Monday, August 25, 2008

Beauty-disadvantaged Janes

Shirley Dent in The Guardian complains about why all Yorkshire literary festivals happen to take place in the same few weeks:

Despite Yorkshire's distinguished literary history (everyone from The Brontë sisters to Bram Stoker has found inspiration here) it used to be a bit of a challenge to lure established authors to the county from the bright lights of London or Edinburgh. But in the last 10-15 years, popular literary festivals have sprung up all over the region, attracting a very high calibre of speaker, which would be absolutely fantastic ... if the festivals didn't all overlap.

The Times makes a plain Jane reference:
The Mayor of Mount Isa is in terrible trouble - and all because he tried to do a spot of matchmaking. Mount Isa is a mining town in north Queensland that has two claims to fame. It hosts Australia's biggest rodeo, and it has a population of about 25,000 men and 800-odd young women. Which must be exhausting for the young women and trying for the 24,200 spare men. So the mayor, John Molony, mindful of his civic duty towards his vast population of reluctantly celibate miners and cowboys, came up with a brilliant wheeze. “We should find out where there are beauty-disadvantaged women and ask them to proceed to Mount Isa, where happiness awaits,” he told his local paper, the Townsville Bulletin. (...)
Pausing to remind ourselves of Jane Eyre (whose future husband, in the act of proposing, describes her as “small and plain”), Jane Austen's Fanny Price (“small... with no glow of complexion, nor any other striking beauty”) and Anne Elliot (“faded and thin... her bloom had vanished early”), all of whom triumphantly carry off men discerning enough not to fall for the flaunting physical charm of their sexier rivals, we arrive at my absolute favourite story of the Plain Girl Triumphant, Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Making of a Marchioness. (Jane Shilling)
There's also an alert from Alcoa, TN for today August 25:
Bronte Society
When: Monday, Aug. 25, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Panera Bread, 733 Louisville Rd., Alcoa, TN
Cost: Free
Write Life of Andrea & Corrina interviews author Gloria Wiederhold:
C of C- When you write a new story are you apprehensive about allowing others to critique it?
GW- (...)My favorite authoress, Emily Brontë received severe criticism in response to her novel, Wuthering Heights.
Petite-île posts about Emily Brontë in French.

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