Thursday, January 29, 2015

Masculinity and the Relics of Death

New Brontë-related scholar books:

The Victorian Novel and Masculinity
Edited by Phillip Mallett
ISBN 9780230272323
Publication Date January 2015

'The old ideal of Manhood has grown obsolete,' wrote Thomas Carlyle in 1831, 'and the new is still invisible to us.' The essays in this volume explore the way Victorian novelists tried to answer the question of what it meant to 'be a man': how manhood was learned, sustained, broken, or restored, and how the idea of the manly was shaped by class, schooling, region and religion, and by scientific and medical debate. Topics covered include the playful subversion of gender roles in the early writings of Charlotte Brontë; changing patterns of working class masculinity in London and Manchester; Dickens and the nurturing male; boyhood and girlhood in Eliot's The Mill on the Floss; the challenge to patriarchy in sensation fiction; manhood, imperialism and the adventure novel; masculinity and aestheticism; Hardy's reluctant, failed, or damaged men; and Conrad's studies of men isolated or divided against themselves.
Includes: 1. Masculinity, Power and Play in the Work of the Brontës by Sara Lodge.
Relics of Death in Victorian Literature and Culture
Deborah Lutz
Cambridge Univesity Press
Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture
ISBN: 9781107077447

Nineteenth-century Britons treasured objects of daily life that had once belonged to their dead. The love of these keepsakes, which included hair, teeth, and other remains, speaks of an intimacy with the body and death, a way of understanding absence through its materials, which is less widely felt today. Deborah Lutz analyzes relic culture as an affirmation that objects held memories and told stories. These practices show a belief in keeping death vitally intertwined with life - not as memento mori but rather as respecting the singularity of unique beings. In a consumer culture in full swing by the 1850s, keepsakes of loved ones stood out as non-reproducible, authentic things whose value was purely personal. Through close reading of the works of Charles Dickens, Emily Brontë, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Thomas Hardy, and others, this study illuminates the treasuring of objects that had belonged to or touched the dead.
Includes :2. The miracle of ordinary things: Brontë and Wuthering Heights.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wutheringly realistic

The Telegraph and Argus reports the visit of author Tracy Chevalier to the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

Award-winning author Tracy Chevalier has visited the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth.
The novelist, whose novels include Girl With A Pearl Earring, discussed plans for the forthcoming Brontë bicentenary celebrations.
The celebrations will start in 2016, the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth, and will run until 2020, to mark the births of Emily and Anne.
The museum, which is due to reopen on Sunday after its winter break, said further details of the celebration would be unveiled later in 2015.
The Millions reviews Silvina Ocampo's Thus Were Their Faces.
Like Emily Brontë, Ocampo was a younger sister whose literary vision takes its own unruly path away from that of her elder (in Ocampo’s case this elder sister, the revered writer and critic Victoria, was her first publisher). Love is as fearsome in an Ocampo story as it is in Wuthering Heights; emotion has a way of sealing us into a charmed circle that makes us incomprehensible to everyone who stands outside it. This kind of circle shrinks and shrinks until even the beloved is impossible to read clearly, and then finally we’re unable to even pretend to understand our own thoughts. (Helen Oyeyemi)
Reader's Digest reviews Thornfield Hall by Jane Stubbs:
Thornfield Hall works because it doesn’t rewrite the original, but reimagines it from another point of view – that of the housekeeper Mrs Fairfax. It is through her eyes that we see the full goings-on at Thornfield, from the moment she joins the household, widowed and penniless. Young Edward Rochester is away in the Caribbean, and he only returns when he inherits the estate after his father’s death. (Farhana Gani)
This columnist from The Hartford Courant discusses the concept of 'realistic romance'.
Is the new designation for books — “Realistic Romance” — a contradiction in terms? Is it a classic oxymoron right up there with “free gift,” “business ethics” and “adult children”?
Or will “Realistic Romance” now forever (another lovely oxymoron) be known as the category designed for readers who seek plots focused on the wild, unstoppable and inevitable merging of two soul mates who, despite all odds, face the world more bravely because their love has made them strong and also really good-looking?
That sure sounds like romance. What it doesn’t sound is realistic.
I’m saying this not only as a happily married woman but also as a fan of impossibly unrealistic classics such as “Wuthering Heights,“Gone with the Wind” and “The Princess Bride.” (Gina Barreca)
The Independent has an article on how books are interpreting reading as a 'social exercise'.
The rise of the BookTuber speaks volumes, pun intended, about how reading is adapting to suit our modern, socially obsessed lives. Both teenagers and adult BookTubers sit in front of their laptops and talk about their "TBR" (To Be Read) piles. They speak into the camera with impressively large book collections in the background, holding up gorgeous hardcovers. Whether they're talking about Jane Eyre or the Twilight saga, this fills me with optimism.
Today's young people interpret reading as a social exercise. It's not just about picking the book up and reading - it's about interaction.
As long as there are platforms for sharing, whether over a beer or through an iPhone screen, there will be readers. This is what libraries and bookshops would be wise to embrace. (Eleanor Dunn)
Nottingham Post recommends 'seven hidden gems' in the city.
If you're more of a book worm than a crate digger, Bromley House Library's 41,500 books and ornate wooden spiral staircase might be more up your street.
Librarian Carol Barstow said: "I like the term 'hidden gem', although we've been trying to make ourselves more well-known."
The library houses early editions of novels by the Brontë sisters in its Grade II* listed Georgian townhouse. The library is also home to one of just two walled gardens in the city centre. Fortnightly tours give non-members a chance to have a guided look around. (Ben Ireland)
Writer Santiago Posteguillo mentions Charlotte Brontë as one of his influences in this interview on Semana. Escritores looks at classics which received bad reviews when they were first published, such as Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre. Celestial Timepiece posts an introduction to Jane Eyre by Joyce Carol Oates.

Revisiting the Brontës at Liverpool

A new course begins today at the University of Liverpool:
Revisiting The Brontës (Wednesday 1.00pm-4.00pm)
University of Liverpool
28th January 2015 – 25th February 2015
Last Booking Date for this Event
9th February 2015

To commemorate the 160th anniversary of the death of Charlotte Brontë, we will be hosting a series of events exploring the extraordinary body of work produced the Brontë sisters. This will consist of two afternoon workshops, the first will look at the 1847 novels Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey. The second will focus on The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Villette, Shirley and The Professor.

With Dr Sharon Connor

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

‘Welcome to Wuthering Heights on a withering budget’

Further news on the documentary showing the 'real' locations of Brontë novels, as reported by The Telegraph and Argus:

The team behind a documentary revealing the real locations which inspired the Bronteë sisters has offered walking tours to people who are willing to be filmed for the production.
The documentary is being made by Oxenhope resident Oliver Chapman and will present the outcome of research carried out by Ian Howard and Josh Chapman, who is Oliver’s brother.
Mr Howard, who is also from Oxenhope, said that a local theatre group and a school had come forward to take part in the Haworth tour and ultimately be featured in the documentary itself.
“The tour will be filmed as part of the documentary we’re making, so everyone should be prepared for the footage to be used on television,” he said.
He said that he did not require very many more people for the tour, though he added that a small number of additional individuals who were willing to participate could still be accommodate.
He said the recent snow had not discouraged him from visiting the remote locations on the moors being filmed as part of the documentary.
“No one else goes up there when the weather is like this, so it’s nice to have that solitude,” he said.
Den of Geek picks the 'Top 10 Must-See Scary Movies of 2015'. One of which is Guillermo Del Toro's much awaited
Crimson Peak (October 16, 2015)
Easily my own most anticipated horror film of 2015, Crimson Peak offers the prospect of a genre master attempting to summon some of the decadent dread of a bygone era. With a premise that could be pulling just as much from the writings of either Brontë sister as it could be from pulp magazines, Crimson Peak stands poised to be Guillermo del Toro’s ode to the gothic literature that birthed modern horror. In short, I’m hoping for more Dragonwyck or even Jane Eyre than simply Pacific Rim.
Set in the rural English county of Cumbria, Crimson Peak follows a young British novelist named Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) who has come to live with her enigmatic new husband Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) in his crumbling estate. There she will discover Sir Thomas’ macabre past, his mysterious sister Lady Lucille (Jessica Chastain), and with any luck, the stuff of eternal nightmares. (David Crow)
Style has an article on magazine editor Isabella Blow and recalls that,
Issie had no grandeur about her whatsoever. You’d walk into her country house—Hilles House, in Gloucestershire—and she’d say, ‘Welcome to Wuthering Heights on a withering budget.’ (Mary Fellowes)
Finally, an alert for Thursday, as seen in the Solihull Observer.
A drama group is calling on actors to dust down their bonnets and bodices and join their production of Wuthering Heights.
SSA Drama are set to put on a stage version of Emily Brontë's classic novel and are asking budding thespians to join them on their adventure to Thrushcross Grange.
Auditions will be held on Monday, January 26 and Thursday, January 29 at The Edge Theatre, in Alderbrook School from 7.30pm. (Sarah Judkins)
The Stories of O. references Wuthering Heights in a curious post.

Wuthering Heights in Southampton

A new production of Lucy Gough's adaptation of Wuthering Heights opens today, January 27, in Southampton:
Maskers Theatre Company presents
Wuthering Heightsadapted by Lucy Gough

Director ... Paul Green
Cast ... Lydia Longman, George Attwill, Sarah Russell, Georgia Humphrey, Jonathan Marmont, Michelle Heffer, George Davies

The Nuffield Theatre
27 to 31 January 2015 at 7:30pm
Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights is one of the most enduring love stories of all time. This vibrant and exhilarating adaptation uses exciting physical theatre techniques to bring the audience a thrilling theatrical experience.

Emily Brontë's Gothic tale of tortured love is brought to the stage in all its turbulent, passionate glory in this exhilarating and vibrant adaptation by Lucy Gough. Growing up together on the Yorkshire Moors, Catherine Earnshaw and the gypsy Heathcliff are inseparable after he is adopted into her family. But when Catherine marries the refined Edgar Linton, Heathcliff sets his mind to revenge. Their destructive relationship is one of the most enduring love stories of English literature. The story is told in its entirety, showing the doomed relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff and the consequences suffered by their respective children, Cathy and Linton. With a strong physical element, this highly visual production has the moors as a tangible character and Catherine's ghost is a constant presence. Don't miss what is surely one of the most famous and enduring love stories of all time. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

'Ink blots, a large candle burn and a letter E carved into its surface'

BBC News and many others report that the Brontës' dining room table is going home.

A table at which the Brontë sisters wrote has been brought back to the family home in Yorkshire after being purchased with a grant of £580,000.
The Brontë Society at Haworth said the table was a "most evocative" 19th Century literary artefact.
It was sold along with other household effects from the Brontë Parsonage after the death of Patrick Brontë in 1861.
The mahogany drop-leaf table's purchase came after a grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF).
Ann Dinsdale, collections manager at the Haworth Parsonage, said "It is one of the most important literary artefacts of the 19th Century."
Among the novels written by the sisters in the parsonage were Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, Charlotte's Jane Eyre and Anne's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
The table has ink blots, a large candle burn and a letter E carved into its surface.
Others relaying the news are: The Telegraph (illustrated with an alleged  and quite contested so-called Brontë portrait) , The Yorkshire Post, The Telegraph and Argus, etc.

An article on snowdrops in the Daily Mail recalls that,
On her wedding day, the novelist Charlotte Brontë was described as looking like a snowdrop — appropriate for the writer who appeared so demure but whose heroines such as Jane Eyre were decidedly not. (Sarah Foot)
Página 12 (Argentina) features the book Cartas extraordinarias by María Negroni where she
elige a los que más y mejor han echado raíces en su propio planeta literario: Emilio Salgari, Jules Verne, Lewis Carroll, Charlotte Brontë, entre otros. ¿Hace falta decir que muchos de estos nombres venían reincidiendo en la obra de Negroni desde, por lo menos, Museo negro? La infancia, se sabe, es el país de las heridas y los amores que nos definen, y a los que regresamos recurrentemente.
Para reflexionar sobre y con estos autores, Negroni escribe una carta, que en la mayoría de los casos ficcionaliza la voz del autor mismo. A veces las cartas se dirigen a una persona importante del entorno b (Mariana Amato) (Translation)
iográfico del escritor; otras veces se dirigen a un personaje de su autoría (o al revés, un personaje le escribe al autor), y en otras ocasiones el escritor se dirige a otro artista, con quien puede o no haber tenido contacto en su vida real. Es decir, las cartas entretejen ficción y biografía para mejor indagar en los diálogos visibles e invisibles que una obra entabló con su tiempo y con otras obras.
While The Guardian reviews Rego Retold: Poems in Response to Works by Paula Rego by Owen Lowery, which includes the following poem:

Mr Rochester

by Owen Lowery

A forthcoming, from its pool of shadows up
by angles of covered bone, to her knowing
it would happen on a day like this, the supple

terror of a horse’s eye holding her. She slows
to the scream of being locked in the Red Room
with its reek of dying flowers, throwing

herself at the door with horror assuming
form behind her. Or not her recent uncle
at all, but the girl from school she warmed the tomb

for in the morning, she lay beside for as long
as it took for her to fade. The dark mass
of a horse balances and shies, hung

both with reins and their froth, sees her dazzled
to a stand-off. It’s the gloom’s rider who’ll crack
the silence first with his anger’s elastic

submission. To which she’ll fling a coolness back
at least as soft and hard as his, then hear him
sliding towards the relative distraction

of another scenario they’ll have shared
by the time they reach their destination, paths
leading to Thornfield Hall. It’s easy once the gears

click them more alive than standing for the halves
of the same mountain. He, in particular,
fixed to his finding her an evening after

she dreamt him there, looking down fro the flicker
of a blasted tree, from his top-hat’s coal-seam
and answer in his boots, his whip-hand’s friction.

Romancing History continues posting about Jane Eyre.

A Wuthering Heights in California

Kirsten Brandt's adaptation of Wuthering Heights was going to be premiered a few days ago at the San Jose Repertory Theatre. Regrettably the theatre closed its doors last June. Therefore, for the moment, the closest thing to a premiere is tomorrow's staged reading that will take place in Solana Beach, CA:
New Fortune Theatre is proudly committed to producing Original Classics.
So  to follow our  opening of Henry V, a Shakespearean history, alongside readings of an original adaptation of Dorian Gray, and a world premiere of Cellar Door; we are proud to continue true to course with a reading of

Wuthering Heights
Adapted to stage by Kirsten Brandt,
From the novel by Emily Brontë
Directed by Kirsten Brandt

One night only: January 26, 2015: 7:30pm

At North Coast Repertory Theatre
987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive
Solana Beach, CA 92075

Sunday, January 25, 2015

By Name Only

The Telegraph should revise the pictures they use because their "Emily Brontë" picture has been contested numerous times. The article is about women that 'became men' to go ahead:

Much like George Eliot, the Brontë sisters passed themselves off as men by name only. In the early years of their career, Charlotte, Emily and Anne went by the names of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. Their first work under these names, simply entitled Poems, was published in 1846. The following year, Charlotte had Jane Eyre published under the name Currer Bell, while Emily continued as Ellis Bell for the publication of Wuthering Heights. (Siân Ranscombe
The Fandom Post reviews issue 16 of the manga Tegami Bachi  (テガミバチwhich contains a Wuthering Heights reference:
Story: Hiroyuki Asada
Art: Hiroyuki Asada. (...)
While looking for the Gaichuu, Zazie stays at an inn called Wuthering Heights that is managed by a young girl named Emil Brontë, I know, that name is too on the nose but the story doesn’t suffer from it. (Chris Kirby)
The Denver Post reviews Ted & I: A Brother's Memoir by Gerald Hughes (the brother of Ted Hughes):
This is very much an older brother's memoir. The Ted Hughes of popular imagination, a combination of Bluebeard and Heathcliff, is nowhere to be found. Ted emerges as a vulnerable character: curious, guileless, generous, more comfortable in the outdoors than anywhere else. (John Broening)

Hoodline alerts us to an event in Hayes Valley next week:
Even if you don't need glasses, now there's no excuse not to visit the new Warby Parker at 357 Hayes Street. This Tuesday, the retailer will host an evening with Mallory Ortberg in celebration of her new publication, "Texts from Jane Eyre." If it's anything like the cheeky lifestyle space that Warby Parker set up for Hayes Valley residents, it's sure to be a good time. Check out the Facebook event page for more details.
Books Are Another Dimension posts about Wuthering Heights.  The Sunday Times Magazine interviews Juliette Binoche and Wuthering Heights 1992 gets a mention.

The Dissolution of Percy and Songs of Arcady

1. Today and tomorrow, January 25 and 26, there will be a couple of stage readings of the new play based on Branwell's last years, The Dissolution of Percy,  in Salford, Manchester:

The Dissolution of Percy
The Kings Arms, Salford, Manchester
Play-4-Free! Festival
January 25, 26 at 7.30pm

 Lydia has never been interested in searching for love, but, gnawed by loneliness and physical frustration, and immobilized by her station, companionship and release must be had, and soon. Branwell, a young tutor and amateur writer, is haunted by a history of creative and vocational failures. He struggles to fulfill his duties, pursue his ambitions and maintain a hold of his remaining good sense due to a growing attachment to alcohol and an intense, obsessive infatuation with his master’s wife: Lydia. Glowing ecstasy and violent sorrows, real and imagined, batter the mismatched individuals each in turn, but, all the while, something secretive and wonderful is happening back at Branwell’s family home. His three sisters have begun work of their own. But perhaps that’s of no importance.
      The Dissolution of Percy tackles a notorious series of historical events reflecting the surprising lack of evolution in gender politics between the nineteenth century and the modern day. The pressure and emotional toll of high expectations dropped on young male shoulders, and the crippling effect of their comfortless sense of entitlement on in this “man’s world”, are exposed. Can a woman’s worth be measured by her relationships? Can a man’s be measured by any demonstrative display of masculinity? What is the definition of “success” or “failure” for a male versus a female? The Dissolution of Percy plunges its audience into a world balanced in stark counterpoint between high, violent passions, steady, grim pragmatism and gallows humour, to explore matters still fiercely debated today.
2.  New compositions by Ronald Beckett will be performed in a concert today in La Salette, Ontario:
Songs of Arcady
The program includes solo and ensemble performance opportunities, mentorship with seasoned professionals and Arcady’s very own director Ronald Beckett, and the opportunity to premiere new music by Beckett composed specifically with each Young Artist in mind.
Songs of Arcady will feature the premiere of these personally designed songs and will be accompanied by the composer himself. Soprano, Kristen English from Lindsay will premiere “Time is Sleeping” which is set to an inspiring and unforgettable poem by Canadian poet/composer Nick Peros. English will also premiere “Three Short Poems by Emily Brontë.” Bronte is a poet many composers enjoy setting to music as her poetry is typically short fragments capturing a brief image and emotional impression well suited for music. The program also includes two more contrasting settings of Emily Brontë to be performed by baritone Kieran Kane from Guelph.  (Tammy Whetham in Woodstock Sentinel)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The table is back

Keighley News reports that an important piece of Brontëana has been acquired by the Brontë Society:
The society has bought the simple mahogany drop-leaf table with a grant of £580,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.
The society said the desk was one of the most evocative and significant literary artefacts of the 19th century.
The table at which the Brontë sisters wrote was the focus of domestic life in the Brontë household at Haworth Parsonage, and where the siblings gathered to write and discuss their stories, poems, and novels.
The table bears the marking of the family’s daily use with ink blots, a large candle burn in the centre, a small letter ‘E’ carved into the surface, and beneath the table are ownership markings, possibly in the hand of Charlotte Brontë’s husband, Arthur Bell Nicholls.
The table was also featured in an 1837 diary paper sketch by Emily, showing herself and Anne writing at the table with all their papers scattered before them.
The table was sold during the sale of the household effects of the Parsonage, which took place after the death of Patrick Brontë in 1861.
The table is listed as lot 154 in the hand-written sale catalogue, held at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, which shows that it was purchased by Mr Ogden for the sum of £1-11-0. The Ogdens sold it to another family, within which it has been handed down as an heirloom, before the museum was approached for ownership.
Ann Dinsdale, the Collections Manager at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, said: “We are extremely proud and excited to be bringing the Brontës’ table back to its original home.
“It is one of the most important literary artefacts of the 19th century and displaying it in the Parsonage dining room marks a wonderful commencement to our programme of activity marking the forthcoming bicentenaries of the births of the Brontë siblings.”
The table was loaned to the Brontë Parsonage Museum for a short period in 1997 to mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.
Carole Souter the chief executive of the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), said the Brontë sisters were internationally revered for their contribution to English literature.
She said: “Novels which have enthralled millions of readers were imagined and written at this table and seeing it brings to life the creative process behind the famous works.
“NHMF trustees felt it important that it should be saved for the nation so that it can be displayed to the public in its original setting.”
Heritage minister Ed Vaizey said: “The Brontës’ family dining table has a close connection with some of the most famous English literature written in the 19th century.
“The National Heritage Memorial Fund grant recognises the importance of keeping these literary artefacts on display and it’s wonderful that visitors to the Brontës’ former home in Yorkshire will now be able to enjoy it in its original setting."
The table will be displayed in its original position in the dining room at the Parsonage where it can be viewed by the public from the February 1, when the Brontë Parsonage reopens for the coming season. (David Knights)
The Daily Express asks the TV presenter Gaby Roslin for her favourite books:
Wuthering Heights.
When I was about 12 my mother was fed up with me reading “rubbish” and handed me this. It totally captivated me. You get the barren landscape and that heartrending love. I suddenly realised the depth and beauty of a book. (Caroline Rees)
Ham &  High talks with the writer Ben Markovits:
This relationship, Markovits continues, runs both ways. From an early age, he – like many American high school students – grew up on a literary diet of Dickens, Austen and the Brontë sisters. In particular, his love of Lord Byron shines through and has formed the backbone of his breakthrough in the industry, having penned three books loosely formed around the rambunctious Romantic poet.
Daily Mail list some of the locations of the new BBC series Wolf Hall:
Broughton Castle has had a large presence in period drama over the years, and was used in 2011 adaption of Jane Eyre, Shakespeare in Love in 1998 and The Madness of King George twenty years ago. (Simon Cable)
Indeed, Broughton Castle was Lowood School in the Cary Fukunaga's film. interviews the writer Joanna Rakoff:
[As a teenager] I didn't have a lot of friends, I was very, very shy, I was very unpopular ‒ I was chubby and my family was 'weird'. So my friends were the characters in the books that I read over and over, like Jane Eyre. (Shreya Ila Anasuya)
Gina Barreca discusses the 'realistic romance'  genre in the Savannah Morning News:
Is the new designation for books — “Realistic Romance” — a contradiction in terms? Or will “Realistic Romance” now forever (another lovely oxymoron) be known as the category designed for readers who seek plots focused on the wild, unstoppable and inevitable merging of two soulmates who, despite all odds, face the world more bravely because their love has made them strong and also really good-looking?
That sure sounds like romance. What it doesn’t sound is realistic.
I’m saying this not only as a happily married woman but also as a fan of impossibly unrealistic classics such as “Wuthering Heights,” “Gone with the Wind” and “The Princess Bride.”
This is a very doubtful statement by 9News:
How did Charlotte Brontë make it easier for everyone to breathe? She created Eyre.
If you laughed at that joke, then you should get excited. Friday marks National Reading Day. (Blair Shiff)
We have no words.

The Age discusses the VCE English text list:
Shakespeare has appeared on every single list for the last two decades, while works by Jane Austen, Emily Brontë and Charles Dickens, as well as more contemporary writers David Malouf and Tim Winton also crop up regularly. (Henrietta Cook)
Soester-Anzeiger reviews the Oberhausen performances of Wuthering Heights:
Wunderschöne Bilder für einen seelischen Vernichtungskrieg. Das Oberhausener Ensemble spielt wieder seine Stärken aus. Angela Falkenhan ist als Cathy eine grandiose Hysterikerin, die ihrem sanften und großzügigen Ehemann mit Betteln und Drohungen den Kontakt zu Heathcliff abringt. Mal liegt sie matt auf dem Sofa, dann entfesselt sie mit Schreien und Herumlaufen und Kissenzerfetzen einen Privatsturm. Dann wieder bestimmt sie Vögel nach den Federn, im Rückfall in das Kinderglück eine Wiedergängerin von Ophelia, unschuldig und wahnsinnig. Peter Waros gibt den undurchsichtigen und unberechenbaren bösen Liebhaber, der Unrecht erlitt und nun neues Unrecht begeht, manchmal ein gewandter Gesprächspartner, oft aber ein Wutbruder. Sergej Lubic spielt Edgar, anfangs als braven Bürger mit Machoanwandlungen, der mit einem Schenkelklopfen sein Frauchen zu sich auf den Schoß kommandiert. Bald aber spürt man seine Schmerzen, er ist überfordert von Leidenschaften, die er nie entwickeln wird. Und Henry Meyer gibt den Hindley erst als lebenslustigen Haustyrann, später als misanthropischen Alkoholiker.
Drei Stunden lang säuft hier eine Gesellschaft im englischen Hochmoor ab. Eine große Leistung. Aber man fragt sich schon, wo dieses so kunstvoll wie künstlich konstruierte Liebes- und Rachedrama unsere Gegenwart berührt. (Ralf Stiftel) (Translation)
Cinema Fanpage (Italy) reminds us of a curious piece of trivia of the 2003 film Cold Mountain:
C’ è una curiosità tutta “letteraria” nel film: i nomi dei figli di Sally Swanger (Kathy Baker) , Acton e Ellis, sono anche quelli che le celebri scrittrici Anne Brontë e Emily Brontë utilizzarono come pseudonimi per la commercializzazione dei proprio romanzi, precisamente Acton Campana e Ellis Campana, mentre la terza sorella, Charlotte, usò quello di Currer Campana. (Translation)
Cinefilos (Italy) interviews Toby Stephens about the second season of Black Sails:
CS: A proposito di letteratura, chi preferisci tra il Capitano Flint e Rochester in Jane Eyre?
T.B: Difficile a dirsi perché sono personaggi completamente diversi. Rochester è davvero un archetipo letterario. Ero nervoso all’idea di interpretarlo perché pensavo alle aspettative delle donne che sono davvero ossessionate da questo personaggio. Ma è un ruolo che mi ha dato tante soddisfazioni, ho adorato interpretare Rochester. Quanto a Flint, in un certo senso stiamo creando il personaggio, perché non è presente ne L’Isola del Tesoro. Viene menzionato, ma non sappiamo chi sia, quindi mi affido agli sceneggiatori. Creare il personaggio è una cosa bellissima. Non sto cercando di eludere la domanda, ma è difficile paragonare i due perché sono ruoli gratificanti in modo completamente diverso. Direi che sono appaganti nella stessa misura. (Raffaella Lippolis) (Translation)
El Litoral (Spain) talks about Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi:
¿Alguien podía concentrarse en sus tareas cuando lo que preocupaba a los profesores era cómo eliminar la palabra ‘vino' de una novela de Hemingway o si debía omitir a Emily Brontë del programa porque parecía excusar el adulterio”. (Enrique Butti) (Translation)
El Nacional (Venezuela) reviews Glennkill by Leonie Swann:
Eso sí, de contar relatos saben mucho y ellas no se cansarán jamás de escuchar a la nueva pastora, heredera del rebaño, leyendo la historia de Heathcliff al que tanto le gusta vagar por ahí. (Juan Carlos Chirinos) (Translation)
Sipse (México) discusses the works of Claudio Magris:
En el ensayo que dio pie a esta selección, titulado “Cuando la literatura golpea como un puño”, Magris resume que este sentido de lo terrible, como Cumbres borrascosas, radicalmente desagradable, representa una alta humanidad, porque mirar de frente a la Medusa es la única posibilidad de resistirse a ella. “El corazón”, decía Flaubert, “tiene sus letrinas, y sólo la pluma de un escritor verdadero es capaz de limpiar y pulir esa podredumbre”. (Alfredo C. Villeda) (Translation)
This interview in La Gazette du Sorcier (France) to Matthew Lewis is a bit vague about the present status of The Brontës biopic project:
La Gazette du Sorcier : Avez-vous de nouveaux tournages prévus prochainement ?
Il est toujours attaché au biopic The Brontës, mais il ne sait pas où en est le projet pour le moment. (Translation)
Vulpes Libris transcribes a Charlotte vs Emily debate;  Hic et Nunc reviews Wuthering Heights; herzenszeilen (in German) posts about Jane Eyre.

More Italian performances of Wuthering Heights

The Italian theatre company La Sarabanda reprises its Wuthering Heights performances today, January 24, in Lomagna:
Cime Tempestose
Adapted from Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
by Mara Gualandris and Loredana Riva

January 24, 21 h Teatro Oratorio Lomagna
February 14,  21 h centro Don V. Pedretti via molino Arese 15, Cesano Maderno
February 28, 21 h,   Madonna in campagna,  Gallarate
April 19, 15:30 h, Teatro Barbarigo via Bordighera 46, Milano

Friday, January 23, 2015

'Vacuuming Mr Brontë’s nightshirt'

Brontë Parsonage Museum intern Alana Clague writes about her experience in The Telegraph and Argus.

The Parsonage has not been a disappointment!
Every day has been a different challenge, which I have really enjoyed. The beginning of my time here was quite daunting, with much to learn about the museum and the Brontë family history, and I spent a part of my time reading as much as I could about the Brontës.
The next task I faced was helping to catalogue books and other donations into the museum’s collection databases. There was a great range of material to catalogue and I have some personal favourites.
Wuthering Bites’ by Sarah Gray, a reimagining of the classic tale with Heathcliff as the orphaned child of a vampire and vampire hunter at war with his inner nature, is a story I think would please Twilight fans everywhere and one I have catalogued into the Parsonage library.
I have catalogued a copy of The Brontës by Flora Masson, discovered abandoned in a World War One dugout in 1918, a book fascinating and poignant for more than story written on its pages.
There have been books about the Brontës, stories inspired by their works, foreign language versions and film adaptations including a samurai Wuthering Heights and a Mexican version with Heathcliff as Alejandro.
Along with this I have been involved with researching objects, answering research enquires, uploading articles to the website and many activities in between.
At the moment, however, it is the museum’s closed period and we are busier than ever. Everyone is helping to prepare the museum for the visitors return in February.
I have been helping to move objects from display and to clean them, from waxing chairs to vacuuming Mr Brontë’s nightshirt. I help with whatever is needed and at the moment that means something different every day.
Yesterday I was researching the German first edition of Wuthering Heights but who knows what challenges today will bring!
The Brontë Parsonage Facebook page tells about a lovely 'tradition':
Today, as in previous years, we've received flowers from an anonymous well-wisher in recognition of Anne Brontë's birthday, which was on Saturday. Thank you anonymous well-wisher! Come inside for a cup of tea and a sit-down next year.
There are a couple of Brontë-related projects in Dewsbury, as seen in the Dewsbury Reporter:
Young south Asian women with a love of literature are being invited to take part in a new project by Creative Scene.
Worlds Apart, inspired by the life and work of Charlotte Brontë, is part of the lead up to the 200th anniversary of the birth of the author.
The collaboration between Chol Theatre and Gomersal’s Red House Museum involves developing a theatre piece for the museum, which was once the home of Brontë’s best friend Mary Taylor.
Creative Scene is holding an open casting call to find a group of South Asian young women aged between 14 and 25 to work with Chol Theatre’s guest director Evie Manning and writer Aisha Zia.
Evie and Aisha recently made the critically acclaimed No Guts, No Heart, No Glory – a performance by young Muslim women.
A drop-in session in Dewsbury Town Hall takes place on Saturday, 10.30am-4pm.
Manchester is not all that far away from those places and, according to SuperBreak, it has been 'named top tourist destination for 2015'. The attractions of course now include
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House
Elizabeth Gaskell's novels including Mary Barton, Cranford, North and South, Ruth and Wives and Daughters have enjoyed an extended life in print form, on the radio and even on the small screen, with many admiring the charm of their period stories and strong female characters. Now, you can see where writer Gaskell crafted her storylines and developed her heroines, at the newly opened Elizabeth Gaskell's House on the edge of Manchester. The Grade II listed property is a rare example of the elegant Regency-style villas once popular in the city and it has just been restored thanks to a National Lottery fund of around £2.5 million. Few other places have such an incredible history - previous visitors include Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, John Ruskin, the American abolitionist and novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe and musician Charles Hallé.
The house is currently open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, from 11.00am to 4.30pm, although these opening hours are likely to be extended during the summer months. (Vikki Stathers)
The Chicago Tribune brings back from its archive a 1929 review of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own.
"A Room of One's Own" is one of the most stimulating books of the year to any one really interested in creative writing, whether as an eager reader or as a mute and inglorious Milton or Emily Brontë. In it Virginia Woolf bares her mind about why women have and have not written books, and the processes of that mind, quite as much as the conclusions which it draws, are fascinating; for, to most of us, Virginia Woolf has one of the most alluring minds in present day literature. [...]
That women wrote nothing remarkable under such circumstances she finds not at all startling. In a later period, the common sitting room as a retreat and a life devoted to mending and stewing and brewing did not offer women much leisure, or independence, or quiet for creative work. It did, however, offer them unlimited opportunities for the observation of human relationships, and it made inevitable their writing novels when they came to write anything. Once woman had proved — it was Aphra Behn who first in the English speaking world earned money by writing — that she could be economically independent through writing, women of all sorts and kinds began it. They were afraid at first to sign their own names. They signed men's names in tremulous fear of detection. Currer Bell, George Eliot, George Sand are only the well-known names which fame rescued from the thousands. (Fanny Butcher)
This columnist from the Courier-Post comments on the proposed opening of a hardware library:
I'd suggest they consider the emerging field of tool literature, like my favorite adaptation of a Charlotte Brontë classic.
Jane Eyre Compressor. (Jim Walsh)
The Liverpool Echo reports the death of actress Pauline Yates who
made her stage debut, aged 17, playing Grace Poole in Jane Eyre. (Paddy Shennan)

Charlotte's Poems in Japanese

The 1985 edition of the Charlotte Brontë poems by Victor A. Neufeldt has been translated into Japanese by Hiroshi Nakaoka ( 中岡  洋) (who has also translated previously other Brontë materials and has published several Brontë monographies):
シャーロット・ブロンテ全詩集 (The Poems of Charlotte Brontë)
Charlotte Brontë. Editor: Victor A. Neufeldt. Translator: 中岡 洋
Publisher: 彩流社 (2014/9/1)
ISBN978-4-7791-1982-8 C0098


Thursday, January 22, 2015


And so Valentine's Day season begins. Bustle wonders 'What These 12 Famous Historical Couples Would Be Wearing On Valentine's Day'.

For this gothic-romantic couple, Valentine’s Day would be spent by taking a lovely romp and chase through the Yorkshire moors where they spent most of their time growing up as children. Both would be dressed for the wuthering weather in wool peacoats. Cathy would wear a more feminine peacoat in a baby blue, a-lined and double breasted style, her hair loose and blowing wildly in the wind. Heathcliff would be dressed in a dark charcoal peacoat, his dark, long hair tied roughly back in a man-bun. (Courtney Mina)
That's not how we'd picture them but then again we don't see the as the Valentine's Day-celebrating kind of couple.

The Irish Times interviews writer Alison Weir:
Who is your favourite fictional character? Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre. (Martin Doyle)
The Conversation enlightens us on what ekphrasis is.
There is, too, the set of practices we might call literary ekphrasis: a process through which writers collaborate with pre-existing texts, often written by authors who have passed away. American poet Anne Carson’s Nox (2010) is, in this sense, a collaboration between Anne Carson, Catullus, and Carson’s brother, Michael.
A more familiar ekphrastic collaboration is Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea (a literary collaboration/conversation with Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre). (Dallas J Baker, Jen Webb and Nike Sulway)
The Telegraph looks at what's coming at the The National Theatre: Sally Cookson's acclaimed two-part Jane Eyre adaptation will be performed in September (the play will return to Bristol in January 2016):
The theatre will also stage Shakespeare’s As You Like It, an adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and Farquhar’s The Beaux’s Stratagem. (Hannah Furness)
While on the other side of the pond, Asbury Park Press reports that,
Point Pleasant native John Kurzynowski will be directing Theater Reconstruction Ensemble's off-Broadway play "You on the Moors Now" by Jaclyn Backhaus.
This 90-minute, world-premiere production — an examination of four well-known literary heroines of the 19th century and their shocking rejection of the men who so ardently loved them — runs Feb. 13 to 28 at HERE, 145 Sixth Ave. in New York City.
Gleaned from the pages of "Pride and Prejudice," "Jane Eyre," "Wuthering Heights" and "Little Women," "You on the Moors Now" takes everything you've ever learned about love "and puts it somewhere in the tall grasses, hidden from view, where only the truly brave will ever traverse to earn it," according to a news release. (Bill Canacci)
It looks as if last year's Tour de France's Grand Départ left Yorkshire wanting more. And so this year we will have a Tour de Yorkshire! Also from The Telegraph:
Organisers have announced details of the inaugural three-day Tour de Yorkshire event at the start of May. [...]
Stage 3, Sunday May 3: Wakefield - Leeds, 167 km
A return to some of the roads used during last summer’s Tour. Starting in Wakefield, riders will travel south to Barnsley before heading to Holmfirth where they pick up the Grand Départ route, albeit in reverse. Cragg Vale, for instance, becomes the “longest continuous descent in England” rather than the “longest continuous ascent” it was billed as last year. Haworth, home of the Brontës, is ridden in the same direction as it was last summer, meaning there is another opportunity for snappers to get the iconic shot of the peloton ascending its cobbled streets. The finish is in Roundhay Park in Leeds. (Tom Cary)
Just a few days ago we saw a picture of a sunny Brontë Parsonage. Well, today it's all covered in snow, as you can see on the Brontë Parsonage Facebook Page. Athlete at Heart has read Jane Eyre.

Brontës in Canterbury

A course beginning today at the Canterbury Christ Church University:
The Brontës: Novels by Three Sisters
Thursday 22 January 2015
Tutor: Geoff Doel
Length: 8 sessions
Time: 1.30pm - 3.30pm
Location: Canterbury Campus

Course description

The Brontë sisters were inspired by their bleak moorland environment, their passionate lineage and their love of Romantic literature inherited from their father Patrick (himself a poet of nature); their very isolation in Haworth bred a mutual intensity.

Despite their limited educational and social opportunities and their relative poverty, the sisters each produced a masterpiece - novels of great intensity, passion and power. We’ll study Emily’s Wuthering Heights , Charlotte’s Jane Eyre and Anne’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall , exploring their literary impact in the mid-nineteenth century and their profound influence since.