Friday, March 06, 2015

In Los Altos, Albany and Lancaster

In Los Altos, California:
Los Altos Youth Theatre presents
Jane Eyre
Adapted from the Charlotte Brontë Novel by Willis Hall
Directed by: Rebecca J Ennals, Artistic Director of San Francisco Shakespeare Festival
Bus Barn Theatre
March 6-21

This production is a collaborative effort with The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. Best known for bringing Free Shakespeare in the Park to Cupertino each summer, the company is excited to work with the City of Los Altos and LAYT on its production of Jane Eyre. Several members of the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival creative staff will contribute to Jane Eyre.
In Lancaster, UK:
An Evening with Charlotte Brontë
Lancaster Library. Performances are on March 6 and 7 at 7.30pm.

A one-woman show paying tribute to Charlotte Brontë comes to Lancaster Library this weekend.
Little Red Hen Theatre’s acclaimed show ‘An Evening with Charlotte Bronte’ sees Prudence Edwards bring the legendary author to life. (Lancaster Guardian)
At the University of Albany,New York:
1939 film "Wuthering Heights" to be screened Friday, March 6, 2015
Screening tie-in with new book by novelist Caryl Phillips, who will visit the Writers Institute on March 10
Friday, March 6, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. in Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, on the University at Albany's downtown campus. Sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute as part of its Classic Film Series, the screening is free and open to the public.

This adaptation of Emily Brontë's tempestuous romance-one of the most enduring classics of English literature-received eight Academy Award nominations, including one for "Best Picture" in a year considered by many critics to be the most competitive in American film history. The film stars Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, and David Niven. The screening is in association with the upcoming appearance of award-winning fiction writer Caryl Phillips, who reimagines elements of WUTHERING HEIGHTS in his new novel, The Lost Child (2015). Phillips will appear at the Writers Institute on Tuesday, March 10 to read from and discuss his new novel.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Best-selling Emily

Our Emily is now a best-selling poet. According to The Guardian,

More than 1,700 bargain copies of The Communist Manifesto have sold in the last week, in the form of an 80p edition of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’s call to the working classes to revolt.
The book is part of a collection of 80 works re-published on 26 February to mark the 80 years since Allen Lane launched the first Penguin paperbacks for sixpence each, the price of a packet of cigarettes. From Marx’s call to arms to Christina Rossetti’s disturbing poem Goblin Market, and from Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s feminist classic The Yellow Wallpaper to Samuel Pepys on the Great Fire of London, each “Little Black Classic” is 64 pages long and costs 80p. [...]
A new edition of selected poems by Emily Brontë is the series’ 10th-best seller. “I’m really pleased that Emily Brontë’s poems are doing so well – suddenly lots of people are reading these extraordinary poems, who wouldn’t have been likely to read her complete poems,” said publishing director Simon Winder. (Alison Flood)
Coincidentally, Librópatas (Spain) looks at the most downloaded books from Project Gutenberg and both Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre are among them. Both novels are also among Marie Claire's selection of '10 Books To Empower You On International Women's Day'.
1. Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
Originally published under the pseudonym Currer Bell in 1847, it is hard to believe that Charlotte was only 31 when she finished her feminist masterpiece. Transforming personal experience into spellbinding art, Jane Eyre soars from the first sentence to her last. As Brontë writes, the novel's objective is clear: 'Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags.' Her words have lost none of their bite: Jane Eyre is a passionate rejection of patriarchal repression. Jane Eyre sings and she's still unforgettable. [...]
6. Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
Pre-Raphaelite poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti referred to it at the time as 'a fiend of a book – an incredible monster'. He wasn't the only one who thought so – the overriding response to Emily Brontë's first-and-only novel was one of outrage. Even now, Emily's portrayal of masochistic 'first love' on the wild and untamed moors still shocks and provokes. As ugly as it is beautiful, it is hard to believe this violent tale of sexual obsession was written in 1847. 'I wish I were out of doors. I wish I were a girl again, half savage and hardy, and free.' Emily's Cathy speaks and we are immediately by her side among the heather 'on those hills'. When Emily writes we still feel her frustrations and they become ours too. (Kat Lister)
PutneySW15 reveals children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson's favourite books.
“My favourite children's book is totally unknown,” Dame Jacqueline said:
“It's called Nancy and Plum by an American author, Betty Macdonald. It's recently been re-published by Vintage, and I'm delighted. It's a story about two orphan girls who live in a horrible boarding school and cope with misfortune by playing all sorts of imaginary games, a practice I certainly understand. My favourite adult book is Jane Eyre - another orphan, another institution!”
The Guardian asks Kelly Clarkson about how she came to be a Janeite. It was by way of our Jane.
So how did a Texas girl become such a big Austen fan? Is she taught in American schools? We didn’t learn her at school, but one of my teachers was reading Jane Eyre, and I got interested [in British female authors of the period]. I read Persuasion and it painted a very realistic picture of life – I love how she wrote her female characters, because they were so independent. (Caroline Sullivan)
Times Higher Education asks their scholar reviewers about their current reads.
Liz Gloyn, lecturer in Classics, Royal Holloway, University of London, is reading Charlotte Brontë’s Villette (Penguin, 2004). “Lucy Snowe ends up as an English teacher in the small town of Villette (a fictional version of Brussels) and narrates to the reader affairs of the heart and of her profession. The figure of M. Paul Emanuel and his emotionally abusive relationship with Lucy sends shivers up the spine. As the book progresses, the reader increasingly questions Lucy’s interpretation of events, until the unexpected resolution.”
El Diario (Spain) reviews Mary McLane's I Await the Devil's Coming.
Mary tiene mucho que decir, y tiene una lengua malévola. Su escritura brilla con la fuerza de su imaginación incendiaria y de su indignación mesiánica contra "la gente reseca y retorcida de Butte" y los autores populares de la época, incluyendo "esa antigualla patética y sin gracia de Jane Eyre", las debilidades de Dickens y la higiene del pobre Samuel Johnson. Confesional antes del movimiento confesional de Robert Lowell, salvaje antes que Anne Sexton y más interesante que la mayor parte de las memorias de juventud perdida que inundaron los años 90, sus lazos literarios y espirituales están con Claudine, con el Rimbaud de Una temporada en el Infierno y la Sylvia Plath que quería ser Dios. Y, posiblemente, con El Cuervo de Ted Hughes, al que bien podría haber servido de inspiración en los momentos más nihilistas. (Marta Peirano) (Translation)

The Independent muses on which literary characters may suffer from depression and concludes that,
Heathcliff’s “brooding” could definitely point towards something graver in Wuthering Heights as could Holden Caulfield’s teen anomie in The Catcher in the Rye; (Arifa Akbar)
The Spectator states that,
Every song, of course, sounds a little like another song, except possibly for ‘Wuthering Heights’. (Marcus Berkmann)
Consumatrici (Italy) finds the influence of Jane Eyre in the Japanese cartoons Candy Candy.

Brontë Society Gazette. Issue 65

The latest issue of The Brontë Society Gazette is now out (Issue 65. January 2015. ISSN 1344-5940).

Letter from the Editor by Belinda Hakes and Helen Krispien
Brontë Society Conference 2014 by Julie Akhurst
Report from the Leadership Team at the Brontë Parsonage Museum
Brontë Society Literary Lunch. Saturday 11 October 2014 by Kathleen Shortt
Bernard Herrmann returns to Haworth by Charissa E. Hutchins
"The Death of Keeldar" by Kathleen Shortt, Representative of the Brontë Society Scottish Branch
Secrets and spies at Brussels Brontë talk on Villette by Emily Waterfield, Brussels Brontë Group
Membership News: New developments; Improving communication.
Emily Brontë writes a Critical Thinking Exercise from When Critical Thinking Met English Literature by Belinda Hakes.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Wuthering Heights by Nelly Dean

A good reminder from The Atlantic:

So many novels largely narrated in third person actually are told to us by a character. Wuthering Heights, which I consider a masterpiece, is my favorite example of this technique: the story by the old nanny, who introduces herself. We may forget it at times, but the book is written by her—not Emily Brontë. This means all the details are based on the nanny’s perceptions; her point of view serves as a filter for the information we receive. You see this technique used by many writers—including Stefan Zweig, for instance, or by Edith Wharton in Ethan Frome. (Joe Fassler)
Culturamas (Spain) also mentions Wuthering Heights on a list of five authors who are famous for one novel only.
No. 2. Emily Bronte, Cumbres borrascosas. Publicada en 1847 con el pseudónimo Ellis Bell, la novela de Brontë se considera actualmente como un clásico de la literatura. En el comienzo tuvo duras reacciones de los lectores y los críticos, que vieron en sus páginas una historia deprimente. El tiempo sin embargo hizo justicia. (Translation)
Hilary Mantel discusses becoming a writer in El Mundo (Spain).
Cuando era niña no quería ser escritora pero, ahora, cuando miro atrás, tengo la sensación de que todo lo que hacía me dirigía en esa dirección, y creo que lo que leí de niña, cuando tenía 10 años o así; me ha marcado muchísimo. Estoy hablando de Robert Louis Stevenson y Charlotte Brontë, además de Shakespeare. Leía todo lo que me caía en las manos. (Laura Fernández) (Translation)
The adaptation of her novel Wolf Hall was filmed at Broughton Castle, which, as the Oxford Mail reminds us,
has played host to crews from Shakespeare in Love, Jane Eyre and Antiques Roadshow. (Hannah Somerville)
Scenes from Jane Eyre 2011 were indeed filmed there.

Jane Eyre's Sisters

A new scholar book with Jane Eyre at its center:
Jane Eyre's Sisters: How Women Live and Write the Heroine's Story by Jody Gentian Bower
Quest Books, March 1, 2015
ISBN-13: 978-0835609340

Ever since women in the West first started publishing works of fiction, they have written about a heroine who must wander from one place to another as she searches for a way to live the life she wants to live, a life through which she can express her true self creatively in the world. Yet while many have written about the “heroine’s journey,” most of those authors base their models of this journey on Joseph Campbell’s model of the Heroic Quest story or on old myths and tales written down by men, not on the stories that women tell.

In Jane Eyre’s Sisters: How Women Live and Write the Heroine’s Story, cultural mythologist Jody Gentian Bower looks at novels by women—and some men—as well as biographies of women that tell the story of the aletis, the wandering heroine. She finds a similar pattern in works spanning from Lady Mary Wroth and William Shakespeare in the 1600s to Sue Monk Kidd, Suzanne Collins, and Philip Pullman in the current century, including works by Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, Kate Chopin, Virginia Woolf, Doris Lessing, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Alice Walker, to name just a few. She also discusses myths and folk tales that follow the same pattern.

Dr. Bower argues that the aletis represents an archetypal character that has to date received surprisingly little scholarly recognition despite her central role in many of the greatest works of Western fiction. Using an engaging, down-to-earth writing style, Dr. Bower outlines the stages and cast of characters of the aletis story with many examples from the literature. She discusses how the aletis story differs from the hero’s quest, how it has changed over the centuries as women gained more independence, and what heroines of novels and movies might be like in the future. She gives examples from the lives of real women and scatters stories that illustrate many of her points throughout the book. In the end, she concludes, authors of the aletis story use their imagination to give us characters who serve as role models for how a woman can live a full and free life.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Starring Gordon Brown as Edward Rochester

The Guardian asks readers what they are reading this week. One of them is rereading Jane Eyre and describes the novel as follows:

ENMWombat is in the middle of rereading Jane Eyre [spoiler alert]:
I’d forgotten how exciting and gothic the book is. Also I was sure Helen Burns, Jane’s friend at Lowood, died after being made to stand out in the rain for hours, but this doesn’t happen in the book. She dies of consumption. I think I must be remembering one of the many dramatisations I’ve seen. I think the book transcends them. I remember Michael Jayston as a particularly appealing Rochester but have never seen any actor who fits Brontë’s description. Sad to say, her description calls up Gordon Brown for me . . .
Charlotte Brontë enthusiast Santiago Posteguillo appears in a couple of newspapers.
El autor de El asesino del emperador y Circo máximo cuenta en La sangre de los libros aquellos episodios más truculentos vinculados a Petrarca, Víctor Hugo, Virgilio, Espronceda, Isaac Asimov, Ágatha Christie, Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker o Charlotte Brontë: «El título me ha hecho buscar a autores con una relación hacia la sangre en la literatura, sea porque sus muertes están envueltas en el misterio (como Edgar Allan Poe), porque fueron o no asesinados (como Ágatha Christie), condenados a muerte (Séneca) o que se suicidaron (Emilio Salgari)», añade Posteguillo. [...]
La historia de Poe, la de Brontë o la de Ágatha Christie, que durante once días se investigó su asesinato son de las preferidas por el escrito:«Me parece una historia francamente llamativa, curiosa, misteriosa que tiene una serie de explicaciones pero que sin embargo deja lagunas sin explicar por lo que prevalece el misterio.Y te hace ver que la vida de Ágatha es un poco como sus novelas». (I.L.H. in Diario de Burgos (Spain)) (Translation)
En su más reciente libro, La sangre de los libros , Posteguillo revisita historias como el duelo a muerte entre Aleksandr Pushkin y el oficial francés Dantes, quien cortejaba a la esposa del poeta ruso; o recrea la vida de la novelista inglesa Charlotte Brontë, quien se enamoró de un hombre casado sin ser correspondida, lo que la llevó a escribir Jane Eyre. Los 30 relatos reunidos buscan"derribar el miedo que tienen los jóvenes a las obras clásicas?, pero también arrojan guiños que los lectores más experimentados pueden disfrutar. (Hernán Porras Molina in Entorno inteligente (Spain)) (Translation)
The Stage reviews the Mercury Theatre production of  Willy Russell's Educating Rita.
Juliet Shillingford’s painstakingly constructed study set is detailed beyond measure. Masquerading as a striking shrine to the literary greats, from Shakespeare to Forster and Brontë, it’s organised chaos, stocked floor to ceiling with everything from iconic literature, to artwork and artefacts. As Rita aptly states: “How do you make a room like this?” (Nick Dines)
This is how The Hindu begins a review of a stage adaptation of Moulin Rouge.
It is a story as old as time itself. Boy meets girl, girl meets boy. They let love weave its web softly around them as they spin their dreams and bare their souls within that web. Then reality seeps in as they are forced to face the inevitable — that their love cannot be. Stories of star-crossed love never end — from the stormy tale of Cathy and her Heathcliff, to Guinevere whose desire for Lancelot paves the way to Camelot’s ruin, Qays ibn al-Mulawwah who is driven to madness by his love for Layla and Orpheus, whose journey into the underworld to retrieve his wife, Eurydice, proves to be futile. (Preeti Zachariah)
A.V. Club has a recap of Season 1, Episode 18 of Gotham (beware of spoilers!).
They head out to a farm that Loeb owns looking for the files and, after a shootout with an elderly couple, find Loeb’s daughter, Miriam, imprisoned Jane Eyre style in the attic. (Kyle Fowle)
Independent (Ireland) thinks that,
Ross Poldark is a south coast Heathcliff: aloof and stubbornly principled, prone to violent outbursts and brooding grumpily over real or imagined slights. (Gabriel Tate)
Letteratu (Italy) considers the works of Charlotte Brontë an important part of feminism.

Jane Eyre in Halifax

A new production of Jane Eyre opens tomorrow, March 4, in Halifax, Nova Scotia:

Young Actors Company presents
Jane Eyre
Neptune Theatre
March 4 to March 7, 2015

Charlotte Bronte’s masterpiece provides an exciting, gothic plot – featuring madness, secrets, disguises, arson, a large cast of strong willed characters and Rochester—a passionate, tormented hero. But it is also a brilliantly insightful and realistic dramatization of a strong female character’s feelings. Jane overcomes oppression and hardship from her childhood onward to develop strength and independence as she grows into a compassionate and confident woman.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Number 2 fictional country

The Independent shares a list of the 'Top 50 Fictional Countries' nominated by readers.

2. Angria. Created by Charlotte and Branwell Brontë: Penguin has published the resulting novelettes (Tales of Angria). Nominated by David Crawford. (John Rentoul)
Sad to see Gondal is not there, though.

Kelly Clarkson lists 25 things about herself in the Boston Herald.
23. My favorite books are Matilda, Jane Eyre, Persuasion and A Little Princess.
The Olympian discusses Fifty Shades of Grey.
As a literature major, she more than once muses that she has never been interested in a man because of her avid reading and the literary heroes she expects a man to be. In all the world of literature, she doesn’t crave a Mr. Darby, a Mr. Rochester, or even a Heathcliff, but a rapist. (Teresa Sykora Lovaas)
The Art of Eeva Nikunen posts a portrait of Mr. Rochester by Tom Hiddleston from Crimson Peak; on reddit someone has read Wuthering Heights for the first time (and loved it); The Indie Chicks  takes lessons from Jane Eyre.

Brontë's Couch

We wonder if this sofa has anything to do with our Brontës, but it certainly seems comfy enough:
Bronte - 3 seater sofaFrom Couch

In Bronte we've taken our classic Chesterfield shape and tried to create a sofa that oozes decadence. If Noel Coward fancied a lie down after composing his latest ditty, we'd like to think he'd have been right at home on a velvet covered Bronte. With regards to fabric options, we've plumped for two very different looks - our clean, fresh cotton linen Flanders and our lavish cotton velvet Blenheim..

There's also 4 seater, 2 seater sofas and even a Club Chair.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Anne Brontë to the Rescue

Mashable traces a brief history of pen names used by female authors (with nice infographics):

For example, when a 20-year-old Charlotte Brontë sent a selection of her poetry to England’s poet laureate Robert Southey, she received the following response: "Literature cannot be the business of a woman's life." Thankfully, the future author of Jane Eyre disregarded his advice. Along with her sisters Emily and Anne, she assumed a male pen name under which she released her work. Charlotte became Currer Bell, Anne became Acton Bell and Emily became Ellis Bell.
"They never used their real names on the title page while Emily and Anne were alive," says Emily Auerbach, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of Searching for Jane Austen. "But the pen names helped them open the door and at least get a reading." (Yohana Desta)
The Sydney Morning Herald recalls a story of abuse inside Christian marriages:
In the end, it wasn't a helpful minister or a kind friend that first convinced me that I should try to leave my abusive situation. They had no clue of what was going on as I didn't think I was allowed to tell them. I wouldn't even have named my situation as domestic violence at that time, so I didn't think to call the DV hotline. It was a copy of Anne Brontë's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White. I was saved by a lending card to a public library.
My husband controlled much of my media intake, but he never realised that nineteenth century British fiction contained such subversive material, so he let me read it. His downfall was that he reminded me too much of the evil "rake" in the first novel and the psychopathic villain in the second. And despite the brainwashing, I thought that if Anne Brontë (who was a daughter of an Anglican clergyman) could write a novel in Victorian England where the heroine could leave an evil man like that, what was I doing staying with one 150 years later? (Isabella Young)
Amanda Craig publishes a vindication of Anthony Trollope in The Telegraph:
Were you to ask a reader for the name of the greatest Victorian novelist, they might well say Dickens, or George Eliot or the Brontës or Thackeray – and in terms of literary art you might well agree with them. If, however, you were to ask whom they turn to for comfort, entertainment, refreshment and even guidance then the answer, quite possibly, would be Anthony Trollope, the bicentenary of whose birth in 1815 falls on April 24 this year.
The Herald on Sunday reviews the film Catch Me Daddy:
The tradition of violent stories in the North stretches from Wuthering Heights to David Peace's Red Riding quartet (also loosely inspired by real events) and its TV adaptation. Unusually in these stories, so-called heroes are as tarnished as the villains. And today it takes very little licence to depict post-industrial towns as being full of emptiness, anger and misery.  (Demetrious Matheou)
Surf and Charlotte Brontë? It could mix. From Bangor Metro:
Maybe the younger version of myself wasn’t ready to surf, or didn’t need it as much as I did once I was older and had gained so much more responsibility. I still frequently think of my surf week. I have a photo in my office of a woman paddling out on her board, with this quote: “I remembered that the real world was wide and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had the courage to go forth into its expanse.” – Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre.”  (Emilie Brand Throckmorton)
The Nation (Sri Lanka) publishes the obituary of the writer and scholar M.B.Mathmaluwe:
His essays show a deep interest in the Buddha Dhamma. Its missionary spirit and its pre-Mahindian influences in Sri Lanka. His essays range from the sacred to the profane. His writings on Robert Frost, D.H.Lawrence, Emily Brontë, Tolstoy, Pasternak, Martin Wickremasinghe and other giants of literature show a refreshingly original approach. (Tissa Devendra)
The subtleties of the German language in The Huffington Post:
Im heutigen Englisch gibt es natürlich keinen Unterschied zwischen förmlicher und informeller Anrede: für „Du", „Sie" und „Ihr" benutzen wir einfach „you". Wenige wissen aber, dass bis zum 19. Jahrhundert eine zweite Form der Anrede im englischen Sprachraum existierte (die ursprünglich sogar weniger höflich als „you" war): „thou", sehr sichtbar zum Beispiel in den Romanen der Geschwister Brontë im viktorianischen England des 19. Jahrhunderts. Heute sprechen Briten nur noch Gott (wenn überhaupt) mit „thou" an. (Simon McDonald) (Translation)
Santiago Posteguillo continues his promotional Latin-American tour:
Un límite impreciso que da pie para preguntarle por su propio libro, que también combina hechos reales y ficción. "Este es un libro que tiene muchísimo más de verdad que de ficción", asegura.
"Lo que pasa es que hay datos históricos que nos llegan por fragmentos. Sabemos que Charlotte Brontë escribía cartas a un hombre casado y esperaba respuesta, y sabemos también que este hombre no le respondía. A partir de allí puedo describir a Charlotte Brontë yendo a la oficina de correos", explica. (Agustín De Beitia) (Translation)
The OUP Blog publishes an extract from Helen Small's introduction to Wuthering Heights, talking about narrative and nature; the Diss Express presents the upcoming performances of Jane Eyre by the Blue Orange Theatre Company; The News-Express reviews Texts from Jane Eyre; catch the Brontës reference in the Style Spring Fashion Special Magazine; glynfedwards posts a poem inspired by Wuthering Heights.

The (Mexican) Tree of Literature

Source. CandidMan
A curious initiative at the XXXVI Feria Internacional del Libro del Palacio de la Minería (México D.F.):
Esta bonita pieza creada por el artesano Miguel Ángel González, artista de Metepec, nos muestra grandiosas escenas de historias escritas por autores como William Shakespeare, Alejandro Dumas, Dante Alighieri, entre otros.
Como parte de los atractivos de la XXXVI Feria Internacional del Libro del Palacio de Minería (FILPM), se exhibe un enorme y colorido “Árbol de la literatura“, pieza creada por el artesano Miguel Ángel González, artista de Metepec.
Ismael Ordoñez Mancilla, secretario técnico del Consejo Editorial de la Administración Pública Estatal del Estado de México, informó a Notimex, que la obra de aproximadamente 180 kilos de peso y 1.50 metros de altura, fue realizada por el artista luego de haber leído los 60 libros representados en el "Árbol de la literatura". Explicó que el autor de la pieza leyó cada una de las obras, "pues de otra manera no habría tenido elementos de juicio suficientes para plasmar, a través del barro y el color, la esencia de cada autor y cada título". Cada figura y cada tonalidad refleja fielmente al autor y lo que quiso transmitir a través de su obra. (Notimex, Translation)
On the right side of the sculpture you can see Catherine from Wuthering Heights, side by side with the three musketeers and just above Alice from Alice in Wonderland.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Heathcliff at his diabolical worst

Without a stick of scenery to convey the moorland setting and the two great houses between which the action occurs; and just two actors and a little over an hour, despite the book’s rambling family tree and gradual unfolding over a few hundred pages, the company had a challenge from the start.
They rose to it impressively. Alison Campbell is first class, her great range of expression making her superb in every female part, from middle aged housekeeper to teenage heroine.
Jeremy Fowlds also gave a fine performance, his quick shifts of voice and body language convincing he was everyone from genteel Edgar to Heathcliff at his diabolical worst.
As the programme promised, the production gets you itching to dig out a copy of the book and delve back into the stirring story which not only has so much to say about love and relationships but the time it was written, from industrialisation and religious beliefs to fear of revolution and the shifting class system, the gentry’s position no longer comfortably set in stone but impoverished outsiders like Heathcliff able to come along and stake their claim. (Annabel Britain)
Todmorden News reviews the local Wuthering Heights performances:
Tom Jennings is an expert Heathcliff with a vivid thirst for vengeance and Madeleine Jefferson is a brilliant Catherine who copes well with a challenging role.
When tragic circumstances repeat themselves, Rosie Crowther plays an engaging Cathy and the supporting cast all do a great job, especially those who double up.
Some scenes are very cleverly devised physically and the use of projection, light and sound are inspired and of a professional standard.
This time they get the set spot on too, it serves its purpose simply and is visually very effective. So, even if you know the story or not, this play comes highly recommended.
Even though it is dark, tragic and twisted, it is also brave, surprising and new. Don’t always judge a book by its cover.
The Telegraph explores the growing interest in thrillers by women:
The thriller in a domestic setting has a long history, of course. Think Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Jean Rhys’ fantastic reimagining in Wide Sargasso Sea. (Rebecca Whitney)
Jane Eyre, a domestic thriller? Well, not so crazy, after all.

Lapham's Quarterly posts an infographic of day jobs by known writers. Including Charlotte Brontë.

Also in The Telegraph we read an interview with the writer Kazuo Ishiguro:
In the corner of Ishiguro’s sitting room are a number of guitars on stands. He picks one up, a dobro, and starts to play a low blues on his lap. As a teenager, he tells me, he played music, watched a lot of films and barely read anything – though that, he points out, is not unusual for a boy. It wasn’t until his early 20s, when he suddenly discovered Dostoevsky and Charlotte Brontë, that books came into it at all. (He is now 60.) A lot of from writing songs what he learnt about writing he gained. (Gaby Wood)
The Santa Fe New Mexican reviews Samantha Ellis's How to Be a Heroine:
Romance of course plays a key role, prompting quips that would delight Dorothy Parker: “Tornado love,” Ellis writes, referring to Wuthering Heights, “is more appealing than postmodern love.” The author asserts that “unrequited love is delusional, thankless, and boring,” and is therefore inclined to strip female characters of their heroine status if they waste any time and energy on it. (...)
Ellis notes this as she pores over her “frenziedly annotated” copy of Sylvia Plath’s collected journals and her wine- and bathwater-tinted copy of Wuthering Heights. For this reader, by that measure and others, How to Be a Heroine is a smash. (Grace Labatt)
The Times presents the new BBC adaptation of Poldark:
“Ross [Poldark] is such a fascinating combination I think, of a whole host of literary and movie heroes,” says Debbie Horsfield, the new version’s adapter, sitting for shade under a canopy outside the house. “I think of him as being part Rochester, part Heathcliff, part Robin Hood, part Darcy, part Rhett Butler. He’s got elements of all of those great literary and movie-hero rebels.” (Andrew Billen)
The Chicago Tribune recovers a three-years old interview with E.L. James:
But James said the themes go deeper. After the Miami event, where a reported 700 women turned out, "I was talking to a bunch of women," she said. "They said, 'Oh my gosh. We just did "Jane Eyre" in our book group. ("Fifty Shades") is so "Jane Eyre." '
"I just looked at them and said, 'Well, you know, it's 'Beauty and the Beast,' if you want to take it a step further back. I mean, there are universal themes that run through all of these stories. So this is my take on that, really." (Steve Johnson)
Lifehacker demystifies (a little too much) creativity:
This might be in part due to famous artistic families like the Waugh family, who produced three of the greatest writers of the 20th century (Arthur, then Alec and Evelyn) or the Brontës. Nowadays, we've come to expect the children of celebrities and creatives to inherit their parents' talents. (Jory MacKay)
Starts at Sixty! talks about the #ReviewWomen2015 initiative:
Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, Mary Ann Evans and Nellie Harper Lee are better known by their male pseudonyms, respectively George Sands, George Elliot, and Harper Lee, rather than their real names. Even the Brontë sisters were originally known as Acton (Anne) Currer (Charlotte) and Ellis (Emily) Bell. Do women need to become men to be appreciated, to be reviewed? (Karen O'Brien Hall)
An exhibition of dolls in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is described in La Nación:
[Gustavo] Tudisco tuvo que ponerse estudiar sobre la muñeca cuando llegó a sus manos esta colección, sobre la cual ya prepara un libro junto con Patricio López Méndez, el otro curador de la muestra. "La costura, la pintura y el piano eran las principales actividades de las damas, todo lo que podemos encontrar en las novelas de las hermanas Brontë o en las de Jane Austen. En ese momento empieza a asomar una conciencia de lo femenino, un ideal de mujer, y surge la idea de la adolescencia, una conciencia de ese período que hasta entonces no existía. (Joaquín Sánchez Mariño) (Translation)
Culturamas (Spain) quotes Virginia Woolf talking about Emily Brontë:
Las ideas de la autora inglesa, en cambio, eran más pròximas a los momentos de visión de Hardy o a la escena significativa de Emily Brönte (sic).Woolf ponía como ejemplo de su idea demomento el fragmento de Cumbres borrascosas, en el cual Catherine saca las plumas de su almohada puesto que “presenta unidos elementos dispares y los integra en una visión divorciada de la trama en sí pero fundidos en la textura poética de toda la trama”. (Anna Maria Iglesia) (Translation)
On The Daily Breeze Reading we read about a Take a Book — Leave a Book share stand created by three local Girl Scouts in San Pedro which includes a copy of Jane Eyre; Garbo (Romania) quotes Emily Brontë about soulmates.

Voice and Piano

A new cover of Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights just for voice and piano:

PianoAndRoll YouTube Channel

O canal brasileiro de rock para piano gravou esse mês com a vocalista Lucy Silversong a "Wuthering Heights" no estilo lírico.
A música é mundialmente conhecida em sua versão composta e interpretada por Kate Bush.
A banda brasileira Angra popularizou ainda mais a música no mundo do rock com sua versão contida álbum Angels Cry. Na apresentação no Rock in Rio em 2011, a banda tocou a música com a participação especial da Tarja Tureman. (Everton Soares on Whiplash)

Friday, February 27, 2015

From the great Victorian grandeur to the beauty of the moors

The Telegraph and Argus reports that Brontë Country is one of the destinations selected as part of a new national tourism campaign.

Brontë Country is among destinations across the district being promoted as part of a new initiative.
Visit Bradford is taking part in a national campaign showcasing the region’s heritage.
The venture is part of a VisitEngland project, which will include a series of national radio adverts.
Several itineraries in the district will be spotlighted, including a visit to Haworth and the chance to experience life as a Bronte sister.
Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council’s executive member for employment, skills and culture, said: “We are delighted to be working with VisitEngland on this campaign to promote our heritage to visitors from near and far.
“Bradford has a rich and fascinating history and this is highlighted by the variety of experiences people can enjoy across the district this spring.
"There’s something for everyone, from the great Victorian grandeur to the beauty of the moors.
“People who wouldn’t normally consider visiting the Bradford district are going to find out about all the wonderful experiences we have to offer.”
If you'd like to see how much tourism has changed in the area, do take a walk down memory lane with Keighley News and reminisce about the local Brontë bus firm.

Flavorwire reviews the play You on the Moors Now, currently on stage in New York City.
Last night I saw You on the Moors Now, an experimental play currently running in New York City’s Greenwich Village, which cannily combines characters and plot points from four novels: Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. The story, such as it is, consists of the respective heroines banding together after spurning their various suitors. They end up camping out on the moors. Meanwhile, they are pursued by the rejected men, themselves united in an attempt at revenge, or requited love, or some other concession. The cast features a delightfully queered Mr. Darcy, a manic Jane Eyre who longs to travel in space, a Cathy Earnshaw with unexpectedly pronounced leadership qualities, and sundry twists and gimmicks which wouldn’t have worked if much of the audience didn’t have a basic understanding of at least a few of the four novels.
A cast of jeans-clad secondary characters switch in and out of minor roles, giving pleasure to audience members like me who know lots of inside-baseball (or inside-drawing-room) references: four-and-20 families is the number of people Mrs. Bennet brags she dines with. Nelly Dean is the unreliable narrator of much of Wuthering Heights, and so on and so forth. Amusing as well is the way that writer Jaclyn Backhaus enlists these minor players into espionage, spying for either Team Men or Team Women as the tension heats up. [...]
The idea of remixing and reinventing these classics of “women’s literature” is hardly new. Popular romance and mystery novelist Georgette Heyer traded in books that were sophisticated Austen fan-fiction, while Daphne DuMaurier and Jean Rhys were spinning off the Brontës, offering their own retort to these earlier authors. And still, the echoes of these formative books’ plots in literature are everywhere. Wuthering Heights is the godmother of a lot of YA romance, with its privileging of intense, all-consuming emotion and its angst about sex and the end of childhood’s gender freedom. Jane Eyre is the parent of feminist resistance novels and Gothic romance all at once, while Pride and Prejudice gave birth to the romantic comedy structure and the use of satire and wit to critique a male-driven world. [...]
But for those of us who are influenced by this canon, which is quite a large group of readers of all genders and backgrounds, these texts are foundational due to the way they occupy themselves with the sometimes conflicting ideals of self-actualization and romantic love. In You, on the Moors, for instance, the female characters travel away, finding jobs, even studying organic chemistry. Eventually, in the show’s final scenes, some are able to find love, but only after having “found themselves” first. This isn’t really a new innovation. In fact, it underscores the plot points that all the novels (save the more complicated Wuthering Heights) share: a woman’s journey is first to an understanding of both her limitations and her power. Love comes later, a cherry on top. [...]
At its best, You, on the Moors Now uses canonical characters to provide a cutting commentary on the kind of gender norms that bloggers and personal essays writers are tackling every day. “These men, they grieve,/ They go riding/ Or they travel/ Or they ask someone else to marry them/ Or they take it out on the person nearest them/ Or all of the above,” says Lizzy Bennet. To which Jane Eyre chimes in, sounding decidedly modern: “The world gives them the chance to ‘get over it’/And we climb over hills away from them/ We starve ourselves/ And run away.” (Sarah Seltzer)
More moors as three reviews of the film Catch Me Daddy mention Wuthering Heights.
This tremendous debut feature by British brothers Daniel and Matthew Wolfe opens with a deadened rendition of Ted Hughes’ Heptonstall Old Church. Mist rolls over the shabby roofs of nowhere towns. Most of the film’s characters live in mobile homes surrounded by gorse and heather. They subsist on milkshakes and anything that dulls the pain: prescription pills, weed, alcohol, cocaine and cheap crystallised concoctions.
This is recognisably Hughes’ Yorkshire: its pitiless poetry is ever ready to engulf its unfortunate human inhabitants. But it is equally the tramping ground of Emily Brontë, where the darkest nights harbour and hide runaways and doomed romantics not unlike the youngsters at the heart of this riveting thriller. Neither Brontë nor Hughes knew that their moors would someday host a sizable Asian community. (Tara Brady in The Irish Times)
Critics have likened Catch Me Daddy to the classically British social realism of Ken Loach or Andrea Arnold. Daniel Wolfe objects. "It's too easy, isn't it? Because it's up north, it's got street cast people, [they label it as] Ken Loach," he says. "It's not social realism and it doesn't intend to be. None of our influences were that. I love Andrea Arnold; Wuthering Heights is in one of my favorite films of the last five years. But she wasn't an influence on this." (Rachel Segal Hamilton on Vice)
It’s a British film. The plot is much ado about nothing much. On the Yorkshire moors, six nasty thugs in two separate cars pursue a runaway couple at the beck of the Asian girl’s father. But the direction, by first-timer Daniel Wolfe (co-scripting with brother Matthew), and editing (Dominic Leung, Tom Lindsay) are often dazzling. And the cinephile’s brain — this cinephile’s at least — is starting to boggle at the number of films cinematographer Robbie Ryan is turning to gold, whatever their original element. He did it for Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights (same location, almost same plot). He has done it for Ken Loach. In Catch Me Daddy, shooting increasingly at night as the film gathers pace and tension, his work is astonishing. (Nigel Andrews in Financial Times)
Writer Anna Todd picks Wuthering Heights as one of her favourite books for Cosmopolitan.
4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. It took me two reads of this to understand it, but once I did, I was in love with the angsty, destructive relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff.
The Telegraph shares 10 'surprising facts' about John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.
• It came out on a Friday
The book was published on Friday April 14, 1939, on the same day that the film Wuthering Heights, starring Laurence Olivier, had its premiere in New York. It was also the day that President Roosevelt wrote to Hitler to say: "Are you willing to give assurance that your armed forces will not attack or invade the territory or possessions of the following independent nations?" with a list that included Poland, Belgium, France, Great Britain and Ireland. (Martin Chilton)
Rté's The entertainment network reviews the film The Boy Next Door.
Claire is suitably impressed by the garage door stunt, but spends the next few days trying to figure out what she is really impressed by. She is plunged into a welter of what would be termed ‘hot flushes,’ if we were discussing a Jane Eyre costume drama. (Paddy Kehoe)
That indefatigable fan of Charlotte Brontë's, Santiago Posteguillo, is interviewed by La Razón (Argentina).
Qué hay que leer sí o sí? Todo lo que está sugerido en estas anécdotas. Pero “Jane Eyre”, de Charlotte Brontë, es la más hermosa historia de amor. (Paula Conde) (Translation)
The Lewisville Leader mentions a local student whose favourite books is Jane Eyre while Patheos's Love among the Ruins examines the novel from the 'Theology of the Body' perspective.

The Brontë Society thanks members on Facebook for the wonderful response received when they asked for spare copies of Brontë novels to send to a school in Algeria.

Adopt a Poet

Eckleburg asks you to adopt a writer or artist. One of the, is the poet Rita Maria Martinez, author of Jane-in-the-Box, who contributes with the poem  Jane Eyre Dreams of Laci Peterson:

This work is free and available to read and view below. We do encourage all readers, however, to support our contributors’ and editors’ hard work by participating in the Adopt a Writer program. Your gift through this page will support the participating contributor directly and immediately. 60% of each and every gift goes directly to individual participating contributors within seconds. Please consider gifting whatever is comfortable for you. Every little bit helps. Keep writers and artists fed and off the streets. More information here.

Jane Eyre Dreams of Laci Peterson
by Rita Maria Martinez

Captivated by stories of abusive relationships,
of mysterious deaths and missing persons,
I watched late night programs like Wicked Attraction,The New Detectives, and Deadly Women.Fascinated by blood splatter theory, gunpowder residue,
fingerprint bruises on abandoned female corpses,
I hoped to crack the code behind Bertha’s unabashed cackle,
wondered if I could cope with Eddie’s cockamamie
plan to keep her caged like a gerbil. One evening I caught
a recap on Laci’s fate: The bay slowly erasing her features
as her husband nonchalantly purchased and watched
snuff films, streamed an endless parade of women
on his high def screen, their faces eventually blurring
like his wife’s. He could barely remember what the wifey
looked like—though her photo was plastered everywhere,
so pretty and preggers in that little black cocktail dress.
Finally, the decomposed body surfaced,
limbs drifting like disembodied mannequin parts.
After the baby washed ashore, those at the morgue admired
its perfectly formed fingernails, its golden eyelashes,
which flooded my thoughts, then my dreams, for months.
Always the same image: Conner’s eyelashes dissolving
into a warm, golden light enveloping Laci,
who eternally sleeps on a bed of sand, seashells
nestled and glowing in her hair.

*Laci Denise Peterson (1975–2002) was an American woman who went missing while seven and a half months pregnant with her first child. Her husband, Scott Peterson, was later convicted of murder in the first degree for Laci and in the second degree for their prenatal son, Conner.