Thursday, October 23, 2008

"The gilding of the Indian summer"

The Telegraph & Argus publishes how the Kirklees Council and the Bradford Council are trying to initiate some collaboration:

Kirklees Council has suggested joining forces with Bradford Council to market attractions connected with the Brontë family.
Jacqui Bennet, of Bradford Council’s tourism marketing department, showed fellow Brontë Country Partnership (BCP) members a brochure produced by Kirklees Council documenting Charlotte Brontë’s Spen Valley links.
She said it was important to try to break down administrative boundaries when marketing the Brontës to people visiting Yorkshire.
BCP chairman Samantha Lawson said if the partnership was to make a financial contribution to a joint marketing initiative it would need a clearer idea of the budget.
Ms Bennet said there was no question of the BCP being expected to spend all or most of its annual budget on such a project.
Robin Jackson, of the Haworth Traders Association, said he didn’t see how the partnership could harm Haworth.
“This would promote Brontë Country so it’s not going to take business away from us,” he said. (Miran Rahman)
The aforementioned brochure is probably this one. We wonder why it has taken them so long to figure out that it's better to collaborate than to work separately.

We have here a serious contender to the most gratuitous Brontë quote of the season:
The poet and novelist Charlotte Bronte once wrote, "The gilding of the Indian summer mellowed the pastures far and wide. The russet woods stood ripe to be stripped, but were yet full of leaf."
Bronte would have loved the Belleville Harvest Fest as a warm orange sun gently cascaded the hundreds of festival- goers in attendance with clear skies and 60-degree temperatures.(...)
While the agrarian way of life is quickly disintegrating in the tri- community, every Harvest Fest brings the beauty of Bronte's pastoral ode to the season back to life. (William Zilke in Belleville View)
By the way, the quote comes from Shirley (Chapter XXVII).

The Star Ledger has an article about producer Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur's I Walked With a Zombie is mentioned:
In his years at RKO, Lewton never unearthed a single Transylvanian count or long-dead Egyptian mummy. Yet he mixed the undead with "Jane Eyre" to create "I Walked With a Zombie," turned "The Rake's Progress" into the madness of "Bedlam," and uncovered modern Manhattan covens in "The 7th Victim." (Stephen Whitty)
The Then and Now section of The Times evokes a 1981 TLS article by Hermione Lee which briefly mentions Villette:
There is also, in a very different way, a muted feminism underlying Ann Schlee's quiet, elegant, exact novel Rhine Journey. This very subtly sets in a historical framework – an English family "doing" the Rhine in 1851 – the confined existence, the struggle for independence and the sexual fantasies of an unmarried woman in her late thirties. Her name is Charlotte, and the novel lovingly invokes Charlotte Bronte's Villette. But to describe this as merely a delicate period piece is not enough: the workings of Charlotte's imagination are deep and unsettling.
Interestingly enough, Charlotte Brontë herself once tentatively planned a Rhine escapade with her publisher George Smith (and his family, of course!).

Keighley News publishes a historical photograph of the Stanbury Board School where an early member of the Brontë Society can be seen:
On the right stands headmaster Jonas Bradley, local chronicler, lantern-lecturer, early member of the Brontë Society, president of the Haworth Ramblers and pioneer of school nature study, who used to take his classes out into the countryside.(Ian Dewhirst)
On the blogosphere: Jane Eyre is discussed on Gavin Steyn's reading, The Blogging Mum has reconciled herself with the novel and The Lighthouse at Alexandria posts a lengthy, interesting review of it. The Danville Public Library Book Club (Danville, Illinois) will discuss Jane Eyre today, October 23:
The Danville Public Library Book Club will discuss Charlotte Bronte’s classic Jane Eyre at its meeting on October 23. The discussion will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the second floor Conference Room of the library. Copies of the book are available to be borrowed for free through the library’s interlibrary loan service or to be purchased from the Checkout Desk through a special arrangement with the Village Mall Waldenbooks.
The Story Siren interviews Cara Lockwood, author of the Wuthering High series. Without entering into the quality (or lack thereof) of those novels, it's quite shocking to read the following:
What were you like as a teen?
I was what I call a "lit nerd" - someone who couldn't get enough of English class. I loved to read anything and everything. I loved Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Charlotte Bronte. "Tale of Two Cities" and "Pride and Prejudice" are still two of my favorite books. (...)

Who is your favorite character of the series to write and why?
Heathcliff, hands down. I've always had a soft spot for Heathcliff. In Wuthering Heights, he's an abused orphan who against all odds makes a name for himself. He's tough and tenacious, and above all, has a clear understanding of his feelings for Catherine. Of course, in that novel, he's also primarily a villian. After he has his heart broken, he seeks revenge on pretty much everybody around him, whether they were cupable or not. You could argue that he's just essentially a bad person, but I always felt that his broken heart made him vindictive and mean. In Bard Academy, he hasn't yet had his heart broken. He still has hope for love, and because of that, the purer, better parts of his nature come through. I'm sure if Charlotte Bronte were alive she would take issue with my interpretation of Heathcliff, but I like the idea of giving him a second chance. At Bard Academy, he's got a chance for redemption.
We know Charlotte was not particularly fond of Heathcliff (at least publicly), but probably his actual creator, Emily, will take issue with Ms Lockwood's words. We don't want to be cruel and we sincerely hope this is a mistake made by the person who typed the interview.

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