Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thursday, May 15, 2014 12:36 am by M. in    No comments

A curious Brontë talk in New York:
Brontë Relics
An Illustrated Lecture with Professor Deborah Lutz
Thursday, May 15
Time: 8:00 PM
*** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424 A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue)
Presented by Morbid Anatomy

Portable desk boxes, samplers, albums of pressed ferns, printed books with diaries written on their flyleaves, mended stockings and locks of hair that belonged to the Brontës carry traces of their lives: nicked with incident, smoothed by handling, frayed with wearing. These things bring to life the daily, domestic round of the Brontë sisters. The Brontës themselves believed in the ability of material objects to be charged with an almost-enchanted meaning, to be imbued by their possessors.

Emily, Anne and Charlotte surrounded the characters in their novels with such articles: the wardrobe with paintings of the twelve apostles on its front that gleams out of a dark corner at Jane Eyre as she sits in the anteroom of a madwoman’s prison. The oak sleeping cabinet that belonged to the now-dead Catherine Earnshaw holds her old books and the names she carved into the wood: those who sleep there dream of her. Love letters in a sealed bottle are buried by Lucy Snowe under a pear tree; Agnes Grey watches her desk be catapulted out the window by the brats she teaches. The ordinary—and extraordinary—pasts of these women emerge out of the remnants of their physical selves.

Deborah Lutz is finishing a book on Brontë relics: The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects (forthcoming, Norton, 2015). She also has a book due out soon on a related topic—Relics of Death in Victorian Literature and Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Previous books include The Dangerous Lover: Gothic Villains, Byronism, and the Nineteenth-Century Seduction Narrative (Ohio State UP, 2006) and Pleasure Bound: Victorian Sex Rebels and the New Eroticism (Norton, 2011).
EDIT: And another one at the Swindon Festival of Literature:
Keith Hooper
Wroughton Library, Ellendune Centre SN4 9LT
7pm • 15 May
Keith Hooper – on Charlotte Brontë’s Jane eyre: an Autobiography.An illustrated lecture which explores ‘the path of the poor orphan child’ from the Red Room to Thornfield Hall.
Dr Keith Hooper, who holds a doctorate in nineteenth century Literature, uses a line from Bessie’s song to the ten-year-old Jane, as a starting point to reflect upon aspects of this highly popular work.

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