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Cathy and Heathcliff are back at the Alhambra, more than a decade after the world premiere of Northern Ballet's stirring adaptation of Wuthering Heights.If there's such a thing as comfort food, then why not comfort books too? The Guardian and its readers have selected a few.
Starting and ending with a moving portrayal of the carefree relationship between the couple, this is a passionate, powerful production encompassing the key elements of Emily Brontë's classic. [...]
Like most adaptations of Wuthering Heights, it ends with Cathy's death, but we are left in no doubt of the torment that follows for Heathcliff. Staggering across the moor, grief-stricken and middle-aged, he is only complete when death comes and reunites him with his beloved Cathy.
The haunting score by Claude-Michel Schönberg, the man behind the music of Les Misérables and Miss Saigon, portrays the contrasts in the central relationship - as joyful and carefree as it is dark and tense - and the stark set conveys both the bleak moorland setting and timeless essence of the story.
Tobias Batley and Martha Leebolt were mesmerising as Heathcliff and Cathy; portraying the love, jealousy, obsession and despair of their complex relationship through a series of powerful pas de deux.
Strong performances too from Rachael Gillespie and Jeremy Curnier as the young Cathy and Heathcliff, capturing the youthful optimism of two people who start out believing they will always be together, and Giuliano Contadini as Edgar and Hannah Bateman as Isabella.
A beautifully performed, haunting production, and a real treat to see this Northern Ballet triumph come home again. (Emma Clayton)
A breakfast-room adjoined the drawing-room, I slipped in there. It contained a bookcase: I soon possessed myself of a volume, taking care that it should be one stored with pictures. I mounted into the window-seat: gathering up my feet, I sat cross-legged, like a Turk; and, having drawn the red moreen curtain nearly close, I was shrined in a double retirement.” Thus the young Jane Eyre escapes the double trial of her aunt’s scolding and “the drear November day”. Her escapism isn’t straightforward though, as her book of choice is Bewick’s History of British Birds which, between the bucolic engravings of robins and sea-fowl, features ghoulish scenes of hellfire and hangings.A columnist writes along the same lines on Splice Today.
The fiend pinning down the thief’s pack behind him, I passed over quickly: it was an object of terror.Jane presumably gets an illicit thrill from those terrifying images, making her the ancestor of those who find nothing more consoling in the cold, dark months of winter than an evening home alone with one of Stephen King’s grislier novels.
Jane Eyre is one of the books I return to when times are tough, so it came to mind when reading through the comfort library assembled by contributors to our Tips, Links and Suggestions forum. Earlier this week, a member of our children’s books site inspired a twitter-fest by recommending her own list of comfort books: children’s books are regularly cited as literature’s version of cocoa and a hotwater bottle for troubled grown-ups too, for obvious reasons, with Harry Potter leading the way for the generation whose childhoods will always be associated with the boy wizard. (Claire Armitstead)
My mother’s penchant to occasionally fling something when she was angry confirmed the safety I found in being an introverted child. I learned to be fearful of things that might, but never do, occur. But this woman, who had to leave school when she was 14 to help support her family, led me as a child on Saturdays up two flights of stairs to our public library where the chubby, double-chinned librarian read, Are You My Mother?, Horton Hatches the Egg, Ferdinand the Bull and Make Way for Ducklings. When I was in seventh grade, she handed me the novels of Thomas Hardy, Edith Wharton, and the Brontës. (Naomi Weiss)Writer Saad Z Hossain doesn't seem to have found the same comfort in Jane Eyre judging from one of his answers in this interview from Dhaka Tribune (Bangladesh).
One book you always have to defend not liking? I didn’t like Jane Eyre much. I thought it was boring and dreary, and vastly overrated when compared to the best of Jane Austen. (N Anita Amreen)The Philippine Star has an article on fan fiction.
The truth is that fanfiction isn’t some new, modern-century creation. It’s actually been around for many, many years now, changing forms through the decades. The Brontë sisters, authors of classic English novels such as Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, are actually some of literature’s first fanfic writers, creating adventure fantasies about the Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington. The first time “fan fiction” was used publicly was 1939, and its modern version was popularized by the Star Trek fandom, who were prolific in creating zines and stories that they would sell at sci-fi conventions. Any fanfiction aficionado has a genesis of their own, each one stranger than the next. (Margarita Buenaventura)National Geographic's Intelligent Travel recommends 'Top Ten Yorkshire Experiences' including
Get Lit: Pay homage to the authors of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth. Follow the footpath winding through the moors outside for a sense of the environment that inspired the imaginative sisters.Finally an alert from the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
Under the Influence: In Haworth, order a pint at the Black Bull, Branwell Brontë’s regular pub—just across the street from the apothecary where the only Brontë son bought his opium.
We are delighted to present a rare opportunity to view the patchwork quilt worked on by the Brontë sisters and their Aunt Branwell.The quilt will be on display until December 6th starting today.
Measuring 187cm x 214cm, the quilt consists of silks, taffetas, velvets and cotton and has a calico backing. It has been hand-sewn and the stitches are neat and even. In some places, the quilt has faded and it is possible to see backing papers, such as newspaper, which was common practice in quilt-making at the time. The Brontës also appear to have used fragments of old letters as paper templates.
The quilt is unfinished and was passed on to the family of Martha Brown, the Brontë family's servant. The Brontë Society purchased the quilt in 1924.
The quilt is rarely displayed due to its fragile nature. Come and see it while you can!