About Brian Taves, Library of Congress Archivist and Biographer of Talbot Mundy

Brian Taves (Ph.D., University of Southern California) has been a film archivist with the Library of Congress since 1990. He began his newest book, Thomas Ince, Hollywood's Independependent Pioneer (University Press of Kentucky, 2011), with a year-long Kluge Staff Fellowship at the Library of Congress, to explore their collection of Ince papers and films with the goal of writing the first biography of the famed silent movie producer.

The Ince book is the first written on this figure who has figured so prominently in every history of the development of the American film industry. The book is already receiving awards in the first weeks since publication; it has been named to the "ten best" film books of 2011 on Huffington Post; the "ten best" books of 2011 on silent film on The Examiner; and is a finalist for the Los Angeles Times book prizes.

Turner Classic Movies channel (TCM) selected the Ince study as their "book-of-the-month" for January 2012 and it has been extensively promoted there; to see it, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIScaGOFTxU

The Washington Post reviewed the book on January 21, 2012 noted "For the first time -- thanks to the author's access to 13,000 items in Ince's archive at the Library of Congress -- the full range of Ince's contributions to the movies has been persuasively documented. Ince's biographer, Brian Taves, an archivist at the Library of Congress and the author of six books, including several on filmmaking, has given us a portrait of a commercial producer who worked during a time when such a person could still have the inclination of an artist. Taves lays out the costs, fiscal and spiritual, attendant on Ince's attempt to make artful pictures that spoke to a mass audience, an attempt that such peers as D.W. Griffith -- for whom art alone was the mission of moviemaking -- did not essay."

The Ince book is profusely illustrated, the author offers a Facebook album of additional images, most of them in color, at

Taves, who is also Vice President of the North American Jules Verne Society, is currently editing a series published under the Society's aegis of Verne stories that never appeared in English before (see najvs.org for details). The publisher is BearManor Fiction, and search in amazon under Jules Verne BearManor to see the volumes published to date. All include critical commentary and are illustrated with the original 19th century engravings that originall accompanied Verne stories.

Taves is the author of such books as P.G. Wodehouse: Screenwriting, Satire, and Adaptation (McFarland, 2006); Talbot Mundy, Philosopher of Adventure (McFarland, 2005); The Romance of Adventure: The Genre of Historical Adventure Movies (University Press of Mississippi, 1993), and Robert Florey, the French Expressionist (Scarecrow, 1986).

He is senior author of The Jules Verne Encyclopedia (Scarecrow, 1996) has edited several other books, including Verne's Adventures of the Rat Family (Oxford, 1993), Winds From the East: A Talbot Mundy Reader (Ariel, 2006), and the Library of Congress' Moving Image Genre-Form Guide (1999). Taves has written 20 chapters in other books and well over a hundred articles in journals, and his work has been translated into French, Spanish, and German. He is currently completing a study on the 300 film and television adaptations of Jules Verne produced worldwide.

Email Brian Taves at

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