Sunday, April 28, 2013

Imelda Marsden herself talks in the Spenborough Guardian about the Facts into Fiction event that took place a week ago:
We had a full room of those who attended the Facts into Fiction – focussing on The Luddities and the novel Shirley – event on Sunday afternoon in the upper barn at Red House Museum.
Speaker Jim Summerscales, a retired teacher and historian, gave a superb informative talk with documents and humour which the audience enjoyed, about the Luddities and his family involved at the time of the Luddites riots.
One big thank you to Jim and also to John Appleyard for helping, as well as the staff at the museum for provding refreshments.
The copy of Charlotte Brontë’s wedding dress and bonnet was on display and the dress will be on show in the museum for a couple of weeks.
The Brontë Parsonage museum loaned the bonnet – the original is on display at the Bronte museum. Thanks to Guardian reporter Lauren Ballinger who provide a head-piece for the bonnet. (...)
For those who have not visited the Red House Museum in Gomersal, it is worth a visit with the history of the area and Brontë connection. 
Coincidentally, the Telegraph & Argus reports that the Red House will be used as a wedding venue:
Couples will be able to marry in the parlour or hall at Red House, a grade II-listed former cloth merchant’s home in Oxford Road.
Revenue from the hire of the venue for weddings will help to make the museum more viable after budget cuts by Kirklees Council left its future hanging in the balance last year. (...)
Gordon North, vice-chairman of Spen Valley Civic Society, said using Red House as a wedding venue was a great idea to secure its long-term future.
ITV announces that some members of the Brontë Society are preparing a commemoration for the 165th anniversary of Anne Brontë's death next May 28th:
Anne Brontë enthusiasts are due to gather at the graveside of the Yorkshire author and poet this lunchtime, at St Mary’s church, Scarborough, to dedicate the memorial plaque, laid in her honour in 2011.
The Brontë Society’s plaque interprets the wording on Anne’s original gravestone, which is so weathered it was becoming hard to read. It also corrects a mistake in the original inscription – Anne’s age at the time of her death is now correctly stated as 29, rather than 28.
A simple service of dedication will be held at the graveside by Revd Martyn Dunning, vicar of St Mary’s. Members of the Brontë Society, who maintain the grave, will read some of Anne’s poems, and Brontë Society Chairman Sally McDonald will talk about the history of the plaque.
The Sunday Herald reviews Peter McMaster's all-male Wuthering Heights:
There's an altogether different, and subtler, broaching of issues of gender in Peter McMaster's all-male contemplation of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. The talented five-strong cast evoke characters from the novel, from Heathcliff and his ill-fated love Catherine, to the evocatively symbolic horses. The novel's tracing of rites of passage draw McMaster's performers into touching musings on stages of development, real or imagined, in their own lives.
The decision to have all five actors defiantly sporting beards of one kind or another is a smart one. The contrast, in the piece's cross-dressing moments, between observable biological masculinity and attempts to evoke a feminine persona, is enjoyable; although it might have been more affecting had McMaster not made concessions to the conventional demand that men in frocks play it for laughs. That said, when the cast go all out for comedy, as in their daft choreography to Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights, they are reminiscent of DV8 Physical Theatre in their lighter moments.
At times one wishes this collection of vignettes was just a bit tighter; for instance, a scene in which the ensemble cough and splutter violently is an unnecessarily graphic, overlong depiction of the tuberculosis which features so prominently in Brontë's novel. Nevertheless, the piece sparks with theatrical imagination in a way that suggests we may well be hearing the name of Peter McMaster again in the not-too-distant future. (Mark Brown)
Tri County Record publishes a (very bad) review of the Wuthering Heights 2011 DVD:
Director Andrea Arnold, who brought so much energy and authenticity to “Fish Tank,” stumbles with her adaptation of the Emily Brontë classic. Her mistakes are many and include casting novices in the roles of Heathcliff and Cathy, draining the drama of much of its dialogue, and employing cinematography so dark its hard to see what’s going on. It’s a great idea to bring a bit of dank atmosphere to this tale of passion on the moors but Arnold’s “Wuthering Heights” is all atmosphere and not much else. (Amy Longsdorf)
References to the release can also be found on Filmophilia or MSN Entertainment.

The Arts Desk has an article about the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center in Austin, TX and remembers that
There are manuscripts and first editions by Poe, Brontë, Byron, Shelley, Keats and others, as well as first folios of Shakespeare and - on permanent display - a Gutenberg bible. (Markie Robson-Scott)
Sussex Express describes Hamsey like this:
Walk down the narrow lane that ends at the church, perhaps framed at dusk by the neon glow of Lewes to the south, and it is a journey straight out of Charlotte Brontë at her atmospheric best, with perhaps a shade of Hammer Horror.
And The Hull Daily Mail also uses a Brontë reference to describe Middlethorpe Hall:
It is cloaked in tranquility, straight from the pages of a Brontë novel. (Alison Coggan)
The Boston Globe reviews The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud:
The woman upstairs, Messud’s narrator suggests, is not to be confused with the proverbial madwoman in the attic who haunted Jane Eyre and became a symbol of feminist literary criticism. Instead, like Thoreau’s masses, she leads a life “of quiet desperation.” She is trapped in a carnival fun house — “life itself” — where appearances are meant to deceive, and exit is impossible. (Julia Klein)
The Independent mentions the BabyLit collection of toddler books:
Piffle to those who say that children's education is being dumbed down. This spring sees the launch of a collection of "BabyLit" from Gibbs Smith publishing which includes a numbers book for babies and toddlers based on Pride and Prejudice, a weather primer that uses Wuthering Heights, counting books based on Dracula, Jane Eyre and Romeo and Juliet, a colours picture book of Alice in Wonderland (white rabbit; black shoes; purple bottle …) and a book about opposites based on Sense and Sensibility (Norland Park is BIG whereas Barton Cottage is LITTLE, and so on).
The Guardian is probably right when it says
The key thing children miss out on without that moment of solitude before sleep, is reading. A generation ago, if you saw a light under a child's bedclothes, it would be a torch illuminating some secretive paperback. Now the light under the bedclothes has changed to the blue phosphorescent glow of a laptop or an iPad or a phone, and it's a dead cert that no one is reading Jane Eyre. (Jane Thynne)
But does the problem lie with the laptop/iPad/whatever or the education?

Revista D-Prensa Libre (Guatemala) talks with a local (and clever) bookseller:
Cuando tenía 12 años descubrí un ropero de mi mamá, donde había libros de Pablo Neruda y obras como María y Cumbres borrascosas, y leer esto a esa edad fue maravilloso. (Translation)
Via this article in The Huffington Post we know that Charlotte Brontë is one of the (many) names suggested by the public for use in Bank of England banknotes; Exile on Peachtree Street reviews the erotic retelling Wuthering Nights by I.J. Miller.

Hathaways of Haworth and The Brontë Bell Chapel Facebook Wall posts several pictures of a poetry reading event last Friday in the Brontë Bell Chapel in Thornton:
Aa showing of Ashley Jacksons painting of the Brontë Bell chapel and a poetry reading by Lynn Cunliffe (in period costume).
The main element of yesterdays event was some filming at the Brontë Bell Chapel by the BBC, the program is about the work done to restore the chapel and the graveyard and also about the theft and destruction wrought on it a few months past when thieves stole several gravestones and caused damage.
Finally, an alert from BBC Radio 4. Today, April 28 the Poetry Please progamme (16.30 h. Repeated next Saturday, May 4 at 11:30 PM) will feature a poem by Emily Brontë:
By Emily Brontë
From The Brontës - Selected Poems
Publisher : Everyman
Presenter: Roger McGough
Performers: Patrick Romer, Kate Littlewood and Alun Raglan
Producer: Mark Smalley


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