Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014 1:10 am by M. in , ,    No comments
More recent (or not so recent but never previously reported on this blog) Brontë scholar works:

Imagining Italy: Victorian Writers and Travellers
Editor: Catherine Waters, Michael Hollington and John Jordan
Oct 2010
Isbn13: 978-1-4438-2384-5
Cambirdge Scholars

This book is a companion volume to Dickens and Italy, edited by Michael Hollington and Francesca Orestano, which aimed to fill an important gap in our understanding of England’s paramount novelist by studying his personal, political and literary relation to the foreign country he loved best of all of those he visited. Its focus is wider and its scope more ambitious and speculative. Without in any way leaving Dickens or his writings about Italy behind, the attempt here is to approach the Victorian fascination with that country from a broader, more theoretical perspective in which several current debates about travel writing are taken up and critically redeployed.
Includes the chapter: Imagining Italy: Charlotte Brontë’s “Pictured Thoughts” of “The Sweet
South”  by Christine Alexander.
Close encounters with Anne Brontë's Shakespeare
by Paul Edmondson
Shakespeare Survey, 62(2009)  p.182

In considering the Shakespeare that Anne Brontë knew, three kinds of close textual encounters emerge. First, the Shakespearian text the Brontë family might have read, and the context in which they read it; second, Anne Brontë's actual copy of Shakespeare's plays and how she might have read them; and third the kinds of Shakespeare allusions which are traceable in her two novels, Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. These close encounters with a reader and her writing will further our understanding of Shakespeare's importance in relation to Anne Brontë's creativity as well as to her life.
Shakespeare's impact on the work of the Brontë sisters is considerable. In Charlotte's novel, Shirley, there is a chapter entitled 'Coriolanus'. Shakespeare is there appropriated as an emotional and political nexus for the relationship between Caroline Helstone and Robert Moore. Shakespeare is appropriated, to a lesser extent, in Jane Eyre and The Professor. In Emily's Wuthering Heights, Shakespeare's influence is much more submerged, just one of the imaginative and influential threads that Emily weaves together.
Although it includes the Life of Sir Walter Scott, the Lord Wharton Bible and Milton's Paradise Lost, no edition of Shakespeare is listed in the inventory of 'Books belonging to or inscribed by members of the Brontë family and held in the Brontë Parsonage Museum'. This should not be too surprising. The inventory is small and the most commonly read books tend not to survive. The Brontës' knowledge of Shakespeare can be safely assumed.
A Mother Outlaw Vindicated: Social Critique in Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
by Monika Hope Lee, Brescia University College
Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies, 4.3 (2008)

Anne Brontë’s novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall appeared in the historically volatile year of 1848, sometimes called “the year of revolutions” because of insurrections that erupted across Europe in France, Italy, Austria, Germany and Hungary.  While England saw no violent revolution, Brontë’s novel, through its “radical vigour” and “searching reappraisal of orthodoxy”, attempted a quieter sort of revolution by challenging the very foundations of English upper-class society through a scathing critique of laws and ideologies governing the family, marriage and mothering.  Brontë’s story presents a significant subversion of English Common Law and the normative practices and ideologies surrounding the institution of motherhood in England in the early Victorian period (1832-48).  Anne Brontë vindicates the outlaw “single” mother through her challenges to marriage and custody laws, childrearing practices, and attitudes towards maternal authority. Brontë was part of a trend in Victorian thinking and practice which validated the mother’s moral and spiritual role in the life of her children, while, at the same time, she thwarted ideologies of female subservience within the patriarchal marriage which still took precedence over that role.  

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