Thursday, September 04, 2014

The Secret Life of Books (and Liqueur)

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The BBC has further info on its programme The Secret Life of Books which
produced in partnership with The Open University, examines original texts, manuscripts, letters and diaries to uncover the stories behind the creation of six classic books.
In these extracts from the series, television dramatist Tony Jordan, actor Simon Russell Beale, award-winning writer and Virginia Woolf expert Dr Alexandra Harris, singer and broadcaster Cerys Matthews, journalist and author Bidisha and scientist Prof Alice Roberts decipher the manuscripts which mean most to them.
One of the books is:
Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre
At the British Library, Bidisha and Ann Dinsdale (author of The Brontës at Haworth) examine Brontë’s ‘fair copy’ of Jane Eyre and a letter to Prof Constantin Heger, with whom the author was infatuated.
Here's the link to the corresponding clip. The episode on Great Expectations aired on Tuesday and the one on Shakespeare's First Folio is announced for next Tuesday (September 9th). The date for the episode on Jane Eyre is still to be announced.

The Yorkshire Post reports that Brontë Liqueur will now be distilled in Yorkshire.
A distiller with ties to Brontë Parsonage Museum has launched a liqueur that pays homage to the literary family’s heritage.
Sir James Aykroyd stepped down from his role as chairman and shareholder of Speyside Distillery to develop Brontë Liqueur, a blackberry and sloe-based beverage that is targeting the popular cocktails market.
Based in Birstwith, North Yorkshire, Sir James discovered a honey-based drink named Brontë Liqueur in Paraguay 40 years ago.
He was attracted to the drink as a result of his family’s ties with the Brontës.
‘Back in 1928 my great grandfather, Sir James Roberts, bought the Haworth village parsonage and gifted it to the Brontë Society,’ Sir James said.
‘Today that building is the Brontë Parsonage Museum and this is something our family is immensely proud of - I still hold the key to the parsonage’s front door.’
Prior to joining Speyside Distillery, Sir James held senior roles with Buchanan’s whiskey and Martini and Rossi. When the opportunity arose to purchase the trademark for the drink, Sir James founded Brontë Liqueur Co, which will make a small donation to the Brontë Society from all sales.
The liqueur has been adapted from its original recipe to include elements of the Yorkshire Moors.
Brontë Liqueur is marketed as an ingredient for cocktails. Suggested recipes include the Brontë Royale, which is topped with champagne, and ginger-beer based Brontë Mule.
A columnist from the Sunshine Coast Daily lists 10 books that have stayed with her in some way.
9. Wuthering Heights
This book refuses to bow down to any notion of a happy ending and that's partly what I like about it.
Yes, the second generation has a chance to right the wrongs of the past, but it's not them we truly care about, is it?
Catherine and Heathcliff have to be two of the most flawed lovers ever paired in a novel, but sometimes when a love is expressed as powerfully as this, is doesn't seem to matter.
Emily Bronte's writing is so powerful it's no wonder this book is still treasured today and thought by many to be the best of the novels written by the three Bronte sisters.
Maybe with the exception of Romeo and Juliet, rarely do we see a love story so tragically rendered. (Carlie Walker)
While Mashable recommends '8 Books to Check Out While Waiting for Fall's Hottest Reads'.
8. While you wait for Text From Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations With Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg, pick up Alice in Tumblr-land by Tim Manley.
Both books ask the question, what would happen if our favorite literary characters existed in a world where they could tweet and reblog GIFs with the rest of us? (Molly Horan)
Rochdale Online reports that the Rochdale Library Classic Reads Group is looking for new members. So if you're in the area and
you have always wondered what Jane Eyre and Lady Chatterley have in common or you harbour an ambition to explore the modern relevance of Great Expectations, then this is a group ideally suited to your interests.
We are late reporting this as it took place last night, but Chicagoist invited local fans of Kate Bush to have their dose on that side of the pond too:
Thankfully there is plenty of cocktails to drown our tears and an evening of Kate Bush originals and inspired tunes to ease the pain tonight at The Whistler. All the Love: A Tribute to Kate Bush features live sets of Kate Bush covers from Savage Sisters and Kyle Greer as well as DJ sets inspired by Kate Bush as well, including originals, remixes and covers of her popular tunes as well as artists who were inspired by her work. Of course the evening will be accompanied by vintage concert and television footage as well as music videos, keeping the evening all things Kate. Sticking to the theme, a Midnight "Wuthering Heights" dance will take place, where Meagan Fredette will wear white and participate in a mass recreation of Bush's video for her iconic song. A perfectly suitable thing to enjoy at midnight on a weekday through the haze of a few tequila cocktails, one can assume you shall feel free to dance along if the mood strikes.
Straight features Midge Ure, who also mentions Kate Bush's take on Wuthering Heights:
Not long after that, he was plunging the U.K. into its modern-romantic period with Ultravox and the paradigm-shifting 1981 megahit “Vienna”.
“I think it was quite a brave—or ridiculously stupid—move that Ultravox did to release something that went so against the grain,” he says. “But if you look back over musical history, it’s the ones that go against the grain that change everything—the ‘Wuthering Heights’ or the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’s or whatever. For us to put out a four-minute-long electronic ballad that speeds up with a viola solo in it, you know—it could easily have gone the other way, but it became hugely successful. Which, of course, catapulted Ultravox into the stratosphere.” (Adrian Mack)
The Positive reviews the ChapterHouse open-air production of Wuthering Heights:
Overall, the play succeeds in appearing more traditional than it actually is; exterior wise, Wuthering Heights is as it has always been: a beautiful romance between two characters who were destined towards different paths due to a series of events which circle around their personalities, wants and desires. However, Chapterhouse’s take on what makes Wuthering Heights a play that is worth watching again and again is really something to see; the gothic mist, backdrop from day to night and gorgeous ending allow the audience to fall in love with the story they once fell in love with some time ago. (Simren Handa)

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