Saturday, November 01, 2014

The Brontë Society internal wars are a matter of concern to the local politicians according to the Yorkshire Post:
Politicians said yesterday that internal arguments among Society members appeared to be taking precedence over more pressing matters.
Councillor John Huxley, chairman of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council, told The Yorkshire Post that recent developments were “perplexing” for everyone in Haworth.
He said the people in the village had seen a number of Society directors “come and go” over recent years and engagement with the community had fallen away.
Councillor Huxley said changes in leadership did not help the Society build on earlier successes in engaging with the community.
“There is a real tension in the air. People are asking about the latest development and are totally perplexed about what is happening. Everybody is conscious there has been a lot of trouble.”
He said that “internal Brontë matters have taken over from engagement with the community” and it appeared that the Society leadership had “gone back into their shell”.
“We were looking to develop something and then the director goes (Ann Sumner, who departed in June). This latest thing is really concerning; nobody knows what’s happening. A lack of consistency is not helping the working relationship.” (Andrew Robinson)
The Brontë Society replies that the Society continues its work in spite of all its internal affairs:
“Jenna Holmes, contemporary arts officer, her colleagues at the museum and the trustees, were thrilled to hear this month that an application for grant funding from Arts Council England has been successful. This grant funding for a contemporary arts programme for 2015/16, will assist in developing and delivering an exciting and innovative programme of events and exhibitions around the bicentenaries – bringing not only major events and new displays to the Parsonage, and visitors to Haworth but also enabling engagement with audiences nationally and internationally.”
The spokesman said the Society was in the process of reviewing governance procedures with help from an external consultant while a new operations manager had joined the Museum’s management team.
“We are also currently in the process of recruiting a project manager to co-ordinate the bicentenary plans, with a focus on working closely with local people, businesses and community groups as well as with the newly-appointed membership officer and the marketing and communications officer
“The leadership team at the Parsonage and the trustees are determined to renew and develop relationships with local, national and international partners to ensure that we not only continue to safeguard the legacy of the Brontë family, but add valuable new chapters and interpretations to it over the coming years.” (Andrew Robinson)
Keighley News reports the publication of the novel Shadows in the Mist by Amy Flint which features the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
Haworth's famous Brontë Parsonage Museum features in a newly published novel.
The attraction is a setting for Amy Flint's Shadows in the Mist, a ghost story centred on the experiences of paranormal investigator Dr Porter Biggleswade.
While Porter's work takes her to the parsonage, as well as locations in and around York, ghostly feuds are the least of her worries.
She also has to contend with a woman haunted by her living mother, a farmer plagued by spectral ewes and even a developer desperate to evict his medieval tenants.
The parsonage museum adventure is her first major case, where Porter is called in to investigate claims of poltergeist activity.
She meets the museum curator, a sceptic struggling to find earthly explanations for incidents happening at the parsonage. Porter then discovers that the historic building's old occupants are reluctant to leave... (Miran Rahman)
The Exeter Express & Echo reviews the Exeter performances of the  Butterfly Psyche Theatre and Livewire Theatre Jane Eyre production:
The Brontë Season at the Barnfield got off to a spine-chilling start last night with Jane Eyre – not least due to an astonishing solo performance from Alison Campbell. (...)
As Campbell’s solitary figure was illuminated on stage, my lack of homework was immediately betrayed as I waited for others to join her – even when Jane’s crisp voice morphed into the Yorkshire tones of Mrs Fairfax, I still supposed that Rochester’s arrival would see another figure enter the scene. Surely Campbell couldn’t single-handedly bring Jane’s tale to life?
I was proven wrong though – and happily so. When Campbell became Mrs Fairfax, or Adèle, or Rochester, it wasn't just her voice that transformed, but her face, her posture and her whole character - she became those people in the fullest way possible, which was breath-taking to see. (Hannah Butler)
The Guardian vindicates the figure of Ann Radcliffe in her 250th anniversary:
Obvious traces of her flawed, sprawling masterpiece The Mysteries of Udolpho are discernible in Frankenstein, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë shared a name with its heroine). (John Dugdale)
The Globe and Mail interviews Ann Todd about her novel After:
In crafting After, Todd drew “inspiration from all types of things,” she says, sitting in the offices of Wattpad earlier this week. “Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, even some Fifty Shades … there’s some Twilight influences. It’s kind of everything I’ve ever read thrown into one thing.” (Mark Medley)
Vanity Fair (Spain) says more or less the same thing.

Publishers Weekly explains the efforts of The Folio Society to be more known in the US and reminds us of
“The Folio Society remains a literary secret,” said marketing manager Jean-Marc Rathe. Though, in the last two years, Folio has channeled its efforts into raising its profile both in the U.K. and Stateside. To that end, in October, Folio was a sponsor of the this year’s New Yorker Festival, as part of a larger promotional effort with the magazine. (A Folio advertising campaign will run in the New Yorker through spring 2015). During the festival weekend, the publisher hosted a pop-up shop at the McNally Jackson bookstore, bringing in musician, poet, and National Book Award-winner Patti Smith to sign Folio’s new edition of Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, for which Smith wrote the introduction.
Dr. Russell Lee in The Gazette-Virginian praises silence:
Some thoughts should never be spoken out loud. They are too precious, too Godly, too holy to be shared. The human heart, writes Charlotte Brontë, “has hidden treasures, in secret kept, in silence sealed; the thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures, whose charms were broken if revealed.”
And Rebecca Tinsley in The Huffington Post celebrates the bravery of orphans:
Orphan heroes have been the subject of literature for centuries: David Copperfield, Jane Eyre, Frodo, Harry Potter, Dorothy of Oz, Paddington Bear and Superman. Perhaps writers use orphans so often because they know how terrified most of us were of becoming orphans. As children we tormented ourselves with dark fantasies about suddenly finding ourselves alone in the world. 
Sara Hendricks remembers on Old Gold & Black her childhood Halloweens:
My days were already full with learning vocabulary words for the SAT, which was a mere six years away, and sprawling on the leopard-print bean bag in my closet and imagining that I was Jane Eyre (a character who resonated with me both because of her plainness and similar inclination to middle parts), and thus, I simply could not devote any energy towards a new task.
KPCC talks about the web series Classic Alice, played by Kate Hackett:
Alice continued her journey through "Pygmalion," Hans Christian Andersen story "The Butterfly" and "Macbeth." Hackett says she wants to push the audience beyond the classics normally loved by teenage girls like the work of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters. (Mike Roe)
The Sun (Nigeria)  talks about the poetry of Promise Okekwe:
Whatever, her manifesto may be, Promise Okekwe’s poems, appear more penetrating and actualized when she treats the travails of women. Perhaps, her gynocentric focus may not carry the flame of earlier female writers, such as Emily Brontë, Sylvia Platt, Flora Nwapa, Buchi Emecheta, Mabel Segun, or Zynab Alkali, in that constituency, but we perceive the punch of her sensitivity and passion.
madmoizelle (France) has an article about Gothic in pop culture:
La déferlante Twilight y est sans doute pour quelque chose… Twilight est le gothique vidé de sa substance par excellence : l’auteure ne connaît rien aux vampires, mais se prétend dans la lignée de la très romantique Emily Brontë (Les Hauts de Hurlevent). Depuis, le teint d’albâtre est à la mode et les gothiques ont perdu leur force d’opposition. Terminé, les mannequins bronzés au cinéma : les égéries des jeunes sont souvent blancs comme des cachets d’aspirine, et même les plus petites peuvent trouver leur compte dans le mouvement gothique avec les poupées so fashion de Monster High. (Ladydandy) (Translation)
Elle (France) interviews the fashion blogger Leandra Medine:
Ma pochette, mon amour
« Je suis tombée in love avec les sacs adorables et ludiques d'Olympia Le-Tan. J'ai porté la pochette-livre brodée "Jane Eyre". Je trouve très marrants les modèles "Love Story", "The Happy Yes" ou "The Happy Bunnies". Quel humour! » (Translation)
UrbanPost (Italy) lists female romantic heroines:
-“Jane Eyre”dell’omonimo libro di Charlotte Brontë è una rivoluzionaria: fiera, intelligente, indipendente, una donna moderna che va contro le convenzioni sociali. Vive una storia d’amore insolita e passionale, senza calpestare mai sua dignità, neanche nei momenti più neri.
- In “Cime Tempestose” di Emily Brontë, Catherine è vittima di un sentimento oscuro, distruttivo, ossessionante, indissolubile a tal punto che neanche la morte riuscirà a scioglierlo. E anche se sposerà un altro uomo, preferendo una vita tranquilla e agiata, il suo spirito libero troverà la pace solo quando sarà finalmente unita alla sua vero amore.  (Sara M. Miusis) (Translation)
El País (Spain) lists literature which spins around love and revenge:
Ese rastro de llanto encolerizado de despecho está en la literatura, desde los clásicos griegos y romanos, la Biblia y Las mil y una noches, hasta El último encuentro, de Sándor Márai, y El túnel, de Ernesto Sábato; pasando por Otelo, de Shakespeare; o Cumbres borrascosas, de Emily Brönte (sic). (Winston Manrique Sabogal) (Translation)
Also in El País, Jaime Rubio Hancock talks about the progressive lack of imagination in book covers:
El caso más sonado que recuerda [Jónatan] Rubio es cuando Debolsillo lanzó sus portadas de Cumbres borrascosas y Orgullo y prejucio con un diseño similar a las de Crepúsculo, incluyendo el sello: "Los libros preferidos de Bella y Edward". Rozan casi la desesperación: ¡Te van a gustar! ¡Te lo juro! ¡La portada es negra! ¡No hay vampiros, pero hay pasiones tormentosas ocultas tras una elegante prosa victoriana!
Aunque hay que decir que Harper Teen hizo exactamente lo mismo. (Translation)
Crónica Viva (Perú) on love in literature:
El amor ha sido en la literatura universal, por supuesto en la local también, un sentimiento que ha producido atroces sufrimientos a sus protagonistas, recordemos novelas célebres como Cumbres Borrascosas (1847) o Madame Bovary (1856), ni que decir de las novelas o cuentos peruanos, tanto escritos, televisivos o los desaparecidos radioteatros. (Mario Gonzáles Ríos) (Translation)
Ilaria Perrone in Grazia (Italy) uses literary examples to talk about women and love:
Jane Eyre- La Rivoluzionaria
«Jane Eyre» - Charlotte Brontë. Jane è un personaggio rivoluzionario, una donna fiera, intelligente, non troppo bella (nel libro è definita, insignificante) e indipendente. Una donna straordinariamente moderna che compie delle scelte anche contro il proprio interesse e le convenzioni sociali. Vive una storia d'amore insolita, tormentata, passionale, in cui, per la prima volta, è la donna a dettare le regole. Un esempio di che cos’è il rispetto per se stesse, non calpesterà mai la sua dignità, neanche nei momenti più neri della sua vita. Quando sta per perdere tutto, e si ritrova sola, risponde così: «Io mi occupo di me stessa. Più sono sola, priva di amici, abbandonata, più devo avere rispetto di me stessa»
Catherine – Lo spirito libero
«Cime Tempestose» - Emily Brontë. Catherine è vittima di un sentimento oscuro, distruttivo, ossessionante, un sentimento malato, indissolubile a tal punto che neanche la morte riuscirà a scioglierlo. Ama Heathcliff tanto da non riuscire a respirare senza di lui, tanto da confessare di essere lei stessa Heathcliff: «Non so di che siano fatte le nostre anime, ma la mia e la sua sono identiche». È quest’amore folle e totalizzante che proverà con tutte le sue forze a rinnegare. Sceglierà, infatti, di sposare il ricco Linton, preferendo una vita tranquilla e agiata. Queste sono le passioni che non finiscono, non importa quanti chilometri separino i due, queste sono le storie in cui potranno trovare la pace solo quando saranno finalmente uniti. (Translation)
The Casper Star Tribune presents the Aquila Theatre production of Wuthering Heights;  The Times publishes the obituary of Oriel Malet (1923-2014), writer and close friend of Daphne du Maurier with who she shared a mutual interest on the Brontës (Letters from Menabilly: Portrait of a Friendship, 1994). John Atkinson has uploaded to Flickr a set of Haworth pictures.

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