Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Brontë Society has announced on its website the subject of the 2016 conference.
The Brontë Society is pleased to announce that the 2016 conference will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday 19 – 21 August 2016 at the Midland Hotel in Manchester.
 In 1837 Charlotte Brontë wrote to the Poet Laureate, Robert Southey, for advice on a literary career. He replied that ‘literature cannot be the business of a woman’s life: & it ought not to be’.
Our conference in 2016, the first of the three Brontë bicentenaries, takes up the challenge of what might be the ‘proper business of a woman’s life’. The many facets of this subject present a wide range of possible papers both academic and literary, including:
Women’s position in English culture and society in the nineteenth century
Contemporary writing on ‘The Woman Question’
Charlotte Brontë’s own writings on the matter
Her relationship with other women writers
Her literary reputation
Her influence on later feminist movements.
The Keynote Speaker will be Jenny Uglow, OBE.
The conference weekend will include an optional excursion to The Gaskell House, the home of Charlotte’s friend and biographer, Elizabeth Gaskell, which has recently been opened to the public.
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Abstracts for papers (no more than 300 words) should be sent by 28 February, 2016, to:
The Conference Organiser, The Brontë Society
The Brontë Parsonage Museum, Haworth, Keighley BD22 8DR
Successful speakers will be notified by 31 March, 2016.
Los Angeles Times' Jacket Copy interviews Re Jane author Patricia Park.
Tell me about your relationship with Jane Eyre .I was born and raised in Queens in an immigrant Korean household and I encountered “Jane Eyre” when I was in the 6th grade. I was immediately struck by it -- it was the first time I saw a heroine self-described as “poor, obscure, plain, and little” get so much airtime. She was so different from the Disney princesses I saw.
And growing up in a strict Korean home, I felt like there were so many parallels to the strict, conservative Victorian England Jane lived in. When I was little and I would misbehave, my mom would say in her broken English, “You act like orphan.” I realized that the postwar Korean construct of the orphan was one that was kind of wicked, mischievous or rather shameful, someone who acted like they didn’t get a good family education. When I revisited “Jane Eyre” in grad school, I noticed a lot of these epithets were thrown at Jane.
What were some of the challenges of adapting and updating this novel?I think Jane Eyre is so beloved because she was refreshingly independent and ahead of her times, but she was also part of her times. In my earlier drafts, Jane Re was so passive, in the vein of those old English novels. It took many drafts to get her back up to speed and have all the richness of a modern-day lead female character. These are probably fighting words to purists, but I had a lot of problems accepting Rochester as Jane Eyre’s romantic endgame. He betrayed her almost unforgivably. I guess some of the challenge of writing Ed Farley’s character was making him round and sympathetic. (Steph Cha) (Read more)
Patheos's The Rogue loves Jane Eyre too.
I am envious of Jane’s resolve. I am in awe of her ability to be so strong in her own sense of value when it seems that no one else does. I mean, how does someone who’s supposed to love you try and trick you into marrying him when he’s already married (granted, to a homicidal maniac, but married nonetheless)? Jane is sane! She’s the opposite of his nutso wife. She’s worthy of so much more than what he was offering her and she knows it. And she won’t accept less than what her dignity demands. (Jen Schlameuss-Perry)
USA Today's Happy Ever After looks at governesses in fiction.
Governesses are favorite characters for readers and have been since the 19th century. The governess heroine has played a role in iconic works of fiction such as Jane Eyre and The Turn of the Screw. There have been other, lighter examples, such as Mary Poppins, or those in novels by Georgette Heyer.
Although I have never written a governess heroine, I love to read books that feature them. I spoke with some authors who have written these books. Among other things, I was curious how much those famous literary governesses influenced them. [...]
Megan Frampton's recent The Duke's Guide to Correct Behavior also featured a governess. "Jane Eyre is probably my favorite book ever, and so I probably am unable to recognize how much her story influenced mine," she said. "I think many readers unconsciously expect a certain type of governess heroine — smart, correct, acutely aware of her place in the house — even though they might not know it themselves."
"Jane Eyre is my classic of choice in this sub-genre. I'm not at all certain that today's readers have read the classics, and I can't imagine they expect the same experience," adds Patricia Rice, author of Moonlight and Memories. "But I do think they're looking for a woman strong enough to conquer a hero who would normally find a governess invisible — i.e., a woman who is poor, possibly plain and educated above the common mold. I love the notion of a wealthy, handsome aristocrat recognizing that beautiful butterflies aren't half as interesting as a plain-spoken governess!" (Madeline Hunter)
Bustle suggests 8 novels that 'Should Be Miniseries, Because A Movie Just Wouldn't Do Them Justice'. Jane Eyre is one of them even if there have already been several miniseries based on it.
There are a million movies of Jane Eyre (literally, I counted). Here is the one thing they all miss: Jane Eyre is really funny. Hollywood hears the word “gothic” and immediately breaks out the fog machine and the LONG pauses. They’re wrong. Jane and Mr. Rochester fall in love because they are two sad people who can make each other laugh. Do a miniseries and get it right. (Kathleen Culliton)
We agree wholeheartedly.

Writer Ales Kot is revealed as a Brontëite in this interview by Paste Magazine.
I read a lot more women and a lot less men. I think that’s a part of a big change for me, a rebalancing process, something much needed. I started reading Virginia Woolf’s diary today, and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, and I can barely wait to go back to Maggie Nelson’s Bluets. I am not saying this to score points but because their writing makes me happy, keeps me awake, tells me more than I knew. (Matthew Meylikhov)
The Washington Post finds a Brontë mention in the novel Mislaid by Nell Zink.
“She would write under a pseudonym as did the Brontës,” she thinks. “After the big money started coming in, she would move to New York.” I’m not spoiling anything by revealing that eventually a scene in her drama about Iranian lesbians casting off “their chadors to reveal rugby shirts was compared with the nude scene in Equus.” (Ron Charles)
Culturamas (Spain) looks at Orson Welles and literature and mentions his role in Jane Eyre 1944.
Charlote Brönte [sic]. Una de las hermanas Brönte también se pasea por su carrera. Welles obtuvo un papel en la película Alma rebelde, rodada en 1944 por el director Robert Stevenson. Esta fue una adaptación de la novela gótica Jane Eyre, de Charlote Brönte, donde la señorita Eyre es contratada por Edward Rochester para trabajar como institutriz de una niña en Thornfield House. La aislada y sombría mansión, así como la inicial frialdad del dueño de la casa ponen a prueba la fortaleza de la joven. Como nota curiosa, el escritor Aldous Huxley formó parte dentro del elenco de guionistas de la película. (María Bravo Sancha) (Translation)
According to Gara (Spain) writers like the Brontës told us that love and pain go hand in hand.

And finally, if you can only read one more thing today, let it be his brilliant spoof by Mallory Ortberg  on The Toast introducing previously-unknown Brontë sister ENERGY-BEAM BRONTË.

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