Friday, March 21, 2014

Keighley News has an article on last weekend's Brontë Festival of Women's Writing.
The Brontë Parsonage Museum plans further forays into graphic novels and Gothic stories following its writing festival last weekend.
The annual Brontë Festival of Women’s Writing, held at several Haworth venues, featured workshops on both types of fiction.
Education officer Sue Newby admitted that although the workshops were enjoyable, the attendances were disappointing.
She said: “We would definitely like to pursue both of these themes.
“We’re thinking of developing a graphic novels course for local young people because we think that would attract them. The workshop in writing gothic fantasy style was a real eye-opener, they looked at examples of gothic writing.”
Other activities during the weekend were popular, with talks by established writers Jackie Kay and Sarah Durant proving particularly busy.
Sue said: “They are both well-known and inspiring writers. Jackie read poems that she’d created while in residency at the Brontë Parsonage Museum.”
Other activities included readings by Ilkley and Calderdale Young Writers, and a drop-in creative writing session on Sunday.
Via the Brontë Parsonage Blog, we have come across this article from Yorkshire Life:
The Brontë Society met at Christie’s in London to mark the organisation’s 120th anniversary with an exclusive tasting of the Brontë Liqueur, launched by Sir James Aykroyd, great-grandson of Sir James Roberts who bought the famous literary sisters’ Haworth home and presented it to the society in 1928. A donation from each bottle sold goes to the society to help with the upkeep of the popular Parsonage Museum.
Brontë Society chairman Sally McDonald welcomed guests including the Countess of Harewood and writers Claire Harman, Lucy Hughes-Hallett and Jenny Uglow.
Picture source
The Manchester Evening News reports that Manchester Metropolitan University will give £235,000 towards restoring The Salutation pub, built in the 1840s. As the article says,
The building also bears a plaque marking the site nearby where Charlotte Bronte began to write Jane Eyre on a visit in 1846. (Yakub Qureshi)
This Wikimedia article goes a bit further into it:
The blue plaque on the side of this rather nice looking pub says:
Charlotte Brontë (1816 - 1855). In 1846 The Revd. Patrick Brontë came to Manchester for a cataract operation accompanied by his daughter Charlotte. They took lodgings at 59 Boundary Street West (formerly known as 83 Mount Pleasant). It was here that Charlotte began to write her first successful novel Jane Eyre.
So, ambiguous info from Manchester's Blue Plaque people (who are presumably bigging up Manchester's tourist opportunities), but clearly it wasn't this building, which I'd say dates from the 1880s?
The problem is that the plaque was first placed on a building in Boundary Lane some distance to the west. When this building was demolished for redevelopment the plaque was saved. The Brontës were lodging at 83 Mount Pleasant and the eye hospital was then in South Parade, Manchester (until 1867)
The building, as per the Manchester Evening News article, however, does date from the 1840s, not the 1880s.

According to this Guardian review of the film Divergent, all Emily Brontë fans look the same:
Beatrice, who wears baggy skirts, boots and her hair in the loose bun of an Emily Bronte fan. . . (Tom Shone)
Yeah, it says you have to wear your hair like that at the end of Wuthering Heights.

There is an opinion column in The Phoenix in defence of the Twilight series:
But of course, the main criticism of Twilight is its glorification of a dysfunctional relationship, namely Edward’s stalking of Bella before their relationship and increasing possessiveness of her when they become involved, and Bella’s consequential dependence on Edward. But we would be fools if we believed Twilight to be the first novel to popularize a toxic relationship. Take Heathcliff and Cathy of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, who spite and hurt each other throughout their relationship and then Heathcliff embarks on a lifelong revenge spree after Cathy’s death. Frankly, I would choose to exist in Edward and Bella’s relationship over Heathcliff and Cathy’s any day. (Emily Lau)
I think I would choose to be well-written and original, to be honest.

The Anchorage Press finds a fan of Jane Eyre in letterer and illustrator Jessica Hische, who has designed wonderful covers for Brontë books such as this one or this one.
Working around all those classic books, one has to have a favorite, right? Hische admits she’s a big fan Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre.”
“At the time, when I was designing Jane Eyre for the cover of the Barns & Nobles series, I didn’t get to read the full book because my deadlines were crazy tight,” Hische said. “But when … I finally got to read the full book I totally fell in love with it. I thought, ‘oh man, this book is so badass!’” (Katie Medred)
This Effingham Daily News columnist sounds like a fan of the novel, too:
The Office,” formerly the Thursday night anchor of the NBC slate, is many things. It's like “The Great Gatsby” and “Jane Eyre” — a great book you re-read every year or so. (Alex McNamee)
The New York Times interviews writer Harlan Coben:
What books are you embarrassed not to have read yet? Where to begin? “Wuthering Heights,” “Brave New World,”  “Invisible Man,”  “All the King’s Men.” I could go on and on. I’m not embarrassed by this. I just wish I had more time to read. I’m also somewhat over the classics. Sacrilege, I know. The classics for me are like the Beatles: I went through a period in my life where I listened to them nonstop and I still love them and if one of their songs comes on the radio I’m happy — but I almost never seek them out anymore.
The National has an article on dyslexia and finds a dyslexic woman who has read Wuthering Heights.
Thinking outside of the box, she said, is a big thing for those who have dyslexia. At one point, she had read only two books – Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. “I found I can’t read books unless I’ve seen the adaptation,” she said. “I take so long understanding the words that I lose the story.” (Ayesha Al Khoori)
The Irish Times lists 'Ten great opening lines in literature', one of which is
7. “They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did.”
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (1966) (Sarah Gilmartin)
Music OMH reviews Mondegreen, a new album by Collectress, a band that apparently defines itself as
“a cross between the Elysian Quartet and possessed Brontë sisters teasing an unsuspecting dinner party” (Larry Day)
Whatever that means.

Dear Author reviews, among others, Eve Marie Mont's A Breath of Eyre.


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