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We’ve just spent two nights in the small Derbyshire village of Hathersage, a place that has become a frighteningly expensive commuter dormitory for Sheffield.
The surrounding countryside is breathtakingly beautiful, even on a dismally wet day. At this time of year the grass is greening up quite nicely and the trees just starting to bud. There were snowdrops everywhere and birds scuttling about in hedgerows.
We stayed at The George Hotel, a place that was once frequented by someone who can rightly be called a National Treasure – the novelist Charlotte Brontë herself. And we walked paths that she must have trodden because on one of our rambles we encountered North Lees Hall, a manor house widely reputed to have been the model for Mr Rochester’s dwelling in Jane Eyre. The house was actually owned at one time by the non-fictional Eyre family, so she got both a setting and a name from North Lees Hall. (Hilarie Stelfox)
The Philadelphia Inquirer reviews positively Margot Livesey's The Flight of Gemma Hardy:
In The Flight of Gemma Hardy, Margot Livesey recasts Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre as a riveting story of self-actualization for contemporary readers. (...)The Deseret News reviews the newly released BabyLit's Jane Eyre board book: Little Miss Brontë: Jane Eyre by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver:
Jane Eyre remains popular because she is a real hero for young women. Her "Anybody may blame me who likes" manifesto at Thornfield is a call for action for women, who "need exercise for their faculties" as much as their brothers do and who, when they do find love, accept it only as it honors their integrity. (...)
Readers can take considerable delight in following Livesey's re-creation of Brontë's plot turns, and Livesey often succeeds in improving on the original. Gemma as a "working girl" is even less powerful than Jane; she is subjected to abuse not only from the school's headmistress and teachers, but also from other "working girls," whose torment is the real test of her independent nature.
At times, Livesey's adherence to Brontë threatens to become mimicry, as if she were ticking events off on a checklist. For example, the aborted wedding scene that is such a dramatic and crucial event in Brontë's novel is disappointing. I read this episode twice, thinking I must have missed something. There is no madwoman in Mr. Sinclair's attic, and the actions Gemma sees as "betrayal" seem hardly to warrant calling off her impending marriage. (...)
Jane Eyre would be giving her a high-five. (Maribel Molyneaux)
"Jane Eyre" counts to 10 as it effectively introduces young readers to the characters and setting by featuring "one governess" with an illustration of Jane Eyre and the "four towers" of Thornfield Hall. Like Adams' other primers, it also includes a few lines from the novel that are succinct and fit well with the illustrations. (Whitney Butters)There is a book lunch party next Tuesday, March 6 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Louisa Reid: Wuthering HeightsThe Deccan Herald (India) talks about women in word:
I think it has to be Emily Brontë's classic. Heathcliff and Cathy are so repulsive, but such utterly compelling characters. I adore their passion. My stomach churns at the violence and I wonder at the woman who wrote this novel at such a young age. An utterly original and engrossing book.
Jane Eyre, Rebecca, Scarlett O’ Hara, Lady Chatterley, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Anna Karenina, the Bennet sisters, the Little Women of the March family, and all female figments of Shakespeare’s imagination from Miranda to Lady Macbeth are with us in print as in person.The Sun recommends for Mother's Day a getaway treat:
The Yorkshire market town of Shipley is in the heart of Brontë country — so it's a great spot for a cultural weekend.Flavorwire posts a top ten of female characters in literature:
The windswept moors inspired classic stories like Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre from author sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne.
Shipley is also close to Haworth, the village where the sisters spent much of their lives, and their former home is now the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
Twin or double rooms at the Abbey Lodge Hotel in Shipley are from £50 on March 17 including breakfast. See abbeylodge.net or phone the hotel on 01274 583 854. (Kay Cox)
Jane EyreThe Ledger-Enquirer talks about the project of adapting the novel St. Elmo by Augusta Jane Evans Wilson:
One of the earliest representations of an individualistic, passionate and complex female character, Jane Eyre knocks our socks off. Though she suffers greatly, she always relies on herself to get back on her feet — no wilting damsel in distress here. As China Miéville wrote, “Charlotte Brontë’s heroine towers over those around her, morally, intellectually and aesthetically; she’s completely admirable and compelling. Never camp, despite her Gothic surrounds, she takes a scalpel to the skin of the every day.” (Emily Temple)
For [Robert] Clem [the director of the film], the allure of the novel comes from the central romance between Edna and St. Elmo. He said the book has its similarities to “Jane Eyre,” by Charlotte Brontë, but Edna has loftier ambitions than Brontë’s heroine.Salon interviews Deborah Feldman, author of Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots:
“Jane Eyre wanted to be a governess. Edna Earle wanted to go to New York and be a career woman,” Clem said. (Sara Pauff)
“If I had been living 200 years ago,” she says, “my story wouldn’t have been strange at all.” Books, too, were forbidden, but Feldman smuggled in 19th-century novels — “Pride and Prejudice,” “Jane Eyre,” “Little Women” — in which she saw a version of her own life. Like those heroines, Feldman grew up believing her life would be determined by her marriage plot. (Amy Benfer)Well, the point of Jane Eyre is precisely not to let your life be defined by the 'marriage plot'.
The book starts out with an omniscient narrator, but around the midway point, Miranda starts to take on more and more of the narration, and Amanda herself pipes up for at least one chapter. While it's got moments of Gothic flavor, a leetle bit of Wuthering Heights, and definitely some of the fun Downton Abbey/Upstairs Downstairs action, it's more like a YA Daphne du Maurier than anything else.The Arizona Daily Star has a quiz with a tangential Brontë question:
One of this author's novels refashioned the themes of Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights" and was an Oprah Book Club choice. (Ann Brown)The Parkersburg News & Sentinel reviews a late mash-up book: Jane vows Vengeance by Michael Thomas Ford:
Jane Austen, now living as Jane Fairfax, is ready for her own happily ever after, but there's a few stumbling blocks. She's set to marry Walter Fletcher, despite the fact that he doesn't know who or what she really is and his mother, a former vampire slayer, does. Her soon-to-be mother-in-law has given her a year in which to give her a grandchild or get staked. And Lord Byron, her vampire maker, is still annoying. And the undead Charlotte Brontë is still lurking somewhere, wanting vengeance on Jane. (Amy Phelps)ForgeToday reviews the SuTCo's performances of Polly Teale's Brontë:
The play itself would perhaps only appeal to those familiar with the Brontës’ literature, as narrative clarity relied upon a familiarity with their fictional plots. The dénouement of the play also felt slightly too drawn out with the climax happening around 30 minutes before the end of the drama.
The actors searched for an ending through a series of profound one-liners which came in steady flow until the curtain fell. Nevertheless, SuTCo performed a play for literature lovers and theatregoers alike, giving an enormous amount for the audience to work with and unpick. This is a play well worth a watch. (Ellen Nicholls)