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More than 1,700 bargain copies of The Communist Manifesto have sold in the last week, in the form of an 80p edition of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’s call to the working classes to revolt.Coincidentally, Librópatas (Spain) looks at the most downloaded books from Project Gutenberg and both Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre are among them. Both novels are also among Marie Claire's selection of '10 Books To Empower You On International Women's Day'.
The book is part of a collection of 80 works re-published on 26 February to mark the 80 years since Allen Lane launched the first Penguin paperbacks for sixpence each, the price of a packet of cigarettes. From Marx’s call to arms to Christina Rossetti’s disturbing poem Goblin Market, and from Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s feminist classic The Yellow Wallpaper to Samuel Pepys on the Great Fire of London, each “Little Black Classic” is 64 pages long and costs 80p. [...]
A new edition of selected poems by Emily Brontë is the series’ 10th-best seller. “I’m really pleased that Emily Brontë’s poems are doing so well – suddenly lots of people are reading these extraordinary poems, who wouldn’t have been likely to read her complete poems,” said publishing director Simon Winder. (Alison Flood)
1. Charlotte Brontë, Jane EyrePutneySW15 reveals children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson's favourite books.
Originally published under the pseudonym Currer Bell in 1847, it is hard to believe that Charlotte was only 31 when she finished her feminist masterpiece. Transforming personal experience into spellbinding art, Jane Eyre soars from the first sentence to her last. As Brontë writes, the novel's objective is clear: 'Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags.' Her words have lost none of their bite: Jane Eyre is a passionate rejection of patriarchal repression. Jane Eyre sings and she's still unforgettable. [...]
6. Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
Pre-Raphaelite poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti referred to it at the time as 'a fiend of a book – an incredible monster'. He wasn't the only one who thought so – the overriding response to Emily Brontë's first-and-only novel was one of outrage. Even now, Emily's portrayal of masochistic 'first love' on the wild and untamed moors still shocks and provokes. As ugly as it is beautiful, it is hard to believe this violent tale of sexual obsession was written in 1847. 'I wish I were out of doors. I wish I were a girl again, half savage and hardy, and free.' Emily's Cathy speaks and we are immediately by her side among the heather 'on those hills'. When Emily writes we still feel her frustrations and they become ours too. (Kat Lister)
“My favourite children's book is totally unknown,” Dame Jacqueline said:The Guardian asks Kelly Clarkson about how she came to be a Janeite. It was by way of our Jane.
“It's called Nancy and Plum by an American author, Betty Macdonald. It's recently been re-published by Vintage, and I'm delighted. It's a story about two orphan girls who live in a horrible boarding school and cope with misfortune by playing all sorts of imaginary games, a practice I certainly understand. My favourite adult book is Jane Eyre - another orphan, another institution!”
So how did a Texas girl become such a big Austen fan? Is she taught in American schools? We didn’t learn her at school, but one of my teachers was reading Jane Eyre, and I got interested [in British female authors of the period]. I read Persuasion and it painted a very realistic picture of life – I love how she wrote her female characters, because they were so independent. (Caroline Sullivan)Times Higher Education asks their scholar reviewers about their current reads.
Liz Gloyn, lecturer in Classics, Royal Holloway, University of London, is reading Charlotte Brontë’s Villette (Penguin, 2004). “Lucy Snowe ends up as an English teacher in the small town of Villette (a fictional version of Brussels) and narrates to the reader affairs of the heart and of her profession. The figure of M. Paul Emanuel and his emotionally abusive relationship with Lucy sends shivers up the spine. As the book progresses, the reader increasingly questions Lucy’s interpretation of events, until the unexpected resolution.”El Diario (Spain) reviews Mary McLane's I Await the Devil's Coming.
Mary tiene mucho que decir, y tiene una lengua malévola. Su escritura brilla con la fuerza de su imaginación incendiaria y de su indignación mesiánica contra "la gente reseca y retorcida de Butte" y los autores populares de la época, incluyendo "esa antigualla patética y sin gracia de Jane Eyre", las debilidades de Dickens y la higiene del pobre Samuel Johnson. Confesional antes del movimiento confesional de Robert Lowell, salvaje antes que Anne Sexton y más interesante que la mayor parte de las memorias de juventud perdida que inundaron los años 90, sus lazos literarios y espirituales están con Claudine, con el Rimbaud de Una temporada en el Infierno y la Sylvia Plath que quería ser Dios. Y, posiblemente, con El Cuervo de Ted Hughes, al que bien podría haber servido de inspiración en los momentos más nihilistas. (Marta Peirano) (Translation)Sic.
Heathcliff’s “brooding” could definitely point towards something graver in Wuthering Heights as could Holden Caulfield’s teen anomie in The Catcher in the Rye; (Arifa Akbar)The Spectator states that,
Every song, of course, sounds a little like another song, except possibly for ‘Wuthering Heights’. (Marcus Berkmann)Consumatrici (Italy) finds the influence of Jane Eyre in the Japanese cartoons Candy Candy.