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Letters discovered in a fly-filled Victorian prison cell shed new light on the creation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.(Hey, it's April 1st today. Well done, Yorkshire Post, that was fantastic!)
And one of Yorkshire’s most famous literary heroines, Anne Bronte, could have inspired the novel’s events. The letters were uncovered when the cells were cleared in preparation for literary festival Books by the Beach.
The festival’s co-director, Peter Guttridge, said the letters, written in 1878 between Stoker and Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Wyatt, the last Governor of the gaol, provide details of events and characters in Scarborough that bear a striking resemblance to episodes from the 1897 novel.
One, between Wyatt and Scarborough’s Chief of Constabulary, Richard Stout, could upset the legions of Bront*e-lovers. Mr Guttridge said: “They discuss decades of inexplicable attacks on the vulnerable in Scarborough old town and around the harbour. The police had only recently realised these attacks might be linked although there had been rumours around town since 1849.”
The attacks were committed by a pale woman, who bites her prey in the neck. They end in 1878 after the woman is confronted by police to St Mary’s graveyard.
Anne Bronte died in 1849 and is buried at St Mary’s. The woman in the letter is described as one who died in her twenties from consumption - just like Anne.
“There is an obvious connection.” added Mr Guttridge. “An exhumation would settle it. A stake through the heart is difficult to miss.”
Strictly speaking, Jane, the Fox & Me is intended for younger readers: it's published by the ever-brilliant Walker Books, home of Anthony Horowitz and Patrick Ness. However, this is a graphic novel so well drawn and beautifully told, I'm certain it will speak to adults, too – especially if you've only to think of your school days for your stomach to flip over. It's a collaboration between Quebec playwright Fanny Britt and award-winning illustrator Isabelle Arsenault, and I found it painfully evocative, the years dissolving almost as fast as I could turn its pages. (Rachel Cooke)Svenska Dagbladet reviews the novel Mary Jones Historia by Elin Boardy.
Med skildringen av Silvers och Dolores förhållande blinkar Boardy till Charlotte Brontës ”Jane Eyre”, där Rochester höll sin första, västindiska hustru inlåst på vinden. Dolores är dock ingen Bertha Mason, hon är så långt ifrån en ”mad woman in the attic” man kan komma (även om hon för all del tycker om att bo högt upp i hus, till den enbenta Silvers förtret): driftig, kraftfull, högt älskad och aldrig undangömd tar hon en plats i berättelsen som var otänkbar i Brontës roman. Porträttet av Dolores är en lika god upprättelse åt alla undanskuffade icke-vita kvinnor i litteraturhistorien som någonsin Jean Rhys ”Wide Sargasso Sea”. (Therese Eriksson) (Translation)BayouBuzz thinks the latest portrait of Prince William, Kate and little George is something like this:
It could be a still shot from a movie trailer for, oh, perhaps Henry James’s haunting "The Turn of the Screw." Or maybe it’s a college student’s mock-up project for what Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw’s ghost family looks like. Extra credit to salvage that dropping grade in Romantic English Literature.The Stir lists 'The 6 Worst Types of Guys You'll Meet Online'. One of which is
If ghosts can have babies and dogs.
I mean, if Catherine Earnshaw can come calling for Heathcliff on the moor even after she’s dead, if she can try and come to him through the window of Mr. Lockwood’s bedroom, and then Heathcliff starves himself to death and they run off together, well, couldn’t they conceivably have a ghost baby and a ghost dog and (when not wandering around the grassy moors), live a ghost life at Wuthering Heights?
If the new Mr. and Mrs. Earnshaw could, they’d probably take a family portrait just like the one staring out at us from the pages of the Daily Mail. (Sarah Whalen)
Mr. Wuthering HeightsBook Around the Corner writes about Agnes Grey. Books and Things posts about Jane Eyre.
Things are going great with this guy! You might even have made it as far as going out on a couple of dates. But something isn't right. He talks about his ex ... kind of a lot. And not, like, in a normal way. One glass of wine and suddenly he's crying and sobbing her name. You guys are having a great night, until he begins screaming for his ex at the restaurant. He's a real romantic, a rare breed indeed, but he's obsessed with his ex. (Rebecca Stokes)