Society for French Studies 58th Annual Conference

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


I delivered a revised version of a paper entitled 'Gallic Gallantry or British Boldness? Adapting Victor Hugo's "The Toilers of the Sea" (1866) into Raoul Walsh's "Sea Devils" (1953). The 1953 film 'Sea Devils' offers a conspicuous example of how integral the intercultural dynamics of adaptation were to fashioning the chivalrous ideals of the swashbuckling genre in Western cinema – a genre whose ideological potential demands closer scrutiny, as cultural historians Jeffrey Richards (2007) and James Chapman (2015) have argued. Identifying itself more as an espionage adventure than as an adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel 'The Toilers of the Sea', 'Sea Devils' prompts an investigation into how post-Revolutionary French history was appropriated by British and American culture during the first half of the twentieth century, when the daring feats of various French swordsmen, spies, and seafarers enjoyed massive popularity in Hollywood cinema.
Period4 Jul 2017
Event typeConference
LocationDurham, United KingdomShow on map


  • masculinity studies
  • adaptation
  • French literature
  • Victor Hugo