Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In good company

The Times reports that Ted Hughes's papers have been acquired by the British Library. As Erica Wagner points out, this Brontëite's papers will be in good company there:

Here is Charlotte Brontë's “autograph fair copy” of Jane Eyre, from 1847. As Howard notes, in her biography, Elizabeth Gaskell described Charlotte's “clear, legible, delicate traced writing” - see for yourself.
There it is, indeed. And what a pleasure it is to stand in front of it too.

Talking about Brontëites, author Amy Tan joins our ranks according to The Pueblo Chieftain.
While Tan does have favorite books that she returns to often — "Jane Eyre" and "Love in the Time of Cholera" were two she mentioned — she doesn't spend much time studying her own novels. (Amy Matthew)
We wonder if half of the paddock of the Japanese Grand Prix can be considered as Brontëites after reading the following on Autosport:
The paddock divided into two separate camps immediately after the Japanese Grand Prix. Half of it decamped down to Tokyo for a few evenings of karaoke (Wuthering Heights will never be the same again), while the other half made an early trip to Shanghai for some end of season shopping. (Jonathan Noble)
Probably not Brontëites, but it makes for a priceless image all the same, doesn't it?

And George Packer's theatre play Betrayed will be aired next October 23 at 9 pm on New York's Thirteen/WNET, as Bloomberg reports.
Intisar (Aadya Bedi), an attractive woman from a progressive family, skipped school the day Hussein visited out of fear she might scream at him, "How many years of my life are you going to steal from me?'' She loves Emily Bronte and dreams of riding a bicycle through Baghdad, cooking French dinners and taking her family skiing. (Dave Shiflett)
The East African has an interesting article on the novel (as a genre) and Africa. The article says that during colonialism,
You studied only Charles Dickens or Shakespeare or the Bronte sisters and not Cervantes or Maupassant or Jose Maria de Eca de Queiros (generally considered to be the greatest Portuguese writer in the realist style) if you lived in a English colony. (David Kaiza)
And finally it looks like the Haworth clampers have gone too far according to The Telegraph and Argus:
The outspoken former Speaker of the House of Commons was today set to deliver a stinging attack in the House of Lords against notorious car clampers who put the Denver boot into the life peer’s visit to Haworth.
Baroness Betty Boothroyd – famous for taking no nonsense when she was the first woman Speaker – took a trip to Bronte country and she fell victim to clampers.
The firm’s owners, who have been vilified in the past for over-zealousness, did not realise they had taken a celebrity scalp on their Changegate car park.
Friends of Baroness Boothroyd said she was now planning to raise the matter of clamping in the House of Lords, possibly today. And Bradford’s Labour Group leader, Councillor Ian Greenwood, today said the practice of unscrupulous car clamping was “legalised extortion” which damaged the image of the Bradford district.
Baroness Boothroyd, 78, took the trip with her close friend Jean Megahy on Saturday.
The Dewsbury-born politician was visiting Mrs Megahy following the funeral of her husband, Tom, a retired MEP and the first leader of Kirklees Council.
The women parked at the Changegate car park and left a ticket in Mrs Megahy’s vehicle, but returned to find the car clamped by a man employed by the Carstoppers firm which is contracted to operate there.
Although the ticket had time remaining on it, it had fallen face down on the dashboard, and because the clamper was unable to see the information, the women had to pay a £75 fine. Signs state that all tickets must be displayed face up. Carstoppers, winner of the RAC Dick Turpin Award for the nation’s worst clamper in 2003, has been criticised for its strict policy before.
When Mrs Megahy had pulled up at the car park it was pouring with rain. She paid to park for an hour and returned about ten minutes early. She said: “I must admit, in an effort to get somewhere dry I didn’t read the signs properly but the ticket was due to run out at 4.52pm and he released the clamp at 4.45pm after much ado. He was very abrupt. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the clamp, we begged him to take it off.”
Mrs Megahy said she was making a written appeal against the fine to car park owner Ted Evans. Coun Greenwood said he would be writing to the Council to urge that cases like Baroness Boothroyd’s should not be tolerated. He said: “People should be treated always with courtesy and I think the Council and its partners should do something to stop the unreasonable behaviour of the people running these car parks.
“Both the ladies were visitors to the district, the sort of people we wish to see in the district.”
Car park owner Mr Evans said: “The ticket expiry time was not on show. She had a ticket, I accept that. The situation is that the man who looks after the car park doesn’t know what time they are due to leave. It’s pay and display and they didn’t display.”
The man who clamped the car did not know who Betty Boothroyd was, said Mr Evans. He said: “He didn’t know her and it wouldn’t have made a difference anyway.” (Ben Barnett)
Hopefully this will be the turning point in this matter.

EDIT (22/10/08): Richard Wilcocks on the Brontë Parsonage Blog gives his opinion here.

Some bloggers have been very busy reading: Stuff & Nonsense finds great similarities between Jane Eyre and How Nancy Drew Saved My Life by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, and Apu's World comments on The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Cupcake Chronicles will soon be busy reading Justine Picardie's Daphne too. And Cinema Tonight poses a question: Would Clark Gable have made a good Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights?

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