Friday, June 05, 2020

Beethoven's Seventh symphony and Emily Brontë

On Friday, June 05, 2020 at 10:26 am by Cristina in , , ,    No comments
Slipped Disc discusses Beethoven's Seventh symphony, opus 92 (1813).
For writers, it provoked untold depths of contemplation. Emily Bronte liked to play the second movement at her piano to achieve spiritual equilibrium; hints of the symphony can be found in Wuthering Heights. ‘The emancipating power of a work like the Seventh Symphony was bound to appeal to the woman who created Heathcliff,’ writes the American literary scholar Robert K Wallace, who goes on to hypothesise that certain of Heathcliff’s rough characteristics were transplanted by Bronte from Anton Schindler’s biographical portrait of Beethoven. ‘Goethe’s celebrated reference to Beethoven as “an utterly untamed personality” utterly fits Heathcliff,’ argues Wallace. Beethoven’s existential loneliness would also have held deep appeal for the solitary Bronte. (Norman Lebrecht)
Your Life Choices (Australia) recommends 'Classic novels you always meant to read' such as
6. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
You can totally listen to the Kate Bush song, but the book is even better. Wuthering Heights is ostensibly a love story between Cathy and Heathcliff, but don’t expect a romcom.
Instead, it’s a dark tale of obsession, desire and revenge. Heathcliff is adopted into a wealthy family but is soon reduced to the status of servant and runs away when Cathy marries someone else. Years later, he returns to wreak his revenge.
TES suggests '5 ways to tackle English Literature's lack of diversity'.
2. Interrogate your sources
Be conscious of the writers you share with your students. Do any of them have problematic pasts, or does their writing extend harmful stereotypes? How can you invite discussion about this with students, without falling back to the lazy response of "It was like that in the olden days"?
How, for example, can you use the depiction of Bertha Mason in GCSE text Jane Eyre to engage students in thinking about colonialism, not just for AO3, but as a springboard for discussions of racism’s intersection with fear, gender and imperialism? (Sophie Harrold)
Le parisien (France) takes a walk along the banks of the Seine and their famous 'bouquinistes'.
Tabea passe une première fois devant la boîte, jette un œil rapide avant de continuer son chemin. Puis finalement fait demi-tour. « Jane Eyre », le roman de Charlotte Brontë, l'attire comme un aimant. L'exemplaire en langue originale a vécu, mais qu'importe. La jeune Allemande qui vit à Paris est ravie de son achat coup de cœur, à 12 €. « D'habitude je vais chez Gibert mais c'est férié aujourd'hui donc fermé. Heureusement, les bouquinistes sont là », salue-t-elle. (Elsa Ponchon) (Translation)
NBC News has an article on Cara Delevingne.
At boarding school, Delevingne got her first taste of acting, landing supporting roles — but never the lead — in plays such as “Jane Eyre.”
Lit City Blues posts about Wuthering Heights.
12:30 am by M. in    No comments
Two recent examples of Brazilian scholar Brontë-related research:
A Dubiedade da Protagonista em Jane Eyre, de Charlotte Brontë
Elis Regina Fernandes Alves
Universidade Federal do Amazonas
Revista Ensino de Ciências e Humanidades - Cidadania, Diversidade e Bem Estar- RECH
v. 6 n. 1, jan-jun (2020

Este artigo aborda a evolução da mulher na sociedade, desde o começo do movimento feminista até os dias atuais, com foco no feminismo literário. A análise está voltada para a obra Jane Eyre, de Charlotte Brontë, com enfoque na protagonista Jane Eyre, com o objetivo de analisar o retrato da personagem como objeto e/ou sujeito dentro do contexto patriarcal da primeira metade do século XIX na Inglaterra, mostrando sobretudo a auto-afirmação dessa mulher. Utilizam-se teorias em autores como Beauvoir (1980), Alves e Pitanguy (1985), Michel (1982), Woolf (2000), Zolin (2003), Bonnici (2007), entre outros. Conclui-se que a personagem Jane Eyre se coloca na condição de uma mulher ora objeto ora sujeito, oscilando entre duas fases do feminismo, mostrando-se tanto submissa como independente.
A Fortuna Crítica Inicial de Wuthering Heights
Marcela Zaccaro Chisté ( BIC FAPERGS UFRGS)
Orientadora: Sandra Sirangelo Maggio (UFRGS)

A presente pesquisa – que integra o projeto Sociedade, História e Memória nas Literaturas de Língua Inglesa – analisa a forma como o romance Wuthering Heights, da escritora inglesa Emily Brontë, vem sendo recebido por diferentes tipos de leitores ao longo dos seus 172 anos de fortuna crítica. O recorte trazido para o Salão 2019 verifica a forma como os leitores e os críticos reagiram à primeira publicação da obra, em 1847. A narrativa acompanha a história da família Earnshaw ao longo de duas gerações, com foco no relacionamento demasiadamente próximo entre Catherine Earnshaw, filha do patriarca da família, e Heathcliff, adotado pela mesma família quando criança. Se, por um lado, a primeira edição se esgotou quase de imediato, por outro lado a reação dos críticos foi desoladora. Relacionamentos conflituosos, personagens destoantes, deturpação do ambiente familiar, narrativa não-linear, sentimentos fora do controle, tudo ia na contramão do que se esperava de uma obra de bom tom e de bom gosto, em uma sociedade organizada, progressista e funcional. Ao término da investigação, através da análise de um grupo de resenhas feitas à época da publicação, espero identificar (a) os motivos das divergência entre o que a obra contém e os parâmetros críticos pelos quais ela estava sendo avaliada; e (b) o mistério de por que – se o livro era assim tão ruim – ele estava sendo consumido de maneira tão desenfreada. 

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Thursday, June 04, 2020 11:08 am by Cristina in , , ,    No comments
Stylist and Oxfam adviser Bay Garnett shares some of her recent favourites in Financial Times:
The best book I’ve read recently is Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I didn’t even know it existed until a friend recommended it, knowing that Jane Eyre is my favourite novel. It was a total treat to go back into that gothic world that the sisters created. (Maria Fitzpatrick)
Multiversity Comics reviews Glass Town by Isabel Greenberg.
There is an extremely physical feeling to Isabelle [sic] Greenburg’s [sic] art in “Glass Town: The Imaginary World of the Brontës.” Every line, every color feels like it was done with traditional artistic implements. This physicality, the scratchiness of each line drawn, gives “Glass Town” a great sense of setting. Even the lettering on the book contributes to this feeling. The font used is almost script like, giving the words the feeling that they could have been handwritten by the actual Brontës. The art makes the book feel like it could have come from the same, early 19th century that it is set in. (Reed Hinckley-Barnes)
The National Interest shares the memories of several 'eyewitnesses' about the start of World War II.
... young Lieutenant Peter Parton of the Royal Artillery was watching a late showing of Wuthering Heights at the cinema in the little Somerset port of Watchet. Halfway through the projection of the newly released film starring Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon, an ominous message was suddenly flashed on the screen: “All officers and soldiers return to your barracks immediately.” 
Bookwig Reviews posts about Wuthering Heights.
1:03 am by M. in    No comments
The fifth instalment of the Keeping the Flame Alive Quiz challenge. All of them devised and shared by John Hennessy.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Wednesday, June 03, 2020 9:48 am by Cristina in    No comments
TES reports that the murder of George Floyd in the US has sparked a petition in the UK for these two books to be added on to the GCSE reading lists: Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla and Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge.
Ms Crossley [who has started the petition] states: “These two books wouldn’t only contribute diversity to the current GCSE reading lists, they would also highlight our current society’s diversity, inequalities and opportunities for change.
"Highlighting this to young adults will hopefully ignite a desire to be part of the change and also stamp out ignorance towards diversity.
“The current English GCSE reading list consists of authors ranging from 19th-century writers such as Charles Dickens, George Eliot and Charlotte Brontë. Shakespeare dominates a large portion of reading lists, and modern prose shows a little more diversity with Meera Syal and Maya Angelou amongst George Orwell and John Steinbeck.
"Although these lists of literature span a wide range of content, they do very little to reflect our current society. (Dave Speck)
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
A couple of recent scholar papers:
The Brontës in Haute Couture: A Sartorial Adaptation of Literary Texts
Jian Choe
27 May 2020

This essay elucidates the ways in which Veronique Branquinho, a contemporary Belgian avant-garde fashion designer, appropriates the literary heritage of the Brontë sisters. A well-read, intellectual visual artist, she has presented collections marked with literary references. Her recent works tap into some key aspects of the Brontë oeuvre, re-envisioning them into highly original sartorial forms. The influence of the Brontës manifests itself in the ethos of Branquinho’s craftsmanship as well as in the individual artefacts that she has created. The designer’s Brontë-inspired dresses with their formal beauty and distinctive aesthetics could be viewed as an intermedial ode to the British writers, her enduring muses, attesting to the universal appeal of the sisters across disciplines.
Serena Partridge’s ‘Accessories’: Fabricating Uncertainty in the Brontë Parsonage Museum
Amber Pouliot
Journal of Victorian Culture, Volume 25, Issue 2, April 2020, Pages 279–299,

The 1861 sale of the Brontës’ personal effects sent relic hunters scrambling to collect the material remains of the famous family. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the collection, preservation, and veneration of relics, particularly those associated with a writer’s private, domestic life, were important aspects of literary celebrity culture and commemoration, and both the Brontë Society and the original Brontë Museum were established to collect material remains. Yet when Virginia Woolf visited the museum in 1904, she viewed Charlotte Brontë’s clothing, shoes, and accessories with considerable unease. Anticipating the concerns of the literary establishment, Woolf feared that access to Brontë’s material remains would encourage the domestic cult which had formed around her following the publication of Elizabeth Gaskell’s The Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857). She feared it would diminish the importance of Brontë’s writing by privileging a narrative of domestic rather than literary labour. This essay considers the creative-critical intervention of Serena Partridge’s ‘Accessories’ (2016), a collection of newly created pseudo-relics of Charlotte Brontë, framed by semi-fictional narratives that dramatize the construction, use, and significance of her personal possessions. I argue that ‘Accessories’ and biographical fiction are analogous modes of engaging with Brontë’s legacy. They respond to the anxieties articulated by Woolf through the fabrication – both literal and literary – of new pseudo-relics that (rather than emphasizing Brontë’s perceived conventional, domestic femininity) enable multiple interpretive possibilities while simultaneously acknowledging the contingent nature of our understanding of her experience.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Tuesday, June 02, 2020 11:02 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
According to San Francisco Chronicle's Date Book, 'For novelists, the first time is often the best'.
Jane Eyre.” “To Kill A Mockingbird.” “The Catcher in the Rye.” “Catch-22.” “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” “Things Fall Apart.” “The Bluest Eye.” “Lord of the Flies.”
Hazard a guess about what all these novels have in common.
It’s probably a surprise to learn that all are debut novels.  And despite the fact there is no shortage of stellar evidence, debut novels have an image problem. [...]
Sometimes, sadly, the first time out of the gate is the pinnacle of an author’s achievement.  Those with one great novel in them include Harper Lee (“To Kill A Mockingbird”), Margaret Mitchell (“Gone With the Wind”), Boris Pasternak (“Dr. Zhivago”), Oscar Wilde (“The Picture of Dorian Gray”) and Emily Brontë (“Wuthering Heights”). (Regarding Brontë, it must be noted she died only a year after her novel was published, so she has a good excuse.) (Barbara Lane)
Except for the fact that Jane Eyre was NOT Charlotte Brontë's first novel. Officially, it was The Professor, not to mention the fact that she had actually been writing all her life. (And neither was One Hundred Years of Solitude García Márquez's first novel, by the way).

SunSentinel calls the Class of 2020 'the resilient generation' in view of the fact that they have been handling crises all their lives.
Instead of building up anger and frustration over the uncontrollable circumstances COVID-19 caused, these graduates used their extra time to relax and pick up old hobbies.
Kaitlyn Tully, valedictorian at Calvary Christian Academy in Fort Lauderdale, said she’s been re-kindling her love for calligraphy, water color painting, poetry writing and her favorite — reading for fun.
She devoured “Jane Eyre,” the classic romance by Charlotte Brontë. In the novel, Jane struggles for years to find a place of belonging, peace and satisfaction.
“That theme of feeling trapped is so relatable right now,” Kaitlyn said. (Danielle Ivanov)
While Inforum thanks teachers.
 It was in high school that I saw my senior blossom. My husband and I are getting a sneak peek into what drives her — where her passions are taking her, and we couldn’t be more excited about what's ahead.
She’s found a love of literature - asking for a set of Brontë sisters books for her 18th birthday. (I think I might have asked for a new Loverboy album for my 18th.) She had English teachers who helped her see the power and beauty of words, both from others and herself. She talks about literature at the dinner table. She learned about responsibility, commitment and doing her very best through extracurriculars like speech and theater.
For that, teachers, I thank you. (Tracy Briggs)
Ms Magazine puts the spotlight on poet Charlotte Mew.
According to Eavan Boland, Mew’s words about Emily Brontë apply to Mew as well:
“When first we read these songs, we are brought face to face with the woman who wrote them. And when once we know them and have been haunted by their rebellious and contending music it will not be possible to forget.” (Mary Meriam and Rita Mae Reese)
Onirik (France) reviews the recently-published Lettres choisies de la famille Brontë.
On connait surtout les soeurs Brontë à travers leurs romans, rares, précieux, quelques écrits de jeunesse, quelques poèmes, surtout pour Emily. La correspondance qui est restée est tout aussi rare et précieuse et permet de poser un filtre différent, d’adopter une perspective plus intime aux écrits. Les éditions Gallimard/Folio nous présentent une sélection de quelques unes de ces parcelles de vie.
Moyen principal d’avoir des nouvelles des siens à l’époque des soeurs Brontë, la correspondance est un art. Cela demande des efforts, cela coûte assez cher quand les revenus sont modestes, de même que le papier, plutôt onéreux. Il n’est donc pas d’exercice qui met plus le talent d’écrire à l’épreuve. Il faut être concis sans pour autant négliger les détails, et le style doit être suffisamment agréable pour ne pas paraître ennuyeux.
Mais avouons-le, ce que l’on cherche avant tout est toucher à l’intime, connaître des menus événements ou particularités qui nous rendront cette énigmatique fratrie moins nébuleuse, plus proche de nous. Parmi les 310 lettres retenues pour cette édition, on ne fait qu’effleurer le mystère. On en ressort avec un sentiment d’inachevé, qui nous pousse inexorablement à revenir vers leurs livres qui, eux, sont sans doute le plus fidèle témoignage de leurs âmes. (Claire) (Translation)
In The Telegraph, Sir Mark Elder, the music director of the Hallé Orchestra, shares how he's been entertaining himself during lockdown.
What I’m reading
[...] I’m discovering Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, a portrayal of the relationship between the white and black populations in Jamaica. I love her style. It’s not at all flowery, it just burns to the heart of things like acid.
Village Soup Knox on a local initiative:
Stewardship Education Alliance is happy to sponsor an event downtown called "Poetry on Windows," June 1 through 8. In the display of nature poems, many about the ocean, the group hopes to draw attention to World Ocean Day on June 8.
The Stewardship Education Alliance is working to educate local citizens about ways to improve and maintain the health of the local watershed. It hopes "Poetry on Windows" brings the community some beauty and light in these strange times and helps highlight the wonderful poets in our midst. [...]
 Mary Oliver and Anne Brontë are represented as well.
Mom with a Reading Problem posts about the audiobook of Jane Eyre read by Thandie Newton.
12:43 am by M. in ,    No comments
Another recent scholar book with Brontë-related content:
British rural landscapes on film
Edited by Paul Newland
Manchester University Press
ISBN: 978-1-5261-1986-5
October 2019

This volume offers insights into how rural areas of Britain have been represented on film, from the silent era through both world wars and on into the twenty-first century. It is the first book to deal exclusively with representations of the British countryside on film. The contributors demonstrate that the countryside has provided Britain and its constituent nations and regions with a dense range of spaces in which cultural identities have been and continue to be worked through. Overall, the book demonstrates that British cinema provides numerous examples of how national identity and the identity of the countryside have been constructed through filmic representation, and how British rural films can help us to understand the relationship between the cultural identities of specific areas of Britain and the landscapes they inhabit.
Includes the chapter 'Picturesque, pastoral and dirty: uncivilised topographies in Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights' by Stella Hockenhull

Monday, June 01, 2020

Monday, June 01, 2020 11:21 am by Cristina in , ,    No comments
Derbyshire Life and Country side looks at 'Films and shows with a strong Derbyshire connection' such as
Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontë’s seminal novel was written in 1847 after she made a visit to North Lees Hall in Derbyshire, which provided the inspiration for the book’s Thornfield Hall, whilst the village of Morton is believed to be based on Hathersage. There have been more than two dozen movie versions of the book going back to the silent era, with many film-makers coming to Derbyshire to capture the flavour of Brontë’s story. Three in particular make good use of the county’s locations.
The 1996 film version directed by Franco Zeffirelli and starring William Hurt and Charlotte Gainsbourg used Haddon Hall for Thornfield before it dramatically burns down and Wingfield Manor to depict it after the fire.
The 2006 TV series starring Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson used different Derbyshire locations. Rochester meets Jane in a scene at Dovedale, while the Lowood School scenes were filmed at Ilam. Kedleston and Sudbury Halls were also used as locations.
The 2011 film featuring Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska also used Haddon Hall as Thornfield Hall – although the gardens where Rochester first meets Jane are actually at Chatsworth House . This film makes good use of the Derbyshire moors and you can see Stanage Edge and scenes around Hathersage. For Thornfield after the fire it again uses Wingfield Manor. Longshaw is used for several shots and also clearly visible are Froggatt, Darley Dale and North Lees Hall. (Nigel Powlson)
Beware of spoilers in this review of the screen adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People on Nerds and Beyond.
There’s making an unforgivable mistake, and then there’s asking Rachel to the Debs. This action is up there with the stupidest screwups by male leads, almost outranking Jane Eyre on my personal list (dammit, Rochester). Marianne barely holding it together and losing it when Connell leaves is devastating. (Jules)
La razón (Spain) discusses the film adaptation of The Shining.
Alguien podría darle la razón a King en algunos de sus argumentos. «El verdadero problema es que Kubrick se puso a hacer una película de horror sin entender aparentemente el género», afirmaba el escritor. Ni falta que le hacía: el género, como siempre en su cine, era un marco en el que trabajar para luego someterlo a su universo. Entre sus referencias a la hora de escribir el guion con Diane Johnson estaban los textos de Freud, el fundamental «Psicoanálisis de los cuentos de hadas», de Bruno Bettelheim, las novelas gótico-románticas de las Brönte (sic), «Jane Eyre» y «Cumbres borrascosas», y los relatos de Poe. Hablando en términos cinematográficos, es difícil encontrarle un modelo a «El resplandor», ni siquiera en el subgénero de las casas encantadas (es evidente que cintas como «Terror en Amityville» jugaban en otra liga). (Sergi Sánchez) (Translation)
ScoopWhoop lists the latest screen adaptations of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights among '15 Classic Adaptations Of Our Favourite Books That Made Us Fall In Love With Them All Over Again'.

Cambridgeshire Live asks '40 more art and literature quiz questions to test your general knowledge', including
In which English county were the Brontë sisters born? (Anna Starnes)
A post on Margaret Wooler on AnneBrontë.org.
1:54 am by M. in , ,    No comments
A recent scholar book with a chapter devoted to Wuthering Heights:
Master Narratives
Tellers and Telling in the English Novel
Edited by Richard Gravil
ISBN 9780367888244
December 2019

Authors whose works are discussed in this collaborative book, covering a 'long' nineteenth century, include Sterne, Fielding, Scott, Austen, Mary Shelley, Emily Brontë, Gaskell, Dickens, George Eliot, Conrad, Woolf, and Lawrence. Most of the chapters focus on a single work, among them Tristram Shandy, Wuthering Heights, Bleak House, Middlemarch and Lord Jim, asking why, in the end, does this novel matter, and what does it invite us to 'see'. The contributors examine aspects of narrative technique which are crucial to interpretation, and which bring something new or distinctive into fiction. The introduction asks whether such experimentation may be driven by challenges to society's 'master narratives' - for instance, by a desire to circumvent the reader's ideological defences - and whether, in a radical model of canon-formation, such narrative innovation may be an aspect of canonicity.
Includes the chapter  'Wuthering Heights as bifurcated novel' by Frederick Burwick.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Sunday, May 31, 2020 11:23 am by Cristina in , , ,    No comments
Yorkshire Live shares some lovely pictures from the filming of The Railway Children in Haworth (and around) in 1970.

Framtida (Norway) reports that writer Ane Barmen was surprised when she actually laughed reading Jane Eyre.
Samstundes var ho overraska over kor laust latteren sat med vittige Jane Eyre, og vart tankefull av Velkommen til dyrehagen. (Bente Kristin Rundereim Kjøllesdal) (Translation)
Rio Negro (Argentina) has a strange (and partly incorrect) way of writing about the deaths of the Brontë sisters.
De hecho muchos artistas románticos murieron por tisis, como el músico Fredrick Chopin o los poetas Bécquer, Novalis, Keats, el pintor Modigliani y el curioso caso de las tres hermanas Brontë (una de ellas escribió “Cumbres borrascosas”). (Translation)
12:54 am by M. in ,    No comments
This is a new radio dramatisation of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, giving voice to Charlotte Brontë herself:
BBC Radio 4 - May 31, 15:00 h
Electric Decade
A Room of One's Own

Virginia Woolf's funny, provoking and insightful feminist text on female creativity dramatised for radio by Linda Marshall Griffiths.
Part of Electric Decade: classic titles that influenced and characterised the 1920's.
Woman.....Indira Varma
Mary Seton / Charlotte Brontë .....Jenny Platt (in the picture)
Judith Shakespeare / Jane Austen / Mary Carmichael ..... Anjli Mohindra
William Shakespeare / Nick Green .....Sacha Dhawan
Trevelyan / Shakespeare's Father .....Colin Tierney
Directed by Nadia Molinari
BBC Radio Drama North Production

It is 1928, a woman is asked to talk of women and writing. In the university town of 'Oxbridge' she is refused entry to the gardens and library and discovers the poverty of the one female college there. She searches the British Museum library for proof that women even existed in history.
"Literature is impoverished beyond our counting by the doors that have been shut upon women."
She imagines what would have happened if Shakespeare had had a sister and imagines conversations with the great British female novelists.
"Who shall measure the heat and violence of a poet's heart when caught and tangled in a woman's body?"
She reflects on the difficulties that face the female writer and proposes a different kind of life.
A Room of One’s Own is one of the greatest feminist polemics of the twentieth century, but also a narrative of beauty, humour and humanity. Its case is for the existence of female writers and its proof is in the genius of its writer.
A Room of One's Own was recorded during lockdown with actors and production team all in rooms of their own.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Saturday, May 30, 2020 1:37 pm by M. in , , , , ,    No comments
If you didn't know already, The New Yorker clarifies:
The title of Josephine Decker’s new film, “Shirley,” refers neither to the novel of that name by Charlotte Brontë nor, in a slightly different vein, to Shirley Temple, whose dimple-powered career now seems beyond belief, but to the author Shirley Jackson. (Anthony Lane)
Secret Manchester lists several places to go for a staycation (if you live there, of course):
Best known as Brontë Country, Haworth is the birthplace of the famous Brontë sisters, providing the novelists with masses of inspiration for classics such as Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. The town itself retains its traditional form, with curious little shops to explore. Further afield, however, you can explore the Brontë moors and Top Withens walk (which was the real life backdrop to Wuthering Heights). There are some incredibly relaxing spots to stay during your trip, from luxury campsites to cosy hotels within the town, which is the perfect gateway to other popular Yorkshire destinations such as Harrogate and Ilkley. (Laura Rogan)
Rocket Miner discusses how mistakes and misfortunes can be embedded into a work of art:
Dr. Weatherhead told of owning his own Persian rug given to him by an Arab sheik. The rug has a yellow irregularity in it. He prizes this irregularity as proof, evidence of the rug’s value. He says that it shows it was not made by machine in a carpet factory.
One day, he asked a young Persian rug maker apprentice, studying in England, “What happens when a boy makes a mistake?”
The apprentice answered him, “Quite often, the artist does not make the boy take out the wrong color. If he is a great enough artist, he weaves the mistake into the pattern.”
Those words sent me on a journey. Think of Milton’s blindness, Alexander Pope’s grotesque deformity, Keats and Emily Brontë’s tuberculosis, Emerson and Tennyson’s chronic infections, Swinburne and Flaubert’s epilepsy, and the neuralgia of Gamaliel Bradford and Charles Dickens. There is hardly a sound body in the roster of the world’s most distinguished writers. Often each distinguished writer bears a spiritual anguish within. (Pastor Richard P. Carlson)
Tomorrow, May 31, on BBC Radio 4, according to The Times:
Electric Decade: A Room of One’s Own
BBC Radio 4, 3pm
“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write,” Virginia Woolf said in a speech delivered to the women of Cambridge in 1928. The lecture was published as an extended essay in 1929, and the award-winning writer Linda Marshall Griffiths has turned Woolf’s classic political text into a funny and thought-provoking play. Indira Varma plays “Woman” (Woolf), musing on women and writing, and imagining scenarios such as what might have happened if Shakespeare had a sister, as well as conversations with the great British female novelists, including Charlotte Brontë and Jane Austen. (Ben Dowell)
Modern Diplomacy  and the consequences of alcoholism:
People stopped coming to visit and I stopped having friends come over because mummy needed to rest. At least that was what I told myself. One day she yelled and screamed, cursed, pulled the sheets off the bed as if she was a mad woman. And then I began to look for her in the books I read. I called her Mrs. Rochester when I read Jane Eyre. I watched, observed and learned. Her imprint marked me like my father’s old books and divided us forever.  (Abigail George)
Marie Claire discusses how much dating in social distancing times resembles an Austen novel:
If you think that all this space is something of a buzzkill, well, you’re not the first to come to that conclusion. “People might say Jane lacks passion,”  [Dr. Natasha] Duquette said, referencing a Charlotte Brontë quote about Jane: “The passions are perfectly unknown to her; she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy sisterhood.” Duquette takes issue with this characterization. “The boundaries of propriety do not suppress desire but increase desire.” (Jessica M. Goldtein)
Did you know that Grace Zabriskie's character in Child's Play 2 was named after Grace Poole from Jane Eyre? Screenrant talks about it:
When it came time to casting Grace Poole, Karen Black and Mary Steenburgen were considered for the role. In the end, Grace Zabriskie was cast in the role named after a mysterious character in the novel Jane Eyre. (Jake Dee)
Shock Ya! reviews the documentary Screened Out in a very okboomerish way:
Imagine guys and gals in college assigned to read “Jane Eyre” but glancing every ten minutes at the phone when hearing the buzz or ring or theme song from “Gone with the Wind.” As one talking head advises, multi-tasking does not work.
Among the gems delivered from the documentary which I was watching on my computer when I could have been re-reading “Jane Eyre,” is the concept of intermittent rewards. (Harvey Karten)
Interlochen Public Radio misses the local library:
Yes, I have books at home, shelves of them. But mostly, they are books I’ve already read and reread. Desperate, I’ve been rereading them again. I even grabbed “Jane Eyre” off the shelf and dove in—still captivated by the tale I know by heart. But Reader, she married him and the story ends. (Karen Anderson)
TV shows that can be used for homeschooling on i-news:
Jane Eyre, BritBox
There have been at least 20 film and TV versions of Charlotte Brontë’s Gothic love story, and the BBC’s four-part 2006 adaptation is one of the best, as well as being faithful enough in characters and plot to assist those reading the book in school or university. Toby Stephens may be a tad underwhelming as Rochester, but, making her television debut, Ruth Wilson makes a hugely affecting Jane. (Gerald Gilbert)
Indica News discusses misogyny in India:
In feudal society, small scale and middle peasant farming shackled women, tied them to their individual households, and narrowed their outlook. They were practically slaves of their husbands, who often beat them cruelly. On marriage, their property often passed to their husbands, as we note in Emile (sic) Brontë’s novel `Wuthering Heights’. (Justice Markandey Katju)
Hertfordshire Mercury has a list of questions if you want to prepare for the many mandatory quizzes in these confinement times:
29. Which Brontë sister wrote ‘Jane Eyre’? (Matthew Smith
The same level of difficulty on this list by the Hull Daily Mail:
 1. Who wrote Wuthering Heights? (Sophie Corcoran)
Bookmarks interviews the writer Lara Prior-Palmer:
BM: Classic book on your To Be Read pile?
LPP: Wuthering Heights, what a dazzling first page. I drink the sentences, put the book down, and forget I’m reading it. Perhaps I don’t feel the need to continue because so many people have done the work for me?
Ultima Voce (Italy) and pseudonyms in literature:
Scrittrici donne che usano l’anonimato e gli pseudonimi maschili: tentativo di difesa o di sfida?
Le sorelle Brontë
Currer Bell, Ellis Bell e Acton Bell sono gli pseudonimi maschili usati rispettivamente da Charlotte, Emily e Anne Brontë, utilizzati soprattutto per scappare dai pregiudizi dell’epoca ottocentesca. (Asia Baldini) (Translation)
La Stampa (Italy) reviews the TV series Valeria:
L'aspirazione della serie è indagare la donna è i suoi impulsi come le grandi 'detective' della letteratura e in parte riesce, qua e là compaiono indizi chiari: all'inizio Val tenta di scrivere con davanti il dorso di «Jane Eyre» il capolavoro della Brontë su maturazione e indipendenza della donna. (Fiorella Minervino) (Translation)
Barometern (Sweden) asks its book panel cases of good film book adaptations:
 Jag måste även framhålla min favorit inom den skönlitterära genren som har filmatiserats och det är Jane Eyre av Charlotte Brontë. (Ia Sellerberg) (Translation)
Diario de Córdoba (Spain) reviews the book Outsiders: Five Women Writers Who Changed the World:
Emily Brönte (sic) , cuya familia nunca se sintió acogida en Harworth, Yorkshire, y que sufrió violencia física e inanición en el internado de Cown Bridge, nos presenta en Cumbres Borrascosas un escenario tenso donde aflora la violencia doméstica y la pasión incontrolada representada por el personaje masculino Hearhcliff (sic), en medio de una naturaleza abrupta y furiosa. Emily adquiere una percepción del mundo exterior como si se tratara de un escenario demasiado violento y extremo, lo que la llevará a aislarse para encontrar la plenitud espiritual. (Pilar Muñoz Aguilar) (Translation)
2:00 am by M. in    No comments
A recent MA thesis:
“Is [he] a man? If so, is he mad? And if not, is he a devil?”: The Influence of Culture Versus Experience on the Brontë Sisters’ Perception of Mental Illness
Catrina May Mehltretter
Liberty University, April 2020

Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë each presented a different perspective on mental illness within their novels. The primary reason for this difference in perspective can be found in their different responses to their brother Branwell’s poor mental state. As Branwell’s health deteriorated mentally and physically, his sisters ended up becoming his primary caregivers, giving them a unique insight into mental illness that would have been unusual for the time period, given the tendency to send any mentally ill family members away to asylums. Still, this shared experience impacted each of the sisters differently, likely due to the different relationship each of them had with their brother as well as the way they responded to the cultural influences, which then affected the way they portrayed mental illness in their novels: Charlotte, though once the closest to Branwell, held an outdated, unfavorable opinion of mental illness, presenting those afflicted as animalistic in nature in her fiction; Anne took a more religious approach, viewing addiction as a result of a fallen moral state; whereas Emily showed the humanity of the mentally ill and the reasons behind their mental deterioration, all while maintaining hope for rehabilitation.
And an English Honors thesis:
A World Ruled By Unknowns: The Psychological Effects of the Supernatural and Natural Worlds in Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights
Jordan Cymrot
City University of New York

Emily Brontë (1818-1848) wrote Wuthering Heights in 1847 at a point of collision between Romantic thought and Victorian ideals. Her novel exemplifies a developed and deliberate effort to represent a world ruled by forces out of one’s control, the most evident example of this being the supernatural force that overtakes the novel. In her precise focus on the language and natural landscape that bind this novel together, her characters emerge as representative of the psychological complexity produced by the coexistence of the mundane and the extraordinary. My thesis focuses on the effects of the natural landscape and the forces that at times control it, but I also look at the psychological effects that these forces have on, in particular, the novel’s two main characters: Cathy and Heathcliff. Emily Brontë immersed these two characters in the natural world, highlighting their triumphs and tumultuous love. In better understanding this connection, I first look at the power behind nature, the supernatural forces governed by a Romantic aesthetic concept known as the sublime. After situating this novel in its literary historical context, I continue to move my analysis closer to the characters,  ooking specifically at Cathy and Heathcliff and showing both their individual and shared relationships with the natural world and the supernatural. I conclude in my last chapter of this thesis by returning to nature, revealing it to be a character as well. Overall, I read Brontë’s only novel as both grounded in its historical context (in its perpetuation of Romantic ideals and aesthetics) and forward-thinking in its imagining of new possibilities for engaging with the world.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Remember the news about Emily's biopic? Well, it was said then that Joe Alwyn would play Emily’s 'conflicted lover' but according to Backstage
 the project has also bagged Joe Alwyn as William Weightman (Laurence Cook)
We sincerely hope that they are not repurposing the thoroughly charming William Weightman as Emily's 'conflicted lover'.

Backstage also adds:
Currently in pre-production, Emily is scheduled to film in Yorkshire in early 2021 and casting director Fiona Weir is attached and casting now. (Laurence Cook)
We still ask: where is Anne?

The Yorkshire Post reports that the film adaptation of The Railway children turns 50 this year but the planned celebrations, which involved the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, have been cancelled. However, you can celebrate by helping them.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Railway Children hitting the big screen.
The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, which operates the line and stations which featured in the film, had planned events to coincide with the milestone – before the coronavirus pandemic plunged the organisation’s future into uncertainty.
Jenny Agutter, who shot to fame following her appearance as Bobby in the 1970 film, has encouraged people to donate to the Worth Saving appeal, to ensure the line’s continued operation.
She said: “I have many fond memories of working at Haworth and Oakworth and along that wonderful railway line.
“Like many others I find that steam trains hold a fascination for me.
“Since the filming, I have returned for visits and love seeing the beautifully restored and cared-for engines and travelling in the old carriages.
“Because of the present situation, people have been unable to visit the Worth Valley Railway. Now without support, this treasure of a place may not survive.
“After all the care and hard work, much of it voluntary, that has gone towards making this such a special place it would be a loss for us, for our children and for future generations, if it were to close.
“Fifty years on I am waving my red flannel petticoat, metaphorically, hoping it will make people aware of the need to give support now, so we can look forward to returning to the Worth Valley Railway in the years to come”.
Her sentiments are shared by Christopher Witty who played Jim, the boy runner the children rescued in the railway tunnel.
He said: “We were all so looking forward to coming back to Oakworth this summer to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the making of the film but due to the current situation we all find ourselves in, that cannot be possible.
“We hope that when life returns to normal, and everyone both young and old are safe and well, we can return to help promote all that is good with the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and the film that has been so successful and endearing to our lives.”
The railway has said that sustained closure for months on end “threatens our very existence” and is trying to raise £200,000 to keep afloat “in the form you enjoyed it”.
So far, £140,000 has been raised. Matt Stroh, KWVR Society chairman, said: ‘These are unprecedented times for the Bronte Country line.
“The Worth Saving appeal has been launched to ask for donations from the railway’s supporters and those from far and wide who love steam locomotives and want to be able to relive the past into the future.”
He added: “We have had a good response and are now over half way to our target, but we desperately need a final push.” (John Blow)
Buzzfeed News lists Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia among other 'Summer Must-Reads For Fantasy Lovers'.
This is a must-read for fans of gothic writers like the Brontës, Daphne du Maurier, and Shirley Jackson, and also for those who enjoy the feminist, surreal fiction of Carmen Maria Machado. (Margaret Kingsbury)
Daily Maverick (South Africa) features Philani Dladla's autobiography The Pavement Bookworm.
Philani Dladla, who has written his autobiography, The Pavement Bookworm, was given his first book at the age of 11, for his birthday.
The gift, his first-ever birthday present, came from Joseph Castyline – an elderly man whom his mother worked for as a caregiver in his home-town of Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal. [...]
Castyline died a year after that. But, true to his word, he left to Dladla his entire collection of books, in the region of 500. Dladla says the bounty included the work of authors such as Emily Bronte, Charles Dickens, Friedrich Nietzsche, Zakes Mda and Bantu Steve Biko. (Yanga Sibembe)
Cinematographe (Italy) recommends Jane Eyre 1986 as it can be seen on Iris TV tonight: (May 29, 23:14).

Interesting Literature shares a short analysis of Emily Brontë's poem 'To a Wreath of Snow'. Empire-Advance (Canada) features an 1899 copy of the complete Brontë novels belonging to Virden Pioneer Home Museum.

Yesterday, AnneBrontë.org marked the anniversary of the death of Anne Brontë with a celebration of her life.

Finally, in a new instalment of Treasures from the Brontë Parsonage Museum, The Sisters' Room shows the intriguing suede moccasins owned by Charlotte Brontë and supposedly 'left at the guesthouse in Scarborough where Anne died'. The display at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in 2017 only said that they had been purchased in Scarborough at the time of Anne's death.
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
 A new translation just published in France:
Lettres choisies de la famille Brontë
Édition et trad. de l'anglais par Constance Lacroix
Préface de Laura El Makki
Collection Folio classique (n° 6795)
ISBN : 9782072853029

Voici une famille hors norme, qui a produit quatre écrivains, tous fauchés en plein vol (morts avant quarante ans), soudés autour du père, vivant et créant ensemble, entre mélancolie et humour noir. Face aux drames des jours sombres, le clan fait bloc. Face à la difficulté d’être une femme qui écrit, les sœurs Brontë publient d’abord sous pseudonyme masculin (Charlotte, Jane Eyre ; Emily, Les Hauts de Hurlevent), souhaitant que leurs livres les consolent du destin, rendent possible l’amour et soient assez puissants pour enlever au lecteur tout désir d’en connaître l’auteur. Leur succès en a décidé autrement. Leur vœu d’invisibilité est aujourd’hui rompu, leur idée de l’intime nous est devenue étrangère. Il est temps de reconnaître qu’une œuvre embrasse aussi tout ce qui lui a permis de surgir. Cette correspondance passionnante en est la preuve. Sur les mille lettres échangées par le père et les quatre enfants, entre 1821 (mort de la mère) et 1855 (mort de Charlotte), cette édition en retient trois cent dix. On entre dans ce recueil sur la pointe des pieds, comme si quelqu’un, en ouvrant une porte dérobée, nous faisait signe de nous approcher et nous rendait témoins de l’extraordinaire force de vie qui anime ces cinq êtres : le désir de prendre son envol, d’aimer, d’écrire – de vivre malgré tout.
Both Fabula and Onirik discuss the book.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Thursday, May 28, 2020 10:17 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
From the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
The Stage recommends several little-known musicals to discover during lockdown. One of them is Wasted.
But it’s not all classics. Carl Miller and Christopher Ash’s Brontë sisters rock musical (yes, you read that correctly) Wasted is streaming on Southwark Playhouse’s site. Here’s your opportunity to agree/disagree with our reviewer Tim Bano, who wrote: “It’s brilliant to see something so brash and bizarre, existing completely on its own terms.” (David Benedict)
A contributor to The Harvard Press chose books of 'intrigue and romance set in an isolated old house with secrets of its own' as lockdown reads.
Maybe it started with “Wuthering Heights,” this fascination with big, old houses—preferably British—that hold romance and suspense. I have a picture in my head of a large, dark, mysterious house set high on the moors. As wild as the house is its inhabitant Heathcliffe (sic)—a brooding man, whose anger and love are of an unnatural intensity. A climactic scene occurs at an open window. (Carlene Phillips)
LitHub explores the role played by Thomas Wentworth Higginson in Emily Dickinson's literary career and recalls the fat that
When she died in 1886, he traveled to Amherst to read an Emily Brontë poem at her funeral. (Martha Ackmann)
It is thought that Emily Dickinson herself had requested he read that poem.

London Review of Books discusses Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne Glenconner.
Marriage was still her destiny and it arrived in the form of Colin Tennant, son and heir of the immensely wealthy second Baron Glenconner. Tall and ‘terribly handsome’, he appealed to a woman whose teenage idol was Heathcliff. (Rosemary Hill)
Flaunt interviews singer Gianna Isabella.
What books are you reading? I’m reading the classics right now. It’s more Charlotte Brontë, Jane Austen, etc. Currently I’m reading a suspenseful horror book called Baby Teeth, I’m also reading Jane Eyre. (Shirley Ju)
12:52 am by M. in ,    No comments

We started Anne's bicentenary year so full of hope for her. Her bicentenary would crown the previous bicentenaries and the world would finally get to know and love Anne and her work. And yet 2020 had other plans for all of us.

We are still hopeful that next year she will get the celebrations and recognition she deserves, which she has deserved for the best part of these 200 years.

Today is the anniversary of her death in Scarborough and we will appropriate her last words to Charlotte because they come in handy for her unexpectedly ghastly bicentenary.

'Take courage, Charlotte, take courage'

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The Yorkshire Post has an article on the search for the lost first film adaptation of Wuthering Heights, which now turns a hundred years old.
And 2020 marks 100 years since the first motion picture version of the story, inspired by Top Withens, was released.
But, despite the best efforts of archivists, nobody in the modern age is likely to ever see it. The movie, shot in Haworth, is considered a “lost film” and there are no known surviving copies.
Ann Dinsdale, head curator at the Brontë Parsonage, said: “The film has not survived, unfortunately. We’ve gone to quite a lot of trouble trawling film archives across the world.”
The attraction last made a public appeal for information about the film about 15 years ago, which produced a number of still images, and a few years ago a detailed original screenplay by Eliot Stannard – a mentor to Alfred Hitchcock – was discovered.
“So if anybody out there does have it, we would love to know more.”
The film differs from many other versions because it was a more comprehensive telling of the novel, she said. “There was a real attempt to capture the whole novel. They told the whole story, featuring both generations.
“Quite often film adaptions end at the point where Cathy dies but this covers the second generation as well – they employed three actors to play Heathcliffe [sic].” [...]
And it may have been the first film shoot in Haworth, the picturesque Bradford village which is now no stranger to camera crews.
Ms Dinsdale said: “There are all these amazing photographs. (Some show) the film crew walking out on the moors in Haworth and carrying the child actors.
“The village is just teeming with people who’ve turned out to see what would have been a really big event in Haworth, potentially the first film crew that were to have come to Haworth.”
It came at a time after the First World War when the British film industry was trying to “fight back against a tide of American film,” said Ms Dinsdale. (John Blow)
It also includes an opinion column discussing the matter as well.
Yet, a century after the first motion picture of the alluring story was broadcast, the plot thickens as the Brontë Parsonage in Haworth try and seek a copy of what they are calling the ‘lost film’.
Not only would this help to add another chapter to the Brontë family’s already priceless legacy, but it would also represent a piece of cinematic history.
This was one of the first productions after the signing of the Armistice to mark the end of the First World War and came at a time when the British film industry was trying to assert itself against the Americans.
Given the interest that there was in Haworth at the time, judging by archive photographs, there’s every likelihood that the film would, a century, on be just as gripping as Wuthering Heights itself.
Scifi Pulse reviews the comic Adler #2.
Synopsis: After uniting some of the most famous heroines of the Victorian age including Jane Eyre, Miss Havisham, and Marie Curie, Irene Adler must finally come face-to-face with Sherlock Holmes’s greatest nemesis, Moriarty! [...]
Writer Lavie Tidhar continues the story in such a way that you are totally sucked in. I loved how she recaps the first issue via Jane Eyre’s diary entries about her initial meeting with Adler and the adventure they had together. It was very much like Dr. Watson’s diary entries regarding his friend Sherlock Holmes, which makes sense given that Adler is in this instance the female version of Holmes, who also happens to be the only woman to ever get the better of Holmes. (Ian Cullen)
Coincidentally, Cherwell discusses film adaptations.
Classics like Jane Eyre, Frankenstein and an endless list of others have been reimagined innumerable times. We keep on doing it and keep on watching them, because it is guaranteed that each one will be different, at least subtly. (Amber Haslam)
La Huella Digital (Spain) reviews the Spanish translation of Isabel Greenberg's Glass Town.
La Ciudad de Cristal es un bellísimo libro ilustrado sobre la vida de las Brontë y sobre las ficciones que crearon en los primeros años, antes de componer sus obras individuales.  La ficción se intercala en la realidad y, junto a personajes como Charles, realizamos un recorrido por la existencia de Charlotte, Emily y Anne, desde el año 1825 hasta 1847. Esa fusión de elementos enriquece el conocimiento del lector, que no solo descubre las alegrías y desventuras de las hermanas, sino que halla algunas invenciones de sus primeros escritos.
La obra de Greenberg fluctúa entre un presente y un pasado, entre la fantasía y la realidad, entre la dignificación y la reivindicación de las hermanas Brontë. Ellas muestran una lucidez extraordinaria y contemplan y reflexionan sobre las distinciones de género, siendo mujeres  en la Gran Bretaña del siglo XIX, y de etnia, a través de Quashia Quamina. La Ciudad de Cristal se muestra como un espacio imaginario al que se puede viajar cuando se desee o necesite, a pesar del conflicto que allí se desarrolla. Las ilustraciones son generalmente oscuras, predominando los tonos granate, anaranjado, mostaza, negro, gris y azul oscuro: grises y negros para los diálogos entre Charlotte y su personaje Charles Wellesley, y matices más coloridos para las historias creadas por los cuatro hermanos.
Branwell,  el hermano, adquiere cierta relevancia en esta obra, desde las primeras historias que escribe hasta sus peores momentos, trazando la autora la evolución que vivió y cómo se plasmó en sus familiares. Uno de los logros de este libro ilustrado es la capacidad de fantasear con los pensamientos de las Brontë y sus inquietudes: el temor ante la enfermedad acechante, el deseo de aprender, la necesidad de contar historias, la dificultad de ser mujer (como señala Emily: “Quien fuera hombre para tener el mundo a sus pies”)…  También resulta muy interesante el reflejo de las experiencias de Charlotte en Roe Head y en su posterior empleo como maestra, mientras los personajes de su inventiva le persiguen de día y de noche.
Este universo imaginario fue el faro que iluminó la creatividad de las hermanas Brontë durante años y así lo refleja la ilustradora en su obra. Por tanto, dejémonos guiar por La Ciudad de Cristal de Isabel Greenberg  y descubramos a Charlotte, Emily y Anne. (Elena de Pablos Trigo) (Translation)
The City College Times asks several students about the first thing they will do once quarantine is over.
Patience Bixby
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” ― Charlotte Brontë, “Jane Eyre
This quote will describe me quite accurately after quarantine is done.
Bibliotherapy on RTBF (Belgium):
Pour les chagrins d’amour : Jane Eyre, de Charlotte Brontë, pour ne pas tenter de "recoller votre cœur brisé en compromettant votre intégrité." (Lucy Dricot) (Translation)
Libero Pensiero (Italy) mentions the fact that the Brontës had to use pseudonyms while Ultima Voce (also from Italy) mentions Heathcliff and Cathy as a literary couple.

Finally, new Brontë-inspired music on Brontë Babe Blog.

The complete novels of the Brontës in a minibook format in the company of Shakespeare and Austen:
Literary Lover's Box Set
William Shakespeare: The Complete Plays in One Sitting
Jane Austen: The Complete Novels in One Sitting
The Brontës: The Complete Novels in One Sitting
Edited by Running Press
ISBN-13: 9780762469420
 April 7th 2020

This charming mini box set includes 3 of our classic mini books for this special slipcase edition
These compact books contain comprehensive summaries of the complete plays of William Shakespeare, the complete novels of Jane Austen, and the complete novels of the Brontë sisters. The books also include character profiles and illustrations, sure to entertain literary lovers everywhere.