Elizabeth Gaskell and the Brontës - It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Anne Brontë’s writings, and those of her sisters Emily and Charlotte Brontë as well. There are other writers who I lo...
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Jane of Jane EyreThe Irish Examiner reviews the Caryl Phillips novel The Lost Child:
If most of us were to hear strange noises outside our bedroom door at night, we would probably bury ourselves under the duvet and pray desperately for everything to be OK.
However, when Jane, the heroine of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, hears fingers brushing the wall outside her room at Thornfield Hall (the home of her employer and love-interest, Mr Rochester) accompanied by a demonic laugh, she is intent on investigating. On walking down the corridor she discovers that Rochester’s room is on fire. When she cannot wake him up, she bravely fights the fire herself, dowsing the raging flames with water and saving him from a fiery end. (Harriet Mellinson)
Phillips cleverly stitches together two separate narratives, imagining the early years of Emily Brontë’s conflicted protagonist Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, which he interweaves with the Sixties-set story of Wakefield-born dreamer and social recluse Monica who drops out of Oxford and cuts all ties with her parents after falling for Caribbean graduate Julius. (Laura Carless)Phil Baker reviews the novel in The Sunday Times At a Glance section.
Ivan Turgenev, the 19th-Century Russian novelist of elegant love stories, came from here. So did Ivan Bunin, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature. So did the ingenious storyteller Nikolai Leskov, the poets Tyutchev and Fet, the short story writer Leonid Andreev…The Upcoming review the play Bridlington by Peter Hamilton as performed at the Rosemary Branch Theatre in London:
It is as if one small English town had produced Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, the Brontë sisters, T S Eliot and Philip Larkin and many more. (Bridget Kendall)
The piece explores the power of literature and fantasy by taking the viewer into the mind of Ruth: a bonny Middlesbrough lass stunted by childhood trauma and mental illness, in the process of reading her beloved Wuthering Heights for the 49th time. Inspired by Brontë and encouraged to develop her own creativity further, she shares with her “dear readers” an account of an affair with a fellow patient, Bernard, carefully brought to life by Richard Fish. (...)The Yorkshire Post reviews an exhibition in Harrogate by Sarah Pickstone:
Throughout the play, both Ruth and her Heathcliff-to-be yearn to drift on the winds, or perhaps tides, of a world painfully beyond their grasp.(Tom Halbert)
A lot of Pickstone’s work develops out of an interest in the written word. “I am not a particularly literary person but I do find it really helpful with my work to read,” she says. “That’s why I am so happy to be coming to Harrogate because of the great literary connections in the area, particularly with the Brontës; and Jane Sellars has a great reputation for championing the work of women artists. It has definitely been a really interesting exploration for me.” (Yvette Huddleston)The rapidly receding smash-up Victorian genre is summarized in The Times of India:
Jane SlayreNovelicious interviews the writer Andrea Gillies:
The original Jane Eyre was dark enough, but this version turns the protagonist's loathsome aunt and cousins into vampires. When an older, vampire-slaying Jane falls in love with her employer, Mr Rochester, they can't get married because he's hiding his first wife Bertha, who is a werewolf, in the house. Interestingly, in the original, Jane compares Bertha to a vampire. (Ketakee Gondane)
What is your favourite Women’s Fiction book of all time and why?The list of the 100 best detective novels published in Dagens Nyheter (Sweden) includes Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair (80th). A través de otro espejo (in Spanish) links together a carrot cake recipe and Wuthering Heights.
I always choose Jane Eyre, and have tried to ring the changes by pretending that another book has ever impressed me more, but the truth is that it hasn’t. Charlotte Brontë more or less invented the psychological novel and Jane is a living, breathing, stubborn, courageous, honourable, romantic, stoical and wonderful soul. To be able to do that, to make someone so real out of words, is an astonishing thing, and it’s a rollicking good read, besides. I try to soften the monotony of my devotion to Jane Eyre by sneaking in another handful of favourites that are almost as dear to me, which is exactly what’s about to happen here.