Hilda's Book, a Film by Frank Wintle

Note: This web page was written with the gracious assistance of Mr. Frank Wintle.
Frank Wintle made the film Hilda's Book during the nineteen-eighties for the now defunct Television South West, which was based in Plymouth, Devon. Mr. Wintle noticed a footnote in H.D.'s End to Torment mentioning that Hilda's Book had been given to
Frances Gregg, who had died in the Plymouth blitz. Having already written and made a film on the Plymouth blitz, Mr. Wintle saw an opportunity relate his long interest in the enigmas of Ezra Pound's life and work to Plymouth.

Then began the research. Mr. Wintle dug through register after register of deaths, trying unsuccessfully to find a reference to Frances Gregg. Frustrated, he made one last attempt; he sent off a letter to the local newspaper asking if any reader could recall her. Amazingly enough, Oliver Wilkinson's son happened to be traveling the Westcountry and read Mr. Wintle's letter. He revealed that Frances had been buried under her married name, Josepha Frances Wilkinson. This information led Mr. Wintle to the communal blitz grave at Estover, Plymouth, where Frances is memorialized.

Mr. Wintle then began to plan the film. He was in contact with Oliver Wilkinson, who lent Mr. Wintle his generous assistance. Filming took about six weeks, in Wyncote, Pa, Venice and the Westcountry. The two principle sources of commentary were Mr. Wilkinson, and the late poet and critic, Donald Davie (who later collaborated with Mr. Wintle on a film about Thomas Hardy, A Grin of Bitterness).

Mr. Wintle now works in London, and although Television South West is no more, the film is still available. Those interested in obtaining a copy should contact:

Graham Spink
TSW Film and Television Archive
Foot and Bowden Building
Derry's Cross
Plymouth, PL1 2SP
Devon, United Kingdom
44 1752 202650
Note: American viewers should request that the film be converted to NSTC format. The cost, in 2001, was around 40 UK pounds, per copy.

The website for the South West Film & Television Archive, which holds the archives of Television South West, is http://www.swfta.org.uk, and they list their contact information as:

South West Film and Television Archive
Melville Building
Royal William Yard
Stonehouse
Plymouth
Devon PL1 3RP
UK
Tel: 01752 202650, E-mail: info@swfta.org.uk

Anyone wishing to contact Mr. Wintle may send email to me, and I will see that it is forwarded.


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Hilda's Book, a Film by Frank Wintle, Rev. July 7, 2012 (http://www.imagists.org/hd/film.html) Please send additions, comments, and suggestions to hh@imagists.org