Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013 8:21 am by Cristina in , ,    No comments
Slate's The Vault features Charlotte Brontë's tiny book Something about Arthur, which is kept at the Harry Ransom Center.
Before they wrote world-famous novels, the four Brontë children—in descending order of age: Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne—constructed elaborate fantasy worlds. The family was reclusive, and the children were educated at home; they spent most of their time with each other. Together, Charlotte and Branwell (who was the only Brontë brother) created a world called Angria, while Emily and Anne concentrated on an island they named Gondal. As part of their play, the siblings wrote many books, poems, and magazines.
Few of Emily and Anne’s Gondal-related texts survive. Charlotte and Branwell’s Angria works have fared better. Charlotte’s Something About Arthur is one of these miniature volumes, and is held by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
The pages of Something About Arthur, which Charlotte wrote in 1833 at age 17, measure 2.25 by 3.6 inches. The book is 25 pages in length, and some of that scant real estate is claimed by a 42-line poem. In a foreshadowing of the Brontë sisters’ later interest in love and the class system, its plot follows two aristocratic brothers, one of whom narrates the story of the other’s romantic encounter with a poor, but worthy, peasant girl.
Why did the adolescent Brontës produce books in miniature? Some scholars have posited that the young Brontës wanted to hide the content from disapproving adult eyes. Their aunt, who supervised their educations, would not have liked this kind of whimsy. In her post on the books, the Ransom Center’s Kelsey McKinney reports another commonly accepted theory: the mini volumes were made for toy soldiers that became a part of the siblings’ fantasy world. Since the toy soldiers were small, the books would need to be tiny as well. (Rebecca Onion)
Click here to see the pictures that go with the article.

The Daily Trojan debates the eternal spring break question of classics vs beach reads/bestsellers.
Yet, we almost rarely channel our literary energies into these sorts of texts alone. Most high school students were exposed to J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye or F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, yet also managed to make time to read J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series or Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol. Similarly, reading Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights or Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations might be mandatory for some college-level English classes, yet college students still find time to relax and enjoy recent bestsellers such as Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and Ian McEwan’s Sweet Tooth. [...]
More importantly, relying on the “literary elite” doesn’t always pay off at the time of a novel’s publication. After all, much of what we define as “classic literature” today was met with poor critical reviews when first released. The Catcher in the Rye might have received praise from The New York Times during its publication in 1951, but other outlets found Holden Caulfield’s voice in the novel whiney and overly pessimistic. Brontë’s Wuthering Heights went largely ignored by the reading public and received mixed reviews at its 1847 release. (Carrie Ruth Moore)
TGCOM24 (Italy) features the recent survey on Italy's favourite literary heroine.
Al terzo posto si piazza Jane Eyre, indicata dal 9% del campione. La protagonista dell’omonimo romanzo di Charlotte Brontë, dopo un'infanzia in orfanotrofio e innumerevoli privazioni, riesce a studiare, coltivando i suoi talenti. Diventa istitutrice di una bambina, pupilla di un gentiluomo: Anche Jane deve affrontare molti ostacoli e pregiudizi sociali, ma arriverà a conquistare un orizzonte sereno, dopo aver dato prova di rettitudine e determinazione.
Tra le altre eroine della letteratura scelte dai booklovers di Libreriamo ci sono donne altrettanto famose e affascinanti, come Jo March di “Piccole Donne”, Catherine Earnshaw di “Cime tempestose”, Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary, Penelope de l’ “Odissea”, Bertha Tompson, Eva Luna, Sao di “Controvento”, Emerenc di “La Porta”, Clorinda dalla “Gerusalemme Liberata” e Lady Machbeth. (Translation)
The Captain's Log discusses film adaptations of books while El diario (Spain) has an article on the artist and film director José Ramón Larraz who
Entre medias, trabajó como fotógrafo de moda y de prensa, y realizó adaptaciones a la fotonovela de "Ana Karenina" de Léon Tolstoi y de "Cumbres Borrascosas" de Emily Brontë, experiencias que le ayudarían en su transición entre el medio del cómic y el cinematográfico. (Translation)
MSN India recalls that Michael Caine
- adopting the stage moniker “Michael Scott” – began his acting career in 1953, in a small-town production of Wuthering Heights. (Thomas Oakey)
The Telegraph and Argus announces the opening on March 22nd of the Heaven is a Home exhibition at the Brontë Parsonage Museum. Radio Europa Liberă (Romania) interviews a student who is reading Wuthering Heights. Readerling posts about Jane Eyre. The Hooded Utilitarian discusses Anne Brontë and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.


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