middlemarch 2009.
Who’s Going to Take Me On? 1967; Is That Your Body, Boy? 1970; No Good Unless It Hurts 1973; The Water Maiden 1974; Grace 1975; The Imp of the Perverse 1975; The Signalman 1976; A Martyr to the System 1976; Eleanor Marx 1977; Happy in War 1977; Velvet Glove 1977; Fearless Frank 1978; Renoir My Father 1978; Bavarian Night 1981; Heartattack Hotel 1983; Diana 1984; Pythons on the Mountain 1985; Inappropriate Behaviour 1987; Lucky Sunil 1988; Baby, I Love You 1988; Filipina Dreamers 1991; The Old Devils 1992; Anglo-Saxon Attitudes 1992; A Very Polish Practice 1992; Anna Lee 1993; Harnessing Peacocks 1993 A Few Short Journeys of the Heart 1994.
Circle of Friends; The Tailor of Panama; Bridget Jones’s Diary 2001 (with Helen Fielding and Richard Curtis); Dr Zhivago 2002; Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason 2004 (with Helen Fielding); Brideshead Revisited 2008.
The Hospitalization of Samuel Pellett 1964; Getting the Smell of It 1967; A Day in Bed 1967; Curse on Them, Astonish Me! 1970; Steph and the Man of Some Distinction 1971; The Innocent Eye 1971; The Shortsighted Bear 1972; Steph and the Simple Life 1972; Steph and the Zero Structure Lifestyle 1976; Accentuate the Positive 1980; Campus Blues 1984.
Can Anyone Smell the Gas? 1972; The Shortsighted Bear 1972; Filthy Fryer and the Woman of Mature Years 1974; Linda Polan: Can You Smell the Gas?, What Are Little Girls Made Of? 1975; Rohan and Julia 1975; Randy Robinson’s Unsuitable Relationship 1976; Teacher’s Gone Mad 1977; Going Bust 1977; Fearless Frank 1978; Brainstorming with the Boys 1978; Battery 1979; Diary of a Desperate Woman 1979; Rose 1980; Prin 1990.
B. Monkey (Lime Tree, 1992)
She was on the street, with the gangs, and her name is still sprayed in graffiti. Now she’s outwardly conformist, straight, and secure in marriage - but can past and present be kept separate?
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