Sunday, February 10, 2013

Plain White

The Brontë Parsonage Blog publishes an account of the recent re-opening of the Brontë Parsonage Museum and gives a few hints about the redecoration of the Parsonage:
In summer, 2010, the University of Lincoln and historic design consultant Allyson McDermott were approached by the Parsonage to begin an analysis of the available evidence, with a view to coming up with a new, more historically accurate scheme of redecoration.
As well as historical and scientific analysis, a wide range of contemporary sources, including watercolours and letters by the Brontës, was also referenced. This rigorous £60,000 programme has informed the creation of bespoke wallpapers, new curtains and painstakingly woven rugs.
It was all there as we looked around, without some of the curtains, which will be coming soon to add the finishing touches. To give a few examples, Mr Brontë's Study has been distempered in plain white, because no evidence could be found that it was ever papered, and the Dining Room now follows Charlotte's own decorative scheme from the early 1850s. The curtains are still in the process of being specially woven, in crimson, to match Elizabeth Gaskell's description. According to forensic analysis, the room was papered both before and after Charlotte's 'gentrification', and the chosen paper is a contemporary design, in scarlet to match the curtains. Several years ago, a scrap of wallpaper was found in Branwell's Studio which can now be dated to the Brontë period. Allyson McDermott matched it with an almost identical sample - also contemporaneous with the Brontës' time - which was found inside a housemaid's cupboard at Kensington Palace. The wallpaper has been reproduced.
the Brontë Sisters is a bit surprised by the white-painted study quoting Ellen Nussey describe its walls as dove-coloured.

Blu-Ray.com announces that the release date of the US Blu-Ray edition of Wuthering Heights 2011 will be on April 23rd.
Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights is an excitingly fresh and distinct take on the classic novel by Emily Brontë. (...)
Arnold's film is a beautiful and evocative visual masterpiece that brings out the powerful emotions at the heart of Brontë's classic novel, resulting in a viscerally affecting love story. It is a sweepingly old-fashioned tale of family, class, and romance told in a bracingly modern way by one of contemporary cinema's most gifted and unique filmmakers.
Valentine's Day is approaching and there's nothing we can do to avoid the Brontës being used as eembodiments of romantic love:
Jane Eyre: The Byronic hero of the 19th Century, Edward Rochester is, as critic Lord Macaulay would have described "a man proud, moody, cynical, with defiance on his brow, and misery in his heart, a scorner of his kind, implacable in revenge, yet capable of deep and strong affection." After surviving an abusive childhood, Jane Eyre enters the gates of Thornfield Hall as a governess where she meets the love of her life. Soon, Jane stumbles upon Rochester's closet of dark secrets and learns about his wife Bertha Mason (the mad woman in the attic). Jane is upset about Rochester's possible marriage plans to Blanche Ingram but to her delight he proposes one evening. Sinister interventions prevent their marriage to realise and Jane leaves Thornfield. It is when she is about to give into a missionary's life that she feels Rochester's voice is calling out her name. On an impulse she goes back to Thornfield only to find it reduced to ruins and a handicapped Rochester sitting desolate. Charlotte Brontë reunites the couple after a series of struggles and hardships to establish that love wins all battles. (Ipshita Mitra in The Times of India)
Lovers of classic romance will be thrilled by Charlotte Brontë’s timeless love story, Jane Eyre, the newest addition to Book By You’s personalized classics. (Virtual-Strategy Magazine)
Romance novels, in one form or another, have been around virtually as long as writers have been penning stories. Some of the more famous ones were written by the Bronte sisters and also by Jane Austen. Many of these early novels are resurging in popularity as Hollywood takes them and converts their tales into movies. Those box office dollars often translate into increased demand for the early works. An original first edition of a Bronte or an Austen novel can be worth thousands of dollars, depending on the rarity of the edition. (Kenneth Gloss in The Somerville News)
The Guardian Express has an article about the singer Kelly Clarkson:
An avid reader, Kelly says her favorite book is “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë.
The Spec reviews The Brontë Sisters: The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne by Catherine Reef:
In the midst of current pseudo-Victorian steampunk and romances, Reef’s biography of the Brontë sisters 1820-1855 strikes an intelligent, honest note.
Reef describes the imaginative games of the Brontë sisters’ childhood, their stern (and for two sisters, fatal) education, limited travels and passionate literary works — Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
She offers a wealth of information about the period, all the while vividly conveying the country ways and vibrant, energetic imaginations of the three writers.
“There’s a fire and fury raging in that little woman,” the writer Thackeray once remarked of Charlotte; that comes through clearly, as does the girls’ creativity and devotion to one another. (Deirdre Baker)
The Hindu talks about an eternal topic, novels and films adapting them:
While enough has been said about how a movie can never replicate the feeling and emotions of a book — yeah Sir Larry was nowhere close to the Heathcliff in your head (Wuthering Heights), nor the Ents (Lord of the Rings) for that matter, there have been some movie adaptations that have worked absolutely brilliantly and swept the Oscars as well. (Mini Antikhad Chhibber)
Dudley News informs of an event which includes an open rehearsal of the Hull Truck's production of Jane Eyre:
The Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Melvyn Mottram will officially open the new-look facility at 11.30am ahead of an open rehearsal of Dudley Little Theatre’s forthcoming production of Jane Eyre from 12pm.
The event will conclude with a ukulele group performance at 12.30pm.
PopDecay remembers Catherine Hardwicke's directing of the first film of the Twilight series:
In 2008, Catherine Hardwicke became the most commercially successful female director in Hollywood, when she directed the film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling novel, “Twilight,” starring teen heart throbs Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson. “Twilight” was the first in a series of five romance fantasy films, “The Twilight Saga,” which has grossed over $2 billion in worldwide box office receipts. New York Press critic Armond White called “Twilight”, “a genuine pop classic”, and praised Catherine Hardwicke for turning “Meyer’s book series into a Brontë-esque vision.”
The Independent reviews the paperback edition of What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Mullan:
Is There Any Sex in Jane Austen? How Much Money is Enough? What Makes Characters Blush? These are among the questions posed by John Mullan in this collection of astute and appreciative essays on Jane Austen.
The approach, with its attention to detail, determination to solve puzzles, and respect for the text, is reminiscent of John Sutherland's approach in Is Heathcliff a Murderer? (Brandon Bradshaw)
Vijesti (Montenegro) interviews the writer Slavici Perović:
Čoserova žena iz Bata me fascinira i dan-danas, literarno rješenje naracije u Tristramu Šendiju Lorensa Sterna ne prestaje da me oduševljava, Džejn Ostin i sestre Brontë na neki način su sestre Erike Džong i rođake svih modernih žena. (Milica Radović) ( Translation)
La Vanguardia (Spain) reviews La hija de Juan Simón by José Luis Sáenz de Heredia and produced by Luis Buñuel (1935):
Como muestra de ello, citaré tres secuencias de la La hija de Juan Simón: aquella en la que interviene Carmen Amaya (comentada por el propio Buñuel en Mi último suspiro), el paso de Angelillo por la cárcel –y las pintadas en las paredes que nos muestra la cámara en diversos planos (con alguna referencia a la República)–, o la secuencia del cementerio, donde hay algo del sentimiento de pérdida de la mujer amada que encontramos en la magnífica Abismos de pasión (1954), aunque sin el arrebato (ni la calidad) de la adaptación de Cumbres borrascosas, la novela de Emily Brönte (sic). (Lluís Laborda) (Translation)
Christian Books Examiner reviews Julie Klassen's The Tutor's Daughter:
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, though not quite as much as Klassen’s past couple of novels. It reminded me of both Jane Eyre and The Secret Garden with unexplained things happening in the night. I learned a great deal about schooling during this time period which I found fascinating. (Christin Dicker)
Southern Author interviews the writer Baldip Kaur:
Are there any authors you admire? In classics Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and Brontë. Current authors John Grisham, James Patterson etc.
Ideas de Chicas (in Spanish) and The Signal Express post about Jane Eyre 2011;  Bitten Books reviews Catherine by April Lindner; Too Long; Didn't Read briefly posts about Wuthering Heights 2009; A Corner of the Library reviews Jane Eyre.

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