Saturday, January 24, 2015

Keighley News reports that an important piece of Brontëana has been acquired by the Brontë Society:
The society has bought the simple mahogany drop-leaf table with a grant of £580,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.
The society said the desk was one of the most evocative and significant literary artefacts of the 19th century.
The table at which the Brontë sisters wrote was the focus of domestic life in the Brontë household at Haworth Parsonage, and where the siblings gathered to write and discuss their stories, poems, and novels.
The table bears the marking of the family’s daily use with ink blots, a large candle burn in the centre, a small letter ‘E’ carved into the surface, and beneath the table are ownership markings, possibly in the hand of Charlotte Brontë’s husband, Arthur Bell Nicholls.
The table was also featured in an 1837 diary paper sketch by Emily, showing herself and Anne writing at the table with all their papers scattered before them.
The table was sold during the sale of the household effects of the Parsonage, which took place after the death of Patrick Brontë in 1861.
The table is listed as lot 154 in the hand-written sale catalogue, held at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, which shows that it was purchased by Mr Ogden for the sum of £1-11-0. The Ogdens sold it to another family, within which it has been handed down as an heirloom, before the museum was approached for ownership.
Ann Dinsdale, the Collections Manager at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, said: “We are extremely proud and excited to be bringing the Brontës’ table back to its original home.
“It is one of the most important literary artefacts of the 19th century and displaying it in the Parsonage dining room marks a wonderful commencement to our programme of activity marking the forthcoming bicentenaries of the births of the Brontë siblings.”
The table was loaned to the Brontë Parsonage Museum for a short period in 1997 to mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.
Carole Souter the chief executive of the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), said the Brontë sisters were internationally revered for their contribution to English literature.
She said: “Novels which have enthralled millions of readers were imagined and written at this table and seeing it brings to life the creative process behind the famous works.
“NHMF trustees felt it important that it should be saved for the nation so that it can be displayed to the public in its original setting.”
Heritage minister Ed Vaizey said: “The Brontës’ family dining table has a close connection with some of the most famous English literature written in the 19th century.
“The National Heritage Memorial Fund grant recognises the importance of keeping these literary artefacts on display and it’s wonderful that visitors to the Brontës’ former home in Yorkshire will now be able to enjoy it in its original setting."
The table will be displayed in its original position in the dining room at the Parsonage where it can be viewed by the public from the February 1, when the Brontë Parsonage reopens for the coming season. (David Knights)
The Daily Express asks the TV presenter Gaby Roslin for her favourite books:
Wuthering Heights.
When I was about 12 my mother was fed up with me reading “rubbish” and handed me this. It totally captivated me. You get the barren landscape and that heartrending love. I suddenly realised the depth and beauty of a book. (Caroline Rees)
Ham &  High talks with the writer Ben Markovits:
This relationship, Markovits continues, runs both ways. From an early age, he – like many American high school students – grew up on a literary diet of Dickens, Austen and the Brontë sisters. In particular, his love of Lord Byron shines through and has formed the backbone of his breakthrough in the industry, having penned three books loosely formed around the rambunctious Romantic poet.
Daily Mail list some of the locations of the new BBC series Wolf Hall:
Broughton Castle has had a large presence in period drama over the years, and was used in 2011 adaption of Jane Eyre, Shakespeare in Love in 1998 and The Madness of King George twenty years ago. (Simon Cable)
Indeed, Broughton Castle was Lowood School in the Cary Fukunaga's film. interviews the writer Joanna Rakoff:
[As a teenager] I didn't have a lot of friends, I was very, very shy, I was very unpopular ‒ I was chubby and my family was 'weird'. So my friends were the characters in the books that I read over and over, like Jane Eyre. (Shreya Ila Anasuya)
Gina Barreca discusses the 'realistic romance'  genre in the Savannah Morning News:
Is the new designation for books — “Realistic Romance” — a contradiction in terms? Or will “Realistic Romance” now forever (another lovely oxymoron) be known as the category designed for readers who seek plots focused on the wild, unstoppable and inevitable merging of two soulmates who, despite all odds, face the world more bravely because their love has made them strong and also really good-looking?
That sure sounds like romance. What it doesn’t sound is realistic.
I’m saying this not only as a happily married woman but also as a fan of impossibly unrealistic classics such as “Wuthering Heights,” “Gone with the Wind” and “The Princess Bride.”
This is a very doubtful statement by 9News:
How did Charlotte Brontë make it easier for everyone to breathe? She created Eyre.
If you laughed at that joke, then you should get excited. Friday marks National Reading Day. (Blair Shiff)
We have no words.

The Age discusses the VCE English text list:
Shakespeare has appeared on every single list for the last two decades, while works by Jane Austen, Emily Brontë and Charles Dickens, as well as more contemporary writers David Malouf and Tim Winton also crop up regularly. (Henrietta Cook)
Soester-Anzeiger reviews the Oberhausen performances of Wuthering Heights:
Wunderschöne Bilder für einen seelischen Vernichtungskrieg. Das Oberhausener Ensemble spielt wieder seine Stärken aus. Angela Falkenhan ist als Cathy eine grandiose Hysterikerin, die ihrem sanften und großzügigen Ehemann mit Betteln und Drohungen den Kontakt zu Heathcliff abringt. Mal liegt sie matt auf dem Sofa, dann entfesselt sie mit Schreien und Herumlaufen und Kissenzerfetzen einen Privatsturm. Dann wieder bestimmt sie Vögel nach den Federn, im Rückfall in das Kinderglück eine Wiedergängerin von Ophelia, unschuldig und wahnsinnig. Peter Waros gibt den undurchsichtigen und unberechenbaren bösen Liebhaber, der Unrecht erlitt und nun neues Unrecht begeht, manchmal ein gewandter Gesprächspartner, oft aber ein Wutbruder. Sergej Lubic spielt Edgar, anfangs als braven Bürger mit Machoanwandlungen, der mit einem Schenkelklopfen sein Frauchen zu sich auf den Schoß kommandiert. Bald aber spürt man seine Schmerzen, er ist überfordert von Leidenschaften, die er nie entwickeln wird. Und Henry Meyer gibt den Hindley erst als lebenslustigen Haustyrann, später als misanthropischen Alkoholiker.
Drei Stunden lang säuft hier eine Gesellschaft im englischen Hochmoor ab. Eine große Leistung. Aber man fragt sich schon, wo dieses so kunstvoll wie künstlich konstruierte Liebes- und Rachedrama unsere Gegenwart berührt. (Ralf Stiftel) (Translation)
Cinema Fanpage (Italy) reminds us of a curious piece of trivia of the 2003 film Cold Mountain:
C’ è una curiosità tutta “letteraria” nel film: i nomi dei figli di Sally Swanger (Kathy Baker) , Acton e Ellis, sono anche quelli che le celebri scrittrici Anne Brontë e Emily Brontë utilizzarono come pseudonimi per la commercializzazione dei proprio romanzi, precisamente Acton Campana e Ellis Campana, mentre la terza sorella, Charlotte, usò quello di Currer Campana. (Translation)
Cinefilos (Italy) interviews Toby Stephens about the second season of Black Sails:
CS: A proposito di letteratura, chi preferisci tra il Capitano Flint e Rochester in Jane Eyre?
T.B: Difficile a dirsi perché sono personaggi completamente diversi. Rochester è davvero un archetipo letterario. Ero nervoso all’idea di interpretarlo perché pensavo alle aspettative delle donne che sono davvero ossessionate da questo personaggio. Ma è un ruolo che mi ha dato tante soddisfazioni, ho adorato interpretare Rochester. Quanto a Flint, in un certo senso stiamo creando il personaggio, perché non è presente ne L’Isola del Tesoro. Viene menzionato, ma non sappiamo chi sia, quindi mi affido agli sceneggiatori. Creare il personaggio è una cosa bellissima. Non sto cercando di eludere la domanda, ma è difficile paragonare i due perché sono ruoli gratificanti in modo completamente diverso. Direi che sono appaganti nella stessa misura. (Raffaella Lippolis) (Translation)
El Litoral (Spain) talks about Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi:
¿Alguien podía concentrarse en sus tareas cuando lo que preocupaba a los profesores era cómo eliminar la palabra ‘vino' de una novela de Hemingway o si debía omitir a Emily Brontë del programa porque parecía excusar el adulterio”. (Enrique Butti) (Translation)
El Nacional (Venezuela) reviews Glennkill by Leonie Swann:
Eso sí, de contar relatos saben mucho y ellas no se cansarán jamás de escuchar a la nueva pastora, heredera del rebaño, leyendo la historia de Heathcliff al que tanto le gusta vagar por ahí. (Juan Carlos Chirinos) (Translation)
Sipse (México) discusses the works of Claudio Magris:
En el ensayo que dio pie a esta selección, titulado “Cuando la literatura golpea como un puño”, Magris resume que este sentido de lo terrible, como Cumbres borrascosas, radicalmente desagradable, representa una alta humanidad, porque mirar de frente a la Medusa es la única posibilidad de resistirse a ella. “El corazón”, decía Flaubert, “tiene sus letrinas, y sólo la pluma de un escritor verdadero es capaz de limpiar y pulir esa podredumbre”. (Alfredo C. Villeda) (Translation)
This interview in La Gazette du Sorcier (France) to Matthew Lewis is a bit vague about the present status of The Brontës biopic project:
La Gazette du Sorcier : Avez-vous de nouveaux tournages prévus prochainement ?
Il est toujours attaché au biopic The Brontës, mais il ne sait pas où en est le projet pour le moment. (Translation)
Vulpes Libris transcribes a Charlotte vs Emily debate;  Hic et Nunc reviews Wuthering Heights; herzenszeilen (in German) posts about Jane Eyre.

1 comment:

  1. Very exciting about the table. When I was visiting the Parsonage in Oct , my guide said they were hoping to be able to bring it home. How marvelous to learn it happened and how fortuitous it's location has been known since it left in 1861. Quite likely Arthur Bell Nicholls did make that note and perhaps at the new owners request .