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Wednesday 22 July 11am - 4pmNorton Conyers, its alleged Jane Eyre connections and the story of the fight against beetle infestation is again in the news. In Darlington & Stockton Times:
The Brontës would surely have liked to get their hands on something to sweeten the air - Haworth wasn’t a very fragrant place in their day, what with open drains and ‘foul miasmas!’ Unfortunately, they didn’t have bath bombs and spritzers then, but come along to this drop in workshop and find out how to make your very own using natural ingredients.
Free with admission to the Museum. Parental supervision required.
Ahead of reopening Norton Conyers to visitors on Sunday, they are running around putting the finishing touches to the property, while taking it in turns to talk about the Herculean effort it took to defeat an army of deathwatch beetles that had occupied one of the most complex timber-framed houses in the country since the Reformation.The Valley Advocate reviews the play The Emily Dickinson Project:
The couple's decision to preserve the medieval manor house near Ripon, whose guests have included Charles I, James II and Charlotte Brontë, saw them enduring winters without without heating and moving to a bed and breakfast for a year, while the property was treated with poison gas. (...)
Sir James adds he is now confident Charlotte Brontë, who is believed to have conceived key parts of Jane Eyre after visiting the property, would have known all about his bad egg ancestor, and may have shaped Mr Rochester's traits, such as arrogance, pride and breaking social rules, on him.
He says: "The difference is the 7th baronet kept being a handsome man up until old age, but Charlotte specifically says Mr Rochester is ugly."
The improvements to the roof battlements, library, lawn, rookery, broad oak staircase and the high square hall covered in family portraits had unearthed 1,000 years of history at the site.
A hidden staircase leading to the third storey attic, which they say inspired the the character of Mr Rochester’s wife, Bertha, has been among the highlights of their discoveries. (...)
To book tickets, costing £15, visit nortonconyers.org.uk or call 01765-640333. (Stuart Minting)
As we pass through the rooms, we come upon various Emilies absorbed in reading or writing, baking gingerbread in the kitchen, composing letters in the parlor. The Scholar (Ayres) is crouched in the library behind a fortress of stacked books; the Lady in Blue (Elizabeth McAnulty Quilter) quotes from Jane Eyre and Antony and Cleopatra before lying in candle-lit state as her 1886 obituary is read aloud. (ChBackris Rohmann)Publishers Weekly interviews the author Patrice Kindl:
Does a Regency romance have particular characteristics that other romances don’t have? (Sue Corbett)The Telegraph publishes an extract from Margaret Atwood's The Pleasure of Reading 1992:
Well, beyond being set in the Regency period [1811–1820], I don’t think so. Generally, a lot of it is inspired by Jane Austen. Thackery wrote Regency romances but he wrote later. Austen was the first to write novels with intelligent women and witty dialogue. And there’s Jane Eyre, which was one of the first novels that really explored what it meant to be a woman. There was a romance, too, but it’s really the fact that the novel is woman-centered and has fabulous dialogue that sets it apart.
When I hit high school, I read Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights, and developed what was, in those days before rock stars, a standard passion for Mr Darcy and Heathcliff. These reading choices were approved of by adults, who liked anything called a classic.Hysteria publishes the article Literatures of the South in Conversation with Imperial Feminism by Arturo Desimone:
Jean Rhys novels created a world unafraid to show women in their weakness yet surviving, albeitsurviving unspectacularly, without the armor and constant glory that marks the lives ofmost survivors. Hers is the world of a hated white during the post-colonial uprisings against her former slaver family in Dominica, yet more heavily scapegoated by apologetic European liberal elites. Wide Sargasso Sea shows a classic example of what could be considered the rise of political correctness: as a disciplining parlance of European liberal elites, whose demonstration of self-awareness further carves their status as civilized savants.Le Journal du Dimanche reviews another play, Une heure avant la mort de mon frère:
The socially-progressive Rochester from England escaped from the set of Jayne Eyre (sic) in Rhys’s book as he become an enraged self-righteous torturer, perturbed by his own morality. He punishes the white Dominican and the white negress Antoinette in what he pretends is a Philanthropist’s act. As cultivated and socially-conscious Brit, he passes as guiltless. Wide Sargasso Sea’s tragedy unveils the scandalizing hypocrisy of colonial psychology, and of the colonial self-critique. The grotesque militancy of awkward ”salon anti-racism”, is expressed by those elites most responsible as major economic beneficiaries of racism.
L’enfance, la jeunesse ressurgissent, l’amour pour s’évader du réel, fuir la tristesse et la pauvreté de l’environnement familial. Impossible de ne pas revivre des moments de leur vie, dont la vue d’une fête à travers une fenêtre évoque Les Hauts de Hurlevent. (Translation)El Mundo (Spain) is a bit sarcastic with Kim Kardashian's alleged feminist role:
El otro día, alguien escribía que Kim Kardashian era una heroína feminista de nuestro tiempo, un equivalente moderno de las hermanas Brontë. Bueno. (Luis Alemany) (Translation)Rachel Brimble Romance Blog interviews the writer Susie Warren:
If you could be the original author for any book, what would it be? Why?
Jane Eyre. It’s my absolute favourite novel and I decided at fifteen that I wanted to try and write a novel after reading it. I knew very little about writing at that point and was convinced that I would retell the story without all of the unfairness and sad circumstances surrounding her childhood. As a writer now, I realize the characters need obstacles to overcome and things need to get worse continually for the story to be compelling.