Monday, December 05, 2016

Charlotte and Asphalt

On Monday, December 05, 2016 at 12:31 am by M. in ,    No comments
This is arguably one of the most improbable Brontë sightings ever. Guess what magazine you never expected to see Charlotte Brontë mentioned:

Asphalt Pro (December 2016 Issue)

Editor's Letter
Luddites Unite For Sustainability
As a fan of Charlotte Brontë and her novel Shirley, I learned about Luddism through literature, rather than a history class. You can blame that on the sparse education in our public school system or my selective attention span. The point is I guard against technophobia in myself when I sense it, but I also guard against judging technology solely on its wow factor. (Sandy Lender)
(Via Sandy Lender) 

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Sunday, December 04, 2016 11:14 am by M. in , , , , ,    No comments
The Guardian begins the 'best-of-the-year' season with a look back at 2016 in dance:
The best work has come not from youthful next big things, but from seasoned creators. Akram Khan gave us Until the Lions and his reimagining of Giselle (for English National Ballet), both darkly resonant pieces. Cathy Marston’s Jane Eyre for Northern Ballet, Richard Alston’s An Italian in Madrid and Michael Clark’s to a simple, rock’n’roll… song represented very different genres of dance, but were all the result of rigorous and fine-tuned process. (Luke Jennings)
Fiona MacDonald selects love letters for BBC Culture:
Charlotte Brontë to Professor Constantin Héger, 18 November 1844

It’s not the words alone that speak to us. “Some of the physical items have a story to tell on their own,” Clarke tells BBC Culture. “There’s an item that was torn up and then sewn together, or just the addition of a doodle, or you can see that some documents have been through the wars.” One of the most fragile letters in the collection was ripped up and thrown away by its recipient. While studying languages at a boarding school in Brussels run by Professor Constantin Héger and his wife, Charlotte Brontë became infatuated with her teacher. After returning to England, she wrote several letters to him – but he discarded them all. “Incredibly four of her letters have survived,” writes Clarke. “Curiously, it is thanks to his wife – who retrieved them from the waste paper basket and sewed them back together – that we are privy to their content today.”
As Clarke points out, Brontë’s stitched-together missives offer us a glimpse into the mind of the novelist. “The letters are deeply poignant and reveal the extent of Charlotte’s passionate feelings for the professor, her desire to see him, her despair at his silence and ultimately her resigned desolation and sense of rejection – emotions that she would later pour into Jane Eyre and Villette.”
The Sunday Times on creating your personal library:
Starting a collection is easy, says Simona Lyons, the bibliotherapist at the School of Life, in central London. In fact, the odds are that you already have. “Select books to mark significant moments in your life — a childhood favourite in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, or Jane Eyre for a coming-of-age story,” Lyons suggests. (Rebecca Myers)
In The Sunday Times, Richard Myers explores the story behind any scent with old fashioned clichés. If you use old romantic perfumes...
Currently reading Wuthering Heights (again). Dream dinner guest Ernest Hemingway or Dame Barbara Cartland.
TV Wise reminds us of the UK premiere date for To Walk Invisible:
BBC One’s one-off Brontë drama To Walk Invisible will premiere on Thursday December 29th at 9pm, it has been announced.
To Walk Invisible revolves around Charlotte, Anne and Emily’s increasingly difficult relationship with their brother Branwell, who in the last three years of his life – following a tragically misguided love affair – sank into alcoholism, drug addiction and appalling behaviour. (Patrick Munn)
A Younger Theatre reviews Her Aching Heart as performed in The Hope Theatre in London:
The set-up is a fun twist on gothic novels ranging from Wuthering Heights to Rebecca: the love story at its heart is between an aristocratic lady (Colette Eaton) and a local peasant girl (Naomi Todd). (Fred Maynard)
A Brontë reference in this recipe found in The Kankakee Daily Journal:
I might have gleaned the idea for this dish from watching Jamie Oliver's old series, "Jamie At Home." I loved watching Oliver working in his potager (garden), pulling fresh veggies and firing up his outdoor ovens and grills, to turn them into something delectable only minutes after they were plucked from the soil.
Oliver's garden was so rural, rustic and complete, with chickens, veggie patches, fruit trees and a kitchen right out of a Brontë novel. (Deb Terrill)
News Corp Australia Network on weather:
Weather is not just a metaphor for life — stormy spells, long periods of sunshine — it is life. How many of your best memories involve an eccentricity of the weather? How many treasured movies and novels lodge forever in your mind because the wind or the rain or the sunshine not just sets the story but inhabits it? Think of the tornado in The Wizard of Oz, the rain scene when Andy Dufresne finally finds freedom in The Shawshank Redemption, the wind in Wuthering Heights, the snow in Dr Zhivago. (Angela Mollard)
António Sousa remembers in Correio da Manhã (Portugal) how
Ao contrário de quase todo o País, Dona Ester, minha mãe, não via vantagens no sentimentalismo dos poetas românticos. Também contra o que era hábito nas senhoras daquele tempo, que liam romances mais ou menos morais, consagrados à família, ao casamento e aos dramas da educação dos filhos, Dona Ester, minha mãe, era leitora de Cesário Verde – que ela considerava poder ter sido um antídoto para várias gerações, caso fosse estudado nas escolas – e conservava o discreto mau hábito de folhear Jane Austen (por snobismo, gostava de ‘Mansfield Park’) e preferia Charlotte (a de ‘Jane Eyre’) a Emily Brontë (a de ‘O Monde dos Vendavais’). (Translation)
Bongdanet (Vietnam) alerts of the broadcast today of Jane Eyre 2011 on K+NSIf Mermaids Wore Suspenders explores time in Jane Eyre;
1:08 am by M. in ,    No comments
Auditions for an amateur production of Polly Teale's Brontë in Summertown, Oxford:
Thistledown Theatre
Sunday, December 4 at 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM UTC
Summertown United Reformed Church
294a Banbury Road, Summertown, OX2 7ED Oxford, United Kingdom

Brontë is the story of the Brontë sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne and their brother Branwell. It explores the claustrophobic environment and familial relationships which shaped the Brontë's well-known works, especially Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre.
Performances will take place in the Old Library of the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin 22nd-25th March and 29th-31st March and 1st April.
All are welcome to audition; no parts have been pre-cast.


Charlotte Brontë (20s-30s)
The strongest (and eventual survivor) of the trio of sisters. Author of Jane Eyre.
Emily Brontë (20s-30s)
Longs to be alone, free. Author of Wuthering Heights (and of another book, burned by Charlotte after her death?)
Anne Brontë (20s-30s)
Dutiful; as the play begins she is returning from her latest post as a governess. Of the three, Anne is the most concerned with the changing political and economic situation in the wider world. Author of the Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
Mrs Rochester/Bertha (20s-50s)
The maligned mad wife of Jane Eyre and an extension of Charlotte's inner self. This is likely to be a very physical part.
Cathy (20s)
Heroine of Wuthering Heights and a figment of Emily's imagination throughout the play.
Branwell Brontë (20s-30s)
A dissolute and drunken failed writer. Envious of his sisters; sad about his own lack of success.
Patrick Brontë (late 40s-60s)
The patriarch; a minister. He outlasts his wife and all his children.
Other parts to be played by the Company:
Arthur Huntingdon, Heathcliff, Arthur Bell Nicholls, Rochester, Mr. Heger (any age)
Rehearsals will take place two-three times per week (Sunday-Wednesday) from January. There will likely be a read-through before Christmas. Please come to the auditions with an idea of your availability.
Auditions will consist of cold readings. There is no need to prepare anything. Please plan to arrive at 6.30 and stay for at least an hour.
If you are unable to attend the audition, please contact us. We are very happy to make arrangements to see you separately at another time in the weeks on either side of the audition date.
Recalls will be by invitation only on 12th December.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

The North Jersey Record talks about the Brontë200 celebrations in Haworth, NJ:
Charlotte Brontë got a 200th birthday celebration at the Haworth Library, which included readings, historical discussions and movies dedicated to the author of "Jane Eyre."
Haworth draws its name from the English hometown of the literary Brontë sisters. According to the borough's web site, Haworth, which incorporated in 1904, dates its name to 1872. John S. Sauzade, a New York author and railroad man named the borough "Haworth" in honor of one of his favorite author's hometowns.
Haworth's tribute, "Brontë Week," includes a reading of the entire book aloud in the library by volunteers and via Skype from Haworth, England. Events, which kicked off Nov. 27, will run through Sunday. The book reading, which began Friday, is expected to take 22 to 24 hours, with overnight breaks. In addition to the readings, the library also is showing several Brontë-themed movies, including versions of "Jane Eyre."
"It's a great way to share with our sister city across the pond the passion that we have for books as a wholesome form of entertainment," Mayor John Smart said Friday, pointing out the use of 21st century technology to share a 19th century story. (Marc Lightdale)
Check the Friends of the Haworth Library Facebook Wall for updates on the readathon. By the way the readers of chapter one were no others than the Brontë Parsonage staff at the Parsonage Library.

The manuscript edition of Jane Eyre published by Éditions des Saint Pères is the subject of this article in Newsweek:
Now ready to take Britain by storm is Brontë’s manuscript of Jane Eyre , which offers rare insight into the author’s world. Brontë’s prose is clear, with only occasional modifications. She sometimes strikes out words, proposes others, circles a sentence she doesn’t like and replaces it with another carefully crafted option. Nelson explains that at the time Brontë wrote Jane Eyre, her earlier work, The Professor , had been turned down by several publishers. “One can imagine that’s why she took extra care in her choice of words and style. It is probably the last draft before publication; you can see how much of a perfectionist she was.”
The book itself has the quality of a work of art. “The ink, the paper, the cover, the fact that they are all crafted by hand in limited editions makes the experience all the more intimate,” says Nelson. It takes a certain set of skills to produce Éditions des Saints-Pères books and so the publisher works with a company who specializes in restoring old films—such as Jean Cocteau’s 1946 movie La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and the Beast)—who have experience handling delicate materials. (Claire Toureille)
The Telegraph & Argus on the last time the Red House Museum will celebrate Christmas:
Dressing the house for Christmas will be a poignant occasion for the Friends of Red House.
Since the museum in Oxford Road, Gomersal, opened to the public in 1980 staff have literally trimmed the halls with boughs of holly and other foliage they find in the gardens to give visitors an insight into Christmas past.
This year though the celebrations will be tinged with sadness as it will be the final time the house will be decked up for Christmas since its closure to the public, on December 21, was announced as part of the budget cuts.
However, despite the disappointment the museum is closing, the Friends of Red House are determined their forthcoming Christmas event, on Sunday December 11, will be a happy occasion.
On Thursday, (December 8), the dressing of the house will begin to help re-create the Christmas past as it would have been enjoyed when the Taylor family lived there.
The Southern Daily Echo is excited about the fact that the National Theatre's production of Jane Eyre (which is qualified as 'superlative' in The Stage) will tour the UK next year, including Southampton:
The National Theatre will be touring Sally Cookson’s energetic and imaginative new adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece Jane Eyre and is coming to Mayflower Theatre from Monday 8- Saturday 13 May 2017.
This is a very significant time to be announcing the tour, as 2016 marks the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth and 2017 is the 170th anniversary of when Jane Eyre was first published.
This exciting new stage version of Jane Eyre was originally presented in two parts at Bristol Old Vic, and then transferred to the National Theatre, re-imagined as a single performance, playing to sold out houses at the NT’s Lyttelton Theatre. Casting for the production is yet to be announced. (Hilary Porter)
Kate Bush, a tory? So? Financial Times and Caitlin Moran in The Times comment on it:
The whole point about Bush is that she has never played by the rules. She doesn’t care about fashion or what other people think (otherwise she could never have made that first, ineffably weird “Wuthering Heights” video, let alone released that godawful album The Dreaming). (James Delingpole)
Geoff Norcott in The Independent says:
Kate Bush fans could take heart from the possibility she might have been left-wing when she wrote some of the soundtrack of their lives. Maybe she should come out and give a discography in which she underlines her political state of mind at each point.
Wuthering Heights – Marxist Feminist
The New Yorker has an article about Stevie Nicks:
By 1983, Nicks was ready to make another record. Her relationship with Iovine was strained, but Nicks asked him to produce the record anyway. “The Wild Heart” is inspired in part by the unravelling of that relationship, and in part by her mourning for Anderson. Nicks frequently cites as a guiding influence for the recording sessions the 1939 film adaptation of Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights,” which depicts an undying, almost fiendish love. Mostly, the songs are about bucking against the circumstances that separate us from the people we need. (Amanda Petrusich)
Which brings us again to Kate Bush, via The Prosen People:
In January 1978—half a decade before Stevie Nicks reunited with her ex-lover and Bella Donna producer Jimmy Iovine to put The Wild Heart together—a doe-eyed adolescent crooned her eerie debut through a thick brunette mop of bangs, instantly taking the British music scene by storm. No one knew what to make of Kate Bush, a soft-spoken young woman who blushed shyly through interviews and then walloped the airwaves with her hyper-stylized siren’s call, wailing to Heathcliff at the window in her first released single.
Perhaps it is not surprising that the difficult story of Wuthering Heights speaks so directly to songwriters: the saga of Cathy and Heathcliff is, of course, about the the potency of love and its potential to simultaneously drive and incapacitate those who plunge headlong into its deepest, darkest depths. It’s a story of self-destruction and despair—is there any romance that hasn’t been to some degree beleaguered by both? If music is supposed to express the core experiences and emotions of the human condition, “shouting ‘Cathy’ and banging your head against a tree,” as Helen Fielding would put it, is probably a good starting point for translating the inner turmoil of thwarted or unrequited devotion.
“It was perfect material for a song,” Bush shared in one of her earliest interviews. “It was so passionate and full of impact. And I read the book,” she is quick to add. “Yeah, I read the book before I wrote the song, because I needed to get the mood properly.”
The original inspiration for the song had come many years earlier, when Bush caught the last couple minutes of television miniseries adaptation of Brontë’s masterpiece. She couldn’t have been older than ten years old at the time, but the image of Cathy haunting the windows of Thrushcross Grange captivated Bush, swirling around her imagination for the next decade of her life until she released “Wuthering Heights” in that uncanny voice over the keys of a Grand piano.
Or The Irish Times:
A sense of being apart from the era has always been crucial to the appeal for Bush’s fans. Nobody much expected Wuthering Heights in the post-punk era. She’s never been part of any zeitgeist. (Donald Clarke)
The Upcoming reviews the Off-West End production Her Aching Heart:
This tongue-in-cheek, bodice-ripping musical is superbly fun. In a pastiche of the Mills and Boon genre it follows the lesbian love affair of an aristocrat and a simple country girl. It’s a gothic romance more comparable with Blackadder than Brontë. There is no subtly; at times the script feels like a succession of increasingly more elaborate innuendos. (Georgie Cowan-Turner)
The San Francisco Chronicle reviews the novel The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride:
The damaged older man and the lonely, hurt, intelligent girl who loves and saves him has been a trope since at least “Jane Eyre.” Unlike McBride’s first book, in which familiar subject matter was interpreted anew through the stuttering, circular form of the language, here McBride can’t quite escape the cliche. Her lyricism still scatters light across the page, and her fragmented style hammers you with immediacy, but the story falls prey to nostalgia and wishful thinking. (Marthine Satris)
Read It Forward lists 25 authors on the best books they've ever received:
Olivia Sudjic: Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
I began with a beautiful blue Virago edition of Jean Reese (sic)’s Wide Sargasso Sea, and was electrified. As Reese (sic)’s Antoinette and Jane Eyre’s Bertha began to fuse in my mind, connecting an old favorite novel with a new one, the initial electrical jolt turned into a mixture of rage, wonder, and self-reproach for having put the experience off for so long.
Bustle speculates on Westworld (warning, some spoilers ahead):
Charlotte's about the right age, would likely be invested in the park as a member of his family. Now, the Man in Black did tell Teddy that his daughter's name is Emily. He also told Teddy that the "Big Bad" Wyatt had kidnapped Dolores, which just isn't true. He's manipulating Teddy and only letting the host know exactly what he wants him to. If he knew that Charlotte was on the premises and could interrupt his mission at any time, it's possible that he could have lied about her name to keep people in the park from knowing their relationship. Maybe the Man in Black is a Brontë sister fan. (Leah Thomas)
Bleeding Cool and Den of Geek! discuss the origins of fandom:
Fandom has been around for a lot longer than people realize, even in that way that goes beyond mild interest and towards those deeper fascinations that tend to spawn related activities. Charlotte and Emily Brontë wrote stories as children in the 1830s that we’d think of as fan fiction today. (Mark Seifert)
Fanfiction has always been a thing. From The Great Game to Wide Sargasso Sea to Spockanalia, fans have long been inspired to become creators in the fictional worlds they love. Fandom as we now know it, however, is a more modern development. (Kaytl Burt)
A curious initiative in Donostia (Spain). El Kolmado has a way of vindicating a reduced VAT for culture products like other basic products: Jane Eyre as a peas and carrots jar (via EFE).

Letralia (in Spanish) lists several Paris literary associations:
Jean Rhys vagaba por París en los años treinta. En Ancho mar de los Sargazos nos contó quien era la mujer metida en el desván por su marido en Jane Eyre. Por qué esa mujer que representaba la vibración y la sensualidad del Caribe acabó loca en un desván de Londres a causa de la frialdad de su marido. Y ella misma unía la vibración del Caribe con esa vibración interminable de París a través de los siglos. (Antonio Costa Gómez) (Translation)
Vijesti (Montenegro) discusses the films of William Wyler:
Kao što je i ponudio hrabru l'amour fou interpretaciju u Wuthering Heights (Orkanski visovi, 1939), gdje impresivno korištenje pejzaža ima metonimijski potencijal, naročito kada se Heathcliff (Laurence Olivier) povezuje sa prirodom. (Aleksandar Bečanović) (Translation)
Babbling Books and Delicious Reads reviews Wuthering Heights. Vull Escriure (in Catalan) selects Jane Eyre for its call for writing. Broadside Blog posts about Charlotte Brontë's dress as shown at the Morgan Library in New York.
1:08 am by M. in ,    No comments
The world of the horror (Brontë) mash-up has a new addition. This time, it's not a Brontë character who is reused/reimagined/exploited (use what you prefer) but the Brontës themselves:
Anne Brontë Nightwalker: A Brontë Blood Chronicle (Brontë Blood Chronicles) (Volume 1)
by Gea Haff
Paperback: 322 pages
Publisher: Firefox Press; 1 edition (November 4, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0997795301

In 1849, Anne Brontë died a devout and innocent virgin. Three days later, she rose from the dead. Now from the jagged wilderness of the Blue Ridge Mountains, to a glittering lair deep beneath the Biltmore Estate, a lonely Nightwalker fights her eternal hunger as she strives for salvation amidst temptation and blood. Gea Haff weaves Brontë biography through this modern gothic tale in Book One of the Brontë Blood Chronicles. For mysterious reasons, Asheville Paramedic Anne Bell never lays down ties and only works the night shift. Deputy Santos knows she's not normal. The new ER doc watches her like a wolf. And the handsome Professor Hardcastle, a Brontë scholar, is on the verge of discovering her true identity. Then just as love blooms in Anne's bloody world, her long-lost sister Emily suddenly arrives, resurrecting memories and bringing her own feral brand of violence to this snow-draped mountain town. Anne's going to need all the help she can get. A vicious Alpha predator circles nearby, feasting on the innocent, and he won't stop until securing his greatest prize: Anne Brontë, Nightwalker.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Here's a lesson on how you should read everything carefully when going to an exhibition and then tweeting about it. Also a lesson on how to go 'viral' by posting something that's not actually real. We have read the following article in Metro, which also gets points for not checking information gleaned online:
But however goth you think you were, Charlotte Brontë (the one who wrote Jane Eyre, not the one who wrote Wuthering Heights) has got you beat, because she literally repaired her shoes with the actual honest to God hair of her dead siblings.
We sh*t you not.
The museum caption, which is pretty blase about this incredible fact, reads ‘long walks over damp ground caused damage to Charlotte’s mourning shoes which she meticulously repaired with the hair of her departed siblings. A sprig of heather, symbolising solitude, is believed to have been stitched with Emily’s hair.’
To be fair, what else is one supposed to do when one’s mourning shoes spring a hole?
Maybe it’s morbid, but we’re quite impressed with Charlie’s needlework skills. Embroidering a sprig of heather using hair can not be easy.
At last look the tweet had over 13,000 likes which (probably) makes them the most popular Victorian mourning shoes on the internet. (Rebecca Reid)
This all comes from this tweet:

The tweet is truly popular and as @bookwitchsara reports it's been liked and retweeted by people like Lin-Manuel Miranda (the staff of the Brontë Parsonage Museum would welcome him at the museum while he's in the UK).

Brontëites with common sense as well as visitors to the Charlotte Great & Small exhibition at the Brontë Parsonage Museum with the ability to read captions properly and understand what they are seeing are rolling their eyes by now. For everybody else, here's a couple of tweets by the same user after receiving an enlightining reply by artist Serena Patridge:

@bookwitchsara has pinned the following tweet at the top of her timeline:
And today's cautionary tale in a nutshell is: think before you tweet!

Anyway, onto real things now. The Boston Globe interviews writer Alice Hoffman about books:
BOOKS: What books have had a big effect on you?
HOFFMAN: Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights” was extremely important to me. So was reading Toni Morrison for the first time. When I read Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” that was the first time I felt my mind blow open. I thought that book was speaking to me. I was 12 or 13 when I read that. I read everything on my mother’s bookshelves. I read Betty Smith’s “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” all of Shirley Jackson’s books, which I loved. I read “The Group” by Mary McCarthy. It had tons of sex in it, or so I thought at the time. (Amy Sutherland)
Another bookish interview, to Anna Kendrick, in The New York Times:
What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors stick with you most?More serious than I am now. The year I turned 12, I read “The Crucible,” “Jane Eyre” and “The Great Gatsby,” and after I finished each one I was beside myself with rage. Abigail Williams and Daisy Buchanan never get their comeuppance, and Jane never gets to go off (Jerry Springer style) on the Reed family? I’m still mad about it.
The Telegraph has writer Stephenie Meyer recommend a few books and among them is
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. My favorite protagonist. She has a harsh beginning and a limited future but she has integrity.
The Seattle Times has already selected the best books of 2016 and one of them is
Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart” by Claire Harman (Knopf). There have been many biographies of Charlotte Brontë over the years, but Harman’s had this dyed-in-the-wool Brontë fan mesmerized: the details of life at Haworth are told with an almost cinematic vividness, and the excerpts from Brontë’s recently published letters add a moving intimacy. (Moira Macdonald)
Deadline gives the date for the American broadcast of To Walk Invisible:
On March 26 a Masterpiece special, The Brontës: To Walk Invisible, chronicles how Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë’s genius for writing romantic novels was, recognized in a male-dominated 19th-century world. [...]
The Brontës: To Walk Invisible” on MASTERPIECE – Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë, all unmarried, faced a bleak future. Unable to rely on their alcoholic brother or near-blind father to provide for them, they worked as governesses to privileged and often unruly children. This is the story of how — against all odds — their genius for writing romantic novels was recognized in a male-dominated, 19th-century world. Sunday, March 26, 9-11 p.m. ET (Lisa de Moraes)
Keighley News shares the programmed walks in the area for the Christmas season and Adventure Travel Magazine includes a 'Brontë walk' on its selection of '9 of the best winter hikes in the UK'.
Calling all literacy fans, this one’s for you. Haworth is notorious for its association with the Brontë sisters who lived their short but fruitful lives within the village, where they wrote outstanding literacy works, keeping the Haworth Moors popular in the centuries to come. However, the Brontë Walk has a lot to offer, even if you’re not a fan of the literature.
The walk takes you out of Haworth, towards the Brontë waterfalls and infamous Top Withens – the supposed setting of Wuthering Heights. In the winter months, the purple moorland will be covered in a sheet of overwhelming white, with a chilling atmosphere that can be warmed with a post-walk visit at a Haworth pub. (Sophie Goodall)
As you probably know, Tracy Chevalier is doing a Brontë calendar on Twitter, opening a new window each day at 2 pm GMT. Here's yesterday's lovely start:
12:44 am by M. in ,    No comments
The main events of the Brontë week in Haworth, New Jersey begin tody, December 2. This is the complete schedule:
Haworth Municipal Library
300 Haworth Av, Haworth, NJ
"Jane Eyre" Film (2011), w/Wasikowska and Fassbender
Sunday. Nov. 27 2 PM
"Rebecca" Film (1940), w/Olivier and Fontaine
7 PM "Wide Sargasso Sea" (2006), prequel to "Jane Eyre," w/Rebecca Hall
Monday, Nov. 28
7 PM "Jane Eyrehead," SCTV, "Jane Eyre" (1943), w/ Welles and Fontaine
Wednesday, Nov. 30 2 PM
Jane Eyre  (2007) BBC Miniseries w/Toby Stephens
Thursday, Dec. 1, 11 AM
Live Reading of Jane Eyre begins and continues thru the day and on Saturday and Sunday
Friday, Dec. 2, 10 AM
Showing of Documentaries: Brontë "Biography", "Brontë Country"
Friday, Dec. 2, 1 PM
Deborah Lutz, author of The Brontë Cabinet (2016)
Friday, Dec. 2, 4 PM
Live Reading of Jane Eyre continues thru the day and on SundaySaturday, Dec. 3, 10 AM
Magic Lantern Show of Antique Haworth UK Slides
Saturday, Dec. 3, 11 AM
Charlotte Brontë Children’s Program (Grades 1-8)
Saturday, Dec. 3, 2:00 pm
I Walked with a ZombieSaturday, Dec. 3, 7 PM
Live Reading of Jane Eyre continues thru the day
Sunday, Dec. 4, 10 AM
Jane Eyre (1977) and Jane Eyre (1934)
Sunday, Dec. 4, 11 AM
Celebration with Tea and Scones - Reading of Jane Eyre concludes
Sunday, Dec. 4, 4 PM

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Thursday, December 01, 2016 11:32 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
Let's begin this by congratulating our friends at Ponden Hall. As Keighley News reports,
The Dorset Cereals B&B Award has gone to Ponden Hall, and was presented at a ceremony last month. (Nov) [...]
It was one of just five such enterprises to receive the national accolade this year, scooping the prize for the "friendliest host" category.
Ponden Hall is owned and run by Julie Akhurst, with help from her husband Steve Brown.
Reacting to the award Mrs Akhurst said: "I'm astonished and delighted. I think it says such a lot about the kind of people that come and stay with us. We really do have the best guests."
She said someone had nominated Ponden Hall and people had the chance to vote for it online. It was then visited by a mystery "secret sleeper" guest.
Mrs Akhurst thanked everyone who had supported her business's nomination, including its many previous guests.
"We've lived here for 18 and a half years but the B&B has only been here for two and half years, so it's so pleasing to get this when we haven't been going that long," she added.
"We're right on the edge of the moors so we get a lot of walkers, but about half the people come to stay here because of the building's connection to Wuthering Heights." (Miran Rahman)
More local news, as Keighley News also reports
A trio of Worth Valley Primary Schools have announced they are now part of a multi academy trust.
Oakworth, Lees and Haworth Primaries confirmed they have now come together to form Brontë Academy Trust. [...]
A spokesman for the venture said: "This is an exciting step forward for our schools. Oakworth and Lees converted on July 1 and the process for Haworth Primary was finally completed on September 1.
"On Thursday November 10 we had a launch event with representatives of staff, children, parents, governors and trustees."
The launch saw the staff and children from the school councils beginning the morning at West Lane Baptist Church with a talk from Sue Newby and Rebecca Yorke from the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
This looked at the heritage in the village and the significance of the Brontë sisters, who inspired the name of the new academy trust.
Following the talk the group was treated to a tour of the parsonage museum and was also given a guided tour of the village by Ms Newby. (Miran Rahman)
Good things DO come to those who wait - the Brontës have finally got their school!

Not very far from there, The Huddersfield Daily Examiner announces that,
Felix the Cat, Huddersfield Railway Station’s cat, has her very own portrait.
Huddersfield artist Rob Martin created the oil portrait of Felix in a dress at the station yesterday.
It depicts her as Felix Brontë – in an era of the Brontës. [...]
“Felix is a girl, but not many people know that with her name. It’s why she’s in a dress in the portrait.
“Also there is a Brontë connection as she’s coming from West Yorkshire so she’s seen as Felix Brontë in the portrait. (Joanne Douglas)
Kensington Chelsea & Westminster Today features John Joubert's Jane Eyre opera.
It was an unmissable privilege to be invited by Kenneth Woods to the recording of the world premiere of John Joubert’s third opera Jane Eyre. [...]
You’ve done the travelling; there is no marginal cost. Music critic and journalist Christopher Morley, and Senior New Music Editor at Faber Music, Elaine Gould’s introduction to Joubert was unmissable. I thought it would be useful.
It was essential, and at times a most moving tribute to their former teacher, who as he approaches his ninetieth birthday is extremely active, and his attendance raised the drama of the performance. Making the pilgrimage to Birmingham willingly, I was delighted by the experience. The other hacks were charming about the online Woods’ interview, and the school and its music
hall are gorgeous, as indeed is Sophie Larsson who was sitting next to me.
Since I’d lauded the two productions I saw her in last year (Woods’ Mozart’s Requiem K626, and the RCM’s Britten’s Albert Herring) we had a fine time. The opera itself is stunning. This in
concert production, recorded for live CD to be released on 1 March 2017, was a remarkably evocative rendition, and one was left feeling that this cast would certainly do the full-staged Jane Eyre justice. (James Douglas)
Impact suggests a trip to Hathersage as an 'arty outing'.
This ‘bit of culture’ can be found in Hathersage, a small village about an hour and a quarter away from Nottingham, which is the perfect place for your day out. None other than Charlotte Brontë visited this sleepy village in 1845, and took inspiration for various settings in her famous novel Jane Eyre. [...]
The route takes you out of the village, through sheep-filled fields, up towards the impressive gritstone Stanage Edge. On the way you’ll go past North Lees Hall which is the inspiration for Thornfield in Jane Eyre, particularly its battlements from which Rochester’s wife Bertha Mason plunges to her death. This manor house was one of the many family homes owned by the well-known Eyre family, whose name was also the source of Jane’s surname. (Anna Seton)
Entertainment (Ireland) comments on this statement by Kate Bush on MacLean's:
Q: There’s always chat about a Kate Bush biopic kicking around the BBC. Is that a turnoff for you? A: I don’t think it’s a very nice idea at all. I don’t think my life is that interesting. I’m quite a private person and I like my work to do the talking. However, if I ever were in a position to choose who would play me, I think I’d choose Johnny Depp. (Elio Iannacci)
While we'll respectfully disagree about how interesting your life has been, Kate, given Depp's recent film choices with Pirates of the Caribbean et al, maybe playing a reclusive legendary female musician doesn't sound as outlandish as it seems. Plus, we'd love to see him trying to nail the high notes and doing the 'Wuthering Heights' dance.
Or else Kate is trolling us all magnificently. Yeah, it's probably that, actually. (Lauren Murphy)
The Bad Sex Award was announced earlier this week and Independent (Ireland) discusses sex in literature.
Ironically, for a culture saturated (nope, still no pun) in sexuality, there really are a strikingly small amount of good sex scenes in literature. [Romance writer Abby Green] namechecks ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’, John McGahern’s ‘The Pornographer’ and, as “a classic example of suppressed passion”, ‘Wuthering Heights’. (Darragh McManus)
Oscilloscope, which distributed Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights, has an article on Filming the Unfilmable: On Six Versions of Emily Brontë’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Soheil Rezayazdi. Jane Eyre is one of '15 British books everyone should read in their lifetime' according to Business Insider.
The Charlotte and Emily Brontë Bruxelles devoirs have been translated into Italian by Maddalena De Leo:
I componimenti di Bruxellesdi Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë
Cura e traduzione de Maddalena De Leo

Editore: Ripostes
ISBN-13: 9788896933794
December 2016
And the flower-ed publishers releases a couple of Italian translations of Charlotte Brontë's unfinished novels:

Emmaby Charlotte Brontë
Collana: Five Yards
Volume: 2
Traduzione e cura di Alessandranna D’Auria
ISBN: 978-88-97815-81-5
Anno: 2016

Matilda Fitzgibbon è una ricca ereditiera. Ammessa al Fuchsia Lodge, la scuola privata delle sorelle Wilcox, è subito trattata con tutti i riguardi dovuti al suo rango. All’arrivo delle vacanze di Natale, la direttrice Wilcox invia un messaggio al padre dell’allieva, ma scopre, con l’aiuto dell’amico William Ellin, che si è verificato un terrib Emma è l’ultimo romanzo incompiuto dell’autrice resa celebre da Jane Eyre e Villette. Questa rappresenta la prima traduzione in italiano dell’opera e comprende l’appassionata prefazione che lo scrittore William M. Thackeray le dedicò sul Cornhill Magazine nel 1860.
ile malinteso. Un alone di mistero circonda la famiglia Fitzgibbon e le sue ricchezze. Pubblicato dopo la morte di Charlotte Brontë,

La storia di Willie Ellinby Charlotte Brontë
Collana: Five Yards
Volume: 1
Traduzione e cura di Alessandranna D’Auria
ISBN: 978-88-97815-79-2
Anno: 2016

1853. Charlotte Brontë ha trentasette anni e sta affrontando il periodo più difficile della sua vita. È rimasta sola con il padre nella silenziosa canonica di Haworth, villaggio industriale dello Yorkshire, a ridosso della ventosa brughiera. Ha sepolto le ultime due sorelle, Emily e Anne, è continuamente afflitta da malanni e guarda al futuro con incertezza. Il suo destino sembra legato a un’unica decisione, ma prenderla o meno implica ferire se stessa o suo padre. La sua paura più grande, quella di morire da sola, la opprime senza tregua, così Charlotte sacrifica il suo amore filiale e decide di sposare il reverendo Arthur Bell Nicholls, già respinto una volta. In quel momento nei cassetti della sua stanza giace un manoscritto incompiuto, scritto a matita: La storia di Willie Ellin. Questa rappresenta la prima traduzione in italiano dell’opera, la cui importanza deriva proprio dalla sua forma embrionale. Essa lascia scorgere e apprezzare il prezioso momento della prima stesura del pensiero della scrittrice salita agli onori letterari grazie Jane Eyre e Villette: errori, ripensamenti, abbreviazioni, fugaci paesaggi e personaggi che ci sembra di aver già conosciuto, da sempre vivi e vividi nell’immaginario dell’autrice fin dall’infanzia.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 11:25 am by Cristina in , , , , , , ,    No comments
The Saskatoon Star Phoenix reviews the University of Saskatchewan production of Brontë.
Charlotte and Emily regularly butt heads, with the former assuming the burden of keeping her family together and Emily refusing to accept both society’s and her sister’s rules. The tension between the two very different sisters is well-executed in strong performances by Eberle and Polischuk.
Jordie Richardson steps in as several characters, the most important of which is Bronte patriarch Patrick. He succeeds both in his dialect work and in convincingly assuming the maturity needed for the role.
Teale’s play looks inside the minds of the authors by featuring scenes from their books. Megan Zong and Yulissa Campos bring Wuthering Heights’ Cathy and Jane Eyre’s Bertha to vibrant life. It’s an effective technique that gives viewers insight into what the characters represent in their creators.
Director Natasha Martina, who is known for her use of movement, creates little moments, rather like paintings, in a play that doesn’t require over-the-top action. This beautiful subtlety feels appropriate given the Victorian setting, rewarding a viewer intent on taking in the details.
The play’s first act is engaging and economical, but the second act (which defies theatre tradition by being longer than the first) is over-padded. The exploration of Charlotte’s final months is out of place tone-wise and diminishes the impact of an earlier scene where Eberle’s performance is at its best. (Stephanie McKay)
BookPage has selected the '10 best mysteries and thrillers of 2016' and among them is
Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
“Readers worried that Jane Steele is simply a retread of Jane Eyre with more blood and gore, à la Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, fear not. Just when you think you know what is coming next, Jane Steele takes things in a completely different direction.” (Cat)
Another selection as The Week recommends what to to watch on TV over Christmas in the UK.
The Brontë Sisters: To Walk Invisible
Sally Wainright's To Walk Invisible reveals the extraordinary story behind the three remarkable Brontë sisters who drew on their traumatic family life experiences to produce some of the greatest English language novels. Stars Jonathan Pryce as the Brontë father, Adam Nagaitis as the troubled brother Branwell and Charlie Murphy, Chloe Pirrie and Finn Atkins as sisters Anne, Emily and Charlotte.
Do check out the recently-released media pack. And do write it in your diary: December 29th (the anniversary of Patrick and Maria's wedding in 1812, by the way) at 9pm on BBC One.

Hall of Fame Magazine celebrated Louisa May Alcott's birthday yesterday by sharing a short biography of her.
According to, Louisa wrote her first novel when she was just 17. It was titled The Inheritance and showed the influence of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre on the budding author. (Grace)
Huge Brontëite Anne Lloyd writes on her blog about the Charlotte Brontë exhibition at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York. Don't miss the post!! Toronto Public Library also marks the bicentenary.
12:30 am by M. in ,    2 comments
To Walk Invisible will be finally broadcast on BBC One next December 29th, 20:00 h and the BBC has released a media pack with several interviews with the cast and the writer Sally Wainwright:
"I wanted it to feel as authentic as it could. When people watch it I want them to feel that they are transported back in time. It’s not a chocolate box world and I hope it does reflect the real world that they lived in.
The primary aim of To Walk Invisible is to entertain people, for people to engage with it as drama and to enjoy it. I hope people will want to go away and know more about the Brontës, read their novels and read Emily’s poetry.
What’s interesting about the story to a contemporary audience is the domestic situation of the three Brontë sisters. The family are living with the alcoholic Branwell, who was very ill. It started in 1845 and goes through to 1848 when he died. The story is really about these three women living with an alcoholic brother and how they start trying to publish."
Interview with Jonathan Pryce:
What is To Walk Invisible about?
It’s about an extraordinary family. Three very self-contained women and then there's Branwell. There’s a lot of focus in this story on Branwell and it’s certainly the focus for me, because the girls were getting on with their writing, which was a secret from Patrick. People know less about Branwell and you discover what his problems were.
 Interview with Chloe Pirrie:
Has To Walk Invisible changed your perception of the work of the Brontës?
It’s changed my perception of all of them to some extent. I didn’t know anything about Emily before. I read Wuthering Heights when I was about 15 or 16, and when I got this job I reread it and had such a different experience. I had such a different reaction to it and perceived the characters very differently from how I did when I was younger.
Wuthering Heights is portrayed as a great romantic novel and when I read it again I thought, how is this romantic? All these people are horrible to each other! It’s just such a fantastic vivid, violent book in a way that I hadn’t processed. It had a strong effect on me, thinking about the person writing all these words and these dark characters. It’s such a forceful book, and when I read Sally’s script again I realised that Emily as a person is forceful. I could see absolutely where the script lined up with the author of this book. So that was very informative and it did change my perception of Emily.
Interview with Finn Atkins:
What makes it unique?
It’s not a sugar-coated drama about the Brontë family. It might surprise, because is shows them as real people. A lot more went on in their household than is necessarily known about. It’s nice to remind people these aren’t fairy tales, the Brontës were real people who went through a lot. It shows that side of their story.
Interview with Charlie Murphy:
Tell us about To Walk Invisible?
To Walk Invisible is a very real depiction of how things were back then, warts and all! It’s a harrowing look at family life in Haworth but it’s also gorgeous and has hope and spirit and is full of dark humour. It’s a depiction of real life, the sweet and the sour, there’s hope and there’s tragedy and that’s what life is isn’t it?
 Interview with Adam Nagaitis:
Tell us about your character?
I play Branwell Brontë. He’s an alcoholic and an addict in general. He’s also a writer, a painter and the brother of the Brontë sisters, the brother that people don’t really know about. His addiction drives a lot of this story; a lot of it is about the conflict between his sisters and him.
He’s very passionate and fiery and is young at heart but very intelligent. He’s a great artist and a really good writer but he just never honed down one skill and really worked at it. He was very unpredictable and saw himself as a gentleman. He wanted to be Lord Byron or someone, he wanted to be important and renowned, a famous author, and it just wasn’t going to happen, for many reasons.
I have a lot of opinions about what psychological conditions Branwell might have had. There are various books I looked at and people’s accounts and historian’s opinions are always different. He had seizures as a kid and didn’t get to go to school, and was educated by his father at home.
An alert from Girona, Spain:
Curs: Literatura en el Cinema
“De la narració literària a la imatge cinematogràfica”A càrrec d’Imma Merino
Llibreria 22
C. Hortes, 22 - Girona

Dimecres dia 30 de Novembre 2016
 19:00 a 21:00
Cims borrascosos” d'Emily Brontë / “Wuthering Heights” de William Wyler (1939) i “Wuthering Heights” d'Andrea Arnold (2011) 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 11:42 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    2 comments
Éditions des Saints Pères are publishing their facsimile edition of Jane Eyre this Friday December 2nd (remember the price is £229 for preorders as opposed to £249 for orders after that date). A couple of sites feature this gem. Psychologies interviews Jessica Nelson, co-founder of the publishing house.
The 824-page manuscript contains important revisions and corrections centred around the portrayals of Jane's encounters with Mr Rochester. Written in Brontë's elegant hand, it gives readers unprecedented insight into her creative process. The manuscript's publication marks the culmination of this year’s bicentenary celebrations of Charlotte Brontë’s birth.
Each luxury edition is illustrated with etchings by Edmund Garrett and presented in a deluxe slipcase decorated with iron gilding. As well as being printed on environmentally-friendly paper, Éditions des Saints Pères have pledged to plant one tree for each copy sold. [...]
Why did you choose Edmund Garrett's illustrations for the manuscript? They seemed the most beautiful to us, and the best fit for Charlotte Brontë’s writing. They have remained with us ever since we read a copy of Jane Eyre for the very first time, years and years ago…
Stylist has an article about it too.

Jane Eyre is also one of the 10 books about adolescence which young students should read according to Skuola (Italy).
4. Jane Eyre di Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre è un romanzo parzialmente autobiografico, che vuole far riflettere sugli aspetti importanti della vita, come la famiglia, l’amicizia, la fedeltà, il coraggio e l’amore. La storia è quella di una bambina orfana che dopo una brutta esperienza presso i suoi parenti, finisce in una scuola di carità. Lì la piccola Jane vive le sue esperienze incredibili e spesso scioccanti. Anni dopo diventa un’insegnante molto stimata dello stesso istituto, ma lo abbandona per fare l’istitutrice in una ricca e nobile famiglia per la figlia adottiva del misterioso Mr. Rochester. (Serena Santoli) (Translation)
Teens may also be the target of this (humorous?) Dysfunctional Literacy article on 'Bad Sentences in Classic Literature: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë'. Oh the fun of the verb 'ejaculate' in classics! (we are rolling our eyes here). Also, don't expect much of an article making this point:
The title Jane Eyre has always caused a problem for potential readers because nobody knows ahead of time who Jane Eyre was or why a book was written about her.  All a reader knows is that the main character is probably going to be Jane Eyre.  That’s usually how it works with book titles that are solely character names.   At least with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, the reader knew there were going to be adventures.
Charlotte Bronte later wrote a novel with an even worse title, Shirley.  Because Shirley has no last name in the title, most readers have no idea who Shirley is until they read the book.  The title of Shirley is so bad that the movie Airplane even made fun of it.
Brontë left an unfinished novel named Emma, but readers can find Jane Austen’s Emma if they feel they must read a novel about somebody named Emma.  Reader’s who get confused at book titles that are character names might prefer Brontë’s  novel The Professor because the reader knows that the novel is probably about a professor.  Even though that title is better, the book itself probably has some bad sentences in it.
This is honestly the first time that we hear about 'Jane Eyre' being a problematic title because of it being a name. So now let's trash all those other, similarly-named classics! Madame Bovary, Anna Karenin, Mary Barton, Anne of Green Gables, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Nicholas Nickleby, Rebecca (whose main character doesn't even have a name and is not Rebecca! Go figure!), Hamlet, Macbeth, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Robinson Crusoe, Moll Flanders, Mary Poppins, Peter Pan, Pippi Longstocking, Mrs. Dalloway, Carrie, Daisy Miller, Lolita, etc. All of those awful, awful writers didn't know what they were doing, poor things.

A.V. Club reports the death of actor Fritz Weaver whose
earliest TV roles included Playhouse 90, Studio One In Hollywood, and a TV movie of Jane Eyre. (Sam Barsanti)
According to IMDb it was the 1961 TV movie adaptation of the novel.

And we have to report another death as many news sites such as Mirror feature the story of a young walker who 'plunged to his death peering over beauty spot made famous in Harry Potter films'. The beauty spot was Malham Cove which
was also the location for the 1992 film of Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights", starring Ralph Fiennes as Heathcliff and Juliette Binoche as Cathy. (Chris Riches)
We are sorry about this transition but The Telegraph has selected a Brontë-related walk among 'Britain's best winter walks worth braving the cold for'.
22. Brontë Walk, Haworth, Yorkshire (8 Miles)
This year (2016) marks another literary anniversary, the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth. Her spirit lives on, with those of her sisters and brother, on Haworth Moors – at their wildest and most atmospheric in winter and the inspiration for so much of the Brontës’ work.
Heading out west from the pub, past Lower Laithe Reservoir and then back through Stanbury to the Museum Parsonage, you will pass, on the return, the Brontë Waterfall described by Charlotte as a “perfect torrent racing over the rocks, white and beautiful”.
Start/Finish: Fleece Inn (01535 642172,; OS Explorer Map OL21
Here are a couple of literary gift guides which include Brontë-related items: Brain Child and Paste magazine.
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
A student production of Jane Eyre is being performed in Idaho:
Snow Drama Theatre presents
Jane Eyre
Don Fleming, Playwright
Directed by Trevor Hill
November 16-19, 29-30 and December 1-2

Brigham Young University-Idaho
Rexburg, Idaho 83440

Charlotte Brontë's masterpiece provides an exciting, Gothic plot -featuring madness, secrets, disguises, arson, a large cast of strong-willed characters including Rochester, a passionate, tormented hero. It is a brilliantly insightful and realistic dramatization of a strong female character's feelings. Jane overcomes oppression and hardship from her childhood to develop strength and independence as she growns into a compassioante and confident woman. Don Fleming's adaptation is perfect for introducing younger audiences to this classic tale.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday, November 28, 2016 11:12 am by Cristina in , ,    No comments
Time Money magazine has Tracy Chevalier explain 'What Jane Eyre Can Teach Women Today About Money'.
“Reader, I married him” is one of the best-known lines in literature and may seem the most romantic too. Jane Eyre’s famous declaration at the end of the 19th-century eponymous novel by Charlotte Brontë sums up everything readers have been aching for throughout this much-loved tale of a “poor, obscure, plain and little” governess who, by remaining true to herself, triumphantly gets her man in a classic happy ending.
What most readers forget is the more pragmatic financial state of affairs that underpins Jane’s final decision to marry her employer, Mr. Rochester. In a clunky but typically Victorian deus ex machina, a long-lost heirless uncle conveniently dies and leaves Jane his fortune.
So when she says, “Reader, I married him,” it is worth adding “because I am now rich and can do whatever I want.” (Read more)
Cherwell interviews Virago Deputy Publisher Sarah Savitt and Virago Modern Classics Director Donna Coonan.
When you were younger, how aware were you of feminist writing?[...] Sarah Savitt: I have definitely always read women writers. I read Jane Eyre obsessively as a teenager. I had my most influential teacher in my last year at school and we read Wide Sargasso Sea and The Stone Diaries. They were two pivotal moments for me. (Ellen Peirson-Hagger)
AnneBrontë.org explores how the Brontës would have known Advent and Christmas. El camaleón azul reviews Jane, le renard et moi in Spanish.
12:43 am by M. in , ,    No comments
An alert for our London readers for December 8:
TV Preview: To Walk Invisible + Q&A
Thursday, 8 December 2016 - 6:45pm
Princess Anne Theatre, BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly

A preview of the BBC’s new one-off drama telling the story of the Brontë sisters, followed by a Q&A with writer Sally Wainwright and cast.
Produced by BBC Wales, and written and directed by multi-BAFTA winner Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax), To Walk Invisible follows the remarkable Brontë sisters, played by Chloe Pirrie, Charlie Murphy and Finn Atkins, who came from obscurity to create some of the best-known novels in the English language.

The drama revolves around the three sisters’ increasingly difficult relationship with their brother Branwell (Nagaitis), who in the last three years of his life sank into alcoholism and drug addiction, as well as their relationship with their father, played by Jonathan Pryce (Wolf Hall, Game Of Thrones).

Q&A hosted by Fiona Wilson.
With thanks to the BBC.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday, November 27, 2016 12:23 pm by M. in , , , , ,    No comments
Ian McMillan recommends literary tourism in The Yorkshire Post:
You can rent the house that Ted Hughes was born in in Mytholmroyd and one of the great Yorkshire sites of literary pilgrimage is the Brontë Parsonage in Haworth where it doesn’t take too much of a leap of the imagination to picture the sisters scribbling and dreaming under the wild and angry skies.
Salley Vickers, in The Guardian, argues for literary fiction as the best psychological therapy:
Take Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, for example (a novel which, in my view, surpasses the more celebrated Jane Eyre). Its hero, the emotionally repressed Lucy Snowe – plain, lonely, angry and desperately striving to be self-sufficient – suffers a painful breakdown as a result of weeks of friendless solitariness during her time as an English teacher in a Belgian school. From my professional knowledge of breakdowns, Brontë’s account is pin-sharp accurate and not only conveys a depth of experience (whether actual or imaginative) in its author, but acts as an objective correlative for those who have suffered in similar silence, conferring a critical lifeline, in the sense of not being quite alone in the world
The Observer reviews the album Do Easy by Tasseomancy:
Heart-shrinkingly twee, it drips from the speakers with its inexcusable song titles (Jimi Infiniti, Dead Can Dance & Neil Young), occasionally being mistaken for a tropical-house remix of Wuthering Heights. (Damien Morris)
We Got This Covered reviews the film Lady Macbeth by William Oldroyd:
More biting and less formal than most period pieces, Lady Macbeth was likely influenced by Andrea Arnold’s raw 2011 take on Wuthering Heights moreso than any lavish BBC period drama, embracing its less than £500,000 budget to realize an austere, minimalistic authentic style. Oldroyd’s film, like Arnold’s, takes a revisionist look at moneyed life in the Victorian era. (Brogan Morris)
BBC Radio 4's Open Book discusses
Also in the programme, the history of audio book,s and - as the original manuscript of Jane Eyre is published in a new edition - we explore the pleasure of seeing a writers' actual handwriting on the page.
Il Manifesto (Italy) reviews the Italian translation (Daphne) of the recent Daphne du Maurier biography published in France: Manderley for ever by Tatiana De Rosnay:
Firmando nel 1960 una biografia di Branwell Brontë, la prima in cui lo sfortunato fratello di Emily e Charlotte ha il ruolo del protagonista, Du Maurier manifestava l’intenzione di narrare la vicenda di «un presunto genio» la cui «infelicità» non era da imputarsi a una «storia d’amore abortita», come aveva sostenuto per prima Elizabeth Gaskell, ma all’«incapacità di distinguere la verità dal romanzo, la fantasia dalla realtà»: Branwell, conclude apertamente l’autrice, «fallì perché la vita era in disaccordo con il suo “mondo infernale”». (...)
Scriveva a suo tempo Muriel Spark che la principale qualità di The infernal world of Branwell Brontë sta nella «riposante benevolenza dell’interpretazione». Per quanto Du Maurier arrivi talvolta all’ingenuità, spiegava, è una vera «vacanza per il lettore» imbattersi in una biografia che privilegia «l’ipotesi migliore e non la peggiore». (Margherita Ghilardi) (Translation)
Vesna Armstrong Photography posts some pictures of Haworth by night; Bohater Fikcyjny (in Polish) reviews Wuthering Heights.
12:30 am by M. in , ,    No comments
A new YA book playing with Brontë juvenilia:
The Mourning Ring
Sarah Parke
ISBN-13: 978-1539635734
19 Oct. 2016

Sixteen-year-old Charlotte Brontë lives to tell stories. She longs to improve her fortunes through her writing. Charlotte’s father expects her to leave behind her childish fantasies in order to set an example for her three younger siblings.
But the Brontë children hold a secret in their veins—a smidgeon of fairy blood that can bring their words to life.
When Charlotte discovers that the characters from their childish stories exist in an alternate world called Glass Town, she jumps at the opportunity to be the heroine of her own tale.
The city of Angria teeters on the brink of civil war and Charlotte and her siblings must use their magic and their wits to save its people from a tyrant with magic abilities. But entering the fictional world means forfeiting control of their own creations. If they fail, the characters they have come to know and love will be destroyed.
Charlotte is determined to save the city and characters she loves, but when the line between creator and character becomes blurred, will she choose her fantasy or her family?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Keighley News has a couple of interesting stories. On the one hand:
Yorkshire drinks entrepreneur Sir James Aykroyd – owner of the famous Brontë Liqueur – has presented the Brontë Society with the original front door key of the Haworth village parsonage.
The presentation was made to Ann Dinsdale, principal curator of the Brontë Parsonage Museum as part of the year-long celebrations of Charlotte Brontë’s birth.
Sir James’ great-grandfather, the industrialist Sir James Roberts, originally bought and gifted the parsonage to the Brontë Society in 1928. (...)
Sir James said: “I'm delighted to pass the parsonage key into the custodianship of the Brontë Society.
"As a Yorkshireman I'm fiercely proud of my great grandfather’s role in securing the Brontë family home for posterity and in the continuing historic connection between my family and Haworth.”  (Miran Rahman)
On the other hand:
An artwork which inspired one of Charlotte Brontë's own creative efforts is to be auctioned off in Ilkley.
The watercolour painting, which is called "An Italian Scene", is by 19th century artist George Barret and was the basis for a drawing by Charlotte.
She worked from an 1830 engraving of the original picture, and her copy hangs in the Brontë Parsonage Museum. (...)
The Barret picture has been owned by Yorkshire-born composer David Jennings, who now lives in County Durham. (...)
"I typed the details of this engraving back into the Internet to research when the engraving was published and was astonished to find a link to the Brontës.
"I contacted Ann Dinsdale at the parsonage with my findings, and she posted me the relevant pages from a book called The Art of the Brontës, that has Charlotte's copy illustrated.
"My picture is possibly the only picture in private hands that was copied by one of the Brontës – all the others are probably in museums."
The original painting is due to be auctioned at Hartleys Auctioneers and Valuers on November 30 at Victoria Hall Salerooms, Little Lane, Ilkley. (Miran Rahman)
The auction catalogue says:
Estimated Price: 1000-1500£

Of Brontë Interest, George Barret Jr. (1767-1842),
An Italian Scene, watercolour and pencil, unsigned, label for Michael Bryan Gallery London verso, also lotting number for Bonhams Sale 27 Feb 2007 Lot 265, 12 3/4" x 18 3/4", gilt frame Note: A pencil copy of this picture made by Charlotte Bronte now hangs in the Bronte Parsonage Museum, Haworth, Charlotte copied it from an engraving of the picture made in 1830 and published in the 1831 "Forget Me Not" Annual, a copy of which was owned by the Brontë family. See "The Art of the Brontës" by Christine Alexander and Jane Sellars (Cambridge University Press 1995) Pg. 179.
Also in Keighley News you can see how the Brontë Parsonage staff celebrates their White Rose Award:
The Haworth museum was Highly Commended in the Best Large Attraction category of the Yorkshire-wide tourist awards.
Brontë Society representatives were among|1,100 people who attended the awards ceremony in Harrogate last week.
Kitty Wright, Executive Director of the Brontë Society said: “We are thrilled that the museum was a runner-up for this major award.
“The competition was very strong and being recognised in this way is testament to the hard work and dedication of all our fantastic staff and volunteers, of whom we are very proud.
“It’s the perfect ending to Charlotte’s bicentenary year.” (David Knights)
The York Press covers the book signing session by Alan Titterington at the Pyramid Gallery, presenting his book St John in the Wilderness:
Yorkshire author Alan Titterington will sign copies of his book St John In The Wilderness at a charity event at Pyramid Gallery in York this evening from 6pm until 8.30pm.
Pyramid Gallery has occupied a 15th century building at 43 Stonegate since 1992. “Before that it was a guest house for university students with a tiny shop at the front that sold Christian postcards and pamphlets,” recalls gallery owner Terry Brett. “But in 1848 and 1849 it was rented out to a family named Titterington, who had escaped from the shame of bankruptcy and public vilification in the West Riding.Controversially in his book, Alan claims that Branwell was a contributor to sister Emily’s epic Wuthering Heights, writing some of the darker, more dramatic scenes he claims were far beyond the imagination of a parson’s daughter sheltered within the confines of a genteel rural Yorkshire parsonage. Before its publication, Branwell was said to have been reading extracts from Emily’s work from his diary in the pubs around Halifax and just such a scene is described in the novel at The White Lion in Mytholmroyd, near Halifax. (...)
Going against previous historians’ beliefs, not least those of Daphne Du Maurier, the author claims even more controversially that Branwell’s dismissal from his tutor’s position at Thorp Green, near York, was not due to a known affair with his employer’s wife Lydia Robinson.
“They were friends of the Brontës and John Titterington was a close friend and patron of artist and poet Branwell Brontë, who had sadly passed away before the dramatic events that forced the Titterington family into exile in York.” (...)
Charlotte Brontë and her sister Anne, in her dying days, together with their friend Ellen Nussey, made one last visit to York Minster en route to Scarborough, shortly to become the final resting place of Anne, the only Brontë to be buried away from Haworth.
The author claims they made a visit to 43 Stonegate to have tea with their friend Mary Titterington and her children, later to be joined by John, by then on restricted day-release from the prison.
In return for friendship and financial assistance, brother Branwell, an aspiring portrait painter, repaid John’s kindnesses by painting oil portraits of him and his wife Mary. The paintings’ passage over 150 years from origination in their home at Higgin Chamber in Boulderclough, near Sowerby, Halifax, into the author’s possession is carefully recorded in the book.
The Globe and Mail interviews the author Deborah Levy:
What’s the best romance in literature?
The Lover by Marguerite Duras is a masterpiece. It’s about an impoverished young French woman in 1930s Saigon who has a culturally forbidden sexual encounter with an older Chinese banker. More existential than feminist, it is told with mind-blowing passion and intensity. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë has got to be one of the most enduring literary romances. I once taught that novel to an early morning class of students, many of whom had jobs at night working in bars or as security guards. So, to test if they were awake, I said, ‘Today, we’re going to look at the opening chapter of Charlotte Brontë by Jane Eyre.’ No one corrected me.
The Upcoming reviews the play Isabella at Theatre Utopia in Croydon:
Combining unaccompanied song, dance and choice lines from the original text (“You were my sun, Catherine, but the day is over,” says Heathcliff), Isabella manages to capture the raw energy of childhood and the world-ending importance of its characters’ ups and downs. The theatre company proves that well placed moments of silence can be brutally effective.
The production features a capable troupe of five, but it is Anya Williams in the titular role who deserves special mention. She is nuanced, subtle, blithely energetic and uses her voice with sensitivity to the small space.
For audience members who aren’t familiar with the book, this play might be a little difficult to follow. The importance of the smaller parts are lost in such a condensed format and the nature of some of the relationships don’t get a chance to be properly established. But for those who do know the novel, it’s clear that The Idle Hour have picked out their story with care and intuition. It will make audience members want to dig out their own battered copy for another read. (Laura Foulger)
Platform NTSU Magazine talks about a piece of public art in Nottingham:
‘Each month, I make the same familiar walk to and from Nottingham railway station. However my most recent trip was different; I hopped off the train in usual fashion and came across a colourful spectacle beneath the bridge over Station Street.
I later found out that it was the vibrant ‘Line of Light’ work of Jo Fairfax; produced to celebrate Nottingham’s UNESCO City of Literature status. Every day of the year, a new five-word line of poetry will be projected onto the dark brick wall of the underpass. These alternating inspirational words will continually bring a new burst of energy to the urban area. (Ella Bowers)
The poem is Verses by Lady Geralda (1836).

The Telegraph talks about the upcoming Christmas season at UK TV:
To Walk Invisible (BBC One). Nothing says Christmas like a lavish BBC One costume drama. This year's offering is a one-off film inspired by the lives of the Brontë sisters. Complex Emily (Chloe Pirrie), ambitious Charlotte (Finn Atkins) and determined Anne (Charlie Murphy) face a variety of crises and obstacles in their journeys on the way to becoming literary icons. Meanwhile, they grow up in between their vicar father (Jonathan Pryce) and ne'er-do-well brother Branwell (Adam Nagaitis), a frequently destructive and dangerous young man. (Adam White)
Bleeding Cool on fandom:
Fandom has been around for a lot longer than people realize, even in that way that goes beyond mild interest and towards those deeper fascinations that tend to spawn related activities. Charlotte and Emily Brontë wrote stories as children in the 1830s that we’d think of as fan fiction today.  (Mark Seifert)
The Times reviews David Astor by Jeremy Lewis:
This biography of the multimillionaire who owned and edited The Observer is shot through with a magnificent sly humour. To demonstrate he was “a refugee from my family”, David Astor visited the Rhondda and helped to unload a lorry. He didn’t know what a mortgage was, was ignorant of overdrafts and the realities of everyday expenditure, assumed that everyone on the staff of his newspaper had a private income, and employed Kim Philby to cover the Middle East because “he seems an extremely reliable chap and he has created a good impression”. The foreign editor was appointed “on the basis of an essay he’d written on one of the Brontë sisters”. (Roger Lewis)
Caitlin Moran's Celebrity Watch at the Times has a Brontë reference:
CW is always ready to tap a toe and twitch a hip to the tunes of Britney Spears. It once got caught in a 45-minute repeating loop, singing the “Woman-womanizer/ Oh oh!/ You’re a womanizer/ Oh oh oh oh oh/ oh oh oh oh/ Womanizer/ Womanizer/ Womanizer oh” from Womanizer— which, looking back, probably did materially affect the others visiting the Brontë parsonage at the time.
The Yorkshire Post presents the book Alice in Westminster: The Political Life of Alice Bacon:
Alice never married and never had children. Her contemporaries Barbara Castle and Jennie Lee both married but neither had children.
In his autobiography, Leeds East MP Denis Healey said that Alice had something of Jane Eyre but unlike Jane, “never found her Mr Rochester”. (Rachel Reeves)
Cape Cod Times suggests films to see with your children:
You don’t want to wait too long to show your kids old black-and-white movies. It could be the musical “Top Hat” (1935), with the phenomenal dancing and breezy humor of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, or the gangster movie “Angels With Dirty Faces” (1938), with James Cagney and the Dead End Kids, or the comedy “Topper” (1937), with Cary Grant and Constance Bennett, or the romance “Wuthering Heights” (1939), with Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon (bonus: It might get them to read Emily Brontë). (Tim Miller)
Powerful women in New Scotia. The Chronicle Herald reports:
The Women’s Executive Network has released its 100 Most Powerful list, and three Nova Scotians made the cut. (...)
Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, president and CEO of Digital Nova Scotia, has more than 20 years of experience across both public and private sectors. (...)
She told the network that one of her favourite, most inspirational lines is from the book Jane Eyre that reads: “Speak I must.”
The Irish Times on Irish musicians (or inspirations):
It was another second-generation Irish writer, Emily Brontë, who inspired Bush’s 1978 debut single Wuthering Heights. When it reached number 1, the 19-year-old singer was thrust into the limelight as one of the most exciting young talents of her era. Bush increasingly sought control over the way her work and image were presented. She famously championed the release of Wuthering Heights in the face of record company scepticism and, having won that battle, never looked back. (Johnny Rogan)
The Record reviews the film The Handmaiden:
For all the bilingual contortions of the dialogue (the theatrical version features color-coded Korean and Japanese subtitles), Park's movie speaks more than fluently in a Western-friendly cinematic vernacular. You may be reminded of Gothic romances like "Jane Eyre" and "Rebecca," or the Euro-noir manipulations of "Diabolique" and "Gaslight." (Justin Chang)
The Huffington Post lists literary romances:
3. Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester — Jane Eyre
Despite undergoing a number of trials and tribulations, their loyalty to one another prevails. We get to see their love on a number of different levels, not just that initial spark and attraction. (Louise Verity)
Dagens Nyheter (Sweden) reviews Isabelle Arsenault and Fanny Britt's Jane, le renard et moi in its Swedish translation: Jane, Räven Och Jag.
Ensamheten är monumental och blyertsgrå, tills Helén slår upp Charlotte Brontës ”Jane Eyre”. Där flödar plötsligt färgen i röd himmel och grön natur, blåa väggar och Jane Eyres kritvita, stiliserade ansikte som stirrar på läsaren. En glädje? Nja, det är ändå de detaljrika blyertsteckningarna som är viktigast och mest genomarbetade, med vackert skuggade stadsmiljöer och människors uttrycksfulla rörelser. Det är bara Helén som inte ser det. (Lotta Olson) (Translation)
La Tercera (Chile) talks with the artist José Pedro Godoy:
Me gusta mucho Stefan Zweig, quien escribió la biografía sobre María Antonieta; Manuel Puig, Mishima, Truman Capote; en el verano leí La historia del amor de Nicole Krauss y me encantó, también Cumbres Borrascosas, que la leí cuando estaba en la Patagonia, y si hiciera una película de ese libro, lo situaría ahí.  (Denisse Espinoza A.) (Translation)
Les Inrocks (France) loves the latest work by Weyes Blood:
Comme sa pop débarquée de l’âge d’or des seventies, dont les orchestrations vintage et les chœurs célestes nous triturent l’âme avec la même force que la relecture des Hauts de Hurlevent d’Emily Brontë. (Translation)
France Info reviews a recent concert of the Danish singer Agnes Obel:
"Riverside", un des morceaux-phares de son premier album "Philarmonics", est quant à lui magnifiquement revisité et crée une ambiance oscillant entre les Oiseaux d'Alfred Hitchcock et les Hauts de Hurlevent d'Emilie Brontë. (Translation)
The Times presents a new reader with the name Brontë. Pyrsephone reviews both Jane Eyre and Villette.