Friday, November 27, 2020

Christmas Gifts (I)

On Friday, November 27, 2020 at 12:30 am by M. in    No comments
Christmas is coming. And if you are looking for a Brontë-oriented kind of gift maybe you can take a look at this (via Bookriot):

Red Hill Printables: Large literary minimalist poster, book cover art, literary gift, modern home decor, Instant Download

This poster is inspired by Charlotte Brontë's "Jane Eyre", a novel many consider ahead of its time given the exploration of classism, sexuality, religion, and proto-feminism. The illustration depicts the lightning striking the chestnut tree on the night Jane agrees to marry Mr. Rochester.

Inspired by classic Penguin Books covers, the modern aesthetic of the poster fits very well into any interior and is absolutely perfect for those who love the simplicity of minimalist design. A must have for all gothic and victorian novel fans! Great for any room or space.

This poster is inspired by Anne Brontë's novel "Agnes Grey", a classic of English literature. The illustration reflects one of the most memorable scenes from the novel, in which Agnes kills a group of birds to save them from being tortured by Tom Bloomfield.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thursday, November 26, 2020 11:10 am by Cristina in ,    No comments
First of all, we would like to wish a happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate the day. We hope it's a nice one in spite of it all. The Daily Express has selected some quotes to use today and one of them is by Charlotte Brontë:
Charlotte Brontë: “For my part, I am almost contented just now, and very thankful. Gratitude is a divine emotion: it fills the heart, but not to bursting; it warms it, but not to fever.” (Liam Doyle)
The quote is taken from Shirley, chapter XXVIII.

La Vanguardia (Spain) recommends Charlotte Brontë's The Professor for National Teachers' Day.
"El Profesor" (Charlotte Brontë, 1857)
Charlotte Brontë ha pasado a la historia de la literatura con el clásico "Jane Eyre", pero poco se conoce de "El profesor", novela póstuma de la escritora británica que narra en primera persona las desventuras de William Crimsworth, un tipo huraño que huye a Bélgica para ejercer la labor de profesor en un internado para señoritas.
Un profesor que, fruto posiblemente del contexto histórico en el que fue escrito, refleja un tipo de docente estricto, poco cercano con sus alumnas, de un carácter complejo con el que el lector difícilmente logra empatizar. (Laura Tabuyo) (Translation)
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
A recent thesis Wide Sargasso Sea-oriented:
A thesis in Turkish Wide Sargasso Sea-oriented: Madness as an Anti- Authoritarian Agent in Wide Sargasso Sea and The Bell Jar
Hüseyín, Íçen

The present thesis studied metaphor of mirror as Third Space of enunciation in Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea and Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. Women characters’ madness as a result of authoritarianism embodied as patriarchy in Esther of Bell Jar and colonial approach in Antoinette of Wide Sargasso Sea is the result of their fractured sense of identity, response to their dispossession from selfhood, and frightening sense of dismissing culture and sanity. Both female characters are emotionally vulnerable; while Antoinette is economically powerless; internally displaced, who deals with dismissed sexual passion, Esther’s suicidal depression is the result of her reaction against the pressures of social conventions and protest against patriarchal power which has contaminated the psychiatric treatment to make female patients obedient wives. Both Esther and Antoinette seek seclusion in mirrors following the loss of their mental health. The looking glass in both novels suggests double identity, madness, and deterioration of subjectivity as a result of colonizing and patriarchal power. Mental instability and loss of identity have been interpreted as Bhabhaian Third Space of enunciation in mentioned novels.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Impact thinks it's the right time for Emily Brontë's poem 'Shall Earth No More Inspire Thee'.
In a time when we can’t rely on human contact to support our mental wellbeing, it is important to reconnect with the outdoors. A poem that really captures our need as humans for interaction with nature is: ‘Shall Earth No More Inspire Thee’ by Emily Brontë.
This poem, first published in 1846, is a remarkable reminder that, for as long as we have existed, nature has always been a place of solitude and a source of inspiration.
Brontë convinces her reader of the vitality of nature and its comforting presence, and I think now of all times is a moment to relish in her advice. (Jocelyn Ainsley)
The Irish Echo interviews novelist John Connolly.
Name three books that are memorable in terms of your reading pleasure.
Bleak House” by Charles Dickens, which I think may be the greatest novel in the English language; “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë, which is the book I’ve probably re-read more often than any other; and I’ll cheat a little on the third and go for the complete Jeeves & Wooster tales of P.G. Wodehouse, because they never fail to bring a little joy into my world.  I’m not sure I could entirely trust anyone who didn’t like P.G. Wodehouse. (Peter McDermott)
While Elle Decoration interviews chef and food writer Ravinder Bhogal.
The writer who moves me most is Dominica-born British author Jean Rhys. I so relate to Antoinette Cosway’s fragility at leaving behind a lush tropical island for grey England in Wide Sargasso Sea, because I made that voyage, too. (Cat Olley)
Culturamas (Spain) reviews the Spanish translation of Wuthering Heights published by Austral.
Esta obra es una larga y extraordinaria descripción de los actos y problemas emocionales de unos seres locos o perversos que arrastran una existencia mísera y maléfica. Con ellos, Emily Brontë ofrece al lector una visión de todos estos seres, que caminan por cada página y que actúan demoníacamente por aridez protestante que se diluye en todas y en cada una de sus páginas.
Cumbres Borrascosas es sin duda la novela más genuina, profunda y contenida dela literatura, además de una de las obras más importantes de la época victoriana. (Pilar Martínez) (Translation)
Tor recommends the Thursday Next series of books by Jasper Fforde.
Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next Series
So really, you could grab any of Jasper Fforde’s books and expect silly weirdness. It’s what he does best. I picked the Thursday Next series because it’s what he’s most known for and because it contains a lot of reader catnip. Why? Because the Thursday Next books feature a character, Thursday, who is a literary detective. The first book, The Eyre Affair, features a drag racing Miss Havisham, time travel, and a dodo named Pickwick. I mean, literary references abound. (I particularly like the running joke about her dad and Winston Churchill.) Feeling more like a Young Adult book? Then start with The Last Dragonslayer, which has plucky orphans, quark beasts, and wizards using magic to unclog drains. (Lish McBride)
Deadline mourns the death of screenwriter and director Malcolm Marmorstein.
Before moving to Los Angeles in 1967, Marmorstein began writing for the New York-based soap The Doctors, where he was head writer before being hired away by Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis in late 1966. During Marmorstein’s early tenure on what was then a failing Jane Eyre-style melodrama, Curtis and his small writing staff began adding supernatural elements — at first a ghost or two and then a strange woman who turned out to be a from-the-ashes phoenix. (Greg Evans)
A contributor to Publico (Portugal) writes about sisters.
Penso nas irmãs Brontë e no desejo antigo de crescer numa casa cheia de raparigas e de livros. Só tenho uma irmã, e na nossa casa não havia mais de 15 livros. Quando a minha irmã nasceu, eu achava que era crescida: tinha dez anos e já tinha folheado O Monte dos Vendavais, e achado graça às duas bolinhas do nome da autora por cima do ë (vim mais tarde a saber que se chamava trema). (Cláudia Lucas Chéu) (Translation)
Here's how The Cut describes nightgowns:
Unlike, say, silk pajamas or a slinky slip, nightgowns aren’t really made for public consumption. They are garments that are completely and utterly for you. You don’t dress up a nightgown to run errands or eat brunch, you wear a nightgown to lie on a fainting couch and complain of consumption. You waft from room to room, half-human, half-apparition, full of longing, pausing only to press your palm against the icy window in search of meaning in the bitter howls of the wind. Muttering quietly to yourself, Heathcliff, it’s me, Amil. Please be quiet, the baby’s sleeping! (Amil Niazi)
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
Another scholar book with Brontë-related content:
Victorian Hands
The Manual Turn in Nineteenth-Century Body Studies

Edited by Peter J. Capuano and Sue Zemka
Ohio University Press
ISBN: 978-0-8142-1439-8
October 2020

Until recently, the embodied hand has paradoxically escaped the notice of nineteenth-century cultural and literary historians precisely because of its centrality. The essays in Peter J. Capuano and Sue Zemka's new collection, Victorian Hands: The Manual Turn in Nineteenth-Century Body Studies, join an emerging body of work that seeks to remedy this. Casting new light on an array of well-known authors-Charlotte Brontë, Christina Rossetti, George Eliot, Wilkie Collins, William Morris, Thomas Hardy, Henry James, and Oscar Wilde-the volume explores the role of the hand as a nexus between culture and physical embodiment. The contributors to this volume address a wide range of manual topics and concerns, including those related to religion, medicine, science, industry, paranormal states, language, digital humanities, law, photography, disability, and art history. Examining hands, language, materiality, and agency, these contributors employ their expertise as Victorianists in order to understand what hands have to tell us about the cultural preoccupations of the nineteenth century and how the unique conditions of Britain at the time shaped the modern emergence of our cultural relationship with our hands.
One of the chapters of the book is "A Fiery Hand Gripped My Vitals”: Admiral Nelson, Amputation, and Heroic Masculinity in Jane Eyre by Karen Bourrier.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Tuesday, November 24, 2020 10:25 am by Cristina in , , ,    No comments
British Theatre has interviewed actress Kelsey Short, who played Jane in Blackeyed Theatre’s recent production of Jane Eyre.
What do you like about playing Jane and being part of this adaptation? 
I love playing Jane because she’s such a well-rounded character who goes on an incredible journey. And I enjoy being part of this specific production because everything is so raw, and the live music, for me, really elevates it to the next level. [...]
Are there any aspects or themes of the show that might resonate in different ways after months of social distancing, isolation and a global pandemic? 
I think one aspect that could definitely resonate is the missing of those that you love as you can’t see them. Jane obviously chooses not to see Rochester for a time but it doesn’t stop her intense missing of him and waiting to see him again. That’s been a big part of my lockdown, missing my loved ones, so I think that aspect could hit home for a lot of people. (Mark Ludmon)
Tufts Now asks all sorts of bookish questions to writer Mary Morris.
What books do you remember being among your favorite?
The first books that I just devoured were Nancy Drew mysteries. Here was a young girl being a detective and solving crimes—I found her very empowering. And I soon fell in love with books like Jane Eyre and Little Women. I always loved stories. My dad was a great storyteller. If I was reading a book I loved, my mother, to her credit, would occasionally let me stay home from school to finish it. (Laura Ferguson)
Craven Herald & Pioneer shares some trivia about St Oswald’s in Thornton-in-Lonsdale.
Also of interest to fans of the Bronte sisters, says the church, is a display featuring Professor C Heywood’s introduction to the latest edition of Emily Brontë’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ which gives a compelling argument for the setting of ‘Wuthering Heights’ being in the vicinity of the church. (Lesley Tate)
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
A new publication of the Facebook group A Walk Around the Brontë Table. As the previous one, There Was No Possibility of Taking a Walk That Day, is edited by Kay Adkins.
A Walk Around the Brontë Table Facebook Group. Edited by Kay Fairhurst Adkins
ISBN: 9798685334879

More than 200 years since their births, the ghosts of the famous Brontë family - Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne - haunt their eager fans through novels, poetry, and the fascinating true story of genius tucked into unlikely spaces. Would you like a personal tour of the Parsonage with Charlotte? Do you want to be in the room as Branwell is lectured by one of his sisters? Are you ready to read a new diary paper by Emily or see the angel who visited baby Anne? It is all here waiting for you in this collection of spine-tingling Brontë-Inspired Ghost Stories, Local Legends, Paranormal Experiences, and Channelings. As one of our authors, Danette Camponeschi, says in her story Keepers of the Truth, "When shut inside during our own time of horror - while the world sleeps and waits and holds its collective breath - we continue the tradition of storytelling in our own way, keeping the truth alive and the imagination flourishing." Open the cover of this book and enjoy a moonlit ramble on the moors. You never know what you'll find...or what will find you...

Monday, November 23, 2020

Monday, November 23, 2020 11:16 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
Global Voices has an article on the greatness of Jean Rhys.
Wide Sargasso Sea” is told from the point of view of Antoinette Cosway, Rhys’ take on Bertha Mason, the mad wife of Mr. Rochester in Brontë's classic. Although now hailed as a masterpiece (TIME magazine named it among the 100 best English-language novels since 1923 and Bocas Lit Fest deemed it one of the “100 Caribbean Books That Made Us”), it was a controversial piece of work when it was published in 1966.
Yet, though many of the panellists called it a “perfect” novel, “Wide Sargasso Sea” was not the sum of Rhys’ work. (Janine Mendes-Franco)
In that article, we read that her childhood home in Dominica was demolished a few months ago.
In May 2020, Rhys’ childhood home in Dominica's capital, Roseau, was demolished to accommodate commercial construction (Janine Mendes-Franco)
 Here's how The Guardian describes actor-turned-writer Gabriel Byrne.
Byrne’s prehistory as an actor is well known to Irish people of a certain age, his role as Pat Barry, “a kind of Irish Heathcliff”, in the TV soap opera The Riordans making him, for a time, a household heart-throb. He describes his family watching his television debut in silent wonderment in their living room. As his character appeared, “lugging a bale of hay”, his awestruck younger sister Marian uttered a single word: “Jesus.” (Sean O’Hagan)
Ma Grande Taille (France) feaures the book Bibliothérapie : 500 livres qui réenchantent la vie de Tatiana Lenté et Héloïse Goy.
L'idée étant de puiser de l'énergie et des ressources dans les histoires des romans, de BD, d'essais, de nouvelles, qu’on lit pour s'inspirer et régler ses propres petits soucis. Que ce soit un bouquin "thérapeutique", un roman "pour mieux se connaître" ou un livre "pour se faire du bien" ou selon une problématique bien définie : un chagrin d'amour  (Jane Eyre de Charlotte Brontë), faire son coming out (Les Oranges ne sont pas les seuls fruits de Jeanette Winterson), trouver du courage (Couleurs de l’incendie de Pierre Lemaitre)... Le but étant de ne pas aller vers des ouvrages de développement personnel spécifiques avec toutes les réponses déjà écrites, mais de les trouver soi-même. (Léa Dechambre) (Translation)
Revista Espejo (Spain) features Santiago Posteguillo's book La sangre de los libros and highlights its Brontë references.
Ante la imposibilidad de dar cuenta de todos los autores de que trata este libro y habiendo elegido al azar a unos cuantos, comenzaré con la novelista inglesa Charlotte Brönte [sic]. Autora, entre otras novelas de alta calidad humanista, de Jane Eyre, Charlotte se dedicó a escribir cartas amorosas que se quedaron sin respuesta. Se había enamorado del hombre que la contrató como institutriz para sus hijos y ante el impedimento de ser correspondida, decidió renunciar al cargo y volverse a su hogar desde donde le escribió ardientes misivas, las que, harto  del  engorroso asunto, el hombre decidió romperlas   dejando los pedazos en un cesto de basura, de donde las rescató la esposa, percatándose con afortunada sensibilidad, de la calidad literaria de aquellas cartas; decidió guardarlas y tuvieron que pasar muchos años para ser rescatadas por los biógrafos de las Brönte y publicadas en 1913. Charlotte fue la última sobreviviente de 6 hermanos que fueron muriendo poco a poco de tuberculosis, incurable ante la falta de recursos de la familia. Emily, una de las hermanas mayores de la familia Brönte, alcanzó la fama, a pesar de su solitaria y enfermiza vida, con su impresionante novela Cumbres borrascosas que se lee y se seguirá leyendo por siempre jamás y de la que se han hecho buenas versiones cinematográficas. (Translation)
TB wasn't incurable because of the family's lack of money but because at the time it was.. well, incurable. And neither was Emily's life 'sickly'. We haven't overlooked the inaccuracies in describing the story of Charlotte's letters to Heger, either.

'Anne Brontë’s Isolation Message' on AnneBrontë.org. Brussels Brontë Blog compares the views of Brussels from the point of view from a French speaker writer and a Dutch-Flemish writer.
12:30 am by M. in , ,    No comments
An alert for tomorrow, November 24. Originally in Oakland, CA but now, as everything else, going online:
East Bay Classic Fiction Book Club
November Meetup: Villette by Charlotte Brontë

November 24, 18:30h via Zoom

Please join us in November when we discuss Villette by Charlotte Brontë

Some critics, including George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) and Virginia Woolf, considered Villette to be Charlotte Brontë’s best novel. This is quite a statement, considering that Charlotte Brontë also wrote Jane Eyre.

The organizer takes no stand on which of the two very different novels, Jane Eyre or Villette, is the better work, but simply rejoices that they both exist.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

The Ilkley Gazette suggests some walks after lockdown 2.0:
Winter is a great time to venture on to the bleak moors above Haworth. It is invigorating and although the walk itself is straightforward, it is entirely possible to fully understand the motivations behind the bleak novels of the Brontë Sisters, particularly Emily’s Wuthering Heights. (...)
Either park in Haworth (a car park near the Parsonage Museum, where the Brontë family lived) or better just drive the half-mile to a minor road out the north end of the village. It shortens the walk and avoids some road walking.
Just beyond the cemetery on your left is some parking, leave the car and carry on westwards towards the moors. After crossing a road follow a lane westwards with a dry stone wall on your right signposted to the Brontë Waterfall.
Almost immediately you will notice the sandy element of the lane (soon becoming a track) which is a legacy of the hard sandstone bedrock. Further on it becomes like a beach in places!
The track continues for 1 mile before dropping gradually into a small river bed and an idyllic picnic spot. Here is one of the favourite spots for the Brontë sisters to walk to.
I can certainly picture them in this place and it is utterly inspiring. On entering this little enclave there is a large stone, the Brontë seat, to the left and a few metres uphill is the Brontë waterfall (not large but beautifully tiered) and directly ahead is the Brontë Bridge. The bridge is not the original one but has been replaced sympathetically.
Cross the river via the bridge and head uphill to a stile and a number of footpath choices. Take the one to the left signposted Top Withins. All the signs here are dual language, rather bizarrely in Japanese. Apparently, the Japanese learn English via the writings of the Brontë sisters and a pilgrimage here was extremely popular 20 years ago!
Follow the footpath heading steadily uphill for a further mile, turning left when it meets the Pennine Way and you will arrive at the derelict farmhouse of Top Withins (with its single stand out tree). The farmhouse is allegedly the inspiration for Wuthering Heights farm and on a cold winter’s day, it is bleak enough to see why. (Lesley Tate)
Travel Awaits thinks that Top Withens is also the right place to go:
On desolate moorland not far from Haworth, the home of the Brontë family, is the ruined farmhouse called Top Withens. This former farmhouse is reported to have been the inspiration for the home of Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë’s famous novel. This makes it a must-see for Brontë fans, but also for anyone with a passing interest in British literature and history. A plaque on the wall of the ruin, placed there by the Brontë Society in 1964, gives you a little of the background of this historic place, but the real beauty is in the atmosphere. On the windy moor with nothing but barren land for miles around, it’s easy to see how such a story came to Emily Brontë’s mind.
The walk from Haworth and back is around 11 miles round trip. The route is well signposted and on fairly even ground, though you do need to be reasonably fit, since it’s somewhat of a hike in places.
Back in Haworth, I ate a hearty lunch at the Fleece Inn, where you can also book a room for the night. (Samantha Priestley)
The Weekender explores sick culture, from tuberculosis to Covid-19:
In her review of Carolyn A. Day’s book “Consumptive Chic: A History of Beauty, Fashion, and Disease,” Christina Newland discusses the aesthetic movement around the disease as well as its accompanying literary themes. In the literary world, people framed tuberculosis as “the physical manifestation of an inner passion and drive,” even a manifestation of genius that killed famed writers such as two of the Brontë sisters and Honoré de Balzac. (Miranda Jiang)

We can see the point of this campaign, but nevertheless, we should emphasise that these topics should be included along with and not instead of the current ones. In The Sunday Times:

[Esmie] Jikemi-Pearson told MPs: “For my English literature A-level, I was taught Jane Eyre, Sense and Sensibility and a contemporary text by an Irish author. Throughout my entire A-level and school life, I never got to read a book with a person of colour in it.
“The only character I can think of is Bertha in Jane Eyre. She is a crazed, abusive wife, so it is not a positive portrayal. Sometimes I sat in that classroom thinking, ‘Why am I even here?’  (Sian Griffiths)
JCNET (Brazil) and dark academia aesthetic.
Em contornos góticos, o culto às artes foi se expandindo com o tempo e ganhou referências como os clássicos gregos (os adeptos da Dark Academia valorizam muito o aprendizado de línguas, inclusive), Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Emily Brontë, chegando até a cultura pop com Harry Potter e filmes como "Sociedade dos poetas mortos", "O Sorriso de Monalisa" e "Os sonhadores". (Mariana Couthinho) (Translation)
Le Figaro (France) reviews the latest issue of the BD Les tuniques bleues:
Puis vient la case centrale de cette page. Presque la case centrale de l’album. Le foyer est le centre d’attention grâce aux lignes de force aussi bien les ombres dans la case que les regards dans les cases alentour. Le lecteur ne regarde pas Daisy directement mais écoute son histoire. Elle tient son livre dans les mains, Les Hauts de Hurlevent, ce n’est pas un titre anodin. On souhaitait un titre de l’époque avec un rapport pour Miss Daisy. C’est une clé pour le lecteur. À lui de travailler et de choisir s’il y a un lien entre Heathcliff et Daisy... (Val Martigan) (Translation)
The blunder of the week comes from the magazine ¡Hola! (Spain) who blatantly states:
Jane Eyre. Emily Brontë no sólo es la autora de 'Cumbres borrascosas', sino de esta singular obra de la que, probablemente, hayas visto alguna de sus adaptaciones cinematográficas. Su protagonista es Jane, una mujer con un temperamento un tanto especial, influenciado por una infancia desdichada. Se quedó huérfana muy pequeña, y tuvo que quedarse a cargo de una tía poco cariñosa.
Cuando consigue un puesto como institutriz para educar a la hija del dueño de Thornfield Hall, el señor Rochester, poco a poco, el amor irá surgiendo entre ellos. Sin embargo, el señor guarda un terrible secreto. (Ana Caaveiro) (Translation)
A tutto notizie (Italy) and books for the autumn:
Come non appassionarsi poi alla storia d’amore tra Heathcliff e Catherine, protagonisti di Cime tempestose di Emily Brontë?! Una passione che si rivelerà distruttiva, a causa della gelosia e dello spirito di vendetta.
Una storia che ha come sfondo la brughiera inglese, selvaggia e solitaria, paragonabile ai cuori dei due protagonisti. (Antonella Sica) (Translation)
Kulturnews (Germany) talks about the film Twister 1996:
Wenn Emily Brontë nicht schon damals „Sturmhöhe“ geschrieben hätte, dies wäre der passende Alternativtitel für „Twister“, was ja eher nach einem fettigen US-Schokoriegel klingt oder einem cremigen Eis. (Volker Siebert) (Translation)

BuzzFeed has a random knowledge quiz including a Brontë question. 

A new scholar book with Brontë-related content:
Transfer Thinking in Translation Studie
Playing with the Black Box of Cultural Transfer

Edited by Maud Gonne, Klaartje Merrigan, Reine Meylaerts, and Heleen van Gerwen
Leuven University Press
ISBN: 9789462702639
November 2020

The concept of transfer covers the most diverse phenomena of circulation, transformation and reinterpretation of cultural goods across space and time, and are among the driving forces in opening up the field of translation studies. Transfer processes cross linguistic and cultural boundaries and cannot be reduced to simple movements from a source to a target (culture or text). In a time of paradigm shifts, this book aims to explore the potential and interdisciplinary power of transfer as a concept and an analytical tool to account for complex cultural dynamics.

The contributions in this book adopt various research angles (literary studies, imagology, translation studies, translator studies, periodical studies, postcolonialism) to study an array of entangled transfer processes that apply to different objects and aspects, ranging from literary texts, legal texts, news, images and identities to ideologies, power asymmetries, titles and heterolingualisms. By embracing a process-oriented way of thinking, all these contributions aim to open the ‘black box’ of transfer in the widest sense.
One of the contributions is "From Britain to Brussels and back again: On the transfer of national images and linguistic interactions in Charlotte Brontë’s The Professor and its first Dutch and French translations" by Dirk Delabastita & Maud Gonne.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Saturday, November 21, 2020 9:46 am by Cristina in , ,    No comments
Caitlin Moran continues singing the praises of Jane Eyre. We love how she describes reading it for the first time in the Books that Made Me section of The Guardian.
The book that changed my life
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I read it when I was 11, and even though I was a girl in Wolverhampton in 1986 wearing a polyester blouse from a jumble sale, and she was a girl in a castle on a moor in a year I assumed to be roughly “Bonnet05 AD”, I could hear her talking to me. Of course, every girl who’s read Jane Eyre has had that feeling. That’s why it’s one of the greatest books ever written. But because the first “serious” book I ever read was a girl, a “plain” girl – not beautiful, not a princess, not a temptress or a cipher or a “sassy” kung fu scientist, but a plain, poor girl – just talking to anyone who picked up her book and wanted to listen, I had no idea that women were thought to be lesser writers than men, or that great literature was still thought to be a man’s game. I just presumed there must be millions of books out there where girls would tell you their stories. I thought that’s what books were. And, as it turned out, I spent most of the rest of my life only reading books by female authors, so I was right.
Mancunion has some tips for living through lockdown, including
Go for a walk, Brontë style
Walks have long been a staple of our romantic heroes and heroines. Whether it’s merely a turn around the dining room, Bingley style, to gossip, or if you’re more on the troubled side like our Jane Eyre, it’s time to walk around the Peak district and stare in angst into the distance, wondering whether your paramour has indeed got a woman “self-isolating” in the attic.
The best part is that, at least in this lockdown, you can meet up with one other person outside as long as you stick to social distancing rules. What does that mean for you lustful readers? You’ve guessed it, it’s time for sexually tense eye contact from afar! Perfect your Heathcliff style brooding and let that girl know that no, she shouldn’t marry that well-to-do gentleman (or at least choose him for her support bubble). (Rubym)
On the other side of the pond, The Rogersville Review offers some ideas too, sans the tongue-in-cheek.
The library is a great idea too. My hometown library has been so sweet and kind to everyone. You go online, pick out your books, place a request, go by and pick them up. I’m looking forward to getting cozy in my warm house with an English Gothic, like Jane Eyre. I have a picture of sitting on the couch with the cat, hot tea nearby, a soft blanket, snow gently falling outside and swooning over Mr. Rochester. Yep Yep, it’s going to be a good winter. (Teresa Kindred)
Gay Times features Madeira and tracks down the island's Jane Eyre connection.
Then I remembered Jane Eyre – the plainest of all the Janes – having a vague connection to Madeira, in between fending off bonkers Bertha and coming over all coy on the Yorkshire Moors. Fair dos to Charlotte Brontë, though, that was a cracking book. (Stephen Unwin)
Daily Mail updates readers on the latest goings-on on EastEnders.
Kush has taken refuge in Sonia and Whitney’s attic – clearly been reading Jane Eyre – but then heads to Phil’s to plead his case. Phil isn’t budging, however. (Jaci Stephen)
The News (Nigeria) portrays Emily Brontë as a firm believer in nurture (as opposed to nature).
Again, the persuasive argument of nurture or environment over the claims ofblood or sheer biologism is eternally sketched in fictive terms by Emily Brontë in her novel entitled Wuthering Heights. Mr.Earnshaw, the Yorkshire householder, chances upon an infant on a deserted road, abandoned to die by its helpless parents for reason(s) the novelist does not vouchsafe. The Good Samaritan adopts and raises the foundling called Heathcliff in his mountaintop home, unseasonably buffeted by rough winds and tempests. The point is, Heathcliff’s home is located strategically on the craggy ramparts of an eminence called “Wuthering Heights” whereas at the feet of the mountain is an earthly swathe of Edenic plenitude, an Arcadian idyll in which a genteel family, the Lintons, live, distinguished by the trappings of politeness and privilege. Whilst Heathcliff exemplifies all the boorish and loutish disposition of brutish nature, his counterpart, Linton comes across as a prim and proper gentleman, refined in taste and deportment. What Emily Brontë, the 19th-century English novelist is trying to tell her readers is that: environment is everything; it discounts the cradle and directs the feet of the pilgrim along the path of destiny with his iron sway. Environment, in a word, is fate. (Dr. Chris Anyokwu)
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Another recent scholar book with Brontë-related content:
Ordinary Masochisms.
Agency and Desire in Victorian and Modernist Fiction

Jennifer Mitchell
University Press of Florida
ISBN 13: 9780813066677 
October 2020

Ordinary Masochisms reveals how literary works from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries frequently challenged the prevailing view of masochism as a deviant behaviour, an opinion supported by many sexologists and psychoanalysts in the 1800s. In these texts, Jennifer Mitchell highlights everyday examples of characters deriving pleasure from pain in encounters and emotions such as flirtations, courtships, betrothals, lesbian desires, religious zeal, marital relationships, and affairs.
Mitchell begins by examining the archetypal tale of Samson and Delilah together with Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, from whom masochism gets its name. Through close readings, Mitchell then argues that Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, George Moore’s A Drama in Muslin, D. H. Lawrence’s The Rainbow, and Jean Rhys’s Quartet all experiment with masochistic relationships that are more complex than they seem. Mitchell shows that, far from being victimized, the characters in these works achieve self-definition and empowerment by pursu
ing and performing pain and that masochism is a generative response rather than a destructive force beyond their control. 
Including readings of Octave Mirbeau’s The Torture Garden and Ian McEwan’s The Comfort of Strangers, Mitchell traces shifts in public consciousness regarding sex and gender and discusses why masochism continues to be categorized as a perversion today. The literary world, she asserts, has repeatedly questioned this notion as well as masochism’s associations with passivity and femininity, using the behaviour to defy heteronormative and heteropatriarchal gender dynamics.

 Chapter two is "Villette's Erotic Experimentation".

Friday, November 20, 2020

Friday, November 20, 2020 7:38 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
Great news for fans of The Brontë Mysteries series by Bella Ellis, According to The Bookseller,
Hodder & Stoughton has acquired two more books in The Brontë Mysteries series by Rowan Coleman, who will continue to publish the books under the pen name Bella Ellis.
Editorial director Melissa Cox acquired British Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Hellie Ogden at Janklow & Nesbit UK.
In the series, Coleman imagines the Brontë sisters as "detectors" trying to solve local crimes before their literary careers are established. Two books in the series have already been published by Hodder & Stoughton, The Vanished Bride (2019) and The Diabolical Bones (2020).
The third book, The Rise of the Red Monarch, will be published in autumn 2021 and will be set as the sisters’ poetry collection has been published to great acclaim, but poor sales. Anne receives a letter from her friend Lydia Robinson, who recently eloped with Harry, a young actor. Following her disinheritance, the couple have been living in poverty in London and Harry has got himself into danger after ‘losing’ something valuable that he was meant to deliver to a criminal gang. Harry has gone missing, and Lydia has a week to return what her husband stole, or he will be killed. The sisters agree to help Lydia, beginning a race against time to save Harry’s life – and coming face to face with a terrifying adversary whom even the toughest of the slum-dwellers are afraid of, The Red Monarch.
Cox said: "Working on the Brontë Mysteries has been a complete joy and career highlight – Rowan’s Brontë expertise brings such a believable quality to these utterly satisfying mysteries. They’re the perfect read for Brontë fans and cosy crime readers alike and I am so happy to say that we’ll be publishing more books in the series."
Coleman said: "Seeing The Vanished Bride and The Diabolical Bones being so brilliantly published by Hodder is one of the happiest and proudest moments of my career, so I’m thoroughly delighted to be adding two new novels to the Brontë Mysteries series, and look forward to the series going from strength to strength, guided by Melissa Cox and the talented Hodder Fiction team." (Tamsin Hackett)
Fine Books & Collections reports on a recent auction:
 Tennants Auctioneers’ Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Photographs Sale on 18th November saw impressive results. Whilst the sale took place behind closed doors with no public viewing, online bidding facilities and extra imaging provided by Tennants helped the sale exceed the pre-sale estimate and achieve a 94% sold rate. [...]
Top lots of classic fiction included a first edition, second issue of Anne Bronte’s Tenant of Wildfell Hall from 1848, which sold for £5,400, and a third edition of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre: An Autobiography from 1848, which sold for £3,600.

The New York Times' By the book interviews author Robert Macfarlane.
What books are you embarrassed not to have read yet?
Whisper it, then, and promise you won’t tell anyone else — “Jane Eyre.” Oh, and “Sense and Sensibility.” And “Anna Karenina.” And “War and Peace.” Is that enough? Have I embarrassed myself enough?
Firstpost features writer Howard Jacobson:
Women were not only his first and primary audience, but also his caregivers and guardians back home, as he was raised by his mother, grandmother, and maternal aunt. "My whole life has been an attempt to have those three women, and in fact all women in the world, laugh at me as those three women did," he says.
It perhaps, then, comes as no surprise that the man has been greatly influenced by the likes of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters, whose humour and worldview seep into his often wry, ironic and tongue-in-cheek writing. But he chides himself for being "less amusing", almost boring about comedy than anybody else on the planet, despite having had significant experience with it. (Arshia Dhar)
Colin Murray decided to dedicate his late night BBC Radio 5 Live show to the power of books following a  report which found more people were reading books than ever before. As part of the show, people from the worlds of TV, literature, politics, theatre and law chose some of the books which made an impact on them, including
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Chosen by Baroness Warsi, Conservative member of the House of Lords.
She says: “I’ve chosen Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë which I first read as a teenager. It felt raw and wild both in the emotions expressed and the landscape that was presented as untamed. And of course the association of both Emily Brontë and the setting in Yorkshire, my home county, also made it very personal.”
Stylist looks into mental health issues during lockdown.
I’m not the only one experiencing this kind of mood fluctuation during lockdown 2.0. Indeed, as Stylist’s digital editor-at-large Kayleigh Dray tells me, she spends most of her days trying to keep up with her ever-changing emotions.
“I am, essentially, the modern-day equivalent of Jane Eyre’s Bertha in the attic of late, all eccentric murmurs, wild sobbing, and unnatural goblin-laughter,” she says. “I think it comes from spending so much time alone and indoors, to be honest – everything feels more extreme on my emotions because they’re rawer than ever, so the highs are vertigo-inducing and the lows are… well, they’re really bloody low.”
She continues: “One minute, I’ll be giggling over a meme I’ve spotted on Instagram. The next, I’ll be sobbing over a Christmas advert and wondering when life will be normal again. Within minutes, I’ll be feeling warm and cosy and happy as I chat to someone on the phone. And then I’ll be raging about the computer crashing and all of my work disappearing into the soulless void. It’s exhausting!” (Lauren Geall)
In the Irish Examiner, an anonymous Irish teacher discusses why music is much needed in schools.
My child is beyond lucky to have a primary teacher who shares his love of music in the classroom. My son was taught by two passionate teachers last year who happened to be musicians. They encouraged children to play instruments at the back of their room. It reminded me of the time my lecturer in UCC played 'Wuthering Heights' on a record player in the lecture hall. Pure magic.
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A new scholar book with Brontë-related content:
Revolts in Cultural Critique
Rosemarie Buikema
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers 
ISBN: 978-1-78661-402-5 

Centered around the relationship between art and political transformation. From Charlotte Brontë and Virginia Woolf, to Marlene van Niekerk and William Kentridge, artists and intellectuals have tried to address the question: How to deal with the legacy of exclusion and oppression? Via substantive works of art, this book examines some of the answers that have emerged to this question, to show how art can put into motion something new and how it can transform social and cultural relations in a sustainable way. In this way, art can function as an effective form of cultural critique.
In the course of this book, a range of artworks are examined, through a postcolonial and feminist lens, in which revolt—both as a theme and as a medium-specific technique or/as critique —is made visible. Time and time again, revolt takes the form of a slow and thorough working through of the position of the individual in relation to her history and her contemporary geopolitical circumstances. It thus becomes evident that renewal and transformation in art and society are most successful when they proceed according to the method of self-reflexive cultural critique; when they do not present themselves as revolution, radical breaks with the past, but rather as processes of revolt in which knowledge of the past is investigated, complemented, corrected, and bent to a new collective will.
'The Future Perfect of Bertha Mason: Configurations of Gender, Class, Ethnicity and “Race” in Charlotte Brontё’s Jane Eyre' is the title of Chapter Two.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Thursday, November 19, 2020 10:28 am by Cristina in , , ,    No comments
 A 2019 Italian stage adaptation of Wuthering Heights is participating in a national theatre competition. It can be watched (in Italian, obviously) here. Il buon Senso interviews Matilde Zauli, who adapted the novel.
Qual è stata la cosa più difficile?
Se leggi il romanzo te ne accorgi subito… scherzo! La storia principale è raccontata a flashback da una balia (Nelly) che compare in tutti i tempi (passato, presente e futuro) a un personaggio di passaggio (Lockwood) che non è solo un mezzo per raccontare, ma entra a far parte della storia nel tempo presente e anche in quello futuro. Sicuramente è stato difficile riarrangiare i flashback intervallandoli al presente. I personaggi (che sono tanti e complessi) hanno diverse “versioni” di se stessi in base al tempo, per cui servono diversi attori che rappresentino lo stesso personaggio in età differenti. Anche la trama, coi suoi intrecci familiari, è veramente complicata!
Nel portare avanti questo lavoro, qual è l’aspetto dei personaggi del romanzo che hai voluto far emergere?
La cosa bella di questo romanzo è che ogni personaggio ha le sue caratteristiche ben definite, ma non è tanto importante, a mio avviso, l’aspetto del personaggio in sé, ma l’insieme di tutti quanti, che crea quell’atmosfera cupa ed emotiva che la Brontë fa emergere. A me importava che emergesse il suo “messaggio”, che non sta tanto nella trama o nelle battute, ma nel sentire dello spettatore, perché credo che sia questa la cosa che rende “Cime tempestose” un romanzo tanto attuale: non la condizione economica, politica, sociale di un personaggio, ma i sentimenti umani: quelli antichi, animaleschi e radicati, esasperati all’ennesima potenza. (Samuele Marchi) (Translation)
El comercio (Spain) interviews writer Ariadna Castellarnau.
Si pudiera convocar al fantasma de un escritor para, por ejemplo, ir de copas, ¿a quién llamaría?
Lo de ir de copas en estos tiempos me parece un delirio. Pero, sin duda, a Charlotte Brontë. (Verónica García-Peña) (Translation)
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An online alert for today, November 19:
What's so Great About Jean Rhys?
Thu 19 Nov 2020, 19:30 - 20:30

A celebration of a unique writer.
Presented in collaboration with the Royal Society of Literature and BoCAS Lit Fest

This is a live online event. Bookers will be sent a link in advance giving access and will be able to watch at any time for 48 hours after the start time.

Jean Rhys was born in Dominica in the Caribbean Windward Islands in 1894. After arriving in England aged 16, she became a chorus girl and drifted between different jobs before moving to Paris, where she started to write in the late 1920s. She is best known for her masterpiece, Wide Sargasso Sea, which imagines the early life of Bertha Mason from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. It was written over a long period and only published, sensationally, in 1966. Yet her writing career spanned decades and forms, from the novel Good Morning, Midnight, to short stories to Smile Please: An Unfinished Autobiography, published in 1979, the year that she died.

In celebration of the RSL’s 200th birthday, and the Caribbean BoCAS Lit Fest’s 10th, a panel of writers discuss the author’s impact on Caribbean literature and across the globe. Linda Grant describes her as ‘a novelist of yearning, rage and desire, whose unadorned prose hits the solar plexus.’ Trinidadian poet and arts reporter Shivanee Ramlochan ‘thinks often of Jean Rhys’ Antoinette, carrying her arsonist’s candle through the empty, cold halls of her oppressor’s mansion, ready to raze it.’ For writer and translator Lauren Elkin, Rhys’ work has been undervalued ‘for decades’, her ‘reliance on her life as inspiration for her fiction used to minimise her artistic achievement.’

Join our panellists to eplore all this and more, and to find out just what is so great about Jean Rhys.

Lauren Elkin is a writer, translator and academic. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including The Guardian, the New York Times and the London Review of Books. Her most recent book Flâneuse: Women Walk the City, was a Radio 4 Book of the Week and a finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay.

Linda Grant FRSL is a novelist and journalist. She has written five non-fiction books and seven novels. She was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2008 and the Bailey’s Prize in 2016.

Shivanee Ramlochan is a poet and book blogger. She is the Book Review Editor for Caribbean Beat Magazine, and a team member of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, as well as Paper Based Bookshop, Trinidad's sole speciality Caribbean bookseller. She writes about books for Novel Niche, with emphasis on close readings of Caribbean and queer literatures.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 10:19 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
Study Break thinks that the new Rebecca fails as a Gothic tale.
The gothic is about madness, insanity, seeing things that aren’t there and doubting whether or not you still have your mental faculties. Look at “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde, or “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë. These are hearty, gothic novels dripping with the occult and wrestling with the issues of morality, psychology and madness. “Rebecca” the novel does that. “Rebecca” the film falls comically short. (Emily Jewett)
On Vulture, 'fashion designer turned novelist' Douglas Stuart describes the novel As Meat Loves Salt, by Maria McCann as
my pure pleasure read. It’s sort of like my Wuthering Heights in that it really rips my bodice.
LitHub interviews Betsy Bonner about her debut memoir, The Book of Atlantis Black.
JV: The plot is so suspenseful and you’re dealing with a lot of emotionally heavy material. But what deepens the suspense and emotions for me are not the overtly dramatic moments, but the softer moments from childhood and adolescence.
Like, you and your sister buying V.C. Andrews paperbacks at the local grocery store or you getting ready—being teenagers and you’re watching her get ready and apply eyeliner, curl her hair, you’re copying her and she gets mad, or you sharing a waterbed with her and her listening to Sheryl Crow while you’re reading Jane Eyre. Like these very quiet, wonderful moments. And I think those are so necessary to building this out.
A lot of times people think with memoir you need all of these dramatic moments, and that that sort of stuff is filler. But you handled the material so well and I’m curious about when in the writing process you wrote those scenes, those softer memories, and then just how you went about the process of remembering. Which is hard, and it can be also emotionally painful to go through and think back. What was that like for you?
BB: The very beginning of writing this, as I see it now, was that I had my notebook open and imagined going into the hotel room where she died (or was said to have died). I wanted to be writing poetry, but I had to find out, as best I could, what the hell happened in Tijuana; and more importantly, why. And I couldn’t bear the idea that my sister was gone and I would never hear from her again. (Jeannie Vanasco)
Writer J.P. Pomare is proud of not having read many classics in this interview on Stuff (New Zealand).
What “must read” book have you not read? Go on, fess up.
I could probably count on both hands the pre 20th century novels I've actually read. No Tolstoy, Brontë, Austen, or Dostoyevsky. No Hardy, Doyle, Verne. Also, no great regrets about it either.
A Condé Nast Traveler (Spain) interviewer asks poet Olga Novo whether Galicia in Northern Spain is like Yorkshire.
CNT. ¿Cuáles fueron esas primeras lecturas?
O.N. Mi primer acercamiento a la literatura se produjo de manera oral. Conservo el recuerdo vívido de mi madre recitándome romances cuando yo tenía tres años. Yo no sabía que aquello era poesía, pero me atraía su musicalidad. Siempre pedía más. Cuando descubrí que aquellos romances se los había leído mi abuela, me maravillé: las mujeres ocupan un lugar fundamental en la transmisión de la cultura gallega. En mi casa no había libros, ni diccionario teníamos. El manual escolar recogía varios poemas y yo los leía en voz alta mientras escuchaba el bramido de las vacas de nuestra casa. Mi hermana, ocho años mayor que yo, siempre ha tenido vocación de pedagoga. Acabó estudiando magisterio. Disfrutábamos mucho recorriendo juntas el prado y leyendo libros, cada una, una página. Así terminamos clásicos como el Lazarillo de Tormes, La Metamorfosis y El Quijote.
CNT. Esa imagen me evoca a las hermanas Brontë… ¿se parece Vilarmao a Yorkshire?
O.N. No: es menos salvaje y áspero. Mi tierra es más dulce. (Translation)
The Eyre Guide reviews Mr. R: A Rock & Roll Romance by Tracy Neis.
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The Mercantile Library in Cincinnati, OH is carrying a Jane Eyre reading this month:
In our ongoing project to break into manageable pieces the books that intimidate and challenge us, we’re ending 2020 with Jane Eyre. We’ll meet via Zoom. Registration required via ticket to receive meeting details.

Here’s the reading and discussion schedule:
October 27: Chapter I through Chapter X
November 10: Chapter XI through XXI
November 24: Chapter XXII through Chapter XXVIII
December 8: Chapter XXIX to end

You can use any copy of the book, but we like the Everyman’s Library edition and have used it to create this reading schedule.

Reader, we can do this. Join us.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 10:26 am by Cristina in ,    No comments
On iNews, Matthew Parris, presenter of BBC radio’s Great Lives, says he has come to the conclusion that the 'key to genius is a traumatic childhood'.
Next we have cruelty, oppression and prejudice. The Brontë sisters, and the way they were thrown into unspeakable conditions at school, exemplify this.
And yet Anne never went to Cowan Bridge.

Writer Nina Stibbe talks about the books that shaped her on Good Housekeeping.
The book that uplifts you...
Sally Bayley grew up in a dilapidated seaside town with her mother, several younger siblings, and extended family. An early tragedy plunges her mother into a depression and results in chronic neglect. Like many of us, she escaped into books and soon fictional characters– among them Miss Marple, Jane Eyre, Milly-Molly-Mandy and Betsey Trotwood were as real to her as her own family. Later, as an adult she has borrowed voices from literary classics again to make sense of the strange goings-on in her dysfunctional family’s past and tell the story of her chaotic childhood. I highly recommend the author’s exuberant reading of the audiobook for the full effect of this beguiling, eccentric, funny memoir.
Shine (China) reports on a recent translators' symposium at which
Students from the university performed by dubbing an episode of the American sitcom “Growing Pains,” which was translated by Zhang Chunbai, a professor of the university, and read a chapter from the British novel “Jane Eyre.” (Yang Meiping)