Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Who wouldn’t be wooed into a visit to Haworth?

This season's activities put Haworth 'in prime location to welcome a new surge in tourism' in the opinion of The Telegraph and Argus.

With breathtaking scenery and quaint cobbled streets, who wouldn’t be wooed into a visit to Haworth, for long stay or just a stroll?
Haworth was one of many places throughout Yorkshire beamed around the world as the Tour de France Grand Depart peloton weaved its way around the county in glorious sunshine, illuminating the village’s dramatic moors and rambling landscape.
Already a popular magnet for tourists from around the globe, Haworth is an appealing destination. It is, of course, world famous as the home of the Brontes - the moorland, bleak and brooding, inspired the Bronte siblings to put pen to paper and produce their classic novels. For those eager to find out more about the family, the Bronte Parsonage Museum is the place to visit. The museum, maintained by the Bronte Society, sets the scene for the siblings’ domestic life and provides a range of information and artefacts.
With its cobbles and quaint old shops, this village is brimming with character. Along the cobbled Main Street, where a global audience was treated to the spectacular scene of the Tour de France peloton making its way through the village, a mix of retailers are plying their independent trades.
Boutiques selling beautiful clothes dwell among places offering lifestyle inspiration. Cafes and restaurants whet your appetite with tasty things to eat and there are places to turn your hand to pottery painting too.
In Haworth you are more likely to find unusual gifts you wouldn’t necessarily find on an urban high street - a draw for any discerning shopper.
According to Sarah Howsen, senior tourism development officer for Bradford Council, the village has seen a surge in new businesses showcasing more niche products from artwork to hand made chocolates. That, along with the many calendar occasions which take place here are proving to be a real draw for tourists and visitors alike.
It is such a quaint traditional place,” says Sarah. “In the last 12 or 18 months we have seen a real surge in new businesses, some really unique high end businesses are coming back in. You get the experience of Main Street and all the literary heritage as well.”
Steam enthusiasts bound for Haworth can be transported back in time along the Keighley and Worth Valley heritage railway, giving passengers a stunning view of Bronte country during their travels. From October 10 to 12 the railway hosts its popular Autumn Steam gala and real ale lovers can look forward to the Beer and Music Festival from October 23 to 26. [...]
From October 25 to December 20 the Haworth craft fairs will be pitching up at the Bronte Schoolroom, offering unusual gift inspiration in time for Christmas.
Following on from last year’s success of Haworth’s inaugural Steampunk Weekend, the event, combining science fiction with Victoriana, returns from November 21 - 23.
November is also the month when festivities really begin in Haworth. The traditional ‘Scroggling of the Holly’, with parades and entertainment, runs from November 29 - 30. The Victorian Christmas, running on December 6 and 7, sees traders sporting period costume and the torchlight procession on December 13 and 14 weaves its way down the Main Street, an atmospheric event, complete with carol singers, that promotes Haworth as the place to visit during the festive period. (Sally Clifford)
Stage and Cinema reviews Lifeline Theatre's take on Jane Eyre:
Director Dorothy Milne shows her impressive ability to build mood by combining William Boles’ set, Danny Osborn’s lighting and Christopher Kriz’ music to turn the noble estate where Eyre works as a governess into a true haunted house. The home is seemingly built from the skeletal white branches of birch trees and segmented into cell-like panels that provide glimpses of the secret workings within. John Henry Roberts’ Mr. Rochester serves as the perfect master of the house—his haughty and mischievous bearing gives way to moments of deep horror and vulnerability. His nuanced performance is sorely missed when he largely disappears during the play’s second act. [...]
Unfortunately Bhatt herself isn’t quite sympathetic enough as Eyre. She’s perfect at tight-lipped emotional constraint: Her finest moment occurs when she discovers her love interest is engaged, and sentences herself to draw her own flawed portrait as a reminder of her unworthiness. But Brontë’s tale is one of emotional release and redemption; even when Bhatt tells us she’s happy, fulfilled, and free, she doesn’t quite manifest those emotions with the passion the character deserves.
Nonetheless, with a violent madwoman, a creepy dead girl, and some grotesque makeup, Jane Eyre has a lot of the trappings of a modern haunted house, proving that the darkest fears are the ones you carry with you. (Samantha Nelson)
The Guardian Books Blog includes Henri-Alban Fournier in
the ranks of the novel’s one-hit-wonders, together with authors such as Emily Brontë, Harper Lee and JD Salinger. (John Dugdale)
While The Herald looks at the history of Chekhov's Three Sisters and reminds us of the fact that,
In 2011, Blake Morrison wrote a version of the play for the Northern Broadsides company which brought out the parallels with the Brontes.
Librópatas (Spain) lists the books mentioned in Friends:
- Cumbres borrascosas, de Emily Brontë, y Jane Eyre, de Charlotte Brontë
¡Otro episodio literario! Phoebe se apunta a clases de literatura en la universidad y Rachel decide copiarla. Y todos intuimos desde el minuto uno que no va a salir bien. Leen a las hermanas Brontë. (Raquel C. Pico) (Translation)
An interesting way of talking about the weather in the New Zealand Herald:
Thank goodness it was a beautiful day - what could they have done if the weather was bad enough for a Wuthering Heights imbued vision of Haitian economic sorcery. (Anna Wallis)
The Sofia Globe mourns the death of leading Bulgarian translator of English Zheni Bozhilova
Zheni Bozhilova, translator of more than 60 novels and several collections of short stories from English into Bulgarian, has died on September 21 2014 at the age of 86.
Among the works that Bozhilova translated into Bulgarian were Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Charles Dickens’ Little Dorrit, Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, Robert Graves’ I, Claudius and The Divine Claudius, Virginia Woolf’s essay collection Death of a Moth and Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine and Death is a Lonely Business.
Thoughts about Books posts about Wide Sargasso Sea.

Spirit Becomes Matter

A new scholar book with Brontë-related content:

Spirit Becomes Matter
The Brontës, George Eliot, Nietzsche
Author: Henry Staten
Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 9780748694587
Series: Edinburgh Critical Studies in Victorian Culture
Publication Date: Jun 2014

Traces the development of critical moral psychology in the central novels of the Brontës and George Eliot

This book explains how, under the influence of the new 'mental materialism' that held sway in mid-Victorian scientific and medical thought, the Brontës and George Eliot in their greatest novels broached a radical new form of novelistic moral psychology. This was one no longer bound by the idealizing presuppositions of traditional Christian moral ideology, and, as Henry Staten argues, is closely related to Nietzsche’s physiological theory of will to power (itself directly influenced by Herbert Spencer). On this reading, Staten suggests, the Brontës and George Eliot participate, with Flaubert, Baudelaire, and Nietzsche, in the beginnings of the modernist turn toward a strictly naturalistic moral psychology, one that is 'non-moral' or 'post-moral'.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Living, breathing things

The Yorkshire Post continues following the Brontë Society's inner battle:

A group of Bronte Society members unhappy with the direction of the literary society has submitted its bid to force an extraordinary general meeting.
Janice Lee, a retired deputy headteacher, said the group had gathered the required number of signatures to request an extraordinary general meeting and said the Brontë Society’s response was now awaited.
Critics are campaigning for the ruling council to step aside “to bring higher levels of professionalism and experience to the society,” according to a letter from two members earlier reported in the Yorkshire Post.
Brontë Society members John Thirlwell, a TV producer, and Janice Lee, have written to some members calling for fresh leadership.
They claim the society’s council has “lost its way” and was guilty of “micro-managing” the running of the Brontë Parsonage Museum, owned by the Society.
Earlier this month Bonnie Greer, president of the Brontë Society, rejected claims the literary group had “lost its way” saying the Society and Brontë Parsonage Museum were well run.
She said: “The Society is run in a professional manner by a diverse team of skilled individuals. Business strategies are in place and outcomes are continuously monitored.”
Ms Greer rejected claims that council members were “enthusiastic amateurs”, saying they had extensive professional experience. It was “surprising” none of those criticising the Society had stood for election at the annual meeting.
But back to the actual books, according to Click at Life (Greece), Jane Eyre is one of the 10 best books of all time.
7. Το θρυλικό βιβλίο “Τζέιν Έιρ” της Charlotte Brontë μιλά για μια νεαρή, φτωχή αλλά γεμάτη συναισθήματα γυναίκα, που βρίσκεται αντιμέτωπη με τη σκληρότητα και τον πειρασμό της κοινωνίας. (Translation)
Writer Eleri Stone would seem to agree, as she mentions Jane Eyre among her favourite rereads in USA Today's Happy Ever After.
Eleri Stone, author of Gun Shy
I like to reread books I loved as a child, the ones that made me fall in love with reading in the first place. The Chronicles of Narnia (which I read with my children), Jane Eyre and The Count of Monte Cristo are some favorites. (Veronica Scott)
In The Times, Kevin Maher tells about how his interest for literature began:
I had no interest whatsoever in words, vocabulary, reading, books or literature until I was at least 13 years old, and that interest only began because I was lucky enough to have a passionate teacher who managed to transform Hardy, Brontë and Keats into living, breathing things.
Artist Edgar Sánchez discusses using landscape as more than just a background in paintings in an interview for El Universal (Venezuela).
Y en la historia del paisajismo venezolano no parece existir ese contenido dramático. 
-Exacto. El paisaje no se ha tratado dentro del hecho dramático. Es decir, lo vemos en el cine. Lo vemos en la literatura. Ahora mismo pienso en Cumbres borrascosas, de Emily Brontë. Pero en la pintura, salvo en algunos ejemplos holandeses, no es usual. (Simón Villamizar) (Translation)
There's a recap of this year's Brontë Conference over at the Brussels Brontë BlogDelirious Documentations posts about Dame Darcy's illustrations for Jane Eyre. On Facebook, Haworth Brontescapes compiles all of photographer Mark Davis's pictures of Haworth and Brontë-related places. Victoria Hislop mentions Wuthering Heights in an article in The Times.

Aquila Theatre's Wuthering Heights US Tour

Today,  September 22, Aquila Theatre premieres a new adaptation of Wuthering Heights in Lexington, VA and begins a US national tour:

Wuthering Heights
Adapted and Directed by Desiree Sanchez
Cast: James Lavender, Kali Hughes, Calder Shilling, Lizzy Dive, Dale Mauthurin, Michael Ring

Aquila Theatre brings to life Emily Brontë’s classic story of all-consuming passion with its new production of Wuthering Heights.
The novel, one of the most famous works of world literature, was first published in 1847 under a pseudonym and is Emily Brontë’s only work. Wuthering Heights recounts the tale of ill-fated lovers on the lonely moors of northern England. Heathcliff and Catherine meet as children when Catherine’s father brings the abandoned boy home to live with them. The two grow up together, living freely on the moors while Heathcliff is tormented by Catherine’s brother. When Catherine’s parents die, her brother turns Heathcliff out, forcing him to live among the servants. Catherine marries and the crushed Heathcliff disappears. Years later, a wealthy Heathcliff returns, but is it too late for them?
Wuthering Heights is a deep and wide story of passion, revenge, family, class, and the supernatural. Over a century and a half later, Brontë’s magnum opus remains incredibly moving.
Bringing its signature style and dynamic approach, Aquila re-imagines one of the most famous love stories ever told with this heart wrenching new production. Aquila Theatre is renowned for its ability to adapt works of classical literature into enthralling and mesmerizing live performances. Impeccable design and a unique physical style combine with a marvelous cast to make Wuthering Heights an exquisite and captivating theatrical experience.
07:00 PM
Lexington, Va
The Lenfest Center for the Arts; Washington & Lee University
Wuthering Heights
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07:00 PM
Orono, Me
Collins Center for the Arts; University of Maine
Wuthering Heights
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12:00 AM
Orono, Me
Collins Center for the Arts; University of Maine
Wuthering Heights (Guided Tour)
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10:30 AM
Reading, Pa
Miller Center for the Arts
Wuthering Heights (Guided Tour)
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07:30 PM
Reading, Pa
Miller Center for the Arts
Wuthering Heights
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07:00 PM
Fairfax, Va
George Mason University Center for the Arts
Wuthering Heights
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07:30 PM
West Long Branch, Nj
Pollack Theatre at Monmouth University
Wuthering Heights
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07:30 PM
Galloway, Nj
Stockton Performing Arts Center
Wuthering Heights
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07:30 PM
Notre Dame, In
O'Laughlin Auditorium; St. Mary's College
Wuthering Heights
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07:30 PM
Interlochen, Mi
Corson Auditorium; Interlochen Academy
Wuthering Heights

03:00 PM
Clinton Township, Mi
Macomb Center
Wuthering Heights
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10:00 AM
Clinton Township, Mi
Macomb Center
Wuthering Heights
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07:00 PM
Platteville, Wi
Brodbeck Concert Hall
Wuthering Heights
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07:30 PM
Fremont, Mi
Dogwood Center for the Arts
Wuthering Heights
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07:30 PM
Whitewater, Wi
Young Auditorium; University of Wisconsin
Wuthering Heights
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07:30 PM
Idaho Falls, Id
Idaho Falls Arts Center; Colonial Theatre
Wuthering Heights
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03:00 PM
Albuquerque, Nm
Popejoy Hall Center for the Arts; University of New Mexico
Wuthering Heights
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10:15 AM
Albuquerque, Nm
Popejoy Hall Center for the Arts; University of New Mexico
Wuthering Heights
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10:00 AM
Pasadena, Ca
Beckman Auditorium; Cal Tech
Wuthering Heights (Guided Tour)
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08:00 PM
Pasadena, Ca
Beckman Auditorium; Cal Tech
Wuthering Heights
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07:30 PM
Tucson, Az
Center for the Arts; Pima Community College
Wuthering Heights
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03:00 PM
Tucson, Az
Center for the Arts; Pima Community College
Wuthering Heights
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Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Space where the soul slips through

Liberty Voice recommends reading to reduce stress:

Looking for ways to relieve stress? Some contemporary stress releases are Ken Follett, Daniel Silva, Walter Isaacson, Sue Grafton and J.K. Rowling or her alter ego Robert Galbraith. Some old tried and true ones are Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë or Fyodor Dostoevsky. Even some chick lit or vampire novels. Research shows someone can improve their concentration and reduce stress levels if they curl up with and read an engrossing book for at least 30 minutes of slow reading enjoyment. (Dyanne Weiss)
The Billings Gazette reviews Little Raw Souls by Steven Schwartz:
The title of the book comes from “The Glass Essay,” Anne Carson’s haunting poem about heartbreak, creativity and Emily Brontë, which finds complex humanity in the unobserved “space where the little raw soul/slips through.” (Danell Jones)
Daily Mail's You Magazine has an article about this year's WellChild awards. The winner of the inspirational Young Person Aged 12-15 award was able to face the most devastating moments with a smile:
Days later, however, Cecilia-Joy was being rushed back to the UK in an air ambulance after being taken ill with excruciating headaches – an emergency scan had shown she was suffering from a brain tumour.
‘It was the biggest shock. We just couldn’t believe it,’ says Jo. ‘But Cecilia-Joy said: “Don’t worry, Mummy, we’ll get through this.” And within half an hour, she was cracking jokes and asking: “Does this mean that I don’t have to read Jane Eyre for my English homework?”’ (Catherine O'Brien)
Nora Robert's Inn BoonsBoro always finds a place in the local press. This time in The Morning Call:
On the other side of the state, the Inn BoonsBoro in Western Maryland is owned by best-selling author Nora Roberts, who undertook a restoration of the historic building. Many of the inn's eight graciously appointed rooms and suites bear the names of literary lovers. Think Elizabeth and Darcy from "Pride and Prejudice," Jane and Rochester from "Jane Eyre," as well as Shakespeare's Titania and Oberon from "A Midsummer Night's Dream." (Donna M. Owen)
The Irish Independent interviews the chef Rory O'Connell:
The book that changed my life
Wuthering Heights for my Leaving Cert - I never knew at the age of 15 that such passion existed.
Diario de Cádiz (Spain) interviews the Spanish film director Gonzalo García-Pelayo:
En el imaginario popular la copla siempre ha estado asociada a una época y un régimen político determinado. ¿Cómo va a ser tratada en su película?
-Es un argumento falso porque la copla nace en la República con temas como Ojos verdes que no representan esa ideología. El género tiene gran éxito en la Dictadura y ésta intenta domesticarlo; se hacían coplas como Mi Jaca y se quedaban tranquilos. No pretendo tratarla desde una perspectiva histórica sino desde los elementos universales que se hallan en ella: el amor fou, las perversiones como el sadismo o el masoquismo. Lo que siempre les gustó a los surrealistas, el concepto de volcán, el ambiente de novelas como Cumbres borrascosas. "Ser esclavo por ti" o "Llévame por calles de miel y amargura" son letras que pertenecen a la copla más marginal a la cultura del Régimen, que no tienen que ver con la estética que por entonces imperaba. (Julio Sampalo) (Translation)
Diario Progresista (Spain) considers that Emily Brontë died in poverty (!) and Charlotte Brontë apparently in opulence (!!).
 Volviendo a las escritoras del desván podemos decir que algunas autoras no tuvieron éxito en vida porque eligieron escribir lo que querían a pesar del riesgo de ser malinterpretadas o incluso acusadas de “masculinas”, “soeces” o “poco delicadas” como ocurrió con el que sigue siendo el más célebre libro salido de la familia Brontë, que murió en la semipobreza salvo en el caso de Charlotte. Hablo claro está de Cumbres borrascosas, admirada un año después por los surrealistas y que ha conocido versiones complejas donde se ponen en evidencia algunos de los códigos de género, raza o clase de la época. El héroe romántico Heatchliff es un gitano, la heroína se salta todo lo que la familia patriarcal espera de ella. Y unos y otros no ocultan un odio feroz hacia esas buenas maneras que ocultan la violencia del capitalismo de la época, y las formas cada vez más variadas y complejas de mantener a las mujeres en roles pre-determinados. (Eduardo Nabal Aragón) (Translation)
The Pen & Muse interviews the writer Lin Scheller:
What do you like to read?
I read everything that I consider well written and compelling. Just to mention a few of my favorite books: the Count of Monte Cristo, the Hunger Games, Bonjour la Tristesse (sic) (Hello the Sadness), Pride and Prejudice, David Copperfield, Wuthering Heights, and so on, and so forth.
The Philadelphia Enquirer interviews the interim president of Bryn Mawr College, Kimberly Wright Cassidy who chooses Jane Eyre as her favourite book. A Wuthering Heights reference onan article about the new house of the comedian Alexander Armstrong in The Sunday Times. In the same newspaper we also found an article about the artist Paula Rego where her Jane Eyre-inspired paintings are mentioned.

A Read-Along an a Course

A read-along and a course, both starting next Monday, September 22:
The 2014 Jane Eyre Read-Along
is brought to you by the blogs A Night's Dream of Books & Babbling Books!

When Maria of A Night's Dream of Books and myself began to discuss doing a read - along the first question that came to mind was what book to choose.  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte became the apparent choice very early on. Maria and I have been discussing it lately and it is one of her favorites. Thus, this will be reread for her. For my part I have wanted to read this novel for a long time.
We have a schedule planned that will allow ourselves as well as other participants to engage in what I expect to be lively and stimulating posts and discussions. 
Details here.
Madness and the 19th-Century Novel
Bishopsgate Institute
Monday 22 September - Monday 01 December
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Tutor: Sarah Wise
Notes: This course takes place on alternate weeks
Mental illness – real or alleged – is a major theme or plot device in many 19th-century novels. This course examines a number of works, some well known, others less so, and will analyses the variety of Victorian views of insanity. Books include Jane Eyre, The Woman in White and The Fall of the House of Usher. 

For more information about this course and what you will learn, see the course outline

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The courageous Jane at the Wild West (or the kitchen chair at Salvador Dalí's cottage garden)

The Daily Mail gives some curious piece of trivia taken from the TV show QI (Quite Interesting). Apparently:

Charlotte Brontë was the first person to use the terms ‘cottage-garden’, ‘raised eyebrow’, ‘Now, now!’, ‘kitchen chair’ and ‘Wild West’.
To be found in the following novels and chapters:
cottage gardens: Chapter XXXVII Shirley
raised eyebrows: Chapter XIII Jane Eyre
Now, now :Chapter XVIII Jane Eyre
kitchen chair: Chapter  XVIII Jane Eyre  
Wild West: Chapter XXXVI Shirley

The Independent's football section talks about the Burnley Premier League team:
Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers has made a big statement of belief too, of course, and Southampton will probably field four Englishmen at Swansea. But it is in the surrounds of Gawthorpe Hall on the banks of Lancashire’s River Calder, where the Brontë sisters were once regular visitors, and where Sean Dyche’s players now train, that some of the English talents cast aside by billionaire owners are setting out in the top flight with something to prove. (Ian Herbert)
As a matter of fact, it was only Charlotte Brontë who visited Sir James and Lady Kay-Shuttleworth at Gawthorpe Hall. Hardly a regular visitor, though. She was there only twice, in March 1850 and after her marriage in January 1855.

Today's Brighton performance of Peter McMaster's all-male Wuthering Heights adaptation is discussed in Sussex Express:
Spokeswoman Emma Robertson said: “McMaster’s all-male, award-winning interpretation of Emily Brontë’s seminal text re-visits the iconic landscapes and characters from Wuthering Heights and places them alongside the stories of the male performers to consider how, almost 200 years after the book was published, the lives and aspirations of men are now different.
“Featuring overly-high drama, romantic violence, a touch of Yorkshire bleakness and a few alternative endings, the performance focuses particularly on Heathcliff’s mysterious disappearance from the moors, and his subsequent return as a man.
Meira Bienstock lists in The Huffington Post courageous literary characters:
Jane Eyre -- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre always has the odds against her throughout the novel. An orphan living with her tyrant aunt and terrible cousins, she is ridiculed daily. After being sent away to school, she becomes close friends to a girl named Helen. However, when Helen becomes terribly ill, Jane sleeps in the same crib, holding her before/as she dies. Staying strong, Jane takes up a position as a governess to the little Adèle at Thornfield Hall. The novel twists as she falls in love with her employer Mr. Rochester, and throughout the novel, their relationship becomes intimate intellectually.
Only, in comes the stunning and snobby Miss. Ingram, and Jane must watch as Mr. Rochester and Miss. Ingram court one another. To cope with the pain and to keep calm, Jane sketches two portraits with crayons: one of them Miss. Ingram (drawn as a lovely woman) and one of herself with the words written underneath, "Portrait of a governess, disconnected, poor, and plain." (Jane Eyre, page 191) She keeps them as a reminder as how she views herself in the face of Mr. Rochester. With this fierceness to keep her love for Mr. Rochester at bay, she holds her head high and keeps her lips sealed tightly unless spoken too. When the word of Miss. Ingram's and Mr. Rochester's marriage reach Jane's ears, she remains composed.
Daphne Guinness in The Independent recalls her days in Cadaqués:
Guinness grew up between the Midlands and Cadaqués, the Spanish town frequented and immortalised by Salvador Dalí. "We lived in a chapel up the mountain – we still do – and he lived in Port Lligat, which was down by the sea," recalls Guinness. "My mother, her first husband was his only pupil, and he was her great mentor. There was also Man Ray, there was also Duchamp – he died when I was one, I wish I had met him... So, there was this idea of there being a kind of haven, away from the dealers, the galleries, all of these things. It was tough then, it is really tough now. It is a fantastic place because it is very difficult to get to, our house is about... it takes about half an hour up a very, very, very winding dirt track and it is a chapel. No water, no electricity, no toys, nothing. So, it was great. Spanish Wuthering Heights." (Alexander Fury)
Ben Bromley describes his play Fishwrap in the The Dunn County News:
Of course, as my nine loyal readers no doubt suspected, “Fishwrap” is hardly a hard-hitting drama. It’s rife with puns, as well as jokes about booze and sex. Hey, it takes place in a newsroom: What do you think we talk about around here, the Brontë sisters’ collected works? (Ben Bromley)
The Huffington Post UK interviews the author Kate Mosse:
My women, I suppose, are a type of woman – but they are a fictional type, they’re not based upon anybody in the real world. I suppose you could say they’re inspired by characters from Emily Brontë, Daphne du Maurier, H. Rider Haggard – these great adventure and gothic heroes are the people who inspire my women. (Natasha Hinde)
Gawker talks about Daphne du Maurier and Rebecca:
But jealousy, not love, is Rebecca's subject. It’s Jane Eyre if Rochester mattered much less, and the mad wife in the attic much more (and if it turned out that poor Bertha Mason had, in her day, given some amazing dinner parties). (Carrie Frye)
Sheila Kohler insists on the parallelisms between Rebecca and Jane Eyre in Psychology Today:
I was struck too by the similarities between this novel and Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre.” Du Maurier’s shy timid young wife simply steps in for the governess, Jane Eyre. The narrator in Rebecca even starts out as a sort of governess or anyway companion when Max de Winter meets her in Monte Carlo. The mad wife in the attic from “Jane Eyre” is portrayed by the dead Rebecca. Or is it rather the housekeeper, Mrs Danforth, who seems particularly and madly obsessed with Rebecca, who terrifies us the way poor Bertha, the wife who is kept hidden in the attic, frightens the reader? The master of the manor, Mr Rochester at Thornfield is played by Max de Winter in Rebecca in his mansion, Manderley. They are both similarly paternalistic and condescending with their young paramours. Both great houses go up in smoke, literally, at the end, burning not only their properties but also the sins of the masters conveniently for both these female authors: Charlotte Brontë and Daphne du Maurier.
Laura Maw complains of the absence of female authors in GCSE set texts in The Huffington Post:
At GCSE, I studied Steinbeck and Priestley. My first year at A-Level, I studied Browning, Auden, Fitzgerald and Hosseini. It was only in the second year that I studied Carter and Brontë as well as Marlowe. Work by female authors took up less than a third of my secondary education space - and unequal gender representation is set to increase.
We read in Hello! Magazine and other news outlets we know how Anne Brontë's Farewell poem was read at the funeral of Dr Antony Kidman (Nicole Kidman's father) yesterday in Sydney, Australia. Book in the Bag reviews The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. nFold posts about Emily Brontë. Finally, Oubliette Magazine (in Italian) posts a life after death interview with the Brontë sisters themselves (who, by the way, could have said something about the arguable choice of portraits used in the post:  the usual spurious suspects and Ann Mary Newton's self portrait passing for Anne Brontë).

Fire at Thornfield Plus Emily's Poetry

Two new compilations with Brontë-related content:
Opening Doors to Famous Poetry and Prose. 
Ideas and Resources for Accessing Literary Heritage Works

by Bob Cox
Crown House Publishing
Format: Paperback with CD Rom
Published: September 2014
ISBN 13: 9781845908966

Opening Doors provides 20 units of work covering poetry and prose from our literary heritage. Each unit comes with exciting stimulus material and creative suggestions for ways in which the material can be used for outstanding learning possibilities. Illustrations and innovative ideas to help pupils access the meaning and wonder of the text add to the book’s appeal.
Pupils are encouraged, throughout the units of work, to engage with language, invent questions and write with flair and accuracy, bringing literature from the past to life and opening doors to further reading and exploration.
Also included is an introduction to the concepts used in the book and suggestions for a range of methods and pathways which can lead to language development and literary appreciation. Although the units are diverse and have a range of poetry and prose for teachers to use, the book presents cohesive methods for engaging children with a variety of different literary texts and improving standards of literacy.
Opening Doors both informs and excites. It contains everything you need for outstanding English lessons, including a free CD full of resources for primary English, including extracts from the literary works and activities to get started with. Let’s begin.
For teachers of 7–11 year olds.
Part 2: Opening doors to prose
14. Fire at Thornfield – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
100 Poems To See You Through
by Daisy Goodwin
Published by Ebury Press
ISBN: 9780091958176
Published: 4 Sep 2014

When times are tough - whether because of illness, bereavement or receiving bad news - it can be hard to find the right words. Help comes in the form of this beautifully packaged gift book, comprising 100 life-affirming poems handpicked by an expert on poetry. Grouping the poems by theme - from 'Hearing Bad News' to 'How To Carry On' - this gem of a book features contributions from classical poets such as John Keats, Emily Brontë, W.H. Auden and Christina Rossetti alongside lines from more contemporary poets such as Philip Larkin, Elizabeth Jennings, Raymond Carver, Carol Ann Duffy and Wendy Cope. It adds up to a wonderful pick-me-up - a self-administered drug guaranteed to make a dark day brighter and act as a great lyrical crutch.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Independent Brontës

The Telegraph looks at other parts of the UK wishing to break away such as:

Devolutionary credibility: 7/10
The Yorkshire devolution movement may be fairly small but my, is it feisty. The largest historic county in the United Kingdom has a population the size of Scotland and an economy twice the size of Wales – and some residents feel Yorkshire’s identity doesn’t get enough recognition as just one part of Great Britain. A nation state of Yorkshire would already have a national cuisine (Wensleydale cheese and Yorkshire puddings), a strong literary culture (the Brontë sisters), and perform well at the Olympics – Yorkshire would have come 12th in 2012 if it had competed as its own country. Geoffrey Boycott could be a strong contender for state figurehead, but let’s not encourage this trend – Yorkshire’s flat caps are at the heart of Britishness, and there they should remain. (Olivia Goldhill)
The Huffington Post lists five books that celebrate Scotland.
The Bride of Lammermoor by Sir Walter ScottIt doesn't get more Scottish than Sir Walter Scott. Although he may be best known for his other works like Ivanhoe and Waverley, the Bride of Lammermoor is one of his more entertainingly bizarre works. It is a Wuthering Heights style story of brooding men and obsessive love and fallen families, but the conclusion is more absurd than anything the Brontës offered. (Lauren Sarner)
The Independent reviews Gwendolen: A Novel by Diana Souhami, which features Gwendolen Harleth out of George Eliot's Daniel Deronda. This of course warrants a mention of Wide Sargasso Sea:
The novel re-costumes Gwendolen as the latest in a line of resurrected protagonists. Jean Rhys opened this terrain with Wide Sargasso Sea. Since then, heroines out of the Brontës, Austen and du Maurier have all made comebacks – even Virginia Woolf, if you count Michael Cunningham's The Hours. This sub-genre calls for a tricky blend of pastiche, homage, critique and re-imagining. (Boyd Tonkin)
The Guardian looks at the way some poets have written about death.
Rupert Brooke wanted some part of him to be “forever England”. Keith Douglas asked to be simplified when he was dead. Emily Brontë pleaded for death itself in Death. Emily Dickinson “heard a Fly buzz” when she died. Sylvia Plath assidously courted death in Lady Lazarus, and the poem made a conscious performance of it. (George Szirtes)
The Craven Herald and Pioneer tells its readers about the use of the long s:
Taking the easiest first, part of the answer lies in the use of the "long s", very similar to today’s "f", which was once standard with words that would now use a double "ss".
It went out of favour and fashion in the 1790s, but continued in more formal use for at least another 60 years. Charlotte Brontë writing to a friend in 1848 referred to the novelist Jane Austen as "Mifs Austen". (Lindsey Moore)
France TV Info features Coco Channel's apartment as seen by Sam Taylor-Wood.
De la bergère tendue de satin blanc sur laquelle Chanel fut photographiée par Horst en 1937, des paravents de Coromandel aux miroirs vénitiens, des murs recouverts d’éditions reliées de Shakespeare, Voltaire, Byron et Brontë, aux lustres en cristal de roche du salon sur lesquels un oeil attentif pourra déceler une floraison de camélias, sans oublier le chiffre 5, le double C, et les initiales G pour Gabrielle et W pour Westminster, aucun détail n’a été omis. (Corinne Jeammet) (Translation)
The latest on-screen Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester are mentioned in two different articles today. Here's how the Wall Street Journal describes Mia Wasikowska's portrayal of Jane:
In Cary Fukunaga's screen version of "Jane Eyre," she played Jane with calm, transfixing purity. (Joe Morgenstern)
While Stuff (New Zealand) shares an instagram image of a ferry passenger with Michel Fassbender. The passenger accompanied the pictures with a bit of fangirl gushing:
A-list actor and X-Men star Michael Fassbender is in in Marlborough.
"The Fass", as he is sometimes referred to, was spotted by fans on the ferry from Wellington to Picton yesterday.
One woman took to Instagram, a social media platform where you can share photos, posting a picture of herself with Fassbender on the ferry about noon.
She posted the photo with the caption: "Life is complete, met Michael Fassbender aka Mr Rochester [Jane Eyre] on the Wellington to Picton ferry!! #starstruck #michaelfassbender #newzealand."
People began commenting on the photo, to which the woman said she was "giggling like a school girl" after meeting him. (Chloe Winter)
The Big Issue interviews Amanda Owen, known as the Yorkshire Shepherdess. Her farm is described as
heather moorland – very Wuthering Heights. It’s all drystone walls and barns. The heather has started to flower so it’s got a purple hue. (Vicky Carroll)
An alert from Davis, California:
Jane Eyre,” a 1996 multi-national film directed by Franco Zeffirelli, will be screened Friday, Sept. 19, as part of the International Film Series.
The series is co-sponsored by the United Nations Association of Davis and International House. Doors at I-House, 10 College Park, open at 7:30 p.m. and the film begins promptly at 8 p.m. (The Davis Enterprise)
The two latest screen adaptations of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights are the subject of two posts: Film Intel gives 3 stars out of 5 to Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights Blu-Ray release and Cinema de novo writes in Portuguese about Cary Fukunaga's Jane Eyre. 

Finally, via the Brontë Parsonage Twitter, here's a clip of The Secret Life of Books episode on Jane Eyre featuring Ann Dinsdale and Bidisha. The programme is to be broadcast at the end of this month.

Wuthering Heights in Brighton

A new chance to catch the Peter McMaster adaptation of Wuthering Heights:

Peter McMaster
Wuthering Heights
Sat 20 Sep, 7pm & 9.15pm
Studio Theatre, Brighton Dome

Four performers explore their experiences of being men in Peter McMaster’s bold, award-winning, all male interpretation of Emily Brontë’s seminal text. As they recall the dark expanses of the Yorkshire moors, they sing together, full-throated, and dance optimistically to the howling tones of Kate Bush.
They ask, almost 200 years after the book was published, are the aspirations of men very different now? The energy of this brave new performance is not to be missed.
Presented by The Arches, Glasgow

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Somewhat recommended Jane Eyre

The Chicago Tribune gives 3 stars to Lifeline Theatre's Jane Eyre.

Charlotte Brontë's best-known novel, as adapted by Christina Calvit, makes its third appearance since 1991 on Lifeline's stage. But this production, directed by Dorothy Milne, marks my first visit to Calvit's version of Thornfield Hall. In Lifeline's hands, Mr. Rochester's gloomy home provides a suitably disquieting environment. While the show could afford to take bigger emotional risks, it succeeds at setting off the original story's Romantic-era notions of psychic duality through some stark but effective staging choices. [...]
Much of Jane's back story before she goes to Thornfield as governess takes the form of a hallucinogenic prelude. We get fragmented visions of her cruel treatment at the hands of her rich Aunt Reed (Kyra Morris) and the Dickensian (or Bronte-ian, really) privations she suffered at Lowood School, run by the vicious Mr. Brocklehurst (Anthony Kayer). Most piteously, Jane's dead school chum, Helen (Maya Lou Hlava), appears and reappears as a hollow-eyed specter in a blood-spattered white shift, repeatedly telling her "You think too much of the love of human beings, Jane."
Given how little of that love Jane has experienced, it's no wonder that she should yearn for it.
Jhenai Mootz's Bertha — Rochester's first wife and the original Madwoman in the Attic — fittingly haunts the upper levels of the stage, foreshadowing Jane's difficulties just as Aunt Reed, Helen and Brocklehurst remind her of her painful past. There is a bit of a steampunk feel to costume designer Jana Anderson's deconstructed corset dresses that works well with the movable stark slats of set designer William Boles' skeletal representation of Thornfield — a world where secrets hide in plain sight and the underlying social structures provide puny support for a new love. Or for a mentally unstable first wife.
Among the adult cast members, only Bhatt and John Henry Roberts as the tormented and sardonic Rochester (more sepulchral than Byronesque) handle solo roles. (Young Hlava is joined on the juvenile team by winsome Ada Grey — Roberts' daughter — as Adele, Rochester's ward.) Clever double-casting underscores the story's dualism, so for example Mootz also plays brittle and haughty Blanche Ingram, the presumptive fiancee of Rochester, and Joshua Moaney is both Bertha's brother, Richard, whose revelations send Jane out in the cold from Thornfield, and St. John Rivers, the stiff-necked clergyman who gives her shelter. [...]
Meantime, Lifeline's production offers us a "Jane Eyre" that streamlines the complicated plot while still providing compelling glimpses of the psychological demons and moral deformities haunting its lovers. (Kerry Reid)
Showbiz Chicago reviews the production as well although not so positively.
For a classical theatre company celebrating 30 years I found this production (as I do many of Lifeline Theatre’s productions) sloppy in dramaturgical and period details. Most glaring were Jana Anderson’s haphazard costumes (they did not have zippers in 1844 England nor rayon). Men did not wear short sleeve button down shirts either. Jane Erye wore one basic costume with a modern stripe patterned skirt and a leather looking top that had a zipper which was definitely not period. I don’t know if they are trying to be hip and give a modern flair to this Jane Eyre but I found it highly distracting and it took me out of the 1844 English world of the play. If you are going to define an era specifically in the program (which Lifeline does) then set it in the era and be consistent with the details.
This may not bother much of the Chicago theatre-going audience as they have been fed this for years but, through this lack of attention to detail me as an audience member, was never transported to Brontë’s England of 1844. What bothers me even more is that they are teaching young kids about the classics and owe it to them to be historically and dramaturgically accurate. I think too many theatre companies play fast and loose with historical accuracy which makes for sloppy and untruthful theatre.
Lastly I wish to address the pros and cons of blind casting with classic theatre. I will admit that I am not a proponent of it as I believe it is the job of a theatre to establish truth on the stage and transport me into the world of the play and casting is paramount in achieving this. The pros are that it provides some very talented African American actors an opportunity with classic text. And I will commend Lifeline in their handling of this with Jane Eyre; I did not find the blind casting in this production to be that distracting. However I found it jolting when two African American actresses voice their excitement about whether or not another African American actor’s character owns a plantation. I found this in bad taste. They also made the comment on several occasions about how pale and flushed Jane is when the actress is not Caucasian. This is an instance where the script should have been altered to accommodate the casting choices. (James Murray)
It is 'somewhat recommended' by Chicago Critic, which seems to take the middle ground:
I can say that I had some issues with the highly theatrical take on the  19th Century Gothic novel. While the color-blind inter-racial casting works fine, the use of such accurate RP British accents was so dominate that the cast got so overwhelmed with their sounds that their characters came off as period-dressed costumes living in their RP speech at the expense of being believable real characters. Add much screaming and, at times, rapid-fire talking and  many important plot details got lost in the over emotional over-the-top performances. The only natural performance that impressed me came form Anu Bhatt as Jane Eyre. She played the title character with a empathetic, determined and focused persona that nicely made the lonely, damaged soul strive for new life purpose as she struggles to free herself from the ghosts from her past.  Along the way, Jane realizes that her only hope is to find love on her own terms. [...]
In the present Lifeline production of Jane Eyre, the characters came off as unreal, almost caricatures,  that became caught up with the stylized movements and revolving patterns that came off as 1960’s avant-garde theatricality that played as puzzling action that did little for the story and only seemed to be the whim of the director. This sprawling epic didn’t need the frantic movements and the long-wooden slab set that moved often also became a mystery element. Sometimes, in search of a fresh concept, creatives get carried away with the theatrics that renders a distraction from the story being told. That was the case here.
But, intimately, Jane Eyre’s journey toward love and independence reaches as a workable stage event once we get over all the clutter. Fans of Charlotte Brontë will have a challenge with this production.
The Seahawk's number one recommendation for the fall is reading classic novels:
Dracula” by Bram Stoker, “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley, “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë, “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë and “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger are all excellent choices to read this fall. A book you read as an assignment in high school can take on a completely different feeling now that you’re choosing to read it outside of the academic environment. So try curling up with a classic under a throw blanket on a stormy day. Or perhaps try reading while sitting under a tree that’s just started to turn gold and red. You can even carry a book around like an accessory while wearing a button-down sweater and your tortoiseshell-framed glasses, and see how much smarter it makes you feel. (Autumn Rose Rankin)
Speaking of autumn, this Times Higher Education article might be our first sighting of the year of a quote of Emily Brontë's poem 'Fall, leaves, fall'. We are pretty sure it won't be the last.

Global Post (via Reuters) finds a Brontëite in writer Jessie Burton.
Q; Who are your three favorite authors?
A: Of all time? Charlotte Brontë, Hilary Mantel, and Margaret Atwood. (Verity Watkins)
Seven Days goes off on a tangent while reviewing the book Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian.
Caulfield-inflected narrators have not been exactly rare (see CJ Hauser's The From-Aways for another recent spirited Caulfield exemplar). They are legion in young-adult fiction, whether well realized or not — but that is exactly the thing about Holden, isn't it? He's a character whose incarnations always were bound to multiply, his enduring popularity prefigured by his belief, similar to Jane Eyre's, in an audience who will see his actions and rationalizations as making perfect sense, the embodiment of a certain moral integrity widely extinguished from a fallen world. Well, Holden was right. Regardless of whether we conflate him with author J.D. Salinger (tempting but misguided), the number of people who saw themselves in the runaway teen was evinced by the near-constant stream of enraptured pilgrims to Salinger's wooded driveway, minds set aglow by the novel. (J.T. Price)
Flavorwire complains that jealousy and envy just aren't what they used to.
And why is envy so dry these days? It’s a topic that’s had resonance in the history of 19th- and early-20th-century literature — the works of Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth in particular; Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights; even Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and her specific brutality in depicting the dynamic between Jo and the youngest March, Amy. It’s the driver for so many great literary plots. (Elisabeth Donnelly)
PopMatters lists '12 Essential Songs for the Kate Bush Novice'. You can guess the first one:
1. “Wuthering Heights
(The Kick Inside, 1978)
Bush’s first hit single, “Wuthering Heights“ is an ode to the famous novel of the same name by Emily Brontë. In the BBC documentary, Bush said she got the idea for the song while catching the last five minutes of the 1967 TV series based on the book, in which the ghost of Catherine Earnshaw stood outside the window of Wuthering Heights, begging to be let in. Bush then read the novel to capture the mood of the song. Her efforts, after reportedly only a few hours of writing, earned her a number one hit that stayed at the top of the British charts for almost a month during the spring of 1978. The song takes quotes directly from the novel, including “It’s me, I’m so cold“, and is the first Bush tune to make references to literature, which she does again on later albums. Bush’s haunting vocals float over the twinkling piano and a guitar solo by Ian Bairnson (who worked with Alan Parsons), making the song a splendid example of Bush’s sonic wizardry. (Jennifer Makowsky)
Polskie Radio (Poland) has a podcast by Eryk Ostrowski, author of the controversial book on Charlotte Brontë, Charlotte Brontë i jej siostry śpiące. Andra reviews Jane Eyre (in Portuguese).

Brontë Society Gazette. Issue 64

The latest issue of The Brontë Society Gazette is now out (Issue 64. September 2014. ISSN 1344-5940).

Letter from the Editor by Helen Krispien
Letter from the Chairman by Sally McDonald, Retiring Chairman,The Brontë Society Council
Members June Weekend 2014
     A transantlantic treat for the annual church service by Christine Went
     Thornton to Haworth Walk by Susan Aykroyd
     A night at The Old White Lion by Sally McDonald
     Excursion to Liverpool by Sally McDonald
Marigold, to his friends by Alexandra Lesley, ALS representative for the Brontë Society Council
Miss Brontë, why don't you ... by Christine Went
Poetry Corner: Emily's Moorland Ghost by Carolyne Van Der Meer; Miscellany of Thoughts on Brontëana by Marilyn Nickelsburg; The Crows by Yvonne THomas
A Bassompierre link restored by Akiko Higuchi
Review of The Professor by Claire Blanchard
Membership News: Brontës in Brussels by Helen MacEwan; Announcement; In Memoriam.
Letter to the Editor: In defence of Heathcliff by Bernice Rippingale
The Merlin by Andy Mydellton
Shirley in context. Nicholas Shrimpton at the Brussels Brontë Group, 29 March 2014 by Charlotte Mathieson
The Brontë Birthplace by Angela Crow-Woods.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

South of Scotland, North of Wuthering Heights

The Huffington Post wonders, 'Why Do Women Read More Novels Than Men?'

In the murky definition where the literary crosses swords with the popular, note the names of these authors: Dickens, Balzac, Brontë, Tolstoy, Lessing, Hemingway, Sands, Eliot, Austen, Proust, Shelly, Faulkner, Joyce, McCullers, Fitzgerald, Cather, Stowe, Wharton, etc. -- some female and some male. Their stories have been told from the point of view of both genders; stories that are about the human species and not confined merely to an isolated gender.
The gender of a novelist is irrelevant to their creativity. The criterion is talent, a mysterious and extraordinary gift that does not discriminate. A talented female author can find her way into the mind and heart of her male characters just as a male writer can do the same with his female characters. If there is some mythical dividing line between the insight, wisdom, and literary skill between men and women, it is not apparent to me. As for the reasons women dominate the reading market or perhaps the writing profession, I don't have the answers -- I can understand economic and opportunity parity, but not intellectual and artistic parity. (Warren Adler)
This made us think of Charlotte Brontë's own words, from an 1849 letter to William Smith Williams.
I am reminded of the 'Economist'. The literary critic of that paper praised the book if written by a man--and pronounced it 'odious' if the work of a woman.
To such critics I would say--'To you I am neither Man nor Woman--I come before you as an Author only--it is the sole standard by which you have a right to judge me--the sole ground on which I accept your judgement'.
The Economist separates what belongs to Scotland from what belongs to the rest of the United Kingdom. So:
A less great Britain loses a quarter of its territory and almost all of its mountains. Scotland lays claim to the ski resorts (and, sadly, a bit more of the rain). It gets some of the oil in the North Sea. But for actors, athletes, tourism and treasure, the kingdom comprising England, Wales and Northern Ireland holds a generous lead. Among inventors, Scotland gets John Logie Baird who devised the first television, while England lays rights on Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web. The 18th century poet Robert Burns goes north, Shakespeare, Dickens, the Brontë sisters and others stay south. Among politicians, the Scots can claim Gordon Brown; the rest of Blighty gets Churchill. In music, Annie Lennox and the Bay City Rollers have to hold their own against England’s Bowie, Beatles and Stones. (P.K., D.D.M. and K.N.C)
Bustle also uses a north-south example to explain where actor Charlie Hunman comes from in England:
Not only is Charlie Hunnam a Secret Brit like Andrew Lincoln, Damien Lewis, and Michael Sheen, he comes from a small town in the North of England. He’s from lake country like… north of Yorkshire, meaning north of Wuthering Heights and The Secret Garden and Downton Abbey. (Leah Thomas)
Jarvis Cocker scans the letter B in bookshops, but apparently skips the Brontës, as he writes in an article for The Independent:
Whenever I'm in a bookshop, I go to the "B" section and compulsively scan the shelves murmuring "Bradbury… Brontë… Burroughs…' I am, of course, looking for the name Richard Brautigan. I seldom find it. It's a nervous habit that dates back to the time when all his writing was out of print and the only places to find his novels and poetry were second-hand booksellers and charity shops.
The Deccan Chronicle, however, does find a Brontë reader in writer Rasleen Syal.
What inspired you to write this book?
I have grown up reading classics like Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, which define love as pure, everlasting and all consuming. With time, I realised that in this age of technology, the old world love has lost its charm. The invariable link-ups, break-ups, betrayals, crumbling marriages, is the truth of today. India has witnessed so many cases of love gone awry, resulting in acid attacks, rapes, murders and other such heinous crimes. My book reflects this techno-crazy society we live in and the sham world of romantic love it endorses. (Garima Nagpal)
Female First interviews another writer: Kate Horsley.
The book has been compared to Jean Rhys and Valerie Martin, so how does this make you feel?
It’s lovely to hear comparisons like that, because I’m a huge fan of Wide Sargasso Sea and Mary Reilly. The former is the classic example of a literary response. Rhys takes a marginal character who is blamed and hidden away in Jane Eyre and pushes her into the centre of the narrative. She rewrites the book from the perspective of the 'madwoman', giving her a story so compelling that it's impossible to go back to the original in the same light. In Mary Reilly, Martin rewrites Jekyll and Hyde from a maidservant's perspective and my novel is very much in that tradition. Like Mary Reilly, Oona is female and working class. She's an intense person, a brave one too, and feels equal to the tasks of tackling the doctor and unraveling the island's mysteries. A lot of the gothic elements of Frankenstein are still there in The Monster's Wife, but I think my focus was on emotion more than on science, psychology more than philosophy. If Rhys's book is told from the perspective of the 'mad', then mine is from the perspective of the 'monsters', people whose experience of illness and disfigurement has made them outcasts. To me the monster and his bride represent everyone who is rejected by society for being different. The so-called 'normal' people are the ones who create all the horror in the book. (Lucy Walton)
Breathless Blog interviews yet another writer, A.J. Llewellyn.
I’m guessing that like most writers you’re also a passionate reader.  What is you favourite book?
Of all time? Oh my goodness, how do I answer that? I’d have to say Jane Eyre. It was the first romance novel I ever read, and I still worship it. [...]
Here’s a nice simple one - your favourite hero and why?
Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre. He was so proud and loved her so deeply he was willing to let her go. Sob! And when she did come back and found he was blind, he was humbled by her love. And love gave him his eyesight back. Aaahhh…I love this story. (Domino Lane)
The Chronicle of Higher Education discusses some paper topics:
Back when I was in grad school, though, I found myself going nuts. You want me to write a dissertation on Victorian literature? Just Victorian literature? Why?
I’d just spent five years studying Victorian literature, creative writing, composition and rhetoric, multicultural theory and pedagogy. The idea of suddenly developing a laser-thin focus on some esoteric topic—Brontë’s use of the word “hitherto,” say, or Charles Dickens’s obsession with his sister-in-law’s big toe—seemed peculiar to me. Wasn’t the point of the study of literature to jump from idea to idea, following connections, discovering distinctions, unwinding the strands of thought to see where they took you?
Apparently not. Following the oral defense for my three qualifying exams, I was left standing in the hall for an uncomfortably long period while my three area professors debated with each other. (Paul Hanstedt)
Neil Turner's Blog features the new Brontë Garden at Sowerby Bridge Station.

The Brontë Season

One of the highlights of the Brontë year begins tomorrow, September 17. The West Country-based Live Wire Theatre and Butterfly Psyche Theatre Companies begin a Brontë Season:

Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre
Adapted by Dougie Blaxland
Directed by Jazz Hazelwood
Starring Alison Campbell

Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights
Adapted by Dougie Blaxland
Directed by Jazz Hazelwood
Starring Alison Campbell and Jeremy Fowlds

Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Adapted by Alison Farina
Directed by Shane Morgan
Starring Madelaine Ryan and Tom Turner.

The theatre performances consist of the three adaptations created to work as a whole. The idea is to feature each of the Brontë sister’s work to show their differences in tone, style, and storytelling as well as support their literary value as individual female writers as well as that of a collective (“The Brontës”).
Performed in rep, with only one and two actors, there’s a chance to mix-and-match an old favourite along with a new acquaintance as well as the chance to see all three (with breaks, obviously!) at Omnibus Performances on the Saturdays.
More information on The Fine Times Recorder.
Dates and venues:

RONDO THEATRE, BATH: (More info and booking)
Weds 17th Sept: Wuthering Heights
Thurs 18th Sept: Jane Eyre
Fri 19th Sept The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Sat 20th Sept: Wuthering Heights / Jane Eyre / The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Weds 24th Sept Wuthering Heights
Thurs 25th Sept: Jane Eyre
Fri 26th Sept: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Sat 27th Sept: Wuthering Heights / Jane Eyre / The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

VICTORIA HALL, RADSTOCK: (More info and booking)
Sat 4th Oct: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall / Wuthering Heights
Sun 5th Oct: Jane Eyre

ARNOS VALE CEMETRY, BRISTOL (More info and booking)
Weds 8th Oct: Jane Eyre
Thurs 9th Oct: Wuthering Heights
Fri 10th Oct: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Sat 11th Oct: Jane Eyre / Wuthering Heights / The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

REDMAIDS, BRISTOL (More info and booking)
Weds 22nd Oct: Jane Eyre
Thurs 23rd Oct: Wuthering Heights
Fri 24th Oct: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Sat 25th Oct: Jane Eyre / Wuthering Heights

BARNFIELD, EXETER (More info and booking)
Thurs 30th Oct: Jane Eyre
Friday 31st Oct: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Sat 1st Nov: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall / Wuthering Heights