Sunday, November 25, 2012

Branwell's White Plaque

The UK screening of The House I Live In is discussed in this article in The Guardian which highlights the White Plaques initiative:

To mark the UK cinema release of The House I Live In a new scheme is to be launched to highlight the lengthy history and unresolved nature of Britain’s own relationship with drug abuse.
From Wednesday 28th November – the date of the death in 1918 of West End actress, Billie Carleton, regarded as Britain’s first ‘celebrity’ drug fatality – a series of biodegradable ‘white plaques’ will be available for placement to the outside of UK buildings associated with individuals in the public eye whose deaths were linked to drug abuse. The Billie Carleton ‘white plaque’ is intended to be placed on Bernard Street (off Russell Square, London), the actress’s place of birth. (...)
Jarecki summarises The House I Live In: “My film focuses on the misguided US domestic policy towards individuals involved with drugs: the folly of placing this in the hands of law enforcement resulting in socially-corrosive mass incarceration, and a wasted $1 trillion being spent on the ‘War On Drugs’ over the last 40 years.”
The ‘white plaques’ are designed by sustainable advertising agency Green Street Media and will be affixed with the permission of residents and landlords. Over time, they will biodegrade, leaving no trace of their existence.
Below is a list of some of the earliest British fatalities that can be attributed to drug use, along with places that can be associated to them.
Do you live in a street or location associated with a person in the public eye whose life was curtailed through drugs? Do you believe that drug abusers should be helped and treated rather than criminalised? If so, apply for a white plaque to mark the spot and call for change by sending an email to benjamin@deliberate-pr.com / phone 07930408224
Branwell Brontë is listed among possible targets. Though we know that Thornton is now part of Bradford we would still say he was born in Thornton rather than Bradford.
1848
Branwell Brontë (31) – Painter, writer, poet

Cause of death: Addiction to drugs masked tuberculosis infection

Locations associated with him:  Market Street, Bradford (Place of birth)
Haworth, West Yorkshire (Place of death)
The Observer presents My Ideal Bookshelf where "more than 100 writers and other cultural figures were asked to share the literary journeys that helped them realise their ambitions and find success". Among them, Stephenie Meyer:
Of all the heroines I was invested in throughout my childhood, Jane Eyre was the one I most identified with, despite my having a happy and supportive family. I liked heroines who weren't perfectly beautiful. I liked that everyone wasn't swept away and captivated by her. Jane Eyre has this huge stubborn streak, which I have, too. I have my ideals, and I really don't diverge from them – it's probably off-putting to a lot of people. Jane is like that, too; she sticks to things even when she's uncomfortable and unhappy and making other people feel the same way. Of course, she's pushed to deeper extremes than I've ever been forced to go to, but I always felt we would see eye to eye. (Edited by Thessaly La Force and illustrated by Jane Mount)
The Maine Sunday Telegraph explains the very Brontëite story of how the electronic book publishing company Publerati was created:
How a Charlotte Brontë doorstop inspired one man's digital revolt
Caleb Mason, a book lover in Portland, starts publishing ebooks because they increase readers’ access. (...)
For Mason, the light-bulb moment occurred two years ago. He was traveling on a plane with the Charlotte Brontë novel "Jane Eyre" in hand. He had just seen the movie, and was interested in re-reading the novel, so he packed it to travel.
Seated on the plane, Mason struggled to stuff the bound volume in the pocket of the seat in front of him. Meanwhile, a woman next to him was conveniently reading an ebook.
Mason was frustrated. The woman was amused. They shared a laugh over their contrasting experiences.
"It was, 'Oh, my god, I've got to figure out how to do something about this,' " he said. (Bob Keyes)
The New Jersey Star-Ledger recommends Jane Eyre 1944 for family viewing:
Why kids will like it: The story grabs younger children from the beginning, as we see Jane suffering through the kind of awful Dickensian schooldays kids today can't even imagine, and we immediately begin to root for her. Then, as we skip ahead to her as an adult, the romantic angle kicks in for tweens, with Mr. Rochester as the sort of brooding Byronic hero pale Edward Cullen could only dream of. Add in a creepy mansion and a dark secret, and there's no turning back for anyone.

Why adults will like it: The movie is beautifully cast with Peggy Ann Garner (of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn") as young Jane, and Joan Fontaine perfect as her quietly steadfast adult self. Orson Welles is a marvelously theatrical Rochester, and although he's not credited as director, the movie bears the stamp of his Mercury Theatre, with colleagues like John Houseman producing and co-writing (along with Aldous Huxley), Bernard Herrmann contributing the score, and the fabulous Agnes Moorehead as Jane's vicious aunt. (Stephen Witty)
Bad weather and rugby. The perfect combination for a Wuthering Heights reference. In The Telegraph:
That task could hardly have been more emphatically discharged last night: while shielded from the Wuthering Heights weather by the Millennium Stadium roof, they subjected Wales to a 33-10 rout and rendered this gloomy autumn for northern-hemisphere rugby a little darker still. (Oliver Brown)
The Sydney Morning Herald defends that very Australian tradition - schoolies week:
Life itself is not safe but there is nothing like firsthand experience to teach someone how to take care of themselves. After all, where other than schoolies is it acceptable for 15 people to sing and dance to Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights on a beach at 3 o'clock in the morning? (Michael Kennedy)
Shall We Englisht That? and ... my life post about Jane EyreThe Daily Touch does the same with Wuthering Heights; No puedo vivir sin libros (in Spanish) posts briefly about Charlotte Brontë; Thoughts and Stuff talks about Jane Eyre 2011; SHS Titan Library and Books As You Know It review Tina Connolly's Ironskin; Writing to Insanity video reviews Wuthering Heights 2011 (she hated Andrea Arnold's vision).

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