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Edric, who is based in Hornsea on the Yorkshire coast, says he was attracted by the conflict in Branwell’s character and situation and wanted to get under his skin. “I call it one of my ventriloquism novels – you have to inhabit the mind of this man. I have always been interested in people who live in unsettled times for reasons beyond their control. I’m also interested in people about whom we all assume we know something – Branwell was one of those characters. And it was good to have him as the narrator because he had intelligence and can express himself well. The novel is essentially a series of encounters – with his sisters, his father and his friends, all men who were unhappy with their lives and had taken to drink.”Jefferson Public Radio (Oregon) lists several local radio alerts, including:
While Charlotte, Emily and Anne have received a lot of attention from biographers, scholars and novelists, Branwell has, by comparison, been somewhat neglected. “A great metaphor for his life, I feel, is the famous portrait that he painted of the four of them and then erased himself from it,” says Edric. “Surely the most interesting thing about that portrait now is the missing figure. I think his sisters would not have been who they were without him. He was such a giant part of their childhood. Would they have become the writers they did if they hadn’t had him as a guiding force? The writing he left behind doesn’t suggest any great talent at that later age but the stories he wrote when he was younger were really interesting. It was a bit like he was the kindling and they became the flames.”
The novel opens a year after Branwell has returned to Haworth to live at the parsonage with his father and sisters following a particularly difficult period in his life. All his endeavours to find a suitable career seemed to come to nothing – a failed poet and portrait artist, he was sacked from the railways over a minor accounting error and dismissed from a tutoring position in disgrace after falling in love with his wealthy employer’s wife. This unhappy affair – with the much older married Lydia Robinson – hit Branwell particularly hard. “That is the one big event that tipped him into the final stages of his life,” says Edric. “He genuinely believed that she would set up home with him after her husband died and was horrified when it didn’t work out. He spent months waiting to hear from her and then began to realise that something wasn’t quite right. I think she might have been in love with him for a while but the terms of her husband’s will meant that she couldn’t be with Branwell. It was like one big hammer blow to him.” (...)
The depiction of Branwell’s relationship with his father, Patrick, on the other hand, is very moving and suggests a tenderness, depth and complexity that Edric explores with great sensitivity. “It was an incredibly complicated relationship,” he says. “I think Patrick did feel a bit guilty that he hadn’t provided Branwell with a proper education, but he loved him and believed in him until the bitter end – we can see that in his letters. He must have had regrets, but I think he probably understood Branwell better than his sisters did.”
Edric says that the experience of writing the novel changed his feelings towards Branwell. “I felt a great deal for him – he was a terrible victim of circumstance and everything he tried to do for himself he failed at. His entire life was a succession of what ifs and if onlys. I didn’t actually go to Haworth until I had finished writing the book, but when I did I went into the Black Bull pub and had some spiced rum in Branwell’s honour.” (Yvette Huddleston)
Wednesday, January 7, 2015/9:00 Texting For Fictional CharactersThe tenor Ian Bostridge discusses Schubert's Winterreise lieder cycle in The Guardian or The Sunday Times:
Modern technology has profoundly changed our lives. Voice conversation is practically passe' now, replaced by the text message. Now imagine if texting had arrived a century or more ago. Mallory Ortberg does just that on the web, at the-toast.net. She imagines F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald trading message, as well as fictional characters. And now the romp through imagination is in book form, as "Texts From Jane Eyre." Would Scarlett O'Hara "sext" Ashley Wilkes? We'll ask.
What Germans know as Lieder – is a niche product, even within the niche that is classical music; but Winter Journey is an indispensable work of art that should be as much a part of our common experience as the poetry of Shakespeare and Dante, the paintings of Van Gogh and Picasso, the novels of the Brontë sisters or Marcel Proust.The Independent talks about the FA Cup match Derby vs Southport:
They were 90 seconds from FA Cup romance. It was not the kind of romance that Charlotte Brontë wrote about but it was the kind Accountancy Today would have recognised. (Tim Rich)Chelmsford Independent announces a local adaptation of Virginia Woolf's Orlando:
There’s a freshness and a vivacity to [this adaptation],” [Nora] Hussey said of the script. Hussey, who is the director of the theater department at Wellesley College, was first attracted to the play after several of her students expressed interest in Ruhl’s work. A longtime fan of female British novelists like Mary Shelley and the Brontë sisters, the idea of putting on an adaptation of a Virginia Woolf novel grabbed Hussey. (Brad Avery)El Peruano (Perú) reviews Entre el cielo y la tierra by Gaby Cevasco:
En la literatura universal tenemos a mujeres fuertes como Jane Eyre, de Carlota Bronté (sic), o trágicas, como la Catalina Hareton, de Cumbres borrascosas, pero ambas con un destino definido. Lo mismo podríamos decir de Scarlett O’Hara de Lo que el viento se llevó o de la Doña Bárbara, de Rómulo Gallegos. (Luz María Crevoisier) (Translation)Bookriot on reading Jane Eyre for the first time; Literary Exploration reviews the novel; WiseFreaks reviews Wuthering Heights.