Thursday, October 22, 2009

Phrenology, Anthropologie and other news

Most of the finds of today's newsround are about coming across the Brontës in unexpected places. A couple of news outlets have articles on the first Anthropologie London shop, and they both use similar descriptions of the atmosphere. The Telegraph says,

"Everything is for sale," continued Richardson, mounting the staircase and bypassing the chandeliers which the South African art collective Magpie has constructed from recycled objects. (One hangs in the White House.) We halted at shelves where red and gold brocade pencil skirts were sandwiched between stacks of hard-bound Emily Brontë as well as Jane Austen classics. [...]' (Bronwyn Cosgrave)
And Catwalk Queen,
Despite hailing from Philadelphia originally, the new Regent Street flagship reeks of English eccentricity. Stocking a mixture of cloth-bound classic novels such as Jane Eyre with English and American fashion labels [...] (Kimberley Foster)
Now a leap to Africa, where The Southern Times has an article about Troutbeck, a retreat in Zimbabwe's Eastern Highlands where apparently you can find
an image of Jane Austen and Emily Bronte that casts its spell.
A tea shop in New York is described as follows by am New York.
Afternoon high tea
Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon
56 Irving Pl., 212-533-4466
Party like it’s 1899 at this cozy Victorian tea room in Gramercy. The five-course high tea ($35) typically includes fresh scones, home-baked cookies, finger sandwiches and chocolate-covered strawberries, among other dainty delectables.
From the elegant tea sets to the ubiquitous candelabras, you’ll feel like you’re in a Charlotte Bronte novel. Reservations required. (Lucy Blatter)
Apart from the fact that Jane Eyre was - ahem - 'partying' many years before 1899, there's the fact that we don't really remember many 'dainty delectables' being mentioned much in Charlotte Brontë's novels.

The Pelican Press remarks on the fact that the Brontës - actually it was mainly Charlotte - relied on phrenology.
Author Walt Whitman was said to have carried his reading with him for years. George Eliot, the Bronte sisters and Charles Dickens added phrenology to their stories. (Terri Schlichenmeyer)
What's more surprising is the extent of accuracy of Charlotte's own phrenology reading!

And yet one more review of the film An Education, this time from the Windy City Times.
There's more than a hint of Jane Eyre, Rebecca and even bits of The Ghost & Mrs. Muir in the story of the sophisticated aesthete dazzling the eager student of life longing for the unconventional, the risky and the fun. (Richard Knight, Jr.)
As for films, The Independent has a column complaining about the same old costume dramas. We ourselves are not fed up with costume dramas, but we would certainly welcome a few new stories instead of the same adaptations (Villette has been screaming for an adaptation for years and yet no producers seem to hear it).
The problem with costume dramas isn't costume dramas per se – it's the way they are done. The same few stories from the same few authors – Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, Charles Dickens – are singled out for remake after remake after remake. Eventually a version comes along that is so bland, so eager to please, so boring that whole audiences are driven from watching any other – or even, dare I say it? – actually picking up the book. (Alice Azania-Jarvis)
Wuthering Heights on the blogosphere: Gothic Novel and Esoteric Musings both discuss Sandra Gilbert's "Emily Bronte's Bible of Hell", while The Delta Factor and Fagreferenten forteller (in Norwegian) post about the novel. Jane Eyre is the main topic on Alexandre Uboldi's Blog and Páginas frenéticas (in Spanish). Flickr user Ademc continues uploading Jane Eyre-inspired drawings. And finally, Phaedra's Adventures! has written a post on Wide Sargasso Sea.

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2 comments to “ Phrenology, Anthropologie and other news ”
annamir said...
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Re: Villette adaptation: would you consider a cartoon? I think it would have to be done by someone who is unafraid of a vocal "christian" minority. The Chapter in which Lucy and Paul hash out their differences in their balance of faith and dogma would sadly upset the very people who need to hear it most.

Cristina said...
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I don't think I'd have anything against a cartoon per se, but what would be the difference?

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