Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013 9:34 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
More reactions to the book Crap Towns Returns. From the Keighley News:
Most people wouldn’t automatically associate a popular, picturesque tourist village with a list of what are supposedly the ‘worst’ towns in Britain.
Nevertheless, step forward... Haworth. It has been unflatteringly rated as the 18th “cra**est” town in a new book, entitled Cra* Towns Returns.
The startling entry for the famous village begins: “The Brontë sisters, it’s fair to say, were miserable. Their brother, Branwell, was suicidally self-destructive. Why? They lived in Haworth.”
The arguably tongue-in-cheek write-up doesn’t get much better, lambasting Haworth for killing off the Brontë sisters with its unsanitary 19th century conditions!
It adds: “I know it sounds unfair to criticise the town for something it did to folk who died almost two centuries ago. But then, in Haworth, they’re still doing everything they can to make it feel like it’s still the 1850s. Short of poisoning the water…”.
Worth Valley ward councillor Rebecca Poulsen, who lives in Haworth, said she was very surprised to hear the village had been featured in the book.
“It’s a very unfair representation, and I don’t agree with it,” she said. “I chose to live in Haworth and my family and I think it’s a wonderful place.
“We have a mix of the old and the new – not everyone likes the same things, but it’s important to preserve the historic side of the village as well as making it a place where people can live and work in 2013.
“I just wonder how much the book’s writers actually know about Haworth. Maybe they’re wanting to get some headlines by including some unlikely places.”
And in connection to the above, we just love that this is on the news today. From the Yorkshire Post:
Meanwhile, the Brontë’s home village of Haworth has also been removed from the [Heritage at Risk] register.
“It was added in 2010 because poor maintenance, a rash of signage and piecemeal changes were eroding the very special character of the village”, the spokesman said.
“English Heritage, Bradford Council, local businesses and residents have worked together, reinstating traditional features such as windows, doors and shop fronts and repairing the cobbles on main street.
“The decline has been reversed, although more remains to be done to make the village a world-class visitor destination.”
Still locally, the Yorkshire Post also refers to one of the Brontë-related events taking place at the Ilkley Literature Festival.
[Kirsty] Wark will be discussing her new novel, as well as the importance of place in the Brontës’ novels, with Professor Ann Sumner, director of the Brontë Society, in her talk on women and literature at the Ilkley Literature Festival next week.
She’s looking forward to visiting Yorkshire again. “I remember visiting Haworth and I thought it was just the most amazing, magical and wonderfully atmospheric place.”
So was she, like so many impressionable young readers, captivated by the world created by the Brontë sisters? “I read Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre as a child, but it wasn’t until I read Wuthering Heights aloud to my children when they were about 11 or 12, that I realised how challenging it is. I always had this image of Laurence Olivier in my head and I’d glossed over Heathcliff’s darker side.
“He was a vicious, difficult man and he was actually quite abusive. He’s a strong character, but of equal importance is the character of the Moors themselves which are dark and brooding and dangerous.” (Chris Bond)
USA Today's Happy Ever After describes the book Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta as follows
 I was delighted, enthralled and utterly captivated by the way Jessica Dotta cleverly mixed a cast of Austen-like characters into a creative Charlotte-Brontë-meets-Victoria-Holt setting. (Joyce Lamb)
Cinema Blend compares the sexual tension in the latest screen adaptation of Jane Eyre to that in The Invisible Woman.
He ogles her with eager eyes and she demurely steals glances of him. He moves close to her, and instead of being drawn in by the sexual tension radiating heat from the screen (Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska in Jane Eyre come to mind) I was repulsed as Dickens' giant bearded face sniffed pathetically about his young crush and her doe-eyes. (Kristy Puchko)
The Culver City Observer has an article on Bodega Bay where the writer admits to the following:
Bodega Bay, for me, has the look and feel of the Scottish Moors. And, corny as it sounds, I did indeed find myself unconsciously listening for the sound of Kathy [sic], from Wuthering Heights, soulfully calling out for Heathcliff. At one point, I shouted out for him myself, but alas, only the sea birds answered my call. Perhaps I should have used my cell phone instead. (Ruby Elbogen)
The International Business Times cautions female scientists and scholars that they 'Might Want To Hide Your Name Behind An Initial'.
Cloaking a feminine name in mysterious initials or adopting a male pseudonym is a long-standing tradition in fiction. English novelist Mary Anne Evans took the pen name George Eliot; the Brontë sisters published a book of poetry as the “Bell brothers.” (Roxanne Palmer)
They didn't  publish as the Bell brothers, they published as Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. Charlotte Brontë wrote about it in 1851:
Averse to personal publicity, we veiled our own names under those of Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell; the ambiguous choice being dictated by a sort of conscientious scruple at assuming Christian names positively masculine, while we did not like to declare ourselves women, because -- without at that time suspecting that our mode of writing and thinking was not what is called "feminine"-- we had a vague impression that authoresses are liable to be looked on with prejudice; we had noticed how critics sometimes use for their chastisement the weapon of personality, and for their reward, a flattery, which is not true praise.
So rather than promoting a trend that was distasteful to three 19th-century women, we would advise the International Business Times to try and put an end to it. It's 2013 - women should feel free to publish their research under their own full names and having it read.

Coincidentally, the Brontë Parsonage Facebook page shares the sisters' three signatures under their pen names.

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