Christmas Lunch and Entertainment 2016 - The annual Brontë Group Christmas Lunch took place last Saturday, 3 December. Around 40 members turned up to enjoy a three-course meal, drinks and entertai...
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‘Felicitations to the Brontëites’: the 1895 Inaugural Volume of the Brontë Society’s Transactions and Other Publications
pp. 165–177 Author: Pike, Judith E.
The inaugural volume of the Brontë Society’s journal sheds light on the complex relationship the founders had with Elizabeth Gaskell’s The Life of Charlotte Brontë. While Gaskell played an integral role in the Brontës’ legacy, the founders took issue with her disparaging portrayal of Yorkshire, its inhabitants and her austere rendering of Charlotte. The article, ‘Haworth: Home of the Brontës’, acts as a centrepiece for the volume, creating a new composite image of the Brontë Country that invites the Victorian public to see England as not only the birthplace of Shakespeare and Wordsworth but also of the Brontës and to represent Yorkshire as alluring as the Lake District.
Jane Eyre: Jane’s Spiritual Coming of Age
pp. 178–186 Author: Sexton, Kristi
No doubt Jane Eyre may be characterized as a romance with gothic elements within its pages, but it is also a coming of age story that begins with a young orphan girl and ends with a happily married woman. Other critics see Jane’s journey as a woman’s conflict against an unjust male-dominated world. Although these interpretations are credible, they do not take into consideration Jane’s spiritual condition; but from Gateshead to Thornfield, Jane’s spiritual awakening is foremost in the novel. Through her journey, Jane realizes that she alone must account for her spiritual condition. She no longer needs to rely on man’s authority for her relationship with God. Jane Eyre is novel of one woman’s spiritual pilgrimage.
Supplementary Annotations to Jane Eyre
pp. 187–190 Author: Stenning Edgecombe, Rodney
This article offers annotations to Jane Eyre designed to supplement those provided by Sally Shuttleworth, Stevie Davies and Richard Dunn, the respective Oxford, Penguin and Norton editors of the novel. It advances, inter alia, two Byron quotations relevant to the characterization of Rochester, and also suggests a possible source for Blanche Ingram’s ‘Corsair-song’.
The Presentation of Isabella in Wuthering Heights
pp. 191–201 Author: Tytler, Graeme
Amid the attention they have bestowed on Isabella in Wuthering Heights over the years, a good many Brontë scholars have tended to regard her simply as a foolish young thing. Such a view of Isabella has doubtless been sustained by knowledge of the humiliations she is subjected to not only by Heathcliff and Catherine but also by some of the other characters portrayed in the novel. That all this, however, argues a somewhat narrow interpretation of Isabella’s presentation derives from our awareness of the development of her character and personality through, among other things, her ability to overcome her anguish as a neglected bride, to associate with her fellow residents at the Heights, and to live her life as a single mother. By way of Isabella, then, we are told a remarkable tale of a naive but fundamentally decent girl of privileged upbringing who eventually turns into a seemingly strong and independent woman.
Family Complexes and Dwelling Plight in Wuthering Heights
pp. 202–212 Author: Wing-chi Ki, Magdalen
This essay argues that central to Wuthering Heights is the connection between troubled homes and unresolved family complexes — namely, the weaning, intrusion, and Oedipus complexes, leading to the rise of neuroses, psychosis and perversion. Men and women build different spaces in order to dwell, but they often create dwelling plights to perpetuate their ongoing problems. Old Earnshaw negates the paternal custom to construct a house of equity, and this directly prompts an insecure Hindley to establish a house of tyranny. To sideline paternal dominance, Catherine creates for herself different anti-oedipal spaces, only to be bound by a co-dependent love and a love of individuation, and to end up drifting madly in a liminal non-place. To deal with peer rivalry, abandonment rage, and castration threat, Heathcliff becomes a vengeful sadist bent on destroying happy places. Within this overall context, Emily Brontë intends that the new family should seek new ‘contrarian’ ways of thinking and dwelling.
Bringing Portraits Alive: Catherine Paula Han Interviews Andrea Galer, the Costume Designer for Jane Eyre (BBC, 2006)
pp. 213-224 Author: Han, Catherine Paula
A prominent costume designer, Andrea Galer has contributed to several Brontë adaptations and Brontë-inspired works, most notably Jane Eyre (BBC, 2006). In this interview, she discusses the adaptation and her other work, relating her screen projects to her activism supporting contemporary craft and ethically traded fashion. She recounts her research and design process, offering insights that shed light on costume drama more generally. Her perspective elucidates the theoretical debates surrounding the genre’s authenticity and its representation of the past.
The Brontës in Turkey
pp. 225-231 Author: Berg, Temma
The Brontës never went to Turkey — but an important conference entitled ‘The Brontë Sisters and their Work’ was held in Ankara in December 2013. Spurred on by the hospitality and intellectual excitement of the event and by the way other sites in Turkey reflected back on the three sisters and their work, I was motivated to write a short essay about the experience.
Mr Lockwood and Mr Latimer: Wuthering Heights and the Ghost of Redgauntlet
pp. 232-238 Author: Emberson, Ian M.
This article stresses the paramount importance of Sir Walter Scott’s novels to the Brontë family. It goes on to consider the resemblances between the opening scenes of Scott’s Redgauntlet and of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, noting in particular the way in which the characters can be matched up with each other. Finally, it is argued that these opening scenes show a similar combination of humour and mystery.
Ian M. Emberson: a Personal Appreciation
pp. 239-241 Author: Smith, K. E.