Saturday, August 02, 2014

Good things in Yorkshire

Wetherby News reminded people celebrating Yorkshire Day that they could raise a glass of Brontë liqueur:

This Yorkshire Day, drinkers can celebrate by raising a glass of Brontë Liqueur.
The new liqueur has been launched by proud Yorkshire man and drinks expert Sir James Aykroyd and represents the realisation of a lifelong dream.
Sir James first discovered the tipple behind a bar in Paraguay and, having bought the brand name, has revived the drink with a contemporary twist for today’s consumers.
A spokesperson said: “A fruity combination of blackberries and sloes with a hint of jasmine, the liqueur is an ideal base for cocktails. Patriotic recipes include the Yorkshire Lady or a Brontë Royale.”
Sir James’ family has strong connections to the Brontë Parsonage Museum - his great grandfather Sir James Roberts having bought the Haworth village parsonage and gifted it to the Brontë Society back in 1928.
As well as Yorkshire Day toast’s, patriotic residents of ‘God’s Own County’ can clink glasses to one of the region’s best known authors Emily Brontë – born on July 30, 1818.
Sir James said: “What better way to celebrate Yorkshire’s culture than by raising a glass of homegrown liqueur from the area? We hope Yorkshire will get behind the Brontë Liqueur brand and it will be sipped for many more Yorkshire Day’s to come.”
Sir James plans to sell directly to up-market bars and restaurants as well as specialist independent retailers. Consumers can buy Brontë Liqueur at a range of stockists including Weetons in Harrogate (by the bottle) and as a tipple in The Yorkshire Hotel and Hotel du Vin Harrogate.
A percentage of all sales of Brontë Liqueur will be donated to the Brontë Society to ensure that the legacy of the Brontë family endures.
The Telegraph also celebrated Yorkshire Day by listing '9 reasons why Yorkshire is great'.
3. Barbara Hepworth, David Hockney and Alan Bennett (not to mention the Brontë sisters, Ted Hughes, WH Auden and Simon Armitage)
It’s not all ‘ee by gum’ and ‘dee and dars’. We can paint, sculpt and write. Yorkshire has a proud and rich cultural heritage. There’s the recently opened Hepworth Gallery as well as the breath-taking Yorkshire sculpture park. And what’s more you’ll always get a decent cuppa in any gallery caf. (Reverend Kate Bottley)
The Guardian looks at the day a bit more critically, although there are certain things you can't deny.
I’m not here to try to argue that Yorkshire isn’t a magnificent place. OK, I could suggest that it isn’t universally splendid. Bradford, for instance, is a disgraceful example of wasted potential and neglect. But on the whole, I buy the Yorkshire propaganda. The countryside is wonderful. Many of the cities manage to both bustle and provide quality of life. And yes: strong tea, Yorkshire pudding, Bettys cakes, Captain Cook, Joseph Priestley, the Brontës, Alan Bennett, Judi Dench, Brian Blessed, Wallace, Gromit – I’ll grant you all of that. (Sam Jordison)
On the other side of the pond, Mary Gordon lists the five best novels featuring teachers for The Wall Street Journal.
Villette
By Charlotte Brontë (1853)
Like 'Jane Eyre,' "Villette" is shot through with a poor, plain, intellectually superior woman's barely suppressed envy and rage. Lucy Snow [sic] is a poor English girl who makes her way to Villette, a small Belgian town where she knows no one. Brontë is marvelous at evoking the desperation brought about by isolation and anxiety and sheer emotional exhaustion. At the same time, her descriptions of the natural world have the rush and thrill of the best writing of the English Romantics. But the romance of teaching is nowhere invoked in this novel, whose heroine is nonetheless clear that teaching is her best hope for social and financial survival. Lucy falls in love twice, once with a young doctor she knows is unattainable—he prefers conventional beauty—the second time with an acerbic Frenchman, a teacher who insists that she stretch her admirable mind. There is no union in the end, but the Frenchman leaves her with a school that he has endowed so that she might have financial freedom. Being without her lover doesn't, however, diminish her instincts for what counts in life. "Few things shook me now' few things had importance to vex, intimidate or depress me: most things pleased—mere trifles had a charm."
Highbrow, middlebrow and lowbrow (oh my!) in The New York Times.
The word crept into English, in class-ridden Britain, between the wars. It was deployed to memorable effect by Virginia Woolf in a letter to The New Statesman, in response to a review. “If any human being, man, woman, dog, cat or half-crushed worm dares call me ‘middlebrow,’ ” she wrote, “I will take my pen and stab him dead.”
The reasons for her rage are spelled out in vivid, good-humored detail. Woolf is proud to call herself a highbrow, which she defines as a “man or woman of thoroughbred intelligence who rides his mind at a gallop across country in pursuit of an idea.” This designation places her in the company of writers from Shakespeare to the Brontës, and also carries an unmistakable, not entirely metaphorical trace of class distinction. Highbrow status is a matter of breeding and belonging. But the highbrow, though an aristocrat, is not a snob. (A. O. Scott)
VIDA co-founder Erin Belieu reminds readers of the use of pseudonyms by women writers in an interview for The Huffington Post.
Historically, in order to get a fair read, or to not alienate audiences, women have often relied on a kind of subterfuge - from the Brontë sisters, to J.K. Rowling.
Shanghai Daily reports that the  Hangzhou Theatre Chinese operal based on Jane Eyre will soon be touring the Republic of Korea.
The Chinese-language musical Jane Eyre, produced by the Hangzhou Theater, will tour the Republic of Korea (ROK) in August after its domestic run.
The musical, based on Charlotte Bronte's classical novel, includes a well-received twist in which the character of the author herself appears as pen pal and confidante of the female protagonist and warns her to stay away from men and marriage.
The production has been a commercial hit with more than a hundred shows since its 2013 premiere. It's currently touring Beijing and China's northeastern regions.
"In the past, theater arts in China were made mostly to win awards. Now we resort to theater-specific original productions to expand market influence," said Ke Chaoping, general manager of the Hangzhou Theater.
According to Ke, the ROK is at the front of Asia's theater art world concerning production and education levels, and the upcoming tour will be a good opportunity to learn from the country's theater industry.
Ke said the musical is scheduled to present six shows in the ROK.
OnetFilm (Poland) reviews the DVD of Great Expectations and is somewhat reminded of Andrea Arnold's take on Wuthering Heights.
Produkcja ta jest wspaniale wystylizowana pod kątem kostiumowym i scenograficznym oraz przemyślana pod każdym możliwym względem w kontekście wizualnym (chłodne i mroczne kadry przypominają niedawną interpretację innej znanej brytyjskiej powieści, „Wichrowych wzgórz” Emily Brontë, w ujęciu Andrei Arnold). (Darek Kuźma) (Translation)
Marie France commends the practical use of ebooks.
La veille du départ, j’ai téléchargé les lectures de vacances pour tout le monde sur mon iPad mini. Assez de se charger avec les livres, trop lourds et que la moitié du temps, on laisse à l’hôtel ou sous un caillou sur la plage. Avec ses dix heures d’autonomie, je peux bouquine tranquillement. Tiens, je vais relire « Jane Eyre » de Charlotte Brontë, ça me rappellera mon adolescence. (Catherine Bézard) (Translation)
Writergurlny compares three film adaptations of Jane Eyre: 1973, 2006 and 2011. Helping Authors Become Writers is celebrating the launch of Jane Eyre: The Writer’s Digest Annotated Classic with a giveaway. Judy Goodwin interviews writer A. J. Colby, who argues that Jane Eyre could 'almost' be considered a 'paranormal romance'.

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