Saturday, March 25, 2017

Emily Brontë on the Rhine

On Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 1:08 am by M. in    No comments
Quite literally:
It was a great event at the De Ruyterkade in Amsterdam! After a stormy day, the weather improved and we were ready, together with tour operator Riviera Travel, for the christening of our two new ships, MS THOMAS HARDY and MS EMILY BRONTË.
It does not happen very often that two ships are christened at the same time. The MS THOMAS HARDY was completed in November 2016, but because of the start of the new season, which is usually around the end of March, it was decided to wait to christen MS THOMAS HARDY until MS EMILY BRONTË was also ready, so that they could be christened together. It was a great sight, the two 135-metre long sister ships moored nose to nose on the same quay in the glistening water.
Both ships are 135 metres long and sleep 176 people. They are both luxuriously fitted out to ensure that the guests have the most comfortable journey possible. The ships include a wellness area, a fitness room and a hairdressing salon/nail salon. Four of the suites even have a balcony! (...)
The names of the two ships have been chosen by tour operator Riviera Travel. From the start, Riviera has chosen figures related to English and Irish literature. The next two ships are going to be named Oscar Wilde (July 2017) and Robert Burns (December 2017). (...)
The two sister ships start their first cruise season at the end of March: MS THOMAS HARDY mainly on the Danube and MS EMILY BRONTË on the Rhine. (Scylla)
The ship was built at the Vahali Shipyards in Serbia and is to be operated by the Riviera Travel Company:

MS Emily Brontë - NEW
Built: 2017 Crew: 44 Passengers: 169 Rating: Five Stars Cruises Available: 7

After years of painstaking research to create the most perfect vessels afloat, a new era in river cruising dawns as we introduce our brand new, state of the art, ‘all suite’ ships. Swiss operated and truly world-class, we are absolutely delighted to present the five-star MS Emily Brontë.
It is extremely difficult to convey just how extraordinary this outstanding ship really is and exactly what distinguishes it from similar vessels. It would be very easy to just say ‘luxurious’ but it’s much more than that; we have deliberately avoided the current trend for a minimalist style where you could be anywhere in the world, creating instead a unique yet exquisite blend of understated taste, style and elegance at the highest level. Immediately striking is just how exceptionally spacious this new vessel is as you enter a gleaming, richly coloured marble-floored lobby flooded with natural light from a stunning atrium above. Moving inside, exceptional creativity from Europe’s finest design studio has produced a superbly balanced masterpiece of onboard style, utilising sustainable rich hardwoods, gleaming brass and polished copper, sparkling glass and intricate wrought iron. The ship is beautifully illuminated throughout – including the exterior and imaginatively furnished with harmonious colour schemes, all designed to create the serene atmosphere reflective of the golden age of cruising which time after time you tell us you adore.

Friday, March 24, 2017

As expected, there's more on the US broadcast of To Walk Invisible. Variety reviews it:
To Walk Invisible” will no doubt be catnip to a few different subcategories of TV fans: Those who enjoy costume dramas, those who can’t get enough of films about creative types, those who simply appreciate well-made films with strong but subtly conveyed points of view, and those who enjoy the work of Sally Wainwright, the creator of “Happy Valley.”
For those who fall into all four groups, “To Walk Invisible,” which serves up an intense glimpse into the lives of the Brontë sisters, will fly by. [...]
My only substantive complaint is that it’s not a miniseries; certainly the lives of the Brontës could fill up several seasons of TV (and maybe someday they will). [...]
To Walk Invisible” may be about a group of artists, but it is flinty in its realism and quite unsentimental about what Branwell’s decline was like to witness. The Brontës were far from rich, but they had a larger house than most, and somehow Branwell and his unstoppable decline managed to invade almost all of it. Even in the rooms he does not occupy, the sadness and tragedy of his situation is unavoidable, and the sisters’ glances at each other are enough to convey the weight of what they’re bearing. They love him, but everything he puts them through is not only painful, it takes them away from their life’s work (and the household tasks they were still expected to perform). Their ferocious frustration comes through in the fiction and poetry they did manage to finish before the untimely deaths of two of the sisters.
Wainwright expertly explores the idea that while the expectations for Branwell just about crushed him, the fact that nothing was expected of his sisters goaded them into acts of creation that burn with a fire that readers can still sense today.
To Walk Invisible” also sketches a beautiful portrait of the sisters’ connection to the wild landscape around them; a love for the natural world of their beloved Haworth fed into the yearning richness of their work. The film makes it easy to wish for more stories about each sister and the individual experiences she went through before and after all three were finally published. At least we still have their poetry and novels, which allow us to be impressed, as Wainwright clearly is, by what these driven and compassionate women accomplished in such a short amount of time. (Maureen Ryan)
The Wall Street Journal has reviewed it as well. The Californian considers it 'Sunday's must-try' and goes with the (again: non-existent) mumbling trend.
Here’s a fascinating real-life story – strong enough to overcome poor filmmaking: Overshadowed by their clergyman dad and alcoholic brother, the Brontë sisters still managed to make literary history.
The problem starts with the script, which gives way too much attention to the brother and too little to the women who mattered. A bigger problem is the direction: “To Walk Invisible” is visually drab and much of its dialog is rushed or mumbled. Despite its flaws, a great story shines through. (Mike Hughes)
WKAR describes it as 'a beautifully filmed and acted two-hour drama'. WOUB Digital recommends it too.

Writer Sara Flannery Murphy has selected the 'Top 10 stories of obsession' for The Guardian. Wuthering Heights had to be there:
2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (1847)
Heathcliff and Catherine are the poster children for unhealthy romance, the train-wreck kind of love that’s hard to look away from. Sure, the love affair goes quickly downhill, a destructive passion that never finds a healthy outlet and has damaging implications for their families. But it’s fascinating to encounter someone so obsessed that he’ll alter his lover’s coffin to bring her closer after death.
The Bolton News features the forthcoming stage adaptation of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
The Brontë sisters are a viewed by many as the royal family of the writing world.
But the next production at the Octagon Theatre will be bring to life the works of the youngest of the literary lineage, Anne Brontë.
Award-winning playwright Deborah McAndrew is hoping her new adaption of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall will spread the love for the lesser-known Brontë.
She said: “I don’t think 'Tenant' is quite as well known as say Emily’s Wuthering Heights or Charlotte’s Jane Eyre, so there’s an opportunity to bring this story to an audience unfamiliar with it.
“Hopefully people will go away to read the book after seeing the play. There’s so much more in the book.”
Deborah was approached by the Octagon’s artistic director Elizabeth Newman to bring a classic to the stage.
She has adapted numerous stories, as well as writing original plays, and her 2014 play An August Bank Holiday Lark won best Best New Play at the UK Theatre Awards.
Born in Huddersfield, she admits to have an affinity with the Brontes, with the woman appearing on her grandfather’s wall alongside family pictures.
Many scholars, biographers and feminist literary critics have praised Anne for her forward-thinking, creative talent, and ability to genuinely write about issues that affected the everyday lives of women. [...]
Told in first person, then through Helen’s diary, Deborah has had the challenge of adapting the intense story for the stage.
She explains: "There is still a flashback but the first person becomes more of an equal perspective between Markham and Helen.
"Fundamentally it is a love story, that's what makes us care. It is a really satisfying piece of work to work with.
"It has got everything you want from a Brontë story, from brooding handsome men to intelligent serious women.
"I can't wait to see it on the stage." (Rosalind Saul)
ConcertoNet mentions the music of the film Devotion and a recent concert at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bower in New York:
If this concert had one other star is was soprano Ariadne Greif. The vocal works here were more suitable constellations around Mr. Schoenberg. But the selections were, with few exceptions echt-Romantic, music which was pulling at the yokes of the diatonic scale, sometimes breaking through, but always retaining its passion.
And she was the soprano to essay each one. Coming near to the hysteria of the poems, but always, always keeping hold of her stunning voice.
That was simple enough in Erich Korngold’s song–which he plagiarized for his own music to the Warner Brothers movie Devotion. (Believe it or not, this was a 1946 weepie with Olivia de Havilland and Ida Lupino as the Brontë sisters!) Ms. Greif was not afraid to pull out the Romantic steps from Mr. Korngold, a Schoenberg student whose own genius was in opera and film. Nor did she hold back in the first version of Alban Berg’s Close Both My Eyes. He had written this as a 19th Century passionate song–arranging it much later as a tone-row. (Harry Rolnick)
The Yorkshire Evening Post reviews The Fleece Inn in Haworth.
A visit to lovely Haworth is always a treat. The legacy of the Brontës underpins the long-term survival of its cobbled streets and quintessentially Yorkshire stone buildings, insulating the community against the careless ravages of redevelopment.
The Fleece sits alongside Haworth’s dramatically sloping main street, offering a welcome haven for those in search of decent pub food and traditional hand-pulled beer. The name Timothy Taylor above the inn sign and picked out in gold lettering on the windows is a reliable guarantee of quality.
Legend has it that Branwell Brontë drank here too; some say the ghost of the sisters’ ill-starred artist brother lingers here still. [...]
This hearty dining is a hallmark of Taylor’s pubs and here a menu of pies, steaks, sausage and burgers – as well as plenty of vegetarian choices – should please most people.
It certainly helps to draw in the tourists in a town which attracts thousands, chiefly those who are drawn by their love of Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights.
The Brontës and fashion. Financial Times discusses sleeves:
Simone Rocha’s frothy taffeta shoulders drew on fashion’s current romance with the 19th century, when sleeve shapes fluctuated wildly from elaborate whalebone creations to straitjacket-esque “imbecile sleeves” (Emily Brontë was mocked for clinging on to the Romantic gigot sleeves long after they had fallen out of fashion in the 1840s). (Johanna Thomas-Corr)
Drapers features the new collection by Alistair James:
The autumn collection was inspired by the novels of the Brontë sisters, known for their haunting narratives in wild settings, and historical references appear as wispy white dresses and structured, almost corseted gowns. (Harriet Brown)
The Sydney Morning Herald talks about Your Always: Letter of Longing:
The exquisite irony of longing is that it feeds on rejection, denial and silence. If the writers of these letters had not been rebuffed, we would not have these intense, eloquent testaments to unrequited and barely contained passion. Charlotte Brontë's increasingly ardent letters to her former teacher, Professor Heger, are a case study in the agony of trying to master overwhelming feelings. "…one pays for eternal calm with an internal struggle that is almost unbearable." (Fiona Capp)
20 Minutos (Spain) describes - rather mistakenly - a street terrace in Madrid:
Obra del estudio Proyecto Singular. Fue sede bancaria y conseva en su interior la puerta del búnker de la caja fuerte. La zona de entrada es una bonita terraza acristalada digna de una novela de Emily Brontë. (Translation)
Pseudonyms in Le Monde (France). Impressions In Ink reviews Wide Sargasso Sea. Nick Holland writes about Anne Brontë in London on AnneBrontë.org.

A new amateur production of Polly Teale's Brontë opens in Oxford. The ChapterHouse Theatre Company will tour its open-air Wuthering Heights production in China and, still in China, the Shanghai Ballet production of Jane Eyre gets a revival:
Thistledown Theatre presents
Polly Teale's Brontë
Directed by Sarah Pyper
22 March - 1 April 2017
The Old Library
The University Church of St. Mary the Virgin
The High Street

Layla Al-Katib, Emily Saddler, Holly Gorne, Craig Finlay, Colin Burnie,  Helen Coathup-Collier, Peter Sheward, Henry Cockburn

This extraordinary play evokes the real and imagined worlds of the Brontës, as their fictional characters come to haunt their creators. In 1845, Branwell Brontë returns home in disgrace, plagued by his addictions. As he descends into alcoholism and insanity, bringing chaos to the household, his sisters write…
Chapterhouse productions presents

Wuthering Heights Shanghai (Mar 24-27 and 30 @ Shanghai Grand Theatre), Guangzhou (Mar 31-Apr 1 @ Xinghai Concert Hall) and Shenzhen (Apr 2 @ Shenzhen Children's Palace).
The Old Library, The University Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Radcliffe Square, Oxford, OX1 4BJ
Jane Eyre Ballet

23 March to 1 April
7:30pm to 9:30pm

Shanghai Ballet Shanghai Grand Theater co- production ballet "Jane Eyre"
Director: Patrick de Bana
Screenplay: Yurong Jun (China)
Choreography and costume design: Jerome Kaplan

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017 11:24 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
More on the expectation around the US broadcast of To Walk Invisible, scheduled for this Sunday. The Huffington Post uses the following headline, which we have loved: 'The Brontë Sisters Sure Could Write. But They Were, You Know, Girls.'
The three Brontë sisters had a dark secret. They wrote stories.
In early Victorian England, this was considered unladylike and downright unseemly. So naturally they kept their vice cloistered, a conspiracy wonderfully dramatized in a new PBS production titled To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters.
Premiering Sunday at 9 p.m. ET, To Walk Invisible follows the delicate path of Charlotte (Finn Atkins), Emily (Chloe Pirrie) and Anne (Charlie Murphy) Brontë up to the point when they finally could stand it no longer and outed themselves.
The drama therefore stops just short of its most tragic turn: that both Emily and Anne died shortly thereafter, apparently of tuberculosis. Emily was 30, Anne 29. [...]
To Walk Invisible paints the Brontë family as tight-knit and reasonably well off for the times in which they lived. Their father Patrick (Jonathan Pryce) was a caring if somewhat distracted preacher.
Their mother died when they were young, and their only surviving sibling, Branwell (Adam Nagaitis), was a drunkard and a roustabout.
Charlotte, Anne and Emily became the de facto caretakers for the family, and the custom of the day said that would be their full-time and only employment.
I don’t think so, the Brontë sisters said. [...]
In the larger scope, To Walk Invisible fits well with the tone of the stories the sisters wrote. Those stories don’t shock us the way they shocked some of their Victorians readers, but we see in their lives some of the ambivalence, challenges and brooding darkness.
Wainwright’s direction captures a period feel in both visual and logistical details. It’s quite clear that the early deaths of all three sisters were caused in part by primitive medical practices and the lack of what we would consider basic sanitation. To Walk Invisible illustrates a world where that was simply how it was.
There’s a fair amount of darkness in this story, because the lives it chronicles were not easy. There’s also a fair amount of humor. Mostly there’s admiration for three women who in a very short time accomplished things their world saw no reason to think they could. (David Hinckley)
From San Francisco Chronicle:
Masterpiece” and the BBC could have made a whole miniseries on the Brontë sisters, but they’ve done the next best thing, which is to allow Sally Wainwright to write and direct a 90-minute film about the 19th century authors, which will air on KQED on Sunday, March 26. It is, of course, difficult to think of “Wuthering Heights” or “Jane Eyre” as especially scandalous, but they were in Victorian England, as was the novel by Charlotte’s (Finn Atkins) and Emily’s (Chloe Pirrie) sister, Anne (Charlie Murphy), “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.” It wasn’t just the subject matter but that the authors were — gasp! — women.
The real scandal in the Brontë family was the women’s brother, Branwell (Adam Nagaitis), a ne’er-do-well, gambler, alcoholic and drug user who pushed the family’s patience to the limit until even the patriarch, the Rev. Patrick Brontë (Jonathan Pryce), came close to slamming the door in his face.
The script is only one of the stars of the production. Wainwright weaves samples of the women’s writing, including poetry, into the dialogue, and creates distinct characters in each of the three sisters, not to mention their father and brother. It may frustrate us that the women’s lives are refracted so much by two men in their family, but that only underscores the status of women in Victorian society and, in turn, why it was so brash for them to become novelists — even if they use male pen names at first.
The film is graced by lovely performances from the main cast in particular. The work by the actresses in the lead roles is so good, you can easily forget that they don’t look at all as though they could be related. (David Wiegand)
From The Boston Globe:
Masterpiece” doesn’t get more “Masterpiece”-y than Sunday’s movie, “To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters.” So those of you who hear an English accent and lapse into Monty Python, who hated “Downton Abbey” without ever seeing it, who watched “Clueless” to bone up for that senior class on Jane Austen’s “Emma,” who hear Laura Linney’s voice and reflexively raise your hand for bathroom permission, steer clear. This one-off “Masterpiece” is well-stocked with tea and melodrama, as it tells the story of one of literary history’s most important times and places: the Brontë household from 1845 to 1848.
During that period, sisters Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, each in her 20s, pseudonymously published “Jane Eyre,” “Wuthering Heights,” and “Agnes Grey,” respectively. There’s so much rich material bound up in that remarkable fact, and writer-director Sally Wainwright, the creator of “Last Tango in Halifax” and “Happy Valley,” often succeeds in doing justice to it all. Wainwright gives us three women reunited in their small hometown village who know the only way to print is to mask themselves as men — as Currer (Charlotte), Ellis (Emily), and Acton (Anne) Bell — while at the same time living in the domestic grip of a brother, wannabe poet and painter Branwell, who’s lost in an ugly spiral of addiction, bruised ego, and love gone wrong.
Interestingly, Wainwright doesn’t bother too much about the actual writing of the novels, or of the sisters’ fictional capacities. She doesn’t strain to dissect their imaginations by linking their books directly to their lives. [...]
But the guts of “To Walk Invisible” are about the sisters’ claustrophobic daily lives, their occasional battles — such as when Emily (Chloe Pirrie) learns that Charlotte (Finn Atkins) has read her hidden manuscript — and their suppressed resentment at having to hide their gender in order to succeed. They watch in sorrow and anger as Branwell spits in the face of all his advantages as a man — and as their father, the Rev. Patrick Brontë (Jonathan Pryce), defends and supports him nonetheless. Well-played by Adam Nagaitis, Branwell is an unstoppable force of torment, drama, and financial desperation in the family. At a certain point, though, his self-destruction mobilizes the sisters into pursuing publication, in order to bring in money.
Much as I liked “To Walk Invisible,” I did find a few awkward pieces of exposition, about the times and the Brontë family history, stuffed into the dialogue — a problem that often afflicts historical pieces. [...] Also, despite the spare look of the movie, there are a few moments of melodramatic excess whose volume could have been turned down a notch or two. Add to that a scene at the tail-end of the movie that is unforgivable as it breaks the story’s spell.
But there’s so much more to like here, not least of all the five strong Brontë performances, tight camera work that abets their intimacy, and writing and direction that refuse to romanticize these people and their circumstances. Wainwright never pushes us to interpret the Brontës’ story as one of nascent feminism; more valuably, she delivers the bleak tale with all its tragedy and redemption and lets us find the meaning on our own. (Matthew Gilbert)
From Fine Books Magazine (and uh oh, the mumbling paranoia seems to have crossed the Atlantic too!):
Historical dramas too often bait viewers with pretty gowns and lush landscapes, so it’s refreshing here to see some realism both in content (Branwell’s abusive alcoholism), scenery (from dirty interior walls to muddy outside lanes), and costumes that are plain and true to the people wearing them. The moors are there too, don’t worry. Viewer’s tip: The tones are hushed in many scenes, so turn up the volume. (Rebecca Rego Barry)
From aNewsCafe:
Filmed on location in Yorkshire, we see the environment that produced these stories, the moors that would feature so heavily in Emily’s Wuthering Heights. It’s a gorgeous production, one that takes you away into another time and place.
To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters will please anyone who is a fan of the Brontes, and anyone interested in the development of three literary legends. (Chad Grayson)
WUFT sums the whole thing up as
Learn how, against all odds, the Brontës were recognized in a male-dominated 19th-century world. (swagner)
Coincidentally, this columnist from Tulsa World writes in praise of this kind of show brought to the US by PBS.
It’s a hard call deciding which show on PBS has been my favorite.
Without a doubt, all involve a British accent. It’s that lush landscape, foreign-sounding voices and Jane Eyre-like storylines. It was a good book come to life while living in rural Oklahoma. (Ginnie Graham)
Writer John Boyne has selected his favourite books for Sunday Times (South Africa) and among them is
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. This taught me how the hero of a novel does not have to be likable, he or she just has to be interesting. (Michele Magwood)
Margaret Atwood herself has written about the life of Canadian author Gabrielle Roy for Maclean's.
As in Wuthering Heights, and indeed as in the True Romance magazines popular in the 1940s, she has two suitors. One of them is cast in the Linton mould—a cut above Florentine socially, idealistic, and a nice guy, but not a man to whom she is drawn sexually. The other is a quasi-Byronic, cynical, passion-inspiring no-goodnik, like Heathcliff. Here the plots diverge, for in Wuthering Heights the no-goodnik is devoted to the heroine, while in Bonheur d’Occasion he has his way with her and then skips town.
Jane Eyre is one of '10 More Books To Read Before You Die' selected by #AmReading.
5. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Orphaned and penniless but strong and determined, Jane is one of literature’s most unforgettable heroines. Intelligent, passionate, and with a complex inner life, she fights to express her individuality in a society where both her class and gender work against her. The resulting story is rich, romantic, and eminently satisfying.
GraphoMania (Italy) recommends reading Jane Eyre when one is feeling depressed.
Se cercate una storia con una donna forte, capace di non farsi abbattere e vittime di una sfortuna dietro l’altra allora ricordatevi che c’è sempre Jane Eyre di Charlotte Brontë. (Nymeria) (Translation)
The Washington Post features the book This Long Pursuit: Reflections of a Romantic Biographer by Richard Holmes.
In 2001, Holmes tells us, he quite hesitantly agreed to offer a course on biographical writing at the University of East Anglia. As he recalls in “Teaching,” he initially put together a list of 27 classics of English-language biography, including John Aubrey’s “Brief Lives,” James Boswell’s “The Life of Samuel Johnson,” Williams Hazlitt’s “The Spirit of the Age,” Elizabeth Gaskell’s “Life of Charlotte Brontë,” Lytton Strachey’s “Eminent Victorians” and Richard Ellmann’s “James Joyce.” (Michael Dirda)
Corriere della Sera (Italy) mentions the Brontës' use of pseudonyms. On AnneBrontë.org, Nick Holland wrote yesterday about 'Haworth Sanitation And The Babbage Report', coinciding with World Water Day.
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
More recent Brontë-related papers published in non-English speaking countries:
Jane Eyre's Childlike, Avian Fairy Rising Above the Novel's Negativity
Alban, Gillian M. E.
Pamukkale University Journal of Social Sciences Institute / Pamukkale Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi
Jan 2017, Issue 26, p135-151. 17p.

This paper attempts to penetrate the linguistic gloom and negativity which pervades the novel Jane Eyre through deaths and disappointments on the protagonist's personal journey to the dénouement. Despite linguistic negatives and negatively presented images of children, the novel also contains inspiring, heavenly visitations of the moon surveying winged creatures, fairies, birds or angels, which richly leaven the text, piercing the gloom of the prevailing atmosphere of negativity against which the narrative is set.
Act of Survival: The Revision of Brontë's Jane Eyre in Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea
Alabdullah, Abdulaziz
Arab Journal for the Humanities . Winter2017, Vol. 34 Issue 137, p283-333. 18p.

J. Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea invites us to revisit the sombre truth that women's literary works were once, and still perhaps are, misread, misjudged, misinterpreted. This has led some feminist writers to resort to 'revision' as an 'act of survival'. Revision calls for women to look back 'with fresh eyes' to redefine and reread old texts from a fresh critical angle. The present paper develops the idea, attempting to re-examine Jane Eyre within Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea in terms of a kind of mysterious kinetics of de jà vu. The paper will explore the idea of revision in these two important women's literary works.
Manifestations of Jane Eyre’s SubconsciousAtour Isaac Michael
Anglisticum,  Vol 6, No 1 (2017)

Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855) is an English writer whose life has affected her writings especially in the story of Jane Eyre (1847). In this novel, we have a young woman who faces and then overcomes different obstacles in her journey to maturity and satisfaction. Charlotte in this novel depicts glances from her own and her sisters’ lives. This research deals with the symbolic nature of the story interpreted through the use of “dreams” and their significance as a tool used by the authoress to reveal the inner world of her heroine adding a depth to our understanding of the novel. The research is divided into two sections and a conclusion. Section one is an introductory section devoted to Charlotte Brontë the woman behind the image of Jane Eyre, and the reasons why this novel was a success. Section two covers the meaning and significance of Jane Eyre’s dreams. This section is divided into six parts each of which deals with one or more of the heroine’s dreams. The research ends with a conclusion where the results are stated.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 11:38 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
More sites are gearing up for the US broadcast of To Walk Invisible on Sunday. The Village Voice reviews it:
Some of us can never have too much of the Brontës. But I understand if your response to another dose of costume drama on the moors is "Shoot me now." Reader, be strong! If you were dead, you'd be deprived of the chance to be proven so pleasantly wrong by To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters, a British TV movie airing on PBS's Masterpiece. [...] It's a bracing gale of a film, swirling with complicated sibling feelings of jealousy, dependency, and affection. In the plush wake of Downton Abbey and Victoria, it's surprisingly unromanticized and defiantly un-pretty. [...]
Except for a jarring (and a bit cheesy) coda, To Walk Invisible immerses us in the Brontës' world, from the wide moors and lowering gray skies to the interiors shot in a claustrophobic replica of their house. Wainwright does an impeccable job of setting time and place, and of showing how small the Brontë sisters were expected to make themselves in order to fit women's shrunken place in society. Wainwright's script is subtler than to proclaim the Brontës as "feminists ahead of their time." The naturalism of the production and performances give us the Brontës as feminists in their time, frustrated at being regarded as inferior by a quirk of birth, desiring agency over their own destiny. [...]
A little of Branwell goes a long way. This has nothing to do with actor Adam Nagaitis, whose Branwell has an interesting tight-lipped, squinty John Lennon nastiness about him. It's simply that the story of his sisters proves so absorbing that we come to resent Branwell's intrusions, as he badgers his father for booze money, shivers on his chamber pot, and hallucinates about his mistress.
Those interruptions do serve a starker purpose. How many mediocre male artists still command more attention than more talented women? Just as he must have in life, Branwell takes up more than his share of space in To Walk Invisible. There's a brief but potent scene late in the film in which Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, despite having achieved success (however anonymous) beyond what Branwell ever could, get on their hands and knees to clean up the vomit and detritus of their brother's latest opium binge. How heartbreaking it is to see the Brontë sisters being manspread out of their own movie. (Joyce Millman)
Before To Walk Invisible on Sunday, at 7.30pm, KPBS has scheduled Wuthering Heights 2009.

More Brontës in the US as Broadway World reviews the Cincinnati production of Polly Teale's Jane Eyre.
Polly Teale read the novel for the first time as a teenager, and in revisiting it she says she "found, not the horror story I remembered, but a psychological drama of the most powerful kind." The novel is full of the dramatic, fanciful, and tragic, and is fertile ground for juicy adaptations to film and stage, but Teale could not get past these questions: "Why...did [Brontë] invent a madwoman locked in an attic to torment her heroine? Why is Jane Eyre, a supremely rational young woman, haunted by a vengeful she-devil? Why do these two women exist in the same story?"
Teale sets out to answer these questions in her 1997 adaptation, and the effects are often fresh and thought-provoking. Jane Eyre purists (if there is such a thing) [you bet there is!] might find this adaptation a bit disappointing. It's hard to say exactly why, all of the elements are there, but Teale's new focus has the effect of making all of the other parts unfocused. The horror and the mystery, the tension and the romance of Jane Eyre are somehow shifted, pushed aside to make room for the examination of these two female opposites-the rational and the madwoman-that Teale concludes, may not actually be so diametrically opposed after all. Perhaps they are one and the same. But, if some purists end up disappointed, then those who are looking for different approaches to classics, making them more relevant to modern modes of thinking, will be very pleased by this production.
From the moment you enter the theatre and see the set design by Kris Stone, you are pleasantly puzzled. Is this Jane Eyre? Where is the moor? Where is the grand old country house? The set is interestingly modern, like a city loft space or a fancy steakhouse. Ramps zig-zag up to a landing with a small room-sized box on top. A single bare lightbulb hangs from the rafters, and there is a tiny window and one door that locks. The room is painted red.
Suddenly, music begins to move the tale forward. A capella voices are joined by box-drums and guitar. Finally, Young Jane enters wearing her drab dress, and we think, "Ah, here's the Jane we know," but, then she begins playing with a beautiful girl wearing a frilly, bright orange shift. You wonder, "Does this happen in the book?" The girls seem connected, they giggle together, grasp at one another, sometimes they move in perfect unison. Sometimes the girl in orange breaks out in what would be considered wild undulations by the standards of the day-again we puzzle: "Is this Jane Eyre?"
But then cousin John enters, and the story everyone knows begins. Novel-to-stage adaptations can get bogged down in exposition while simultaneously not spending enough time on character shaping moments. Teale's adaptation runs into this conundrum. The play often lacked tension, ticking off events as if they were on a "to do" list. Sometimes the pacing was so quick that we had no time to ruminate on things, and it created the effect of being told a story, second-hand, by someone "who was there," rather than seeing it unfold yourself. But, that effect is not necessarily a bad thing when you are deconstructing something so enduring, and giving it a new spin. Some things were lost, but a lot is gained.
The horror-story tension of the original is absent, primarily because in Teale's version, the madwoman is never a mystery. The horror in this story is no longer the "things that go bump in the night"; it is the idea of being locked away for saying what you think, and for sleeping with whomever you want. Bertha is always there. First trapped in the little red room, staring at the audience. She is quiet for long periods until we almost forget about her, and then she bursts forward again. Teale is not hiding her away to be a surprise at the end. She keeps her in full view for the entire first act. As Jane begins to actually feel like Rochester's equal, the madwoman (who may actually be Jane) begins to move more freely on the stage. She literally lights up candle after candle, as Jane lights figurative candles, making the conflagration inevitable.
Refreshing and cleverly staged by KJ Sanchez (Abby Rowold)
Back to where it all began but still connected to the broadcast of To Walk Invisible in the US, Novel Destinations suggests '5 Must-Do Pastimes in Brontë Country'.
Watching the drama To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters is likely to cause literary wanderlust. (It airs Sunday, March 26, on PBS-Masterpiece.) The backdrop is the Yorkshire village of Haworth and the surrounding moors, a dramatically scenic landscape that helped inspire the novelist sisters’ page-turners Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Here are five things for bibliophiles to do in Brontë Country.
Visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum. Home to Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë, along with their brother Branwell, was a Georgian parsonage in Haworth, where their father, Patrick, was appointed curate in 1820. Don’t miss the ink-stained table in the dining room, where the novelists gathered in the evenings to read aloud from their works-in-progress and brainstorm plot ideas. A replica of the c. 1800s parsonage, along with a side street and neighboring buildings, was created on a set outside of Haworth.
Ramble on the moors. Venture into Wuthering Heights territory as you follow in the sisters’ footsteps across the wind-swept moorland around Haworth. A 2.5-mile walk from town leads to the Brontës’ favorite destination, “the meeting of the waters.” There, Emily would recline on a slab of stone, today dubbed the “Brontë chair,” to play with tadpoles in the water. Continue on another mile to reach the stone ruins of an isolated farm known as Top Withens, credited as being the setting of Heathcliff’s domain in Wuthering Heights.
Have a pint at the Black Bull. At the top of a steep cobblestone street in the center of Haworth is the cozy, 300-year-old watering hole where wayward Branwell Brontë frequently whiled away the hours. Though a talented painter and poet, he was unable to hold a steady job and increasingly found solace in alcohol and opium. In an alcove up the stairwell, his favorite chair has been given pride of place.
Take the Passionate Brontës Tour. Stroll along Haworth’s historic cobbled streets and hear all about the village’s most famous family. Guides use the Brontës’ own letters, poems, and stories to illuminate their literary achievements, shed light on their personal passions and tragedies, and reveal what life was like in this tiny Yorkshire town during their day.
Read a book in the Brontë Meadow. Break out the dog-eared copy of your favorite Brontë novel that you toted along and read a passage or two. Adjacent to the museum, the Brontë Meadow has gorgeous views of the countryside and is a perfect introduction to the novelists’ territory, especially if you don’t have time for a lengthy walk on the moors.
France Info celebrates the fact that for the first time a woman has been included in the syllabus for the Baccalauréat exams (and about time!) and goes on to list women writers such as the Brontës.

On Facebook, the Brontë Parsonage Museum has shared some pictures from the launch of Simon Armitage's new poetry collection The Unaccompanied. Linnet Moss posts about Ciarán Hinds as Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre 1997.
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Jane Eyre's Library is a new website in Spanish about all things Jane Eyre. Some of the recent posts include original infographics on Charlotte Brontë's life or a curious flowchart with some of the more recent Brontë biographies.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

To Walk Invisible will finally be broadcast on Sunday in the US and several sites are looking forward to it. PBS has a video showing
From the costumes to the set, go behind the scenes with the cast and creative team of To Walk Invisible The Brontë Sisters, premiering Sunday, March 26, 2017 at 9/8c on MASTERPIECE on PBS.
KPC News claims that the date was set 'in honor of women’s month'.
In honor of women’s month and women’s achievements in history, local PBS station PBS39 will feature a two-hour drama, “To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters,” depicting the lives of the three Brontë sisters. The piece airs Sunday at 9 p.m.
The drama is based largely on letters written by Charlotte, one of the sisters, during a three-year period. The film will show the girls’ rise from ordinary, unmarried women to successful, secret authors now providing for their household.
The Masterpiece drama is written and directed by Sally Wainwright. It will feature Finn Atkins as Charlotte, the sister who wrote “Jane Eyre,” Chloe Pirrie as Emily, author of the dark, gothic novel, “Wuthering Heights,” and Charlie Murphy as Anne who wrote “Tenant of Wildfell Hall”, a novel based on a true love story.
The three sisters had a devastating childhood, losing their mother and two older sisters at a young age.
Their brother suffered from alcohol and laudanum addictions, despite being considered a genius of his time. Their father did his best to ensure his daughters were given an education, which led to their success later on.
Despite these difficult circumstances, all three attended a boarding school and eventually, went on to create a joint publication of poems, which appeared as a published work in 1846, under the pen names of Currer, Ellis and Acton.
The initial project had little success compared to novels “Jane Eyre” and “Wuthering Heights,” which were both published in 1847. The novels sold out, paving the path for a comfortable life from that point on.
The three sisters now serve as role models for young women today to never give up on their dreams, regardless of the social, financial or professional obstacles they may face. (Emeline Rodenas)
WOUB Digital announces it as well and Sequoyah County Times lists it on this week's selection of programmes.

Enquire Cincinnati reviews the production of Polly Teale's Jane Eyre directed by KJ Sanchez.
Like the book, the Playhouse’s “Jane Eyre” is long. It’s nearly two hours and forty-five minutes, which is an eternity in an era when 70-minute, no-intermission shows are becoming the norm.
The set, designed by Kris Stone, has no sumptuous drawing rooms nor velvet drapes. No gloomy Yorkshire landscapes, either. Stone and director Sanchez have taken quite the opposite approach.
The stage is empty except for a few ramps leading to a solitary room overlooking the stage. There are a few wooden boxes that are employed as everything from chairs to tables to percussion instruments called into service to supplement Jane Shaw’s eerie and ominous soundscape.
Rachel Healy’s costumes are one of the few hints of early Victorian life. They’re not lavish or particularly ornate. That’s not the world that was occupied by Jane Eyre, nor by Jane’s creator, author Charlotte Brontë. They were simple and straightforward people. Life should be reward enough. No need for fancy frillery.
What Sanchez has not tinkered with is the enduring story of an opinionated and principled teenager, determined to be independent, no matter how painful the consequences. She is her own girl. And finally, her own woman. It is her journey, heartbreaking, harrowing and eventually triumphal, that makes it all worth it. [...]
Margaret Ivey plays Jane. It’s a rich and complex performance. But we don’t feel that immediately. In fact, the whole production starts a little awkwardly. Perhaps it is just a matter of getting accustomed to the theatrical language that Sanchez employs. But as we settle into the rhythm and quirks of the production – Pilot, Mr. Rochester’s dog, is played by an actor on all fours – it grows easier to be enveloped by the emotional depth of the story.
Freed from demands of pretending to be a 10-year-old at the outset of the play, Ivey is finally able to explore the inner strengths and turmoil of the 18-year-old Jane. Ivey’s performance is wonderfully earnest and consistent. It would be so very easy to sneak touches of irony here and there. After all, Jane has such a narrow and naïve view of the world. “I have spoken my mind,” she says, “and can go anywhere now.” Ivey allows us to believe every word.
When we first meet Michael Sharon’s Mr. Rochester, it is hard to imagine that we might ever feel any affection for him. He is brusque and rude and exceedingly callous. But ever-so-gradually, Sharon gives us glimpses of the character’s humanity. So by the time Mr. Rochester makes his ever-so-poetic and over-the-top pronouncements of love, we are true believers in the man we see in front of us.
The supporting cast is strong, too, especially Damian Baldet as a memorably vile Brocklehurst and Tina Stafford as a contemptible Mrs. Reed. As Adèle, the young ward, Rebecca Miyako Hirota teeters between enthusiastic and over-indulgent. And then there is Rin Allen, as Bertha. For those who don’t know the plot, I’ll avoid spoilers. But Sanchez employs her secondarily as a character whose spiritual connection to Jane has a physical manifestation. It’s one of the show’s many theatrical affectations that sometimes work and sometimes are distractions.
For those willing to show patience, though, and to immerse themselves in the story’s convoluted plot and soaring emotions, there is a genuine and inevitable payoff that is quiet and elegant and rewarding. (David Lyman)
Cincinnati Gazette reviews it too.
The opening performance was amazing with strong performances by cast as a whole.
Margaret Ivey was remarkable, and highly talented in the range of feelings she eloquently expressed as Jane.
Tina Stafford was great as Mrs. Reed shows how dark and cruel people can be to others.
Michael Sharon was close to perfect as an anti hero in the story as Mr. Rochester. He has secrets. He is deceitful, and nonsense but cares. You can’t help yourself in wanting him to find true love. Michael hit the mark and then some.
Damian Baldet both Saint John Rivers and Mr. Brocklehurst was strong, forceful well done. (James Partin)
The Argus gives three stars to the play We Are Brontë at Connaught Studio, Worthing.
This amusing concoction, co-devised and performed by Sarah Corbett and Angus Barr, was a distillation of the world & works of the Brontës from which they sought to provide the writers’ essence, rather than enact scenes or provide rounded characters.
In doing so it provided an amusing, rather than out right hilarious, hour of absurdist humour which was intended to send up the performers rather than the Brontës. It was a surreal mix of mime and slapstick with very clever inventive touches – a scene involving the opening of a door was brilliant comedy as was the repeated use of cling film to covey water.
Barr acted as an interlocutor, often stepping outside the fourth wall, to converse with the audience to explain, involve or occasionally to apologise when a joke failed. Whilst he provided the words it fell to Corbett to demonstrate the art of mime – her face, when not in frozen terror, spoke volumes. She reconstructed the lost world of the silent movies.
A question & answer session midway led to some improvised comedy which ended up with Barr singing the Kate Bush lyrics with Corbett’s accompanying gyrations. The show both amused and bemused but occasionally needed a little pruning. (Barrie Jerram)
Book Riot goes searching for life advice from Victorian novels and finds it in one of our favourite paragraphs from Shirley.
Real life is not a 700-page Victorian novel, but I read too many of them at an impressionable age to know that. It’s unlikely that any distant relatives are going to die and leave me an inheritance, or that I will be hired to work as a governess by a man with a secret past, but for better or worse, I’ve learned many a lesson from Victorian novels. Here are some important things to remember, care of Dickens, Hardy, the Brontës, and co. [...]
My favourite passage in all of Victorian literature is the stone and scorpion passage from Charlotte Brontë’s underrated novel Shirley. It’s long, but it deserves to be quoted:
“You expected bread, and you have got a stone: break your teeth on it, and don’t shriek because the nerves are martyrized; do not doubt that your mental stomach—if you have such a thing—is strong as an ostrich’s; the stone will digest. You held out your hand for an egg, and fate put into it a scorpion. Show no consternation: close your fingers firmly upon the gift; let it sting through your palm. Never mind; in time, after your hand and arm have swelled and quivered long with torture, the squeezed scorpion will die, and you will have learned the great lesson how to endure without a sob. For the whole remnant of your life, if you survive the test—some, it is said, die under it—you will be stronger, wiser, less sensitive.”
Is that not the most hardcore thing you’ve ever read? The Victorians are famous for being repressed, and that single passage shows why better than a million dissertations on the subject. If someone puts a real scorpion into your hand, definitely throw it back before it can sting you, but when life hands you a non-poisonous disappointment, sometimes the best thing you can do is “endure without a sob” and move on to something better. (Kathleen Keenan)
Verily Magazine recommends 'Six Biographies Worth Reading This Women's History Month' including
The Life of Charlotte Brontë, by Elizabeth Gaskell
“I try to avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward.”
For their striking talent and tenacity, the Brontë sisters (Charlotte, Emily, and Anne) have garnered an almost mythic status over the years. Elizabeth Gaskell honors the legacy of friend and fellow novelist, Charlotte, in The Life of Charlotte Brontë. Gaskell contributes to the storied history of the Brontës, a history marked by tragedies and quiet isolation in the wild moors of England. But Charlotte she pressed on in spite of her struggles. She published the now classic, then radical, Jane Eyre. Written soon after Charlotte’s death, The Life draws on Charlotte’s letters and interviews with those who knew her. Though some find Gaskell’s portrait of Charlotte too polished, even too flattering, it reads as an endearing tribute. Moreover, this vivid biography allows Charlotte’s voice—her intelligence, wit, and candor—to shine through. (Mary Claire Lagrue)
Penguin interviews writer Trisha Ashley, whose latest novel is The Little Tea Shop of Lost and Found, which tells the story of Alice Rose, 'a foundling discovered on the Yorkshire moors above Haworth as a baby'.
What inspires you? I’m often asked where I get my inspiration. And the answer is, I don’t really know. A few ideas will be nebulously floating round in my mind and then, one day, they will suddenly fuse together and I’m off and running with the next book.
With The Little Teashop of Lost and Found, I’d recently read a harrowing account of how Victorian women would leave their babies at a foundling hospital, along with some small token, so that if by some miraculous chance they should ever be in a position to reclaim their child, they could identify it. These women were so poor that sometimes the token could be a button or an acorn. Then the word ‘foundling’ sparked off a recollection of Heathcliffe and the wild moorland around Haworth, home of the Brontë's – and I was off!
The Visitor reviews the book and mentions the Haworth moors connection.

The Cavalier Daily asks writer Christina Baker Kline a similar question.
CD: Much of your work has resilient, strong women at their centers. Who are some strong, resilient women that inspire you — in life and as a writer?
CBK: My mother was an adventurer in many ways, literally and figuratively. I’m also lucky to have three strong sisters. And then there are characters — Jane Eyre, Janie of Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God” and Ma of Emma Donoghue’s “Room.” There are strong women everywhere, which recent marches across the world have demonstrated. (Darby Delaney)
Andrew Tierney writes about his book The Doctor's Wife Is Dead: A Peculiar Marriage, a Suspicious Death, and a Murder Trial in Nineteenth-Century Ireland in The Irish Times.
Dr Langley’s degradation of his wife – a reduced diet, the confiscation of her clothes, the expulsion into poor lodgings, and a pauper’s funeral – was a way of defaming her character in a language understood by contemporary society. Sexual profligacy, it was thought, should be the subject of punishment as a warning to others. For the same reason, unmarried mothers were routinely turned away from workhouses – or segregated within them – as a means of preventing the spread of vice.
But there was increasing discomfort at this double standard by the mid-19th century. Novels which explored the position of women in (or out of) marriage, such as Anne Brontë’s Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Charles Dickens’s Dombey & Son, and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, all appeared between 1846 and 1850, and helped pave the way for new British divorce legislation in 1857 (though this was not extended to Ireland).
KJZZ had Stanford English Professor Claire Jarvis speak about her book Exquisite Masochism: Marriage, Sex and the Novel Form.
When you think about Victorian literature, you might think of great love stories like Jane Austen’s "Pride and Prejudice" or Emily Brontë’s "Wuthering Heights." You might think of long dresses, bonnets and unrequited love.
But would you think of passionate affairs and erotic love scenes? Not so much. But, a new book argues there’s more brewing behind all of those English prose.
In her new book "Exquisite Masochism: Marriage, Sex and the Novel Form," Stanford English Professor Claire Jarvis argues that Victorian novelists were, in fact, masters of the art of building sexual tension without ever mentioning the word "sex."
I spoke with her recently more about that book and what led to this hidden sexuality in Victorian literature. (Lauren Gilger)
The clip is here.

 JydskeVestkysten (Denmark) reviews Emma Donoghue's novel The Wonder.
Fortalt detaljerigt og beskrivende giver romanen umiddelbart mindelser om klassiskeren "Jane Eyre", men desværre undlader forfatteren ikke selv at lave den reference. (Anja Limkilde) (Translation)
News & Star reports that a house that used to belong to Reverend Carus Wilson is now for sale.
The building was substantially altered and the Georgian front section was added in about 1830 by the Rev William Carus Wilson. The Rev Wilson was a prominent figure in the area and in 1823 had founded the Clergy Daughter’s School at nearby Cowan Bridge, where the novelist Charlotte Brontë was a pupil.
The school and the Rev Wilson were later said to have provided Charlotte with inspiration for the appalling Lowood school and its tyrannical headmaster in her 1847 masterpiece Jane Eyre.
The Yorkshire Post features Gary Verity speaking about the many wonders of Yorkshire.
Among the many draws of the county are our wonderful literary heroes, like the Brontë sisters and James Herriot. They have played their part in boosting visitor numbers, making Yorkshire the top county for holidays with a literary link.
Music for Several Instruments and Music Web International review the CD of John Joubert's Jane Eyre.
I was interested to learn from the aforementioned conversation that Joubert made some big cuts to the score so that what we hear in this performance has about 40 or 45 minutes less music than the original completed score. He felt that the opera as it originally stood was too long and that some minor situations impeded the essential flow of the drama. His scrutiny fell particularly on five orchestral interludes between scenes which, he felt, rather got in the way; that’s my choice of words, I hasten to say. These were excised. Since I have no knowledge of the original score I can only say that on the evidence of what I hear in this performance John Joubert’s judgement seems to have been spot-on; the definitive score seems to me to be a tautly constructed piece with excellent dramatic impetus. I was delighted to find, however, that the rumours I’d heard are true: the music hasn’t been discarded but instead, Joubert confirms, the interludes have been used as the basis for his recently completed Third Symphony. I look forward very much to hearing that.
Although material from Jane Eyre has been recycled into the new symphony it will appear there in an expanded orchestration. In the new piece Joubert has expanded the scoring, writing for a large symphony orchestra including triple woodwind. For the opera, however, the forces are more modest. In addition to strings (here 8/4/4/4/2) single woodwind (each doubling a second instrument) and brass are specified plus piano, organ (only in the church wedding scene, I believe), timpani and a percussion battery requiring two players. If the orchestra appears rather modest and you anticipate an undernourished sound, fear not; that is most certainly not the case. The scoring is consistently colourful, imaginative and atmospheric and the ESO plays extremely well. The orchestra functions as a significant protagonist throughout the work and I found the orchestral contribution held my attention throughout and added significantly to my enjoyment. (John Quinn)
L'inchiesta Sicilia (Italy) has an article on women in literature which mentions both Jane Eyre and Cathy. Nick Holland writes about the Brontës' links to Halifax on AnneBrontë.org. Brussels Brontë Blog has a post on Villette and The Professor in China.
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The celebrations of the 225th anniversary of WH Smith include some Brontë-related interesting bits:
W H Smith is celebrating its 225th anniversary year with a classic ‘yellowback’ book collection similar to the ones sold in the mid-1800s by the retailer.
The ‘yellowbacks’ became popular in the mid-1800s because they were cheap, entertaining and could be carried when you travelled.
Now W H Smith is bringing them back to mark 225 years since the store was founded in 1792 by Henry Walton Smith, who first traded from a stall on Little Grosvenor Street in London with his wife Anna.
The seven exclusive classic titles have been developed with publisher Vintage Classics and are: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Hard Times by Charles Dickens, The Warden by Anthony Trollope, Silas Marner by George Eliot, Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle and The Turn of the Screw by Henry James.
The titles cost £7.99 each, with a Buy One Get One Half Price offer at both High Street and Travel stores.
In a bid to raise over £2m for three charities voted for by W H Smith employees - Cancer Research UK, Mind and the National Literacy Trust, £1 from the sale of each of the titles will go to charity.
The titles hit high street, railway and train station stores this week.
The company is also asking its customers and every book-lover nationwide to vote for their favourite book from the past 225 years. A national poll based on recommendations from the #WHS225Books hashtag. (Natasha Onwuemezi in The Bookseller)
The favourite book vote includes Jane Eyre.
Jane Eyre (WHSmith 225th Anniversary Yellowback Edition)
Charlotte Brontë
Format: Paperback
ID: 9781784873165
ISBN10: 1784873160

As part of our 225th anniversary celebrations in 2017, we're paying homage to seven popular classics by reproducing them as limited edition yellowbacks.
Nowadays yellowback books are a rare collector's item but back in the late 1800's they were a common sight on Britain's railways. Yellowbacks are an incredibly important part of the history of WHSmith, cementing our place in the books and rail industries, and we are very proud of the role we played in bringing books to the masses.This is a special yellowback edition of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. A classic novel of intense power and intrigue, Jane Eyre dazzled readers with its passionate depiction of a woman's search for equality and freedom.

Monday, March 20, 2017

It looks as if we will soon find out what's to become of Mary Taylor's former home at the Red House. As The Telegraph and Argus reports,
Three groups are vying to take over the recently-closed Red House Museum in Gomersal, Kirklees Council has confirmed.
The authority invited expressions of interest in taking on the building [...] in a community asset transfer after the museum was closed in December.
No details have been provided as to who the groups are and how they intend to use the building, but a decision is expected at the beginning of next month.
The Grade-II listed building, which has links to the Brontës, was a victim of budget cuts.
A spokesman said: “By the submission deadline of the 6 March 2017, we received five expressions of interest in total – two for Dewsbury Museum and three for Red House.
“The next stage of this process will be for the council to assess the submissions received.” (Jo Winrow)
Keighley News tells about the latest goings on at the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
One month into opening and we’re still enjoying the To Walk Invisible effect!
Traditionally, February and early March are our quieter months, but large numbers are coming from near and far to step inside the ‘real’ Parsonage dramatised so brilliantly by Sally Wainwright.
I brought my family to the museum in the half-term holiday, and they were very impressed with the more ‘lived-in’ approach adopted by our curators, and the fantastic use of costumes and props from the drama.
Our creative partner, Simon Armitage, is proving to be an inspired choice, if ticket sales are anything to go by. Simon is launching his new collection of poetry, The Unaccompanied, in Haworth at 7.30pm on Saturday.
Simon will be reading from his new collection and answering questions in the Old School Room before moving over to the museum to sign copies of his new collection. We have a handful of tickets left, so if you are a fan of Simon and haven’t yet visited the museum to see our new exhibition, this is a great opportunity to do both.
We’ve had some lovely feedback about our new monthly Treasures sessions, so if you’re stuck for an imaginative Mother’s Day gift, this could be the perfect solution. Our next one is March 31 at 2pm, and in the evening we have our intimate Parsonage Unwrapped evening – on Branwell and his travels.
The exclusive Treasures sessions cost £85 per person, whilst Parsonage Unwrapped on March 31 costs £20.
If you want to treat someone to an extra special day, they can do both for £100. Call 01535 640192 or visit to book.
We’re all gearing up for Flying Scotsman coming to the valley from April 1 to 9. Holders of Flying Scotsman tickets can enjoy discounted museum admission, and we’ve devised a series of free talks to keep the rail enthusiasts happy.
On both Saturdays and Sundays, as well as the Tuesday, at 11.30am and 2pm, visitors to the museum can listen to the cheekily titled talk, Branwell Brontë: Off the Rails. Hear about Branwell’s brief career as railway clerk in Calderdale and find out why his career came to such an abrupt end. Did he really go ‘off the rails’?
Also new for April is an opportunity to create a handwritten copy of Wuthering Heights.
The original manuscript no longer survives, so artist Clare Twomey, in a new commission for the museum, invites visitors to copy one sentence of the novel into a handmade book, which will be exhibited in 2018.
Come along from April 6 if you want to contribute and literally make your mark!
And finally, when next you hear from me, we will be in the midst of the Easter holidays, so check out the website for details of Easter holiday activities.
The first of our Wild Wednesdays is April 12 and little ones – and not so little ones! – can try their hand at creating miniature gardens with local artist, Rachel Lee.
Spring is in the air! (Diane Fare)
24 Horas (Chile) features the Brontë family. Nick Holland posts about 'Animals In The Novels Of Anne And Emily Brontë' on AnneBrontë.org. Mr. CarWoodward publishes some pictures of the rehearsals of the Sally Cookson Jane Eyre production in Southampton.
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More papers or thesis the Brontës lives and works:
Forgiveness in Jane EyreYih-Dau Wu
Tamkang Review ; 47卷1期 (2016 / 12 / 01) , P1 - 18

Forgiveness plays a central role in the plot, characterization and even sentence formations of Charlotte Brontë's novel Jane Eyre (1847). Yet this novel has curiously eluded the attention of most literary historians who draw on prose fiction to explain the importance of forgiveness in Victorian England. This essay argues that this omission betrays a rarely-discussed awareness that Jane Eyre challenges the Victorian understanding of forgiveness. Brontë's contemporaries believe that forgiveness is a Christian virtue expressive of love. They also embrace forgiveness as a reconciliatory gesture productive of social and spiritual redemption. Bronte subverts both assumptions in her novel. Through Helen Burn's (sic) self-absorption, Aunt Reed's life-long resentment and Jane Eyre's withheld speech, Brontë demonstrates how futile the language of forgiveness can be in resolving conflicts. In addition, Brontë incorporates the Christian language of forgiveness into her text, only to reveal how sharply it can depart from words of love and how easily it can descend into expressions of hostility. Critics of Jane Eyre have long noticed its subversive spirit and have explained it in terms of Brontë's social criticism or feminist agenda. This essay maintains that the issue of forgiveness provides a more consistent and persuasive approach to understanding the rebellious quality of this novel.
Charlotte Brontë’s: Jane Eyre as BildungsromanSwati Thakur and Dr. Santosh Thakurs
Notions Vol. 7 No. 3 2016 
Different Representations of the Orphan Child: A Character Analysis of Emily Brontë’s Heathcliff and Charlotte Brontë’s Jane EyrePatricia Loggarfve
Degree project in English
Autumn 2016
Centre for Languages and Literature
Lund University
Supervisor: Kiki Lindell

This bachelor essay aims to discuss and analyse the main characters in the novels Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights written by the sisters Charlotte and Emily Brontë, respectively. Both novels written in 1847, during a time when orphan narratives were popular, have orphans as the central protagonists. This investigation bases the analysis on the orphans’ background and further compares their personalities and actions, both as children and adults. My discussion is mainly about the characters’ childhood as well as how they are affected by love and death as adults. It also discusses the importance of narrative structure and religion. The main findings in my investigation are that Jane and Heathcliff develop to be two completely different characters and that this has to do with
them having different experiences of love, death and religion. The results further reveal that the narrative structure has an impact on how the characters are perceived, and it stresses the importance of telling one’s own story.   
Frequency of the temporal markers in the fiction functional-semantic fieldBuzina Evgenia Igorevna
Belgorod National Research University, Belgorod

This article deals with the research of fiction conceptsphere of «Jane Eyre» written by Charlotte Bronte. The author considers the identification of temporal markers in details based on the cognitive-hermeneutic analysis of the original text. Schedules were made with the distribution of frequency. The result of the dominance of mononuclear chronemes was presented and described.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Wuthering Heights 2018, directed by Elisaveta Abrahall, is almost finished according to the Shropshire Star. They have released a trailer (although it is more like a summary of the film):
A new big-screen version of the Emily Brontë classic has been shooting at various locations around Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Powys since last spring and is due to continue filming in south Shropshire in the coming week.
But director Elisaveta Abrahall, who is making the film with production company Three Hedgehogs Films, said the cast and crew were now getting very close to “wrapping” the project, which will then go into post-production and editing.
She said they filmed on Clee Hill on March 12 and have also been at Acton Scott Historic Working Farm near Church Stretton.
She said: “We’ve got more filming from April 18 to 26, then that’s probably about it except for a few pick-up shots.
“We’ll probably be doing more at Acton Scott and we’ve been using the Shropshire hills, going up on to the Long Mynd and so on.”
She said the Shropshire hills were doubling as a backdrop for the tragic love story’s famous moors.
It will go into post-production immediately, with a view to getting it out for the festivals at the tail end of this year and into next year.
“We want to try and get it at Cannes Film Festival.
Cannes? They are certainly ambitious.

The Toronto Star reviews a novel which features Charlotte Brontë as a secondary character: Mad Richard by Lesley Krueger:
Mad Richard
By Lesley Krueger
ECW, 326 pages, $18.95

At first glance, the interlacing of the life of painter Richard Dadd with that of the novelist Charlotte Brontë seems a stretch — but Lesley Krueger, a Canadian journalist turned fiction and screen writer, is on her fifth novel and knows well how to weave a tale. The novel begins with Brontë’s visit to Dadd in Bedlam, an asylum he has lived in for a decade after losing his mind and committing a murder. They only meet once, but as Krueger reimagines it, this is a pivotal moment and opens the door to an exploration of the lives of the two artists: the way these lives differ and the way they are the same, and, most movingly, the struggles so many artists find common ground in: struggles with self-doubt and mental wellness and the fickle nature of the bravery it takes to show one’s soul to the world. There is much to ponder in this elegant novel about the potentially catastrophic emotional toll of art, the irrational nature of the love, the solitude of heartache and what happens when one life touches another, however briefly. (Marissa Stapley)
The Stoke Gifford Gazette reports a recent talk at the local Women's Institute:
President Sue Grimstead welcomed members and speaker and we sang Jerusalem.
Our speaker Sandra Bateman gave a talk on the Brontë sisters.
She is a retired school teacher and a member of The Brontë Society.
Charlotte, Emily and Anne are very well known as novelists and poets. Their mother died when the children were still young and it was left to her sister Elizabeth to care for the children.
Their father Patrick made sure that the siblings had a very good education.
They were allowed to read a wide range of literature including Byron, which in the early 19th century was very progressive.
Sadly none of the siblings reached old age.
With the talk lasting an hour, this is just a taster of a most fascinating and interesting talk.
Sue thanked our speaker and said how she, for one, was inspired to visit Haworth Parsonage, the Brontës’ home from 1820 to 1861.
Studybreaks talks about trivia facts:
Finally, it must be said that trivia should never be equated with intelligence. Knowing that Jean Rhys wrote “Wide Sargasso Sea” does not necessarily mean that one is smarter than everyone else; it just means that one knows that Jean Rhys wrote “Wide Sargasso Sea.” Thus, you shouldn’t feel stupid if you fail to know the answers to trivia questions; rather, you should take note of the correct responses and try to recall them the next time they are referenced. (Ben Zhang)
Efsyn (Greece) reports a Brontë mention on the TV cultural show Στάση ΕΡΤ:
«Θα μιλήσουμε για την Εμιλυ Μπροντέ· δεν ξέρω γαλλικά, αλλά θα κάνω πως ξέρω: Εμιλυ Μπγοντέ…» έκανε χαριτωμένα ο παρουσιαστής, μ’ ένα κλειστό, γαλλικοφανές έψιλον στο επίθετο· «Αγγλίδα είναι» τον έκοψε ο παρουσιαζόμενος.
Η σκηνή, που μου την επισήμανε με μέιλ του φίλος αναγνώστης, διαδραματίστηκε στην εκπομπή «Στάση ΕΡΤ», η οποία μας απασχόλησε πρόσφατα, όταν παρουσίασε το πόνημα μιας μαθήτριας της «σχολής» Αδωνη, έκδοση οίκου που μας χαρίζει Κωνσταντίνο Πλεύρη και διάφορους άλλους «γνήσιους Ελληνες». Τώρα (2/3) παρουσιαζόταν ο σκηνοθέτης Γιάννης Καλαβριανός, που διασκεύασε τα Ανεμοδαρμένα ύψη της Εμιλυ Μπροντέ. (Γιάννης Η. Χάρης) (Translation)
Regió 7 (in Catalan) interviews actress Magda Puig, who plays several roles in the Barcelona performances of Jane Eyre:
Com va ser l´adaptació d´una novel·la de tant gruix, no tan sols literari, al format teatral?
Sempre he dit que la dramatúrgia és una de les feines més difícils d´aquest ofici. Jo ho vaig veure quan vaig estar preparant Plácido Mo. És una tasca que no sempre s´ha valorat prou, tot i que cada cop està agafant més reconeixement. Per sort, aquesta Jane Eyre és obra de l´Anna Maria Ricart, una dramaturga molt bona.
Ja la coneixia?
Ens va fer la dramatúrgia de Fuenteovejuna, amb la companyia Obskene. Amb Jane Eyre ha fet un treball espectacular. Ella diu que, quan llegeix, allò que li toca la fibra ho va adaptant, i després mira que li quadri. (...)
Jane Eyre és una dona valenta que no es vol deixar lligar. Es va voler emfasitzar aquest aspecte de reivindicació femenina?
No, en cap moment es volia caure en el drama. Només calia explicar la història, que té prou força per si mateixa: és una dona a la qual passen unes coses i reacciona d´una manera concreta. (Toni Mata i Riu) (Translation)
Aftenposten (Norway) lists the use of the 'stately homes of England' in literature:
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847), oversatt av Ragnfrid Stokke
Innenfor «country house»-sjangeren skiller man gjerne mellom to typer, den gotiske og den sosiale. Jane Eyre, romanen om plain Jane og mystiske Mr. Rochester, tilhører den førstnevnte.
Store deler av handlingen utspiller seg på Thornfield Hall, et dystert, avsidesliggende gods, der Rochester holder sin første kone innelåst på loftet.
Motivet har gitt tittel til en klassiker innenfor feministisk litteraturforskning, Sandra M. Gilbert og Susan Gubars The Madwoman in the Attic. De leser den innestengte kvinnen på loftet som et bilde på Janes uakseptable og derfor undertrykte raseri. (Ann Merethe K. Prinos) (Translation)
AnneBrontë.org posts about Aunt Branwell and Anne Brontë. Scriblerians reviews a young readers version of Jane EyreAmi sojitra posts about Wuthering Heights.
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
New Brontë-related papers recently published:
Narrative Form and Facts, Facts, Facts: Elizabeth Gaskell's Life of Charlotte Brontë
Sarah Allison
Genre 2017 Volume 50, Number 1: 97-116
This essay places Elizabeth Gaskell's Life of Charlotte Brontë in the context of responses it provoked from contemporaries, including their retrospective rereadings of Jane Eyre. By 1857, the novel form had come a long way from its eighteenth-century origins in the roman à clef, but some parts of Gaskell's Life return to and invert that tradition, reading almost like a clef to Jane Eyre—so much so as to force a printed retraction and substantial revisions. Gaskell wrote the Life well after fictionality emerged as a concept distinct from history and journalism. Nevertheless, in its intersection with Jane Eyre, the Life reveals the traces of fictional realist convention in factual accounts and, conversely, shows how far the novel, fictional form par excellence, retained an aura of facticity.
Marrying Mr. Rochester: Redeeming the Negative Father Complex
Lisa Marchiano
Psychological Perspectives. A Quarterly Journal of Jungian Thought, Volume 60, 2017 - Issue 1: Marked for Life, 91-102

Injurious childhood experiences with one's personal father form the psychic bedrock of a negative father complex: never good enough. This complex has a part that is exciting and uses hope as its hook, and a part that disappoints and persecutes. The negative father complex can be imaged as the ghostly lover, as depicted in the fairy tale “The Singing, Springing Lark” and in Charlotte Brontë's life and famous novel, Jane Eyre. The ghostly lover holds a woman's creative energies hostage to the tantalizing possibility of being the special one who can redeem the negative masculine and win his love.
To heal a complex, its contents must be personified, or imaged, so that an individual can come into conscious relationship with it. The tale of the “Singing, Springing Lark” illustrates collective roots and images of healing a wounded relationship with the masculine. Charlotte Brontë transformed her relationship with the ghostly lover through her novel Jane Eyre, with Mr. Rochester as the image of her own wounded, bewitching masculine energy. Brontë herself was subsequently able to marry, despite her father's objection, overcoming her negative father complex. The fairy tale, novel, and Brontë's life show that several attempts are usually necessary to bring the complex to light. Although consciousness seeks redemption through its pursuit of the masculine, the complex also—mysteriously—seeks its own transformation. Ego alone cannot fulfill the mission of individuation; the Self must aid the process.
The Absent Voice: Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea
Segzi Öztop Haner
Journal of International Social Research, Aug 2016, Vol. 9 Issue 45, p 173-181

The heroines of Brontë's Jane Eyre (1847) and Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea (1966) experience oppression and degradation due to the patriarchal and colonial subjugation in England and Jamaica during that time. Jane's struggle against patriarchal oppression corresponds with Antoinette's resistance to colonial subjugation in the sense that both attempt to achieve self-recognition and liberty of speech together with cultural and economic liberty. While Brontë's main concern in Jane Eyre is to articulate her displeasure against gender and class inequality in England, Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea focuses on the racial inequality in Jamaica. As a consequence, Brontë and Rhys present two different ideologies and thereby two different social reality that indicate each authors' apprehension and world view.
Portrayal of Feminine Emotions in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre
Dr. B Janaki
European Journal of English Language and Literature Studies
Vol.5, No.2, pp.36-46, February 2017

Charlotte Brontë holds a unique place in presenting heroines who are assertive. As the author of vivid, intensely written novels, Charlotte Brontë broke the traditional nineteenthcentury fictional stereotype of a woman as beautiful, submissive, dependent, and ignorant and delineated the portrait of a ‘new woman’ who is independent and who does not simply submit herself to the norms of the patriarchal setup. Charlotte Brontë’s first novel, Jane Eyre (1847) was immediately recognized for its originality and power. Since then, Brontë has been considered by critics as one of the foremost authors of the nineteenth century, an important precursor to feminist novelists, and the creator of intelligent, independent heroines who asserted their rights as women long before those rights were recognized by society. Through Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë aims to project the need to fight against the oppression in the patriarchy. Penniless, lonely and starving, Jane Eyre does not remain a victim of social injustice but emerges as a brave warrior to stand against the male domination and is determined to assert her individuality without submitting to the accepted traditional norms. Both Mr. Rochester and St. John want to master Jane and in both the cases, she insists on her independent will. She wants power and the freedom to be active as she wishes to experience the world in a positive and constructive fashion. She does marry Mr. Rochester, but on her own terms and not at the cost of her independence.