Wednesday, August 13, 2014

From Howath to Knightly

The BBC has announced a new BBC Four series for the upcoming season: The Secret Life Of Books which will include an episode devoted to Jane Eyre presented by Bidisha:
Top television dramatist Tony Jordan is one of six writers and performers bringing a personal insight to some of the nation’s greatest works of literature in the new BBC Four series The Secret Life Of Books, which is produced in partnership with The Open University. (...)
Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor for BBC Four, says: “The Secret Life Of Books is a celebration of some of the most influential works of fiction in the world. We’ve gathered together six incredibly interesting writers and performers to offer us their own deeply personal take on famous and much-loved classics.”
Simon Russell Beale examines Shakespeare’s First Folio of plays; Dr. Alexandra Harris celebrates Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway; Bidisha asks awkward questions of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre; Cerys Matthews explores the amazing collection of medieval Welsh tales, the Mabinogion; and Professor Alice Roberts explores Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. (...)
Journalist and novelist Bidisha was fascinated by Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre as a teenager, but re-reading the story as an adult left her feeling distinctly uncomfortable about what it has to say about sex and race. Is Jane Eyre really the spirited, liberated woman Bidisha admired as a young reader? What does the characterisation of Bertha, the mad woman in Rochester’s attic tell us about Brontë’s colonial attitudes? Bidisha uncovers intimate letters written by Charlotte Brontë to a married professor to reveal the author’s emotionally unrestrained side, and examines some of Brontë’s early writings - as well as the book’s original manuscript – to bring a fresh and critical eye to this classic work.
Yahoo! Travel talks about Haworth. Sadly the article contains several inaccuracies and is in need of an editorial revision:
You pronounce it How’it [??]. The cobbled streets of Haworth, a pretty little English village that clings to the edge of the West Yorkshire moors, wind up the hill, and are lined with pubs like the Fleece, Mrs Beighton’s Sweet Shop, selling black and white minds, the Old Lion Inn [what happened to the White?], Venables Bookshop.
This paragraph is particularly inspired in how to misspell Haworth:
I’m haunted by the feeling that I know this place in my gut, even before I get to the Parsonage. You come here because this is Bronte land. In Howath at this pretty two-story parsonage with a modest garden, Charlotte and Emily Brontë [no Anne it seems] lived and wrote Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, two of the greatest novels of any time, stories of powerful emotions, and women with complex emotional ambition and desires. Gothic in part — there are plenty of storms and the supernatural — they show an understanding of moral ambiguity decades ahead of the times. There are characters still palpably alive: Jane Eyre; Heathcliffe (sic); Mr Rochester. These are imprinted on us by the stream of movies, TV, theatre, beginning in 1910 with a silent film of Jane Eyre. Some of the later version were shot here in Howarth [erm... which versions of Jane Eyre were shot in Haworth?] (...)
Haworth has been nicely packaged for tourists. There are literary festivals, a 1940s celebration where you can dance to Glen Miller. You can ride one of those Heritage steam trains from Knightly [we suppose that means Keighley] 10 miles away. (Reggie Nadelson)
Samantha Ellis, author of How to Be a Heroine, vindicates The Hunger Games' heroine, Katniss Evergreen in The Guardian:
She’s canny and resilient. She refuses to marry either of the gorgeous boys who love her; sweet, steady Peeta, who loves baking and painting, and rebellious, angry hunter Gale, who smells of woodsmoke. Basically, it’s Wuthering Heights, except that as while Katniss/Cathy is seesawing between Peeta/Edgar and Gale/Heathcliff, she also has to fight to the death, save her family and lead a revolution.
We are not sure these artists and writers are all in the same league, but here is one of the reasons why in Metro-Bradford opinion, Bradford is the greatest city in the UK:
It’s given birth to some world class talent If it wasn’t for Bradford, these guys would be a man down for a start.
David Hockney, the Brontë sisters, JB Priestley and Frederick Delius all hailed from Bradford, as does Dynamo and only One Direction’s Zayn Malik. It must be something in the Yorkshire Water. (Si Cunningham)
Krushangi Maisuria shares her thoughts on Wuthering Heights in Fairfield's Hamlethub:
I was extremely surprised by the story that enfolded in the novel, and the characters were interesting. The most intriguing character, by far, was Heathcliff. While the story of the Earnshaws and Lintons is a mystery in itself, the life and personality of Heathcliff is also a mystery. Bronte does an excellent job describing Heathcliff. Her descriptions are tremendously vivid; I feel like I am looking at a picture of Heathcliff whenever she describes him.
Ciara O'Connor (The Irish Independent) visits the Yorkshire Dales:
So my shamefully limited and biased experience of English holiday destinations left me pretty sceptical before my first trip to the Yorkshire Dales. It didn't help that all I knew about Yorkshire I learnt from Wuthering Heights, mid-afternoon crime dramas, and smug southern jokes. However, it became clear very quickly - even to someone who didn't know their moors from their dales - that Yorkshire's reputation as poetic muse actually made quite a lot of sense. Unlike my Essex beach, a poor relation to my childhood holidays in Ireland, the Dales were distinctly different - and distinctly English. - See more at: http://www.independent.ie/life/travel/europe/a-natural-high-in-the-dales-30477140.html#sthash.fR27ZDGi.dpuf
So my shamefully limited and biased experience of English holiday destinations left me pretty sceptical before my first trip to the Yorkshire Dales. It didn't help that all I knew about Yorkshire I learnt from Wuthering Heights, mid-afternoon crime dramas, and smug southern jokes. However, it became clear very quickly - even to someone who didn't know their moors from their dales - that Yorkshire's reputation as poetic muse actually made quite a lot of sense.
Columbus Monthly talks about Cleveland's Velvet Tango Room:
The Velvet Tango Room’s downplayed exterior in an out-of-the-way part of town only adds to the authentic speakeasy vibe; this cocktail mecca pioneered the pre-Prohibition recipe resurgence long before it was a trend. Every beverage bartenders concoct at this Cleveland lounge—the kind of place where a jazz combo provides the soundtrack and a copy of “Wuthering Heights” is part of the ladies’ room decor—is precise, intentional and consistent. (Emily Thompson)
Fashionblog (Italy) describes the new Margaret Howell Autumn collection:
La stilista britannica per il lancio della sua collezione per il prossimo autunno inverno sceglie un'ambientazione romantica che sembra essere uscita da un romanzo delle celebri sorelle Brontë. (Giulio) (Translation)
La Vanguardia (Spain) explores heroines in literature:
A la amante estéril (la mujer artificial) se contrapone la mujer natural (la esposa madre), y entre los dos arquetipos fluctúan todas las madames Bovary, las Emma, las Jane Eyre, las Idealas que buscan en los intersticios del destino y del deseo y todas las mujeres que han intervenido en el propio destino de la mujer con sus acciones o sus leyes. (Íngrid Guardiola) (Translation)
Pittsburgh Historical Fiction Examiner interviews the writer Hazel Gaynor:
Kayla Posney. If you could go back in time and be any figure from history, who would it be?
HG:I would love to be Charlotte Brontë. I am so intrigued by her life, and that of her sisters. I would love to share her experience of being a novelist with only paper, quill and a small writing table. I would also love to know how it felt to live in an era without technology and where relationships were determined by social status and conventions of formality. I’ve visited the Brontë parsonage in Haworth, Yorkshire. It absolutely fascinates me. (...)
KP: What three novels could you read over and over?
HG: Classics: "Jane Eyre". "Great Expectations". "Wuthering Heights".
XpressoReads interviews yet another writer Alessandra Ado:
What are some of the creepiest books you ever read?
(...). I tend to steer more toward the classics for inspiration. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, both have elements of a ghost story without having an actual ghost. I also love Interview With a Vampire by Anne Rice.
North Devon Journal presents the ChapterHouse Theatre Company performances of Wuthering Heights in Tapeley Park next week;  Infonet (Brazil) quotes Emily Brontë on a post about Brazil politics; the Brontë Sisters publishes information about the Branwell family;  Czytanki Anki reviews Wuthering Heights 2011; DailyBarb reviews the original Emily Brontë novel.

Finally, the @BronteParsonage recommends:
Join us every Wednesday for a short guided walk around Haworth & then up to Penistone Hill. 2.30pm. #Free for museum vistors. #WalkWednesday

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