Tuesday, October 07, 2014

The Yorkshire Post informs that Christine Went has resigned as chairman of the Brontë Society council for urgent personal reasons, not before she bitterly criticised the 'agitators' inside the Society that are behaving 'irresponsably'. Council member Doreen Harris will be the new chairman provisionally:
The chairman of the under-fire Brontë Society council has resigned less than a month after taking up the post during a period of turmoil at the famous literary society.
Christine Went cited personal reasons for stepping aside but hit out at “agitators” who have been making calls in recent weeks for fresh leadership, saying they were “behaving irresponsibly” in seeking power for themselves. (...)
Asked about the ongoing arguments over the governance of the Society, she said that for the vast majority of the 1,700 members there was no row.
“A small number (of members) are behaving irresponsibly,” she said.
“I think there is a personal aspect for some people - these people want the power. If they ever get it, they may be staggered to discover the amount of work involved in being on the council.” (...)
John Thirlwell, a TV producer, who last month helped force the extraordinary general meeting by collecting 53 members’ signatures, said: “I think there is a lot of unease in the council and rightly so.
“It’s a great shame there is more unrest.”
Mr Thirlwell said the aim of the EGM was not to be “antagonistic” but to bring about change.
A Society member who asked not to be named said: “Clearly it’s a blow for council to lose not just another council member but the Chair at a time when strong leadership is essential.
“Over the past year, two further council members have resigned as well as a high profile museums’ professional who acted as advisor to the Council. Brontë Society members will be disappointed.”
A Brontë Society spokesman said Ms Went stepped down “due to her own ill health and an urgent family matter”. (Andrew Robinson)
Manchester Confidential explores some of the known collaborations between pop music and literature:
Strange bedfellows at best. All those Tolkien-inspired prog rockers – let’s confine them to Mordor’s gloomy dungeons. But then there’s Rick Wakeman’s War of the Worlds, Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights and, mining the same wuthering seam, Cliff Richard’s Heathcliff, aaghh, and much, much more. (Neil Sowerby)
The Hollywood Reporter reports the death of the actress Marian Seldes (1928-2014). She played Emily Brotë in the NBC Hallmark Hall of Fame 1952 production, Our Sister Emily:
Our Sister Emily
June 29, 1952.
Associate director, Paul Lammers; production assistant, Marylyn Evans; stage manager, John Schwartz; scene designer, James Russell; costume designer, Saul Bolasni; music director, Jules Seidman; technical director, Bob Hanna; lighting designer, Lee Carlton; video engineer, William DeLannoy; audio engineer, Lincoln Mayo.
Cast: Starring Sarah Churchill as Charlotte Brontë, Richard Derr as the curate, Scott Forbes as Mr. Smith, Lenka Peterson as Anne, Marian Seldes as Emily, Gerard Burke as Williams, Miriam Stovall and Basil Howes as guests, Liam Sullivan as the footman; speaking for Hallmark Cards, Lee Vines. Presenting Sarah Churchill [with concluding remarks, promotional announcements, and acknowledgements].
The Guardian publishes the obituary of the writer, literary historian and broadcaster Mary Cadogan:
Cadogan's youthful reading would have an impact on her later writing career, as she noted: "I used to devour the Magnet and the Schoolgirl avidly in the 1930s … at the same time as I was devouring the works of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë and Anna Sewell. It never struck me then, or now, that there was anything fundamentally in opposition about these two types of reading." (Brian Sibley)
Fine Books Magazine is delighted with the reopening of Elizabeth Gaskell's house in Manchester:
The suburban Manchester house described by Charlotte Brontë as "large," "cheerful," and "airy," reopened this weekend after a multi-million pound renovation. Its most famous former occupant, the b
Bestselling Victorian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell, wrote some of her most beloved works there including "Cranford," "North and South," and "Wives and Daughters." (Nate Pedersen)
Tages Anzeiger (Switzerland) talks about the Finnish author (in Swedish language) Edith Södergran:
Edith Södergran ist natürlich dabei – ein zartes Mädchen, besessen von einem Genius, der sich mit dem von Rilke messen könnte. Sie wurde mit Anna Achmatova und Emily Brontë verglichen. Ihr Motto: «Ich mache keine Gedichte, sondern ich erschaffe mich selbst.» (Astrid Kaminski) (Translation)
Cosmopolitan lists several actors and actresses talking about shooting sex scenes. There is not really too much sex in Jane Eyre 2011 but Michael Fassbender says:
Sex scenes can be quite awkward. As a guy, the first thing you want to do is make sure you're not taking advantage. You don't want the girl to feel like you're getting a free feel or something. I try to make a fool of myself in one way or another to lighten the mood and then just go for it, because you don't want to be doing take after take." — Michael Fassbender, on Jane Eyre. (Kaitlyn Frey)
Poor Laura Thompson in The Telegraph didn't enjoy Wuthering Heights:
It took me years of false starts to get through Wuthering Heights. Does it matter that I can now say I have read it, even though I didn’t enjoy it? Not really. What have I proved, what have I achieved? Nothing, except that if the book comes up in conversation I can put in my ha’p’orth of knowledge.
And that attitude to reading has no essential value. Reading for the sake of it, in order to say that one has done so, is all too common. It is a sort of intellectual herd mentality, peculiarly inappropriate to the private joy of communing with a book.
The contemporary equivalent of feeling one ought to read Wuthering Heights leads people to plough through the Booker Prize shortlist, only rarely an activity that brings pleasure. 
The Huffington Post puts Heathcliff on a list of 'the most dastardly husbands':
If you were Cathy Earnshaw, Heathcliff might make you a wonderful -- if somewhat intense -- husband. Married to Isabella Linton, however, he's the stuff of nightmare. Seeing in her an opportunity to take vengeance on Isabella's brother, Edgar, who has married his beloved Cathy, Heathcliff sets out to ruin her, eloping with her and thus ruining her reputation and causing her beloved brother to disown her. Later, keeping her in utter isolation at Wuthering Heights, he subjects her to a life of savage cruelty and violence. One can only imagine the encounter that results in their son. (Lucie Whitehouse)
The Telegraph & Argus informs that Drew Barrymore was filming in Haworth's Main Street a couple of days ago (the film is Miss You Already by Catherine Hardwicke)
Movie star Drew Barrymore swapped the Hollywood hills for Ilkley Moor, where she has been shooting her latest film.
The actress has been in Ilkley and Haworth filming comedy drama Missing You Already.
The film, which is due for release next year, also stars Australian actress Toni Collette.
Sightings of the two stars have been reported on Facebook and Twitter, with people claiming to have spotted them filming and dining at the Cow and Calf Hotel on the edge of Ilkley Moor. (...)
The Yorkshire scenes are believed to be the women following the Bronte trail and local filming ended yesterday. (Emma Clayton)
More pictures of the Ilkley shooting here and on Haworth's Main Street here.

Female First interviews Kaya Scodelario:
Asked if she thought her career was over when hit TV show Wuthering Heights [ ? Skins]ended she replied: "A bit. I was so lucky to get 'Wuthering Heights'. It was such a different role. I was proving to myself that I could do it". (Daniel Falconer)
The Justice (student newspaper from Brandeis University) reviews the Carolyn Gallagher talk about Wuthering Heights (see this old post):
 The Mandel Center for the Humanities Reading Room was buzzing with literary chatter as the English department—professors, graduate students and undergraduates—awaited the arrival of Catherine Gallagher, a professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. On Thursday evening, the professor spoke about the theme of revenge in Emily Brontë’s 19th-century novel, Wuthering Heights. (...)
Launching into her discussion of Wuthering Heights, Gallagher began by noting that scholars have not paid much attention to the theme of revenge in Brontë’s masterpiece, even though the whole second half of the book seems to revolve around the topic. Gallagher suggested that the neglect of the theme of revenge in literary scholarship might stem from the unconventional form that the revenge plot takes on in the novel. (Emily Wishingrad)
DC Metro Theater Arts reviews the Aquila Theatre Wuthering Heights performances:
Before you can see anything, you can hear IT – the howling of the hostile and ominous wind of the Yorkshire moors. This is how Desiree Sanchez, Artistic Director of Aquila Theatre and adapter of Wuthering Heights, lets us know that we are entering a dark and twisted world, in which nature and humans are one, and families, like fruits of one tree, refuse to share its seeds with other kinds. When the stage emerges out of darkness exposing a group of mill laborers, working as if they were in a trance, against a backdrop of a huge spider web like net, the introduction to Wuthering Heights gloom is complete.
Before//After reviews Wuthering Heights;  Rosie Amber reviews (enthusiastically) Luccia Gray's All Hallows at Eyre Hall; Fictionbitch discusses Bidisha's take on Jane Eyre in The Secret Life of Books; Geek Girl in Love celebrates the anniversary of Jane Eyre's first appearance in print.


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