Saturday, September 19, 2020

Mrs. Gaskell's Personal Pantheon

On Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 12:31 am by M. in ,    No comments

An interesting new book on Elizabeth Gaskell and her circle:

Mrs. Gaskell's Personal Pantheon
Illuminating Mrs. Gaskell's Inner Circle

Robert C G Gamble
Edward Everett Root Publishers
ISBN: 9781913087463 

This new book vividly presents previously undiscovered biographical information about Elizabeth Gaskell, the author of Mary Barton, Cranford, The Life of Charlotte Brontë, and Wives and Daughters.
It also provides much contextual material about Harriet Martineau, the Brontë family and the history of Manchester.
In particular it casts significant fresh light on Mrs Gaskell’s influential inner circle of friends, adding to our appreciation of her writings and of her life.
The book uncovers some of the mysteries of Mrs Gaskell’s key relationships, most notably concerning Miss Mitchell, who has previously been misidentified in Gaskell biography. Given Mrs Gaskell’s statement that Miss Mitchell was one of the two principal influences in her life, a deeper understanding of this shadowy presence and the figures around her is vital to our understanding of the author.
Existing orthodoxy identifies Miss Mitchell as Rosa Mitchell, a visiting governess in the Gaskell household. However, the Miss Mitchell mentioned repeatedly in Mrs Gaskell's letters was in fact Rosa's much older sister, Janetta Bishop Mitchell. Janetta is shown to have been an important mentor, not only to Mrs Gaskell but also to the writer Harriet Martineau. Janetta was an example of the many sophisticated women with few material resources who, despite remaining unmarried and culturally invisible, nevertheless found their own paths in 19th-century English society.

The Martineau Society has an article on the book. The author gave recently a (virtual) talk at the Gaskell Society presenting his book:


Friday, September 18, 2020

Friday, September 18, 2020 10:14 am by Cristina in , , , , , , ,    No comments
Daily Mail asks bookish questions to writer Sue Miller, who's a fan of Jane Eyre but not Wuthering Heights,
. . . first gave you the reading bug?
Jane Eyre when I was 12. I took it down from my parents' bookshelf at random. From the first sentence, I was lost in it. 
Charlotte Brontë has much to answer for by proposing the outwardly cruel, inwardly sensitive and passionate model of what a man should be.
But Jane's slow making of a self out of the most unlikely materials is wonderful.
. . . left you cold?
Wuthering Heights. Emily Brontë is considered by some to be a truer poet than Charlotte; but somehow the book seems nearly parodic in its intensity. 
Like a grotesque version of her sister's work. Unfair, no doubt.
Vogue Australia considers Wuthering Heights 2011 a 'sweeping period drams that gives us total Downton Abbey vibes'. Well, that's not how we would describe it.
Wuthering Heights (2011)
Elemental and erotic, Andrea Arnold’s reimagining of Emily Brontë’s 19th-century novel drips with longing. It casts Solomon Glave and James Howson as younger and older incarnations of Heathcliff—the first time the Byronic hero has been played by black actors—and Shannon Beer and Kaya Scodelario as the wild and wayward Cathy. As childhood friends, they run through misty marshes and windswept hilltops together but as adults, their love soon proves to be mutually destructive. (Radhika Seth)
Brisbane Times reviews the socially distanced production of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own at Belvoir St Theatre, Sydney.
Woolf's primary contention was that, in order to write, women required two assets denied them from the dawn of time until her own day: financial independence and a room of their own. She marvels at such 19th-century pioneers as Jane Austen and the Brontës generating high art while obliged to write amid the distractions of their homes' living rooms. (John Shand)
A contributor to The Independent Florida Alligator claims to have
caught myself gazing out my window this past summer like a heroine in a Brontë novel, longing for something more than the humdrum of everyday life. It'd be easy enough to hose myself down in antiseptics and skulk around Turlington Plaza searching for food, water, atmosphere or all of the above — but if there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout 2020, it’s how to manage my expectations. (Lonnie Numa)
Finally, an alert for later today: an online event which is part of Culture Night Offaly (via Offaly Express).
The Irish Legacy of the Brontë Family in 15 Objects
Time: 7pm
Charlotte Brontë married Banagher-man, Arthur Bell Nicholls. In 1861 he brought all the remaining Brontë belongings back to Banagher. This online talk will provide an insight into the Brontë family through 15 items in this collection. Branwell’s Pillar Portrait is one of the objects under discussion.
12:30 am by M. in    No comments
The twelfth (and last) instalment of the Keeping the Flame Alive Quiz challenge. All of them devised and shared by John Hennessy.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Thursday, September 17, 2020 11:18 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
The New Republic recommends the new film The Personal History of David Copperfield as it teaches us 'how to foster joy in a time of fear and contagion'.
Critics rarely recommend movies their readers have little chance of seeing in the near future. Nonetheless, you can only watch Armando Ianucci’s new film, The Personal History of David Copperfield, by physically going to a cinema—something a New York–based professor of medicine recently likened to “Russian roulette” during a pandemic like ours. It is a disappointing situation but also fitting, since contagious respiratory illnesses are such a hallmark of the nineteenth-century English novel. From Jane Eyre’s friend Helen Burns dying meekly in the school’s “fever room” to the pale-cheeked Smikes who expires passively on “a fine, mild autumn day” in Charles Dickens’s Nicholas Nickleby, these books are crawling with illnesses like cholera, diphtheria, and tuberculosis. (Josephine Livingstone)
Journal Pioneer reviews the film Bone Cage.
In his adaptation of Banks’ play Bone Cage, actor/writer/director Taylor Olson takes that thought and runs with it in his first feature, as its main character Jamie haunts the deforested landscape with all the brooding intensity of Wuthering Heights’ Heathcliff storming across a Yorkshire moor. (Stephen Cooke)
The Spectator reviews Susanne Clarke's new book, Piranesi, and looks back on her famous debut novel:
In 2004, the bestselling debut from a cookery book editor seemed to promise an unfailing fountain of the creative imagination: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, a three-volume reworking of Britain’s military tussle with Napoleon, but with added fairies, felt like Jane Austen brewed up with spells and a dash of the Brontës’ Angria sagas. (Suzi Feay)
Osceola Sentinel-Tribute reviews Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.
Halfway through the story, the truth hits. Combining V.C. Andrews, Stephen King, and the collective forces of the Brontë sisters the story turns into a hidden unbelievable horror. (Merle Lee Pugh)
Limelight (Australia) reviews a socially distanced production of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own at Belvoir St Theatre, Sydney.
Tracing her way through history, Woolf canvasses the lives and work of women writers including Aphra Behn, Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea and George Eliot, as well as Shakespeare’s (fictional) sister Judith. At the heart of her argument is that women need a safe room of their own and an annual income in order to become writers. (Jo Litson)
Vulture has a recap of the fourth week of Love Island U.S., episodes 15 through 21.
The age situation does provide a little context, however, as to why Kierstan spends most of her time this week ignoring the new hotties and sulking around like a brooding male character in a Brontë novel, pining over Carrington and plotting a display of valor despite their mutual agreement to move forward platonically. (Olivia Crandall)
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
An alert for tomorrow, September 16, via Zoom:
The Brontë Lounge with Patience Agbabi: Emily's Papers
September 17th 2020 07:30pm - 08:30pm

We are delighted to welcome poet and novelist Patience Agbabi to the Brontë Lounge. Patience was our writer in residence during the bicentenary of Emily Brontë in 2018, during which time she wrote Emily’s Papers, a collection of new poems in response to the author of Wuthering Heights.
Patience is one of the UK’s most prominent poets, she has published four collections and her work has featured on radio and TV worldwide.  Her poem ‘The Refugee’s Tale’ appeared in The Refugee Tales (Comma Press, 2016) when she participated in a reverse pilgrimage walk from Canterbury to London to raise awareness of asylum seekers’ issues. Her debut novel, The Infinite, (Canongate, 2020), an eco-thriller for 8-12 year olds, was published in April.
In this live event, Patience will share what she discovered about Emily during her residency at the Parsonage and read some of the poems from Emily’s Papers.  Our host Helen Meller will lead the questions, but interaction via the chat box is positively encouraged!

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 10:53 am by Cristina in , , , , , , ,    No comments
As a lovely gesture of solidarity Jane Austen's House trustee Professor Kathryn Sutherland writes about the importance of literary houses and invites Janeites to support the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
‘Alas! if the heroine of one novel be not patronized by the heroine of another, from whom can she expect  protection and regard?  … Let us not desert one another’  (Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey, chapter 5)
Charlotte Brontë claimed not to have read an Austen novel until after the publication of Jane Eyre.  In 1848 she recorded her reading of Pride and Prejudice, on the recommendation of George Henry Lewes.  Two years later she added Emma to her list, telling her editor, W. S. Williams, in April 1850, that ‘I excite amazement by replying in the negative’ when asked ‘whether I have read’ Jane Austen.
Now, Charlotte, we at Jane Austen’s House know that is a fib!
Charlotte Brontë, we can reveal, was a secret admirer of her sister novelist.  Why else would Jane Eyre, in its story and heroine, so closely mirror Mansfield Park?  Ours is not to question why Brontë withheld information about her private reading: the workings of the creative mind are, we acknowledge, mysterious and secret.  It is enough that she paid Austen the compliment of revisiting in Jane, the servant-heroine, Austen’s tale of Fanny, the servant-heroine, both of them outsiders ‘born to struggle and endure’, caught between religious duty and desire.
We, in our turn, confess openly our admiration for all the works of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne.  The three sisters were, like Jane, that rare thing, great writers even in childhood.  In Catherine Earnshaw’s cry ‘I wish I were a girl again, half savage and hardy, and free’ (Wuthering Heights, ch. 12), we hear something that chimes with the joyous anarchy of Jane’s teenage writings.
At Jane Austen’s House we stand in solidarity with our sister novelists, daughters, like Jane, of the parsonage.  This time last year, Ann Dinsdale, Principal Curator at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, and I were preparing a joint presentation for Ilkley Literary Festival (listen again here) on the importance of protecting a public right in cultural objects: in the manuscripts, artefacts, and houses that represent our shared literary heritage. Such objects are constituent of a thriving culture.  Back in September 2019 we could not imagine how, a year on, our argument would seem even more urgent.
We are living through desperate times for literary houses and museums, for theatres, concert halls, for the arts in general.  Yet this is the time when we need more than ever what novels, music, plays offer us: windows onto alternative lives and ways of being, and the opportunities for reflection and for solace and companionship that they give us.
We have the books, streaming services, and ingenious virtual alternatives, but we need the public spaces and real encounters too.  The museum inside the house is a supplement to our reading, a kind of authentication. This is where Jane Austen or Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë wrote. Readers from all over the world come to these places to find confirmation of the intimacy of connection that we discover in their writings. Literary houses are powerful places, freeing the visitor to imagine how life is transformed into art.  Though we still have the books and the films, we’d all be the poorer without these special places. Part of our common culture, we all have a stake in them. It is in our interest that we ensure they continue, stay open, and thrive.  We owe it to ourselves to save them.
Daily Mail suggests 'Exploring the village where Emily Bronte wrote Wuthering Heights - and the stunning moorland landscape it was set in'.
Before it was a GCSE set text, and long before Kate Bush was singing about it, Wuthering Heights was a novel so sensational that when it was published in 1847, reviewers recoiled from its 'savage cruelty and outright barbarism'. [...]
The family's parsonage in Haworth is now the Brontë Parsonage Museum ( Visitors can see the dining table where Emily wrote Wuthering Heights. 
Stay next door at Weavers Guesthouse, a beautifully restored 19th Century weavers' cottage ( 
It's a short walk from here, past the Old School Room – built by Patrick Bronte in 1832 and where all the sisters taught – to St Michael and All Angels' Church, where all of the Bronte siblings, except Anne, are buried.
Though touristy, Haworth is a beautiful moorland village. Catch your breath, along with a cup of tea, at 10 The Coffee House, or the Fleece Inn (, which serves hearty pies and local ale. 
Then follow in Emily's footsteps out on to the moorland.
Three miles west, past the Bronte Bridge, is the desolate Top Withens, reputedly Wuthering Heights itself. You can also steam across the moors – heritage Keighley and Worth Valley Railway ( stops at Haworth. (Jennifer Cox)
Wuthering Heights is one of 'Five Great Novels About First Love' according to writer Bobbie Ann Mason on Literary Hub.
Ultimately, the story is in our own imaginations. Thus we feel that the landscape of desolation and boundlessness is an appropriate match for the passion that fuels Heathcliff’s revenge against the family that owned the property and treated him as property.
This is Nelly Dean’s world. She herself is a product of this place. She knows that wind, that daily desolation, She may be projecting it onto Catherine and Heathcliff. People living in a fierce, provincial place with wild weather are subject to dangerous passions, Nelly seems to be suggesting. “We don’t in general take to foreigners here,” she explains to Lockwood. Young Catherine’s attraction to the dark-skinned boy doesn’t set well with her, and Catherine herself mistreats Nelly, so Nelly has her own reasons for fashioning the story as she does. Lockwood is compelled by the tale, having experienced the weather and Heathcliff’s wrath firsthand in the first few pages. Lockwood, who is susceptible to wild dreams, hears the ghostly voice of Catherine and nearly loses his mind. Nelly Dean and Lockwood are coloring this story of wuthering weather from their own experience of it and they are glad to spin a yarn, but it is the genius of Emily Brontë that pulls the wool over their eyes and makes us feel the depth and strangeness of this powerful love tale.
Fine Books & Collections includes Finola Austin's Brontë's Mistress on a selection of new 'bibliofiction'.
In Brontë’s Mistress, author Finola Austin, aka the Secret Victorianist, takes the gossip surrounding Branwell Brontë’s affair with the older, married Lydia Robinson, and develops a complex and compelling tale that gives Lydia a voice. The novel opens (deliciously) with the discovery in a Yorkshire school’s “storage room” of a manuscript written by Lydia that describes her scandalous relationship with Branwell, the ne’er do well brother of novelists Charlotte, Emily, and Anne—all of whom would certainly have blushed to read this account of their illicit romance. (Rebecca Rego Barry)
Yesterday for Tom Hardy's birthday Republic World recommended '7 Underrated Early Roles Of The Actor You Might Have Missed' including
Wuthering Heights (2009)
Wuthering Heights is adapted from a novel. He starred in two seasons of the show. He was one half of the destructive lovers, Heathcliff. Tom Hardy portrayed the character in a very dark yet strangely charming way doing justice to Emily Brontë's source material. (Isha Khatu)
While Vogue mentions Andrea Arnold's take on the novel:
Andrea Arnold’s ‘Wasp’ (2003)
The bleakness and beauty of the British auteur’s visual style, from Fish Tank (2009) to Wuthering Heights (2011), can be traced back to this stunning social-realist fable, which earned Arnold an Oscar for best live-action short film. (Radhika Seth)
More on film, as The York Press features the new Filmed in Yorkshire website which 'enables you to 'visit' Yorkshire film and TV locations online'.
Malham , the iconic Dales village (with the extraordinary Malham Cove above) which has been used as one of the filming locations for All Creatures. "The dramatic limestone pavement just above Malham Cove is also a recognisable location from productions such as Wuthering Heights, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and The Trip," Screen Yorkshire says. (Stephen Lewis)
The Independent has an article on Kate Bush.
Bush was, however, prepared to accede to the wishes of her record label. That was quite a change from 1978 when, at just 19, she faced down EMI over the choice of her first single. She had wanted “Wuthering Heights”, the record company preferred “James and the Cold Gun”. This unknown teenager put her foot down and was vindicated as the track went to No 1 (making her the first female artist in UK chart history to top the charts with her own composition). (Ed Power)
Just One More Chapter posts about Wuthering Heights. Willow and Thatch ranks 5 Jane Eyre screen adaptations.
12:07 am by M. in ,    No comments
A recent book on the world of the Brontës en  Això!
A Marble Column: Jane Eyre in India Paperback
by Cicely Havely (Author)
ISBN-13 : 978-1708375133
November 21, 2019

Charlotte Brontë gives the last words of Jane Eyre to the uncertain destiny of St John Rivers, the ardent missionary Jane rejected for Mr Rochester. So what happened to St John In India? "A marble COLUMN develops the characters and themes of Brontë’s original novel in language which echoes her style but pares down its Victorian elaborations. Set against a rich background in which the patterns of Imperial rule in India are not yet fully hardened, this lively and far-reaching sequel puts great loves to the test on a voyage of inner discovery.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Writer Jessie Burton shares the books that shaped her on GoodHousekeeping.
The book that got you through a hard time...
Jane Eyre is probably my major comfort read, which might seem odd, given that it’s a story of a young woman who basically has a hard time through four-hundred-odd pages. Maybe that’s why, though! I have been reading and re-reading Jane Eyre since I was eleven. I used to have extremely bad anxiety and intrusive thoughts when I was younger, which I had not yet learned how to identify and manage. I would sit up late, reading this novel, trying to avoid my racing mind, plunging my imagination into its magnetic voice, its imagery and propulsive plot. Obviously, it’s a classic and a masterpiece, but the personhood inside it, the intimacy of it, of Jane’s unfolding story as she tells it to us, is tremendously comforting. She survives, despite great adversity. She is a person who knows herself, when the rest of the world keeps seeking to diminish and even destroy her. She is not perfect and she knows that.
A novel has the power to comfort because as human beings we need stories to make sense of the chaos in which we live. Books offer us an order to that chaos, sometimes a mirror to it, and sometimes even a sense of solution to it – and we can digest all that at our own pace. We can find our own stories in other stories, and that fact makes us feel less alone. Novels provide escape, but also the flexing of the imaginative muscle, which is important for empathy, for lower blood pressure, and for seeing the world anew. (Joanne Finney)
Stuff  (New Zealand) looks at 'The great life lessons from the Harry Potter books'.
While everyone else was riding the Hogwarts Express I was wandering around with a copy of Wuthering Heights hoping someone might be impressed by me. In short, I denied myself the pleasure of something great in order to prove an imaginary point to no-one. (Nicky Deww And Kelly Bertrand)
Both Poetry Foundation and Fine Books & Collections report the news of the £20,000 donation from the TS Eliot estate to the Brontë Parsonage Museum. Please remember that you can still contribute towards keeping the Brontë Parsonage Museum open.

The Secret Victorianist (aka Finola Austin, author of Brontë's Mistress) posts about Sarah Shoemaker's Mr Rochester. The Eyre Guide reviews A Marble Column: Jane Eyre in India by Cicely Havely.
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
A new scholar book on Charlotte Brontë just published:
Charlotte Brontë at the Anthropocene
by Shawna Ross
SUNY series, Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-7987-3
September 2020

Forges a fresh interpretation of Charlotte Brontë’s oeuvre as a response to ecological instability.

In this book, Shawna Ross argues that Charlotte Brontë was an attentive witness of the Anthropocene and created one of the first literary ecosystems animated by human-caused environmental change. Brontë combined her personal experiences, scientific knowledge, and narrative skills to document environmental change in her representations of moorlands, valleys, villages, and towns, and the processes that disrupted them, including extinction, deforestation, industrialization, and urbanization. Juxtaposing close readings of Brontë’s fiction with Victorian and contemporary science writing, as well as with the writings of Brontë’s family members, Ross reveals the importance of storytelling for understanding how human behaviors contribute to environmental instability and why we resist changing our destructive habits. Ultimately, Brontë’s lifelong engagement with the nonhuman world offers five powerful strategies for coping with ecological crises: to witness destruction carefully, to write about it unflinchingly, to apply those experiences by questioning and redefining toxic definitions of the human, and to mourn the dead, all without forgetting to tend the living.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Monday, September 14, 2020 10:45 am by Cristina in , ,    No comments
We quite disagree with the premise of this BBC article which claims that 'women writers have often chosen to publish their work using a pseudonym'. It makes it sound whimsical when it isn't.
But even that single contemporary example cracks open how thorny this issue is: Rowling’s choices were not just about sexism, but also about a desire for anonymity, and the crafting of a new identity. 
And that is almost always the case – it’s rarely so simple as just the bad sexism keeping a good woman down. Perversely, assuming it is so actually perpetuates vague, muddled notions that, historically, only a few women ever managed to break through, and did so by pretending to be men – think George Eliot, the Brontës. (Holly Williams)
True, but why couldn't an identity be veiled behind a feminine name instead of a masculine name? Because they knew and they know that they won't be taken as seriously. Charlotte Brontë said it much better:
Averse to personal publicity, we veiled our own names under those of Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell; the ambiguous choice being dictated by a sort of conscientious scruple at assuming Christian names positively masculine, while we did not like to declare ourselves women, because -- without at that time suspecting that our mode of writing and thinking was not what is called "feminine"-- we had a vague impression that authoresses are liable to be looked on with prejudice; we had noticed how critics sometimes use for their chastisement the weapon of personality, and for their reward, a flattery, which is not true praise.
Daily Mail carries the story of Ponden Hall being for sale. AnneBrontë.org has a post on 'The Old Apothecary, Laudanum And The Brontës'.
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
A recent book where the Brontës are mentioned:
Breaking Bread With the Dead.  Reading the Past in Search of a Tranquil Mind
Alan Jacobs
Profile Books
ISBN: 9781788162999
September 2020

It's fashionable to think of the writers of the past as irredeemably tarnished by prejudice. Aristotle despised women. John Milton, the great champion of free speech, wouldn't have granted it to Catholics. Edith Wharton's imaginative sympathies stopped short of her Jewish characters. But what if it is only through the works of such individuals that we can achieve a necessary perspective on the troubles of the present?
Join literary scholar Alan Jacobs for a truly nourishing feast of learning. Discover what Homer can teach us about force, what Machiavelli has to say about reading and what Charlotte Brontë reveals about race. Not all the guests are people you might want to invite into your home, but they all bring something precious to the table. In Breaking Bread with the Dead, an omnivorous reader draws us into close and sympathetic engagement with minds across the ages, from Horace to Donna Haraway.
Though it's more Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea the one that is discussed.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

The Guardian picks up the story of Ponden Hall being currently on the market.
A scratching on a window pane, the fingers of a small ice-cold hand, a melancholy voice begging to be let in. The appearance of Cathy’s ghost at the start of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights is familiar to millions of readers and devotees of the 19th-century literary sisters. Now the house that is believed to have inspired the scene at the window is up for sale, although enthusiasts will need to find £1m for this piece of Brontë heritage.
The owners of Ponden Hall – a Grade II* listed property in Stanbury, near Haworth in West Yorkshire, and a thriving B&B – are retiring and downsizing more than 20 years after taking on the then-dilapidated house and carefully restoring it. The hall was owned by the Heaton family, who were trustees of Haworth parish church where Patrick Brontë, the sisters’ father, became vicar in 1820.
“He would have been in fairly regular contact with the Heatons, and the children would have grown up knowing the house,” said Ann Dinsdale of the Brontë Society. “Ponden Hall had a really fine library, and we know the Brontës were avid readers. It’s difficult to imagine they would have let the opportunity to borrow books slip by.”
During a cataclysmic mudslide caused by days of rain culminating in a heavy storm in 1824, three of Brontë children – Anne, Emily and their brother Branwell – and a servant sought shelter at Ponden Hall. Elements of the house interior are thought to have found their way into descriptions in Wuthering Heights, Emily’s only novel, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by her younger sister, Anne.
“It’s difficult to know how well they would have known the interior of the house, but in the popular imagination it stands for both Wuthering Heights and Wildfell Hall. There are quite obvious parallels between the Heaton family and the Earnshaws of Wuthering Heights. [Ponden Hall] is an incredibly atmospheric house, and if it wasn’t the model for Wuthering Heights, it should have been,” said Dinsdale. [...]
Julie Akhurst, Ponden Hall’s current owner, discovered ancient documents relating to the house, which describe a box-bed in a room across from the library. She and her husband, Steve Brown, had a replica made and installed.
“I started to research the history of the house, and gradually found out more and more,” Akhurst said. “It’s clear that Wuthering Heights wasn’t based solely on Ponden Hall – the location is wrong – but was a composite of different houses.”
The couple opened Ponden Hall, which dates from 1634, as a B&B six years ago. “We get a lot of Brontë enthusiasts from all over the world staying. Some are complete fanatics. Probably the best informed guest was a woman from Vietnam.”
The house has been used by the Brontë Society for meetings and workshops because the Brontë family parsonage, home to the Brontë museum, is comparatively small.
“This has been a wonderful family home for us, and then a business, but it’s time to move on,” said Akhurst. The couple are hoping to relocate to Sweden. “We feel we need a complete break. It would be hard to leave Ponden but live nearby, as it means so much to us.” (Harriet Sherwood)
A letter from a reader to The Times regarding its recent article on the £20,000 donation from the TS Eliot estate to the Brontë Parsonage Museum should make them blush a little at least:
Belittled women
Grant Tucker says that the Brontë sisters “toiled and gossiped” at their home (News, last week). Really? Does he mean “wrote novels”? No wonder the siblings used masculine pseudonyms.
Cathy Beck, Burton-in-Lonsdale, North Yorkshire

The Berkshire Edge features three novelists -  Thomas Hardy, Emily Brontë and D.H. Lawrence - who also wrote poetry.
Emily Brontë (1818-1848) wrote only one novel, but such a novel! The windswept masterpiece, “Wuthering Heights,” is considered one of the greatest in the English language. To which we add her poetry of unquestioned brilliance.
Emily was brought up and spent her life, save for some outside schooling, in a parsonage in Haworth, England, on the edge of the Yorkshire moors. Her family included her brother, Branwell, and two sisters, Charlotte and Anne, both very talented (Charlotte wrote “Jane Eyre”). We will discuss the family in a future column, but for now, pride of place goes to Emily whose poetic genius was extraordinary. Here she is in pursuit of spiritual and intellectual liberty.
Riches I hold in light esteem
And Love I laugh to scorn
And lust of Fame was but a dream
That vanished with the morn– [...]
Emily’s best-known poems are probably “Last Lines(No coward soul is mine) and “Remembrance” (Cold in the earth – and the deep snow piled above thee). But of equal importance is her salute “To Imagination,” in which Imagination partners with Liberty to prevail over Reason, Nature and Truth. Solitude also plays a role, and Emily said, “I’m happiest when most away.” [...]
Emily wrote more than 200 poems. At the age of thirty she died of tuberculosis, as had John Keats and as would our next poet, D. H. Lawrence. (William P. Perry)
Daily Geek Show (France) also features our Emily.

Express recommends a trip to Leeds and the list of nearby places worth a visit includes Haworth.
Head to Brontë country, taking a 25-minute train journey to Keighley then a 20-minute bus ride to the quaint village of Haworth on the edge of the Pennine Moors.Visit the house the sisters lived in from 1820 and where literary masterpieces Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights were written, now the Brontë Parsonage Museum. (Marjorie Yue)
We thought we already have left behind this mashup stuff. Apparently, we were wrong:
Thornfield Manor: Jane Eyre and Vampires
by Kathleen S Allen
October 2019
ISBN-13 : 978-1470077624

When eighteen-year-old Jane Eyre comes to Thornfield Manor to be governess to Mr. Rochester's ward, Adèle, she grows to love Edward Rochester as much as he loves her. But, the manor holds a secret and Jane must discover the secret before it is too late.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Saturday, September 12, 2020 11:10 am by Cristina in , , ,    No comments
Apollo Magazine has a lovely article mixing the Brontës, cats (or Cats) and T.S. Eliot, illustrated by drawings of their cats by the Brontës themselves.
The Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, West Yorkshire, has long been one of the favourite pilgrimage sites of English literature buffs, up there with Dove Cottage, Jane Austen’s House and, erm, a luggage trolley wedged into a wall at King’s Cross station. In less turbulent years than this one, some 70,000 people visit the parsonage, which in the 1840s was a formidable fiction factory; it was here that Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall were written.
So it is heartening to see that the museum’s crowdfunding campaign, which is aiming to raise emergency funds to make up for some of the revenue lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has at the time of writing achieved more than £70,000 of the £100,000 that the organisation is looking to raise to ensure its survival into 2021. That’s in no small part thanks to a £20,000 donation from the estate of T.S. Eliot, which has long benefited from the royalties it receives from the musical Cats. [...]
What the Brontës would have made of Cats is anyone’s guess. Cats they were certainly fans of, though, keeping two at the parsonage – as well as dogs such as Grasper and Flossy, whose collars survive at the museum. As Ellen Nussey wrote in her Reminiscences of Charlotte Brontë: ‘Black “Tom”, the tabby, was everybody’s favourite. It received such gentle treatment it seemed to have lost its cat’s nature, and subsided into luxurious amiability and contentment.’
Another cat, Tiger, was painted in watercolour by Emily Brontë in 1845, alongside Keeper, her bull mastiff and Flossy, Anne Brontë’s spaniel. [...]
Perhaps the Brontë siblings would have jumped at the chance of West End tickets, after all – and hummed ‘Old Deuteronomy’ and ‘Memory’ all the way back to Haworth. (Rakewell)
The Good Men Project recommends 'Three Books to Revisit This Fall' including
Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë opens on a “dreary November day” and Jane has been banished away from her aunt and cousins while they warm themselves by the fire. She reads while catching glimpses of the scene outside the window.
“Afar, it offered a pale blank of mist and cloud; near a scene of wet lawn and storm-beat shrub, with ceaseless rain sweeping away wildly before a long and lamentable blast.”
Charlotte Brontë , Jane Eyre
Her cousins are warming themselves by the fire, but she is not invited. This scene will repeat itself later at her boarding school where the bigger girls stand in the way of the fire. The gusts of wind and unrelenting weather are also a motif throughout the book. The weather symbolizes Jane’s emotions and often foreshadows upcoming events.
Jane grows throughout the novel, from an orphaned and isolated girl to a strong woman who understands her own strength. She has weathered the storm. It’s a good lesson for those of us who will have to do so over the coming fall and winter. (Catherine Lanser)
The Island (Sri Lanka) reviews The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar.
In a striking episode, a zealous mullah arrives in the village, confiscates the family’s entire collection of books and burns them in the village square. With broken hearts, the family watches “as the fire spread to the intertwined lovers Pierre and Natasha, Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler, Elizabeth and Mr Darcy, Abelard and Heloise, Tristan and Isolde, Salaman and Absal, Vis and Ramin, Vamegh and Azra, Zohreh and Manuchehr, Shirin and Farhad, Leyli and Majnun, Arthur and Gemma, the Rose and the Little Prince, before they had the chance to smell or kiss each other again, or whisper ‘I love you’ one last time.” (Anushka Hosain)
In The Times Helen Davies is transported
back to my earnest 14-year-old self when, after nailing most of Agatha Christie and the Brontës, I discovered Alice Walker's The Color Purple.
Corriere Romagna (Italy) features Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca.
La du Maurier, che sembra avere come punto di riferimento Charlotte Brontë e il suo “Jane Eyre”, opera qui una fusione tra elementi fiabeschi, avventura gotica e thriller, regalandoci un personaggio, quello della protagonista che parla in prima persona, in grado di rompere lo schema del romanzo vittoriano con le sue fantasie nevrotiche e con le sue domande senza risposta (protagonista a cui, per una vera e propria “sfida stilistica”, la du Maurier decide di non dare un nome…). (Andrea Bernardini) (Translation)
Jane Eyre 2011 is one of several films selected by Perfil (Argentina) as movies which make you want to read the books they are based on.
Another recently (e-)published contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre:
The Heir of Thornfield Manor (Contemporary Reboot #4)
by Ellie Thornton
Kindle Edition, 203 pages
Published February 22nd 2019 by Gelato Publishing LLC

Despite having their minds rebooted for the fourth time, Elizabeth Shea and Patrick Daley are drawn to each other like never before as they face crooked cops, assassins, and a mysterious woman in their midst in this contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre.
Even though Detective Elizabeth Shea worked with the feds on a case a year before, the last thing she expects is to be requested on a murder case in a rural California town called Thornfield. Almost three years after Katelyn Daley was murdered in her home, without any leads, the case went cold — until a week ago when a doctor was killed in the same execution style as her.
Now with new leads, the Feds need Elizabeth to go undercover in Thornfield Manor and watch over its heir, Patrick Daley — an ex-psychic who sometimes consults with the Feds, and with whom she feels an inexplicable bond.
Elizabeth’s job seems pretty straightforward — make sure Daley stays out of trouble until the case is solved. But, the more she learns, the more complicated it becomes. The police work on Katelyn’s murder was shoddy at best with lost evidence, missing witnesses and suspects, and a timeline that doesn’t quite add up. And that doesn’t even include the creepy laughter drifting through the manor’s halls at night or the attempt on Patrick’s life.
If this case keeps going as is, Elizabeth is at risk of losing much more than she ever expected — her heart, her job, and possibly the life of the man she never meant to love.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Friday, September 11, 2020 11:49 am by M. in , , , , , , , ,    No comments
(The selling of) Ponden Hall is again in the news. BBC News reports:
A house thought to be the inspiration for Emily Brontë when writing 19th century classic Wuthering Heights is on sale for more than £1m.
Ponden Hall, in Stanbury, West Yorkshire, dates back to 1541 and played host to Brontë and her family during their childhood.
Several features of the property are said to have inspired her work.
In 2014, it was converted into a bed and breakfast which is currently run by owners Steve Brown and Julie Akhurst.
Sisters Emily and Anne, who began writing as children along with their sibling Charlotte, first came across Ponden Hall during the Crow Hill Bog Burst, a mudslide that occurred following heavy rainfall in September 1824.
While this was the girls' first encounter with Ponden, they continued to visit, with the house providing inspiration for both Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
The library at Ponden, considered one of the finest in West Yorkshire and which boasted a Shakespeare first portfolio, was particularly appealing to the Brontës, who would often stop by to use it.
Mr Brown said it was a request from a Brontë enthusiast to stay over in the old library that prompted the couple to turn Ponden into a bed and breakfast.
The couple moved into the property in 1998 and undertook extensive restoration work.
The main guest bedroom features a small, single-paned window within a wooden, panelled box bed which bears similarities to the window that appears in Wuthering Heights.
Ms Akhurst said: "This is the room in the old end of the house which has a tiny window in it which inspired Emily to write the story of Cathy's ghost.
"There is the scene in which Mr Lockwood is asleep in the bed and he has a nightmare where he believes the ghost of Cathy is coming through the window to get him."
Also on BBC Culture we find this interesting article on Daphne du Maurier:
An article in the Spectator in the same year of the TLS reappraisal, 1962, made what I think is the first connection between Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece and du Maurier’s own, describing Rebecca as “a Cornish Gothic resetting of Jane Eyre.” It’s a comparison that, in more recent years, has seen Rebecca finally claimed by the literary establishment, thus metamorphosing a novel once blurbed as the “world-famous bestseller of love and suspense” into a key 20th-Century feminist gothic text: Brontë’s madwoman in the attic transformed into Rebecca’s ghostly presence, each woman a dirty little secret their husbands have to take care of, one way or another. (Lucy Scholes
Commonweal Magazine reviews both Isabelle Greenberg's Glass Town and Douglas A. Martin's Branwell: A Novel of the Brontë Brother:
Isabel Greenberg’s graphic novel Glass Town: The Imaginary World of the Brontës (Abrams ComicArts, $24.99) and Douglas A. Martin’s newly reissued Branwell: A Novel of the Brontë Brother (Soft Skull Press, $16.95). Both works take something solid from Brontë history (childhood imaginings in the case of Greenberg; addiction to drink and drugs in the case of Martin) and turn it strange and otherworldly.
While living at Haworth Parsonage in the 1820s, the Brontë siblings—Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, all celebrated novelists, as well as brother Branwell, the family’s great disappointment—created an imaginary world called Glass Town. Through text and image, Greenberg recreates both the lives of the young Brontës and the realm they imagined. Glass Town was a world of soldiers and romance, hard facts and wild fancy; it offered the isolated siblings an opportunity to think about other worlds, and it gives Greenberg the chance to blend literary biography with fantastical speculation. (...)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that all good prose must be described as poetic. But Martin’s writing really does display the compressed lyricism and rhythms of poetry.
By one light, Douglas A. Martin’s Branwell takes the airy Brontë myth and brings it back down to earth. Reissued with an excellent introduction by the novelist Darcey Steinke, Branwell serves as an imaginative biography of the ne’er-do-well Brontë brother: a talented, desirous would-be artist/poet (he sent letters to William Wordsworth, Thomas De Quincey, and Hartley Coleridge) who became a has-been drunk before dying at the age of thirty-one. (...)
Though Branwell is an excellent novel of deromanticizing, it can be as otherworldly as Glass Town. Martin’s hero “doesn’t know how to contain all he doesn’t know what to do with,” and his mind, when under the influence of opium or erotic desire, becomes hallucinatory, beautiful and terrifying in the way of dreams. (Anthony Domestico)
Church Times reviews the book Converting Britannia: Evangelicals and British public life, 1770-1840, by Gareth Atkins
A modest example was a poverty-stricken young Irishman, Patrick Brunty, who, arriving at St John’s College, Cambridge, in 1802, was taken up by Charles Simeon’s curate, Henry Martyn, who introduced him to the Evangelical great and good. Through their influence, he progressed via several Evangelical curacies to be perpetual curate of Howarth (sic) in Yorkshire, and father of the Brontë sisters. Evangelicals could also be ruthless in removing or silencing anyone who dissented from or challenged their vision. (William Jacob)
Yorkshire Life has a list of Yorkshire falls which includes our very own
Brontë Waterfall
Follow in the footsteps of the famous sisters, take the Brontë Trail starting from Haworth and running over the moors to the waterfall and Top Withens. 
The Hamilton County Times presents a curious series of talks organised by the CEArts’ annual Noblesville Interdisciplinary Creativity Expo (NICE) project:

Does Jane Eyre’s role in society always adhere to social convention?
Are Edward Rochester and Rhett Butler just a “bad boys,” or is there more to them than that?
Does Scarlett O’Hara’s sexuality help her or hurt her as a survival mechanism?
How would you describe Jo March in terms of gender roles and norms?
Is Dracula the ultimate abuser?
We’ll discuss these questions and more in the three sessions on September 12!
To register, simply email us at, and we'll send you invitation information for September 12’s three Zoom sessions.All Workshops Are Free; donations welcome! 
State of Mind (Italy) reviews the essay Questo matrimonio non s’ha da fare  di M. Morretta:
Un paio di anni fa visitai Haworth, villaggio inglese dove vissero le sorelle Brontë. Un tuffo emotivo nel mio passato adolescenziale in cui cercavo di capire cosa significasse amare. Per anni ho creduto che quello fosse il vero amore: gli sguardi rubati tra Mr. Rochester e Jane Eyre, i tormenti interiori, l’unica forza in grado di cambiare le persone, l’unico motore per raggiungere la felicità. Se avessi continuato a ricercare tra quelle righe il senso della vita forse avrei vissuto a metà, in angosce profonde e frustrazione, alla ricerca di un ideale impossibile. (Eleonora Natalini) (Translation)
Tonight, at the Teatro Comunale di Cagli (Italy) a concert in remembrance of the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks will contain an unexpected Brontë-related piece:
Venerdì 11 settembre alle 21.00 al Teatro Comunale di Cagli va in scena il recital I want magic , in prima esecuzione assoluta, con la soprano Laura Muncaciu e la pianista Yasue Hokimoto. Un progetto musicale che vuole ricordare attraverso la musica uno degli eventi più sconvolgenti della nostra epoca: la tragedia della Torri Gemelle di New York, avvenuta l’11 settembre di 19 anni fa. (...)
Il programma si muove dalle sonorità inglesi (R.V. Williams) dell’ultimo recital (sempre con Yasue pianista) alle atmosfere americane del ’900, i “Suoni americani” (che sono differenti da altri suoni), le parole di Emily Brontë e Tennesse Williams nel Teatro di Cagli. (Source) (Translation)
The piece is I have dreamt from Bernard Herrmann's Wuthering Heights opera.

Information (Denmark) reviews the novel Sortsyge by Cecilie Bødkers:
August er en god gammeldags narcissist, der det ene øjeblik overstrømmer Freja med kærlighed og straks truer med at tage den fra hende. Freja kaster sig forudsigeligt i hans arme, og den slags usunde dynamikker har da også givet stof til god litteratur fra Romeo og Julie til Heathcliff og Catherine i Wuthering Heights. (Bodil Skovgaard Nielsen) (Translation)
El Quindiano (Colombia) talks about pseudonyms in literature and mentions the Brontës. Books & Livres reviews the graphic novel Jane by Aline Brosh McKenna and Ramón K. Pérez.
A couple of recent Brontë-related thesis:
Social Criticism in Anne Brontë's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
by Barcik Oskar
Jagiellonian University, 2020

Having recognised the unjust treatment Anne Brontë has received as a novelist, both during her lifetime and long after her untimely death, the author’s aim is to analyse and showcase her final novel – The Tenant of Wildfell Hall – as an example of social critique, and therefore prove its literary merit in that regard. To support his claims, the author refers to the novel itself, its characters and narrative, and some of the most well-known Brontë scholars. Other academic sources provide material for the purpose of fleshing out the historical background. The main points of the thesis concern inequality between the sexes, injustices resulting from patriarchal structures, and the corruption of the upper class as undertaken in the novel.
The Angel in the Home. The feminist light and dark of Jane Eyre in our times
by Víctor Mechó Fuentes
Universitat Jaume I, 2020

Jane Eyre is considered the first feminist novel in history. Written by Charlotte Brontë, it narrates the life of a girl separated from her family and the internal struggle that she has over gender equality. In this academic research, a study is carried out on the feminism present in the novel. By knowing the author's biography and the context of the novel, it can be seen how the values and thoughts of women have endured through the years. The main objective of this work has been to analyze the work from a feminine point of view and to see how all the topics covered in the novel, and the thoughts of the characters can be compared to those contemporary women. Thanks to the analysis carried out, there are many similarities in society, since many of the wishes of women who lived in the 19th century continue to be reflected today. Several authors such as Hoyos (2016) or Iglesias-Rodríguez (2017) have treated Jane Eyre 's feminine point of view as something necessary for our society, considering the main character of the novel, Jane Eyre, as someone ahead of her time and who has been very necessary and a fundamental piece for the feminist movement that we are living today.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Thursday, September 10, 2020 9:14 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
The Telegraph seems to think that Charlotte Brontë was a regular diarist.
"I am just going to write because I can’t help it,” wrote Charlotte Brontë, in the diary that she kept of her life as a school teacher at Roe Head School. She charted her daily life, in pages of repression, longing and creative fury, which she would later put in her books. (Kate Williams)
Buzzfeed has selected the '19 New Historical Fiction Books You Won't Be Able To Put Down This Fall', including the forthcoming novel by Bella Ellis, author of The Vanished Bride.
16. The Diabolical Bones by Bella Ellis (Berkley Books; Nov. 10)
In 1846, the Brontë sisters are busy building their literary careers — oh, and launching their detective company. When a pile of bones are found on a neighboring property, the sisters (along with brother Branwell) are on the case to discover where these bones came from and whether anything sinister happened. But will the Brontës' curiosity lure them into a nefarious trap? (Kirby Beaton)
Book Riot discusses the trailer for the new adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca.
So what do we do while we wait for October 21? Watch the Rebecca trailer again and again? Luckily for us, Du Maurier was a prolific writer. You can read one of her many other novels—I suggest Jamaica Inn or My Cousin Rachel to start. Adaptations exist of those books as well, so get busy watching them so you’re in the right late-October gothic-spooky headspace by the time Rebecca comes out. You can brush up on your gothic horror knowledge by reading this post. And Rebecca is a retelling of another classic, Jane Eyre, so you could reread that, move on to one of these modern writers upholding the feminist gothic tradition, or read one of these books like Crimson Peak, a movie that’s very similar in plot to Jane Eyre and Rebecca. (Kathleen Keenan)
AltPress lists '20 horror movies from the '90s that are still as scary as they were then', including
Misery, released in 1990, stands as one of the best ever cinematic adaptations of a Stephen King novel. Directed by Rob Reiner, who had a previous hit with a King story in 1986’s Stand By Me, Misery stars James Caan as Paul Sheldon, the author of a series of best-selling Victorian potboilers featuring the Jane Eyre-inspired heroine Misery Chastain. The writer, looking to leave his most popular creation behind for more serious literary aspirations, decides to end the series with Misery’s death. (William Wright)
Business 2 Community uses Emily Brontë's poem The Bluebell to illustrate the Pantone Color of the Year 2020 (Classic Blue 19-4052)
Blue, even Classic Blue, has commonly been used across all forms of art. Emily Brontë’s classic poem “The Bluebell” uses imagery with colors like purple heath, green robes, and of course the bluebell flower. The protagonist, upon seeing the bluebell, experiences melancholia because of reminiscence but ultimately finds that she must learn from her painful past rather than dwell on it. The poem is an introspective take on the bluebell flower. Though the flower itself ranges in color, the association of blue exists in Brontë’s poem. (Martin Chuck)
12:30 am by M. in , ,    No comments
A new scholar book exploring Wuthering Heights:
Ambiguity in Emily Brontë’s "Wuthering Heights"
by Lisa Ebert
Publisher: Publisher: Ferdinand Schöningh
Beiträge zur englischen und amerikanischen Literatur, Volume: 39
ISBN: 978-3-506-70495-5
September 2020

Since its publication, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights has given rise to an unusual plurality of interpretations, leading to the impression that the novel somehow resists interpretation. The author offers a new reading of the novel that takes this effect into account by investigating its reason: ambiguity is a thematic focal point and structural key element of the novel.
This study is concerned with the ambiguity of Wuthering Heights which arises through a complex interplay of distinct but interdependent ambiguities of perception, narration, and the narrated world. In particular, it shows how specific ambiguous utterances (e.g. a clash of implicatures and presuppositions) are linked with each other and contribute to the global ambiguity of the text. In this way, not only the function of ambiguity for understanding Wuthering Heights is explored but also the function of Wuthering Heights for understanding ambiguity. The book should thus be of interest not only to Brontë scholars and Victorianists but also to literary scholars and linguists in general. 

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

The New York Times echoes the news of the £20,000 donation from the TS Eliot estate to the Brontë Parsonage Museum.                                            
Thanks in part to a donation from the estate of one of England’s most esteemed poets — and some dancing cats — the Brontë Parsonage Museum’s doors will remain open, for now.
The estate of T.S. Eliot has gifted the struggling museum, which reopened in late August after being closed since March, 20,000 pounds (or approximately $26,000) last week. The donation was first reported by the BBC.
The parsonage, located in Haworth, said it was facing a loss of expected income of more than £500,000 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
There is a connection between Eliot and the Brontës: The “Bradford millionaire” who appears in the Eliot poem “The Waste Land” is thought to be Sir James Roberts, a Yorkshire philanthropist who was also a customer at the bank where Eliot worked. Mr. Roberts donated Haworth Parsonage — once the home of the Brontë sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne — to the Brontë Society, which operates the museum, in 1928. Roberts knew the family as a child.
But the Eliot estate’s gift didn’t come with any fanfare: Rebecca Yorke, the head of communications and marketing at the Brontë Society, said she discovered the donation when it showed up on the museum’s crowdfunding campaign page with a message of support. “Realizing that it was from the T.S. Eliot estate was a very special moment,” she said.
Yorke said the Eliot estate  told the organization that the donation was possible thanks to the success of the Tony-winning Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Cats,” which is based on Eliot’s playful 1939 poetry collection “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.” (Sarah Bahr)
We love how Broadway World focuses on the 'dancing cats': 'CATS Enables T.S. Eliot Estate to Issue £20,000 Gift to The Brontë Parsonage'. ActuaLitté (France) echoes the story, too.

LitHub interviews writer Sue Miller.
What was the first book you fell in love with?
It was Jane Eyre. For all the wrong reasons. Are there wrong reasons for loving a wonderful book? Yes. There are. I was twelve and it made me cry. Every time. And I read it over and over. Really, until it stopped making me cry.
I wish I could say that I noticed the steady thrumming of the prose, or the story of the slow making of a self from the most unlikely materials, but I didn’t. Then. Not until I started to read it over and over again, later.
Writer and comedian Sylvie Drapeau reveals that she was a teen Brontëite on Chatelaine.
Pourquoi écrire?
« L’envie d’écrire est venue très tôt dans ma vie, peut-être tout de suite avec l’amour de la lecture. Lorsque j’étais adolescente, les romans des sœurs Brontë (Jane Eyre, Les hauts de Hurlevent) m’ont éblouie ! Il m’a fallu longtemps, pourtant, avant d’oser plonger dans l’écriture, peut-être à cause justement de ce coup de foudre ressenti et de cette admiration éprouvée. » (Anne-Frédérique Hébert-Dolbec) (Translation)
Entertainment Weekly asks bookish questions to Jenna Bush.
The classic novel that I've pretended to read but never read
The Brontë sisters, I have to tell you. [Her twin sister] Barbara's always like, didn't you love that? And I'm like yes [laughs]. I think I did read Wuthering Heights but in general, I acted like I loved all of those books. I do love gothic literature, so I feel like those are the ones I should read. Every year I'm like, this summer I'm going to read all the classics. And another one is Moby Dick. I mean, have you ever read Moby Dick?
A movie adaptation I really love
Ironically: Jane Eyre. I loved the most recent version. (Seija Rankin)
La Depeche (France) vindicates George Eliot.
Dans le monde francophone, cette autrice n'a pas aujourd'hui la renommée de Jane Austen, des soeurs Brontë ou de Virginia Woolf. Pourtant elle la mériterait. (Translation)
Vulture reviews the first season of the TV series P-Valley.
P-Valley reminds me of the grand tradition of response fiction, books like Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, which retells the story of Jane Eyre from the perspective of Rochester’s wife, Bertha, or Wicked’s answer to The Wizard of Oz, or my current favorite, the animated Harley Quinn series. P-Valley isn’t a response to any one work, and it’s not the first time a stripper has been the main character rather than part of the background. It’s different from Striptease, though, or Magic Mike or even Hustlers. In those movies, the strippers get to be main characters because they’re in extraordinary circumstances, and P-Valley has no space for that. It’s too interested in the everyday reality of the Pynk, too focused on the specifics of needing to find child care while you’re dancing or how to manage your regulars. P-Valley isn’t a response to any one story; it’s a rebuttal to the assumption that strippers have to do something other than stripping if they want to be the main characters. (Kathryn VanArendonk)