Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Wuthering Heights in Windsor

On Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
Charles Vance's Wuthering Heights opens today, January 27, in Windsor, Berkshire:
Windsor Repertory Festival
Wuthering Heights
Adapted by Charles Vance

Theatre Royal Windsor
Thames Street
Berkshire SL4 1PS

Tue 27th Jun - Sat 1st Jul
Evenings: Tue - Sat 8pm
Matinees: Thu 2.30pm and Sat 4.45pm

Set on the mysterious wilderness of the Yorkshire moors, Wuthering Heights is a story of tortured love. Heathcliff, who is raised by Catherine Earnshaw’s family, develops strong feelings for her and they become inseparable until one day, she marries another man. Heathcliff leaves Wuthering Heights only to return years later with money and a plan to exact a terrible revenge on those who humiliated him and destroyed his happiness. Published in 1847, Emily Brontë’s only novel is considered a masterpiece of English literature and has inspired many stage adaptations.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Today, 200 years ago, a boy* named Patrick Branwell Brontë was born in Thornton. Judging by the family's later attitude to the only son, we can imagine the joy and pride of the family. There's a moral to that 19th-century attitude in his unhappy adult years, but let's not think of that today. Today should be a celebration of what was good in his life, which is a lot: his creativity, his humour and imagination, his charm, his way with words, his self-worth. Happy 200th, Branwell! We all know how you would be celebrating the day.

The Brontë Parsonage Museum will of course be marking the day. The Brontë Parsonage website has all the info.
A Brush with Branwell, 11am-4pm, Join us at the Museum for a spot of portrait painting! Have a go at painting Branwell (or yourself!) into the iconic Pillar Portrait. A family friendly workshop, all materials provided.
A short talk about Branwell and his life, 11.30am & 2pm. Join us for a walk around the environs of the Parsonage and find out a little about Branwell Brontë and his live in Haworth. If the weathers really bad, there will be a talk in our Learning area instead.
Meet John Brown, 11.30am-2.30pm. Branwell’s friend John Brown is in and out of the Parsonage today looking for him. John’s in chatty mood, so if you come across him today, he’s sure to share a few Branwell anecdotes…
'A Humble station?' - a screening of a documentary film about Branwell, 3pm. 'A Humble Station? Branwell Brontë's Calder Valley Years", is a new documentary film by Deep Lock Productions which tells the story of Branwell's years living and working in the Calder Valley, Yorkshire.
Branwell, worked on the burgeoning railways at Sowerby Bridge and later Luddenden Foot. With a reputation for drinking, opium and troubled love affairs, Branwell's story has not been looked on kindly by most biographers. However, Deep Lock Productions present a new assessment of Branwell, and the poetry and paintings he produced during his Calder Valley Years.
Filmed and directed by photographer and composer Alan Wrigley, whose score underpins scenic views of the valley, "A Humble Station?" is written and narrated by Calder Valley poet Simon Zonenblick, who has spent the weeks and months leading up to Branwell's bicentenary listening to artists, writers, historians and local people about the life and legacy of this much misunderstood man. With interviews from Brontë biographer Juliet Barker, Brontë Parsonage Collections Manager and author Ann Dinsdale, playwright Caroline Lamb, Performance Poet Geneviève L Walsh, historian David Cant and many, many more, "A Humble Station? Branwell Brontë's Calder Valley Years" is a whole new look at the legacy of Yorkshire's famous Brontë family, through the prism of the talented but troubled Branwell, and a celebration of the beautiful area where some of his most important art and writing were created.
According to Career Girl Daily, Jane Eyre is one of 'Six Books That Will Make You Believe You Can Achieve Anything'.
3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
When it comes to a group of girls way beyond their time, the Brontë sisters take the gold, writing classics at an age most of us were still fighting with our parents about curfews. Charlotte’s Jane Eyre is the original woman making it on her own in a man’s world. Jane represents the intelligent, quick witted, career orientated woman in a society where girls futures were decided by men – talk about a role model. After this classic, you can’t help but feel inspired to go out and achieve your goals. 
Would you describe Wuthering Heights as a ghost story? It is in this article from Times-News Online:
“Something about a ghost story has always intrigued me, especially British ghost stories like Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights” and Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” said Winkler. “Whether tragic, symbolic or just plain horrific, a good ghost story not only gets the heart pounding and blood pumping, it stirs something deep in our souls. I’m looking forward to having that experience as I read the entries for The Apparitionist competition.” (Beth De Bona)
Author Javier Marías writes in El País (Spain) about his dislike for poet Gloria Fuertes (who is having a revival in the year of her centenary), partly because he believes she's only being praised because she was a woman. He goes on to list women writers who he believes worthy of the name.
En contra de esa supuesta y maligna “conspiración”, tenemos el pleno reconocimiento (desde hace ya mucho) de las artistas en verdad valiosas: por ceñirnos a las letras, Jane Austen, Emily y Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, Gaskell, Staël, Sévigné, Dickinson, Dinesen, Rebecca West, Vernon Lee, Jean Rhys, Flannery O’Connor, Janet Lewis, Ajmátova, Arendt, Penelope Fitzgerald, Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Bishop, en el plano del entretenimiento Agatha Christie y la Baronesa Orczy, Crompton y Blyton y centenares más; en España Pardo Bazán, Rosalía, Chacel, Laforet, Fortún, Rodoreda y tantas más. En realidad son legión las mujeres llenas de inteligencia y talento, a las cuales ninguna “conspiración” de varones ha estado interesada en ningunear. (Translation)
Controversy is on, of course, as told by another Spanish news site, El diario. We can't help but think of Charlotte Brontë disliking Jane Austen. Do you like the criticised author? Then why do you care what other writer's opinion of him/her is? It's just that - an opinion.

A columnist from China Daily recalls her mother picking Jane as her English name after Jane Eyre.  Rita Maria Martinez shares a video of her recent talk at Poetry at the Dali.

Finally, locals may be interested to know that Sunderland Echo is giving away two pairs of tickets to Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre at Theatre Royal Newcastle on Monday July 3rd.

* We we very tempted to name this post 'the boy who lived (unhappily)' as a tribute to Harry Potter, 'the boy who lived', who is 20 today, but in the end decided against it.
A series of events commemorate Branwell Brontë's 200th anniversary today, June 26 at the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
Branwell's Bicentenary Breakfast
Emily's by De Luca Boutique
10:30 AM
Our celebrations for the 200th anniversary of Branwell’s birth start at the place where he was born: Market Street in Thornton, now Emily’s café and bistro. Enjoy a delicious selection of pastries while Ann Dinsdale, Principal Curator of the Brontë Society, shares her experience of ‘living with Branwell’ over the past 27 years.

A Brush with Branwell
Brontë Parsonage Museum
Join us at the Museum for a spot of portrait painting! Have a go at painting Branwell (or yourself!) into the iconic Pillar Portrait. A family friendly workshop, all materials provided.

A short talk about Branwell and his life
Brontë Parsonage Museum
11.30am & 2pm
Join us for a walk around the environs of the Parsonage and find out a little about Branwell Brontë and his live in Haworth. If the weathers really bad, there will be a talk in our Learning area instead.

Meet John Brown
Brontë Parsonage Museum
Branwell’s friend John Brown is in and out of the Parsonage today looking for him. John’s in chatty mood, so if you come across him today, he’s sure to share a few Branwell anecdotes…

'A Humble station?' - a screening of a documentary film about Branwell
'A Humble Station? Branwell Brontë's Calder Valley Years", is a new documentary film by Deep Lock Productions which tells the story of Branwell's years living and working in the Calder Valley, Yorkshire.
World Première 15 June 2017, Halifax Central Library
Screening at St James Church Thornton 25 June 2017, 7.30pm
Screening at the Brontë Parsonage 26 June 2017 (Branwell's 200th birthday)

Branwell, worked on the burgeoning railways at Sowerby Bridge and later Luddenden Foot. With a reputation for drinking, opium and troubled love affairs, Branwell's story has not been looked on kindly by most biographers. However, Deep Lock Productions present a new assessment of Branwell, and the poetry and paintings he produced during his Calder Valley Years.
Filmed and directed by photographer and composer Alan Wrigley, whose score underpins scenic views of the valley, "A Humble Station?" is written and narrated by Calder Valley poet Simon Zonenblick, who has spent the weeks and months leading up to Branwell's bicentenary listening to artists, writers, historians and local people about the life and legacy of this much misunderstood man. With interviews from Brontë biographer Juliet Barker, Brontë Parsonage Collections Manager and author Ann Dinsdale, playwright Caroline Lamb, Performance Poet Geneviève L Walsh, historian David Cant and many, many more, "A Humble Station? Branwell Brontë's Calder Valley Years" is a whole new look at the legacy of Yorkshire's famous Brontë family, through the prism of the talented but troubled Branwell, and a celebration of the beautiful area where some of his most important art and writing were created.
And in London, the London and the South East Brontë Society members celebrate the bicentenary with a visit to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition:
We celebrate Branwell's birthday at the Royal Academy where he aspired to become a student. His failure to gain a place remains a mystery to this day. The Summer Exhibition has provided a platform for artists both professional and amateur every year since 1769. Recent celebrity contributors include Harry Hill, who's portrait of Damien Hirst was accepted for display in 2016!
Meet 11.00am at main entrance 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday, June 25, 2017 10:32 am by M. in , , ,    No comments
Kent Online reveals some of the details of the annual gardening event at Hever Castle:
Hever in Bloom will show the quintessential English Rose Garden at the height of its summer beauty with free daily guided tours and daily garden talks, inspired by VisitEngland’s Year of Literary Heroes this year.
Hever in Bloom features quotes from literary greats and Harry Potter's glasses in flowers
Visitors will be able to seek out quotes by Arthur Conan Doyle, Edward Thomas, Anne Brontë, Emily Brontë, Jane Austen and Daphne Du Maurier. (Angela Cole)
The Seattle Times recommends some books for summer reading:
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman. A Glasgow resident makes her debut with this first-person novel. Though her title character is the survivor of child abuse, the book is actually quirky and funny. You both ache for Eleanor - a lonely 29-year-old who struggles with social appropriateness and dark memories of her past - and laugh with her. Watch for the “Jane Eyre” references, and revel in the - spoiler alert - well-earned happy ending. (Moira MacDonald)
Las Vegas Review-Journal has several writers recommend summer reads. Like Robyn Carr:
This summer, I am reading from that list — and doing some re-reading from that list — including books I have treasured like “Wuthering Heights” and “To Kill A Mockingbird,” and some I haven’t read but have always meant to[.] (Nora Krug)
The Sydney Morning Herald reviews the film Lady MacBeth:
The camera has now begun to move – as has Katherine. The glories of the Norhumberland coast start displaying themselves and Flaubert has receded in favour of the Brontës. (Sandra Hall)
DNA interviews the writer Ruskin Bond:
What are you reading these days? (Gargi Gupta)
I often read old favourites. I was reading Laurence Sterne's Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy last week. Sterne was better known for Tristram Shandy, which is an eccentric, long novel. But Sentimental Journey... is short, very readable, and funny — he's always getting into the wrong bedroom, you see. I rediscovered Wuthering Heights a couple of weeks ago, after 50 years.
The Straits Times asks a question we perfectly well know the answer to, 'Is there such a thing as too many books?':
I examine more carefully and stop at Lawrence Durrell's The Alexandria Quartet which I have never read. Pull out. Consider. Put back. I stole it from my parents' bookshelf and thus it qualifies as a literary heirloom. Next. Jane Eyre. A classic I suffered as a child and so must my granddaughter one day. Keep. (Rohit Brijnath)
Le Figaro (France) interviews the journalist and literary critic Augustin Trapenard:
Le livre qui vous accompagne ? (Marilyne Letertre)
Les Hauts de Hurlevent, d’Emily Brontë, qui m’a fait comprendre que la littérature est un art du langage, de la narration et de la création. (Translation)
Also in Le Figaro, the announcement that for the new season of Une maison, un artiste, the TV programme will visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
En 2016, vous vous êtes rendu en Suisse et en Belgique pour Dard et Simenon. Quid de cette saison? (Elisabeth Perrin)
Nous irons en Grande-Bretagne pour la maison des sœurs Brontë et celle de Virginia Woolf. Et puis en Espagne, où se trouve la résidence de Federico Garcia Lorca. Et nous comptons élargir notre champ d’action à l’avenir. (Patrick Poivre) (Translation)
The Hindu has a list of books 'that make children merry':
Of the classics my favourites were the novels by The Brontë sisters, Dickens, Thackeray, Austen and so on. The list is endless. Louisa Alcott’s Little Women and the sequels found a special place in the hearts of us girls. (Sheila Balakrishnan)
A Miss Italy contender seems to have read Wuthering Heights in the contest:
Bella e brava (ha conquistato la giuria recitando in inglese un brano tratto da "Cime tempestose" (Settegiorni) (Translation)
Colin Green has uploaded several pictures of Top Withins on Flickr.
12:30 am by M. in , ,    No comments
Our thanks to Routledge for providing us with a review copy of this book
Time, Space, and Place in Charlotte Brontë
Diane Long Hoeveler, Deborah Denenholz Morse (editors)
ISBN: 9781472453860
Time, Space, and Place in Charlotte Brontë is a compilation of twelve essays organised more or less thematically under some umbrella-like themes which cover a lot of possible topics loosely connected with the topics of the aforementioned title. The editors, the late Diane Long Hoeveler and Deborah Denenholz Morse, do a great job not only in the suggestive and succinct introduction but in creating a much-needed sense of cohesion to the book. Without their work, the compilation was very much at risk of not being more than a juxtaposition of different and critically-disparaged articles published together under the dubious criteria of taking advantage of the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë, celebrated in 2016.

The editors' main aim is 'to explore the sources of the longevity and power of [Charlotte Brontë's] oeuvre'. This, of course, can be done in many different ways and the book chooses three possible vectors of exploration. The first one is Time through her own historical context and later critical reception. The next one is Space, literally and metaphorically in her literary output. Finally, Place is discussed both as a psychic and geographical phenomenon in novels and adaptations. Each of the sections contains four different essays.

In the Time initial section, our favourite essay was Alexis Easley's article on the 1916 centenary of Charlotte Brontë and its relation to first-wave feminism. It covers a particularly fascinating period for Brontëites and fills some gaps in the still-unwritten history of Brontëana in the 20th and 21th centuries. Julia Donovan's article on the Victorian renderings of time is perhaps too literal and conventional and the articles by Herbert Rosengarten on the contemporary critical reception of Shirley and Sarah E. Maier on new neo-Victorian re-visionings of Charlotte's life and works (like Jude Morgan's The Taste of Shadow or Sheila Kohler's Becoming Jane Eyre among others) being interesting (particularly the Shirley one) feel like a bit arbitrary (why Shirley and not Villette? Why these particular sequels and not others also from the same period?).

Space is probably the section where the essays feel more isolated from each other. Each one explores some kind of 'literary space' where cultural interactions with the Brontë opus can occur. Diane Long Hoeveler discusses the anxious imagination in Brontë's works using unexplored avenues connecting Brontë's manifestations of 'anxious historical imagination' with current theatrical innovations like the magic lantern shows. Beth Lau's reminds us of the influence of Samuel Richardson's Pamela on Jane Eyre. Well beyond the usual mention with no real exploration, Lau's essay provides convincing reasons to illuminate Pamela's long shadow over Jane Eyre. Finally, Chloe Le Gall-Scoville and Kari Lokke find echoes of George Sand's Indiana in Jane Eyre and Carol Senf looks into the personal politics of space in Jane Eyre arguing against one of the most consistently-repeated critical arguments against Jane Eyre's ethical evolution: her social class prejudices even when teaching in Morton. Hers is a truly bildungsromanly (internal and external) version of Jane Eyre's evolution (psychological and physical) in the novel.

The last part is devoted to Places. Existing physical places like the animal places in Jane Eyre (forest dells, the attic, the moorland) explored in the article of Deborah Denenholz Morse. National places like the dichotomy French/English of the Lucy Snowe character in Villette as discussed by Judith Pike in an enlightening article. Emerging spaces as the walks in Villette discussed by Lucy Morrison in the best Rousseauian tradition of  'walking as thinking'. Finally, and fittingly, the last chapter deals with the final place: death. The article by Carol Davison talks about mourning and the 'Death Question' in the life and times of Charlotte Brontë.

If something clearly emerges after reading Time, Space, and Place in Charlotte Brontë it is how Charlotte Brontë's novels though clearly a sign of her times are able to provide interior worlds where other social and literary histories (past, present and future) are able to breathe and permeate the Brontë opus. The result is a vastly significant and complex literary output which in the words of the editors:
in an age in which everyone is pressed for time, readers still find time to read and love.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Brontë Parsonage Museum has again been shortlisted for the White Rose awards this year. Keighley News reports:
The building and its staff is one of seven locations listed in the "Large Attraction of the Year" category of this year's White Rose Awards.
It is the only place in the Keighley and Worth Valley area to reach this stage of the competition in 2017.
Kitty Wright, executive director at the parsonage, said: “We are all immensely proud that the museum has been shortlisted in the Large Attraction of the Year category.
"Our fantastic staff, both front of house and across the rest of the organisation, all work very hard to share the fascinating Brontë story and ensure our visitors have an unforgettable experience.
The building and its staff is one of seven locations listed in the "Large Attraction of the Year" category of this year's White Rose Awards.
It is the only place in the Keighley and Worth Valley area to reach this stage of the competition in 2017.
Kitty Wright, executive director at the parsonage, said: “We are all immensely proud that the museum has been shortlisted in the Large Attraction of the Year category.
"Our fantastic staff, both front of house and across the rest of the organisation, all work very hard to share the fascinating Brontë story and ensure our visitors have an unforgettable experience. (Miran Rahma)
Keighley News also reports the presence of two TV property shows (Escape to the Country and A Place in the Sun) at the Parsonage shooting some footage:
The Brontë Parsonage is to star in two popular TV property shows.
Film crews for Escape To The Country and A Place In The Sun descended on the Haworth museum on the same day.
Nicki Chapman, presenter of BBC’s Escape to the Country, visited the museum to record a feature for a West Yorkshire episode of the show.
Principal curator Ann Dinsdale talked to Nicki about the Brontë family and their life in Haworth before showing her around the museum.
Nicki also wrote a sentence from Wuthering Heights as part of a year-long project to create a new handwritten manuscript of Emily Brontë’s famous novel.
Rebecca Yorke, head of communications and marketing at the museum said: “We welcome many production companies to the museum but staff were particularly excited about Escape to the Country coming to film.
“As sometimes happens, filming overran slightly but Nicki was completely charming and chatted to the visitors who were waiting to explore the house.
“By complete coincidence, the crew from A Place In The Sun came later the same day to take some shots of the parsonage exterior for an episode also featuring Haworth.”
Escape to the Country and A Place in the Sun will be aired later this year. (David Knights)
Also, in The Telegraph & Argus, we read that a commemorative storyboard in honour to Branwell will be unveiled in Bradford soon:
Next week a storyboard dedicated to Branwell’s artwork will be unveiled at North Parade in Bradford, close to where he had a studio.
It will, says Bruce Barnes, who is behind the project, be the first monument to any of the Brontes in the city centre.
Barnes takes up the story: "Branwell Brontë has long been overshadowed by his more famous sisters whose novels reached an international audience. Although Branwell remains an enigma, his biographers and academics accept that one of the happier periods of his adult life was the year he spent in Bradford, from 1838-1839, working as an artist.
“While the town was on the brink of becoming a major industrial metropolis, it was riven by unrest with riots against draconian Poor Laws, and large Chartists meetings calling for social and democratic reform.
“From his studio and lodging on Fountain Street, Branwell painted portraits of local worthies, continued his contribution with Charlotte Brontë to the Tales of Angria, and wrote and sought publication of his poetry. He enjoyed the social scene in Bradford inns, such as the George Hotel in Market Street and the Queen’s in Bridge Street where artists and writers got together to talk and drink.
“And it’s at the top end of North Parade, on Bradford’s latest stretch of pubs and bars, that the Branwell Brontë storyboard will be unveiled by Councillor Sarah Ferriby on Saturday, July 1 between 12noon and 1pm, followed by a celebration in the City Gent from 1-2pm.
“Visitors will receive complimentary copies, while stocks last, of the Cartwright Hall exhibition catalogue Branwell Brontë & his Circle-Artistic, life in Bradford 1830-1850.”
Adds Bruce: “The storyboard includes images of some of Branwell’s Bradford portraits and draws the viewer’s attention to his now vanished studio on the side street, still referred to as Fountain Street.
“Nothing remains of the street that Branwell knew, but a 1940s photograph of Fountain Street with its housing forms the backdrop to the storyboard. It is the first public monument representing the Brontes in the city centre.”
The storyboarded, which is being unveiled as part of Bradford Literature Festival, features images of portraits Branwell completed at his studio in the city, along with explanatory text.
The unveiling will followed by refreshments and a reading in the City Gent from poetry and prose Branwell wrote during his stay in the town.

Broadway World recommends the Withering Heights performances in San Diego:
Withering Heights
Think that Bronte could have used a bit more humor when telling this story? This thiscomic retelling of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights is the show for you! Heathcliff and Catherine take to the Moors unlike anything before; the two actors will perform all fourteen roles in the play for an action-packed rendition of one of the most romantic novels of all time. (E.H. Reiter)
Devex interviews Adaobi “Ada” Nkeokelonye, author of the blog Fiction & Development who last month posted about the Brontës:
In Anne Brontë’s Victorian novels, for example, she finds insights into complex, counterintuitive aspects of human nature, such as why some women remain with abusive partners.
“In projecting issues of powerlessness and the importance of agency and space for any woman, Anne helps us understand why women stay; she exposes the stigma and discrimination suffered by divorcees and single mothers and their lack of social protection,” Nkeokelonye wrote in a post last month. (Michael Igoe)
The Saturday Paper reviews the film A Quiet Passion on Emily Dickinson:
Too often the film posits her as isolated in her views. But among many of her family and her friends, abolitionism was a shared belief. Equally, the only writers Dickinson reveres in the film are the Brontë sisters. But Dickinson is writing at a time when Whitman has published Leaves of Grass and Melville and Poe have initiated a revolution in the English language; I wanted to know if she was aware of their writing, what she thought of it. But by making her an iconoclast acceptable to a 21st-century audience, and by not offering a perspective on her relationship to this seismic moment in American letters, the film undermines her as a writer and intellectual. (Christos Tsiolkas
The Pool has some holiday reads for you:
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
The perfectly pitched story of Jane Eyre’s “madwoman in the attic”, Jean Rhys’s prequel takes Bertha – arguably the weakest link in Brontë’s classic – and brings her to warm, vivid, sympathetic life in the form of Antoinette Cosway. Way ahead of her time, Rhys takes a skewer to the society that condemns Bertha/Antoinette to an attic, while nurturing Jane’s beloved – coercive – Mr Rochester.
EarMilk has an article on the musical group The Aces:
We've come a long way from the Brontë sisters having to utilize male pen names in order to get published, but I think we can all agree the music industry is still imbalanced to some degree. And while it's unfortunate, these ladies are right to preempt any potential misogyny by pandering to the masses' stunted comprehensions of gendered naming conventions. (Anna Murphy)
Tulsa World reviews the musical Matilda by Tim Minchin:
Fortunately for Matilda, there is one teacher, Miss Honey (Jennifer Bowles), who is gobsmacked by Matilda’s precociousness — after all, the girl read about a dozen books, from “Nicholas Nickelby” and “Jane Eyre” to “The Cat in the Hat” the week before school started. She supplies Matilda with more books because the curriculum is too juvenile and does what she can to protect Matilda and the other children from Miss Trunchbull’s draconian discipline. (James D. Watts Jr)
HiFow visits Cornwall:
Two hours later on, I found myself among the black-faced sheep as I strolled the moors—like, straight-out-of-Brontë moors—at Coombeshead Farm. A few weeks before, the idyllic previous dairy farm experienced been turned into what need to be one of the country’s most food stuff-driven guesthouses by Tom Adams, chef of London’s Pitt Cue, and his friend April Bloomfield.
Battleroyal WithCheese reviews the film God's Own Country:
The elemental nature of the Yorkshire moors, as well as the lack of squeamishness in the filming of lambing scenes, is reminiscent of Andrea Arnold’s windswept adaptation of Wuthering Heights, and the grey toned British life is straight out of a Ken Loach movie. (Orla Smith)
Die Welt (Germany) lists several fictional biographies, including Jane Eyre:
Noch so ein Buch, das ich alle paar Jahre wieder lese – einfach wieder lesen muss. Wobei ich zugeben muss, dass mein Buchkonsum grundsätzlich ein Problem ist. Ich habe wenig andere Hobbys. Ich lese. Im College habe ich mich auf die Geschwister Brontë, Charlotte, Emily und Anne Brontë, die ja ein Leben lang unter männlichen Pseudonymen veröffentlicht haben, spezialisiert, und „Jane Eyre“ ist mein Lieblings-Brontë und einer der besten Romane in englischer Sprache überhaupt, wie ich finde. Ein Buch, das so intensiv und unerbittlich und dabei von den eigenen frustrierten Sehnsüchten verfolgt ist. Obwohl es im Jahr 1847 erschien, ist es mit dieser ganz speziellen Ichperspektive auf Gender und Klasse bis heute aktuell. (Translation)
Manga Forever (Italy) reviews Lady MacBeth:
E’ un film perfetto. Un film che avrebbe fatto la gioia tanto di Alfred Hitchcock quanto delle sorelle Brontë. E’ un film che non potete perdervi. (Matteo Regoli) (Translation)
Actualidad Literaria (Spain) lists epistolary novels like:
La inquilina de Wildfell Hall
Esta es la segunda novela epistolar de Anne Brontë. Fue publicada por primera vez en 1848 con el seudónimo de Acton Bell y está considerada como una de las primeras novelas feministas.
La ruinosa mansión de Wildfell Hall, después de muchos años de abandono, es habitada de nuevo por una misteriosa mujer y su hijo de corta edad. La nueva inquilina -una viuda, al parecer- no tarda en despertar recelos entre los vecinos por su carácter retraído y poco sociable, sus opiniones radicales y su belleza.
Estos recelos se acrecientan por la admiración que le profesa un joven e impetuoso agricultor. Pero la inquilina tiene un pasado más terrible y tormentoso de lo que la peor de las sospechas puede adivinar. (Mariola Díaz Cano-Arévalo) (Translation)
Ultima Voce (Italy):
Charlotte Brontë, figlia di un pastore protestante, la prima del trio di sorelle scrittrici (le altre sono Emily e Anne) scrisse agli inizi della carriera il racconto, pubblicato postumo, Il professore. Tre sono i suoi romanzi noti: “Jane Eyre”, “Shirley” e “Villette”.
Si discute su quale sia il capolavoro dell’autrice. A furor di popolo fu, e tuttora è, incoronato “Jane Eyre”. Una minoranza di critica (ad esempio, George Elliot) si rese colpevole di secessione, eleggendo invece l’ultimo lavoro compiuto di Charlotte: “Villette”. Raccontiamo in breve la trama delle due opere. (Federica DiRocco) (Translation)
Sunderland Echo has two free tickets for the Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre adaptation in Newcastle (next July 3-8) to give away; Tv2000 (Italy) announces the airing of Jane Eyre 2006 next June 26 and July 3. Hopeless Therapy reviews Wuthering Heights.
An alert for today, June 24 at the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
Haworth 60s Weekend: And Here's To You, Mrs Robinson

A talk about the original Mrs Robinson
June 24th 2017 02:00pm - June 25th 2017 03:00pm

As Haworth is swinging to the sound of the 60s, join us at the Museum on the 50th anniversary of Mike Nichols’ The Graduate to hear about Branwell and the original  Mrs Robinson.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The New York Times has a bookish interview with author Emma Straub:
What’s the best book you’ve ever received as a gift? My father gave me a copy of “Jane Eyre” two Christmases in a row, by accident, and then several times more, on purpose.
Comedian Elf Lyons also has family-related memories of Jane Eyre, as she tells British Comedy Guide.
My mother once took me to see a four hour long production of Jane-Eyre-the Musical at the Bob Hope Theatre in Eltham with my grandmother, Nanny Squeak. Mr Rochester's dog was a man in a leather gimp suit. I remember feeling confused and aroused and having a lot of questions. My mother then told me "This is what art is."
The Washington Post has a Jane Eyre-inspired joke on relationships:
Problem: One of you likes to read in bed every night, and the last “book” the other person read was the Cliff’s Notes version of “Jane Eyre” in high school.
Solution: I guess one of you could move to the attic, but do you really see this relationship going anywhere? (Julie Vick)
Watertown Daily Times features Olivia Grant, Miss Thousand Islands:
I think I did my first play when I was in fourth grade. My favorite role was in sixth grade when I played a young Jane Eyre,” said Ms. Grant. “I’m really invested in women’s rights and women’s issues and I truly think it’s because of Jane Eyre which is such an empowering story.” (Kathy Taber-Montgomery)
Jane Eyre is one of '10 books you should read when you need a little cheering up' according to Hindustan Times.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
This story of an orphan girl and the way she faces all the challenges life throws her way will make you look at your problems with a fresh perspective. Jane’s ability to break free of stereotypes and live her life on her own terms will fill you up optimism and hope. (Kashika Bindrani)
According to LiveMint, Wuthering Heights is one of 'Six novels in which rains had a part to play'.
Wuthering Heights
by Emily Brontë
Named by The New Yorker for situating “the single greatest instance of psycho-meteorology in Western literature”, the lead lovers of Brontë’s Gothic classic brave the wild weather of the Yorkshire moors, and of the mind and heart. This 19th century novel, featuring the famous Catherine and Heathcliff, is drenched with furious storms, fatalistic love and phantoms. (Sana Goyal)
The San Diego Union-Tribune reviews the Roustabouts Theatre Company's Withering Heights.
It seems pretty certain that if the novelist Emily Brontë had her druthers — or is that drithers? — the people behind the play “Withering Heights” would be tossed off the nearest (Heath)cliff.
Fortunately for playwrights Phil Johnson and Omri Schein, the author of the darkly romantic 1847 novel “Wuthering Heights” has been gone for 169 years, leaving them free to make giddy comic hash of her classic story about mopey people on the moors.
What the pair have come up with is a supremely silly reconception of the book — one that has Johnson and Schein playing every character, including the famously frustrated would-be lovers Catherine and Heathcliff.
The feel of the piece, the second production from the new Roustabouts Theatre, might remind you of those spoofy old Mel Brooks movies, right down to the way thunderclaps are heard whenever the name Withering Heights is mentioned (shades of the horses that neigh on cue in “Young Frankenstein”).
If you come in expecting plenty of good (guilty) laughs rather than some kind of fresh perspective on the novel, “Withering Heights” might be just your ticket — and you have to admire the sheer comic energy of its two writer-performers. [...]
There’s plenty of innuendo and bawdiness and potty humor in the Roustabouts’ take on the material; the play, laced with cleverly melodramatic music by James Olmstead, also keeps a comical countdown of all the people who keel over during the course of the story (Withering Heights, like its namesake, isn’t the healthiest of places to hang out).
The narrator Nelly (played by Johnson, who also portrays Heathcliff and many others) insists that this version of the story is the real one, “not malarkey from some Brontë-saurus.”
We’ll just have to trust her on that. But a playgoer might also relate to Catherine (one of the many characters played by Schein) when she says of a weird dance she and Heathcliff spontaneously engage in: “I don’t know what this is.”
Word to Cathy, and the “Withering” audience: Just go with it. (James Hebert)
The Hindu shares some excerpts from  Lone Fox Dancing – My Autobiography, by Ruskin Bond.
Yes, I will continue to write till the end. Passion sustains it because I like language, love words and putting them together and creating a beautiful sentence. Also I want my writing to be stylist by they can be recognised. Like Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights which has a rural style. The Life and Opinion of Tristam Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne, is difficult to read but nobody has written the way he did.
Pro Writing AId discusses symbolism:
Some writers and film directors are masters at creating symbolism in their works. Edgar Allan Poe has “The Raven” which symbolizes death and loss. Shakespeare offers the ever-famous “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” And who could miss the symbolism of Luke Skywalker dressed in white while Darth Vader sported black capes and helmet?
Have you read Wuthering Heights? Did you constantly see symbols in everything Emily Brontë wrote? Or were you the kid in English class who didn’t understand that the mountains in Hemingway’s short stories were symbols for something else? (Kathy Edens)
Harlequin Junkie reviews the book The Light in Summer by Mary McNear, in which
A defining moment in Billy Harper’s life can be tied to her reading Wuthering Heights, that most romantic of nineteenth century novels.
FreiePresse (Germany) discusses intertextuality:
Auch bei Rowling besteht die schriftstellerische Kunst nicht darin, alles komplett neu zu erfinden, sondern die Geschichten, Gedanken und Elemente auf virtuose Weise neu zusammenzusetzen: Von Jane Austen hat sich Rowling das Faible für gute Plot-Twists abgeguckt, von Elizabeth Goudges Kinderbuch "Das kleine weiße Pferd" die ausführliche Beschreibung von Mahlzeiten. Roald Dahls Portraits von schrecklich-sadisitischen Familien (siehe "Matilda") dürften Vorbild für die die Muggel-Pflegefamilie Dursleys gewesen sein, Harrys Schulleben erinnert an englische Internatsklassiker wie Thomas Hughes "Tom Browns Schuljahre", die Garderobe aus den Narnia-Chroniken lieferte das Modell für Gleis 9 3/4 und die tragisch-zerrissene Figur des Severus Snape könnte von Emily Brontes Heathcliff ("Sturmhöhe") genauso inspiriert sein wie von Dostojevskis "Schuld und Sühne"-Übeltäter Raskolnikow. (Johana Eisner) (Translation)
Independent (Ireland) reports that a property in Kilkee is for sale:
1 Rockmount, West End, Co Clare
€479k  DNG O'Sullivan Hurley, (065) 684 0200
1 Rockmount
Rockmount dates back to Kilkee's heyday as a favourite bathing place of the Victorian aristocracy. Thackeray, Tennyson and Charlotte Brontë were among the most famous visitors to the west Clare resort. Number 1 Rockmount is one of a pair of august semi-detached houses in Kilkee's West End, facing east and directly overlooking the horseshoe beach, and it's a protected structure. It has five bedrooms on the first floor, while on the ground floor there's a drawing room with two windows overlooking the sea, and an eat-in kitchen with doors to the raised back garden, as well as a utility and shower room.
Indeed she was, during her honeymoon. But look at what she wrote to Catherine Wooler on 18 July 1854:
Here at our Inn - splendidly designated 'the West End Hotel'--there is a good deal to carp at if one were in a carping humour--but we laugh instead of grumbling--for out of doors there is much indeed to compensate for any indoor short-comings; so magnificent an ocean--so bold and grand a coast--I never yet saw. 
Finally. La dépêche (France) has an alert for later today in Toulouse:
Ce vendredi, ne manquez pas [...] les lectures des «Lettres choisies» de la famille Brontë par Irène Jacob et Danièle Lebrun (14h30, chapelle des Carmélites). (Translation)
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
This year's BWWC Conference is being held in Orange County, NC and the program contains several Brontë-related talks:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
June 21-24, 2017.
Panel 2F: “Something Borrowed: Charlotte Brontë’s Adaptations & Traditions,” Seminar Room, Hyde Hall
Moderator: Valerie Stevens (University of Kentucky)

Amanda Campbell (Winthrop University): “The Improvisation of the Vocational Novel: Madame de Stael’s Corinne, or Italy as a Study of the Improvisational Life”

Lisa Elwood (Herkimer College): “Lucy: Aspiring to Create a Literary Tradition through Self-Reliance”

Rachel Howatt (Louisiana State University): “‘Pale as a Cloud, but Brightening Momently’: Moon as Motif in Jane Eyre

Abigail Heiniger (Bluefield College): “Revolutionary Power of Love and Faith: Jane Eyre’s Afterlife in Asia”

Panel 4D: “Crazy for More: The Brontë Afterlives,” Club Room, Carolina Inn
Moderator: Katherine Montwieler (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)

Elizabeth Lee Steere (Southwestern Community College): “The Next Jane Eyreation: Brontë Derivatives in the Sensational Sixties”

Vera Foley (Auburn University): “The Brontë Sisters’ Voyage to America: A Transatlantic Legacy’”

Panel 4E: “Unmanned: Masculinities too Close to Home,” Incubator, Hyde Hall
Moderator: Jacob Romanow (Rutgers University)

Jiwon Min (Louisiana State University): “Domesticating the ‘Unreclaimed Creature’ in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights

Panel 5C: “Time for Brontë!” Hill Ballroom South, Carolina Inn
Moderator: Carol MacKay (University of Texas at Austin)

Emily Datskou (Loyola University): “Rereading Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights: Generational Time and Narrative Structure”

Holly Fling (University of Georgia): “Reader, I Time-Traveled: Jane Eyre through the Looking-Glass”

Alexie Cash (University of Georgia): “Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, the Changeling, and the Defamiliarization of Time”

12:20 am by M. in ,    No comments
An alert for today, June 23 in Boca Raton, FL. Rita Maria Martinez will read some of her The Jane and Bertha in Me poems in
SoFloPoJo Poetry FAU Boca 
Hosted by South Florida Poetry Journal Soflopojo

AU Boca 6-23 5PM 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017 8:46 am by Cristina in , , , , , , , ,    No comments
Keighley News reports that the Branwell Brontë on a Bicycle landart has won the Tour de Yorkshire competition!
The winner of the Tour de Yorkshire Land Art competition has been unveiled as an image of Branwell Brontë riding his bicycle – in the year which marks his 200th anniversary.
This iconic artwork was designed by Andrew Wood from the Fields of Vision team, and created with help from schoolchildren at Haworth Primary School, where the image was created.
The huge artwork measured 80 by 65 metres and was made using recycled materials including waste marquee carpet and an incredible 3,000 plant pots.
Branwell’s head and hands were sprayed on with grass-friendly paint, while pupils placed and pegged the plant pots into position on their school field to create the bike.
Not only does 2017 mark the anniversary of Branwell Brontë’s birth, but it also marks 200 years since the invention of the first bicycle.
This year, the Tour de Yorkshire Land Art competition drew almost 4,500 public votes – a record breaking figure.
Today (June 21), Sir Gary Verity, the race director of the Tour de Yorkshire, presented Andrew Wood, the Fields of Vision volunteers and the Haworth schoolchildren with the 2017 Land Art trophy.
Sir Gary, who is also chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “This is a fitting winner as the image of Branwell riding his bicycle is a perfect tribute to two trademarks of Yorkshire – the Brontës and cycling.”
Mr Wood, leader of Worth Valley Young Farmers Club’s Fields of Vision project, said: “Having co-organised Sue Ryder’s Brontë Sportive each July for eight years I have always wanted us to do a land art that would link Haworth and cycling.
“The fact 2017 marks both 200 years of Branwell and featured the Tour de Yorkshire coming through the village meant this was the perfect time to do it.
"We are delighted with how it turned out and want to thank everyone who voted for us.”
Helen Thompson, head teacher at Haworth Primary School, said: “The children thoroughly enjoyed using the recycled materials to bring this image of Branwell on a Bike to life to mark the Tour de Yorkshire coming through our village this year.
"We would like to thank the Fields of Vision team for all of their work and support.
"And we would also like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for Branwell in this competition. We feel honoured to have been voted as the winners this year.” (Miran Rahman)
BBC News reports it too.

Keighley News gives some details of the upcoming Poetry at the Parsonage event:
Through the day there will be talks, readings and workshops by leading poets, including Simon Armitage, Patience Agbabi, Jacob Polley, Kei Miller, Zaffar Kunial and Clare Shaw.
The visit to Haworth will be personal for Cumbria-born writer Jacob Polley thanks to a youthful misdemeanour.
He said: “When I was a teenager I accidentally-on-purpose boosted a copy of Jane Eyre from my secondary school, so I’m very much looking forward to coming to the Brontë Parsonage, in part to atone for this childhood misdemeanour.
“Though this might be called a ‘poet’s atonement’, which would be no atonement at all, because it’s going to be such fun!”
As well as taking part in an evening poetry reading with his fellow writers, Jacob Polley will lead a workshop entitled Small World.
The TS Eliot-prize winner will explore the close-in and the seldom-examined, as well as the micro-decisions that people make when they write a poem.
Jacob’s recent anthology Jackself was described by one judge as “a firework of a book; inventive, exciting and outstanding in its imaginative range and depth of feeling”.
Patience Agbabi will lead a workshop entitled Telling Tales – Page to Stage focusing on her modern-day interpretation of Chaucer. (...)
Poetry at the Parsonage, which will be held on Saturday, July 1, is aimed at both fledgling poets and those wanting to build on their talents.
A spokesman said: “There’s the opportunity to gain inspiration and hone your skills through workshops and open mic.” (Richard Parker)
The San Diego Gay & Lesbian News reviews The Roustabouts Theatre Company's humorous take on Wuthering Heights, Withering Heights.
Poor Emily Brontë.
She only wrote one book, and now look what’s happened to it.
Those two crazy guys, Phil Johnson and Omri Schein, have crammed one of the favorite novels of 19th-century English lit – “Wuthering Heights” – into a zany one-act play in which the two of them play all the parts.
Or at least all 14 listed in the program.
Huh? Yes, you read it right.
But wait.
The world premiere of their “Withering Heights” may lack proper respect for the book, but it sure doesn’t lack for imagination, goofiness, hilarity or (let’s just say it up front) fart jokes.
Diversionary Theatre is the host and David Ellenstein (of North Coast Repertory Theatre) the director for this wild-haired laugh fest. Johnson and Schein are two of the lights behind scrappy new startup The Roustabouts Theatre Co.
Johnson plays Nelly the maid, who tells us “that lady who wrote the book got it wrong” and offers to tell us “the real story.”
And we’re off, that poor homeless boy Heathcliff (Johnson) with the gypsy look adopted by Mr. Earnshaw (Schein) and moving into the same household with the lovely Catherine (Schein), inspiring both jealousy from the “real” Earnshaw son Hindley (Johnson) and forbidden love between the gypsy and Catherine.
There’s also illness, unexpected pregnancy, revenge, death and applesauce (did I mention that this is a 19th-century novel?)
And those 14 characters, all portrayed by Johnson and Schein with minimal scenic and costume design changes.
A rear projection tells us we’re on the Moors, or in one of the two houses. Lighting by Curtis Mueller clues us in on time and James Olmstead’s music gives emotional cues.
Costume changes take place behind an enormous, curtained fake gold picture frame. So Johnson is Nelly with a white flowered apron-like cloth around his waist, and young Catherine with that same cloth used as a shawl.
Watch for other additions, like Johnson’s sock-puppet dog (a hoot) and Schein’s thick-as-London-fog accent as pipe-smoking servant Joseph. And for those hilariously awful wigs by Peter Herman.
Oh my.
But mainly, don’t miss the wild and crazy show. (Jean Lowerison)
The San Diego Union-Tribune recommends it as well.

On the BookBub Blog, author Markus Zusak recommends 10 classic books including Wuthering Heights:
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Considered lurid and shocking by mid-19th-century standards, Wuthering Heights was initially thought to be such a publishing risk that its author, Emily Brontë, was asked to pay some of the publication costs. A somber tale of consuming passions and vengeance played out against the lonely moors of northern England, the book proved to be one of the most enduring classics of English literature.
The turbulent and tempestuous love story of Cathy and Heathcliff spans two generations — from the time Heathcliff, a strange, coarse young boy, is brought to live on the Earnshaws’ windswept estate, through Cathy’s marriage to Edgar Linton and Heathcliff’s plans for revenge, to Cathy’s death years later and the eventual union of the surviving Earnshaw and Linton heirs.
A masterpiece of imaginative fiction, Wuthering Heights (the author’s only novel) remains as poignant and compelling today as it was when first published in 1847.
Zusak’s recommendation: “Again, it gets better over time, and I can’t help but love the ferocity of the writing — Heathcliff and Catherine love almost viciously, and we can love them without necessarily liking them.”
BookBub Blog also recommends '18 Classic Books to Read If You Love ‘Downton Abbey’', including Jane Eyre.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Charlotte Bronte’s enduring classic — the story of a young woman’s quest for love and acceptance in Victorian England.
The young orphan Jane Eyre inhabits a fragile position. Born to a good family but with no wealth of her own, Jane is sent to live with her uncle’s family — an arrangement that turns sour when he dies – -and then to Lowood, a punitive and tyrannically run boarding school for girls. As she matures into adulthood, Jane’s fiery spirit and independence grow more acute, as does her sensitivity to the world around her. Now governess of the secluded Thornfield Hall, the first place she has ever really felt at home, Jane falls in love with the passionate and impulsive Edward Rochester, master of the house. Just when it seems her luck has finally changed, Jane discovers the secret of the attic — a terrible revelation that threatens to destroy her dreams of happiness forever.
Narrated in the unforgettable voice of its remarkable heroine, Jane Eyre is a timeless tale of heartbreak, mystery, and romance that shines a brilliant light into the dark corners of Victorian society. (Shayna Murphy)
Dallas News reviews the book The Islamic Enlightenment: The Struggle Between Faith and Reason, 1798 to Modern Times by Christopher de Bellaigue.
Part of the problem was that, from a Muslim perspective, much of Enlightenment culture was, in fact, debased. As de Bellaigue notes early on, a novel like Jane Eyre would make no sense to many Muslim readers of the time. It wasn't just that they'd see an unmarried woman taking charge as an aberration, or ask why Rochester didn't simply take Jane as his second wife. Elements of the story British readers would accept as givens, such as newspapers and regular postal delivery, were far from commonplace in the Middle East, where even the printing press was viewed by domineering religious elites with skepticism, a potential agent of disruption. (Ron Hogan)
Cracked lists '5 Movies That Taught A Lesson Its Characters Totally Ignored', including
Mr. Keating From Dead Poets Society Wants His Students To Think Outside The Box, But Teaches Them The Box [...]
Where was Maya Angelou? Claude McKay? Elizabeth Browning? Emily Dickinson? Frederick Douglass? Any of the Brontë sisters? There were like half a dozen Brontë sisters! [erm?] These people were all prominent poets and writers by 1959, when the movie takes place. And if you ask Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz, who's kind of a real-life Mr. Keating, he'll tell you: "If you don't want to deal and relate and think about what it means to be a woman in this planet -- you're going to have serious problems. The same with dealing with the question of ethnicity and race."
Ironically, by teaching an all-white, all-male syllabus, Mr. Keating is reinforcing the same cultural homogeneity that he's trying to beat out of his students. It's almost as if this movie was made for and by upper-class white males. But that can't be right ... (James Kinneen)
Coincidentally, the Australian edition of The Huffington Post is of the opinion that 'Blokes Should Read More Books If They Want To Have Sense And Sensibilities'.
Further, we can learn about courage and conviction and the respect of women in 'Jane Eyre', resilience and perseverance in the job market in 'The Grapes of Wrath', compassion and forgiveness in 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' or the perils of chasing fortune and fame in 'The Great Gatsby'. (James Bitmead)
A Thousand Lives of Frankie Lovely posts about Wuthering Heights.

Finally, the Jane Eyre UK Tour Twitter account shared a video about the music that plays during the show.
12:30 am by Cristina in ,    No comments
An alert from the Brontë Society in Hong Kong
Ngau Chi Wan Civic Centre Theatre
Jane Eyre
Pre-performance Workshops and English Theatre Performances. Post-performance Discussion
Director: Dr Vicki Ooi
22 - 23.6.2017 (Thu - Fri) 10:30am & 2:30pm
Ngau Chi Wan Civic Centre Theatre

Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre opens with Jane, an orphaned, poor and lonely ten-year-old, living with a family that dislikes her. She grows in strength, excels at school, becomes a governess, and falls in love with Edward Rochester. After being deceived by him, Jane has to regain her spirituality and discover her own identity. By the end of the novel, Jane is a strong, independent woman and marries Rochester as his equal.

Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre was published in 1847 and is widely recognised as a precursor of feminist literature. This much beloved novel of today gives us a glimpse of gender and social inequality during the author’s time, to which our titular heroine challenges and overcomes with the power of love and faith. “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” – says Jane Eyre. Women of the Victorian time lived in a rather submissive role but Jane Eyre is not one who would submit to her circumstances. We can imagine how Jane Eyre’s free spirit might have stirred up uneasy feelings in conformists of her day while for readers of our time, her strong will and longing for equality shall never cease to inspire.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 11:19 am by Cristina in , , , , , , , ,    No comments
The Huddersfield Daily Examiner tells about what's scheduled locally for the bicentenary of Branwell's birth.
The bicentenary of the birth of Branwell, brother of the famous Brontë sisters, will be celebrated at a Calderdale pub. [...]
The celebration is planned at one of his favourite drinking haunts from his time as station master at Luddenden Foot railway station – The Lord Nelson public house in Luddenden village.
Leading the gathering on Saturday, July 1, at 7.30pm is local author Alan Titterington whose recently published novel St John In The Wilderness captures Branwell in his many guises. Branwell recorded his friendship with Alan’s ancestor John Titterington in his Luddenden diaries and painted portraits of him and his wife Mary in gratitude for their support through difficult times.
Also appearing at The Lord Nelson will be folk singer John Bromley (Kimber’s Men) whose solo CD From Higgin Chamber figures in Alan’s novel and was recorded in a studio at Higgin Chamber, Boulderclough, near Sowerby, formerly the home and weaving mill of John and Mary Titterington. This three-storey mill features in the novel and was visible across a wide sweep of the Calder Valley on the night of September 9, 1856, when it was destroyed by fire.
At the Lord Nelson celebration theatre director Gareth Tudor Price will give readings of Branwell’s poetry and his portraits of John and Mary Titterington will also be on display. (Andrew Hirst)
Kent Online reviews Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre as seen at The Marlowe Theatre ending up on an unexpected, and rather pointless, note.
The problem with Charlotte Brontë's heroine is she just won't wear the victim's smock. She is feisty, belligerent and determined as she discovers her true inner self.
And that struggle has been caught so brilliantly in the Bristol Old Vic/National Theatre's version of Jane Eyre, which is at The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury until Saturday.
This isn't an adaptation or a simple re-working of the novel. Director Sally Cookson bravely re-invents the character. It is pacy, poignant and packing a punch - this is genuinely refreshing fresh Eyre. [...]
It was hard to believe during the performance of just short of three hours that there was only a cast of 10 - and some of them musicians.
At the heart of the play was Nadia Clifford as the eponymous heroine who grows from desperate child into a woman of substance with an ease that was truly believable.
And while paying homage to the period with smocks, corsets and bonnets, we follow Jane’s journey via a set of ladders, a climbing frame and platforms, from designer Michael Vale.
It is a tale of verve and humour told by a group of wonderful versatile actors who play children, adults and even a scene-stealing dog by the hilarious Paul Mundell as Rochester’s pet Pilot. [...]
And fused seamlessly into the story is music - not Jane Eyre The Musical, but Jane Eyre with music wonderfully performed by Matthew Churcher, Alex Heane and David Ridley, and enriched by Melanie Marshall’s soulful singing.
But it’s Nadia Clifford’s powerful performance as the determined rebel - moving from Jane the downtrodden child to GI Jane, who lets rip with a volley of invective against her oppressors - which is utterly captivating.
By her side is a wonderful ensemble of talent, with Hannah Bristow taking on five roles, Evelyn Miller taking on three and Lynda Rooke as both the vile Mrs Reed and the wonderful Mrs Fairfax. They also voice Jane’s conflicting thoughts.
Evelyn Miller manages to play Jane's friend Bessie, her love rival Blanche and her suitor St John Rivers so convincingly.
And smouldering in the background is the curmudgeonly Rochester, played by Tim Delap, who is drawn to his daughter’s governess like a moth to a deadly flame.
You are left feeling that if a Jane-like figure were alive today, you would hope she would be at the head of Britain’s negotiations on Brexit! (Paul Hooper)
Fallbrook & Bonsall Village News reviews - with some pictures - Roustabouts Theatre Company's Withering Heights.
Just at the “edge of crazy” is one of the funniest, liveliest shows currently running in San Diego. It’s fall-out-of-your-seat hilarious. Withering Heights brings Emily Bronte’s novel, Wuthering Heights, to life like never before! It is a hoot!
Co-writers Phil Johnson and Omri Schein have taken what seemed like a really, really bad idea and turned it into brilliant one.
Exercising expertly crafted comic change ups, impeccable timing, razor sharp wit with fall on your face English farce, this two man/woman show is a non-stop laugh fest. [...]
Phil Johnson plays eight of the sixteen characters including a dog – brilliantly. He is just too funny (Right, there should be another word for “funny” but none describes the story as well). Each character is on the mark and Johnson never, never breaks. He is fully committed to each of his many personalities.
Then there’s Omri Schein. His character dedication is without pause. He’s a comic master mind that combines rib tickling, side splitting and lines delivered on the mark. One cannot help but be amazed.
David Ellenstein had the good sense to stay out of their way and allowed Johnson and Schein’s talent to meander throughout the story. Well, it just makes Ellenstein look really smart.
This delightful show came about because three guys thought there was something missing in San Diego theatre. Will Cooper, Ruff Yeager and Phil Johnson are making a difference by representing playwrights, producers, and actors coming together to make magic.
The team is supported by a production crew dedicated to their duties; James Olmstead made music, Scott Amiotte designed the set, Curtis Mueller managed the lights while Melanie Chen and Chad Lee synchronized the sound. However, absolutely nothing would have worked if Elisa Benzoni had not coordinated costumes with Bonnie Durben’s props along with Peter Herman’s wigs.
Hats off to this dedicated band of merry makers. (Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal)
Entertainment Weekly recommends '7 classic gothic tales to watch before you see The Beguiled', such as Wuthering Heights 1939.
As with the genre’s most famous entry, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, Gothic tales typically center on female protagonists and investigate the female psyche, particularly as it relates to desire, repression, and unbridled emotion. [...]
Wuthering Heights (1939)
As with its sister text, Jane Eyre, there have been numerous attempts to adapt Emily Brontë’s tale of forbidden love on the moors. Though this adaptation only makes use of 16 of the novel’s 34 chapters, it is perhaps the most indelible for its Oscar-winning black-and-white cinematography that brings the ghostly, haunting moors to vivid life (despite being filmed in sunny Los Angeles). It favors romance over the novel’s intended towering feminine rage that extends from the afterlife, but for better or worse, the film’s take on the central relationship between Cathy (Merle Oberon) and Heathcliff (Laurence Olivier) has shaped notions of the story for more than half a century. Olivier disliked his costar because he had wanted to star opposite his real-life love interest Vivien Leigh (who was off making Gone with the Wind at this time). However, he did make an interesting contribution to the subconscious terror inherent to the gothic – fresh off playing Hamlet on the British stage, he employed Freudian techniques of psychoanalysis to make Heathcliff a smoldering Byronic hero in lieu of the more traditional romantic lover.
Rebecca (1940)
Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again…so begins this gothic romance based on a 1938 Daphne Du Maurier novel that was a contemporary answer to Jane Eyre. (Maureen Lee Lenker)
Decider thinks that the new screen adaptation of Anne of Green Gables, Anne with an E, has 'a protagonist problem'.
The major plot points of this narrative were well-established when Anne of Green Gables was originally published. I suspect that Anne herself is what was fresh. Here she’s a cross between Jane Eyre, Ramona Quimby, Hermione Granger, and Nellie Oleson. This isn’t a winning combination, and Amybeth McNulty’s portrayal is just one shade more reserved than the kind of acting one expects to see on those Disney tween shows where the kids are all loud and sassy. (I feel like a jerk trash-talking a little girl, so let’s blame the director.) Anne loves big words and lyrical imagery, and her speech reminds me—more than anything—of a character in a crappy historical romance. (Jessica Jernigan)
Here's how The Huffington Post describes the British TV series Inside No. 9:
The episodes tend to focus on conversation inside that venue, so if you’re looking for sweeping Jane Eyre-type British countryside visuals, this is probably not your show. (David Hinckley)
Coastal Illustrated has an article on 'The fine art of Romanticism':
The art of Romance and the month of June go together like a breath of fresh air. Paintings were not the only creative product of significance during this art period, as this was also the era of great poets such as Byron, Keats and Shelley. It was during this time that the famous romantic novels of the Brontë family, particularly “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë and “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë, were first created.
Not really.

SparkLife imagines humorously how 'Classic Authors Pitched Their Novels, Probably':
Wuthering Heights
It’s a love story for the ages, except no it’s not. (Elodie)
Chiapas paralelo (Mexico) discusses the book Una adicción a la novela inglesa by Sergio Pitol
Sobre Cumbres borrascosas, de Emily Brontë, libro imprescindible, Pitol cede la voz a Virginia Woolf para tratar de clarificar la extraña pasión de los personajes (p. 37): “El conflicto no es de ‘te amo’ o ‘te odio’, sino el establecido entre ‘nosotros la raza humana’ y ‘ustedes, los poderes eternos’ ”. (Héctor Cortés Mandujano) (Translation)
The Lady Nerds find echoes of Jane Eyre in Florence and the Machine's song “Only If For A Night"
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
New chances to see Jane Eyre as a promenade play in Haddon Hall, no less:
Jane Eyre
Adapted by Gillian Shimwell
Gala Evening Performances – June
21st - 24th June at 5pm-6:45pm

The choice location for many film-makers; Haddon Hall has played host to no less than three versions of ‘Jane Eyre’.
In celebration of Haddon Hall’s connection to many adaptations of Jane Eyre, Lord and Lady Edward Manners have commissioned local writer Gillian Shimwell to create and produce an exciting new live promenade play called ‘Jane Eyre at Haddon Hall.’
This quick paced play features costumed actors playing key roles from the novel, directing scenes throughout the hall guiding an audience along as if apart of the performance. A unique experience you would not forget.

Arrive 30 minutes before performance to enjoy a glass of Prosecco under the arch of the restaurant and then enjoy a beautifully prepared, three course meal after the play has ended in Haddon’s Restaurant.
Gillain Shimwell on her adaptation:
The task: to present the entire novel, faithfully, within the space of one and a half hours; to1 place the action entirely within Haddon Hall, whilst capturing the sense of moorland space, the dreary confines of Lowood school, the comforts, and the sinister secrets, of Thornfield, and the pleasant homeliness of a smaller manor in which Jane, now a woman with her own money, yet retaining her disregard for opulence, is finally re-united with redeemed, maimed Rochester. This is in retrospect; when I was asked to take on the commission, I simply accepted an enticing opportunity. I re-read the book, then put it aside, except for reference, and began.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 11:15 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
The Huddersfield Daily Examiner tells about Kirklees Council offering Mary Taylor's former home to Friends of Red House when the group no longer existed.
Kirklees Council tried to sell one of its museums to a community group that no longer existed, it is claimed. [...]
The Examiner has learned that the council’s bid to asset transfer the venue to volunteers has failed, despite three bids from interested groups.
Following the unsuccessful process, council officials wrote to the Friends of Red House Museum asking if they could raise the funds to buy the property.
But the group had been wound up in January and so did not respond.
The future of the Grade 2 listed museum – which showcases the home of Mary Taylor and her links with author Charlotte Brontë – is now unknown.
It is thought the council will attempt to sell the small estate to a private buyer.
Michael McGowan from Red House Generation Group, whose bid was turned down by Kirklees officers, has lashed out at the “inadequate and seriously flawed” asset transfer process.
Mr McGowan, a former Labour Member of the European Parliament, has written a scathing letter to council bosses, accuses the council of “cultural vandalism” and questions the expertise of the officials involved in the process.
Mr McGowan says neither elected councillors nor officers from the museums and galleries service were involved in the decision making panel that turned down the bids.
He said: “We were told that the group Friends of Red House had been written to and offered six weeks to declare an interest in buying the property and then they would have six months to raise the funds.
“But it has been widely reported in the local press that the Friends of Red House no longer exists. It is surprising that Kirklees Council are ignorant of this situation.
“It undermines total confidence in the process to be informed that Kirklees had written to a group that does not exist.”
His letter continues: “It is now sad that the Spen Valley is being robbed of its one centre of history and heritage with the selling off of this priceless community resource.”
A spokesman for Kirklees Council said it would “consider the points raised” in Mr McGowan’s letter and respond directly, adding: “We wrote to The Friends of Red House because they had submitted a Community Right to Bid application for Red House Museum, which was accepted and published on the council’s website. (Nick Lavigueur)
BookRiot offers 'Honest plot summaries of 19th-century novels', including
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë: His first wife was in the attic the whole time, but the heroine marries him anyway. [...]
Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë: The two worst people in the world fall in love, unfortunately for the people around them who have to put up with their nonsense. (Kathleen Keenan)
USA Today's Happy Ever After interviews writer Juliette Cross, who
From the moment she read Jane Eyre as a teenager, she fell in love with the Gothic romance. (Joyce Lamb)
This columnist from The Times tells about the 'anxiety' he feels whenever his kids go to him with a question:
Point being, this ad is my worst nightmare. I have enormous levels of anxiety when it comes to being the “omniscient dad’’ figure. I just don’t think I’m there. I have three children and whenever I see them approaching with a book in hand I break out into cold sweats, and think: “Holy shit! No history please. No chemistry. And definitely no maths. And no comparative religion either. Just something nice and easy. Like the novels of the Brontë sisters or something from physics with a Bunsen burner, preferably distillation.” (Kevin Maher)
Bunsen burners sound more about chemistry, though.

Finally, an alert from Gaylord, MI:
Sarah Shoemaker will be available for a reading and signing of her first historical fiction novel, "Mr. Rochester," at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 20, at Saturn Booksellers, 127 W. Main St.
Shoemaker, an Illinois native and world traveler, will share with listeners the secrets of Edward Fairfax Rochester of "Jane Eyre" fame. Shoemaker will give insights into the perspective of the enigmatic "Mr. Rochester" as she relates the secrets of an 8-year-old boy banished from his home, his journey to Jamaica and his entanglement there with an enticing heiress. (Gaylord Herald Times)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Monday, June 19, 2017 11:18 pm by M. in ,    No comments
An alert from the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
Late Night Thursday
Museum open until 8pm
July 20th 2017 05:30pm - 08:00pm

A chance to avoid the crowds and enjoy the Museum in the early evening. Visit www.bronte.org.uk/whats-on for details of one-off events to enhance your visit.

Late night Thursdays are free after 5.30pm to all visitors providing proof of residence in the BD22, BD21 and BD20 postcode areas and also to all those living in Thornton, birthplace of the Brontës. Usual admission prices apply to all other visitors. Pre-booking not required.
First of all, let us recommend Nick Holland's selection of rarely-seen quotes by Ellen Nussey on the Brontës on AnneBrontë.org. We are now wondering why they are so often left out of biographical accounts as they seem to really bring them to life, particularly Emily, whose biographers should be glad of these gems.

The Guardian interviews writer Amanda Craig and asks her,
Which literary figures – dead or alive – would you invite to a dinner party? Dickens and Thackeray – although it would have to be when they were getting on, because I hate people having rows. And Charlotte Brontë and Keats. (Hannah Beckerman)
Times of San Diego reviews the stage production Withering Heights by Roustabout Theatre.
Mayhem, delirious mania, split-second character changes and two tour de force performances. Oh, and audible dyspepsia. And a fart. Can’t have a silly spoof without that.
David Ellenstein directs this inspired insanity, which excels more in the characterizations than the text itself.
The gray, moorish set was designed by Scott Amiotte. The costumes (Elisa Benzoni) are just right, minimal changes marking maximal character delineation. The sound effects (Melanie Chen) are terrific, and the lighting (Curtis Mueller) is highly effective (mirror ball and all). The lights for the graveyard scene are killer. And of course, everything turns blood-red with each death.
Even if this isn’t your cup of comedy, you’ve got to marvel at Schein’s insanely gifted malleability of face, voice, accent and gender, not to mention his agile physicality. And Johnson’s inherent wackiness and mastery of humor, anger and canine impersonation.
Off-the-wall? For sure. The guys, the play, the acting, the whole enchilada — wildly over-the-top. You’ll get a bellyful, for sure. (Pat Launer)
And more Wuthering Heights-inspired humour as The Huffington Post includes the novel on a list of Twenty Classic Novels (As Onion Headlines).
20.Wuthering Heights: Man reacts very poorly to being friendzoned. (Jocelyn Macurdy Keatts)
BookerTalk has compiled a list of '10 literary fathers to love or dislike' including Heathcliff.
 The brooding protagonist of Emily Brontë’s Gothic novel Wuthering Heights fathers a sickly child called Linton whom he despises. Heathcliff harshly uses him as a means to exact revenge on the Lintons over the death of his beloved Cathy, to the extent of forcing him into a marriage.
Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb features John Pfordresher, author of the forthcoming book The Secret History of Jane Eyre: How Charlotte Brontë Wrote Her Masterpiece.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for this book, and how did you research it?
A: There’s a story here. I participated in a panel discussion about Jane Eyre for the NPR syndicated radio program “The Diane Rehm Show” several years ago.
Subsequently a young literary agent e-mailed me asking if I would be interested in writing a book about how Brontë was able to write what she termed “my favorite novel.”
This seemed to me an interesting project because I’ve been for many years fascinated by the creative process, the “how” great writing emerges. So we wrote up a book proposal and W. W. Norton generously accepted it.
The answer to “how” seemed to me, insofar as it’s possible to scrutinize the creative process, to be a biographical question.
And so I learned all I could about Charlotte Brontë through the major biographies from the classic account of Elizabeth Gaskell up to recent accounts by Winifred Gérin, Juliet Barker, and Claire Harmon [sic], as well as reading all of Brontë’s letters and other writings, both the juvenilia as well as her other published fiction. (Read more)