Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday, February 25, 2013 8:28 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    1 comment
More national newspapers reports the sale of the Brontë birthplace. The Telegraph:
The stone terraced house in the village of Thornton near Bradford, west Yorkshire, sold to a private developer last week for around £100,000 after the local council refused to step in in times of austerity.
There has been a long-running campaign to create a museum in the four-bedroom property to celebrate the early years of Charlotte, Emily and Anne.
Its literary legacy earned it a Grade II listing. The family lived in it for just five years before Rev Patrick Brontë moved them eight miles to the Parsonage in Haworth, where many of their great works were written.
Steve Stanworth, chairman of the Brontë Birthplace Trust, believes its new owner plans a commercial use. "I understand its been bought by a local businessman and I think he is going to turn it into a bistro" he said
Rev Brontë, who was the curate of the nearby St James's Church, wrote that the time spent at Thornton was the happiest in his life. [...]
The Brontë Birthplace Trust group have vowed to continue their campaign and will bide their time until it comes on the market again.
Efforts to make the house into a heritage centre have a history of failure.
In 1996 the Heritage Lottery Fund rejected an application for a £500,000 grant. Novelist Barbara Whitehead, bought and renovated it in an 1820s style, but visitor numbers were low but her failing health forced her to sell 2007.
Today it is unoccupied and thought to have suffered from flooding. (Hayley Dixon)
Also in the Daily Mail.

The Advertiser's Adelaide Now reviews the play Miss Brontë, giving it 3 1/2 stars.
Charlotte, acclaimed author of Jane Eyre, walks the audience through her seminal years. The loves lost; the tales of triumph and tragedy.
The experience is illuminating, if a little confusing. Marking each year in bold type across the hardcover of a book is a useful device. But it helps to know a little about the family and their published works.
This new play is stitched together from excerpts of Miss Brontë's writing - her books, letters and diaries.
It's fascinating to hear about the true characters that inspired the fiction and the production has a lot to offer, the costume and the old-world setting work a treat. (Clare Peddie)
The Cedar Rapids Gazette reviews Margot Livesey's The Flight of Gemma Hardy.
When I heard Margot Livesey had written a retelling of “Jane Eyre” — set in the mid-20th century in Scotland and Iceland — I was forced to give up a long-standing bias. For many years, I have steadfastly refused to read “Jane Eyre,” holding (unfairly, of course) the work of Charlotte Brontë’s sister Emily against her.
But I loved Livesey’s last novel, “The House on Fortune Street,” and was eager to read “The Flight of Gemma Hardy” (Harper, 447 pages, $26.99). So, now I have read both “Jane Eyre” and “The Flight of Gemma Hardy,” and I owe Livesey a double debt of gratitude.
I loved both books, and am mightily impressed by Livesey’s ability to adhere to the central plot points of “Jane Eyre” while still rendering her own story moving and suspenseful. Admittedly, reading the two books over a short period time meant that I could predict certain turns of events (and also meant that in the early going of “Flight,” I had to get used to a more modern set of technologies and concerns), but Gemma doesn’t just live Jane’s life by rote. Rather, Livesey breathes life into her protagonist so that she can stride across her story as an individual. (Rob Cline)
The Red & Black continues discussing the new cover for classics:
Sure, the decision by HarperCollins’ teen division to redesign covers for classic works by William Shakespeare, Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters was likely a financial one to piggyback off the success of the teen novels. The fact remains that the exterior of the book does not change the text within. What it does do is attract a reader’s attention long enough to give the works a second look.
And supposing a reader chooses to purchase Wuthering Heights simply because it’s Edward and Bella’s favorite book, does this motivation make the experience any different? True, these “classics” as we call them do require a bit more “struggle” for a modern reader to understand, but is that an altogether bad thing? They require the same effort in their new hip covers as they would clad in leather backing.
The argument that authors like Shakespeare, Jane Austin [sic[ and the Brontë Sisters shouldn’t be associated with “popular dribble of the day” fails to acknowledge the fact that at one time these authors’ writings were the popular drivel of the day. Shakespeare wasn’t writing for the intelligentsia, he was writing for the masses. His plays were intense and funny and crude and horrifying — they weren’t literature, they were entertainment. Austin [sic] published her popular novels under the pseudonym “A Lady,” and each of the Brontë sisters chose to publish under male names to varying levels of success. What, then, about being linked with one of the most widely-read books of the past decade would lead any one of these authors to roll over in their graves? [...]
 It’s the unparalleled genius that we associate with their names that scares readers away from the “classics.” Shakespeare and Austen and each of the Brontës were humans just like us. It’s the human observations in their work that gives them relevance today.
So what makes these Twilight-inspired covers any different from the equally generic artwork these stories have undoubtedly endured in their lifetimes? Their covers are constantly reimagined in hopes of finding new readers. In my mind, if these new book covers introduce even one of Twilight’s largely adolescent readership to the work of William, Jane, Charlotte, Emily or Anne, then they’ve done their job. (Will Murdock)
The fashion section of The Telegraph reaches an 'interesting' conclusion:
"Austere but romantic," said Consuelo Castiglioni after her show this morning. That conjures up one figure as far as we're concerned: Jane Eyre. Teleport her to winter 2013, arm her with Mr Rochester's full panoply of credit cards, and she'd have a surreptitious splurge on Marni's knee high riding boots, calf length, gently flaring mohair checked skirts and belted jackets. Marni's flat brogues-with-everything approach would almost certainly get the Eyrian thumbs up, although being Victorian and from Yorkshire, Jane would probably have been baffled by their metallic panels. Rest assured Jane, a metallic brogue is very next season, but also a classic-in-the-making. Ergo thrifty. (Lisa Armstrong)
The whole credit-card-surreptitious-splurge has us thinking that the writer hasn't actually read the novel. Or has totally forgotten about that unimportant part of the story that is Jane's independence.

The Brontë Parsonage Facebook page welcomes locals to become volunteers at the museum. Summer Reading Project posts about Agnes GreyCzytamy książki writes in Polish about The Professor. Musings of a Bookworm discusses VilletteEastwood Book Club posts about Wide Sargasso Sea.

1 comment:

  1. "The whole credit-card-surreptitious-splurge has us thinking that the writer hasn't actually read the novel."

    Exactly what I was thinking! Or if he/she read the novel, forgot all about the going-to-town scene, where Rochester tries to buy Jane a lot of extravagant items which she adamantly refuses to accept because she doesn't want to feel like a kept woman.