Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Faffing around with the Brontës

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The Stuff (New Zealand) reports that an antiques roadshow taking place in March will include a Taylor family item.
A Marlborough family's 19th-century writing slope, with links to one of the world's literary greats, will be among items an antiques expert will view during an antiques roadshow in Blenheim.
The Curios and Collectables Roadshow, a Marlborough Girls' College fundraiser, takes place on the weekend of March 8 and 9, at the school grounds.
The writing slope, made in Liverpool, has been handed down through the family of Mary Taylor, a lifelong friend of Charlotte Brontë, whose family inspired Brontë's novel Shirley.
Miss Taylor and her brother William Waring Taylor were among Port Nicholson's earliest settlers and the family name lives on in a central Wellington street. (Sonia Beal)
More on the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice, as CPI Financial states,
It is often remarked upon that Elizabeth Bennett, the plucky heroine who wins the heart of the fabulously rich Mr. Darcy, only returns his affections after seeing his lavish property – a fact she confesses to her sister. Jane Austen, who herself knew the misery of an impoverished spinsterhood, would have thought her a simpleton had she sacrificed comfort and security for love – and it seems the modern reader agrees with her.
No concession can be made for the time in which it was written; Jane Austen’s contemporaries penned fantasies where heroines financed their own happy endings, often through large inheritances late in the novel. While the heroines of Charlotte Brontë and Elizabeth Gaskell returned to their heroes as wealthy, independent women often saving the hero from economic ruin, Jane Austen’s girls worked their feminine wiles to secure their share of a rich man’s estate. (Isla MacFarlane)
No, they weren't contemporaries (Charlotte Brontë was about 2 years old when Jane Austen died and they belonged to very different historic periods: Regency and Victorian era) so yes, 'concessions' should be made.

Miami Books Examiner looks at the 'Best fiction books of 2012 and new titles for 2013', which include
Death of a Schoolgirl by Joanna Campbell Slan
Author Joanna Campbell Slan seamlessly transports us into Jane Eyre’s 19th century England, where Jane is compelled to leave home in order to save a young schoolgirl from harm. Slan’s writing is generous in detail, painting a vivid picture of her protagonist’s experience. (Rosa St.Claire)
The slideshow goes on to say,
Joanna Campbell Slan has Jane Eyre retain the simplicity which gained her millions of fans in this literary gem. 
The Radio Times reports that BBC Radio 4 is about to 'broadcast Tony Harrison's poem V containing 25 instances of the f-word' and recalls that,
Radio 3 raised eyebrows in 2011 when it broadcast an expletive-laden version of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. (Tom Cole)
The Digital Journal on the recent goings-on on Emmerdale:
Dan needs to stop faffing around with the Brontës and focus on the Geordies (i.e. Kerry,) . . . (Jane Reynolds)
The Washington Post's The TV Column describes a recent appearance of Jeremy Irons on PBS as follows:
Dressed in his traditional Brontë Romantic-Lead Press Tour costume — rough cotton pants tucked into heavy black wandering-across-the-moors boots, etc. . . . (Lisa de Moraes)
Lespetitsplaisirsdemademoisellemeg reviews Agnes Grey in French. Musings of a Bookworm posts about Lyndall Gordon's biography of Charlotte Brontë.

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