Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Heathcliff and Hermione

Newsday interviews writer and professor André Aciman.
You’ve said in interviews that you read no contemporary fiction. Why?I like the classics. I’d much rather reread a book that was formative for me. Like now, I’m rereading Proust for the umpteenth time. I reread “Jane Eyre” a few months ago. I’m looking for something ancient, archaic or obsolete. (Tim Murphy)
Entertainment Weekly interviews writer Heather Webb, who is about to publish her novel The Phantom’s Apprentice, inspired by Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera.
WEBB: [...] I also really like the 2011 version of Jane Eyre with Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska, as well as Great Expectations with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke. (David Canfield)
Meanwhile, The Boar imagines several 'First Dates in the World of Books', including one between Heathcliff and... Hermione Granger from Harry Potter.
An unlikely pairing sits not too far away from Jay and Daisy in the form of Heathcliff and Hermione. Heathcliff does not know why he is there; Catherine has just married Edgar Linton, and his heart is broken. But, he has a plan. Hermione asks him all sorts of things – what he thinks about the University and Colleges Union strike, and other grand political ideas he knows nothing about. She even tries to lighten the mood with a question on how he feels now Jin’s has announced it won’t be closing. The response to every question is a grunt. He is too wrapped up in his emotions regarding Catherine Earnshaw’s marriage to Edgar Linton – how is he supposed to have room to care about a café closing?
‘Tell me about your school,’ he requests, tearing the conversation away from himself and directing it in the way of his revenge plans. Hermione instantly begins talking about Hogwarts and her adventures with Harry and Ron. Heathcliff shows a particular interest in her magical ability, and how he can use it to execute his revenge plan. Level-headed as ever, Hermione refuses and uses her time-turner necklace to disappear from the sea of dates in the restaurant. (Georgia Simcox)
Echo News features the life and work of social reformer Reverend Benjamin Waugh who, among many other things, set up the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in Great Britain. But also,
Waugh and his wife Sarah Elizabeth had 12 children including a daughter, Edna, who would become a notable watercolour artist and draughtsman and most famous for providing the illustrations to Emily Brontë’s blockbuster novel Wuthering Heights. (Emma Palmer)
We are somewhat baffled by this demand by an English philologist in Cuba, as reported by Vanguardia.
«En las últimas ferias me he ido con las manos vacías. Un spot de este año mostró que se venderán en la feria Papa Goriot y Cumbres borrascosas, una vez más. ¿Quién no se ha leído esos dos libros en Cuba? ¿Por qué no se imprime otra obra de Balzac o de Emily Brontë?», refuta Alejandro, joven filólogo, y añade un sinfín de cuestionamientos.(Yinet Jiménez Hernández) (Translation)
We are also rather indignant about it, to be honest ;)

Sandra Danby has romance writer Julie Stock tell about her 'porridge and cream' read, which is Jane Eyre. Lisabeth Westwood posts about a trip to Haworth. Lots of pictures of the visit of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to Haworth and the Brontë Parsonage Museum can be seen on the Brontë Parsonage Museum Facebook page.
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The complete poetry of Emily Brontë has been translated into Spanish in this brand new publication:
Emily Brontë. Poesía completaTranslation: Xandru Fernández
Alba Editorial
ISBN: 97884-90653852

La vida entera de Emily Brontë está recorrida por una misma pasión: la poesía. Estos poemas, compuestos en complicidad con sus célebres hermanas, Charlotte y Anne, comparten y amplían algunos de los temas centrales de su famosísima novela Cumbres Borrascosas: el amor que se sobrepone a la muerte y a la esperanza, el poder de la fantasía, la lealtad y la traición, las energías que solo se desprenden en soledad… y están escritos con la misma fuerza visionaria que sobrecoge en sus mejores páginas narrativas.
Para situar la acción de sus poemas, Emily Brontë levantó con la imaginación un espacio mítico que bautizó como Gondal: una isla situada al norte del Pacífico. Sus versos exploran las costumbres, las rivalidades políticas con los reinos vecinos y las intrigas entre la familia real de Gondal y sus nobles, bajo los que se transparentan sus propios anhelos y opresiones como mujer que vive casi aislada en un rincón de la Inglaterra del XIX.
Brontë combina en estos poemas un ojo sereno y exacto para la descripción de los paisajes con una inaudita fuerza para explorar de manera minuciosa las pasiones ocultas que mueven a los seres humanos, añadiendo un acento femenino a las posibilidades descubiertas por los poetas románticos ingleses.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 5:17 pm by M. in , , , , , , ,    No comments
BBC Radio 4's Front Row asked for your favourite female-created works of art:
Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush
Emily Brontë's novel Wuthering Heights inspired 18-year-old Bush to write this song, which she fought to convince producers to use as her debut single. Turns out she was right, as the track catapulted her to fame and is now ranked as one of the top singles of all time. 
IAI wonders why we fall in love with fictional characters:
No more do readers typically offer monogamy; if Emily Brontë's Catherine Earnshaw is one soulmate, Bulgakov’s Margarita may be another, and no exclusivity is offered or required. (...)
Let us consider an inverse case: female attraction to a dangerous male for his dangerous qualities, alongside fictionalisation of him as safe. It seems likely that generations of heterosexual female readers of Wuthering Heights have felt at least a degree of attraction to Heathcliff; and, since he is fictional, they have remained safe from physical and emotional harm. But in life this would not be so, and to read the novel in this spirit is, it is implied, a misreading. Brontë seems to have written Isabella’s plot with respect to such a possibility. When Isabella falls in love and lust with Heathcliff, Catherine feels compelled to tell her: ‘It is deplorable ignorance of his character, child, and nothing else, which makes that dream enter your head.  Pray, don’t imagine that he conceals depths of benevolence and affection beneath a stern exterior!  He’s not a rough diamond—a pearl-containing oyster of a rustic: he’s a fierce, pitiless, wolfish man.’ So he proves, in his elopement shortly afterwards with Isabella, who hardly outlives the relationship. She is Brontë’s warning to the fictionalising reader: ‘It is deplorable ignorance of his character, child, and nothing else, which makes that dream enter your head.’
This has not stopped certain kinds of couples since 1847 from modelling themselves on Catherine and Heathcliff. Of these the most famous are Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. On their return to England from America in 1956, they immediately visited Top Withens, the Yorkshire ruin thought to be the model for the eponymous house. Both subsequently wrote poems entitled ‘Wuthering Heights’, and Ted’s compared Sylvia to Emily Brontë herself. I might add that four decades later, when I was studying at Cambridge, two of my fellow undergraduates – the female partner American, the male partner English,  and both poets – were highly conscious of the antecedence in Cambridge of Plath and Hughes, and, through and beyond them, of Catherine and Heathcliff. (Catherine Brown)
Westword interviews Miriam Suzanne on the upcoming Jane/Eyre premiere in Denver:
Susan Froyd: What’s on your agenda in the coming year?
Miriam Suzanne: We’re currently in rehearsal for a (somewhat queer) stage adaptation of Jane Eyre. It’s a collaboration between my new theater company, Grapefruit Lab, my band and a few others. That has all my attention until it opens on February 23.
After that, the band will be recording a new EP, and Grapefruit Lab will start talking about a fall show. Life is never boring!
myNews LA describes what the visitor could find at the Riverside Dickens Festival:
The festival formally begins at 9:45 a.m. Saturday at the flag pole adjacent to Ninth and Main streets, in front of City Hall, where visitors will encounter actors representing Dickens, Queen Victoria, Bram Stoker, Mark Twain, H.G. Wells, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allen Poe, Thomas Edison, Emily Brontë, Mary Shelley and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle — to name a few. (Ken Stone)
Variety reviews the new TV remake of Picnic at Hanging Rock:
[Natalie] Dormer added that the casting was actually accurate for the time, pointing to such literary characters as Jane Eyre and Blanche DuBois. “A woman was a spinster if she wasn’t married by the time she was in her late 20s.” (Ed Meza)
The Independent quotes film director Clio Barnard (Dark River) as saying:
I’d seen the Brazilian cinematographer Adriano Goldman’s Jane Eyre [he also shot Dark River], and that was a representation of the Yorkshire countryside that wasn’t picturesque in a cosy way. I wanted the film to look at what it really is. (Nick Hasted)
BookRiot lists young adult biographical fiction:
The World Within: A Novel of Emily Brontë by Jane Eagland
Spanning several years of Emily Brontë’s life, The World Within depicts Emily’s life with her siblings (Charlotte, Bran, and Anne), her father, and her aunt. Surrounded by death, Emily grieves constantly and aches to hold onto the writing games she plays with her siblings. However, her siblings have agendas for their own lives to follow, some of which includes sustaining the family. As Emily copes and endures trying real-life events, she grows as a young woman and a writer. Moments from her (fictionalized) real life will sparkle as readers recognize details from her famed Wuthering Heights. (Abby Hargreaves)
herinterest gives you tips when 'i love you' is not enough:
“The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter – often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter – in the eye.”
It was Charlotte Brontë who said those words, in Jane Eyre. One of my favourite things to do is look deeply into your eyes, often revealing many of the things that you can’t or choose not to say. (Kimberley)
Diario Córdoba (in Spanish) talks about a recent Wuthering Heights lecture:
Bajo el título de Conversaciones enamoradas en torno a Cumbres borrascosas se ha desarrollado una interesante actividad en la Biblioteca Provincial de Córdoba, donde hemos analizado en profundidad dicha novela. Al frente, dirigiendo, ha estado la profesora María Valero Redondo. Está considerada como novela gótica de finales del siglo XVlll y es la tórrida, tormentosa y apasionada historia de amor entre Catherine y Heathcliff, lo que lleva a los protagonistas en ocasiones a colocarlos en el desdibujado y turbulento límite del abismo. En su momento hubo críticos que lo denominaron como un texto vulgar, repulsivo, morboso, etc. Dentro del contexto queda clara la relevancia de la metáfora. De este libro se han realizado varias y diferentes versiones cinematográficas en diferentes países. Alguna extracta y elimina parte del texto original. (Read more) (Pilar Redondo) (Translation)
Arab News recommends a visit to Yorkshire, PopMatters mentions the 'anachronistic' appearance of Emily Brontë in Jean Luc Godard's 1968 film Weekend.

Le Huffington Post (in French) interviews an expert of the work of John Irving:
Les libraires de Bookwitty: Comment expliquez-vous l'immense popularité de John Irving?
Karine Placquet-Wiltord: C'est un écrivain à la fois très traditionnel et atypique, et je crois que les gens sont assez sensibles à cette tension, que l'on retrouve aussi dans ses livres. Il a des accents très réalistes, des tonalités qui rappellent Charles Dickens ou Charlotte Brontë. (Translation)
Sveriges Radio and Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish) reviews The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry:
Mot slutet av romanen skriver Cora i ett brev att hon läser böcker av "Brontë och Hardy, Dante och Keats, Henry James och Conan Doyle". Utan tvekan har författaren Sarah Perry själv läst dem. Väldigt mycket. För stundtals känns det som om Emily Brontë skrivit ännu en bok som utspelar sig i dimman på de engelska hedarna. (Lina Kalmteg) (Translation)
Kärnpunkten i ”Ormen i Essex” är närheten mellan Cora och Will. Det skulle kunna vara en viktoriansk roman, en Charlotte Brontë, fast med betydligt mer humor och sälta. (Lotta Olsson) (Translation)
El Punt Avui (in Catalan) reviews the performances of Frankenstein in Barcelona:
[Carme] Portaceli va arribar a Shelley a la vegada que amb Jane Eyre, de qui també va fer una adaptació al Lliure de Gràcia, amb molta sensibilitat. Però si a Eyre el discurs rebel és la bandera, a Frankenstein Shelley desapareix. absolutament. (Jordi Bordes) (Translation)
According to Diario Motor (in Spanish):
Hethel es el idílico pueblo de la campiña inglesa donde Lotus tiene su sede. Es un sitio que perfectamente habría sido el emplazamiento evocado por Emily Brontë para su mítica novela “Wuthering Heights”, “Cumbres Borrascosas” en su traducción al castellano. (Sergio Álvarez) (Translation)
SyFantasy (in French) reviews Melmoth the Wanderer by Anne Radcliffe:
Dans les romans gothiques, il est d'usage de voir l'héroïne poursuivie par unvillain ténébreux, puis de la voir épouser le jeune premier. Ou alors, comme Jane Eyre, de provoquer la rédemption de celui qu'elle aime. Point de tout cela dans Melmoth ou l'Homme errant ! Immalie aime Melmoth tel qu'il est. Pourtant, celui-ci fait clairement comprendre à la jeune fille (parfois de façon très amère et dure) qu'il est ce qu'il est, qu'il ne peut pas changer, et que leur relation est vouée à l'échec. Pour savoir comment tout ça finit, il vous faudra lire le roman... (Adeline Arénas) (Translation)
The Brussels Brontë Blog continues mapping the Brontës' Brussels: now Mary and Martha Taylor.
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A new Brontë-related thesis:
"Fancies Bright and Dark": Sadomasochism and the Sublime in Jane Eyre
Elizabeth A. Carlin

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

The social context of Charlotte Brontë’s most famous work, Jane Eyre, provides a set of expectations for the novel’s central romance; Jane and Rochester seem to enjoy a relatively egalitarian relationship, while simultaneously occupying traditional gender roles of dominance and submission. These roles, when exaggerated or performed, push the relationship to a more intimate space; dominance becomes sadistic, and submission becomes masochistic. Introducing pain as a sensual dimension to the relationship allows for the development of an exciting tension, and ultimately enables Jane and Rochester to subvert social expectations by performing them. This tension is exciting because it turns on the instability of Rochester’s attention and affection toward Jane, which causes her to feel pleasurable and painful emotions. In his 1757 Philosophical Enquiry into The Sublime and the Beautiful, Edmund Burke’s explanation of the relationship between pleasure and pain shows that these emotions can be present simultaneously or even occur as a byproduct of one another. Burke suggests that pain is stronger, more intense, than pleasure, and that the blending of the two emotions creates an intensity of feeling which transcends simple pleasure. Using Burke and contemporary ideas of the sublime to approach Jane Eyre is advantageous for several reasons. First, it is perhaps obvious to any scholarly reader that the primary relationship of the text possesses a sadistic or sadomasochistic quality; however, this argument has been largely supported in recent scholarship with Freudian theory and other anachronistic psychoanalytic approaches. Using Burke’s study of the pleasure and pain excited by sublime delight offers a productive lens through which to consider sadomasochism in the relationship. Burke’s theory predates Brontë, and thus avoids an ahistorical bias; it allows us to pose these questions in contemporary terms. The theory of sublime delight can also introduce useful language to define the strategic code through which Jane and Rochester express forbidden desire and access pleasure indirectly. The sadomasochistic tension of their relationship overlays their proper dominant/submissive roles, and it is the exaggeration or performance of these roles which allows a space for sensation and (negative) pleasure. If we assume an ultimately egalitarian ground at the core of their relationship, as I attempt to show, we will find that the pain he subjects her to exists at a tolerable distance and generates a sadomasochistic sublime delight.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Monday, February 19, 2018 11:34 am by Cristina in ,    No comments
The Telegraph and Argus features the book The Foundry Man’s Apprentice by Edward Evans.
“I enjoy writing and to use an Agatha Christie expression, it keeps the little grey cells alive,” writes Edward, whose inspiration to put pen to paper comes from his visits to France with his wife Lilian and his home village of Haworth - coincidentally where the famous Brontë siblings lived and penned their books amidst the inspiring moorland. (Sally Clifford)
AnneBrontë.org tries to find the real-life Zenobia.
Another recent Italian translation. This time, the 1921 Patrick Brontë biography by James Senior:
Patrick Brontë
by James Senior
Translated by Alessandranna D'Auria
ISBN-13: 978-1980210511
February 2018

Patrick Brontë, padre di Charlotte, Branwell, Emily e Anne, dai campi verdi dell’Irlanda delle antiche ballate, sposa la discendente di un pirata, Maria Branwell dando vita a una progenie di scrittori sfortunati in vita ma immortali nella fama letteraria. Un tocco di follia, un po’ di eccentricità, talvolta una vena passionale che mai avremmo immaginato.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sunday, February 18, 2018 10:49 am by M. in , , , ,    No comments
The Statesman talks about different Wuthering Heights adaptation:
Hailed as an unforgettable classic of destructive passion and immortal love, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights is one of the most psychologically complex, self-reflexive and indeterminate of Victorian novels. Her nuanced exploration of class conflict, power, and patriarchy in this multi-layered narrative, undermines conventional notions of gender, class and propriety.
Brontë’s one and only prized 1847 classic, has remained the treasure-house of ideas for a plethora of film adaptations since the 1920s. Established directors from in and outside Hollywood have experimented, tried their hands to appropriate and transcreate Brontë’s fascinating classic. It is one such literary text that poses the daunting challenge of narratives embedded within narratives, the use of multiple narrators with multiple points of view that make it all the more difficult to be translated on screen.
The result has been both amazing and disappointing for lovers of literature and the movie-going audience. Directors like William Wyler, Luis Buñuel, Robert Fuest, Peter Kosminsky, and recently woman director Andrea Arnold, have been quite successful in their intermingled transactions of literature and film, to work out a nuanced dialectic in their intertextual and performative readings. (Read more) (Pradipta Mukherjee)
Women's empowerment through literature in The Boar:
Women in history have conquered many obstacles and torn their way through multiple restraints to get to where we are today. The Suffragettes. Rosa Parks. Marie Curie. Anne Frank. Florence Nightingale. Eleanor Roosevelt. Women in literature have faced similar struggles. Emily Brontë published Wuthering Heights under the male pseudonym of Ellis Bell (her sister, Charlotte, published Jane Eyre as Currer Bell) because they feared rejection from publishing houses if they were to approach them as women. (Katie Stokes)
The Young Folks celebrates Kate Bush's 1978 The Kick Inside record:
Wuthering Heights,” the album’s first single at Bush’s insistence, went to #1 on the UK charts, making it the first time a female singer-songwriter topped the charts with a self-penned song – and it remains Bush’s only number one single. The song was written at age 18 after Bush watched a mini-series adapted from the Emily Brontë novel of the same name. In the song she sings from the dead character Cathy’s perspective as a ghost, begging to be let inside and back into her love Heathcliff’s arms, perfectly capturing the wild and uncontainable emotions depicted in the novel. (Beth Winchester)
Britain's missing schoolchildren (because they are homeschooled) in The Sunday Times:
While her two younger sisters went to school as normal, Nina was educated at home. She was taught maths, English and other basic skills — but not science or arts. When she returned to school, she struggled to make friends.
“I didn’t know what teenage girls were like. I didn’t understand social cues. I was an avid reader but Jane Eyre doesn’t prepare you for life in 1999. I decided as a teenager I was meant to be alone, I was not meant to have any friends.” (Sian Griffiths and Iram Ramzan)
Today's Quiz in The Guardian asks you to find what links
13 Seattle doctor; Seattle S&M enthusiast; Anne Brontë governess? (Thomas Eaton)
There's also a Brontë-related question in The Times' crossword.

Daily Pakistan interviews the screenwriter Bee Gul:
Besides telling about her love for books, her favourite being Charlotte Brontë’s ‘Jane Eyre’, Bee Gul has this interesting thing to tell that music has been her biggest inspiration, partly due to her parents’ love for it, who would keep themselves updated with every genre of music and the house furnished with every kind of music player. (Muhammad Ali)
The Telegraph reviews the film Damsel:
The film pivots with a hugely bold, structurally remarkable scene midway about which I can say nothing, except that the long-awaited Wasikowska earns her co-billing and then some. The title’s an ironic clue that she’s probably capable of looking after herself – at least, one would hope so – and there’s more fire and purpose in her acting here than we’ve seen, debatably, since Jane Eyre (2011).
A concert in Suffolk, as reported by the Lowestoft Journal:
The Seraphim concert will include works by Fanny Mendelssohn, Lili Boulanger, Emily Brontë and composers like Carlotta Ferrari and more. As well as the unique a cappella sound of Seraphim’s nine voices, the celebration will include accompaniment and solo performances by renowned local pianist, Karen Smith. (Mark Boggis)
La Vanguardia (Spain) talks about the publication in Spanish of Desperate Remedies by Thomas Hardy.
La editorial barcelonesa Ático de los Libros acaba de recuperar en castellano "Remedios desesperados", la primera novela que escribió el británico Thomas Hardy, publicada en 1871 con un pseudónimo por su alto contenido sexual, muy polémico para la época.
Comparada con "Jane Eyre", de Charlotte Brontë, en esta obra el escritor narra la peripecia de Cytherea Graye, una joven venida a menos que se ve obligada a buscar empleo como dama de compañía y acaba en casa de la extravagante señorita Aldclyffe. (Translation)
Augustin Trapenard remembers in Les Inrockuptibles how
Toi, moi, nous avons tous une posture. Tout n’est que postures sociales. J'ai consacré ma thèse à Emily Brontë, qui, elle, préservait une posture du secret. (Clément Arbrun) (Translation)
MyLife posts about Jane EyreCrossexaminingcrime reviews The Missing Brontë by Robert Barnard.
We mentioned this a few weeks ago when it was published all over the press. Now we devote it a post of its own:
Drama Modern Romance presents
Wuthering Heights. Modernised for the 21st Century
Original Novel by Emily Brontë
Edited by Professor John Sutherland

What if Heathcliff's stubborn pride drove him to leave bad comments on Nelly's Twitter poll about 'Who should Catherine choose?' What if Mr Darcy was narcissistic because he could see all his potential marriage matches on Tinder? Would we have questioned Angel's love for Tess if he'd actually been distracted with Instagram and Pinterest? We're re-imagining our favourite characters from classic romance novels - Pride and Prejudice, Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Wuthering Heights - with a modern twist. Adding in digital devices and our beloved apps, we're seeing if technology would ruin the 'art of romance' in classic love stories. With the help of Professor John Sutherland, we've reworked these three classics to see how our heroes and heroines may have acted had the events taken place in social media. So take a look, download the modern classics, and don't forget - you can always find a bit of romance with Drama.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The visit of the Duchess of Cornwall to Yorkshire and the Brontë Parsonage, in particular, is all over the place:
The Duchess of Cornwall paid a visit to the Worth Valley in Yorkshire today, and it seems she enjoyed all of the literary connections involved.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visited the Brontë Parsonage Museum, where all three Bronte sisters wrote their novels. This year marks both the 90th anniversary of the founding of the museum, as well as the bicentennial of Emily Brontë’s birth. In honour of the latter, the museum has, through 2017, been recreating a manuscript of Wuthering Heights.
A museum spokesman said “During 2017, over 10,000 visitors participated in Clare Twomey’s Wuthering Heights – A Manuscript project, which set out to create a new version of Emily Brontë’s long-lost manuscript by copying it out one line at a time.
“Her Royal Highness will also meet Clare Twomey before writing the last line of Wuthering Heights into the newly-created manuscript in the very house where Emily wrote the original.”
The Duchess has long been a keen supporter of literacy project and is a patron of the National Literacy Project, as well as the BBC 2 500 words competition which is running at the moment. She was then no doubt very pleased that in addition to her guided tour of the museum by Principal Curator Ann Dinsdale, the visit also included a private reception where she met staff, and local children who had recently taken part in a creative writing competition organised by the museum. (Peter Anderson in Royal Central)
Earlier, Camilla fulfilled a life-long wish to visit the Brontë family parsonage in - and even got to make her mark by writing the final line in a new manuscript of Wuthering Heights.Ostensibly her visit to the Brontë Parsonage Museum, on the edge of some of Yorkshire’s most beautiful moorland, was to mark the bicentenary of the birth of Emily Bronte and 90 years of the museum, but it was also a very personal one for the duchess.
‘I’ve always wanted to visit this place,’ she told Mail Online. ‘This really is such a treat. I’ve always been fascinated by the Brontës.’
Camilla received a short, personal tour of the house with principal curator Ann Dinsdale, and got to handle - gloves on- some of its most precious treasures, including sketches made by the famous sisters themselves - Emily, Charlotte and Anne - and miniature, handwritten books.
‘How did they do this?’ she marvelled. ‘Even with my glasses and a magnifying glass I can barely read them.’
She also wondered at how tiny the sisters, dresses were - ‘they really were so tiny, weren’t they?’ - and of the sadness of their lives. None of the sisters lived until old age: Charlotte died at 38, Emily at 30 and Anne at 29, and all were childless.
Their father, Patrick Brontë, curate of Haworth Church, outlived all of his six children and also his wife.
She was also invited to take part in Clare Twomey’s Wuthering Heights - A Manuscript project, which set out to recreate the long-lost first manuscript of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights by inviting 12,000 visitors to each copy a line from the book.
Some enthusiasts queued for three days to write the line of their choice for the bound book, which will be displayed for the rest of the year.
The duchess was invited to write the last line in the manuscript which read: ‘and wondered how anyone could ever imagine unquiet slumbers, for the sleepers in that quiet earth’.
‘I had better make sure this is in my best handwriting, ‘ she joked, but afterwards admitted: ‘I think that tailed off a bit towards the end, sorry.’
Afterwards she stopped off at a short reception where she met museum staff and volunteers, as well as local schoolchildren who recently took part in a creative writing competition organised by the museum.
The duchess is an avid reader and patron of a number of literary charities.
There was something of a royal first later as she boarded a vintage bus for a very bumpy ride through the streets of the village.
As the bus started creaking ominously at the top of a steep hill, the royal joked loudly: ‘I hope the brakes are working!’
But she still managed to wave cheerily to local well-wishers and tourists lining the streets. (Rebecca English in Daily Mail)
And The TimesStarts at 60, Yorkshire Post, International Business Times, Keighley News, BBC, Andover Advertiser, Belfast Telegraph, ...

The Yorkshire Post interviews Lily Cole about her role as creative partner of the Brontë Parsonage:
The bicentenary commemorations continue this year, with the spotlight falling on Emily, and a few weeks ago the museum announced that Lily Cole would be its creative partner.
It seemed an inspired choice. A model, actor and businesswoman, Cole has become a bit of a role model and, as a fan of the Brontës, and Emily in particular, the museum looked like it had scored a coup.
However, not everyone saw it that way and Cole’s tenure got off to a something of a rocky start when critical comments about her appointment made in a blog by a disapproving Brontë Society member went viral.
His gripe was the post should have been given to a writer, the inference being that a public face like Cole was a bit of a publicity stunt. As a number of authors and literary scholars jumped to Cole’s defence, her own dignified, articulate and measured response was published in the Guardian and when we meet in Haworth she hopes the furore is behind her as she looks forward to the next 12 months helping to celebrate Emily’s legacy.
Wuthering Heights is one of my favourite books; I have read it multiple times over the years,” she says. “And Emily’s relationship to nature and to the landscape has always resonated with me – I am a nature person at heart. In Wuthering Heights she creates a whole world, as all great novels do, that feels completely truthful and authentic – and the characters are so real. I think Heathcliff is one of the most powerful fictional characters in literature.”
Cole has taken Heathcliff as a starting point for a short film that she will be producing which is currently at the writing and development stage. It will explore the connections between the origins of Emily’s famous anti-hero, found by Mr Earnshaw abandoned as a child in Liverpool, and the real foundlings of the 19th century in a new partnership with the Foundling Museum in London, of which Cole has been a fellow since 2016.  (...)
“I have been looking through the archives there at years that have resonance – so 1764, which is the year that Heathcliff was born, 1818 when Emily was born, 1848 when she died – and immersing myself in the research to try to understand the society that Emily was living and writing in. And because her father Patrick was a social campaigner I think Emily would have been aware of some of the social issues of the time.”
While she was visiting Haworth, Cole stayed at nearby Ponden Hall, often cited as a possible model for the Wuthering Heights farmhouse, an experience she found inspiring. “It was magical,” she says. “I was so excited to see the window that Emily drew when she was 10 years old, and that had inspired that infamous scene in Wuthering Heights.”
She explored the landscape, walking across the moors to Ponden Kirk – the inspiration for Penistone Crags – before returning to the museum to explore archive material in the collection relating to Emily and her work. “There isn’t a lot, as so much has been destroyed or lost over time, but there are some really special objects,” she says. “I didn’t realise that Emily’s handwriting was so tiny. Her poems exist like secret documents and I was perhaps most surprised by Emily’s drawings, for example a beautiful portrait of a wounded hawk that she had apparently rescued. I hadn’t realised she was a talented visual artist.” (...)
“We decided that as well as marking Emily’s brilliance as a writer, we wanted to look at her wider artistic talents,” says Jenna Holmes, who leads the contemporary arts programme at the Brontë Parsonage Museum. “She was the most accomplished artist and musician of all the family. We selected projects and partners that would reflect these multi-disciplinary interests, but also touch on the themes that resonate with Emily, such as the landscape.”
There was also the opportunity to use Wuthering Heights as a means to investigate contemporary issues still relevant in society today such as identity, belonging and migration. “Lily is a perfect fit for Emily,” says Holmes. “A writer herself with interests in the environment, literacy and the creative arts as well as a social entrepreneur, there are many parallels with Emily’s work. She is a talented film-maker and we look forward to seeing what she creates.”
Other celebrations include a new exhibition, Making Thunder Roar. The show invites a number of well-known Emily admirers to share their own fascination with her life and work and relate it to a piece from the museum collection. They include screenwriter and director Sally Wainwright who chose cuttings of reviews of Wuthering Heights found in Emily’s writing desk after her death; comedian Josie Long who selected the drawing of a window made by Emily when she was a child; and novelist Benjamin Myers who used Emily’s study of a fir tree as inspiration for a poem.
Cole chose the “Bell” signatures, the androgynous pseudonyms of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell inscribed on a fragment of paper in the handwriting of Charlotte, Emily and Anne. (Yvette Huddelston)
Banbridge Leader informs that the re-opening of the Brontë Interpretative Centre in Rathfriland has been delayed:
The re-opening of the Brontë Interpretive Centre has been put on hold whilst an application for a new entertainment licence is considered.
The centre near Rathfriland has been closed since early January to allow for essential maintenance works.
In addition to refurbishing the interior of both buildings, emergency lighting and electrical fittings have been upgraded and some sections of the concrete walkways around the centre’s grounds have been replaced.
With the application process normally taking six weeks to complete, it is anticipated that the centre will re-open in April.
iNews imagines the Brontës using social media today:
The Brontë Sisters would find their social media home on Instagram, bluestocking rivals to the Kardashians. Anne, Charlotte and Emily would post moody selfies on the Yorkshire moors and film vlogs from Haworth parsonage. #Wuthering #Wildfell (Laura Freeman)
Laura Freeman's book, The Reading Cure: How Books Restored My Appetite, is reviewed in The Times:
Freeman, who now reviews books for The Times, can pinpoint the exact hour when something in her mind gave way. It was 2001 and she was 13 and nearing the end of an idyllic summer holiday with her family. She was dreading returning to her academic all-girls school, a place more hateful to her than Jane Eyre’s Lowood or Nicholas Nickleby’s Dotheboys. Two thirds of each year group went on to Oxbridge and there was plenty of what the school called healthy rivalry, which she experienced as bullying. (Cathy Rentzenbrink)
Inspiring ladies in literature on iSubscribe:
Charlotte Brontë’s eponymous heroine Jane Eyre is regarded as one of the first feminist icons in literature. Determined to garner an education, the precocious young woman insists her guardian send her to school, upon leaving which she obtains a job as a governess. Women of the 19th century were generally expected to marry and bear children, but Jane is firmly in control of her own destiny.
Amy Chozick explains in the New York Times her literary personal history:
I’ve always been a voracious reader. Growing up in San Antonio, I was the dork at the Friday night football games with my head buried in a book — Jack Kerouac or Oscar Wilde, years before I really understood them. As my neighbors moved lava lamps and glass bongs and Foo Fighters posters into their college dorm rooms in Austin, I unpacked the Brontë sisters boxed set and a vintage edition of “The Bell Jar.” Pretentious? Let’s just say I didn’t get invited to a lot of frat parties. But that was who I was.
The Herald talks with Chloe Pirrie:
Having watched Sally Wainwright’s Brontë drama To Walk Invisible the night before, I’ve arrived in Shoreditch trailing notions of Pirrie framed by her portrayal of Emily Brontë, all flint and spark and fire. (Teddy Jamieson)
The Telegraph reviews the film The Bookshop by Isabel Coixet:
[Bill] Nighy sneaks in some necessary laughs, too, with his sheer antipathy to Clarkson’s character, and makes Mr Brundish, in his brooding isolation and principled rage, come over as exactly the reluctant riff on a Brontë hero the author had in mind. (Tim Robey)
The Times also reviews the film:
The film needed either the lightness of touch that Sally Potter brought to her recent triumph The Party (also starring Mortimer and Clarkson) or the serious intensity that Andrea Arnold brought to her Wuthering Heights. Instead it is adapted and directed by the Spanish filmmaker Isabel Coixet (Elegy) with all the finesse and psychological realism of an am-dram art-happening set on Pluto. (Kevin Maher)
Sarah Churchwell in The Guardian defends the need for women to rewrite history (the fine line between denouncing patriarchy and condescendingly retrojudging, Stalin vs Trotsky anyone?, is dangerously walked on):
That uncertainty speaks to women’s experience of the world, their need to discover whether men are predators or protectors. The classic gothic – say, Jane Eyre (1847) – tends to validate the woman’s perspective: her anxieties are warranted and legitimate. By contrast, many modern gothics – say, Rebecca (1938), which rewrites Jane Eyre – end with the heroine’s fears revealed as foolish, even hysterical; she misread the man’s perspective, and must learn to read him better in future. In other words, the story is gaslighting its own heroine: she was being paranoid. Given that such narratives encourage the audience to share the heroine’s suspicions, they also gaslight the audience, reinforcing the idea that women are unreliable interpreters of male behaviour.
Also in The Guardian, Joyce Carol Oates says:
The book that had the greatest influence on my writing
Possibly the stories of Franz Kafka. Or Dubliners. Or Wuthering Heights. Or ...
Camden New Journal reviews The Divide:
[Erin] Doherty pitches her funny, feisty character just right as she tries to make sense of the bewildering religious, political and moral differences expressed by the people she loves, and begins her own awakening secretly reading proscribed books such as Jane Eyre. (Julie Tomlin)
Dread Central interviews film director Derek Nguyen:
Mike Sprague: What are some of the films that inspired The Housemaid?
DN: Jane Eyre, The Others, Rebecca, The Shining.
The Irish Times interviews the fashion designer Josep Font:
“It is important to disconnect. I like buying artisan crafts, perfumes, soaps and finding materials for a friend who is building a house.” His preferred reading is Stendhal and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights is one of his favourite novels. (Deirdre McQuillan)
Episcopal Café reviews the film Phantom Thread:
It is hard not to be spellbound by Paul Thomas Anderson’s disturbingly beautiful Phantom Thread, Daniel Day-Lewis’ mystifyingly memorable Reynolds Jeremiah Woodcock, and Vicky Krieps’ enigmatically sensational Alma. It is a most unconventional, unparalleled older boy meets girl story. Both Woodcock and Alma veer away from the archetypal Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre, Max De Winter and the second Mrs. De Winter or even Professor Higgins and Eliza Doolittle. (Esther Dharmaraj)
La Stampa (Italy) reviews the novel Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor:
Lo scenario è quello di un non meglio precisato paesino rurale del nord dell’Inghilterra. A est bacini idrici e tutto intorno quella stessa lirica e cupa brughiera delle Cime tempestose di Emily Brontë. (Alessia Gazzola) (Translation)
El Norte de Castilla (Spain) talks about the La Ofrenda by Gustavo Martín Garzo:
El libro dibuja así una trama que en sí misma no oculta deberle, y mucho, a otros grandes clásicos de la novela gótica, como ‘Jane Eyre’, de Charlotte Brontë, o ‘Rebeca’, de Daphne du Maurier: «Todas ellas se construyen a partir de jóvenes heroínas desamparadas y un secreto oscuro al que se enfrentan». (Samuel Regueira) (Translation)
Il Terreno (Italy) and the ex-football player Carlo Caramelli:
Carlo Caramelli ricorda molto sir Lawrence Oliver nel film “Cime Tempestose”, sia per l’aplomb britannica che per il timbro basso, quasi roco, della voce, come il disperato Heathcliff quando invocava il nome di Cathy nella bufera di neve. In questo caso specifico, però, le condizioni climatiche o il tono impostato c’entrano poco. (Translation)
Valentine's Day still lingers on in Libero Pensiero (Italy) :
E ancora, potremmo omaggiare il bellissimo “Cime Tempestose” di Emily Brontë: il romanzo per eccellenza dell’amore come forza totalizzante e irrazionale. La bellezza del libro è nel suo essere sgombro da ogni ornamento, perché racconta di una storia lontana dal semplicistico «e vissero per sempre felici e contenti»: l’amore è inteso nella sua essenza più totale, e come tale anche in senso prettamente negativo, una storia di un sentimento ardente che va oltre ogni cosa. La bella e capricciosa Catherine e il rozzo e duro Heathcliff sono due personaggi dalla passionalità bruciante e a tratti “crudeli” nell’essenza, e il tutto viene portato ai limiti più estremi. Amore e odio che convivono, si scontrano e trovano sempre nuovi compromessi. (Vanessa Vaia) (Translation)
Boersenblatt (Germany) reviews a couple of German Wuthering Heights audiobooks:
Zu den wichtigen literarischen Terminen dieses Jahres gehört der 200. Geburtstag Emily Brontës am 30. Juli. Die britische Schriftstellerin wurde nur 30 Jahre alt; ihr Werk ist schmal, ein einziger Roman hat in ihrem Fall für den Weltruhm genügt: "Sturmhöhe". Zum Jubiläum gibt es zwei ungekürzte Hörbuchfassungen; bei der einen (Audiobuch Verlag, 12 CDs, 22,95 Euro) lesen Beate Rysop und Wolfgang Berger im Wechsel und markieren dadurch die Geschlechterspannung in Brontës Erzählwelt auch akus­tisch. Bisweilen klingt der Roman hier aber ein wenig zu brav und aufgesagt. Im Alleingang liest ihn dagegen der 2014 verstorbene Rolf Boysen (Der Hörverlag, 10 CDs, 20,95 Euro). Seine wuchtige, maskuline Deklamation, mit der er viele eindrückliche Klassiker-Lesungen von Homer bis Kleist geschaffen hat, kann bei diesem Referenzwerk der weiblichen Literaturgeschichte zunächst irritieren. Aber schnell zeigt sich: Dieser Roman voller Leidenschaftlichkeit und Selbstzerstörung, voller Stolz, Wut und Wahn ist eine ideale Partitur für den Pathetiker Boysen. Sein kantiger, schroffer, manchmal ­kauzig-komischer Ton treibt alles Sentimentale aus dem Text heraus und bringt Brontës illusionslose, in der Tradition Shakespeares stehende Kunst der Menschendarstellung zur Geltung. Gebannt lauscht man dieser intensiven Lesung, einer Sturmhöhe der Vortragskunst. (Wolfgang Schneider) (Translation)
PJs and Pugs remembers reading Wuthering Heights a few years ago;  Ksiażkowir (in Polish) posts about The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
12:30 am by M. in    No comments
Two theatre alerts for
these days:
Barn Theatre presents
by Polly Teale
Friday 16th – Saturday 24th February 2018 in the Auditorium
Welwyn Garden City AL8 6ST, UK

A glimpse into the real and imagined world of the Brontë sisters
Brontë explores how three Victorian sisters, isolated on the Yorkshire moors, came to write some of the most powerful and passionate fiction of all time.
We see the real and imagined worlds of the three Brontë sisters as the play moves seamlessly from the kitchen table to the wild moors. The fictional characters they have created come to haunt the sisters as they cope with their father’s poor health, and their brother’s painful descent into an alcohol-infused insanity. Time, reality and the imagination merge in an unconventional structure that encourages a brave, creative approach to production.
Cornerstone Theatre Arts presents
Tolle Lege: Take Up and Read
Conceived, created and directed by Jacqueline Dion
Goshen Music Hall, 223 Main Street, Goshen, IN

Comprised of scenes and monologues adapted from classic novels, "Tolle Lege" celebrates the works of literature's greatest artists, including J.D. Salinger, The Bronté Sisters, Harper Lee, and more.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday, February 16, 2018 7:52 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
The Huddersfield Daily Examiner tells about a pop-up display at Huddersfield railway station.
The display compiled by Kirklees Museums and Galleries is called Along the Line and focuses on the locations you can see when travelling along the railway line from Huddersfield.
The display cases – containing artefacts from local museums – are designed with a vintage railway poster-inspired theme to tell the stories of the towns, villages and countryside that make up Kirklees. Each display focuses on a railway line out of Huddersfield station. [...]
The platform 6 display features objects from the Leeds line, including items from Dewsbury and Batley. It includes a piece of the staircase from Blake Hall in Mirfield where Anne Brontë was a governess and used her experiences there in her novel Agnes Grey.
All the displays – which will be on show at the station for the next six months – are behind the ticket barriers, so you will need a valid travel ticket to see them. (Henryk Zientek)
The New York Times' By the Book has an interview with writer Kristin Hannah.
Tell us your favorite works of historical fiction.The Shadow of the Wind,” “Katherine,” “Gone With the Wind,” “The Color Purple,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell,” “Shogun,” “Atonement,” “Anna Karenina,” “Jane Eyre,” “Middlemarch,” “Lonesome Dove” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.” I haven’t read “The Thorn Birds” or “The Shell Seekers” in years, but I remember loving them.
Playwright Bryony Lavery writes about adapting Graham Greene's Brighton Rock for the stage on The Arts Desk.
I never have the idea of adapting anything at all myself. The suggestions always come from directors or theatre companies. Someone calls me to say, Would I be interested in adapting this book… and I say… "Let me read it and get back to you”, then I sit down and whizz through it… and… if my heart lifts at the thought, I say “yes”. If it sinks… I decline politely. You have to be excited by the work of someone who is, in fact, going to be The Head Writer.
So far, I have been The Junior Writer or, as I position myself, Assistant to… Mr Robert Louis Stevenson, Mr Bram Stoker, Ms Kate Atkinson, Ms Emily Brontë, Mr Evelyn Waugh, Mr Armistead Maupin, and many other glorious story-tellers. This year, I’m about to enter into that relationship with Mr Arthur Ransome, Mr David Walliams and Ms Andrea Levy. But, I’m here to tell you about my current liaison with Graham Greene, and his novel Brighton Rock.
The Economist reviews the book In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein by Fiona Sampson, published in the bicentenary of the publication of the novel.
Few novels have had such mythical beginnings, and few have themselves achieved the status of myths, as “Frankenstein” has. It was the founding text of modern science fiction. It has been endlessly retold in different forms—perhaps only Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights” and Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” have proved as fertile. 
The Advance (Canada) features Beverly Wong-Kleinjan, who creates handmade leather journals.
To add to the uniqueness and creativity of each piece, Wong-Kleinjan prints inspirational quotes on the title pages of some journals and selects leathers and/or closures that pair well with the quote. For instance, she says a nice rugged, brown leather seems to go well with a quote from Charles Dickens or Thoreau, while a more 'refined' tan or burgundy leather fits a Jane Austen or Brontë quote. (Laura Churchill Duke)
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A new Italian translation of Brontë letters, diaries or juvenilia has been published:
Charlotte Brontë. Il diario di Roe Head 1831-1838
Translated by Alessandranna D'Auria
Collana: Windy Moors, Vol 15
ISBN: 978-88-85628-20-5

Negli anni solitari in cui si trovò a Roe Head, prima come allieva e poi come insegnante, Charlotte Brontë tenne dei fogli slegati conosciuti oggi come Roe Head Journal. Si tratta di un testo in qualche modo connesso ad Angria, il ciclo narrativo dell’adolescenza, eppure dotato di una sua indipendenza: un giornale di appunti in cui Charlotte impresse attimi di fantasia indotta, cosciente e visionaria, immagini che non doveva dimenticare e che a casa, a Haworth, doveva elaborare e narrare nelle sue storie... Il volume presenta il Roe Head Journal di Charlotte Brontë per la prima volta tradotto integralmente in italiano, accompagnando il lettore con ampi racconti, commenti e approfondimenti.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Yesterday, Valentine's Day, LitHub put together a list of '30 of the worst couples in literature', including
Heathcliff and Catherine, Wuthering Heights The mutual obsession is out of control here. “My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary,” Catherine says. “Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being. So don’t talk of our separation again: it is impracticable.” When he loses Catherine for good, Heathcliff becomes pretty evil, seeking to destroy anyone who has crossed him and prevented him from being with his One True Love—plus their children for good measure. For her part, after her death, Catherine haunts Heathcliff until the bitter end. So romantic. [...]
Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester, Jane Eyre Let’s face it: as a love interest, Mr. Rochester sucks. He’s rude, ugly, manipulative, dresses up as a gypsy woman to trick people, and oh right, keeps his first wife Bertha locked in the attic. Because she’s crazy! It’s fine if she’s crazy, right?
Mr. Rochester and Antoinette, Wide Sargasso Sea No, it’s really not fine, and also her name isn’t Bertha.
The Daily Campus, however, lists Jane Eyre as the feminist choice on a list of 'Five romantic reads'.
The feminist choice: “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte
Brontë’s classic novel “Jane Eyre” rounds out the list as a controversial feminist choice. The 19th century novel follows Jane Eyre through her spiritual, moral and romantic growth. Bronte’s social commentary doubles as an interesting though unusual love story between Jane and Mr. Rochester full of mystery, supernatural elements and poetic language. “Jane Eyre” is a must-read for a romance novel connoisseur. (Alexis Taylor)
Berkeley Squares introduces an article on Fifty Shades of Grey as follows:
So, February has arrived, traditionally known as the month of love in which couples worldwide celebrate their unity. Love is a real pulling factor for every industry, with literature being no exception. There is no shortage of romantic stories on our bookshelves, and some of the most famous and successful of all stories are about love. Any utterance of Charlotte Brontë or Nicholas Sparks may fire up to reminiscing readers legions of memories about how “that” novel is the best love story ever written. (Joel Sodzi)
A contributor to Hello Giggles  wrote about Valentine's Day and never having been in love.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a romantic — ever since I was young and playing with Barbies. My Aladdin doll would always fall in love with whatever princess doll I liked most at the time. As I got older, I could recite the dialogue from any romantic comedy I could rent at Blockbuster. The fictional romances in classic books — Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, Gatsby and Daisy, Catherine and Heathcliff — have fueled my desire for love since I first read them. With this knowledge base of timeless romances throughout the ages, I always thought love would happen in my life. (Lauren Hedenkamp)
The Guardian recommends watching Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights on Film 4 (UK) tonight.
Film choice
Wuthering Heights (Andrea Arnold, 2011) 1.20am, Film4
Arnold brings real conviction to her adaptation of Emily Brontë’s classic. This is the first version that makes overt the latent suggestion that Heathcliff (played by Solomon Glave as a youth and James Howson when older) is black, emphasising the transgressive nature of his love for Catherine. (Paul Howlett)
And so does The Times.

Linda's Book Bag interviews writer Claire Dyer.
When you’re not writing, what do you like to read? I read loads of different kinds of books. Having done an MA in Victorian literature, I confess I adore Brontë, Dickens, Eliot, etc.
CBR reviews the book Gothic Tales of Haunted Love whose
heroine isn’t a Jane Eyre, destined to help him towards moral reform. She has no patience for his bad behavior. And as a black woman from Bermuda, he makes it clear that she doesn’t even register as a prospect to him. If anything, her destiny, if this were a typical gothic romance, is more likely to be Bertha Mason-Rochester, locked in the attic while her shiftless man romances the new governess. But this book starts with a murder — and not hers. (Megan Purdy)
The Brussels Brontë Blog shares an almost day-by-day of the Brontës in Brussels in February 1842. Stuff (New Zealand) mentions in passing that Celine Dion's song It's All Coming Back to Me Now was inspired by Wuthering Heights. Vogue (Australia) features the wedding of a girl named Brontë whose mother read a paragraph from Jane Eyre during the ceremony. DM Denton, author of Without the Veil Between, wrote about Anne Brontë and Valentine's day. Finally, on Twitter West Yorkshire Archives celebrated Valentine's Day by sharing an image of Patrick and Maria Brontë's marriage certificate.
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
The latest issue of The Brontë Society Gazette is now out (Issue 74. January 2018. ISSN 1344-5940).

Wecolme by Rebecca Yorke, Brontë Society Head of Communication and Marketing
Letter from the Chair by John Thirlwell, Chair of the Brontë Society
Close-Up on the Collection. The Museum in 2018 by Ann Dinsdale, Principal Curator and Sarah Laycock (Curator)
The Brontës and Jewellery by Amy Rowbottom, Curatorial Assistant
An Interview with Caryl Phillips by Glynis Charlton
Views from a Literary House by Rebecca Yorke
Literary Houses: A Personal Inspiration by Coreen Turner
Food for Thought by Diane Fare, Audience Development Officer
Emily and I... by Callie Nestleroth
Wuthering Heights... and Me (Call)
The Brontë Bookshelf:
Brontë Transformations by Patsy Stoneman

Mr Nicholls by Juliet Heslewood
Membership Matters:    Ellen Nussey's Bicentenary / Tips to help you get the most out of your membership / Emily Bicentenry Conference / News from the London & SE Group / Dates for your Diary by Linda Ling, Membership Officer.
Ask a Member. Bringing the Brontës to the World... by Helen MacEwan, Brussels Brontë Group
Meet the Trustee: Trish Gurney

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 10:57 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
Valentine's day today, so let's start with that. According to Indian Express, both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights are 'romantic novels to curl up with if you alone on this day'.
Jane Eyre
This 1847 Charlotte Brontë novel terrifies, yes, but also teaches you how to love. Mr Rochester might not be a Mr Darcy but he has his own charm and secrets. The way Jane braves obstacles and a certain mad woman in the attic to reunite with Rochester has made this dark, haunting tale into a classic that you cannot put down.
Wuthering Heights
Written by Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights is darker than Jane Eyre even only by a shade. Set against the moor, the romance as depicted in the novel between Heathcliff and Catherine destroys more than it mends. And yet, ultimately it heals. “If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger,” has been quoted over and over again. (Ishita Sengupta)
Similarly, Bustle shares '14 Instagram Captions About Being Single & Loving It To Post On Valentine’s Day 2018', including an apocryphal one by Charlotte Brontë which isn't about loving being single (and lonely) at all.
“The trouble is not that I am single and likely to stay single, but that I am lonely and likely to stay lonely." — Charlotte Brontë
Charlotte Brontë never wrote that at all. In a letter to Ellen Nussey written in August 1852, however, she wrote:
The evils that now and then wring a groan from my heart – lie in position – not that I am a single woman and likely to remain a single woman – but because I am a lonely woman and likely to be lonely. But it cannot be helped and therefore imperatively must be borne – and borne too with as few words about it as may be.
We wouldn't use that on Instagram to convey a cheery image of being single!

Williamsburg Yorktown Daily on 'Where to spark first-date romance in Williamsburg':
Mermaid Books also has first-date potential, with its quirky decor. There are comic strips taped to the walls and mermaid paintings on stools and above bookshelves. Plus, the scent of books — and being surrounded by literary romances from “Pride and Prejudice” to “Wuthering Heights” — could create an intimate mood. (Alexa Doiron)
Chillicothe Times-Bulletin recommends 'Film ideas for a quiet Valentine’s Day on the couch'.
This week, besides candy and flowers, consider sharing a romance movie with your sweetheart. There’s a lot there, from last year’s “Shape of Water” and “Beauty and the Beast” to 1997′s “Titanic” and “The Notebook” (2004), “Splash” (1984) and “Wuthering Heights” (1939). 
The Washington Post has an article by a 'wheelchair user' and author on love and disabilities which begins by wondering,
To you, it may be all about chocolates vs. flowers. But to me, Valentine’s Day raises questions about our society’s shared notions of the ideal romantic hookup.
Romeo and Juliet? Jane Eyre and Rochester? Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet? More modern thinkers might offer Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.
Worthy examples, all. Yet what do these fantasies tell us about our assumptions? Besides being white and cis-heteronormative, every one of these fictional lovers is able-bodied. (Ben Mattlin)
Writer Rodrigo Fresán writes about love and literature for Página 12 (Argentina).
Y por cada perfectos Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy y Elizabeth Bennet de Jane Austen hay unos muy pero muy complicados Heathcliff y Cathy Earnshaw de Emily Brontë. Aunque –se dice Rodríguez– uno nunca esté del todo seguro de quiénes la pasaron y amaron mejor: ¿los orgullosos y prejuiciosos finalmente humildes y abiertos o los eternamente borrascosos y encumbrados de todo corazón? (Translation)
Juventud Rebelde (Cuba) suggests 14 books for the day, including Wuthering Heights.
11 Cumbres borrascosas, Emily Brontë
Cumbres borrascosas es una novela trágica y dramática. Cuenta la historia de dos generaciones que se entrecruzan en la mansión Cumbres Borrascosas, en los lúgubres páramos de Yorkshire. Entre sus muchos acontecimientos, el más poderoso es el romance entre Catherine y Heathcliff, un amor infortunado y tormentoso. Las diferentes personalidades de los personajes luchan y debaten entre sí y acaban librando una ardua batalla en nombre del amor. La venganza, el odio, el desengaño y la pasión son protagonistas en esta historia clásica de la literatura inglesa.
La novela de Emily Brontë es una de las historias de amor más representativas del romanticismo inglés. A pesar del paso del tiempo y de la realidad social actual, la historia continua teniendo la intensidad de antaño. La intriga se mantiene y va en aumento desde el inicio hasta que descubres la historia completa. (Translation)
Vanity Fair tries to steer away from the usual bookish recommendations.
 In novels, too, what’s referred to as the “marriage plot” is a long-established convention: think of Sense and Sensibility, Jane Eyre or A Room With a View, all solid Valentine’s Day choices. (Chris Power)
The New York Times begins a review of a couple of recent novels about marriage by quoting - rightly - Charlotte Brontë.
Rarely has a newlywed delivered a more withering assessment of marriage than Charlotte Brontë. “It is a solemn and strange and perilous thing for a woman to become a wife,” she wrote to a friend — fresh off her honeymoon, no less.
A number of recent books have taken up her argument, looking anew at marriage and how it benefits women (or mostly doesn’t), as well as how our ideas about courtship and intimacy have evolved [.] (Parul Sehgal)
A funny typo in an article on the real 'madwoman in the attic' on Bustle:
The "Madwoman In The Attack" From 'Jane Eyre' Was Actually Based On A True Story — Sort Of [...]
In 1839, Charlotte Brontë visited a medieval manor house called Norton Conyers. The grand house is still open for visitors today, and bears a striking resemblance to the descriptions of Thornfield Hall. Being a Brontë, though, Charlotte was immediately drawn to the secret attic passageway: Behind a hidden door in the wall paneling, a secret staircase leads to a small corner of the attic known as "Mad Mary's Room." The story went that years ago, Mary had been confined to that room by the rest of the family, either to protect her or to hide her in shame.
Around the time of her visit, Brontë was unhappily employed as a governess for the wealthy Sidgwick family. When she sat down to write Jane Eyre a few years later, she combined the experience of a young, awkward, impoverished governess with the rumors of a woman locked in the attic, and threw in an unfriendly love interest for good measure.
The secret staircase was re-discovered by the owners of Norton Conyers in 2004, who connected it with the legend of "Mad Mary."
Of course, we don't know much about Mary herself, or even what else Brontë might have heard about her. We don't know whether she was married, or from Jamaica, or even what sort of "madness" she exhibited. What we do know is that confining mentally ill relatives to the home was, unfortunately, often the more humane option at the time. English treatment for mental illness in the 1700s and 1800s mostly consisted of committing patients in prison-like asylums and "treating" them with straitjackets, chains, bloodletting, induced blisters, and the like. Many patients did not survive the process.
But still, I think most of us can agree that "lock your wife in the attic and pretend she never existed" isn't a great solution, either.
We can also guess that Mary was less enamored of fire than Bertha, since Norton Conyers is still standing to this day. In Jane Eyre, Bertha eventually burns down Thornfield and dies by suicide.
One the one hand, Brontë's "madwoman" is a tragic figure, a literary manifestation of Jane's own feelings of oppression, passion, and confinement as she is constantly hemmed in by her class and her gender. But on the other hand... Brontë definitely took the life of a real mentally ill woman and transformed her into a Gothic monster, with some bonus colonial bigotry that seems to conflate her Creole heritage with her "beastly" behavior. That's not great.
We'll never know what Mary herself would have thought of her literary legacy, but if you happen to be in North Yorkshire, England, you can still visit Mary's secret staircase, leading up to her quiet, hidden corner of the attic. (Charlotte Ahlin)
Real Simple on what Jane Eyre is no good for:
Many classic novels have nothing to say about parents, who are often dead or off-stage. Jane Eyre is a great book, but it won’t make you feel better about yelling at your kids for shaving the cat. (Shannon Reed)
Okay then.

Writer Ned Beauman writes about naming characters for Signature Reads.
What I’ve never had the courage to do is write two characters with the same name, like the various Lintons, Cathys and Heathcliffs in Wuthering Heights, or the two Jason Compsons in The Sound and the Fury (which has fifteen point-of-view characters, by the way). A novel with a cast as large as mine should really have at least one name duplication, not only for statistical veracity but also because it’s the logical endpoint of the method I’ve described.
El País (Spain) features the work of photographer Thomas Nölle:
Es fácil imaginarse a Heathcliff y Catherine, los protagonistas de Cumbres borrascosas, en alguno de los paisajes del artista alemán Thomas Nölle (Soest, Alemania, 1948). Pero puede que esos paisajes los haya retratado Nölle en un trayecto entre Badajoz y Lisboa, y no en un páramo inglés azotado por el viento: se huye del realismo fotográfico para introducir la subjetividad creando paisajes propios del universo estético romántico. (Sergio C. Fanjul) (Translation)
Palatinate has an article on the many wonders of Yorkshire:
Arguably the most picturesque part of the country consists of the seemingly endless green blades that stretch from horizon to horizon, which are the Dales and the Moors. Not just the place for Cathy to scavenge for Heathcliff, this part of Yorkshire is the heart of small village culture so quaint and picturesque everywhere you look could form the image of a postcard. [...]
Yorkshire is far from just the birthplace of the humble Yorkshire pudding, Brontë sisters and funny accents. No matter what you interests you on your next trip, God’s own county has everything you need. (Alia Muhanna)
While Belfast Telegraph features the wonders of County Down in Northern Ireland as contributed by school children.
Patrick Brontë, the father of much-loved writers Charlotte, Emily and Anne, was born at Emdale, between Banbridge and Rathfriland. The river valley from Banbridge to Rathfriland is called Brontë Country.
In the mid-1800s Charlotte wrote the novel Jane Eyre, Emily was the author of Wuthering Heights and Anne penned The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, all considered outstanding works of literature.
The Times features actress Florence Pugh, who starred in the film Lady Macbeth.
It started early for Florence Pugh. The word on the street. The buzz. It was during the editing of her film, last year’s critical smash Lady Macbeth. The movie is extraordinary. Like Wuthering Heights meets Wonder Woman, with a dash of Psycho, all wrapped around the monumental performance of Pugh, playing a 19th-century wife who takes a shotgun to the patriarchy. (Kevin Maher)
Esquire (Spain) lists seven fictional characters which weren't rightly portrayed on the screen, including
5. Cathy Earnshaw (Juliette Binoche) – Cumbres Borrascosas
Juliette Binoche tiene el aspecto perfecto para interpretar a la trágica heroína creada por Emily Brontë. Pero no funcionó. En absoluto. Binoche tuvo poca culpa, pero al ser francesa, su acento no logra que el personaje sea creíble. (Rosie Fletcher) (Translation)
Dazeba News (Italy) reviews Villette. Alison's Wonderland Recipes has put together a 'Wuthering Heights reading kit'. On the Brussels Brontë Blog, Eric Ruijssenaars continues 'Mapping the Brussels of the Brontës'.