10 Fascinating Facts About Charlotte Brontë - On Wednesday 7th December, I’m very honoured to be returning to my old University, the University of Huddersfield, to give a public lecture on Charlotte Br...
9 hours ago
In a letter to her publisher in 1849, Charlotte Bronte said her expected visitor would “find Haworth a strange uncivilised little place”.And let's not dilly-dally. Today is 'slip a mention of the Brontës, even if you have no idea who they are or what they wrote' day, also known as Valentine's day, of course. So, without further ado, here's the dumping ground:
The basis of this lecture was to show not only was the opposite true, but, in fact, Charlotte Brontë herself was responsible for creating many of the commonly held beliefs about the Brontes themselves.
As the author of many academic papers and books on the subject and a recent chairman of the management committee of the Brontë Parsonage Museum, Stephen Whitehead was well placed to do so.
In a well structured argument, he demonstrated that the three sisters benefited from an education which was, in many ways, equal to that of their brother, Branwell, and that the girls were well-read and had access to a range of literature far in excess of many of their contemporaries.
While it was slightly disconcerting that most of his talk was read from notes, the range and depth of his knowledge and research was immense and his description of Haworth, drawn from public health records and environmental surveys was fascinating.
However, it was during the question and answer session that the speaker really was able to demonstrate his extensive knowledge of the Brontës. It was this level of insight and detailed explanation which made this such an interesting evening, not just for Brontë devotees but for anyone with a passing interest in how a writer is influenced by the events and community around them. (Gill O’Donnell)
The slightly masochistic lover: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. You may think you know the story from the various adaptations and Kate Bush song, but aside from the passionate love between the rugged Heathcliff, a man after my own heart, and the gentle Cathy, there are many more levels to this great novel. Violence, anger and destruction are dominant themes in a novel that blurs the lines of hate and love, making it a novel to appeal to both singletons and lovers. [...]Cosmopolitan lists '10 Things Books Taught Me About Relationships'.
Those who don’t mind that their husbands locked their wives up: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Mr Rochester is a literary character longed for by female readers throughout time, but seriously ladies why would you want a man who locked up his previous wife? To make things worse, this dark secret is also revealed on Jane’s wedding day to Rochester, and although she runs away she returns after his wife has died whilst setting their house on fire. Blimey! (Emily Murray)
2. There’s no such thing as out of your league.Trust Cosmopolitan to reduce Jane Eyre to 'you’re more beautiful than you think'. Yeah, that's the conclusion all those school essays and university thesis always draw when discussing the novel, you know.
What do Anne of Green Gables, Jane Eyre, and A Wrinkle in Time have in common, aside from the fact that they’re all incredibly good books starring badass heroines that you should read (or reread) pronto? Their leading ladies are all involved in love affairs with dreamy guys they thought, mistakenly, that they weren’t pretty enough for. Redheaded Anne can’t believe Gilbert notices her, but he’s stunned she returns his affections. Meg’s bookish and awkward and Calvin O’Keefe still travels to space and beyond to have the privilege of calling her his. And Jane? Sweet, pale, angry Jane? Mr. Rochester can’t believe his luck — and rightly so. The truth is, you’re more beautiful than you think. (Julie Buntin)
Heathcliff and Catherine from Wuthering Heights by Charlotte Brontë [SIC!]Too bad the author of the article herself seems to be epically doomed at literature and literacy.
Heathcliff, an orphaned gypsy raised by the Earnshaw family, falls in love with their daughter Catherine. Despite their seemingly all-encompassing romance, Catherine opts to marry for status instead of love, leaving a raging Heathcliff to lash out via acts of vengeance. Set among the gothic moors of England, this is selfish and self-destructive love at it’s [sic] best. (Jessica Gentile)
“Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë: Gloomier lovers may prefer Emily Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights,” so by all means grab that classic if you must. “Jane Eyre” holds up better to rereading, especially if you haven’t picked up any of the Brontë sisters’ novels since high school. (Eleni Sakellis)The Journal (Ireland) publishes the results of a survey naming "Ireland’s top ten romance novels". Wuthering Heights is on the list.
Jacaranda at Jambaroo, New South Wales. This one bedroom self contained cottage on a rural estate has all the ingredients for a great romantic getaway - seclusion, beautiful landscapes and a great kitchen. And, at the right time of year, we bet that pond would generate some mist worthy of Wuthering Heights. Of course, the rental comes with the requisite red bedding. (Jessie Richardson on Property Observer (Australia))
Cheddar Gorge has the sort of rugged appeal that would have had Heathcliff and Cathy in ecstasies (again – you can get a bit of height on if you go up Jacob’s Ladder) and Collett Park, in Shepton Mallet, is perfect for a romantic stroll. (IanMat in the Central Somerset Gazette)
Off on that romantic outdoors date with your lovely Valentine? Hoping to convert them to you love of mountains? Woah... hold on, don't move too fast or it could all end nastily on a muddy, windswept moor - less Wuthering Heights, moor (sorry) Blubbering Lows - so if you want to keep your Valentine sweet, here's some timely advice from the lovely Alison Oresome, OM's new relationship advice correspondent. (Outdoors Magic)Fortunately, The Craven Herald and Pioneer has a detailed article on an actual walk around Brontë country.
Straddling the Pennines, this invigorating 4.8-mile walk sweeps through the wild moorland and heather which was an inspiration for the Brontë sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne. The paths and tracks on this route provide views up to Top Withens ruins, connected locally to Emily's famous novel Wuthering Heights and the surrounding moors. (Read more)This columnist from the Maple Valley Reporter needs to find an edition of Jane Eyre with the pages in the right order:
And I’m halfway through “Jane Eyre,” but since I own that it’s lower on the priority list.Shalom Life interviews author Helen Maryles-Shankman:
Side note, I thought “Jane Eyre” was a nice little story, and then all of the sudden the manor was on fire and the guy was pretending to be a fortune teller and I was all, ‘what just happened?’ So yeah, I’ll have to get back to that. (Katherine Smith)
In the next few years, I would read The Last of the Just by Andre Schwarz-Bart, My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, and Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. As crazy as it sounds, taken together, these authors would form my literary sensibility: Horror and the Holocaust, dysfunctional family dynamics, art, romance, and a little bit of speculative fiction, all tied together with a gallows sense of humor. (Zak Edwards)La voz (Argentina) features writer Mariana Enriquez:
–Si bien “Bajar es lo peor” tiene una atmósfera nihilista, es lo opuesto a “Menos que cero”, de Bret Easton Ellis, emblema del realismo sucio. ¿Pensás que la novela en el fondo es esperanzadora?The Philadelphia Inquirer reviews a stage production of Sam Shepard's True West.
–Es romántica: en ese momento yo estaba, y sigo estando, pero con matices, obsesionada con Emily Brontë, los relatos de vampiros, Alejandra de Sobre héroes y tumbas, Rimbaud (como poeta y como personaje), Mary Shelley, Lord Byron (¡el gato de Facundo se llama así!), todos esos relatos y personajes bien románticos. Y el romanticismo, porque es decimonónico, por lo exaltado y lo lírico, tiene poco que ver con la sequedad nihilista del realismo sucio. De esto me doy cuenta ahora, claro. No sé si es esperanzadora, pero tampoco era mi intención que lo fuera; sí tiene algo de melodrama. (Javier Mattio) (Translation)
From the biblical rage of Cain against Abel to the celebutante silliness of Keeping Up With the Kardashians; from Romulus and Remus to the Brontës; from the violent retellings of the Frank and Jesse James saga to the fights between The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Kim and Kyle Richards, sibling rivalries and relationships hold delicious drama. Contention between brothers and sisters, real or fictionalized, thrills audiences and makes for dynamic theater. (A.D. Amorosi)The New Statesman on a new Mrs Rochester:
Remember Universal Credit? It was once a flagship policy but now it’s hidden away in the government’s attic, like Mrs Rochester in Jane Eyre. (Helen Lewis)sealingwaxandstring visits Wycoller Hall; Fictionaut publishes an anti-love poem version of Wuthering Heights; YA Outside the Lines desperately seeks for Heathcliff.