Christmas Lunch and Entertainment 2016 - The annual Brontë Group Christmas Lunch took place last Saturday, 3 December. Around 40 members turned up to enjoy a three-course meal, drinks and entertai...
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The Brontës’ mask was much more than a ruse to duck ridicule or vainglory. Their anonymity was liberating: it allowed their imaginations to trespass in the darkest crevices of the psyche and return with tormented monsters like Heathcliff, the Ahab of the moors, and dynamos like Miss Eyre. Their pseudonyms strengthened their moral resolve, emboldening them to speak truth to that most tyrannical seat of power: ordinary society.Frontlist/Backlist loves the Vintage Classics reissues of three of the Brontë novels.
Ms Ferrante’s incognito has lasted twenty years—a miracle in this day of hi-tech hacking. The Brontës’ secret, initially so airtight that even their father and brother were in the dark, lasted barely two. Their identity was revealed not in one swift stripping of the veil, but in incremental stages. The process started when Emily and Anne’s unscrupulous publisher began to put it about that Acton and Currer Bell were one person, hoping that Acton’s second novel, “Wildfell Hall”, would benefit from the best-selling “Jane Eyre”. When Currer Bell’s publisher, George Smith, wrote asking for an explanation, Currer and Acton were left with no choice but to travel to London to set the record straight. [...]
But Charlotte’s deepest betrayal was at the hands of George Henry Lewes, the foremost critic of the age and future partner of George Eliot. Lewes and Currer Bell had maintained a spirited correspondence until Lewes discovered who she was. In his review of “Shirley”, he crowed that the “authoress is the daughter of a clergyman!” who must learn to “sacrifice a little of her Yorkshire roughness to the demands of good taste.” Then he turned the knife, commenting on a plot line in the novel wherein a desperate young mother decides to leave her baby with a relative. “Currer Bell!” thundered Lewes. “If under your heart had ever stirred a child, if to your bosom a babe had ever been pressed…never could you have imagined such a falsehood as that!”
Stunned by the ad feminem attack, a “cold and sick” Charlotte wrote to Lewes that what had hurt her most was not his criticism, “but because, after I had said earnestly that I wished critics would judge me as an author not as a woman, you so roughly—I even thought—so cruelly handled the question of sex.” She signed off with, “Yours with a certain respect and some chagrin, Currer Bell.”
There is an ocean of contempt contained in that “certain”. It is matched only by the depth of longing in one of Charlotte Brontë’s most-quoted lines: “I think if a good fairy were to offer me the choice of a gift, I would say—grant me the power to walk invisible.” Ms Ferrante, who sings with such force and sincerity from shadow, is a worthy descendant of Currer Bell. (N.M.)
With reissued classics, the content will already be widely available and so there naturally needs to be a heavy focus on the covers and production. It’s essential to give printed titles a treatment which breathes new life into the work. Something covetable and sensorially pleasing is required in this age of cheap or free digital files. The chunky cut-down format of these makes them feel like pocketable treasures, and the uncoated flapped covers not only feel and smell amazing (yes, I’m one of those people) but fold back to reveal further artwork. A poorly looking bee and pair of birds in the case of Wuthering Heights. (Bree)In an interview by Michael Moore, Cary Fukunaga makes an interesting point in Interview Magazine.
MOORE: What I used to say is, "Kodak still makes film. Here's their 800 number. You make it." It's frustrating to have people review the film you didn't make. Like, "Why don't you deal with the film I've made?" Yes, there are a million other stories to be told; this is but one story. And if I were you, I would just draw the connection to Jane Eyre . Tell them they're companion pieces-of course, I'm just kidding, but not.Michael Fassbender - thanks to his role in Cary Fukunaga's Jane Eyre - is one of '12 adaptation all-stars' according to A.V. Club.
FUKUNAGA: No one was complaining about Hardy or the Brontës creating a dismal image of England. "Can't you make England look nicer? Not so tragic?"
From his breakthrough role as Irish activist Bobby Sands in Steve McQueen’s Hunger, Michael Fassbender’s singularly predatory handsomeness has marked him out as the go-to actor for morally questionable antiheroes. (It’s something in the mouth, equally at home in a toothy sneer or gaping in bottomless sorrow.) In the 2011 adaptation of Jane Eyre, his hooded eyes made him ideally suited for Rochester, whose conflicted motives pursuing Mia Wasikowska’s innocent heroine informed everything he did. When they finally find the novel’s version of a happy ending (his secret wife dead, his ancestral home burned down, and Rochester blinded), their union comes at the price promised by his pained expression all along. (Dennis Perkins)According to Bustle, Thursday Next from The Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde is one of 'The 8 Most Badass Female Characters in Sci-Fi'.
Thursday Next is a literary detective with a pet dodo, and if that doesn't pique your interest, I don't know what will. Jasper Fforde's comedic books straddle the line between sci-fi and fantasy, to be sure, but there's no denying that Thursday Next is one of the all-time greatest heroines in either genre. She's a war vet with a love of classic books. She's tough and guarded, but she also has the ability to jump into literature, which comes in handy when Jane Eyre disappears right out of Jane Eyre, and Thursday must set things right from the inside. (Charlotte Ahlin)A remote connection to the Brontës in an article about author Blake Morrison in Craven Herald & Pioneer.
Blake, professor of creative writing at Goldsmith's College in London, was approached by Jean Robinson, a founder member of the Friends group, because of the ground's rich literary connections.El Diario (Mexico) interviews Victoria García Jolly, director of the cultural magazine Algarabía, whose issue 134 includes an article on the Brontës. We sincerely hope this piece of (mis)information does not actually come from the article.
Their work has uncovered links to the Brontës. Buried there is the Rev John Cartman, a master at Ermysted's Grammar School, whose brother, William, officiated at both Charlotte and Patrick Brontë's funerals. (Clive White)
También un artículo sobre las hermanas Bronte, que fueron escritoras muy famosas. Lo que más me llamó la atención fue que un padre crió seis hijos, de los cuales todos fueron escritores; la respuesta está en cómo fueron criados. Lo más importante es que las leímos en inglés para entender la diferencia entre una y otra. (Raúl Armenta Ascencio) (Translation)Patrick Brontë did have six kids, but not all of them became writers. Two of them didn't have the time.
But we lose something in the process. We lose the magic of reunion.The Huffington Post Religion section shares a poem by Anne Brontë. And diaeresis (as the one used on the letter e in Brontë) is the word of the day on Natick Patch. The Brontë Parsonage Museum Facebook page alerts us to the fact that Ann Dinsdale and Susan Newby were on Made in Leeds TV's The Book It List.
Reunion is a theme of so much great literature and theatre and cinema. Jane Eyre and her beloved Rochester. Olive and Nancy and their sugarcane cutters in Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. Forrest Gump and his childhood sweetheart, Jenny. The group of old college friends coming together for a funeral in The Big Chill.
None of these storylines could be possible now. All the characters would have remained in contact throughout the years on Facebook. (Kerri Sackville)