Soundings Soundings

The turn of the screw

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7370.977/a (Published 26 October 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:977
  1. James Owen Drife, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology
  1. Leeds

    Paedophilia is an unusual subject for opera. Librettists normally stick to a more wholesome diet of murder, consumption, and suicide. Composer Benjamin Britten's adaptation of Henry James's The Turn of the Screw had its premiere in 1954, when child molestation was thought to be rare. Even today, scholars try to reject the obvious interpretation of James's enigmatic story about two haunted children.

    In Sydney Opera House a few weeks ago, evil seemed far away. Outside, ferries hurried …

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