Saturday, May 23, 2015

The restoration of Norton Conyers and its links with Jane Eyre are discussed in The Telegraph:
The amazing story behind attic that inspired Jane EyreCharlotte Brontë based Thornfield Hall on Norton Conyers - and the recent history of the house deserves a novel of its own. (...)
Norton Conyers is no ordinary home. Charlotte Brontë visited the country house in 1839, when she was a governess to a family called the Sidgwicks. She was so taken by the property that it is believed she described it in great detail as Thornfield Hall in Jane Eyre.
Charlotte heard about the legend of a mad woman hidden in the attic, from the house’s history. And it is believed that this inspired her to create the insane Mrs Rochester character in her classic novel.
Wood panelling on the first floor conceals a hidden door, which leads up to the attic space above. Snaking through a warren of corridors lies the “Mad Woman’s room”. It sits almost empty and forgotten. In fact, the original staircase was only uncovered in 2004, having been panelled in during the 1880s. The similarities between the actual secret staircase and the fictional one in Jane Eyre are striking. (...)
Norton Conyers will be open to view work in progress from July 19-26 from 2pm-5pm (bookings only; (Stuart Penney)
Still on local news, The Telegraph & Argus suggests things to do this bank holiday week:
"There are also many great exhibitions at museums including Cartwright Hall, Cliffe Castle, the Industrial Museum, National Media Museum and Bronte Parsonage Museum," a Bradford spokesman said. (Mark Stanford)
The Wall Street Jounal asks Sheila Hancock about her five favourite books. Nor surprisingly  she chooses a Brontë:
The Tenant of Wildfell HallBy Anne Brontë (1848)
3. Anyone who thinks that Anne is the meek, less talented Brontë sibling cannot have read this novel about a mysterious woman who arrives at a gloomy mansion and who has, in defiance of the laws and customs of the time, left her husband. She will live with her son and, she hopes, make her own living as an artist. Of that brutal husband the woman, Helen Graham, writes in her diary: “It is not enough to say that I no longer love my husband—I HATE him! The word stares me in the face like a guilty confession but it is true, I hate him—I hate him!” After Anne’s death, her sister Charlotte would publish a rebuke in which she declared that Anne’s choice of subject matter, involving marital and child abuse and of the degradation of alcoholism, was “an entire mistake.” But Anne’s had been a searingly accurate depiction of these things. Her rage against the treatment of the women of her time has established her as an early feminist writer. The wonderfully vitriolic attack on her male critics in the preface to the second edition alone justifies that label.
The Japan News interviews the diplomat Koichiro Matsuura:
To improve my English ability, my father allowed me to take after-school English lessons from a Japanese tutor who had worked as an interpreter at a U.S. military base. When I was a student at Hibiya High School and then the University of Tokyo, I read a number of paperback novels in English, such as Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights,” and reading developed my vocabulary. I struggled with speaking and aural comprehension in English, so I attended an English conversation school when I was at university. (Interview by Minako Sasako)
The Australian talks about Orson Welles and echoes one of those 'urban film' legends  which is repeated too often:
Welles in an unforgettable presence in the old Joan Fontaine Jane Eyre and there is the suggestion that he took over the direction in that startling first apparition of the charismatic and irresistible Rochester. (Peter Craven)
We don't deny Welles's influence on the overall style of the film but we think that Robert Stevenson was something more than a puppet director.

Sofeminine lists recent films that every women should watch. Including Jane Eyre 2011:
A period drama that doesn't have the female lead as some damsel in distress. In fact, Jane Eyre is more concerned for her own soul than any man *high five*. If you want to see a heroine with a little more gusto than the Austen girls (we love them, but they do just stand around and wait to be proposed to a LOT), this one is for you. (Emmy Griffiths)
My Bookish Ways interviews the horror writer John Langan:
What do you like to see in a good story, and what authors or novels have influenced you the most in your work, and your life?
(...)Some of the books that have been important to me would be Jane Eyre, My Antonia, Dark Gods, Ironweed, To the Lighthouse, and Sophie’s Choice. These are the writers and books I’m aware of, anyway.
Another writer, Julie Reece, is interviewed on Glitter:
GLITTER: How did you come up with the plot for The Artisans?
JULIE: I grew up reading the classics. Nerd alert? Fine. Books like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker’s Dracula were some of my favorites, as well Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. For a long time now, I’ve wanted to write a contemporary story with that same sort of vibe—thrilling, sexy, and mysterious. Also, I secretly want to be a Brontë sister, but that’s an issue for my therapist.
Putting Life into words posts about a visit to the Parsonage and Haworth;  mirabile dictu is rereading the Brontës; Columbiantony uploads to flickr pictures of  East Riddlesden Hall.


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