Monday, August 11, 2014

Opening the Attic

According to the Daily Mail, the Norton Conyers attic that allegedly was the inspiration of the famous Thornfield Hall attic in Jane Eyre will be open to public next year after. The conservation project has been awarded with the Historic Houses Association/Sotheby's Restoration Award (press release)

The principal Award in 2014 has been given to Norton Conyers, near Ripon, North Yorkshire, home of Sir James and Lady Graham.
The late medieval house, extensively rebuilt in the 17th century, has been the home of the Graham family since 1624. It is perhaps most famous for being an inspiration for Thornfield Hall in Charlotte Brontë’s celebrated novel Jane Eyre. The novelist is believed to have visited Norton Conyers in 1839 and the family legend of a “madwoman” secretly confined to an attic room might have given her the idea for the crazed Mrs Rochester.
Sir James and Lady Graham, a former museum curator, began the restoration of Norton Conyers in 2006. Their assiduous work over the past eight years revealed fascinating layers of history, which visitors will be able to discover in July 2015, when this Graded II*-listed house2 reopens to the public.  
The hidden loft said to have inspired the 'madwoman in the attic' of Jane Eyre is being opened to public tours for the first time.
Charlotte Brontë was reportedly captivated when she saw the room in the stately home of Norton Conyers, North Yorkshire, on a visit in 1839.
The novelist heard how in the 18th Century, a 'madwoman' nicknamed Mad Mary was locked in the attic so she would be hidden away from the niceties of life in Britain's upper class. (...)
The link between the two homes was cemented in 2004 when Norton Conyers' owners, Sir James and Lady Graham, discovered a forgotten stairway in their home which is described vividly in the book.
Now the public will be able to book tours of the attic for the first time after a long-running £500,000 conservation project to stop the house from falling into disrepair.
Sir James and Lady Graham, who emptied the house for the overhaul in 2006, made the announcement as their project won a major award.
The restoration prize, to be announced tomorrow by the Historic House Association and auction house Sotheby's, recognises a long struggle by the couple to make the attic accessible to more people. (Dan Bloom
Artlyst and The Independent also publish the news.

InSuffolk reviews the Red Rose Chain Theatre Wuthering Heights production:
Joanna Carrick sets the play entirely inside Gimmerton churchyard, where characters re-enact their tragic tales and shout unheeded warnings from beyond the grave in an inspired, unified piece of ensemble storytelling.
The cast made good use of their natural surroundings, swinging from the branches and digging away at the earth. The Yorkshire moors it wasn’t, although heavy rain added to the effect, but the waning of the natural light mirrored brilliantly the steady darkening of the tale and, lest you should think that the claustrophobic nature of Wuthering Heights cannot be fully captured in an open space, I more than once found myself resisting the urge to peer into the encroaching darkness to reassure myself it was only the actors who were emerging and fading spectrally away before me. (...)
True to the spirit of the novel but unmistakeably a Red Rose Chain production, this Wuthering Heights was refreshingly uplifting in places without compromising on the book’s darkness and gothic fatalism. A ghostly love story to leave you haunted by the enduring power of Emily Brontë’s vision. (Lyndsay Cook)
The San Jose Mercury News has a quiz with a Brontë question:
Which literary family is associated with the village of Haworth in England?
The Skinny reviews the Peter McMaster's Wuthering Heights production at the Edinburgh Fringe:
Four performers explore their experiences of being men in this bold, award-winning, all male interpretation of Emily Brontë’s seminal text. As they recall the dark expanses of the Yorkshire moors, they sing together, full-throated, and dance optimistically to the howling tones of Kate Bush. They ask, almost 200 years after the book was published, are the aspirations of men very different now? The energy of this brave new performance is not to be missed. 'Honest, inventive, beautifully choreographed and evidence of a bold and distinctive talent'.
Lancaster Online on a recurring topic. The best films of 1939:
 The dark and gloomy moors are the setting for this romantic tragedy based on the Emily Brontë classic about Cathy (Merle Oberon) and Heathcliff (Laurence Olivier) and their tormented love, which endures for all eternity. Sigh. William Wyler directed. (Jane Holahan)
Metro London talks about online dating vs real one:
You may have concocted the image of someone you want to meet. A Brontë character who likes long walks, brings you breakfast in bed and wants to adopt a few cats.
But in reality the person in front of you wants to drink tequila, read Zoo and go out clubbing until 7am. (Effi Mai)
The Wilmington Star News comments on the Guardian's article about worst cover books ever:
 That’s not quite as bad, though as the “Wuthering Heights” cover, dolled up to look like a new volume in the “Twilight” saga. Some teens will be really cheesed when they find out Heathcliff’s not a vampire. (Ben Steelman)
Página 12 (Argentina) talks about sequels and plagiarism:
 Algo que también se pone en juego en las típicas continuaciones de una obra o personaje célebre por parte de otro autor: un amplísimo abanico que va desde la extraordinaria y muy legítima Ancho mar de los sargazos de Jean Rhys con respecto a Jane Eyre de Charlotte Brontë, hasta esa catarata muy poco esforzada de avatares eróticos que siguieron al éxito desmesurado de Cincuenta sombras de Grey. (Juan Pablo Bertazza) (Translation)
Glas Srpsken (Serbia) talks about the Serbian writer Milice Jakovljević Mir-Jam (who died in 1952):
Ona je sestra Stevana Jakovljevića (autora "Srpske trilogije"), govorila je ruski i francuski jezik i, iako je pisala o ljubavi i braku, nikada se nije udavala. Njena djela smatrana su lakim štivom, ali se može slobodno reći da su se kritičari ogriješili o ovu književnicu. Mnogi tvrde da bi  Mir-Jam, da je živjela u Engleskoj ili Americi, sigurno postigla svjetsku slavu poput sestara Brontë i Džejn Ostin. Umrla je 1952. godine, od posljedica zapaljenja pluća. Kako je bila u nemilosti tadašnjih vlasti, vijest o njenoj smrti nisu objavile nijedne novine. (Translation) (Jasmina Perišić)
Lucky Magazine posts literary outfits inspired by literary heroines, including Jane Eyre.

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