Sunday, August 16, 2015

Let's begin with a couple of nicely-tied reviews. Samantha Ellis reviews Nelly Dean by Alison Case in The Independent:
I don’t like Emily Brontë’s Nelly Dean, forever getting in the way of the action with her pert moralising. But I do like Alison Case’s Nelly Dean. In this dazzlingly subversive perspective-flip, the put-upon housekeeper tells her own story, “a homespun grey yarn woven in among the bright-dyed and glossy dark threads of the Earnshaws and Lintons”. Nelly is being modest; I thought Wuthering Heights was chthonic and churning but at times, Nelly Dean makes it seem bloodless.  (...)
It also has the makings of a feminist classic. Case writes more frankly about breastfeeding than any novelist I have ever read. But also, just as Wide Sargasso Sea takes Bertha Mason out of the attic, Case has made me feel deeply unsisterly for dismissing Nelly in the first place. (...)
It also has the makings of a feminist classic. Case writes more frankly about breastfeeding than any novelist I have ever read. But also, just as Wide Sargasso Sea takes Bertha Mason out of the attic, Case has made me feel deeply unsisterly for dismissing Nelly in the first place.
and The Daily Beast reviews Samantha Ellis's How to Be a Heroine:
In ‘How to Be a Heroine,’ Lessons From a Brontë and Other Badasses. (...)
Fittingly, the project arose out of what turned out to be a revelatory heroine-off between Ellis and her best friend as they roamed England’s Brontë country. Ellis was arguing in favor of “passionate, headstrong—and gorgeous” Cathy Earnshaw from Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, a heroine she’d been trying to emulate for years, while her friend put forward the case for Charlotte’s “stoic, virtuous, plain” Jane Eyre.With cinematic timing, just as they reach Top Withens—the ruined farmhouse often considered something of a template for the fictional Wuthering Heights—Ellis realizes the error of her ways. Cathy is wrapped up in romance, but she’s also miserable and wild, meanwhile Jane is independent, brave, and clever, and, most importantly, “while Cathy ends up a wandering ghost, Jane ends up happily married”: “My whole life, I’d been trying to be Cathy, when I should have been trying to be Jane.” (...)
She’s currently writing a book about Anne Brontë—the least well known of the sisters, but, in Ellis’s opinion, “the more overtly feminist of the three.”
“She broke a lot of new ground,” Ellis explains. “Agnes Grey has a first-person narrator—a governess who addresses the reader directly. Even if Jane Eyre is arguably a better novel, Anne got there first. And Helen, the heroine of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, is an extraordinary woman. She leaves her abusive, alcoholic husband in order to protect their son from him, and supports herself with her painting. It’s an incredibly modern story.” (Lucy Scholes)
More Anne Brontë in a way, Newsday has an article on the Long Island house with the Blake Hall staircase :
Called Sanderling, for a sandpiper that migrates to the Arctic during the summer, the estate has a few English details, including a Queen Anne-era staircase originally from Blake Hall in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, where novelist Anne Brontë worked as a governess in the early 1800s.
The Quogue home's previous owners purchased the hand-carved staircase in an auction at the Kensington Antiques Fair in London more than 60 years ago, says Edward Kurosz of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, who is listing the property with Codi Garcete. They had it shipped to the United States and installed in the seven-bedroom home's center hall. Brontë wrote about her experiences living in Blake Hall in her novels "Agnes Grey" and "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall."
"In the two novels, she discusses the staircase in detail," Kurosz says. (Lisa Chamoff)
Broadway World reviews the Out Loud Theatre production of Polly Teale's Jane Eyre:
Adapting a work of literary fiction into a stage play is always tricky. Especially so if it's something extremely well-known and beloved, something that has stood the test of time, something considered a classic. The novels of the Brontë sisters have been the subject of adaptations many times over, in a variety of mediums and each one with its own strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures. Polly Teale's recent stage version of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre proves that an adaptation can breathe new, unique life into a well-known tale while honoring and maintaining the classic and beloved story.
Produced by Out Loud Theatre, Teale's adaptation gives us a different and fascinating way to view the titular character. For those who don't remember or know the story, or haven't read the novel or seen a movie version (and you should do both), Jane is a bold, headstrong, intelligent and self-sufficient woman who's early life is filled with much solitude and very little love. After surviving many trials and tribulations, Jane is hired to be a governess by Mr. Rochester, a man who has also survived many difficulties and seems to be cold and devoid of love. They fall in love with each other but, of course, must first suffer and survive more challenges and tragedies before they can finally be together. (Read more) (Robert Barossi)
The Sunday Times reviews the novel Noonday by Pat Barker:
 One character in Noonday, the final novel in Barker’s latest trilogy and the first to be set in the Second World War, is a medium called Bertha Mason. An ex-con with a personality disorder, Bertha is vast, stinking of rotting fish, grotesquely sexualised: “The sheer size of her: chins, neck, breasts, belly— all pendulous — the sagging wrinkled abdomen hanging so low it almost hid the fuzz of black hair beneath. Like a huge, white, half-melted candle.”
She also happens to share a name with one of the most anarchic women in English literature, Charlotte Brontë’s madwoman in the attic, Rochester’s first wife in Jane Eyre. This is a stroke of genius from Barker in what might otherwise feel like a quiet book about the impact of the Blitz on three artist friends.  (Lucy Atkins)
The Manila Times reviews the film The Love Affair:
The Richard Gomez-Dawn Zulueta combination is one that does not get old. Seeing them together, even if fleetingly as in She’s Dating The Gangster, or in a soap opera or other, a gamut of other images run through your head.
Say, scenes from Hihintayin Kita Sa Langit and notions of ‘til death do us part ala Wuthering Heights, Philippines-style. Say, the countless instances in which they came out on TV, singing a love song, dressed like supermodels. Or just that softdrink commercial where all either of them said was “regular” or “diet.” (Katrina Stuart Santiago)
Information Nigeria lists several things you should do before turning thirty:
Read/Watch a classic: Before you move into the sophisticated life of your 30’s, do something sophisticated like reading or watching a classic. There are a lot of books/movies (think The Great Gatsby, Wuthering Heights, Roots) that experiencing them would give you something smart to add to any conversation. (Deolu)
The Guardian's 100 best novels by Robert McCrum includes Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë's novel is the top ten). Nevertheless, Rachel Cooke doesn't agree with the female representation on the list (although she agrees with the Brontës being on it).

Los Libros de Hache (in Spanish) reviews Wuthering Heights; Rue2Provence (in French) posts about The Tenant of Wildfell Hall; on Trystan's Costume Closet a... Cathy's Ghost costume.

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