Saturday, December 06, 2014

Saturday, December 06, 2014 12:06 pm by M. in , , , , , ,    No comments
A letter of Jane Austen will be sold by the Torquay Museum as the BBC News Devon informs:
A previously unseen letter penned by Jane Austen is set to be sold by Torquay Museum.
The letter, from the famous author to her sister, makes a reference to her novel Pride and Prejudice - which at the time had not yet been published.
The letter is part of a collection that includes letters from Charlotte Brontë, John Keats and Abraham Lincoln given to the museum in the 1930s.
The Hester Forbes-Julian Letter Collection has indeed a curious history:
The Hester Forbes-Julian collection of letters and autographs, now one of the Museum’s most valued possessions, remained hidden until 1987, when it was rediscovered during storage improvements. The collection comprises 16 albums of autographs, letters, engravings and cuttings relating to some 1500 individuals, many of them major figures of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. The fields of literature, politics, science and music are all represented: John Keats, Jane Austen, the Brontë’s, Charles Darwin, Abraham Lincoln, Guiseppe Verdi, Dr. Livingstone, the Duke of Wellington to name but a few.
The catalogue can be found in the National Archives: Charlotte Brontë, 10 September 1850. More details can be found on Newby's Chicanery: New Brontë Letters by Alexander, Christine, Notes & Queries; Jun95, Vol. 42 Issue 2, p189:
Focuses on a letter sent by novelist Charlotte Brontë in 1850 to William Smith Williams, reader for Bronte's publisher, alleging mishandling of authors and their texts by publisher Thomas Cautley Newby. Details about the practices followed by Newby.
Los Angeles Times gives tips for Christmas gifts:
Litographs book T-shirt, $34: Bibliophiles can take their passion to a new level with cleverly designed T-shirts that allow book lovers to wear their favorite stories — whether by William Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Leo Tolstoy or Charlotte Brontë — instead of just reading them. Geeks may find themselves especially fond of the designs for Peter S. Beagle’s “The Last Unicorn,” Jules Verne’s classic “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” H. G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds,” H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Call of Cthulhu” and more. The designs are also available as tote bags, posters and tattoos. (Tracy Brown, Noelene Clark, Blake Hennon, Todd Martens and Jevon Phillips)
The New York Times reviews Mallory Ortberg's Texts from Jane Eyre:
Meanwhile, there are books such as Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations With Your Favorite Literary Characters (Holt, $23), by Mallory Ortberg, a co-founder of the website The Toast, in which the jokes will probably have the life span of a sand mandala or a 21st-century communications device. Some of these jokes are good, but the high-low conceit of literary characters sending chatty, subliterate texts — and sexts: Jake from “The Sun Also Rises” tries to get Brett’s attention by emulating Anthony Weiner, LOL — already feels dated. “Faxes From Jane Eyre” might have at least had a retro ’80s appeal. “Zeppelin Mail From Jane Eyre” would have had a cool cover. (Bruce Handy)
The New York Review of Books reviews The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft edited with a foreword and notes by Leslie S. Klinger, and with an introduction by Alan Moore:
What does Asenath Waite want? What does any woman, in Lovecraft, want? “She wanted to be a man,” and, in pursuit of this enterprise, “constantly took his body and went to nameless places for nameless rites, leaving him in her body and locking him upstairs”—shades of Jane Eyre. (Charles Baxter)
Broadway World interviews the actress Gina D'Arco:
What's your dream role? I'm a huge book nerd so I would love to play one of my favorite literary heroines. Jane Eyre (as long as it's not the musical...this gal is not especially musically inclined) or Esther Greenwood if someone ever put on a stage version of The Bell Jar. (Jeffrey Ellis)
The Bournemoth Daily Echo begins an article with this question:
No-one wants to lounge on a summer beach reading Wuthering Heights, do they? But, equally, who wants to sit by the fire at Christmas and read about folk who are running around in a bikini? (Faith Eckersall)
Well, we wouldn't mind actually.

Mainline Times interviews a local junior student:
Q: What is your favorite book, and why?
A: My favorite book(s) changes a lot, but right now I am between The Fault in Our Stars and Wuthering Heights. I love romance novels. The Fault in Our Stars was a pleasure read that was so well written and has made me love John Green as a writer. Wuthering Heights was part of my summer assignments for a British Literature class but became one of my all-time favorites.
Did you know that Jane Birkin wanted to play Branwell Brontë (!) in André Téchiné's Les Soeurs Brontë? We read it in this interview in Midi Libre:
Vous dites parfois regretter votre accent qui vous a privée de rôles. C'est un regret profond ?
Ça dépend. Je me dis aussi que ça fait rigoler les Français et que j'ai peut-être été adoptée grâce à cet accent. Et je ne pourrais pas vivre ailleurs qu'en France. Mais ça me limite. Je voulais jouer le frère dans les Sœurs Brontë de Téchiné. Mais il m'a dit que les trois filles ne pouvaient pas avoir un frère avec accent. Elles étaient anglaises, pourtant, les sœurs Brontë ! J'ai fait des efforts avec Chéreau qui m'a appris à rouler les “r” alors que je ne savais pas que ça existait. Doillon a essayé de m'apprendre, tout le monde s'ys est mis, même Serge a essayé, mais je m'énervais. (Jean-François Burgeot) (Translation)
La Jornada San Luis (Argentina) interviews the writer Claudio Magris:
“He releído Cumbres borrascosas y descubrí que lo leía con cierta ingenuidad, estaba el personaje de Heathcliff que me daba un coraje enorme.” (Ericka Montaño Garfias) (Translation)
Finally, on the Facebook Wall of the Brontë Parsonage we found this painting by Basil Taylor, The Brontë Sisters (1935).  The story behind the painting is as fascinating as the painting itself:
Curiously, [Laura] Riding later published a painting of the Brontë sisters by Basil Taylor, Lucie [Aldridge]'s escort in that demimonde after he, like many others of the set, had committed suicide in 1935 A note accompanied the reproduction, clearly written by Riding, though signed by John and Lucie. She described Basil as he himself had; a pariah who regarded his paintings, like himself, as failures "in the sense that his preoccupation was fatedly with the beauties of waste". Drawn to "the brilliant, lavish subject conditioned emotionally by the shadowy threat of waste, disappearance," Basil's painting of the Brontë sisters was unfinished at his death." (In Extremis: The Life of Laura Riding by Deborah Baker)


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