Friday, June 22, 2018

The popularity of retellings

On Friday, June 22, 2018 at 9:21 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
Spoilers are discussed on BookRiot.
Several years ago, a psychologist at UC San Diego found that spoilers actually increase, yes my friends increase, your enjoyment of a story. Nicholas Christenfeld and Jonathan Leavitt found that it’s low-level predictability that people really enjoy in a story, being able to make connections and figure out how things happen. Because humans like to feel smart, which means plotting may be more fun than being surprised by a plot twist.
This certainly explains the popularity of re-tellings. No one expects a Jane Eyre retelling to skip the harsh beginning, the wife hidden away in the attic, the fire, and the marriage at the end. (Aimee Miles)
The Times reviews Sally Cookson's new stage production, A Monster Calls.
Cookson, the director who has breathed new life into classics such as Jane Eyre and Peter Pan at the National Theatre, tends to do things her own way with her extraordinary, intelligent, physical productions that rely on the whole ensemble and a simple set. (Alex O’Connell)
The Independent features Garfield and its creator Jim Davis, who makes a good point.
It’s a far cry from when comic strips were decried as trash literature that should be thrown in the bin rather than get in the way of “proper” reading.
“Absolutely,” says Davis. “But there are studies that say two-thirds of newspaper readers started off reading the funny pages, and if you start with comics then you can move on to Wuthering Heights or whatever… there are no limits after that.” (David Barnett)
A contributor to Asbury Park Press shows how to make a Jane Eyre-inspired wine charm. Brontë Babe Blog is doing an A to Z (so far it's A to Q) of Charlotte Brontë's juvenilia.
An alert from the South Bank Community Cinema:
22 June
Doors Open 7.30pm
Film Starts 8pm

South Bank Community Cinema based at Clements Hall, Nunthorpe Rd, York

Wuthering Heights
PG (1992 Peter Kosminsky) 105 mins
As we approach 200 hundred years since Emily Brontë’s birth, we turn to the passions of her famous novel. Marking the feature film debut for both director, Peter Kosminsky, and Ralph Fiennes as Heathcliff, it also features Juliette Binoche as Cathy. Filmed in Yorkshire although, controversially, not at Haworth, this most tempestuous of love stories and rolling moors demands the big screen treatment.

We welcome an original member of the cast who will be coming along to to introduce the film and answer questions.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Times has now published a correction of the article from earlier this week.
June 21, 2018
We said in a caption that an official inventory had listed items entrusted to the Brontë Museum as “missing” (News, June 18). In fact, as the accompanying article made clear, the items were listed as “not seen”. We apologise for the error.
Keighley News highlights the Wings of Desire exhibition at the Brontë Parsonage Museum and other events taking place for Emily's bicentenary celebrations.
Birthday celebrations for Emily Brontë are really taking flight as the Parsonage Museum prepares for a second packed six months of activities.
The Haworth museum recently launched its Wings of Desire exhibition, which will run until July 23, and is free with admission to the museum.
And on the Brontë Society website it has released details of the next few events coming up before the end of the summer.
Keighley Central ward councillor Cllr Zafar Ali, the Lord Mayor of Bradford, was among guests during the launch of Wings of Desire this month.
Artist Kate Whiteford has produced new work inspired by the merlin hawk that Wuthering Heights author Emily nursed back to health in the mid-19th-century.
Kate, who specialises in land art, has combined film, poetry, music and paintings, and created a centrepiece film featuring footage of birds of prey in flight, the local landscape, and a birds-eye view of the flight to Top Withins.
The soundtrack includes Chloe Pirrie, who played Emily in 2016 Bronte biopic To Walk Invisible, reading from Emily’s poem The Caged Bird, and music from folk group The Unthanks.
The film can be seen in the Bronte Parsonage Museum, where there will also be Kate’s framed watercolour pictures inspired by Aerial Archaeology photographs of the Yorkshire Dales.
In the exhibition Whiteford meditates upon the iconography of the bird of prey, its metaphorical properties and associations with fight and flight, escape and predation. [...]
Birds that feature in the film will return to the Brontë Parsonage Museum on July 29, for another day of displays and handling by experts from SMJ Falconry.
Visitors can witness the beauty of hawks and other birds of prey in flight above the meadow behind the museum, from noon to 4pm.
The Brontë Parsonage Museum will continue its monthly talks on Tuesdays at 11am and 2pm, and the next one on July 3 will be entitled My Dungeon Bars.
A spokesman said: “Emily Bronte rarely left her native Yorkshire and when she did, it was with reluctance.
“This talk looks at the few experiences Emily had in the world at large and explores the idea that for her, home represented freedom, and her ‘dungeon bars’ were the constraint and alienation she felt when she was away.”
The talk is free with admission to the museum.
The Brontë Society is teaming up with Bradford Literature Festival to present a special event in Haworth on July 8 from 4pm to 5.30pm.
Renowned poet Jackie Kay will return to the village to celebrate the unveiling of her work commemorating Anne Bronte, specially commissioned by the festival, as part of the Bronte Stones project.
Jackie will read her work in Parson’s Field behind the Parsonage, where the Anne Stone is sited, then afterwards in the nearby Old School Room. She will team up with journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed to explore her inspiration, her work, and her affinity with Anne Brontë. [...]
Journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed presents Front Row on Radio 4 and Newswatch on BBC1, and is a visiting professor of Journalism at Kingston University.
She made a special Front Row about the Brontës on location in Haworth, and while reading English at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, her undergraduate thesis covered the portrayal of property and marriage in Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. [...]
Melanie Abrahams, this year’s guest curator at the Bronte Parsonage Museum, will lead a walk along Bronte pathways and moorlands on July 23.
She will be joined by guest speakers and artists John Agard, Sarala Estruch and Joe Williams, and local writer Tamar Yellin, as well as members of the public.
During a ‘walk of life’, inviting contemplation, reflection, and philosophical musings, they will be able to hear unfolding narratives, alternative stories and flights of fancy along both well-trodden paths, and lesser known routes. [...]
Until August 31, visitors to the museum can see one of the National Portrait Gallery’s most important pictures back in its original home.
The only known surviving portrait of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë together was painted by their brother Branwell in 1834 and is known as the ‘pillar portrait’ because of the central column Branwell added to obscure his own figure. (David Knights)
The Art Newspaper is looking forward to seeing Lily Cole's film Balls, her contribution to Emily's bicentenary.
Is there no end to Lily Cole’s talents? The supermodel, actress and activist has co-written and directed a short film to mark the 200th anniversary of Emily Brontë’s birth. Balls, which will be shown at the Foundling Museum in London and the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, Yorkshire (31 July-2 December), reflects on the progress of women’s rights over the past 200 years. The film explores the links between the story of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity, and Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights. Cole was awarded the Foundling Fellowship, alongside the artist Bob and Roberta Smith, in 2016.
The Star features the Great Exhibition of the North.
Organisers have tried to offer something for everybody. People can see Stephenson’s Rocket, which is making a visit ‘home’, John Lennon’s piano and Emily Brontë’s writing desk. (Richard Blackledge)
New Statesman celebrates 20 years of the British Library at its main building in St Pancras.
What most people know about the British Library is that we collect a copy of every book, magazine, newspaper and website published in the UK. We are also one of the great world libraries: our collections include almost every written language, and range from 3,000-year-old Chinese oracle bones to cutting-edge scientific research.  We now try to share our collections and knowledge with audiences internationally, building relationships and sharing expertise. Most recently, we loaned a selection of our greatest literary treasures to institutions in three Chinese cities, where the appetite for British culture is astonishing.
The fair copy manuscript of Jane Eyre – displayed at the concluding chapter, with its famous line, “Reader, I married him” – attracted enormous interest from both visitors and journalists in Shanghai. Jian Ai, as it is known in Mandarin, is read by many at school, and re-read later in life as affectionately as it is by English-speaking readers.
Such encounters reinforce the message – vital in the post-Brexit landscape – that the UK has an offer that is hugely attractive to Chinese audiences, across literature, culture, tourism and higher education. But if we are to grow into a world leader in the soft power stakes, careful but generous investment will be necessary. Our China project is supported by £1.6m of funding from the Treasury; such visionary support enables us to be more ambitious and target new audiences around the world. (Tessa Blackstone)
Bustle recommends My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows and shares an excerpt from it.
My Plain Jane centers on Charlotte Brontë's titular, fictional heroine, but this is definitely not the story you know and love from the original novel. Instead, the trio of authors bring their super-fun, tongue-in-cheek style to a madcap, Gothic ghost story (and yes, it has their witty commentary, just like in book one).
Now, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë is friends with Jane Eyre, who can see ghosts. Charlotte pushes Jane to take a job at the Society for the Relocation of Wayward Spirits, but Jane has fallen for the patriarch of Thornfield Hall, Mr. Rochester, and doesn't want to leave. (And don't worry, some of Rochester's more sexist habits get their ribbing—via a ghost that almost no one can see or hear, but still.) Add in supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood, and you've got a supernatural adventure that clearly pays homage and respect to Jane Eyre, but isn't afraid to poke a little fun at it, either. (Caitlin White)
Alexa Loves eBooks also posts about the book.

Lucy Mangan reviews Sally Bayley's memoir Girl with Dove for The Spectator:
Bayley retreats into books in a way even the most intensely bookwormish have surely rarely managed. [...]
Later, characters such as Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Jane Eyre (who else are you going to identify with when you have a madwoman upstairs in your home?) and Betsey Trotwood become as virtually living beings to her and she slips in and out of their stories and imagined thoughts in life and in the book. The voice and experiences of young Sally slide in and out of that of the Red Room’s suffering inmate, various mysteries in St Mary Mead and David Copperfield’s travails (unless he merges with one of the many other Davids, aside from the missing infant, that pepper the book) until the whole thing takes on a distinctly hallucinatory quality. It makes for a brilliant evocation of the porousness for children between reality and fiction; but in the absence of any factual footholds elsewhere, it makes judgment and orientation impossible.
My Domaine recommends '12 Books to Read in Your 30s (They're Life-Changing)':
Charolette [SIC] Brontë Jane Eyre
Featuring one of literature's most compelling protagonists, this classic is the definition of essential reading. (Megan Beauchamp)
The Penguin Classics editor suggests books for the summer holidays, including:
A Room of One's Own
Virginia Woolf
Woolf delivered two lectures at Cambridge University in 1928, under the title ‘Women and Fiction’. From these she developed A Room of One’s Own, an iconic extended essay that ranges through the history of literature, discussing Aphra Behn, Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë and Judith, Shakespeare’s imaginary sister. Woolf famously concludes that ‘a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.’ Hermione Lee called it ‘probably the most influential piece of non-fictional writing by a woman in this century.’ (Henry Eliot)
12:30 am by M. in , ,    No comments
A new book by Catherine Rayner is presented today in Leeds:
Wild Imaginings: A Brontë Childhood
by Catherine Rayner
Austin Macauley Publishers
ISBN: 9781786937773

This book will take you into the lives of the six Brontë children who were raised in Haworth Parsonage on the edge of the West Yorkshire Moors. Discover the world of a Victorian childhood and how the children dealt with isolation, the harsh education system and death.
Read about how the children used the graveyard surrounding their garden as a playground and how they found solace in making up stories of imaginary islands, kingdoms and people. Reality and imagination mingled and spread so that they lived in a fantasy world of ghosts, horror, religion, disease, war, scientific discovery, love and humor; here anything could happen. Learn about the background to the childhood of those who were to become such remarkable authors. This book is as accurate in its factual content as it is fascinating in its fantasy.
An Evening With Catherine Rayner
Thursday 21st June 18:30 - 20:00
Waterstones at Leeds

Catherine Rayner's new book Wild Imaginings looks at the fascinating lives of the Bronte siblings during the exciting days of childhood.
Join Catherine as she discusses her book and their lives of the Brontes as children. Afterwards there will be a questions and answer session, and an opportunity to purchase a signed copy of Wild Imaginings.
This is a free event but as spaces will be limited it is essential to reserve a seat, call 01132444588 or ask at the ground floor counter in our shop.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

On Twitter, the Brontë Parsonage Museum shares a still from Lily Cole's film Balls.
A few more details are shared on Facebook:


The Times reviews You Left Early: a True Story of Love and Alcohol, a memoir of novelist Louisa Young's life with composer Robert Lockhart.
In her introduction she admits to reservations about opening up her private life, but today it is quite clear where she’s coming from. “What I’m attempting to do is just fling open some windows. I just wanted to put it out there, how it was for me and him.” She says there are plenty of books on addiction from a personal point of view — she loves Russell Brand’s Freedom From Our Addictions, which is “very funny, deeply poignant” — but few accounts of what it’s like to be in love with an alcoholic. The best she read was The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë, but that was published in 1848. (Sally Williams)
Celeb Mix interviews singer-songwriter Brynn Elliott.
What would you say are your top three must-have items for when you’re out on the road? A good book is number one, I’m reading Jane Eyre right now. (Katrina Rees)
Movies Room (Poland) recommends the Polish translation of Jane, le renard et moi by Fanny Brit.
Przepięknie narysowana powieść graficzna o Helenie, zwyczajnej jedenastolatce, której wciąż dokuczają rówieśniczki ze szkoły. Ucieczką od nieprzyjemnej codzienności jest dla Heleny świat powieści „Jane Eyre” Charlotte Brontë. Jej bohaterka jest dla dziewczyny zarówno pokrewną duszą, jak i wzorem. To postać jednocześnie delikatna i pełna siły. Jej cech charakteru potrzebuje Helena, by przetrwać szkolne upokorzenia, dać sobie radę z dojrzewającym i nabierającym kobiecych kształtów ciałem, a w końcu z przytłaczającym poczuciem samotności i niezaspokojoną potrzebą akceptacji.
Scenarzystka Fanny Britt i rysowniczka Isabelle Arsenault w niebanalny sposób opowiadają o powszechnym problemie. Ich historia jest emocjonalnie wiarygodna, psychologicznie skomplikowana, a także olśniewająca graficznie. Niezwykle ważny temat, jak i mistrzowskie wykonanie sprawiły, że „Jane, lis i ja” była wielokrotnie nagradzana, trafiła też na listy rekomendowanych książek dla młodzieży w wielu amerykańskich bibliotekach. (Dagmara Trembicka) (Translation)
Cadence posts about Jane Eyre and Jane Eyre's Library shows a Japanese edition of the novel. Isidereads writes in Italian about Wuthering Heights.
1:05 am by M. in , ,    No comments
The new issue of Brontë Studies (Volume 43 Issue 3, June 2018) is already available online. We provide you with the table of contents and abstracts:
Editorial
pp. 173-175 Author: Amber A. Adams & Josephine Smith

Law Hill and Emily Brontë: Behind Charlotte’s Evasion
pp. 176-187  Author: Chitham, Edward
Abstract:
This article aims to describe the experiences and development in confidence which Emily Brontë gained by her stay at Law Hill, which Charlotte suppressed. Various authors have suggested that this was a crucial period in her life. Hilda Marsden thought Wuthering Heights was ‘born out of intense love for some special point of earth [Shibden and High Sunderland]’. Romer Wilson wrote, ‘Something very serious befell Emily’. Ernest Raymond said, ‘Emily may have experienced a passionate love’ at Law Hill. The following matters will be considered in this article: (a) Emily’s positive relations with some children and adults at Law Hill; (b) the educational practices and circle of acquaintance of the school’s head; (c) the social background of the pupils, daughters of tradesmen, not the gentry; (d) a means by which Emily could visit High Sunderland; (e) Emily’s only recorded adult friendship beyond her family. It also attempts to suggest why Charlotte airbrushed Law Hill from the record.

The Presentation of Joseph in Wuthering Heights
pp. 188-197 Author: Tytler, Graeme.
Abstract: 
Scholars concerned with Wuthering Heights are generally agreed that Joseph is a fundamentally unsympathetic character, basing this judgement as they seem to have done chiefly on his cantankerousness and his religious fanaticism. Yet to confine oneself to such aspects of Joseph’s presentation is to turn him all too easily into a mere caricatural figure. That he is, in fact, a quite complex personage, and not without good points, may be gathered from a careful examination of the comparatively frequent references made to him in the narrative. Thus, for example, quite apart from noting his staunch devotion to the Earnshaws as masters of the Heights, we discover that one or two characters who have been in conflict with him will readily seek his help in moments of crisis, as if they were conscious of the moral virtues by which he time and again proves himself an utterly reliable servant, and one perhaps deserving of the reader’s respect and affection.

‘It is well that he does remain there’: The Importance of Joseph in Wuthering Heights
pp. 198-208 Author: Quinnell, James
Abstract: 
Joseph, almost without exception, is read as an object of satire and ridicule. The fact that our perception of him is filtered through the unreliable narration of Lockwood and Nelly Dean has not been taken into account. We accept that Nelly does not have the whole story about the Earnshaw and Linton families, yet, curiously when one stops to reflect, we accept uncritically her words about Joseph. This article, through tracing Nelly’s words about Joseph, reconceives him. In particular, Joseph’s reading and speaking, often used as reasons to ridicule him, are discussed as being more to his credit. Joseph is also compared with Caleb Balderstone, the servant in Sir Walter Scott’s The Bride of Lammermoor (a novel that has been compared to Wuthering Heights), to highlight more positive qualities. The article concludes that Joseph’s loyalty is the quality that matters.

Death and its Aftermath in Wuthering Heights
pp. 209-221 Author: Newman, Hilary
Abstract: 
Death was a common occurrence in Emily Brontë’s world of nineteenth-century Haworth. It was a direct personal experience, too, in that Emily Brontë lost her mother when she was three and her two eldest sisters before she was seven. It is therefore unsurprising that the subject of death was of major importance to her. This article will examine Emily Brontë’s exploration of heaven or what may succeed death in Wuthering Heights. It will also look at the surprising number of recurrences of the words ‘kill’ and ‘murder’ in Emily Brontë’s only novel.

Charlotte’s Copies of Emily Brontë’s ‘Bonnet’ Portrait
pp. 222-247  Author: Heywood, Christopher
Abstract: 
This article introduces two newly found portrait studies, both copied from the watercolour portrait of a bonneted young lady in outdoor costume of the years 1838–40, known informally as the ‘Bonnet’ portrait of Emily Brontë. In a handwriting resembling Charlotte’s, an inscription on the back of the ‘Bonnet’ portrait names the sitter as ‘Emily Bronté | Sister of Charlotte Bronté | Currer Bell’. A newly found pencil copy of the ‘Bonnet’ portrait names the sitter as ‘Emily’, and is signed ‘CB’. This picture matches William Robertson Nicoll’s description of Charlotte’s pencil portrait of Emily, seen during his visit to Haworth in 1879. In addition, an unsigned, red Conté crayon copy of the ‘Bonnet’ portrait has recently been found at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, Haworth. Reproduced photographically and captioned ‘EMILY Brontë from a painting by Charlotte Bronte, hitherto unpublished’, this picture illustrated Frederika Macdonald’s article ‘The Brontës at Brussels’, in The Woman at Home for July 1894. The Conté crayon copy negates Clement Shorter’s undocumented surmise that Frederika had taken her illustration from a women’s fashion periodical. This article concludes that the pencil and Conté crayon copies identify the watercolour ‘Bonnet’ portrait as a likeness of Emily Brontë.

An Exercise in Archaeology: Researching the Silent Film Transposition of Wuthering Heights
pp. 248-259 Author: Seijo-Richart, María
Abstract:
The silent film Wuthering Heights (dir. A.V. Bramble, 1920) was the first ever transposition of Emily Brontë’s novel. It was produced as part of the effort of British film production companies to recover the audiences lost during the First World War. I describe how I approached my research of this version from an archaeological perspective, as no known copies of the film remain in existence. I relied on materials such as still photos and press reviews from the period to reconstruct the transposition. Then, the resurfacing of the film’s original script in 2015 compelled me to re-evaluate my initial conclusions in consideration of this new information.

Emily Brontë and Parmenides
pp. 260-262 Author: De Leo, Maddalena
Abstract:
Emily Brontë and the ancient Greek philosopher Parmenides are connected through their common belief in an eternal and imperishable Being. May Sinclair had also asserted this in her work on the Brontës.

Reviews
Journeywoman
pp. 263-265 Author: Pearson, Sara L.

Making Thunder Roar: Emily Brontë
pp. 265 Author: Duckett, Bob

Mr Nicholls: A Brontë Story
pp. 266  Author: Powell, Sarah

The Secret History of Jane Eyre: How Charlotte Brontë Wrote Her Masterpiece
pp.267-268 Author: Duckett, Bob

Stone Field
pp.268-269 Author: 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Scots national poet Jackie Kay will take part in the Brontë Stones project. The Sunday Post asks her about it.
Scotland’s Makar, Jackie Kay, has been asked to pen a tribute to Anne Brontë as part of a new memorial to the talented trio.
The Brontë Stones project, launched next month, will celebrate the literary legacy of the world-famous Yorkshire sisters with poetry or prose carved on stones laid along the eight-mile route between the sisters’ birthplace in Thornton and the family parsonage in Haworth.
Novelist Jeanette Winterson will celebrate the Brontë legacy as a whole while singer Kate Bush fittingly marks Wuthering Heights author Emily.
Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy is providing a poem for Charlotte, who wrote Jane Eyre, while Jackie will take just 100 words to salute Anne, who most famously wrote Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, before her death at just 29 in 1849.
Jackie was asked by the organisers which she’d choose and was in no doubt which sister she wanted to write a poem about.
“Anne was the one who is often overlooked and is the outsider in her own family,” said Jackie, 56.
“She is a feminist and is much more radical than her sisters, despite being seen as a pale reflection of them.
“I first read Jane Eyre when I was 19 and then I read Wuthering Heights and then Anne’s books. That’s the order people usually do it in but they should start with Anne because her book was finished first.
Jane Eyre is very influenced by Agnes Grey, even down to the plain governess.”
Each of the four has just 100 words to fit the stone.
Jackie said: “It had to be very small, that was the hardest thing, but also thrilling as you are making a poem for a certain purpose.
“I felt that Anne was misunderstood by her own sisters and is the only one not buried there, she’s buried in Scarborough.
“I liked the idea of the stone returning Anne home and her addressing the sisters in her poem. She could be addressing Charlotte and Emily, but could also be addressing all women, the sisterhood.
“‘Sisters you’ve got me wrong all the time’, is one of the lines. And I decided to have a poem within a poem, so there are some words differently emphasised and if read separately they will form their own little poem.
“It’s a bit like a secret. But I’m chuffed to be given the challenge and being in such company.
“I’m a huge fan of Kate Bush. Her lyrics are amazing and she’s a poet of song. When I first heard Wuthering Heights all those years ago it pierced right through me.”
Jackie’s stone will be in meadow directly behind the parsonage which is a mecca for Brontë fans from all over the world.
“There is an extra special resonance to the idea of Anne returning and it will be like she has never been away, which is lovely.” (Bill Gibb)
Daily Times (Pakistan) tells about a trip to Haworth and the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
I was standing in front of a plain dining table in the Brontë Parsonage in the village of Haworth, in Yorkshire, England. The Brontë sisters, arguably England’s most famous literary family, had written all their great novels and poems on that table. I was awestruck at the simplicity of their lives. The site is visited by hundreds of thousands of “literary pilgrims” every year who are presumably similarly awestruck. [...]
I walked over to the cemetery and stood next to their graves [sic]. The sisters had died very young but their place in posterity was assured. Such was the power of the written word. I walked around in the adjacent garden and reflected on the purpose of life. [...]
The trip to Yorkshire had been rewarding in so many ways. The scenery was stunning. But the lasting memory that has stayed with me is that of the village of Haworth and its Brontë parsonage. Every time I pick up my copy of Wuthering Heights, I am transported to that dining table and to the surrounding moors. (Ahmad Faruqui)
Leeds-list includes a trip to Haworth on a list of '25 Things You Absolutely Have to Do in West Yorkshire Before You’re 25'.
19. Follow in the footsteps of three of the world’s greatest novelists
Ever wanted to see the moors that inspired Wuthering Heights or the place where the famous Brontë sisters grew up? You can do it all in one day with a trip to Haworth. First, head over to the Haworth Parsonage – it’s been turned into a museum and it’s filled with a treasure trove of letters, papers and early edition novels that will give you a unique glimpse into the sisters’ lives. Afterwards, take a walk to Brontë Falls, Brontë Bridge and the Brontë Stone Chair.
Io Donna (Italy) recommends several literary destinations across England.
Punto di partenza di questo itinerario è senza dubbio la cittadina di Haworth, abbracciata dalla brughiera dello Yorkshire, dove ancor oggi vive sul mito della famiglia Brontë. Perché è proprio qui che, nella prima metà dell’Ottocento, scrissero le loro opere le famigerate sorelle Emily, Charlotte e Anne, che qui vivevano con il fratello Branwell e con il reverendo padre. Il locale e visitatissimo Brontë Parsonage Museum, casa museo a loro devota, dove si trova la sala da pranzo dove Emily scrisse “Cime Tempestose”, Anne “Agnes Grey” e Charlotte “Jane Eyre”. L’ispirazione? Seduttive e tormentate d’autunno, malinconicamente fiorite in primavera, silenziosamente cariche d’attesa in estate e spettacolari d’inverno, sono le brughiere del North Yorkshire Moors ad avere inciso senza dubbio sulle pagine delle sorelle. (Translation)
Keighley News has an article on the poor state of a footpath between West Lane and Church Street in Haworth.

 World Socialist Website discusses whether Philip Roth was a misogynist.
It is also a backward and, frankly, philistine notion that men ought to be most interested in writing about men, and women about women. In addition to the social question, certainly the central element, there is also a natural, human curiosity in the opposite (almost regardless of sexual orientation). Men spend a good deal of their time thinking about women, and, I believe, vice versa. Contrary to Cixous, Pollitt and their shallow, self-centered ilk, it is certainly “possible to suggest” that men, under certain conditions, might hold the better mirror up to women than women themselves—and, again, vice versa. [...]
Jane Austen is as much (or more) remembered for Mr. Darcy and George Knightley as she is for Elizabeth Bennett and Emma Woodhouse. The same goes for Charlotte Brontë in relation to her Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre, and Emily Brontë in relation to Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw. George Eliot titled four of her seven novels after male characters and only one, one of her weakest works, after a woman (Romola). Women artists, it turned out, had a special concern with and sympathy for the difficult and often heartbreaking situations of many men in class society. (David Walsh)
While a columnist on KPC News wonders,
Seriously, though, who honestly expects a 15-year-old boy to read and get anything out of Jane Eyre? (Steve Garbacz)
Vulture interviews Jeff Goldblum.
I’ve pestered people — there’ll be plenty of people you’ll come across who’ll say “keep Jeff Goldblum away from me with the books,” because over the decades I’ve done a lot of recitations. I like the written word. I like language. I like a good story for heaven’s sake. I try to be sensitized to anybody’s disinterest but for those who are interested I’m always raring to go. And yeah, early in our relationship my now-wife and I were at a restaurant and I happened to have Gatsby with me and I said, “Just for the heck of it, would you want me to read any of this to you?”
This sounds like a strategy. I don’t think it was, but it may have been. As you know, you can go to dinner and there’s much to talk about but sometimes it’s also fun to share a reading or two. I also read her The Catcher in the Rye. In my past I’ve read Wuthering Heights out loud to someone.
Who? Someone in my distant past. I can’t say who. (David Marchese)
The New York Times reviews the book Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging by Alex Wagner.
From her mother’s side, Wagner had been enchanted by stories of Burma but also listened with a sense of detachment, struck by their glamorous unreality. Her grandmother, Mya Mya[...]’s own father had attended Methodist mission schools. He raised a houseful of daughters like “catty, upper-crusty Brontë characters.” (Maud Newton)
StarctMag has an article on the 40th anniversary of Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights. Signature Reads has compiled a list of '12 Quotes on the Innocence of Children', including one from Jane Eyre. Finally, on the Brussels Brontë Blog, Helen MacEwan writes about the recent Annual Brontë Society weekend.
A new Polish translation of Branwell Brontë's poetry has just been published:
Poezje
by Branwell Brontë
Translation Dorota Tukaj
Introduction by Eryk Ostrowski
Publisher: C&T
Data premiery: 16.05.2018

Branwell Brontë (1817-1848) - brat trzech słynniejszych od niego sióstr. Ale to jego poezje urzekają językiem i klimatem "Wichrowych Wzgórz". Wybór wierszy i poematów w przekładzie Doroty Tukaj, w układzie i ze wstępem Eryka Ostrowskiego, znawcy tej epoki i twórczości rodzeństwa.
Samotny stoję, pochylam się – słychać, / Jak dziki podmuch przeraźliwie wzdycha; / Jak hen, daleko, z lamentem żałosnym / Nad siwą skałą chyli gęste wrzosy, / Potem się wznosi w jesionowym gaju, / Po ziemi zwiędłe liście rozrzucając; / Ciemnieją mury, gdy deszczem w nie wali, / Potem, zawodząc, ginie gdzieś w oddali.
Well, we are aware of Mr. Ostrowksi's views (Branwell-wrote-Wuthering-Heights-and-not-his-envious-and-untalented-sisters). Onet Kultura interviews him and well... God deliver Branwell from some of his exegetes.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Monday, June 18, 2018 10:39 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
Disheartening news from the former Red House Museum as reported by The Telegraph and Argus.
Supporters of a former museum which was closed down due to budget cuts more than a year ago have reacted with dismay after it emerged that the Council has spent almost £30,000 on the empty building's upkeep in 12 months.
Kirklees Council, which owns the Grade II listed 17th-century Red House building in Gomersal, closed the museum's doors to the public in December 2016. But it was not until April last year that the building was fully vacated by the museums service.
Since then a total of £27,829.27 has been spent from April 2017 to March 2018, covering such things as repairs, servicing, maintenance - and is almost the same amount as it cost the authority to run while it was functioning as a museum. [...]
Erica Amende of Spen Valley Civic Society said it was interesting how much money was being spent on the empty museum and that she feared it would be some time before the Council disposed of it.
"With respect to Red House the Civic Society’s view is that its closure continues to dismay local residents.
"The Civic Society thinks that it could have been better marketed for its heritage contents and Brontë connections, given the high number of foreign tourists visiting Brontë sites.
"A lot of local historical artefacts in the museum are now not accessible to the public, and there has been no information from the Council about that has happened to them, or any alternative strategy for making them accessible to local people in the future."
The museum was itself a victim of budget cuts within the authority's museums and galleries departments, which was slashed by half. [...]
Paul Kemp, service director of economy, regeneration and culture at Kirklees Council, said: “The closure of Red House Museum was part of a plan to transform Kirklees Council’s Museums and Galleries offer so that it could provide improved customer services for 21st century audiences in the context of a reduced budget. The savings from closure of the museum will exceed the costs of securing the building in the short term until it is disposed of.
"The guardian scheme is a cost effective, efficient means of security that we have used on many occasions. The guardians act as in house security and our experience is that this greatly reduces the risk of vandalism, break ins and anti-social behaviour.
"There is a minimal cost to the council for this scheme as the company which provides the guardians recover the majority of their costs from the fees they charge to the individual guardians."
He added that the marketing of the site for disposal would begin later this year. (Jo Winrow)
Book Riot suggests literary destinations in Scotland.
If you have time for a trip up to the Orkneys, a chain of islands at the very north of Scotland, I’m jealous. I’ve been dying to go there ever since I read The Flight of Gemma Hardy, Margot Livesey’s retelling of Jane Eyre. Set partially on a small Orkney island, the novel brings to life the stunning scenery of the area. (Kathleen Keenan)
The Scotsman features the novel The Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers.
The book tells the story of the real-life Cragg Vale Coiners – a gang of weavers and peasants in remote moorland villages near Halifax in the 1760s – who created their own fake coins by clipping the edges off legal coins, remilling them so they were slightly smaller, and collecting the shavings to make counterfeit coins. [...]
Robert Parker, the Halifax solicitor who led the prosecutions against them, is thought by some to have been a possible model for Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, which Emily Brontë wrote just 10 miles away at Howarth [sic].
In Strange World of the Brontës, Marie Campbell tells a bit more about him and the possible Brontë inspiration.
Halifax solicitor Robert Parker has also been likened to Emily Brontë's Heathcliff, for he too rose from obscurity and married a wealthy woman almost twenty years his senior. His wife was Ann Prescott and after their marriage in 1754, Parker went into partnership with her kinsman John Baldwin, a lawyer. Parker quickly rose to become a prominent figure in Halifax. He lent money to Baldwin who defaulted on the debt. Parker took Calico Hall, his debtor's family home in lieu of payment. Robert died a wealthy man but his son Robert Jnr. was a bitter disappointment to him for he was a weakling just as Heathcliff and Isabella's son Linton was. Emily may have heard Parker's story when she was at Law House.
Brontë Babe Blog posts about Jane Austen's juvenilia, comparing it at times with the Brontës'. AnneBrontë.org looks back on the Brontë grandfathers.
A new French translation of Daphne du Maurier's The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë has just been published:
Le monde infernal de Branwell Brontë 
by Daphne du Maurier
Translation by Jane Fillion
Gallimard
Collection Petit Quai Voltaire, La Table Ronde
ISBN : 9782710385981
24-05-2018

Branwell est l'enfant maudit de la famille Brontë. L'unique frère de Charlotte, Emily et Anne était pourtant promis à un brillant avenir. C'est lui qui construisit le monde imaginaire de la fratrie, inventa les jeux qui nourriraient l'imagination de ses sœurs, lui qui les inviterait à la création, à l'écriture. Mais l'enfant prodige devint peu à peu un poète déchu s'aidant d'alcool et d'opium pour surmonter la folie, tandis que ses trois sœurs accédaient à la renommée.
En 1960, lorsque de nombreux manuscrits de Branwell sont découverts au presbytère de Haworth, Daphné Du Maurier s'étonne qu'aucun biographe ne se soit penché sur ce sombre personnage. Jane Eyre, Les Hauts de Hurlevent, Agnes Grey... Ces chefs-d'œuvre auraient-ils vu le jour si leurs auteures, durant l'enfance, n'avaient pas connu le monde fantastique façonné par Branwell? C'est la question qu'elle se pose tout au long de ce roman vrai.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sunday, June 17, 2018 10:20 am by M. in , , , ,    No comments
This is a very disturbing news item. Daily Express (not the most reliable source, we know) publishes the complaints of a current trustee of the Brontë Society (who is also accused of bullying a member of the staff of the museum) about missing items in the Brontë Parsonage collection:
But this is no novel blueprint – the drama is happening for real at the Brontë Society and it has led to an elderly trustee being partially banned from the Parsonage Museum in a row over “missing” family treasures worth more than £200,000.
Anne Simpson, 79, has been accused of “harassment and bullying” at the museum in Haworth, West Yorkshire, and now faces being forced out of the literary society which preserves the legacy of the Brontë family, the most notable members being Charlotte, Emily and Anne.
Mrs Simpson launched her own inquiry after noticing some items in the society’s inventory, including letters and books, were recorded as “not seen”, but claimed her concerns were brushed aside.
Shortly afterwards, Mrs Simpson received 60 pages of the last official appraisal of the Brontë Collection by auction house Christie’s in 2011.
According to the inventory, posted to Mrs Simpson by a museum source, Brontë artefacts worth £200,000 entrusted to the Parsonage were recorded as “not seen”.
The 15 items, mainly letters and books, donated or bought by society members, are believed to include two letters sent to former servant Martha Brown by the family in 1849 and 1854, together valued at £120,000.
Also worth tens of thousands is correspondence with artist JH Thompson, who produced a portrait of Charlotte, her suitor Henry Nussey and WS Williams, literary editor of publishers Smith Elder.
Mrs Simpson said she was assured by a staff member that they were all accounted for and regarded the case as closed, but the woman complained about her behaviour and she found herself accused of harassment, bullying, fiddling expenses and failing to attend meetings. All four complaints against her were upheld following an investigation.
Mrs Simpson said: “These allegations arose following my request, using due process, for information as to where certain items in the Parsonage Museum Collection were stored. My offers to go to mediation in order to resolve this dispute in private have been refused.” (...)
John Thirlwell, chairman of the society’s board of trustees, said: “The board investigated the concerns raised by Mrs Simpson and satisfied itself that the collection is completely safe and secure and managed in accordance with our accredited museum status.
“In not one of the Christie’s inventory documents is any item marked as ‘missing’ and the specific items referred to in the inquiry from Mrs Simpson are all accounted for and in secure storage. (Mark Branagan)
We wonder, in our naivety, wouldn't it be simpler to show the 'missing' items publicly and end the controversy?
EDIT: The Daily Mail (surprise, surprise) echoes the news. As does The Times.

The Guardian has an article about rose breeder David Austin:
At 92, Austin is still involved in the rose business, meeting every morning with his breeder Carl Bennett to discuss progress. The breeding programme continues apace. Nearly 60 years after his first rose, ‘Constance Spry’, made its debut, three new Austin roses were launched at the Chelsea flower show. Each took a decade or so to develop, from pollinating the parent plant to it finally going on sale to the public: ‘Tottering-By-Gently’ is a buttery yellow single rose that is great for bees and has particularly good hips; The Mill on the Floss is a mid-pink deeply cupped bloom; and ‘Emily Brontë’ is a variety with neat pale pink and apricot flowers. (Jane Perrone)
The Daily Mail interviews the television and radio presenter, Zoë Ball:
The book I give as a gift
I like looking in old bookshops and finding beautiful copies of the classics, so probably an old volume of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. I’m always moved by how she wrote it so young – it was published when she was 29, the year before she died. I find the Brontë sisters in general very impressive, as they managed to be so industrious in a time when women had so few opportunities. (Gwen Smith)
The Sunday Times reviews A View of the Empire at Sunset by Caryl Phillips:
This is not his first conversation with a dead female writer: The Lost Child (2015) was inspired by Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. Rhys, too, had entered into dialogue with a Brontë. Her final masterpiece, Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), explored the life of Jane Eyre’s Bertha before she became the madwoman in Rochester’s attic. Authorial interests, then, are gloriously tangled. (Lucy Atkins)
Anchorage Daily News reviews the novel The Wild Inside by Jamey Bradbury:
Bradbury, who has an M.F.A. degree from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro and has written for this newspaper, has also served in the Peace Corps and worked for two years as an assistant to the novelist John Irving. Irving has praised "The Wild Inside" as "an unusual love story and a creepy horror novel—think of the Bronte sisters and Stephen King." (Nancy Lord)
The Toronto Star talks about the TV series Southern Charm:
For a long time, its biggest juice revolved around Thomas Ravenel — a former politician and very definition of Good Ol’ Boy who once actually went to jail for 10 months for drug trafficking — and his on-off, way younger squeeze, the aforementioned Kathryn, whom he managed to knock up not once but twice! All within the span of the life of the show.
Think of them as a kind of inky-dark answer to Heathcliff and Catherine. With a dash of Get Out. (Shinan Govani)
El Tiempo (Argentina) interviews singer Julieta Venegas:
Sentada en un sillón al fondo de la librería Eterna Cadencia, en Palermo, Buenos Aires, Julieta Venegas lee ‘Jane Eyre’, de Charlotte Brontë. La novela publicada en 1847 es uno de los títulos que la cantante mexicana eligió para compartir con el público en la clase magistral de la temporada 2018 del Ciclo de Letras del Centro Cultural San Martín.
En la charla ‘Mi vida como lectora’, Venegas interpreta algunas de sus canciones y lee fragmentos de los textos que marcaron su experiencia como lectora. “Jane Eyre es un libro muy importante para mí. Como dicen los adultos cuando quieren que un niño lea: ‘Algún día vas a encontrar un libro en el que te veas reflejado’. Eso me pasó a mí con ‘Jane Eyre’ ”. (Natalia Blanc) (Translation)
Grazia (France) quotes actress Lily James saying:
"Ces personnages n'ont rien à voir les uns avec les autres mais partagent le même amour des livres. Ils s'échappent à travers les mots de Jane Austen ou Charlotte Brontë, c'est follement romantique. Le cinéma et la littérature ont cela de magique qu'ils font tomber les barrières." (Perrine Sabbat) (Translation)
Página 12 (Argentina) discusses Angela Carter:
Si se me pide una definición diré que Angela Carter es como una Karen Blixen/Isak Dinesen que se cayó en un burbujeante caldero con LSD hasta los bordes con Kate Bush como música de fondo. O una Brontë liviana de hermanas, independiente y trotamundos. En un mundo mejor y más justo, a Carter deberían volverse adictos los millones de jóvenes que se quedaron sin su dosis de Harry Potter o de vampirismo para escolares. (Rodrigo Fresán) (Translation)
Epic Reads publishes an excerpt from the upcoming novel My Plain JaneMille (et une) lectures de Maeve (in French) reviews Daphne du Maurier's The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë. The Sisters' Room reviews the Italian translation of Emily Brontë by Agnes Mary Robinson.
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
An alert in Weilburg, Germany. More than a talk, maybe less than a theatre performance:
Residenz-Buchhandlung present
Matinée: Die Geschwister Bronte - Ein Traum über die Wirklichkeit
June 17, 11:00 AM
Bergbau- und Stadtmuseum

Tauchen Sie ein in eine Familiengeschichte, ein Leben zwischen Traum und Realität. Dem Publikum öffnet sich eine Welt voller Phantasie und verwunschener Atmosphäre. Wer waren die Geschwister Bronte wirklich? Kommen Sie mit auf eine Reise durch das Leben dreier weltbekannter faszinierender Frauen und deren Kampf ums Überleben.
Via Weilburger Tageblatt.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Recent and current activities at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Keighley News:
Birthday celebrations for Emily Brontë are really taking flight as the Parsonage Museum prepares for a second packed six months of activities.
The Haworth museum recently launched its Wings of Desire exhibition, which will run until July 23, and is free with admission to the museum.
And on the Brontë Society website it has released details of the next few events coming up before the end of the summer.
Keighley Central ward councillor Cllr Zafar Ali, the Lord Mayor of Bradford, was among guests during the launch of Wings of Desire this month.
Artist Kate Whiteford has produced new work inspired by the merlin hawk that Wuthering Heights author Emily nursed back to health in the mid-19th-century.
Kate, who specialises in land art, has combined film, poetry, music and paintings, and created a centrepiece film featuring footage of birds of prey in flight, the local landscape, and a birds-eye view of the flight to Top Withins.
The soundtrack includes Chloe Pirrie, who played Emily in 2016 Brontë biopic To Walk Invisible, reading from Emily’s poem The Caged Bird, and music from folk group The Unthanks.
The film can be seen in the Brontë Parsonage Museum, where there will also be Kate’s framed watercolour pictures inspired by Aerial Archaeology photographs of the Yorkshire Dales.
In the exhibition Whiteford meditates upon the iconography of the bird of prey, its metaphorical properties and associations with fight and flight, escape and predation. (...)
The Bronte Parsonage Museum will continue its monthly talks on Tuesdays at 11am and 2pm, and the next one on July 3 will be entitled My Dungeon Bars.
A spokesman said: “Emily Brontë rarely left her native Yorkshire and when she did, it was with reluctance.
“This talk looks at the few experiences Emily had in the world at large and explores the idea that for her, home represented freedom, and her ‘dungeon bars’ were the constraint and alienation she felt when she was away.”
The talk is free with admission to the museum.
The Brontë Society is teaming up with Bradford Literature Festival to present a special event in Haworth on July 8 from 4pm to 5.30pm.
Renowned poet Jackie Kay will return to the village to celebrate the unveiling of her work commemorating Anne Brontë, specially commissioned by the festival, as part of the Brontë Stones project.
Jackie will read her work in Parson’s Field behind the Parsonage, where the Anne Stone is sited, then afterwards in the nearby Old School Room. She will team up with journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed to explore her inspiration, her work, and her affinity with Anne Brontë. (...)
Melanie Abrahams, this year’s guest curator at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, will lead a walk along Brontë pathways and moorlands on July 23.
She will be joined by guest speakers and artists John Agard, Sarala Estruch and Joe Williams, and local writer Tamar Yellin, as well as members of the public.
During a ‘walk of life’, inviting contemplation, reflection, and philosophical musings, they will be able to hear unfolding narratives, alternative stories and flights of fancy along both well-trodden paths, and lesser known routes. (...)
Until August 31, visitors to the museum can see one of the National Portrait Gallery’s most important pictures back in its original home. (David Knights)
Sarah Shoemaker, author of the Jane Eyre sequel Mr Rochester, defends him in the letters to the editor of The New York Times:
To the Editor:
Lauren Groff (By the Book, May 27) seems confident that Charlotte Brontë “knew” Mr. Rochester was “a villain.” However, one year after the publication of “Jane Eyre,” Brontë wrote to her editor: “Mr. Rochester has a thoughtful nature and a very feeling heart; he is neither selfish nor self-indulgent; he is ill-educated, misguided; errs, when he does err, through rashness and inexperience: he lives for a time as too many other men live, but being radically better than most men, he does not like that degraded life, and is never happy in it. He is taught the severe lessons of experience and has sense to learn wisdom from them. Years improve him; the effervescence of youth foamed away, what is really good in him still remains. His nature is like wine of a good vintage: time cannot sour, but only mellows him. Such at least was the character I meant to portray.”
The Irish Times insists on imposing a contemporary view without context:
As much as we might love the novel, she adds, “the Wuthering Heights version of love is horrible and damaged. If anybody came to me who was suffering what Cathy suffered you'd be telling them to call the guards.” (Jennifer O'Connell)
AltDaily reviews the Williamsburg (VA) performances of Jane Eyre. The Musical:
There is no shortage of talent in this cast and crew. Every single facet of this production stood out. The many costume designers, MJ Devaney, Dylan George, Lisa Neun, Amy Stallings, Alex Swanenburg, Jeri Sherritt, Elizabeth Farrell, and Linda Auge, must be mentioned in this piece. I cannot praise their talents enough. Every character had the perfect choice of clothing put on them, and it added to the gothic and dark vibe of the show in a way that cannot be understated. (...)
Jeff Nicoloff as Edward Fairfax Rochester gave a stellar performance and was definitely a crowd favorite as a singer (even for those of us that did not enjoy the character he portrayed). Music director Richard Whitley, choreographer Dana Margulies Cauthern, and all of the musicians should be incredibly proud of their work. (Raven Hudson)
The Sydney Morning Herald talks about the Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever (Sydney and Melbourne):
The ethereal voice! The haunting lyrics! The red dress! It's 40 years since Kate Bush's blustery, bewitching single Wuthering Heights soared to the No. 1 spot on the singles charts in Australia and the UK and its rapturously reviewed album, The Kick Inside, propelled a 19-year-old daughter of a doctor from Kent to eternal pop music fame. At a time when Michael Jackson and ABBA were opting for blinged-up studio productions for their music videos, Bush chose an English moor, a simple red dress and some quirky, sensual moves. (...)
Since 2016, when the first Wuthering Heights re-enactment was held, up to 500 people have attended each event in Melbourne and Sydney. This year, more than 20 events are being staged worldwide, including 10 in Australia, to mark not just the 40th anniversary of Wuthering Heights and The Kick Inside, but Bush's 60th birthday on July 30.
The question is, why this need to "wuther"? "I love being kooky," says Michelle Kitzler, a caterer and mother of five from Bondi. "Growing up as a tomboy, I saw Kate as a figure of strength." (Greg Callaghan)
The Manawatū Standard (New Zealand) has an interesting story about the history of the Nga Tawa Diocesan School which was founded by Mary Taylor's niece:
One day in 1891, Miss Mary Taylor decided to open a girls' school in her home.
The setting was beautiful: a rambling country house with extensive grounds, surrounded by tall tawa trees, a few miles north of Shannon at the foothills of the Tararua Range.
Mary was well-educated, and a music teacher. She and her brother Waring Taylor, both originally from Yorkshire, lived together in his farm homestead.
Mary was known as May, to distinguish her from her aunt Mary Taylor (close friend of Charlotte Bronte) who had sailed to New Zealand to join her own brother, William Waring Taylor, but later returned to England. (Tina White)
Cambridge Independent reminds us that Kate Mosse
has also written three works of non-fiction, four plays and is curating a collection of short stories inspired by Wuthering Heights to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Emily Brontë’s birth in 2018. (Gemma Gardner)
The Irish Times reviews Girl with Dove by Sally Bayley:
The young Bayley retreats into the various foreign terrains in literature, first devouring the beginner’s books Peter and Jane and Milly-Molly-Mandy, but moving swiftly to the adult section of the library and on to Miss Marple, Jane Eyre, David Copperfield and Betsy Trotwood. Each of the fictional characters take on, to Bayley’s mind at least, the form of real people; as immediate and lifelike to her as the very strange women she lives with. The characters prove a lifeline in a childhood that the reader eventually realises has been pockmarked with neglect, isolation and trauma. The literary characters become her friends, her advisers, her eventual saviours. (Tanya Sweeney)
Daily Mail talks to some quiz shows presenters:
Judith Keppel: ‘Everyone thinks I’m going to be brilliant in a pub quiz team but, much to my frustration, I can never retain the information,’ says Ben Shephard. ‘I will always confuse kings and queens, the Brontë sisters and various characters from Dickens.’ (Jenny Johnston)
Vanity Fair on Netflix romantic comedies:
But there are no P.S.A.s on the teen romance The Kissing Booth, a film Ted Sarandos told Adalian was “one of the most watched movies in the country, and maybe in the world.” That Netflix production, which debuted May 11, is a monument to underage eroticism, starting with the 16-year-old protagonist Elle (Joey King) learning on the first day back to school that over the summer, she became a hot girl. It’s like Grease, but with even less attention to consequences, or Twilight through the lens of The O.C. The Brontë sisters would have loved the barely suppressed anger issues of hot love interest Noah (Jacob Elordi); maybe the movie arose out of a need to appeal to viewer clusters trying to find both a dupe for summer reading and titles that have since left Netflix. (Sonia Saraiya)
The Australian reviews Manderley Forever: The Life of Daphne Du Maurier by Tatiana de Rosnay
She is best known for a few prominent novels, but her other fiction frequently challenges. The shifting authorial voice in The Parasites (1949) is striking. Her nonfiction books are consistently readable: gripping narratives that bring times, family and characters alive, notably her father as well as Branwell Brontë and the Bacon brothers, Francis and Anthony. (Jill Burton)
An Emily Brontë mention in Varsity:
Anyway, the burdens of the world settled upon my shoulders yesterday morning and, like in an Emily Brontë novel (there is actually only one), it did begin to drizzle. The horrid kind that makes my hair look like candyfloss. Once I had sent some self-pitying Snapchats about pathetic fallacy, I sat and moped some more. (Julia Davies)
The Times reviews Caitlin Moran's How to be Famous:
It’s quite a ride, this book. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, sweetly romantic and fiercely angry. Often all at once. Sometimes the wordplay of the autodidact desperately seeking synonyms becomes exhausting; rock stars are “be-leathered yodellers” in Dolly’s publish-me-pleeeeeeease lexicon. At other times, Moran, a Times columnist, calms down and riffs on authors she loves, like the Brontës, and those moments are beautifully written. (Melissa Katsoulis)
Coconut cake à la North and South in The Guardian:
During my teenage years, in the absence of a love story in my own life, I lost myself in fictional romances. I sat in drawing rooms and walked in gardens with Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferras. I fell in love with George Emerson over a dinner table in Florence. My heart broke for the English patient, and his memories of Katharine Clifton. I took a seat in a Manhattan restaurant alongside Carol and Therese. I wandered dark hallways in Thornfield, and then escaped with Jane Eyre in the middle of the night. I agonised with Stevens as he recalled lost moments with Miss Kenton. I swooned at the letter sent from Frederick Wentworth to Anne Elliot. (Kate Young)
National Post reviews the film Beast:
 The chief suspect is Pascal Renouf (Johnny Flynn), a dark anti-hero of the Wuthering Heights variety.  (Chris Knight)
Isle of Man Today talks about the new exhibition of the local artist Bruno Cavellec:
Bruno, originally from the Breton port of Lorient, and now settled in Peel, said that he was greatly inspired by the romanticism movement on the late 18th century, and by his love of writers such as the Brontë sisters and the painter Caspar David Friedrich, and that he wanted to revisit his initial inspirations again.
’This is about the man and the artist that I am now, at nearly 60, painting how I felt when I was 20,’ said Bruno.
’It is why the quote from T.S Eliott is very real to me. It is going back to the beginning and discovering Friedrich and Brontë again. Wuthering Heights was one of my favourite novels when I was a teenager. (Mike Wade)
America Magazine reviews Last Stories by William Trevor:
Despite many of his stories’ bourgeois trappings, Trevor has never shied away from something like the Gothic, the nearly horrific side of everything from romantic passion to parenthood. This collection’s “An Idyll in Winter” seems, at first, a mere sketch of a schoolgirl and her older male tutor, looking back with decidedly mixed feelings on their brief time together. “We are close to moorland,” the girl’s mother warns the tutor before he takes the job. “You may find the solitude oppressive.” Of course, he reads Wuthering Heights to his student and quips that the moors are “very Heathcliffian.” (Throughout Last Stories, Trevor indulges a weakness for literary allusion.) (Tom Deignan)
Fairfax County Times talks about the singer Marie Miller:
Last year, her album “Letterbox” became her most popular to date, and many of its songs were inspired by literature, just as her early writing was. The song “Story,” for example, touches on epic characters such as Heathcliff and Catherine from “Wuthering Heights,” and Hector’s wife Andromache from “The Iliad.” (Keith Loria)
Cineséries Magazine (France) reviews the film version of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society:
 La saveur piquante n’apparaît que deux fois dans le film : quand les protagonistes hauts en couleurs (et en caricatures) se disputent sur la supériorité d’Emily sur Anne Brontë, que Juliet défend pourtant bec et ongles et lors du générique ! (Chloé Margueritte) (Translation)
Il Manifesto (Italy) on Emily Dickinson:
Eppure, alla morte del padre, sceglie la via della clausura, si chiude in camera di bianco vestita, nella casa di famiglia, lasciando ostinatamente la vita e il caos del mondo al di là di una candida tenda di pizzo fino al sopraggiungere della morte, che la coglie nel suo letto per una nefrite a soli 55 anni. Perché una donna che legge Cime Tempestose e rifiuta l’ipocrisia della società opponendosi alla «disubbidienza in segreto» decide di chiudersi in una gabbia? (Beatrice Fiorentino) (Translation)
Shine (China) informs that Wuthering Heights 2011 will be screened at the Shanghai International Film Festival (June 18 and 23); M. Miles pairs Vincent Van Gogh and Jane Eyre. My Jane Eyre explores a facsimile edition of Jane Eyre's manuscript. The Brontë Babe posts about Charlotte Brontë's Stancliffe's Hotel.
1:12 am by M. in ,    No comments
We are not at all sure that Heathcliff (nor Emily Brontë) would ever sanction something like this but here it comes:
Wuthering Heights Summer Ball
June 16, 2018 18:30
 At Royal Over Seas League, London

Cathy and Heathcliff request your company at Wuthering Heights for their summer ball to celebrate the 200th birthday of their beloved Emily Brontë. With champagne in hand, join your fellow lords, ladies, and debutantes in our garden and meet your favourite characters from this Brontë classic. Our talented actors from Past Pleasures will be immersing guests in the Georgian period as they interact with guests and recreate the tragic love story of Heathcliff and Cathy throughout the evening. Afterwards, head to our banqueting hall for a three-course meal with wine.

Take home a momento of the evening with your very own Georgian selfie. The UK’s most popular silhouette artist Charles Burns, who has cut not one but two portraits of Her Majesty the Queen, will be on hand throughout the evening to capture your striking Georgian profile.

After the final act of the play and dessert, join our actors in the ballroom and try your hand at traditional period dancing. Once your feet are too tired, or you simply prefer the comfort of a nice armchair, relax in the back of the Duke of York bar and listen to the relaxing melodies of our harpist.

Make sure you take advantage of our exclusive 2-4-1 room offer if you are attending the ball. When you book one night in a deluxe double or twin room, you’ll get the second night for free. As we know the ball is a time for you to show off the club to friends and family who may not necessarily be a member, for this weekend only we will also be allowing non-members to stay in our accommodation with our new Guest Passes. Contact our Reservations team for more information on +44 (0)20 7408 0214.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday, June 15, 2018 11:14 am by Cristina in , , , , , , ,    No comments
The Guardian reviews the book Emily Brontë Reappraised by Claire O’Callaghan. It is interesting to see that neither the book nor the newspaper use a verified image of Emily.
Two hundred years after her birth Emily Brontë is still remembered as an oddball, a people-hater and the weirdest of three weird sisters.
But a book published this week aims to rehabilitate the reputation of the author of Wuthering Heights, one of the greatest novels ever written: she may have been shy and reserved but she was not strange and should be seen as a woman ahead of her time, the academic Claire O’Callaghan argues.
O’Callaghan said Brontë’s reputation was entirely carved out by others, a lot of it based on the writings of Charlotte, who was responding to criticism of her sisters Emily and Anne.
“She adopted the strategy of appealing for pity by presenting her sisters as a bit weird and a bit strange, people who did not really know what they were doing,” said O’Callaghan.
Elizabeth Gaskell’s biography of Charlotte embellished the stories even further. “Those founding images have been extended and reworked and dramatised and amplified, they have become mythic up until the present really.”
O’Callaghan said Emily had been portrayed in many ways, usually negative. Sometimes she was “a staid, old-fashioned, people-hating spinster who roamed about the Yorkshire moors alone with her dog” or “a painfully shy and socially awkward girl-woman who was sick whenever she left home” or “she’s a stubborn and defiant woman who willingly withheld assorted physical and mental ailments, or an ethereal soul too fragile to endure the real world”.
She said the myths were damaging. “They perpetuate this idea she was weird and different and strange and other in a way that is quite hostile.”
O’Callaghan said it was true Emily was shy, or reserved, and craved solitude and enjoyed getting out the house walking on the moors with her dog Keeper, a large mastiff. But this did not make her odd.
“Today when we think about character traits and personality traits we take a different approach to things, we try to accommodate and understand differences or social awkwardness or anxieties or just different ways of being. We try not to stigmatise people.”
O’Callaghan’s book also explores how Emily might fit in today, arguing she would be more at home in a more accepting, tolerant, feminist society.
Brontë’s only novel was Wuthering Heights, the violent and passionate story of the relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff.
O’Callaghan said the novel was still seen as a love story and that too needs re-examining. “I think it is about a lot more and I think that love story is quite a damaging one … I think it can be read as a cautionary tale against damaging romance and violent romance.”
Heathcliff is clearly a horrible man “yet he is often read as the archetypal anti-hero. I really question that word hero. He is just vile from the outset.”
In the era of Time’s Up and #MeToo, O’Callaghan, a lecturer in English at Loughborough University, said it was a good time to re-evaluate. “Maybe the time’s up on Heathcliff … we need to take off the romantic blinkers and we need to look at him more critically.” (Mark Brown)
We haven't read the book yet but while any effort to reach the real Brontës has our admiration, it is also true that Emily's - real or artificial - reputation has, if anything, helped her 'popularity'. And we can't forget that she was a 19th-century woman - we may not 'stigmatise' people in the 21st century (even if we actually do) but they most certainly did back then. A recluse woman writer who penned a book like Wuthering Heights never had it easy. That is not to say that it is fair, simply that it's understandable. Political correctness can't be retroactive and we have to accept that.

France Culture has a podcast (in French, obviously: Le Journal de la Philo) and a lengthy article on Emily Brontë and her bicentenary.
Ce sera le 30 juillet, mais déjà nous pouvons nous préparer à ce grand événement : le bicentenaire de la naissance d’Emily Brontë. Emily Brontë, née en 1818, morte seulement 30 ans plus tard, en 1848, d’une tuberculose qu’elle avait refusée de soigner. Sœur de Charlotte et Anne, une sororité dont on a tout imaginé, l’enfance, les jeux, les rêves…, on doit à Emily Brontë un seul roman… mais quel roman ! [...]
Car Emily Brontë incarne à elle seule le mystère philosophique de l’auteur. Elle en est le paradoxe : d’elle on connaît assez de choses pour l’identifier, mais trop peu pour signer définitivement son portrait… et à l’inverse des œuvres qu’on explique par la vie de leur auteur, on tente souvent de la saisir, elle, mais en passant au contraire par son œuvre…
D’Emily Brontë, il nous reste des poèmes, publiés un an avant sa mort et parce que sa sœur l’avait voulu. Il nous reste des traces de ce qu’elle a écrit, mais pas d’elle comme auteure, de ses processus, de ses mobiles, de ses affects qui l’animaient.
De la même manière que ses personnages ont pour ressort le mystère, il en est de même pour son geste d’auteure : qu’est-ce qui a fait qu’elle est devenue auteure ? Qu’est-ce qui fait qu’elle s’est autorisée à l’être ? Et qu’est-ce qui pourrait nous l’expliquer dans ce qu’elle a signé comme auteure ?
Dans ce poème qui s’appelle « A l’imagination », elle célèbre cette « folle du logis », cette faculté puissante mais dont la logique échappe… et avec Emily Brontë, apparaît la possibilité puissante, folle et illogique aussi d’une autorisation prise sans la demander, d’une autorisation d’écrire et de signer de sa plume et de son nom, sans choisir pourtant d’être lue, elle, visible, explicable grâce à son œuvre, tel n’importe quel auteur. (Géraldine Mosna-Savoye) (Translation)
The Imaginative Conservative recommends '10 Poetry Books for Graduates'.
7) And now for another Emily. For Gothic verse, for sheer empathic skill in one so young, I enjoy the Everyman edition of Emily Brontë. Once again, it’s bite-sized and not as thick a tome as her complete poems. True, Brontë often deals in death and grief because it was the reality of the day, but that should not dissuade. or obscure her brighter moments. Consider “No Coward Soul Is Mine” and “Love and Friendship.” (Christine Norvell)
British Film Institute celebrates the 25th anniversary of The Piano.
“I read a short treatment [of The Piano], and I responded to it very strongly,” [producer Jan Chapman] recalls. “There was an essence that went back to Emily Brontë and Wuthering Heights in its expression of female desire. It’s ironic, because it is about male and female attraction and sexuality, but it’s also about a private insight into the female version of that. It ignited me, and I thought it was enough to ignite other people.” (Nikki Baughan)
Cracked has selected '5 'Lovesick' Fictional Characters Who Are Really Just Dicks', including Mr Rochester.
In Jane Eyre, The Male Lead Has A Secret Wife Trapped In His House
Despite their predilection for casual racism, I love classic novels. I've spent many a night on the couch curled up with some literary oldies, and the Bronte sisters always came through. Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre (which has gotten many, many film adaptations) is one of the first classic romantic novels I'd ever read in which both the female and male leads were described as straight up ugly. As a young lady getting smacked in the face by puberty, I found that intriguing. Throughout all the twists and turns and trifling side chicks, I kept rooting for Jane and Mr. Rochester to beat the odds and end up together. Two 5s coming together to make a 10. It oddly won me over as a preteen.
In fact, at the climax, Rochester winds up badly burned and thus "uglier" than ever, one more tragedy in a miserable life he needs rescued from. But there's just the minor problem that ROCHESTER WAS HIDING HIS WIFE IN A SECRET ROOM THE WHOLE TIME.
Not that there were no red flags prior to that. At one point, Rochester disguises himself as a female fortune teller solely to fuck with Jane's head. Annoying people on Facebook share a meme that says "Back in my day, when a relationship was broken, we didn't throw it away. We fixed it." But I don't think that quote ever counted on the "broken" part being due to your dude dressing up a lady magician to cause you psychological torment. Also, Rochester maintains an engagement with another woman for a period of time just to try to get a rise out of Jane. Nothing gets your ladies excited like proposing to another woman, fellas.
But neither of these relationship absurdities come close to the fact that this man has a secret wife trapped in his house that no one in the whole damn city knew about. And Jane only finds out about it on their wedding day. Of course, Edward "Master of Disguises" Rochester plays it off like "Well, you know, we all come with some baggage." True, Edward, but if we're talking about baggage, you're basically wearing a suitcase as a shirt. You have a secret wife that you've kept in the house that JANE IS LIVING IN. "Secret imprisoned wife nobody knows about" is a step away from being a Texas Chainsaw Massacre prequel.
But the secret wife dies by suicide, and so Jane can swoop in and marry him herself. So ... it all worked out, I guess? (Archie Grimm)
The Irish Times interviews writer Caroline O’Donoghue about her debut novel Promising Young Women.
Things begin to descend for Jane and the book takes on a surreal quality that oddly deepens the realism. As I was writing, I was also rereading Jane Eyre and I realised it’s more or less the same arc. Jane Eyre is a workplace romance; add a HR department and it could be now. And there are weird supernatural elements that never get into the film adaptations, like when Rochester dresses up as a gypsy and when she can hear him calling across hundreds of miles. You write about the impossible because it’s the only way to adequately describe how it actually feels. You make all that stuff external. Toni Morrison does that exceptionally well with topics that push against what it’s actually possible to envision in the modern world. The psychic weight of the things she’s dealing with is so heavy she had to create a new language and a new series of references. This is how it looks, she implies, because this is how it feels. (Darran Anderson)
Times Leader tells about a recent book sale at Osterhout Free Library (Wilkes-Barre, PA).
Vintage books included Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women,” printed in 1926, “Great Detective Stories,” printed in 1928 and “Lassie Come Home,” printed in 1940. There was even a copy of Charlotte Brontë’s “Villette,” which some critics prefer to her more well-known “Jane Eyre.(Mary Therese Biebel)
Nouse has all sort of reading recommendations for the summer, including
or the tightwad- the person who scrimps and saves, even on holiday
First off, get a Kindle. It might seem like a splurge, but you will save so much money in the long run if you’re a big reader. Most books are at least a couple of pounds cheaper in electronic format than paper, and any book which is now out of copyright is free. That means that Dickens, Austen, the Brontës, and Hardy are all available for absolutely nothing. They’re also all fairly lengthy tomes so will keep you going all summer long. Plus, Kindles are light so you won’t have to be paying any extra baggage charges for all those hardbacks you’d otherwise be cramming into your suitcase. (Stella Newing)
A Novel Library posts about Jane Eyre. The Library Ladies review My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. When in Doubt, Read! posts about the 1974 book H: The Story of Heathcliff's Journey Back to Wuthering Heights by Lin Haire-Sargeant. On YouTube Lucy the Reader discusses the Brontës and beauty as part of this month's book club read of Jane Eyre.