Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Tuesday, February 04, 2014 8:24 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
According to The Arkansas Traveller, Wuthering Heights is one of five classics you can't miss:
2.       “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë—This book is weird, disturbing, and sad, so it’s obviously one you can’t miss. Catherine and Heathcliff are one of the literary world’s most famous power couples, and you’ve got to read their twisted love story to figure out why. Romeo and Juliet have nothing on this pair. (Michele Dobbins)
A columnist from The Telegraph (India) is reminded of Jane Eyre:
Mamata says she is scared of the dark, and feels afraid at night not only in the hostel but also at home. Does she sleep alone? No, Mamata has a best friend, Shantirani, with whom she shares her room. When she feels scared, she sits up in bed, Shantirani by her side. In my mind, Mamata merges with little Jane Eyre crouching on the hostel bed with her Helen, the only source of solace within the cold, hostile walls of Lowood school. (A. M.)
While this is not strictly Brontë-related, we are glad to hear that 84 Plymouth Grove - Elizabeth Gaskell's house in Manchester - will be finally opening to the public come October, as reported by the Manchester Evening News.
The house owned by Victorian writer Elizabeth Gaskell will reopen in October after a £2.5m overhaul.
Curators of 84 Plymouth Grove hope the venue will become a tourism hotspot bringing thousands of book-loving visitors to Ardwick.
Gaskell who wrote rollicking Victorian novels North and South, Cranford and Mary Barton was one of the most famous writers of her era.
Living at the home for 15 years until her death in 1865, she and her husband entertained some of the greatest celebrities of the day including Charles Dickens and Charlotte Brontë.
But the impressive home had fallen into disrepair over the decades and was last used as student digs.
However it has been restored to its former glory thanks to a lottery windfall - and will re-open its doors in October 2014.
Those in charge of the Grade II-listed property hope it will become a firm fixture on the literary tourism map, rivalling Shakespeare’s home of Stratford and the Brontë sister’s home in Haworth, Yorkshire.
The hidden gem has been fully restored on its ground floor to give visitors the feel of an authentic Victorian home.
Its gardens have also been re-instated to their former glory.
Upstairs the venue has a number of rooms and performance spaces which will be used to host education work, literary and community events. [...]
Curators have meticulously researched what he house would have looked like when the family resided there.
They have borrowed a number of period items of furniture from the Manchester’s art galleries and the John Rylands Library to recreate the Gaskell’s study and other rooms.
But they are now looking for a piano to make the room complete.
Trustees are hoping for the donation of a mid-19th century Broadwood demi grand piano to take pride of place in the drawing room.
Renowned conductor Charles Hallé taught Elizabeth Gaskell’s daughters on the same type of piano and it was an important purchase by Elizabeth for the house on Plymouth Grove.
The instrument will be used for a full programme of musical and educational events and the donor will be fully credited alongside all the other sponsors of the house.
Gaskell admirers acquired the dilapidated property in 2003, convincing lottery bosses to fund the project in 2012.
Janet Allan, chair of The Manchester Historic Buildings Trust, said: “I am delighted that after a sustained fundraising campaign and extensive restoration work, Elizabeth Gaskell’s House will finally re-open its doors in October.
“We are looking forward to offering a welcoming and immersing experience for visitors.” (Yakub Qureshi)
Meanwhile back in Haworth, they are still fighting for their public toilets. From The Telegraph and Argus:
The Brontë family would be writing shocked letters of complaint to Bradford Council over plans to shut Haworth’s Central Park toilets, claims former TV presenter Christa Ackroyd.
She has joined the battle to save the award-winning loos and said she believed the sisters, and in particular their father Patrick, would have been outraged at any move to strip the village of such valued amenities.
“Patrick spent years campaigning for social and public health improvements and in 1849 wrote to the General Board of Health asking for an inspector to be sent to Haworth – which was then said to have worse sanitary conditions that the London slums,” Miss Ackroyd said.
“At that time 24 houses shared one toilet and there were only 69 toilets for a population of 2,500.
“It really was a case of open sewers running down the streets.”
An inspector, Benjamin Babbage arrived the next year and it was agreed to install a proper sewerage system, for which each house had to pay two pennies for the next 30 years.
“Sanitation, as well as education for all, was something Patrick really believed in, as did his daughters,” said Miss Ackroyd, who now runs a guest house which caters for Bronte fans from around the world.
Miss Ackroyd said she found it impossible to see any logic behind plans to close the modern toilet block which serves the park and also the lower reaches of the village.
“One million tourists come to Haworth each year and if they only spend £3 each, then that’s £3 million entering the system.
“That means the shops are successful and so pay their rates but if the lack of toilets deters just ten per cent from coming to Haworth, that would be a loss of £300,000.
“I know these are hard times because of the cuts, but it makes no economic sense to risk any loss to Haworth.
“It just isn’t cost-effective.”
Miss Ackroyd said closing the Central Park toilets would also dissuade families and the elderly from visiting the park. (Chris Tate)
Julia Mamone video posts about Jane Eyre;  Book Club Mom reviews Jane Eyre 2006; e-Tinkerberll's blog explores several Wuthering Heights film adaptations; Co-op reviews the original novel.


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