Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Yellow journalism

Congratulations to The Independent for using a silly, sensationalistic headline completely disconnected both from the text that follows and from reality. The headline:

Discontent in 'Brontë country' as Thornton takes on Haworth as the 'true birthplace' of the famous sisters
Excerpts from the article that follows:
Local councillor Valerie Binney has made a personal plea to Council Leader David Green to preserve the birthplace on behalf of the new Brontë Birthplace Trust - until it can pay the council back.
She said: "The regeneration department let us down by not telling us last October that the property could not be added to the list of community assets under the community right to buy, which would have given us six months in which to raise the money.
"The asking price is about £130,000 which is not much in the scheme of things especially when the Council has given £347,000 to the Tour de France even though it is not going to go through the City of Bradford.
"For too long the fact that the Brontë sisters were born here and the Rev Patrick Brontë spent five happy years living and preaching in Thornton has been ignored.
"Preserving the Brontë Birthplace to be used has a museum is our heritage and would also help regenerate the village which a number of us have been trying to do for years." [...]
Brontë Society Chairman Sally McDonald said: "The Brontë birthplace is a very special place for the Brontë Society but our commitments are such we're not in a position to financially support that building or a future museum in it.
"But we wish the trust every success. I would think the birthplace would be somewhere visitors would take in on route to the Parsonage.
"I would not see them being in opposition. I think they would compliment each other.
"I would not say the birthplace has been overlooked. While they were born there the Parsonage was where the novels were written and where they spent most of their lives.
"There is also the landscape which inspired the writing. So Haworth has a special claim in the world of Brontë admirers."
Trust chairman Steve Stanworth fears that the property at 72/74 Market Street, where the Brontës lived between 1815 and 1820, could be sold to one of two prospective buyers in the bidding unless the Trust can come up with the cash.
As well as the birthplace, the Trust is also hoping to woo visitors with the lovingly restored Brontë Bell Chapel - where the family was baptised - and the South Square arts project featuring a gallery, coffee shop, and other amenities.
He said: "Haworth have played their cards very well. They have not only got the Brontës but all the gift shops and cafes.
"But we have a three pronged attack for tourism. We do not want to take anything away from Haworth. We just want them to come to us first. We want to make ourselves the first port of call." (Mark Branagan)
Where's the discontent exactly? We only read about the hopes and dreams of respectful, amiable people. Shame on you, Independent, shame on you.

Now onto more Brontë vs Austen. The New Yorker's Page-Turner, The TimesThe Christian Science Monitor, The Norther Echo and Correo del Caroní (Venezuela) all mention Charlotte's dislike (or even hate!) of Austen's novels. CBC News, however, digs a little deeper and has an associate professor of English at Dalhousie University discuss the matter and explain 'why Charlotte Brontë might say that because her idea of the novel would be so different' (thanks for that). The Atlantic chooses to focus on G.H. Lewes's side of things (it was after all private correspondence between them). CNN follows in Jane Austen's footsteps and recalls that Haddon Hall has been used as a location for both Jane Austen's and Charlotte Brontë's works. Entertainment Wise selects a few potential Mr Darcys, one of which would be Tom Hardy because
he has had a go at period romance too and starred as Heathcliff in ITV's Wuthering Heights. So he's got practice playing a tortured, 19th century love interest and we reckon would have no problem making the ladies quiver in their corsets. (Francesca Menato)
The Times interviews Stephen Page, chief executive of Faber and Faber:
"I really only began serious reading after the age of about 20", he says. The first book that stopped him in his tracks was Wuthering Heights, swiftly followed by Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina. (Andrew Clark)
The Johnstown Girl Geeks Examiner reports that The Lizzie Bennet Diaries creator Bernie Su has said,
“As for type, it's a pretty safe bet at this point it is something in the genre of Austen/Brontë.” (Allie O'Neal)
Yeah, you know, those stories with women wearing corsets and stuff happening in the olden days are always a safe bet.

Te interesa (Spain) reminds readers of other great romantic novels (apart from Pride and Prejudice) such as Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights. ABC (Spain) recalls that Emily Dickinson was an admirer of Emily Brontë. Tweedling reviews Wuthering Heights 1970. Hillesque posts about Charlotte Brontë's novels with the help of several cartoons. Refúgio dos livros (in Portuguese) writes about Shirley. Meninas Versáteis (in Portuguese) posts about Jane Eyre and the 2006 adaptation.

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