Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday, September 29, 2013 2:24 pm by M. in , , , ,    No comments
Yorkshire Post presents the Haworth Village of the Brontës’ Trail Guide, a new initiative from English Heritage, the Brontë Society and Bradford Council:
“The idea of the trail was that it would highlight areas of the town that people don’t know so well,” says Deborah Wall of English Heritage. “And we wanted to give people a sense of what it would have been like when the Brontës were here.” Featuring 27 places of interest, it’s designed to take visitors a little off the beaten track and prove that there is more to the place than just Jane Eyre.
“The Brontës are just a part of Haworth,” says Christine Went, heritage and conservation officer with the Brontë Society. “And they saw their own history as much bigger than that. Haworth was an important part of the textile industry in the 19th century but when Elizabeth Gaskell wrote Charlotte Brontë’s biography she portrayed the sisters as living in an isolated place. Charlotte, for her own reasons, perpetuated that idea – I think she was trying to make excuses for the writing of the novels which had been poorly received by some.” (...)
The new trail and and booklet are part of a wider project to preserve and enhance Haworth for future generations. The conservation project has involved replacing frontages of shops and businesses in the village in keeping with the 19th-century heritage of the village, maintaining the cobbles, or setts, on the Main Street and installing new windows into the old Schoolhouse, which played such an important part in the Brontë siblings’ lives. It was built in 1832 as a Sunday school with funds from the National Society and from public subscriptions generated through the efforts of Patrick Brontë.
“Charlotte, Anne and Branwell would all have taught at the Sunday school – there is some doubt about whether Emily did because she had strong views of her own on religion,” says Christine.
“Every year the Brontës would hold a tea party for the Sunday school teachers at the Parsonage – most of the other teachers were mill girls.”
Another point of interest on the trail is the home of carpenter William Wood who made much of the furniture still in the Brontë Parsonage and was employed by Patrick to do odd jobs including painting and decorating. “He also made all the Brontës’ coffins,” says Christine. “And he made cases for Barraclough clocks – the Barraclough family lived in Haworth. There is a Barraclough clock in the Parsonage and Ellen Nussey, Charlotte’s great friend, wrote how, after the death of her siblings, Charlotte would sit alone in the parlour with just the sound of the clock ticking.”
Christine and Deborah both acknowledge that the legacy of the Brontës is one of the main attractions for visitors to Haworth but they hope the trail and booklet bring out other aspects. “Really we want to broaden people’s understanding of its history,” says Deborah. “Down to a certain point on Main Street not much has changed really – Charlotte could walk up the hill today and still recognise it.”
Haworth Village of the Brontës’ Trail Guide is free and available from Brontë Parsonage Museum, the Tourist Information Office and other shops in the village.
Jack Spatafora's column in Chicago Now features the Brontës:
Charlotte Brontë may be considered a 'chick author' by some, but in literary circles she is respected for her insights about human sorrow long before Sigmund Freud tried to pin it on mother-hatred. Brontë wisely wrote: "Better to be without logic than without feeling." (...)
So lets give it up for the Brontë sisters. Almost 200 years ago they were courageous enough to assert that hearts were as important as brains...that feelings were as essential as ideas....and that those who couldn't see that were humanity's greatest danger.
One wonders if feeling-less brains like Hitler, Stalin, and Mao ever read the Brontës. Probably not. Too bad for the rest of us....
The Independent (Ireland) mentions the recent Roads Group edition of Wuthering Heights:
The publishing arm of the Dublin-based business has just delivered a range of classic novel reprints, new releases of titles like The Great Gatsby and Wuthering Heights with bespoke covers designed by Irish design studio Conor & David and selling in Eason, Waterstones and Hodges Figgis.
Bustle on fan fiction:
After all, when fanfic is good, it’s really good — and the fall catalogs for publishing houses are reflecting that. Proving that everything old is new again, the upcoming releases of Havisham by Ronald Frame (Picador, November) and A True Novel by Minae Mizumura (Other Press, November) find their source material in Great Expectations and Wuthering Heights, respectively. (...) Similarly, A True Novel transplants Wuthering Heights into New York in the 1960s. In fan fiction, it'd be called a Wuthering Heights AU, or "alternate universe". (Caitlin Van Horn)
The Observer talks about Stephen Boyd's Bond novel Solo and gives what could be a good story line for a future installment:
Written by William Boyd, the book is entitled Solo and is described everywhere as James Bond's "latest literary outing". I presume a literary outing doesn't form the basis of the plot. "A coach trip to Brontë country goes awry for Bond when al-Qaida laces an eccles cake with plutonium." (David Mitchell)
The Tullahoma News publishes a review of Jeffrey Eugenides The Marriage Plot:
The novel’s heroine, uptight and somewhat spoiled New Englander Madeleine Hanna, became an English major because she loved to read, especially the novels of Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, George Elliot, Charles Dickens and their Victorian contemporaries. Shelves of books fill her home and Madeline knows where every book resides. Now, having been denied acceptance into Yale graduate school, she find herself wandering aimlessly, not knowing what direction her life will take. (Susan Campbell)
A Brontë reference in La Stampa (Italy):
I miei amici erano diventati i personaggi dei miei libri, il giovane Holden, Jane Eyre, Emma Bovary. Solo loro potevano comprendere la mia insoddisfazione, la mia angoscia, quella continua discronia tra la realtà e i miei sogni velleitari che mi lasciava costernata e passiva di fronte ad una gioventù che mi scorreva davanti agli occhi e di cui non ero partecipe. (Massimo Gramellini) (Translation)
Quotidiano Libero (Italy) interviews the erotic writer Irene Cao:

Il girare di città in città della protagonista e il legame tra sesso e cucina sono anche i temi fondamentali del romanzo Mangia, prega, ama. La Gilbert l’ha ispirata più della James?
«È probabile che ci sia un’influenza. Ma se dovessi indicare un modello di riferimento, lo troverei nei classici dell’800 come Jane Eyre. Se Charlotte Brontë avesse scritto quell’opera oggi, probabilmente non si sarebbe fermata sulle soglie della camera da letto»(Gianluca Veneziani) (Translation)
Prefelibro (in Spanish) posts about Wuthering Heights; Many Media Musings posts the first of a series of posts about a very Brontë summer with activities in Brussels, Haworth and New York; Bookshelf Butterflies gives away a copy of the Alma Classics edition of Wuthering Heights.

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