Friday, February 08, 2013

Picture source
An exciting article from BBC News about the Brontë Parsonage new old look:
"It's closer than it's ever looked to how it would have done in the Brontë period," said Brontë Parsonage Museum collections manager Ann Dinsdale.
"Charlotte put her stamp on the house, and there's quite a lot of colour."
Researchers from the University of Lincoln examined sections of the walls, and in some places found 18 layers of paint and wallpaper dating back to the sisters' habitation in the mid-19th Century.
"They came up with the strata, all the layers of paints that had been used over the years in the parsonage and they were able to work out which was the Brontë period," Mrs Dinsdale said.
"All the historic rooms, which are part of the original parsonage, have been completely redecorated." [...]
"I think people are possibly going to be quite surprised when they visit the parsonage," Mrs Dinsdale added.
"People have this image of [it] being quite austere with white and grey walls. Actually, it's very clear that they did experiment with colour." (Ian Youngs)
Oh, we are so looking forward to seeing it! If you're in the area remember that the Museum opens tomorrow, February 9.

In The Huffington Post, Brontëite Dave Astor recommends 'Some 'Difficult' Books [that] Aren't as Difficult as We Think'.
There are certainly countless complex, nuanced and/or nonlinear novels by women. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, My Antonia by Willa Cather, The Sea Lady by Margaret Drabble, Middlemarch by George Eliot, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, Beloved by Toni Morrison, The Last Man by Mary Shelley, Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout and To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, to name just a few. But those books didn't make my head explode (figuratively). Is it an annoyingly macho thing for some male authors to make their readers jump through multiple hoops to fully comprehend a book? Just asking...
Other book recommendations today are more conventionally focused on Valentine's Day. The Toronto Star picks 'the greatest love stories':
First, there must be great romance: “the relentless, all-consuming passion of the lovers and their inability to live without each other,” says [Ira Wells, who teaches American literature at the University of Toronto].
Then, since the course of true love never did run smooth, there must be immense barriers: disapproving families (Romeo and Juliet), an inconvenient spouse or two (Dr. Zhivago), a forbidden attraction (The Thorn Birds), mistaken preconceptions (Jane Eyre), fiery misunderstandings (Pride and Prejudice) or serious illness (The Notebook). The lovers could be from different classes (The Great Gatsby), species (the Twilight series) or eras (Outlander, The Time Traveler’s Wife). [...]
Our picks: best love stories of all time [...]
Jane Eyre
by Charlotte Brontë. (1847) Feisty governess Jane gets a job in the northern England mansion of mysterious, brooding Mr. Rochester. [....]
Wuthering Heights
by Emile [sic!] Brontë. (1847) Cathy and Heathcliff explore love and revenge on the Yorkshire moors. (Marcia Kaye)
The Boar's staff selects a few too:
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
When talking about the greatest love stories, this one has it all: drama, suspense, sexual tension; a class divide that threatens it all and not to mention the original mad woman in the attic. But what makes this love so timeless and special, attempted bigamy aside, is Jane’s unrelenting desire to not only be at one with her love but be seen as an equal. Rochester’s enigmatic charm and games tease both the reader and Jane and the passion between the pair is so palpable that it even causes lightning (if that’s not pathetic fallacy then I don’t know what is!). What Brontë creates is the original feminist, who gets her man on her terms and who loves with such fierce passion that it transcends the centuries to still be one of the nation’s greatest ever love stories. (Jessica Devine)
A couple of book covers - a new one for Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar and a new one for Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables - are causing quite a stir because - quite plainly - they are awfully unsuitable for the contents of the pages behind them. Many websites look back on other unsuitable covers. From the Digital Journal:
Emily Brontë’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ was released with a book cover mirroring Stephenie Meyer’s popular ‘Twilight’ series in an attempt to seem appetizing to 'Twilight' fans. For those who haven’t read the series, the character couple Bella and Edward are devoted fans of Brontë’s 166 year old classic. (Chanah Rubenstein)
From The Telegraph:
HarperCollins recently released a new edition of Wuthering Heights, inspired by the phenomenally popular series Twilight, complete with the simplistic tagline ‘Love Never Dies’. (Felicity Capon)
From the New York Daily News' Page Views, with a startling link to a year-old Wuthering Heights cover which we had been lucky enough not to have seen until now:
Many publishers choose to rebrand and oftentimes that involves the motto “sex sells.” “Wuthering Heights” is another book that’s fallen victim to a sexy-remake (think Catherine and Heathcliff naked in the ocean at sunset and you’re on the right track). There are, unfortunately, countless other examples. (Jeva Lange)
The Epoch Times reviews the film Lore and thinks that,
the tone of “Lore” is closer to Andrea Arnold’s boldly reconceived “Wuthering Heights” than any traditional war or Holocaust drama. (Joe Bendel)
Another film review also includes a Brontë reference. The Tahoe Daily Tribune on Warm Bodies:
Warm Bodies” rises to the task by making its zombie protagonist, portrayed by Nicholas Hoult, into an appealing corpse. His look of decay is minimized by a zombie playbook relying on pale blue skin and heavy eyeliner that recalls any one of the Brontë sisters' heroes. (Lisa Miller)
According to Patheos' Philosophical Fragments,
It is the golden age for the educated to play at being a Brontë while flouting their view of reality . . . served by a working class unable to enjoy the texts or the morals that might bring their escape from drudgery. Instead, the working class are given lotteries and the Super Bowl and urged to buy their way to happiness. (John Mark Reynolds)
A letter from a reader to the Halifax Courier on the Luddites mentions Shirley:
Milk was a vital supplement to the mainly oatmeal subsistence diet of the poorer classes and it seems likely that some local landowners like the fictional Miss Keeldar in Charlotte Brontë’s Luddite-inspired novel, Shirley, made special arrangements for supplying the poor with milk. (Dr John Hargreaves)
The Daily Beast uses the Brontë pseudonyms in the same way the Daily Mail did yesterday. And actually the Daily Mail reviews Orwell's Cough by John Ross mentioning the Brontës' TB and Emily Brontë's conjectural Aperger's. A 13-year-old who has read Wuthering Heights is featured in Le Parisien and Books Beside My Bed and Cazador de Libros (in Spanish) also post about the novel. Seaside Book Corner writes about Jane Eyre and Me Chifla el Cine (in Spanish) posts about the 1944 adaptation. The Akamai Reader reviews Tina Connolly's Ironskin. Qwerty Libros writes in Spanish about vising Anne Brontë's grave.

Finally, if you are in or near Swindon and don't have a library card (this opens up a can of Jasper Fforde's jokes), here's something interesting from the Swindon Advertiser:
Treasure hunts, an acoustic music session and a chance to meet a hawk are among the activities at Swindon’s libraries, to mark National Libraries Day.
The celebration of libraries is on Saturday, when a number of Swindon’s libraries plan to highlight their services to the public.
On the day, all new library members will be entered into a draw to win a family ticket to see Jane Eyre at the Arts Centre on February 18.


Post a Comment