Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Brontë Parsonage informs about a new temporary addition to its brand new Heaven is a Home exhibition. No less than the Young Men's little book that was auctioned last year and is on display at the Musée des Lettres et Manuscrits in Paris:
We are delighted to welcome to the Brontë Parsonage Museum, on loan to the Museum from the Musée des Lettres et Manuscrits in Paris, the world-famous Charlotte Brontë ‘Little Book’, which was sold at Sotheby’s in December 2011.
The ‘Little Book’ - on display in the Museum’s Bonnell Room from today until the end of August – is one of a series of six Young Mens Magazines written by Charlotte Brontë. Dated August 19, 1830, it is lavishly bound in leather by a later collector, and includes the story of a murderer setting light to his bed, prefiguring the scene in Jane Eyre where Mr Rochester’s insane wife Bertha sets fire to her husband’s bed-hangings. Until it was sold 15 months ago its contents were completely unknown, making it highly likely that it will now be the focus of much scholarly research. Visitors will be able to read a couple of pages of this tantalising treasure, which has never before been published or transcribed.
Four of the second series of six Young Mens Magazines are already held by the Brontë Parsonage Museum. The whereabouts of this fifth magazine was completely unknown until it came up for auction, and we still do not know the identity of its seller. The last book of the series disappeared in the 1930s when its owner Sir Alfred Law died, and has been missing ever since. (...)
Brontë Society Executive Director Professor Ann Sumner said today: ‘From the moment the Little Book was purchased and went to Paris we entered into negotiations with La Musée des Lettres et Manuscrits to borrow it so that visitors to Haworth might benefit from seeing this treasure close up. We are delighted and proud to announce that it is now to go on display for the first time ever in the United Kingdom.’
‘We thank La Musée des Lettres et Manuscrits unreservedly for their generosity in lending us this precious object, and making it available for exhibition. We are delighted that Brontë enthusiasts will now be able to see it at the place where it was written, and in context with other exhibits reflecting on the domestic and creative life of the Brontës.’
ITV News also reports it.

Still in Haworth, the Yorkshire Post reports that some minor restoration works are being done in the Old Schoolroom and several shops and buildings of Main Street:
Visitors to Haworth are being invited to take a close look at restoration projects designed to bring the village closer to how the Brontës would have known it.
The Old School Room, designed and built by Patrick Brontë, has had new windows installed which match the original Georgian design.
And Mrs Beighton’s Sweet Shop and a holiday cottage on Main Street have had original features including windows restored.
English Heritage, which part-funded the conservation work, said the works were “intended to reverse the slowly-declining state of the conservation area which is putting it at risk”.
Trevor Mitchell, English Heritage planning and conservation director for Yorkshire, said: “These small-scale works show that normal maintenance and repair projects can make a big difference to the quality of the village when they are well detailed.
“We hope that other owners will follow our example so that, over time, the whole village will become as beautiful and well preserved as the newly-redecorated Parsonage Museum.”
English Heritage gave £42,000 and Bradford Council £11,000 towards shop front improvements.
Source: Novinky
Deník (Czech Republic) reports that the actor Tomáš Dastlík (pictured) has been awarded with a Czech Theatre Award  for his role as Heathcliff in the Ostrava production of Wuthering Heights premiered last year.

Rory Morgan in Exeposé doesn't think that Jane Eyre is very relevant today. We strongly disagree with the article, of course, but we found the following assertion particularly wrong:
She is so prim and proper that it’s hard to really get excited with her and enjoy the narration. The sad truth is that Jane is plain in every sense of the word. She doesn’t seem to hold any particularly strong aspirations or controversial views (even for her time) and her personality is so moral and squeaky clean that she comes off as a little dull. 
We wonder if we have read the same novel at all. Sophie Beckett in the same student newspaper is more in line with our views:
The voice of Jane herself is the perfect lens through which to view all of these characters. Jane is the antithesis of the ideal Victorian woman. She is poor and plain and this alone is enough to make her an unusual heroine. But, more than this, she is outspoken and holds strong views- characteristics which were strongly disapproved of in women.
Author Jim Crace will not be able to contribute to the discussion as he hasn't read the novel. In The Atlantic:
"I've got a degree in English literature," Crace told me, "but I spent the time drinking, to tell you the truth. I'm not that well-versed in literary theory—I don't know what it is. I come from a working-class background where I was much more likely to read socialist books and leaflets than Bronte or Dickens—neither of whom I've yet read." (Joe Fassler)
The Guardian Express discovers the wheel when it says:
What is it that has made authors such as Austen, Brontë, Du Maurier, Wilde, Dickens and Tolstoy, retain their popularity throughout the ages? What specific tool did they use to give their characters everlasting life and appeal?The ‘classics’ are aptly named because they are, in fact, classic. (DymphnaPower)
Anglotopia recommends a visit to Haworth:
Hopeless romantics be sure to pay a visit to Haworth. This small historic town is located in the Pennines and said to be the inspiration for Emily Brontë’s classic Wuthering Heights. The memory of the Brontës is still rife throughout the town with roads, bridges and even waterfalls named after the literary sisters.
DVD.nl reviews Wuthering Heights 2011:
De productie is zware kost en erg donker. De acteurs doen het goed en de sfeer van de film ligt dicht bij die uit het boek. De beeldkwaliteit is goed, maar is soms wel erg donker. Ook het geluid is goed. Opvallend hierbij is dat de film tot de aftiteling geen muziek bevat. Deze verfilming van Wuthering Heights is erg verdeeld ontvangen. (Laurens Van Der Molen) (Translation)
AARP is ironic about the release of I.J. Miller's Wuthering Nights:
Too bad Wuthering Nights, due out from Grand Central Publishing next month, didn’t come with its own souvenir item. Subtitled An Erotic Retelling of Wuthering Heights, this pastiche — in which Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff graphically unleash their suppressed desires — would lend itself perfectly to a T-shirt emblazoned with the cover’s scarlet silk wrist restraints. (Bethanne Patrick)
ScienceFiction lists several S/F rivalries and talking about Marvel's Thor vs Loki:
The saga of Thor is like Wuthering Heights with Loki being its Heathcliff who destroys familial relationships as a result of his jealousy of Odin’s real son. (Becky Feldman)
The Daily Record has some toilet humour for you:
 Take last week, for example, when I was looking for some suitable book titles following a report that eight out of 10 Scots like to read on the loo.(...)
Ann Biggerstaff plumped for The Grapes Of Wrath (ouch), The Prime Of Miss Jean Bidet and Jane Eyre Freshener. (Tam Cowan)
BookAddict (in Portuguese) reviews Wuthering Heights; Sophie Littlefield interviews the author Barbara Taylor Sissel:
SWL: What turned you into a writer - and when?
BTS: The love of reading. Growing up books were my refuge, one of the few constants in my life. We moved a lot, but wherever we landed there was always a library within walking distance or a bus ride. I remember being around eleven, or so, reading Wuthering Heights, and so immersed in the story, just taken out of my world, and at one point, I looked up and thought, I want to do this.
Finally, Hathaways of Haworth posts some pictures of the Brontës cycling around the snowy Brontë country, preparing for the Tour, we suppose:
I don’t think Charlotte and the sisters would have  considered it very ladylike to cycle across the moor but I am sure the Brontës would applaud their  determination despite the cold to promote Haworth and the areas part in the Tour de France and improve tourism.

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