Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The Quietness of Haworth

The Independent (Ireland) has visited Yorkshire, including Haworth:

THERE was the usual Sunday carvery fare on offer in the pub, but I knew what I wanted -- the roast beef with Yorkshire pudding -- because this wasn't just any old pub. We were in the village of Haworth in West Yorkshire, and the pub was the Black Bull, favourite haunt of wayward Brontë brother Branwell.  (...)
The first thing that you notice about Haworth is the quietness. Even in the depths of winter, the quaint narrow streets of the village are thronged with tourists, come to pay homage to the world's most famous literary family, but there is still an air of calm and peace about the place.
The parsonage at the top of this solid Yorkshire town is where the sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne, wrote some of the best-loved novels in the English language, while brother Branwell, when he wasn't supping in the Black Bull, tried to make a name for himself as a portrait painter, all watched over by their Irish father Patrick. The parsonage is now a museum where you can discover first hand what the lives of these extraordinary writers must have been like, and see the rooms where they lived and wrote their novels. The picturesque village, with its fine stone houses and sloping cobbled streets, is rather beautiful today -- parts of the film The Railway Children were filmed there -- but in the Brontës' day it was not the most healthy of places, with open sewers and an average life expectancy of only 25 years. (Willy Brennan)
The Derby Telegraph reports a case of counterfeit DVDs:
P.L., 38, of Blackstone Close, Alfreton, was caught with more than 700 fake DVDs at a car boot sale in Hucknall in September last year.
He was spotted during a routine inspection by trading standards officers from Nottinghamshire County Council.
One of them paid L. £2 for a counterfeit copy of Jane Eyre – a DVD that would normally retail for around £13.
Deadline mentions the Edinburgh Science Festival talk about Madwomen in Literature:
Dr Dillon, a lecturer in contemporary fiction at St Andrews, said, “The figure of the mad woman is a familiar one in some of our favourite literary classics, from the famously locked away Bertha Rochester in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre to Flaubert’s frustrated Madame Bovary. (...)
“Many professional women, including myself, might have been locked up if we’d lived in the Victorian age.”
Drs Dillon and Persaud will examine literary characters including Mrs Rochester, Emma Bovary and Anne Catherick, Wilkie Collins’s Woman in White, taking into account current medical knowledge.
According to Dr Dillon, the famously tormented heroines were more likely to be suffering from sexual repression and stress rather than mental illness. (...)
“In Jane Eyre, Mr Rochester alludes to sexual promiscuity in his first wife, identifying that, rather than her madness, as what brought shame upon him and their marriage.
“But these are all women who want to break free from the soft image of women, and they are punished for their desires. Madness was a very useful label in those days to cover up something even more undesirable.
“There is a famous quote in Jane Eyre, in which she says that ‘women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings….It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.’” (Kirsty Topping)
The Huffington Post thinks that Joyce Carol Oates's Mudwoman is similar to
James Joyce's "Ulysses" for its raw narration blended with bouts of surrealism; Charlotte Brontë's "Jane Eyre" for its gothic nature and strong female protagonist with a troubled childhood.
The Hindu interviews the writer Dacia Maraini:
What are the authors you read?
Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, I love their. Also, the American poet, Emily Dickinson. I also admire Sylvia Plath. I don't know about influence, but I love these writers. (Swati Daftuar)
The New York Times reviews Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James:
This S-and-M story about a virginal college student and the handsome young billionaire who binds her sounds racier than it is. Mostly it’s an updated throwback to scandalous novels of the past, including “Jane Eyre” and the 1920s desert rape fantasy “The Sheik.”  (Alessandra Stanley)
Rummage sales on Florida Today:
Most importantly, we developed a bond, unity born of shared time spent plowing through someone else’s jewelry and junk and finding a nice copy of “Wuthering Heights.”  (Britt Kennerly)
The Binghamton Books Examiner talks about The Hunger Games and mentions the recent Wuthering Heights adaptation:
This situation is similar to the recent adaptation of Wuthering Heights by director Andrea Arnold, who cast an African American actor to play Heathcliff.  This is a first in the history of film adaptations of Emily Brontë’s novel, although the character is described in what can be interpreted as non-white terms.  As a fan of Brontë’s novel, I think it adds an interesting dimension to the story, a fresh perspective.  What’s new or interesting about a strictly homogenous, white interpretation of literature? (Sasha Hoffman)
TrekEarth uploads a picture of Wycoller Hall and Ponden Kirk has been added to the UKClimbing logbook; OperaNews publishes an obituary of the soprano Patricia Neway who was Catherine Earnshaw in the 1959 revision of Carlisle Floyd's Wuthering Heights; Will Knit for Cake thinks Jane Eyre rocks; Kate O'Keefe uploads a Jane Eyre drawing; A Breathless Trail posts about Wuthering Heights 2011; Ian M. Emberson describes the Brontë Parsonage Franklin exhibition (The Garden of Oblivion) at the Brontë Parsonage Blog; Shabbyblogs (in German) posts about Jane Eyre; The Compulsive Reader interviews Eve Marie Mont, athor of A Breath of Eyre; A Lonely Quiet Concert reviews The Flight of Gemma Hardy; the Brontë Sisters posts about the fascinating life of  Benjamin Herschel Babbage.

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