Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sunday, October 18, 2015 12:06 pm by M. in , , , , , , ,    2 comments
Claire Harman writes in The Telegraph about The Real Rochester (M. Heger, that is):
The Brontë siblings knew from an early age that they would have to earn their own livings as adults: for the three girls, this meant working as teachers or governesses. But each of them struggled with the work and hated living away from home, and Charlotte became convinced that the only practical future plan was for her, Emily and Anne to open a school of their own at their father’s parsonage in Haworth. To this end, she and Emily travelled to Brussels in the winter of 1842 to improve their languages and acquire the necessary polish. Funded by a loan from their Aunt Elizabeth Branwell, they enrolled at the Pensionnat Heger in the rue d’Isabelle.
The Pensionnat was the home of a lively, intellectual young couple with a growing family in the middle of a vibrant capital city, and the atmosphere was very different from that of any school Charlotte or Emily had formerly known. The staff consisted of three female teachers and seven masters, most prominent among whom, and a favourite with the girls, was the directrice’s husband, a short, dark, cigar-smoking man who taught rhetoric and French literature. (Read more)
By the way, when Claire Harman talks about Charlotte Brontë's The Master, she is obviously referring to The Professor (The Master was a previous, dismissed title). Also in The Telegraph, a (not-really-as-funny-as-it-looks) "Jane Eyre meets John Hughes: if the Brontës had written teen movies" gallery.

In the Sunday Times her upcoming new biography of Charlotte Brontë is reviewed (and you can read the first chapter of the book too). We don't know about the biography but certainly the review is quite biased against Patrick Brontë.
The Brontë story reads like a manual on how not to bring up children. Home for the five sisters and their brother Branwell was a windswept parsonage in the Yorkshire village of Haworth, overlooking a graveyard. They did not mix with local families or learn the games normal children played. In 1821, when Charlotte, the third child, was five, their mother died, leaving them to the care of their father, a dictatorial cleric of questionable sanity. (...) (John Carey)
The Daily Mail interviews Julian Fellowes, the man behind Downton Abbey. His best loved book is:
My perennial is Wuthering Heights because it was the first time a book became more real to me than my daily life. (Olivia Buxton)
Another well known Brontëite is the actor Brian Blessed. In the Daily Mail:
Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. I played Heathcliff at the Brontë Festival in Yorkshire when I was 17 and won their Best Actor award. The book had a tremendous impact on me and I think it’s a work of genius. When it was first published, the critics said it was crude and savage, but it has great comedy – even Heathcliff has a dry, sardonic sense of humour. It’s also incredibly moving. Heathcliff doesn’t quite consummate his love, and Cathy dies before him, leaving him heartbroken and destroyed. At the end they are seen walking as ghosts across the Yorkshire Moors, and that still makes me cry.
The Lincolnshire Echo recommends walking holidays around Europe. Including a literary tour which passes through Brontë country:
Travel to Stratford-upon-Avon for a live performance by The Royal Shakespeare Company.
Visit the dwellings lived in by the bard and his family, including the Tudor farm of Shakespeare's mother, Mary Arden. Continue north to the Yorkshire Moors and you will find yourself in Brontë County.
Visit the family vault and the museum that was once their home, and hike among the heather to look for Top Withins, the supposed inspiration for Wuthering Heights.
The Yorkshire Post lists the (post 2000) books that better define Yorkshire:
Caryl Phillips, The Lost Child
Phillips’ second entry on our list is a sweeping story of orphans and outcasts. Inspired by Wuthering Heights’ Heathcliff, at its center is Monica Johnson--cut off from her parents after falling in love with a foreigner--and her bitter struggle to raise her sons in the shadow of the wild moors of the north of England. (...)
“It is clearly not a competition between past and present literature,” says Tom Herron. “In fact, contemporary writing of Yorkshire is often deeply engaged with its literary antecedents. Look at the way that Caryl Phillip’s most recent novel, The Lost Child, is in conversation with Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. But there is a vibrancy and an urgency to very recent writing produced in Yorkshire that deserves careful and sustained attention. (Sarah Freeman)
The Arts Desk talks about Joanna Newsom's album Divers:
Vocally, Björk and Wuthering Heights-era Kate Bush (with glimpses of Karen Dalton and Joni Mitchell) are the reference points. Make a quick comparison, though, and Newsom is more obviously artful than both, the lyrics denser and the delivery more complex and variable. (Matthew Wright)
The Cambridge Student lists free books for Kindle:
Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë.
Emily Brontë’s only novel is, undoubtedly, a classic tale of love and loss – otherworldly, brooding, tempestuous and a personal favourite. Envelope yourself in pure essence of Brontë country and prepare for many an unquiet slumber. (Jemima Jobling)
GraphoMania (Italy) lists writers who died too young:
Emily Brontë (1818-1848): l’autrice di Cime tempestose è morta a trent’anni per tubercolosi. Ha lasciato solo quel romanzo (e che romanzo!) e le informazioni sulla sua vita sono poche (a differenza delle notizie che abbiamo sulle altre sorelle Brontë), così che la tentazione di provare a immaginare come fosse e su quello che avrebbe potuto scrivere se avesse avuto più tempo è molto forte.
Mario Vargas Llosa writes in El País (Spain) about Ernest Hemingway:
Hasta que volví a releer, para escribir sobre él, El viejo y el mar, y quedé convencido de que era una obra maestra absoluta, una de las parábolas literarias que reflejaba lo mejor de la condición humana, como Moby Dick o Cumbres borrascosas. (Translation)
And now... of course, the Crimson Peak Brontë references section:
Yet the narrative itself is torn more upon the horns of the Brontë sisters and Edgar Allan Poe, with a vivid splash of Sheridan Le Fanu. (...)
The house is “a living painting”, complete with a Dorian Gray-style portrait of Mother (“She looks quite…” “Horrible?”), rotting yet magnificent, more akin to David Lean’s Great Expectations or Robert Stevenson’s Jane Eyre than the B-movie aesthetics of Roger Corman or Hammer. (Mark Kermode in The Guardian)
The last time Mia Wasikowska wound up in a remote English gothic pile, spooky events presaged the revelation of grotesque family secrets. Now she's back in a Corman's Poe-meets-Hammer analogue of Thornfield Hall, where much the same happens - only with a great deal more bloodshed, sex and violence than Charlotte Brontë ever offered. (Robin Askew in Bristol 24/7)
Crimson Peak is to the Golden Age Hollywood adaptations of Jane Eyre, Rebecca and Great Expectations what Todd Haynes’s Far From Heaven was to the oeuvre of Douglas Sirk – a modernization of a specific sort of period piece that aims to rescue it from ironic viewing.
So yeah, Crimson Peak isn’t a horror. (Thomas Cummings in Huewire)
หนังมาในแนวหนังผีแบบโกธิค ที่สองผู้เขียนบท กิลแยร์โม และ แมทธิว ร็อบบิน ได้รับแรงบันดาลใจมาจากนิยายแนวนี้ อันประกอบไปด้วย นิยายเรื่องโปรดของกิลแยร์โม Uncle Silas ของโจเซฟ เชอริแดน เลอ ฟานู   Wuthering Heights ของเอมิลี บรองเต Rebecca ของดาฟเน ดู โมริเย ผลที่ได้คือ ทริลเลอร์ บ้านผีสิง ที่ผีกลายมาเป็นผู้ให้เบาะแส นำนางเอกของเราไปพบความลับที่ซุกซ้อนไว้ ณ ปราสาทสีเลือด. (RYT9) (Translation)
Readers of Victorian literature won’t be surprised when Edith finds herself installed at the Baronet’s gloomy, windswept castle in the north of England, not far, geographically or thematically, from Wuthering Heights. (Nick Dent in The Sunday Telegraph)
These Gothic elements -- of ancestral homes and curses -- recur in some of the genre's most famous books, like "Wuthering Heights" and "Jane Eyre." As the Gothic novel turned toward more overtly supernatural horror, the issue of cursed bloodlines became uncomfortably literal.... (Glenn McDonald in Discovery News)
A marvelously designed and stylish Gothic romance, “Crimson Peak” is first and foremost a very twisted Gothic romance in the tradition of “Jane Eyre” with some great del Toro horror visuals and themes sprinkled in. (Oscar Garza in El Paso Times)
 It bears remembering that Mia Wasikowska plays the lead in a gothic romance after her career-defining turn in Jane Eyre (2011). She’s already played one of the most iconic characters in the history of gothic romance, and she knocked it out of the park. So naturally, she turns in sublime work here.
Unfortunately, our male lead is the kind of romantic wish-fulfillment character that comes standard with the genre (see also: Mr. Rochester of “Jane Eyre”, Heathcliff in “Wuthering Heights”, etc.). (williamb in Chud)
His new film, which should have been a Halloween treat, is his loving tribute to Rebecca, Jane Eyre and Great Expectations, as well as the Hammer canon, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Carry On Screaming. (...)
Rather than exaggerating the perversities and ironies of Jane Eyre et al, del Toro has toned them down. (Nicholas Barber in BBC)
Crimson Peak – If Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Pan’s Labyrinth had a Baby with Wuthering Heights. (Frederick Mintchell in Living Out Loud)
Also The Sunday Times' review references Jane Eyre.

InStyle interviews the costume designer of the film, Kate Hawley:
Hawley added that each star reacted differently to the costumes: “I think the difference is Mia came corset trained from Jane Eyre and it’s a thing that defines the silhouette and that allowed us to play outside of the usual period details once we anchored it in, the silhouette appropriate. But the corsets are all underpinnings and it defines the way you walk and how people move of the time. It was very important because we wear our corset differently now.” (Jonathan Borge)
 Ksiazkoholiczka-nadeine (in Polish) reviews Wuthering  Heights.


  1. Not sure is this has already been posted, but the author of "The Brontë Cabinet" was interviewed on the John Batchelor radio show based out of WABC in NY. Ms. Lutz has a rather interesting theory on the inspiration for the Cathy/Heathcliff relationship. Link to the podcast:

    1. Lovely! We had missed it, so thanks for the link.