Friday, July 19, 2013

The Umbrella and God Knows

Brontë Society collections manager,
Ann Dinsdale, with the parasol (Source)
The Telegraph & Argus very belatedly (at least on the website) reports the donation of Charlotte Brontë's parasol to the Parsonage.
A silk parasol that belonged to Charlotte Brontë has returned ‘home’.
And its arrival at the Parsonage Museum has fulfilled a long-held dream for 96-year-old Edith Calder, whose family emigrated to Canada from Oxenhope – together with the parasol – in 1927.
For years she had wanted the item to head back to the one-time family home of the Brontës, but the parasol was wrongly thought to have an ivory handle and therefore couldn’t be imported.
However, a new assessment showed the material was in fact bone, and paperwork was quickly processed to transport the prized object back to the UK.
It is now on display in Charlotte’s old bedroom.
“We can’t thank Edith enough for her generosity gifting us this precious family treasure,” said Professor Ann Sumner, executive director of the Brontë Society and the Parsonage Museum.”
The parasol – in dark brown, fringed silk – passed to Mrs Calder’s family after it was given to an ancestor by Martha Brown, the Brontës’ maid, as a token of thanks.
Brontë Society chairman, Sally McDonald, said: “Thanks to Edith Calder, we can reflect on what an extraordinary journey this parasol has made across oceans and back. We are delighted visitors to the museum and society members alike can all enjoy this special story.”
The Irish Times gives more details on the Jane Eyre-Breathe In connection:
Early on in the latest film from gifted tyro Drake Doremus, it is revealed that the young heroine, an English student visiting the US, is carrying a copy of Jane Eyre in her baggage. There are a few thematic connections between book and film.
Like poor Jane, Sophie (Felicity Jones) has been dispatched to a distant location where she catches the eye of a brooding older man. And Breathe In does, in its later crockery-smashing sequences, allow in a little vintage melodrama. But fans of the last collaboration between Jones and Doremus (the utterly charming Like Crazy) need not fear that the director has lost his bearings. (Tara Brady)
The Huffington Post reviews the Dizzie Miss Lizzie's performances of The Brontës at the New York Musical Theatre Festival:
A rock and roll musical about The Brontës, that famous trio of writing siblings? Bring it on. Dizzy Miss Lizzie's Revue is a loose-limbed collective that takes those talented sisters as an excuse for this very casual stage show. They have energy to spare but a lot more effort was put into their general banter than the actual story they're trying to (sort of) tell and it shows.
The conceit, such as it is, is to have the Brontës sisters and their brother tell their stories. Sometimes we get morose comments about illness and lack of attention, other times we get rundowns of plot, still other times we get silly jibes about how boring Jane Eyre is or how no one ever reads The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. It has an intentional juvenile air with siblings sniping at each other and the band piling on the in-jokes. But that sort of thing works much better when you sense a deep appreciation or at least understanding of the work being parodied and poked fun at. Here, the jokes never stray deeper than the sort of one-liner even the most casual observer might come up with.
Essentially, the siblings line up at microphones, trade jokes and sing their songs. Too often, the songs are only vaguely related to the subject at hand. Gillian Shelly has charisma to spare as the Gypsy, but even she can't make sense out of vague nonsense like "Breathe In," an early mood-setter that leaves you wondering what all this has to do with the Brontës.
(...)On the rare instance where song and story are actually linked, it works! Because "God Knows" really does dive into the emotions of the drunkard Brontë brother known as Patrick Branwell, actor Matthew Schleigh has the show's best moment. (Michael Giltz)
The Reader Organisation recommends Little Miss Brontë's Jane Eyre board book:
It’s never too early to introduce your little bookworms to the classics – particularly when they’re as beautifully produced as Jane Eyre, from the BabyLit™ range of literary board books.
This ingenious counting book uses ideas, characters and key themes from the original novel to encourage young readers in their numerical development. There are even a handful of quotes from the original text thrown in to keep Mum & Dad engaged…it’s win-win!
Right, where were we? 1 Governess, 2 trunks, 3 candles… (Lisa)
The celebrity tabloids also have their Brontë references. Check out this article on starcrush about Emma Roberts-Evan Peters's 'passionate' relationship:
The source added that they’re “inseparable,” but failed to explain just how or why leaving one another bruised, battered and bloodied is the result of some great ‘Wuthering Heights’-style romance. (Jessica Sager)
The Times reviews the Saudi film Wadja:
The rebellious schoolgirl Wadjda (pronounced Waj-dah) is a Jane Eyre for her time and place, pushing the boundaries of at school and at home, and riling her cold, repressive headmistress.  (Kate Muir)
The Times interviews Baroness Hale of Richmond, Deputy President of the Supreme Court:
Which film do you wish you had appeared in? I played Mrs Fairfax in Jane Eyre at school, so would have loved the Judi Dench part in the most recent film of the book, but I'm no Judi Dench.
The Times-Union alerts to the horrors of that terrible affliction of our time: spoilers.
If I decided, right now, to betray the colossal narrative game changer that explodes in the midst of "Jane Eyre," I would reveal myself as a pig of the worst order and doom myself to an eternity without books, chocolate or Netflix. (The chocolate has nothing to do with spoilers. That's just my definition of hell.) (Amy Biancolli)
The Hindu Business Line interviews Shoma Narayanan, vice-president with HSBC Mumbai:
Her own reading is very eclectic. “I read all kinds of stuff.” The latest book she liked was The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley. Two of her all-time favourites are Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. (Rasheeda Bagat)
Khaleej Times discusses the transposition of Western classics to Bollywood versions:
To a degree, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights was done justice to in Dil Diya Dard Liya, thanks to a sensitively layered performance by Dilip Kumar.  (Khalid Mohamed)
A list of literary sequels in The Independent:
Jean Rhys' 1966 novel Wide Sargasso Sea is a post-colonial, anachronistic prequel to Charlotte Brontë's classic Jane Eyre. It is the story of the mad woman in the attic, Antoinette Cosway (Bertha Mason in Jane Eyre) whose unhappy marriage to Mr Rochester, and relocation from the Caribbean to England, sends her crazy.
More Rowling-related articles in the press:
Charlotte Brontë explained the Brontë sisters’ decision to publish poetry as Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell: “We had a vague impression that authoresses are liable to be looked on with prejudice.” A century and a half later, the impression isn’t so vague. Since 1901, only 12 women have won the Nobel Prize in Literature, or about 11 per cent. (In Canada, the Rosalind Prize for Women’s Fiction will launch in 2014 to give recognition to women writers.) (Katrina Onstad in The Globe and Mail)
This story on World Magazine contains a Jane Eyre reference:
As I sat on the couch reading Jane Eyre—a creepy book, impossible to put down—I heard the bark at the door. (Chelsea Kolz)
A Brontë reference in a Singapore review of a Hokkien opera? We have it:
Having a short temper will probably just kill your social life - unless you're a tragic hero, in which case it's practically suicidal. Shakespeare has his Othello, Sophocles has his Oedipus, and Emily Brontë has her Heathcliff. (Business Times)
Today's Parents on Yahoo! recommends literary names for boys
If you’re expecting a baby boy you can go with Darcy (Jane Austen’s brooding hero in Pride & Prejudice), Heathcliff (for Emily Brontë’s moody lead in Wuthering Heights), Romeo (Shakespeare’s ill-fated hero) or Sebastian (a name that appears in the Bard’s Twelfth Night and Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited). (Laura Grande)
The Craven Herald & Pioneer mentions Isobel Stirk's talk about the Brontës at the Women's Institute in Ingleton; Many Media Musings posts about The Tenant of Wildfell Hall; Olympian Tales talks about the Brontës; Loaded Shelves reviews the Classical Comics Jane Eyre adaptation; Margaret Clough uploads a picture of Wycoller Hall and thenameisjocie reviews Wuthering Heights on YouTube.

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