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Cathy and Heathcliff – Wuthering HeightsThe New Statesman lists the books of the year so far:
A dark and secluded spot on the Yorkshire moors is the setting for this tumultuous love story where the hot-headed Cathy and vindictive Heathcliff wreak havoc amongst their families as they indulge in a relationship of dark, twisted passion that eventually ends in tragedy. There’s also some casual racism, supernatural elements and a touch of grave-hopping which all makes for a gripping love story that broke boundaries in Brontë’s time in more ways than one.
Best lines: ‘Nelly I am Heathcliff…He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.’ [...]
Jane and Mr. Rochester - Jane Eyre
In Charlotte Brontë’s novel, Jane Eyre is the possibly-telepathic orphan who has a tough time at boarding school before becoming a governess herself. Looking after the ward of the formidable Mr. Rochester, the two become close and he proposes to Jane. However after a dream she flees when she discovers he’s already married (although his wife is insane) and Jane refuses to be the mistress. After sleeping rough and finding some long-lost family and fortune, Jane returns to Rochester after another vision and discovers a fire has killed Rochester’s mad ex-wife and left him blind. The ending picks up a bit thought: Jane has a son, they adopt the girl Jane looked after and Rochester regains sight in one eye. Hurrah.
Best line: The happy ending could melt any heart ’To be together is for us to be at once as free as in solitude, as gay as in company. We talk, I believe, all day long: to talk to each other is but a more animated and an audible thinking. All my confidence is bestowed on him, all his confidence is devoted to me; we are precisely suited in character—perfect concord is the result.’ (Georgina Lawton)
Jonathan Bate’s Ted Hughes (William Collins) elegantly retells the myth and, occasionally, violence of the “Ted and Sylvia” story and gives it new flesh – not least in its evocative portrait of Hughes as part Heathcliff, part Teddy boy. Bate’s book, along with Robert Macfarlane’s Landmarks (Hamish Hamilton), made it a tough call for this year’s Samuel Johnson Prize judges. (Philip Hoare)While The New Yorker opts for a more original selection and picks 'the ten best weather events in fiction'.
7. The storm in Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights.”We would add the storm after the first proposal in Jane Eyre which ends up severing the chestnut tree.
About midnight, while we still sat up, the storm came rattling over the Heights in full fury. There was a violent wind, as well as thunder, and either one or the other split a tree off at the corner of the building: a huge bough fell across the roof, and knocked down a portion of the east chimney-stack, sending a clatter of stones and soot into the kitchen-fire.
Which storm in “Wuthering Heights,” you might reasonably ask? The novel is full of wild weather; the word “wuthering” itself is, Brontë tells us, “descriptive of the atmospheric tumult” on the Yorkshire moors. In the above passage, a particularly frightful storm strikes on the night that the young Heathcliff runs away from the home he shares with Catherine Earnshaw—a severing so drastic that it breaks the very building. But, of course, nothing ever truly severs their relationship, which is the “atmospheric tumult” in Yorkshire: part romance, part ghost story, entirely elemental, and, after Lear on the heath, the single greatest instance of psycho-meteorology in Western literature. (Kathryn Schulz)
One of my lasting memories of teaching English in my homeland was a lesson where the students made paper glasses with red lenses to support our learning of the red room from Jane Eyre. When I moved to England and started teaching English, a teaching moment like that was few and far between. Maybe it was me? Maybe it was the curriculum? Gradually, I found my creative feet again and was able to establish myself as someone who was creative and carried the label of being creative. (Maureen McDevitt)The Guardian also mentions Jane Eyre in a terrible story about sexual harassment.
My 13-year-old daughter and I went to see Jane Eyre at the National Theatre on the South Bank, a few weeks ago. It was a clear night and we walked across the bridge to catch the tube, talking about the play as we went. Jane Eyre’s strong sense of justice comes across early in this exciting production, along with her independent will and ability to make clear choices in a world where women were expected to behave in particular, passive, conformist ways. [...]The Times's Historic Houses talks about the rectory houses, including the Brontë Parsonage in Haworth
In the end, then, I look to one of my own heroines, Jane Eyre, who probably had it about right in her response to Mr Rochester when he tries to tame and control her, and mould her into what he thinks he wants her to be.
“I am no bird and no net ensnares me,” she says. “I am a free human being with an independent will.” (Liz Goodman)
It is a respectable but still surprisingly thin body of work: the odd truth is that the empire is notable in its absence from British poems, plays or novels of the colonial period. There is The Tempest; the plantations in the background of Mansfield Park, and Indian and other colonial characters who flit across the pages of Vanity Fair, Jane Eyre and The Moonstone; yet there is almost no mention of south Asia in the works of, say, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy or DH Lawrence. Whatever the economic and political importance of India to Britain, the attention of British writers, like that of the British public, was usually much more insular and inward-looking. (William Dalrymple)This columnist from The Hindu has travelled around England in the steps of her favourite authors.
I saved the best for last — The Brontës. The Brontë Parsonage was no mean little stone house by the windy moors that I was expecting. The airy house with its well-preserved furniture and personal effects of the Brontë siblings gave one the impression that it had been a good home. It was with a heart almost as heavy as Heathcliff’s that I left that beloved place. (Vijetha S.N.)The Scarborough News shares some tips for a perfect day out in Scarborough.
Leaving the castle, turn right to view Anne Brontë’s grave beyond the car park wall, and visit St Mary’s Church just ahead. A church may have occupied this position even before the first castle was erected, with the first single-aisled structure of around 1150 being extended and restored later.Star Daily Standard recommends books for teenagers:
“Jane Eyre,” Charlotte Brontë: This literary classic from 1847 follows its title character as she grows into adulthood, becomes a governess and falls in love with her Byronic boss. “I love giving ‘Jane Eyre’ to older, passionate readers and not only because it’s my favorite book in the whole world,” says [Shosana] Smith. “The story is so beautifully written, rich with detail and real depth of feeling. Not to mention early feminist themes, scandalous for its time!”YourTango talks about the origin of the Mrs. title:
According to Mental Floss, the original meaning for "Mrs." was Mistress. But it's not what you think. If you're an avid reader of the classics (i.e. Shakespeare, Dickens, the Brontë sisters), you know that the definition doesn't have the same meaning it does now. (Caithlin Pena)Refinery29 reviews the latest album by Adele:
Title: “Hello”Le Soir (Belgium) visits the house of the architect Maryam Mahdavi:
Best Line: “But it don’t matter, it clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore”
Thoughts/Feelings: If you were to stand at the edge of a cliff, à la the characters of Wuthering Heights, this would be the song to soundtrack your emotional moment. (See also: appropriate for lamenting over lost loves in gale-force winds.) (Anne T. Donahue)
Elle l’a ainsi simplement habillée de “ ses ” couleurs : le bleu, le vert, le rose poudré, comme une boîte de cosmétiques. Maryam Mahdavi a tenté d’y faire dialoguer toute une série de meubles et d’objets fantasques et hétéroclites. Le résultat est magique, entre “ Les Hauts de Hurlevent ” et “ Les Mille et Une Nuits ”. (Estelle Toscanucci) (Translation)Chicago Now's Not the Fastest Girl in Town tells about her love for Wuthering Heights. AnneBrontë.org posts about Haworth Sanitation And The Babbage Report. Les Soeurs Brontë (in French) makes a point for returning the Parsonage to the way it was the the Brontës were alive.