Wednesday, December 11, 2013

'The strongest link between their county and the great world of literature'

The Yorkshire Post looks back on December/Christmas 1893. Among other things, this is what was happening:

December did bring some lighter news. On the 23rd, the Yorkshire Post reported that a Brontë Society had been formed following a meeting at Bradford Town Hall.
The Rev UH Keeling, headmaster of Bradford Grammar School, presided over the meeting, which had been called by the city’s mayor.
It was convened amid concerns that 38 years after Charlotte Brontë’s death, artefacts relating to both her and her sisters would end up being scattered away from Yorkshire.
“The Brontës,” the chairman said, “represented and embodied the true Yorkshire spirit, though they themselves were not a Yorkshire family.” He praised their writing talent, adding: “In a word, they formed the strongest link between their county and the great world of literature.” (Chris Bond)
While a New Republic column mentions some of the fruits of that endeavour: the Brontë Parsonage Museum and its outstanding collection.
On a chilly, windblown visit to the Brontë Parsonage, I once held, in gloved hands, the tiny 2-inch-by-2-inch booklets the startlingly precocious Brontë children sewed and then filled with tales of imaginary lands. To hold and smell and access a manuscript at such close range was an inimitable experience. An exhaustive digital archive may satiate the researcher and gratify the fan, but a manuscript’s essence is inevitably tarnished when observed through a screen. (Hillary Kelly)
The National Student interviews Matthew Rhys, who plays MR Darcy in the BBC screen adaptation of P.D. James's Death Comes to Pemberley.
How did you become involved with Death Comes To Pemberley?I had an offer from the BBC asking whether I would be interested in playing the part of Darcy - which I was quite shocked about.
Why were you shocked?I don’t think anyone has that regard of themselves where they think “Oh I could play Darcy or Heathcliff, or any other big literary figure.” I think you find affinity really - certainly when they say you can play him. Especially in Britain and the whole immortalisation of Colin Firth. For those who have such an idea of who Darcy is, your relationship is so personal because you develop it yourself - it all happens within your own head, and then coupled with Colin’s wet shirt moment, I’m sure they’ll be legions saying “Darcy shouldn’t be attempted again!” (Lucy Miller)
It looks as if 50 Shades of Grey will be making (Brontë) appearances for ever more. From The Daily Beast:
And as in so many romance novels, beneath the hero’s domineering veneer there’s a vulnerability that only the heroine can penetrate, though not without some emotional maneuvering. Jane Eyre has to confront the madwoman in Mr. Rochester’s attic; Bella has to come to terms with Edward’s immortality and bloodlust; Anastasia has to endure Christian Grey’s "Red Room of Pain." (Lizzie Crocker)
Our particular red room of pain would certainly include a mention of Jane Eyre at the same level of Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey.

The Daily Mail has an article on private tutors and for someone who seems to charge 'up to £1,500 an hour', this 'super tutor' seems to have her Jane Eyre imagery mixed up.
Today she tutors a minimum of 17 hours a week, which can rise to 30 in the school holidays. ‘There is never a dull moment,’ she says. ‘The old-fashioned image of tutoring tends to be Jane Eyre-style governesses in a dusty attic. But it’s very far from that these days.' (Kathryn Night)
The SF Children's Fiction Examiner lists 'Amazon's Top 10 books of 2013 for babies and toddlers', which include
"Wuthering Heights: A BabyLit® Weather Primer" by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver (Gibbs Smith) There couldn't be a better classic tale to teach little ones about weather than Wuthering Heights. The storms and the wind along with sunshine and rain are all included. (Cindi Rose)
Prensa Latina reports that Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights is being screened at the 35th La Habana  International Festival of New Latin American Cinema (5-15th December). Caryarit Ferrer speaks in Spanish about Wuthering Heights on YouTube; Bristol Old Vic provides a very interesting sneak peek into the Bristol Old Vic upcoming two-part production of Jane Eyre.

Finally, the Brontë Parsonage Facebook page links to last Friday's BBC Radio 3 programme Cabaret of the word which includes, among others, a chat with Charlotte Cory about her work and her exhibition Capturing the Brontës at the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

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