Saturday, July 23, 2016

Even more powerful and illuminating than her novels

On Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 1:15 pm by M. in , , , , ,    No comments
#saveredhouse This weekend is the last chance to make the Kirklees Council know what do you think about their plans to shut Red House Museum. The Spenborough Guardian explains:
A last chance to share your views on the fate of two beloved museums with the council comes this weekend.
Consultation on Kirklees Council’s plan to shut Red House Museum in Gomersal and Dewsbury Museum in Crow Nest Park lasts until Sunday.
Under budget plans, the two sites could close and their collections be either transferred or stored.
A fightback by the community was launched, with nearly 1,500 people signing a petition to keep Red House open in one week. (...)
An online survey which gives residents the chance to share their views can be filled in until July 24.
BBC History Extra interviews Juliet Barker:
Q: Which other historical areas fascinate you and why?
A: I’m a medievalist through and through, but I’m also a 19th-century literary biographer with a particular and life-long passion for the Brontës. Where the 19th century scores over medieval history is in the level of individual literacy, which opens up a wholly different seam of personal responses to life and its struggles. Through reading diaries, letters and other autobiographical material you can get to the heart of a person in a way you simply can’t in earlier periods, which lack such resources. Without her extraordinary legacy of forthright, beautifully written and often deeply moving letters, what would we really know about Charlotte Brontë? Personally I find them even more powerful and illuminating than her novels. (...)
Q: What can we expect from your talk at York? 
A: The 200th anniversary of the birth of Charlotte Brontë this year provides the ideal opportunity to re-examine the life and work of one of our most enduringly popular novelists. In what I hope will be an entertaining, but thought-provoking, discussion, I’ll be looking at how and why so many myths have grown up around Yorkshire’s most famous family and challenging the conventional view of the Brontë story.  (Ellie Cawthorne)
This Belfast Telegraph columnist remembers how, when she was 17 she was more into Gothic than Joseph Conrad:
At the time I was in love with the Romantic and Gothic novelists. Books like Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein had fired my imagination at O-level and piqued my curiosity for the macabre and the extraordinary. (Frances Burscough)
We are not sure why the McAllen Monitor opens its review of the new Ghostbusters film with the 'poor, obscure, plain' Jane Eyre quote.

The Daily Mail recommends some UK campsites:
Taste of the wild
Upper Booth, Derbyshire
A stone barn on the way up to Kinder Scout above Upper Booth in the Peak District National Park
With no electrics at this site in the High Peak estate, there are few distractions from the rolling pastures of Austin(sic) and Brontë land.
It might be close-to-nature camping, but when you’re covered in mud after exploring the Pennine Way, Kinder Scout or Jacob’s Ladder, there’s a hot shower waiting. (Siobhan Warwicker)
Correo (Perú) lists women writers who used pseudonyms to get published. The Brontës are there. Just a pity that the portraits of Emily and Anne are wrong:
2. Las hermanas Brontë
En 1847 se publicó Jane Eyre, la autoría de la obra estaba a nombre de Currer Bell, un seudónimo literario que ocultaba la identidad de quien había escrito una de las mejores novelas románticas de la literatura inglesa. Luego se supo que la escritora era Charlotte Brontë con el seudónimo de Jane Eyre, un éxito literario que hoy en día es considerado un clásico de la literatura. Emily y Anne, las dos hermanas de Charlotte, también tuvieron que recurrir a seudónimos masculinos para poder publicar sus obras: Cumbres borrascosas y Agnes Grey. (Translation)
Pages and Patterns and Wrapped in Rhetoric review Lyndsay Faye's Jane Steele.
12:41 am by M. in ,    1 comment
An alert from the Haworth Arts Festival for
An Evening with Sally Wainwright
Saturday 23 July 2016
7.00 for 7.30pm
West Lane Baptist Church

We are delighted to be able to bring you An Evening with Sally Wainwright. Originally scheduled for the 18 June we have had to move the event to Saturday 23 July.
Sally will be in conversation with Barry Foster and we will be showing some of her work, hopefully including some footage from To Walk Invisible. Sally will be answering questions from the audience. If you have one in advance for Sally please let us know what it is on the form below.
Sally has recently had a very busy schedule filming To Walk Invisible on Main St, Penistone Hill and other locations. She is taking part in an up close and personal event that will explore her writing career. Sally grew up in Yorkshire and visits the area on a regular basis. She has helped to put Yorkshire on the map by filming locally for The Last Tango in Halifax, Unforgiven and Happy Valley, that won her the recent BAFTA awards for Best Writer and Best Television Drama Series.

Friday, July 22, 2016

BBCOne's Celebrity Masterchef episode filmed in Haworth is one of the news items of the day:
The  Telegraph & Argus:
The remaining contestants – including boxer Audley Harrison, comedian Tommy Cannon and Eastenders actor Sid Owen – will be seen cooking meals in marquees in the meadow behind the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
They will then serve about 70 specially-invited guests in the Old School Rooms, on Church Street, where the Brontë sisters taught during the 1800s.
Guests, who went along in period costume, included members of the Brontë Society, Brontë Parsonage Museum staff and their families, and some villagers.
The contestants were seen marching up historic Main Street in the closing credits of last Thursday’s episode of Celebrity Masterchef.
Among those tucking into food such as roast lamb with Wuthering veg, hake a la Rochester and Branwell Brontë pud were Brontë Parsonage Museum marketing officer Rebecca Yorke and her daughter Mala.
Rebecca said the Brontë Society was delighted to be invited to host an episode of Celebrity Masterchef, but those involved were asked not to tell anyone how the filming went.
Some staff were simply told in advance that a “BBC cookery series” was coming to the village.
Rebecca said: “We didn’t know it was Celebrity Masterchef until they turned up. It was great fun hosting the programme.
“Shine TV asked Brontë Society members, staff and other guests to be colourful. They asked if we wanted to dress up.
“They used the meadow for the marquees and we had a meal in the Old School Rooms.
“As part of the filming members of the Parsonage staff read extracts from Brontë novels like Jane Eyre. Then the contestants walked round the village.” (David Knights)
On the Haworth Village Facebook page you can find more behind-the-scenes pictures and videos.
More comments can be found on Press Association (with a selection of tweets from viewers), Daily Express, OK!, Coventry Telegraph, ...

Still in Haworth, The Telegraph & Argus remembers the joint initiative between the Brontë Parsonage and KWVR:
The Brontë Parsonage Museum and Keighley and Worth Valley Railway have launched a joint ticket initiative.
Visitors to Haworth can travel on a vintage bus between the two attractions as well as getting cut-price tickets.
Passengers buying an Adult Day Rover at any station on the Worth Valley line will be given a voucher admitting adults to Brontë Parsonage Museum for the reduced price of £5.50.
Museum visitors will receive a similar voucher entitling them to a Day Rover railway ticket for £14.
The vouchers are valid for one month from the date of issue. Vintage buses will operate daily until September 4 to help visitors travel between the two attractions
Brontë Society marketing manager, Rebecca Yorke, said: ‘We recognise there is much to see and do in Haworth.
“By working in partnership with a fellow attraction, we hope visitors will be persuaded to return and spend more time in the area, benefitting local shops and businesses.
“We also hope that local families looking for things to do in the summer holidays will take advantage of this special offer and explore the special places on their doorstep.”
Railway marketing officer, Sarah Howsen, said: “We have established a successful working relationship with the Brontë Parsonage Museum and look forward to developing our partnership further, with a regular series of special events and offers.” (David Knights)
Finally, in the same newspaper a brief account of the BPM events this month:
The Parsonage's first ever Poetry Festival took place early this month, and was a great success, despite a rather wet and windy start.
Gazebos were taking flight on Saturday morning, but were eventually tethered in place, and the sun finally appeared to make for a beautiful summer’s weekend.
Poets and visitors mingled in the Parsonage garden and various venues dotted around Haworth, enjoying stumbling upon a real mish-mash of poetic styles, whilst some chose to hone their skills in poetry workshops at the museum.
We hope to repeat the festival next year and build on its success.
Another first for the museum this month was Tracy Chevalier’s Twitter tour of our Charlotte Great and Small exhibition, which was a brilliant way of letting far-flung devotees of the Brontës see what’s going on in the museum this year.
Who ever thought the Brontës would be trending on Twitter! (David Knights)
The Parsonage is not for sale, but it seems that old rectories are hot on the properties market. The Times talks about it and mentions the house of the Brontës in Haworth.

Also in The Times, Charlotte Tuxworth recommends several podcasts for this summer, including Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time episode devoted to Jane Eyre:
The story of Jane Eyre is one of the best-known in English fiction. Jane is the orphan who survives a miserable early life, first with her aunt at Gateshead Hall and then at Lowood School. She leaves the school for Thornfield Hall, to become governess to the French ward of Mr Rochester. She and Rochester fall in love but, at their wedding, it is revealed he is married already and his wife, insane, is kept in Thornfield's attic. When Jane Eyre was published in 1847, it was a great success and brought fame to Charlotte Bronte. Combined with Gothic mystery and horror, the book explores many themes, including the treatment of children, relations between men and women, religious faith and hypocrisy, individuality, morality, equality and the nature of true love.
Dinah Birch
Professor of English Literature and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Liverpool
Karen O'Brien
Vice Principal and Professor of English Literature at King's College London
Sara Lyons
Lecturer in Victorian Literature at the University of Kent
Producer: Simon Tillotson.
The New York Times interviews the author Megan Abbott:
You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite?
Emily Brontë, Freud and Flannery O’Connor. That’s a tough, tough crew. I’m not getting away with anything at that table. There will definitely need to be martinis.
The current turbulent political situation in Kashmir finds a Brontë echo on Greater Kashmir:
"Sweet love of youth, forgive if I forget thee, while the world’s tide is bearing me along; sterner desires and darker hopes beset me, Hopes which obscure, but cannot do thee wrong!" I think of these verses from Emily Brontë as I sit in my balcony in the picturesque view of Srinagar, pondering over the tragic situation out here with a very heavy heart. (Gitanjoli Dasgupta)
Margaret Hickey finds in the Irish Examiner a curious thing in common between Angela Merkel, Theresa May, Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë:
Merkel and May are the daughters of church ministers and while parsonages are not usually thought of as places of exceptional privilege, they are places that value learning. Jane Austin(sic) and the Brontës had broken the literary glass ceiling in their fathers’ parsonages in previous centuries.
BBC Radio 4 lists some writers that have spent some time in prison. Including Jean Rhys:
By the 1960s, Jean Rhys was thought by many to be dead. After publishing a few minor works in the 1930s, she seemed to vanish completely. But she returned spectacularly with her prequel and reinterpretation of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre – Wide Sargasso Sea, released in 1966. But despite her reclusive nature, Rhys had quite a lively life prior to her literary successes. As well as stints as a chorus girl, nude model, demi-mondaine and possibly even a prostitute, she became the mistress of a wealthy stockbroker and then the wife of a Belgian conman and adventurer. In 1949 she found herself in Holloway Prison, charged with assault. She claimed a man had been rude to her, so she slapped him. After five days inside, and a psychiatric evaluation, she was sent back to the magistrates who ordered her to refrain from violent activities in the future.
Khaleej Times interviews the author Konstantina Sakellariou:
What are the books that shaped your outlook and changed your life?
That question is practically impossible to answer in an accurate and holistic way. I have read numerous books of various genres, and they have all contributed to the person I am today. I particularly love novels that focus on the importance of the human story- emotions, reactions, passions, weaknesses and personal victories over ego and pain are fascinating to me. I love classics from Homer as well as the works of the Brontë sisters, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Henrik Ibsen, Virginia Woolf, Naguib Mahfouz, Khalil Gibran, Nikos Kazantzakis and Anton Chekhov, just to name a few. More modern writers would be Jose Saramago, Haruki Murakami, Kazuo Ishiguro, Amin Maalouf and Orhan Pamuk. 
Bristol 24/7 explores Dartmoor:
This was my first moor. You never forget your first moor.
Sure, I had heard of moors before – as an American with a healthy interest in British literature, I had read Jane Eyre and Jamaica Inn and knew the moors were supposed to be sinister wastelands where people get sucked into bogs and ghostly voices cry out through the ever-whipping wind. Needless to say, I was very excited. (Alison Maney)
Il Manifesto (Italy) talks about the journalist and writer Grazia Livi:
Senza frenesie, distillando momenti d’essere in una svolta, nella meditazione di un rovesciamento, le strade di Londra, dove era già stata, ricongiungono al centro di sé, rammendando di imprevisto il già noto. Se colloquiare con una città significa perimetrarne le intenzioni – insieme alle proprie – in una peregrinazione audace di riconnotazione, in cui avere fiducia nell’incontro con l’altro, è nella vita di Livi che gli incontri sono stati tanti. Da Le Corbusier a Rubinstein, o anche Anna Banti – decisiva nella sua presa di coscienza letteraria. Tra quelli immaginari certamente c’è Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Carla Lonzi e poi ancora Rilke, Shelley e altri. (Alessandra Pigliaru) (Translation)
TSA-Tout sour l'Algérie (in French) reviews the novel La porte de la mer by Youcef Zirem:
Les épreuves subies par Amina défilent ainsi, de l’extérieur, un paradoxe pour des situations si intimes et des souffrances intériorisées, énoncées dans un style plus proche du roman Harlequin que d’Ahlem Mosteghanemi, d’Emilie Brontë, ou d’autres championnes de la condition féminine. (Nadia Ghanem) (Translation)
Elizabeth Hein interviews Luccia Gray who talks about her Eyre Hall trilogy: Magic, Ink and Stardust reviews Wuthering Heights.
12:30 am by M. in , ,    No comments
And today, July 22, the Long Beach Theatre Shakespeare Company presents a production of the Orson Welles one-hour adaptation radio play adaptation of Jane Eyre:
Jane Eyre
Adapted by Orson Welles
July 22, 23, 29, 30 8.00 PM
July 24 2.00 PM
Richard Goad Theatre
4250 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807

Charlotte Brontë’s “ unofficial autobiography” depicts the struggle between reason and passion, in a dark and mysterious atmosphere. The frightening, yet compelling, brooding, and romantic figure of Rochester is unforgettable as he lures the inexperienced, sensible, yet blooming Jane into a dreadful family secret.

LBSC presents this story in an hour-long radio play, adapted by Orson Welles, with original music by Edmund Velasco, and live sound effects produced by the cast! 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Thursday, July 21, 2016 7:30 am by M. in , , , , , ,    No comments

Both The Guardian, the Yorkshire Post and BBC News report the news that the copy of Robert Southey’s edition of The Remains of Henry Kirke White belonging to Maria Branwell, annotated by her and other members of the family (and containing also a poem and a piece of prose by Charlotte Brontë) has finally arrived in the Parsonage. We don't know why this story resurfaces now because it is basically the same as we already reported in December 2015. Even with the same comments by Brontë experts like Juliet Barker and Ann Dinsdale.
EDIT: Also on Halifax Courier, The Telegraph &  Argus.

You know that we at BrontëBlog are running a campaign to save the Red House Museum. Fortunately, we are not alone and The Friends of Red House are running a local campaign and an e-petition on the Kirklees Council website. The Spenborough Guardian informs:
A petition to save Red House Museum in Gomersal has reached more than 1,000 signatures in a week.
Under Kirklees Council budget plans the historic home faces the axe.
Friends of Red House member Ruth Yates said a petition which was created online and handed out in shops last week has been signed by 1,457 people.
“In a week that’s really good going. We really wanted to say a big thank you to the people of Gomersal,” she said.
“We hope that it will help to keep Red House open.” (...)
The petition reads: “Red House is the only example open to the public of a yeoman clothier’s family house and workplace, complete with outbuildings and historic, award-winning gardens.
“It was owned and run by the Taylor family for 400 years, who made a substantial contribution to the area’s textile industry.
“The family even ran their own bank from Red House for a little while.
“Charlotte Brontë was a close friend of Mary Taylor, and featured the family as the Yorkes, and Red House as ‘Briarmains’ in her novel ‘Shirley. “Considering these close links it is very sad that Kirklees Council has made this announcement when we are celebrating the 200th anniversary of Charlotte’s birth.”
People can sign the petition online until July 21 at consultation over the plans runs until Sunday. Visit (Jo Henwood)
The Chester Chronicle interviews the Marketing Cheshire director of tourism, Alison Duckworth:
What is your favourite book? I love to read and enjoy a variety of books, but if I was to choose I would select two as they had a profound effect on me – Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities and Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (Jo Henwood)
A couple of Brontë heroes in the What's on TV list of TV historical hunks:
Tom Hardy – Wuthering HeightsFrom East End gangster  to one of romantic literature’s sexiest brutes, a clean-shaven, Tom Hardy sizzled as Heathcliff in ITV’s 2009 adaptation of Emily Brontë’s novel…
Toby Stephens – Jane EyreDame Maggie Smith’s son Toby Stephens played Mr Rochester, Jane Eyre’s mysterious, brooding object of lust in the BBC’s 2006 adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel… He falls on desperate times but we, like Jane (Ruth Wilson), herself would overlook his bigamy for a bit of thingummy! (Mick Flood)
The Millions publishes part of the preface of the recent book Exquisite Masoquism by Claire Jarvis (which we already presented some weeks ago):
To understand the elements of the masochistic scene, consider one of the strangest moments in a very strange novel, when Wuthering Heights’s observant servant, Nelly Dean, comes upon Heathcliff, staring, it seems, at Catherine the Elder’s ghost:
Now, I perceived he was not looking at the wall; for when I regarded him alone, it seemed exactly that he gazed at something within two yards’ distance. And whatever it was, it communicated, apparently, both pleasure and pain in exquisite extremes: at least the anguished, yet raptured, expression of his countenance suggested that idea. The fancied object was not fixed, either: his eyes pursued it with unwearied diligence, and, even in speaking to me, were never weaned away. I vainly reminded him of his protracted abstinence from food: if he stirred to touch anything in compliance with my entreaties, if he stretched his hand out to get a piece of bread, his fingers clenched before they reached it, and remained on the table, forgetful of their aim.
Jettison for a moment the question at the heart of this brief passage (does Heathcliff see the dead woman’s ghost?) and focus instead on the physical scene it describes. Nelly perceives (or thinks she perceives) Heathcliff’s horror written on his face. But Nelly sees something other than horror there: rapture. Rapture and anguish, in equal portions, freeze Heathcliff in his attitude, staring at someone who may or may not be there, chilling his body so intensely that even a grasp for food fails. “Pleasure and pain in exquisite extremes” — here, the author describes a man moving — his hands “clench,” rigid, before they reach food — toward a starving death. Brontë’s inclusion of “exquisite” imagines there might be some kind of aesthetic satisfaction — or consummation — in Heathcliff’s experience. In all of its meanings, “exquisite” develops precision and cultivation so extremely that they can tip from pleasure into pain, from beauty into fastidiousness into horror. (Read more)
GQ runs quite a weird story:
A school in Sydney, Australia has banned clapping, citing "members of our school community who are sensitive to noise." (Read: teachers.) This is some Jane Eyre bullshit, I tell you what. (Lauren Larson)
Bookriot places Wuthering Heights at the top of a list of books for ... fans of  the Kanye/Taylor feud:
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë:
Let’s be real: Wuthering Heights is, without a question, the ORIGINAL train wreck what-are-they-doing-I-can’t-look-away book.
Often misrepresented as a romance,Wuthering Heights follows the relationship of Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, who drag everybody they know into a spiral of madness around their relationship. There’s multiple instances of bullying, humiliation, abuse, death, and ghost sightings, because if Emily Brontë was only going to write one novel before her death, then damn, it might as well have everything.
If you like the drama of the Taylor / Kanye feud and how it manages to drag everybody into it – and I mean everybody – then you’ll love Wuthering Heights. (Nicole Brinkley)
Freim (México) thinks that Wuthering Heights is a short (?) novel that you should read:
Este libro fue escrito en 1847 por Emily Brontë aka Ellis Bell y es todo un rush de emociones lo que podrás encontrar a través de sus páginas, desde amor, locura y vida, hasta sus extremos como la muerte, el odio y la venganza, en la que la dependencia entre dos personas puede llegar a convertirse en una tragedia. (Karen ZLW) (Translation)
La Opinión (in Spanish) interviews the author Steve Alten, clearly not a Brontëite:
MEG no fue escrito para adolescentes, es un libro para personas adultas, pero el público joven ADORA las historias de tiburones gigantes… A mí mismo me fascinaban cuando iba al instituto. Es puro entretenimiento, no como Romeo y Julieta o Cumbres Borrascosas (Zzzzzzzzzzzzz….) (Javier Peinado) (Translation)
Red Line (Greece) talks about laïcité and quotes Wuthering Heights:
Στην πραγματικότητα, μόνο η laïcité μας βοηθά να καταλάβουμε ότι οι ανθρώπινες κοινωνίες θα μπορούσαν ανά πάσα στιγμή να μετατραπούν σε πραγματική κόλαση αν δεν βελτιωθούν (όπως έμμεσα υπαινίσσεται η Emily Brontë στο μυθιστόρημα του Wuthering Heights), πράγμα που μας ωθεί στην πολιτική δράση με στόχο την αλλαγή της υπάρχουσας κοινωνικής θέσμισης, και όχι στην ανάθεση μιας υπόσχεσης για κάποια μεταθανάτια ζωή. (Μιχάλης Θεοδοσιάδης) (Translation)
12:59 am by M. in ,    No comments
A bit of Wuthering Heights opening tomorrow, July 22 in Cincinnati:
The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company presents
All the Great Books (Abridged)
by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor
July 22- August 13, 2016
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. & Sundays at 2 p.m.
Final Saturday at 2 p.m.

719 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Cincinnati, OH

All The Great Books (abridged) is an uproarious roller-coaster ride through a comically compact compilation of the world’s greatest literature!  Watch as 3 actors cover over 90 books in 90 minutes from 1984 through Wuthering Heights.  Everyone from the illiterate to the literati will love this refresher of literature’s greatest hits including Huckleberry Finn, The Odyssey, Green Eggs and Ham, Pride and Prejudice, The Bible, Harry Potter…and more!   Sold-out audiences who raved about our “abridged” versions of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, The Complete History of America and Every Christmas Story Ever Told, surely will flip as we present All the Great Books (abridged)!
Directed by CSC Producing Artistic Associate, Jeremy Dubin
With Miranda McGee, Justin McCombs and Geoffrey Barnes.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Keighley News reports the award received by the creators of the new musical Wasted:
A new rock musical about the Brontë siblings was this week honoured in the Kevin Spacey Foundation Artists of Choice awards.
Wasted, which will receive a ‘work in progress’performance at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds in October, was named UK Musical Theatre winner.
Wasted is described as the remarkable true story of four young people with huge passions and amazing dreams.
A spokesman said: “Misfit kids from a Yorkshire village yearn to be heard, find fame beyond their wildest hopes and die tragically young.
“It is full of energy, emotion and humour, with songs inspired by their shocking, controversial genius. Wasted is the Brontës as you have never seen them before.” (David Knights)
The Bookseller republishes the news of the acquisition by the Brontë Society of the copy of Robert Southey’s The Remains of Henry Kirke White that belonged to Mrs Maria Brontë, including annotations by the Brontë children and unpublished material by Charlotte Brontë. (check this December post) and adds:
Members of the Brontë Society were allowed to view the book at their annual summer festival held last month in June. It is currently available to view as part of the "Treasures Tours" organised by the museum and is due to go on public display at the Parsonage in 2017.  (Katherine Cowdrey)
Daily O tries to anwer why Elizabeth Bennet remains Jane Austen's most powerful heroine. Regrettably the Brontë reference comes with a blunder:
Even today, Elizabeth Bennet with her wit, humour, intelligence and defiance, strikes a deep chord with modern women like myself.
Yes, I now prefer trials of a troubled yet self-sustaining individual like Emily Brontë's (!!!!) Jane Eyre over her.
But Ms Bennet was also unconventional in her own way, portrayed as more conservative and traditional than Ms Eyre but still different enough in 1813 when the book was first published and she was formally introduced to the world. (Twisha Chandra)
Fortunately(?), the blunder is compensated but yet another one, this time in Female First:
The English countryside is the heartland of romantic fiction. Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet found love surrounded by the beauty of Hertfordshire in Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte Brontë's (!!!) Catherine Earnshaw was swept off her feet by Heathcliff on the Yorkshire Moors in Wuthering Heights and even Gilly Cooper set all her steamy stories in the Cotswolds.
Science Daily highlights a recent article on reading fiction and mental health:
It's assumed that reading fiction is good for your mental health, but evidence linking Jane Eyre or Anna Karenina to a broadened mind has been mostly anecdotal. In a Review published on July 19 in Trends in Cognitive Sciences, a psychologist-novelist delves into that issue, arguing that reading or watching narratives may encourage empathy. By exploring the inner lives of characters on the page, readers can form ideas about others' emotions, motives, and ideas, off the page.
The actual paper can be read here:  Oatley, K. Fiction: Simulation of Social Worlds. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2016.06.002

We cannot but love the awesome DIY painted stairs as published on Metro:
Propping up the bottom of the pile sit three weighty classics – Wuthering Heights, Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, and Moby Dick. Because you need something to anchor that towering stack. (Alison Lynch)
Picture:  Pippa Branham/Facebook

Broadway World publishes a minibio of the playwright Brynne Frauenhoffer who is developing a Jane Eyre adaptation:
Brynne Frauenhoffer is a recent graduate from the University of Oklahoma, now living in Chicago. Her play Synchronicity will soon be workshopped at Salt Lake Acting Company; she is currently developing an adaptation of Jane Eyre for Adapt Theatre Company, and will have a play in the Snapshots 10-Minute Play Festival at 20% Theatre Company Chicago.
The Washingtonian reviews the novel The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close:
As Tolstoy’s old adage proves, unhappiness is the bedrock of much of great literature. Without discontent we wouldn’t have his Anna Karenina, or Jane Eyre, or Lily Bart, or Clarissa Dalloway, or Isabel Archer—miserable, fascinating women. A joyful protagonist doesn’t hold much interest. But those women, along with thousands of other literary mopes, are impressive feats because they explore and study their pain, seeking to alleviate it or even to compound it. Their thoughts spin barbed circles around their fates. They wrestle with the choices that will define their psyches. They grow. Beth does not. (Hillary Kelly)
Khmer Times (Cambodia) reviews Wuthering Heights:
I totally enjoyed this gripping book―if skipping work and meals just to finish it count as “enjoying.” I would recommend this book to anyone who craves a solo vacation yet can’t afford to get away. The lonely moors, and Heathcliff’s strange life story, will make a perfect trip for you. (Seak Sokcheng)
The Express Tribune (Pakistan) reports the re-opening of the British Council library in Karachi:
The library also houses four meeting rooms, where 20 people can gather for group-based discussions. The rooms are named after famous personalities such as poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, artist Sadequain and writers Roald Dahl and the Brontë sisters. (Saadia Qamar
A Brontë reference on
Part of me wishes I could walk around with my hand fan and just be done with it, but no matter how hard I try it’s just not the same, and I’m not sure how convinced people would be if I said I was auditioning for a part in Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights. (Sarah Jane)
Der Freitag (in German) has a funny article with an appearance of the period drama (Brontë) cough:
Downton Abbey – das Hörspiel wäre genial für lange Fahrten mit dem Landrover durch die Moore der Maul- und Klauenseuche, der hustenden Brontë-Schwestern wie der rosa Trainingsanzüge tragenden Vicky Pollards (ein dralles Mädchen aus Little Britain,das stets „Aber ja, aber nein, aber ja, aber nein“ sagt).
Eastern Daily Press announces that the National Theatre's Jane Eyre 2017 tour will come to the Norwich Theatre Royal in July 2017; The Library Ladies review Jane Steele.
The Brontë bicentenary is also being celebrated at Gawthorpe Hall, Padiham, Burnley:
Literary Lions: Charlotte Brontë at Gawthorpe Hall exhibition
Sat 18 Jun to Sun 30 Oct 2016

The display showcases the effect that Charlotte’s friendships, especially with Elizabeth Gaskell, and her visits to Gawthorpe Hall staying with the Kay-Shuttleworth family had on her literary legacy.
The social importance assigned to Charlotte and to Elizabeth Gaskell, by Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth, will also be illustrated.
Some of the objects featured in the exhibition have been loaned from the Brontë Parsonage Museum. These include items belonging to Charlotte Brontë.
An original letter written by Charlotte to Janet Kay-Shuttleworth, after her first stay at Gawthorpe Hall, is also on display. This has rarely been on public display previously.
Other items include period costume dress from the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection. The exhibition also looks at what Padiham would have been like when Charlotte visited. A pharmacy book from the 1830s, with prescriptions for the Kay-Shuttleworth family, is also on display. This has never been on public display previously.
County Councillor Marcus Johnstone, cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, said: “We know that Charlotte stayed at Gawthorpe Hall twice, and the exhibition will bring out the connection b
etween Charlotte, Elizabeth and the powerful Kay-Shuttleworth family.
“Visitors will be able to gain an insight into what the hall would have been like when Charlotte visited, and also what Charlotte felt about her visits and the adulation she received from Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth.
“Anyone interested in the Bronte’s and their legacy, and also British literature, will find this really interesting.”
“On a personal level, as I’m the county councillor for Padiham and I also live close to Gawthorpe Hall, I’m always really pleased to see such interesting exhibitions hosted.”
For more information and to book tickets telephone 01282 771004 or email
Gawthorpe Hall is run by Lancashire County Council’s museum service on behalf of the National Trust.
Normal opening times are 12pm to 5pm Wednesdays to Sundays, with last entry to the hall at 4.30pm. The museum is open on Bank Holidays.
Admission is £4 for adults and £3 for concessions. National Trust members and children go free.
To find out more about Gawthorpe Hall and other Lancashire County Council museums visit

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 3:24 pm by M. in , , , , , ,    No comments
The Telegraph, BBC News, The TimesMetro... carry a nice love story involving, among other things, a Jane Eyre quote on a Tweet:
A book lover who declared her love for the man running the official Waterstones Oxford Street Twitter account has revealed how she eventually ended up marrying him.
Victoria O’Brien had tweeted Waterstones Oxford Street in 2012, posting: "Well I'm in love with whoever is manning the @WstonesOxfordSt account. Be still my actual beating heart." (...)
On July 17 she tweeted a photo of herself and new husband Jonathan O’Brien on their wedding day, alongside her original tweet.
She included a famous quote from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë in the tweet, which has been shared and liked by more than 30,000 Twitter users. (Mark Molloy & Hannah Furness)
Congratulations to the people behind the musical Wasted which has won UK Best Musical Theatre Artists of Choice Awards given by the Kevin Spacey Foundation (via Whats On Stage). A  ‘demo-tape’ workshop will be performed this October at the West Yorkshire Playhouse Brontë Season.
The winner of the UK Musical Theatre category was Wasted by Adam Lenson, Christopher Ash and Carl Miller. The rock musical drama tells the story of the Brontë siblings, with songs inspired by the sisters. (Will Longman)
Spooky entertainment at the Black Bull in Haworth according to Keighley News:
A company providing special access to a Haworth venue for ghost-hunting events has more eerily entertaining fun in store this summer.
Lost Ghost Nights has already run an event at the Black Bull, in Main Street, last month. (June)
The proceedings were launched by TV and radio historian Simon Entwistle, who staged a ghost walk around Haworth.
Participants were then treated to a "lock in" at the Black Bull where they investigated the property for ghosts then rounded the night off with a graveyard vigil.
The Black Bull will again be the venue for a similar night on Monday July 25.
This begins with dinner from 8.30pm to 9.30pm then a ghost investigation from 9.30pm to 2am.
As well as being known for reported sightings of ghosts and poltergeist activity, the Black Bull was infamous for being the regular ‘haunt’ of troubled drug addict Branwell Brontë, brother of the famous literary sisters. (Miran Rahman)
Next Thursday on BBC1, Celebrity Masterchef in Haworth:
Cooking up history were Celebrity Masterchef contestants as they catered for a Brontë feast in Haworth.
The semi-final of the popular show, filmed in the village last Easter, will be screened on Thursday at 8pm on BBC One.
The remaining contestants will be seen cooking meals in marquees in the meadow behind the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
They will then serve around 70 specially-invited guests in the Old School Rooms, on  (David Knights on The Telegraph & Argus)
New Statesman reviews The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry:
As the tension increases with portents such as “a plague of cuckoo-spit in the gardens” and “a cat aborting its kittens on the hearth”, The Essex Serpent recalls variously the earthiness of Emily Brontë, the arch, high-tensile tone of Conan Doyle, the evocation of time and place achieved by Hilary Mantel and Sarah Waters and the antiquarian edgelands horror of M R James. (Ben Myers)
Mallory Ortberg remembers in The Guardian how she was able to publish Texts from Jane Eyre:
Texts from Jane Eyre was the first book I ever wrote, or even tried to write, and when I found my agent, I rather assumed my part in the process was done. She had approached me about the project, so I assumed an editor would approach her in turn, and I would continue to attract publishing attention like a sea anemone attracts shrimp. This turned out not to be the case: it took over a year, and quite active shopping, to sell the book proposal, rather than seeing it snapped up straight away.
The Huddersfield Daily Examiner recommends a visit to Oakwell Country Park
Oakwell Country Park, Birstall
Older children might enjoy seeing the exterior of Oakwell Hall, featured by Charlotte Brontë as Fieldhead in her novel Shirley, while most will love to explore the country park with its rolling acres and many places to picnic. There’s a small admission charge for the house but if the weather’s fine then the great outdoors, with play park and nature trail, is just as fine a place to be. A cafe on site offers drinks and snacks and there’s ample free parking. (Samantha Gildea)
Big Issue North vindicates the figure of Ethel Carnie Holdsworth:
Realising the potential of stories to get her politics out to a wider audience, Carnie Holdsworth was a committed literary experimenter, dabbling with a variety of popular genres – detective fiction, romance, the gothic. She sold well. Her 1917 book, Helen of Four Gates – an even darker take on Wuthering Heights – was a bestseller here and in the US, and was also made into a film. (Nicola Wilson)
Bookriot on unintentionally creepy love interests.
If you’ve ever actually been hit on by your boss, you know what I mean by this being a creepy situation. I have never felt as physically creeped out as I have in this situation, and it shows up quite a lot in fiction–going back even to Jane Eyre. (Susie Rodarme)
On Vegolosi (Italy) we found the wtf moment of the month. Meet Charlotte Brontë the (irrefutable) vegan:
La testimonianza di Elizabeth Gaskell, amica e sua prima biografa, ricorda la mania del padre, trasmessa alle figlie, per la cucina vegetariana: anche se la biografia a loro dedicata è poi risultata fantasiosa in alcune parti secondo molti critici, questo aspetto della vita delle sorelle Bronte pare inconfutabile. E leggendo le pagine di Charlotte, determinata come la sua massima creatura, Jane Eyre, che celava sotto un perbenismo borghese una vita appassionata, non è difficile crederlo. (Yuri Benaglio) (Translation)
AlexcityOutlook tells about the local library's stairs literary makeover, including two steps devoted to Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights; Reviews by a Book Fanatic posts about Jane Eyre; the Portuguese and Spanish translations of  Villette and The Professors translationsare discussed on the Brussels Bronté Blog. The Brontë Parsonage Facebook Wall reports the visit of Josephine Reames, great grand-daughter of Sir James Roberts who gifted Haworth Parsonage to the Brontë Society in 1928.
12:30 am by M. in , ,    No comments
An alert for tomorrow, July 20th, at the Ryedale Festival:
Ways with Words 2 - Claire Harman – Charlotte Brontë 200 Years On
20 July 2016 3:00 pm
Helmsley Arts Centre, Meeting House Ct, Helmsley, York, North Yorkshire YO62 5DW, UK

Claire Harman looks at the life and legacy of Charlotte Brontë on the 200th anniversary of her birth in 1816. Her acclaimed biography paints the author as a literary visionary, trailblazer of feminism and driving force behind the whole family. She took charge of the family’s precarious finances when her brother succumbed to opium addiction. She also travelled throughout Europe, where she met some of the most brilliant literary minds of her generation and became a bestselling female author in a world still dominated by men. Above all, she created new kinds of heroine inspired by herself and her life: fiercely intelligent women burning with hidden passions.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Remember, tomorrow July 19:
Kirklees Council:
We will be holding information sessions at our museums and galleries, which will give you an opportunity to find out more about the ‘Cultural Vision’ and ask questions.
Tues 19 July 6pm Red House Museum
Places must be booked in advance here:
Nick Holland on his blog AnneBrontë.org explains quite nicely the importance of the Red House Museum with their links to the Brontës and the Taylors. 

Greenacres is a house in Mirfield which is on the market. The Yorkshire Post  Lifestyle section describes it and mentions that the Brontë could (may, might... who knows) have visited it:
Dating back to 1742, Greenacres is steeped in local history but its best claim to fame is that the Bronte sisters used to play in the garden.
Charlotte was a pupil then a teacher at nearby Roe Head School and her sisters Charlotte and Anne also studied there.
“They used to jump over the wall and play in the fields, which are part of our grounds,” says retired GP, Dr Abdul Hamid, who bought the house in 1988.
It's a sign of our times when a private property tries to increase its value with a loose connection with the Brontës whereas a public property, like the Red House Museum, with a strong link with them is threatened with closure.

The BBC Proms Extra event of today, July 18th,
7:45 Monday 18 Jul 2016 Imperial College Union
Arts & Ideas: Marking the bicentenary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth, Claire Harman, her biographer and Yorkshire-born novelist and author of ‘Chocolat’ Joanne Harris discuss her life and work.
The discussion is presented by Dr Gregory Tate from the University of St Andrews who is one of the New Generation Thinkers selected by BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council in a scheme to find academics interested in turning their research into radio.
Producer: Torquil MacLeod.
Edited version broadcast on BBC Radio 3 during tonight’s interval
This brief Charlotte Brontë comment on The Hindu In School section is a bit bizarre:
This English author made us cry with the story of Villette and inspired us through Shirley. The passion, with which she wrote and diligence with which she expressed her love for life, is evident in her books.
She was a narrator from whom we couldn’t get a clue as to what lay before us. Brontë wrote under the penname Currer Bell as she recognised that society was male dominated. Her works include Jane Eyre, Villette and Shirley .
An inspiration : I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself. (Jane Eyre)
All about teeth : Bronte spent much of her earnings from Jane Eyre on dentistry.
Also in The Hindu a game, Qwikipedia:
 Ever been on Wikipedia to look up an article? More often than not, we start with one topic, click a few links and within no time, are reading about something else.
Qwikipedia is a game that tries to quench this curiosity in us. The objective is to get to a particular Wiki page, starting from a specific article, using minimal clicks.
And this is today's challenge:
Monday’s Marauder
Uganda —> Charlotte Brontë
Send in your paths for the above to with the subject: Qwikipedia . (Visudha Nagarajan)
YorkMix announces that next November
 BBC History Magazine’s History Weekend returns to York for the second year running on November 18-20.
Building on the success of last year’s debut festival, more than 20 leading historians and authors will be sharing their passion for the past with fellow history lovers at the Yorkshire Museum and the 14th century Hospitium. (...)
Also appearing will be Juliet Barker on discovering the real Charlotte Brontë.
Gulf News summarises Wuthering Heights:
Though the Victorian novel portrays reality and strained relationships, the plot turns chaotic with disturbing elements. Critics have observed that a reader will understand better every time he/she reads between the lines.
One of the powerful quotes from the book that tugs at my heartstrings is: “If he loved you with all the power of his soul for a whole lifetime, he couldn’t love you as much as I do in a single day.”
The novel starts off as a not so delightful reading, but gradually gets engrossing and intriguing. The author has deftly handled contradictions amidst melodrama and tragedy. (Priyanka Nateri)
The Straits Times thinks that Engelbert Humperdinck, the singer is an 'huggable Heathcliff':
With his slicked bouffant, screaming-red shirt and pocket square, black jacket and trousers, he was a swarthy, huggable Heathcliff, swaggering such that it seemed the evening might descend into cheesy "I was there" reverie. (Cheonk Suk-Wai)
La Región (Spain) talks about the paintings of Nuria Guardiola and quotes from Wuthering Heights:
Es esta una propuesta que coincide en verano mas no es de verano, que hay en ella un decir coherente y maduro, con sabor autobiográfico, de la profesora artista. Pues ‘la gente honesta no oculta sus actos’, como diría la Emily Brönte (sic) de ‘Cumbres borrascosas’. (Xabier Limia de Gardón) (Translation)
LubimyczCzytać  (Poland) recommends holiday reads:
 Wichrowe wzgórza. Emily Brontë
A jeżeli w te wakacje macie ochotę na dobrą opowieść o miłości, to koniecznie sięgnijcie po „Wichrowe wzgórza” Emily Brontë. Tylko ostrzegam: To naprawdę mroczna historia! Miłość, obsesja, zemsta... a wszystko to w atmosferze bezkresnych, smaganych wichrem wrzosowisk. No i ten Heathcliff! (Catherine Pużyńska) (Translate)
Froggy Delight (in French) gives some examples of the madwomen in the attic examples in music:
Vous connaissez le mythe littéraire de la Folle dans le grenier ? Les exemples sont légion, de Bertha dans Jane Eyre à La Prisonnière des Sargasses de Jean Rhys, l’histoire de cette prétendue folle, relue d’un point de vue féministe. Aucune ne l’est vraiment, au fond. En musique aussi, il y a des disques de Folles dans le grenier : "You’re not mad you’re just lonely" de Delphine Dora et Half Asleep, "White Chalk" de PJ Harvey, et tout un tas d’albums des soixante dernières années.
Dans son dernier album, Cate Le Bon va encore plus loin : "I’m a dirty attic", chante-t-elle. Autrement dit, elle dépasse la condition de Folle dans le grenier : elle EST le grenier. Deleuze aurait adoré. J’avais envie d’en discuter un peu avec Sing Sing, du groupe Arlt, parce que je vois une filiation assez évidente entre leur musique et la sienne. (Mickaël Mottet) (Translation)
Badische Zeitung talks about the Stimmen Festival at the Rosenfelspark in Lörrack, Germany:
Holly MacVe aus Yorkshire, jenem armen Landstrich Nordenglands, der die Fantasie der Dichterinnen beflügelte, hatte es zum Einstieg ungleich schwerer. Die blonde Sängerin knüpfte so gar nicht an die Wuthering Heights-Romantik der Brontë-Schwestern aus ihrer Heimat an, sondern hat sich einem US-amerikanischem Klangidiom verschrieben – insofern auch sie Nomadin.  (Stefan Franzen) (Translation)
Hello! (Serbia) lists passionate couples in literature:
Džejn i Mr. Ročester
Radnja je smeštena u ruralnu Englesku 1820. godine u vreme kada su novac i imetak bili značajnijih od svega ostalog. Junakinja čuevanog romana Šarlote Bronte, Džejn Ejr još kao devojčica ostala je bez roditelja, a odgajala ju je okrutna ujna, koja je vrlo brzo šalje u internat ne bi li se tamo obrazovala. Bledunjava i neugledna Džejn nakon toga se pojavljuje kao guvernanta u domu Ročesterovih. Između nje i gospodina Ročestera za koga ona veruje da je udovac, strasti se polako rasplamsavaju, ali ona otrkiva da je njegova žena (inače mentalno obolela) živa i da se nalazi zatočena u jednoj od prostorija kuće. Nakon ovog saznanja Džejn je skrhana, ali ponajviše jer ju je Ročester lagao, zbog čega odlazi. Iako nam se sve vreme čini kako je ovo jedna od onih tmurnih i tužnih engleskih drama, kraj je ipak srećan: Ovo dvoje život ipak ponovo spaja i ljubav se među njima ponovo rasplamsava, and they lived happily ever after! (Translation)
E. Lockhart writes on the WHSmith Blog  about the connection (if any) between her novel We Were Liars and Wuthering Heights; Literary Branches has a post on Jane Eyre. On Les Soeurs Brontë (in French) continues the analysis of Villette.
12:30 am by M. in    1 comment
A couple of new Brontë-related theses:
Finding Freedom for Jane: A Reading of Subjugation, Shame, and Sympathy in Charlotte's Brontë Jane Eyre
Rebecca Shaver, Clemson University
Master of Arts (MA) -05-2016

In an investigation of Charlotte Brontë's novel, Jane Eyre, Jane clearly desires liberty in the form of social belonging or freedom, and makes the active choice to pursue it, but finds that liberty is ultimately best won not by an antagonistic battle, but instead through subjugation by those of a higher class than herself. As a social inferior, the mere association with a higher-class family name (whether that is through employment, marriage, etc.) is enough to set Jane's eye on the ultimate goal of total autonomous freedom through social climbing. Jane actively participates in subjugation as a means to elevate her state in society, evident through choices of language. This language ranges from inhuman equations to magical creatures to derogatory social labels, but functions in the same way throughout the novel. I assert that Jane is fully active in her pursuit of a place in society. It is paradoxically through assimilating to the language and culture of the higher classes and referring to herself as an inferior that Jane takes back her power. By acknowledging her inferiority through her language, either to herself or by participating in conversations with (or active silence toward) social superiors, Jane actively wrests conversation to her advantage.
The Afflicted Imagination’: Nostalgia and Homesickness in the Writing of Emily Brontë
James Thomas Quinnell
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
March 2016

This thesis discusses homesickness and nostalgia as conditions that ‘afflict’ to productive ends the writing of Emily Brontë. Homesickness and nostalgia are situated as impelling both Brontë’s poetry and Wuthering Heights. To elucidate these states, close attention is paid to Emily Brontë’s poetry as well as Wuthering Heights, in the belief that the poetry repays detailed examination of a kind it rarely receives (even fine work by critics such as Janet Gezari tend not to scrutinise the poetry as attentively as it deserves) and that the novel benefits from being related to the poetry. Building on the work of Irene Tayler and others, this thesis views Brontë as a post-Romantic, and particularly post-Wordsworthian, poet. Much of her writing is presented as engaging in dialogue with the concerns in Wordsworth’s poetry, especially his ‘Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood’; her poetry and prose eschew Wordsworth’s ‘simple creed’ and explore ‘obstinate questionings’. In so doing, they follow his own lead; Brontë brings out how complex the Romantics are.
Chapter one focuses on the idea of restlessness as stirring a search for home. Chapters two and three, on Catholicism and Irishness respectively reflect on ways in which Emily Brontë used contemporary national debates in exploring imaginatively states of homesickness and nostalgia. The conceiving of another time and place to find a home in these chapters is developed in chapter four. This chapter considers Brontë’s internalisation of a home in her imaginative world of Gondal and argues for Gondal’s relevance. An imaginative home formed in childhood leads into chapter five which discusses Emily Brontë’s presentation of childhood; the chapter contends that Brontë imagines the child as lost and homesick, and rejects any ‘simple creed’ of childhood. Chapter six, which starts with the abandoned child in Wuthering Heights, focuses on the the novel as stirring a longing for home. The inability to find home, and particularly the rejection of heaven as a home, leads into a discussion of the ghostly as an expression of homesickness in the final chapter.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday, July 17, 2016 12:01 pm by M. in , , , , , ,    No comments
The Yorkshire Post carries an article about Haworth's real estate business and the Brontë 200th anniversary:
Brontë fans, walkers, train buffs, day trippers, vintage enthusiasts and real ale drinkers all love a day out in Haworth.
This year has seen a bumper crop of tourists thanks to celebrations and events in honour of Charlotte Bronte’s 200th birthday.
Estate agents say it is hard to know how many of these visitors decide to make Haworth their home but some do and its many charms and its literary claim to fame are certainly big selling points.
The term “Brontë Country” features in almost every property brochure and the parsonage, where the sisters grew up, and the moors that feature in their novels, are often highlighted. (...)
Visitors who coo over the quaint cottages on Main Street will be pleased to know that there is one for sale. The one-bedroom property also has a Brontë connection, as a previous owner, Archibald Leighton, was an associate of Patrick Brontë. The house is on the market for £120,000 with Dacre, Son and Hartley. (Sharon Dale)
Well, Archibald Leighton was indeed a contemporary of Patrick Brontë. But he was also a convinced Chartist and, although he and Patrick sometimes stood united (for instance, in the opposition to the  Poor Law Amendment Bill in 1834), they were more antagonists than associates.

The Guardian quotes an anonymous teacher about a completely unrelated topic, but we thought  the following passing reference quite funny:
The meeting started with: “I want to have a chat with you about a discussion you’ve had with one of your classes.” A variety of class conversations rolled through my head – a recent debate about Wuthering Heights had got a little heated. 
The Times suggests a weekend in Haworth:
It’s a funny thing. Charlotte Brontë and her family may be among the biggest draws to Haworth, but Brontë didn’t do much for the village’s reputation. “Haworth [is] a strange uncivilised little place,” wrote one of the West Yorkshire village’s most famous former inhabitants to her publisher. In another, she wrote to her friend Ellen Nussey, “[It is] such a lonely, quiet spot, buried away from the world,” as she lamented her return home from Brussels.
No doubt the author of Jane Eyre would have been perturbed by Virginia Woolf’s observation that “Haworth expresses the Brontës; the Brontës express Haworth”. (Fiona Wilson)
The Toronto Film Festival website (TIFF) publishes an article highlighting the similarities between The Beauty and the Beast and Jane Eyre (not the first one to notice them, by the way):
She’s a bookish young woman. She defies authority and lives by her own rules. She moves away from an abusive family and into the mansion of a rich aristocrat. He’s tall and beastly, rude and impassive. Their personalities clash. Slowly, they find solace — in each other, in their shared interests, in their contrasting values and the humour when those two things inevitably clash while they live together.
The man’s servants are friendly and caring towards the girl. They fiddle uncomfortably when she asks personal questions about their master’s past. Slowly, the girl gains the affections of the beastly lord of the house. In turn, she begins to care for him, to the point that she considers him a friend. They spend time together and learn from the vast chasm that separates their worlds.
But then, she learns what his terrible secret is. It’s ghoulish, and it horrifies her so much that she runs far away from the castle, back to her family. Eventually, when she realizes that the beastly man’s life took a turn for the worse after she left, she comes back to him. Her love saves him; it literally transforms him into a new person. They get married and live happily ever after. (Read more) (Vanessa Hojda)
A very curious fashion show in the Asheville Citizen-Times:
The Asheville Community Theatre’s signature fundraiser returned for its fifth year bigger than ever.
Costume Drama: A Fashion Show displayed the hard work of dozens of area designers who created wearable art in the categories of paper, light, plastic and artistic license - the fashion interpretation of famous works of art. (...)
In the paper category, Mars Hill University graduate Tricia Ellis, 23, entered a bibliophile’s dream dress made from the pages of classic books such as "The Great Gatsby," "Wuthering Heights" and Mary Shelley’s "Frankenstein."
The full gown took weeks to construct with help from friends and was so big that she had to borrow her boss’s car just to get it to the show.
The hard work was not in vain, as she not only got to see a creation of her favorite words strut down the runway but she also took Best in Show, the grand prize of the event. (Angeli Wright) (Photo: Angeli Wright)
El Mundo (Spain) describes Theresa May's dress style using Brontë (somewhat misleading) references:
Comparte con la princesa Ana un pasado de rebeca lila y moño bajo deshilachado tipo Jane Eyre. Su estilo en los 80 era propio de hermana Brontë, con perlitas y cuello de bebé, entre decimonónico y kitsch. (Beatriz Miranda) (Translation)
The Stuff covers the Christchurch Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever event; ABC,  The Age, Der Tagesspiegel and the Daily Mail talk about the Melbourne one; VLT has pictures of the Uppsala one; Northern Star follows Lismore's event, the Globe and Mail is in Montreal, etc...

Diario de Sevilla (Spain) reviews the latest novel by Charlotte Cory:
Como artista plástica, Charlotte Cory (Bristol, 1956) se ha dedicado a desarrollar lo que podríamos llamar "pastiches victorianos": varias propuestas a modo de collages con motivos animales. De ellas, su trabajo más conocido es Visitorian: una serie de tarjetas de visitas alteradas -hasta hace poco, expuso una muestra en torno a Charlotte Brontë en el Sir John Soane Museum de Londres, lugar que recoge una colección tan inclasificable y peculiar como las mismas propuestas de la artista-. (Pilar Vera) (Translation)
To Read a Novel reviews World of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley.
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
A new scholar book with Brontë-related content:
Romance's Rival
Familiar Marriage in Victorian Fiction
Talia Schaffer
Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190465094

Romance's Rival argues that the central plot of the most important genre of the nineteenth century, the marriage plot novel, means something quite different from what we thought. In Victorian novels, women may marry for erotic desire--but they might, instead, insist on "familiar marriage," marrying trustworthy companions who can offer them socially rich lives and futures of meaningful work. Romance's Rival shows how familiar marriage expresses ideas of female subjectivity dating back through the seventeenth century, while romantic marriage felt like a new, risky idea.
Undertaking a major rereading of the rise-of-the-novel tradition, from Richardson through the twentieth century, Talia Schaffer rethinks what the novel meant if one tracks familiar-marriage virtues. This alternative perspective offers new readings of major texts (Austen, the Brontës, Eliot, Trollope) but it also foregrounds women's popular fiction (Yonge, Oliphant, Craik, Broughton). Offering a feminist perspective that reads the marriage plot from the woman's point of view, Schaffer inquires why a female character might legitimately wish to marry for something other than passion. For the past half-century, scholars have valorized desire, individuality, and autonomy in the way we read novels; Romance's Rival asks us to look at the other side, to validate the yearning for work, family, company, or social power as legitimate reasons for women's marital choices in Victorian fiction.
Comprehensive in its knowledge of several generations of scholarship on the novel, Romance's Rival convinces us to re-examine assumptions about the nature and function of marriage and the role of the novel in helping us not simply imagine marriage but also process changing ideas about what it might look like and how it might serve people.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Saturday, July 16, 2016 6:14 am by M. in , , ,    No comments
GeekMom reviews both Jane Steele and The Madwoman Upstairs:
Shiri is not a lover of Charlotte Brontë (*ducks tomatoes and excrement thrown at her as she is placed in the stocks*). She loves gothic and she loves period, but she has never been able to reconcile time spent on a Brontë when there was Austen to be devoured. She was, thusly, somewhat hesitant to delve into Jane Steele but was unable to resist when a friend, who is equally enthusiastic about books, called it “the only book I need for the rest of my life.” And Shiri is very glad she checked her inclinations because they would, in this case, have led her astray and been the cause of her missing out on yet another wonderful read.
Simultaneously a gothic-style novel and a satire of the same, Jane is murderess with a cause and that cause is righteous. By turns tragic, hilarious, hysterically funny, and romantic, Shiri found herself thoroughly engrossed by Faye’s original, innovative, and somehow grounded, work. There’s even a bit of education to be had as regards Sikhism and the religious and racial politics of the time. A third highly recommended read for the month. (...)
Sophie‘s book club chose The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell and she tore through the 352 pages in only a few days. From the blurb, Sophie imagined this to be something approximate to The Da Vinci Code, only focused on the legacy of the Brontë sisters. (...)
Sophie described this book to her husband as a pretentious book about pretentious people having pretentious conversations. That doesn’t necessarily mean that she disliked it, she grew up attending a very pretentious English private school herself and so the characters were very much speaking her language, however, she did feel that the book tried so hard to assert its own cleverness that it became bogged down by a strange lack of substance. She did find the ending particularly annoying, that being said, the book made her want to pick up all the Brontë novels she has yet to read (so… most of them) so if nothing else it was inspiring. (Sophie Brown)
The Sydney Morning Herald on failure as an important life lesson (although we don't agree with the Jane Eyre example):
Failure stories are better. Jane Eyre wouldn't have been Jane Eyre if Jane hadn't flunked life's lottery and ended up in semi-indentured slavedom chez Rochester. Nobody would have wanted to read about an Anna Karenina whose decision to leave her husband for Count Vronsky turned out to be a sensible one. (Jacqueline Maley)
The Guardian interviews the writer James Kelman:
What he will say is that younger writers must discover the distinctive Scottish tradition themselves. “Writers like myself or Tom Leonard are working from that tradition, but maybe [younger writers] don’t realise that was what it is.” He points out that Justified Sinner, for example, the brilliantly eerie but neglected novel by Scottish author James Hogg, was published a couple of decades before Emily Brontë’s more celebrated Wuthering Heights. “I feel that there are all these areas in Scottish culture that are still not properly explored.” (Libby Brooks)
This columnist on TheWhig (Canada) tries to understand why British voted Brexit:
The tendency of some Britons to wallow in the past has been encouraged by the British entertainment industry. Movies and television programs relentlessly focus on bygone eras. The glory days of the Raj in India are evoked in productions such as A Passage of India, The Jewel in the Crown, King of the Khyber Rifles and Far Pavillions. Genteel life in the 19th and early 20th centuries is the subject of an array of productions such as Jane Eyre, The Forsyth Saga, Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey. All of this tends to encourage some people to look to a comforting past rather than face the present and the future. (Louis A. Delvoie)
Baby Names inspired by feminist literary characters on Romper:
 1. Jane From 'Jane Eyre'
Though it's been a popular name throughout history, Jane from Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre is a particularly empowering character. Despite her tragic childhood, Jane rises above and never doubts her potential and intelligence. Her name means "God's gracious gift" and is the perfect vintage sounding name for a little girl. (Olivia Youngs)
Der Tagesspiegel (Germany) explores the history of homosexuality in literature:
Gleich war es mit der erfüllten Liebe und dem unerfüllten Verlangen. Davon erzählten Emily Brontë oder Heinrich von Kleist; davon erzählte Goethe, erzählten alle in allen nur erdenklichen Abweichungen. Es ging dabei ganz selbstverständlich um die vielfältigen Spielarten der Liebe zwischen den Geschlechtern. Wer sich im 18. oder 19. Jahrhundert Hinweise auf die Liebe zwischen Männern erhoffte, wurde enttäuscht. (Alain Claude Sulzer) (Translation)
And Ziarul de Iași (Romania) lists the 'most popular male characters' in literature:
Heathcliff, La răscruce de vânturi, Emily Brontë. Heathcliff e prototipul bărbatului care nu numai că iubește cu pasiune, dar și vrea să posede în integralitate obiectul afecțiunii sale. Iar asta este teribil de seducător pentru un anumit procent de femei. Heathcliff este atât de atrăgător pentru potențialul lui de a fi schimbat de femeia pe care o iubește. Și ce femeie n-ar da orice să poată spune că a schimbat un iubit? (Translation)
Tinyletter comments on a fragment of Claire Harman's biography of Charlotte Brontë: the summer break when Charlotte started Jane Eyre.