Elizabeth Gaskell and the Brontës - It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Anne Brontë’s writings, and those of her sisters Emily and Charlotte Brontë as well. There are other writers who I lo...
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Every lush, florid moment of Crimson Peak seems to be communing with the spirits of Edgar Allan Poe, Daphne du Maurier, M.R. James and at least one of the Brontë sisters. (Allan Hunter in Express)
Also coursing through Crimson Peak’s veins is genetic material from Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Brontë sisters (both Charlotte and Emily). (Dana Stevens on Slate)
Just don't call it a horror film. Director and co-writer Guillermo del Toro stressed to his cast that "Crimson Peak" has its antecedents in books like "Wuthering Heights" and "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" that mixed the macabre with matters of the heart.
"For him it's a romance along the lines of Brontë or Shelley and he really is an encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to Gothic romance and women's roles in those stories," said Chastain. (Brent Lang in Variety)
This delirious gothic horror teeters on the brink of high camp. The only surprise is that Morticia Addams doesn’t put in an appearance. In a role not far removed from her Jane Eyre, Mia Wasikowska plays Edith Cushing, a prim 19th-century would-be authoress whose father is a prominent American businessman. (Geoffrey MaCnab in The Independent)
Similarly, the script nails the Gothic romance element (there are shades of both Jane Eyre and Hitchcock’s Rebecca), largely thanks to strong chemistry between Wasikowska and Hiddleston, and what the somewhat predictable plot lacks in suspense or scares, it more than makes up for in style and execution. (Matthew Turner on Wow 24/7)
Pero ahí están las damas de la cinta para resolver la papeleta, con una Mia Wasikowska muy etérea (ya demostró en su adaptación de Jane Eyre de lo que era capaz) y la oscura Jessica Chastain, en un papel que le ofrece un par de escenas verdaderamente salvajes. (Raquel Moreno on Expansión's Mcgufilms) (Translation)
Although the film may hold a certain appeal for those who have spent long hours thumbing through the pages of “Northanger Abbey,” “Jane Eyre” and “Wuthering Heights,” its deficiencies make it at best an atmospheric triumph with a weak narrative.
Director Guillermo del Toro’s unique visual style is on display but the story is predictable, the characters are flat, and the supernatural elements are red herrings.
“Crimson Peak” boasts a strong cast with Mia Wasikowska as the virginal innocent, Edith Cushing; Tom Hiddleston as Thomas Sharpe, Edith’s Rochester; and Jessica Chastain as the somewhat unhinged Lucille Sharpe. The cracks in the narrative foundation have little to do with the actors or their performances but with the characters they portray. (James Berardinelli in The Intelligencer)
But Sir Thomas has a sister in tow, the scheming Lucille (Jessica Chastain), and together they contrive to lure Edith back to England, and to their collapsing stately pile in Cumberland, Allerdale Hall, a place so gloomy and remote it makes Wuthering Heights look like a Barratt home. (Brian Viner in The Daily Mail)And The Times also mentions Wuthering Heights in its review.
The Mary Sue: I saw the movie last night, and I loved how focused it was on the female characters; on their agency, their sexuality, and their relationships with each other. What inspired you to tell a story that was so focused on women?Fotogramas (Spain) has a video interview with the director as well and leaves us with this unforgettable blunder:
Guillermo del Toro: Very frequently, I find myself more interested in female characters that are strong, like in Pan’s Labyrinth or Devil’s Backbone. And the reason why I made Pacific Rim was Mako Mori. That was, to me, the core of the movie. And in this instance, it’s a genre I grew up with. The first movie I saw when I was four was Wuthering Heights, and then I discovered at the same time Frankenstein and Jane Eyre, and I thought they were both emotional biographies of their authors. And I had this immense spiritual love affair with the Brontës and Mary Shelley. (Carolyn Cox)
Estuvimos charlando con Del Toro en Barcelona hace unos días, y nos confesó, entre otras cosas, que esta historia nace de su fascinación desde niño por la literatura gótica, en especial por 'Jane Eyre', de Christine Brönte (megasic), cuya última adaptación al cine, curiosamente, también estaba protagonizada por Mia Wasikowska. (Gerard Alonso i Cassadó) (Translation)Decider recommends '5 Sexy & Spooky Gothic Romances To Get You Pumped For Crimson Peak':
1'Wuthering Heights' (1992)The Statesman has an article on the 'enduring legacy' of the Brontës.
You might think of Kate Bush or a sweeping romance on the misty moors when you think of Wuthering Heights, but the novel starts as a strange ghost story. Emily Brontë’s Heathcliff and Cathy are fused together by a supernatural connection. When the vain Cathy chooses the wealthy Edward Linton over her urchin sweetheart, she sets off decades of drama that ruins everyone she knows and haunts the next generation. While there have been many adaptations of this literary masterpiece over the years, the 1992 version with Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche doesn’t shy away from the tale’s eerier elements.
2 'Jane Eyre' (2011)
Emily wasn’t the only Brontë to conquer the Gothic genre. Older sister Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre was a groundbreaking work of literature and has given us one of the most enduring plot set ups: a good-hearted maiden moves into an old house, falls for its bewitching master, and is soon threatened by the home’s deadly secrets. Many Jane Eyre adaptations focus on its heroine’s Dickensian rise, but Cary Joji Fukunaga’s 2011 version is thrumming with the sexual tension and psychological storms that make the story so unique. Also: Crimson Peak‘s Mia Wasikowska stars as Jane. (Meghan O'Keefe)
As individuals, Charlotte, Emily and Anne persevered with determination through difficulty living at a time when women were not welcome to follow literary pursuits. Despite enduring such challenges they gave literature a style, at once expressive and full of melancholy. Reflecting on their work today, one cannot help but wish there were more books by the Brontë sisters. Eternal as their contribution has been, readers lament that they left the world so soon. (Deepak Rikhye)The Daily Mail has a short, unfavourable review of the English translation of Jolien Janzing's De Meester, Charlotte Brontë’s Secret Love.
In 1844, Charlotte Brontë wrote a series of passionate letters from Howarth [sic] to her Belgian tutor Constantin Heger, with whom she had fallen in love while studying at his school in Brussels.
The letters were apparently torn up by Heger and sewn back together by his wife. The few that survived have prompted speculation that the unhappy love affair directly fed Charlotte's first and most famous novel, Jane Eyre.
The story of Charlotte's Brussels sojourn alongside her frosty, awkward sister Emily is imagined here by Dutch author Janzing.
She weaves an atmospheric tale of two socially illiterate, emotionally naive girls from Yorkshire adrift in an elegant, foreign metropolis. Yet it is an act of either arrogance or foolhardiness to recreate in fictional form the raw material for one of the greatest novels ever written.
There is little in Janzing's torrid depiction of a young Charlotte Brontë yearning for the touch of her 'master' that can stand comparison with the morally complex and radical inner life of Brontë's fictional Jane, while Janzing's use of an intrusive authorial voice is mannered and inept.
Read the original letters, read Claire Harman's new biography of Charlotte, or re-read Jane Eyre - but don't bother with this. (Claire Allfree)
“When, however, one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even of a very remarkable man who had a mother, it reminds me of the time I made out with a homeless guy by accident. I had no idea — he was really tan, he had no shoes on. Then I thought, we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet, of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen, some Emily Brontë who dashed her brains out on the moor or mopped and mowed about the highways crazed with the torture that her gift had put her through. Indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman. I just thought it was, like, his thang, you know? I was like, ‘He’s probably in a band.” (Neal Pollack)El mundo (Spain) had a live chat with author José C. Valés. He's a Brontëite:
Percibo en su novela influencias de la novela costumbrista inglesa; ¿cree que estoy en lo cierto? Muchas gracias. Hola. Buenosdíasbuenastardesbuenasnoches. Esto no es el "show" de Truman pero casi. Quiero agradecer a elmundo.es la posibilidad de charlar un rato con amigos y lectores. Bienvenidos a este encuentro digital. Hablemos un rato de libros y literatura. ¿Empezamos?Radio Times sums up episode 2 of Lucy Worsley's A Very British Romance:
Vamos con la primera pregunta.
¿Novela costumbrista inglesa? Bueno, yo diría que no vas muy desencaminado. Durante años estuve estudiando y trabajando la literatura decimonónica inglesa y supongo que algo se reflejará en mis novelas. Tengo que confesar mi pasión por Richardson o Jane Austen, pero también por Dickens, Trollope, las hermanas Brontë, Mary Shelley, E. Gaskell, etcétera. Creo que su forma de narrar es excepcional y, bueno, si me asocian con estos nombres... ¡encantado! (Translation)
The Victorians embraced torrid tales of adultery and fallen women, and maudlin stories of death and romance. But the stench of cheap flowers was blown away by one Charlotte Brontë and her atypical heroine Jane Eyre, a plain girl who falls for a difficult older man. It was a partnership of spirited equals, and it scandalised some readers. (Alison Graham)A Limerick Post reporter has gone up in a helicopter and describes the situation as follows:
There’s a gale blowing in my direction and I have a wild windswept ‘Wuthering Heights’ look about me as I struggle to remain perpendicular. (Alan Jacques)Mimi Matthews posts about Jane Eyre and the legendary Gytrash; Bookriot explains how to throw a Jane Eyre party.