Monday, January 04, 2016

The 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë will also be celebrated, though we don't know exactly how, in Northern Ireland, according to BBC News:
The Brontë Homeland in Banbridge where Patrick was raised has become something of a tourist attraction.
And it is hoped that 2016, during the bicentenary of the author of Jane Eyre, crowds will flock to the area.
The grave of the Brontë sisters' grandparents lies at Drumballyroney Church where Patrick first preached.
Tourism officer Jason Diamond said 2016 is "going to be a big year for Brontë fans".
"This is where it all began," she said.
"It brings home how humble his origins were. To go from this little two-bedroom cottage to become the father of not just one but three of the most famous authors in the entire history of English literature, it's quite impressive.
"There are anecdotes of the Brontë sisters speaking with Irish brogue accents because they spent so much time with their father growing up."
When their mother, Maria, died Charlotte was only five. Her father raised the family, with help from an aunt.
Charlotte was the only sister to visit Ireland, spending her honeymoon in County Offaly. She had married her father's curate, Arthur Bell Nicholls, from Killead in County Antrim.
"Most people imagine them to have posh, English accents but there are claims that wasn't the case, especially at a young age," Mr Diamond added. (Claire Graham)
More Brontë200 announcememts in Miami HeraldHerald & Review...

Daily Bruin reviews The World of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley:
Worlds of Ink and Shadow” by Lena Coakley takes readers into the lives of the teenaged Brontё siblings with a fantasy twist. Taking refuge from their rigid home life, the Brontёs are able to use their powerful imaginations and writing ability to physically transport themselves into Verdopolis, a fictional world of their own making. However, crossing over to another world comes with a steep price, and as the Brontёs try to put an end to the world they’ve created, Verdopolis and the characters the siblings have created within it refuse to let them go.
It might sound confusing because Coakley bases her characters off the Brontё siblings but treats them as fictional characters. Her fictional versions of the Brontёs envision and create characters within the world of Verdopolis. The novel spins a complex web with its multilayered storyline in a manner that
is impressive and captivating. (...)
Taken as a whole, the novel is not simply about the Brontёs. The fictional inhabitants of Verdopolis are just as important to the story as the Brontë siblings themselves. The manner in which the Verdopolis characters and the Brontës interact feels just as real as the interactions between any other characters in a normal world. As the Verdopolis characters become more self-aware, an enjoyable, metaphysical aspect is added to the novel, leaving the reader questioning what makes a person real. (Read more) (Umbreen Ali)
The Guardian lists this week's top theatre tickets:
It’s your last chance this week for Sally Cookson’s fabulous Jane Eyre at the National Theatre, London, although you will be able to catch it on home turf at Bristol Old Vic from 21 January. (Lyn Gardner)
The production is reviewed by Third Floor Republic.

The Chronicle of Higher Education discusses the rise of 'chick noir':
Despite the popularity of Gone Girl, making it appear an American phenomenon, the genre first took off in the U.K., where Gothic horror and CCTV have a long and ubiquitous presence in the streets and psyches. British critics have been quick to point out obvious antecedents: Patricia Highsmith, Daphne du Maurier, even Charlotte Brontë. But what of other modern influences, the age of terrorism, the perpetual wars that dislocate populations on a scale not seen since World War II, and mass government and corporate surveillance exposed by Edward Snowden? What is it about contemporary life that generates these novels and their avid readers now? (Paula Rabinowitz)
The Daily of the University of Washington thinks that Crimson Peak is the best horror film of 2015:
Set in Victorian England, the film’s costumes and sets are absolutely beautiful, and fans of “Jane Eyre” will particularly enjoy the characters and plot. (Katie Anastas)
For Upper Michigan Source Guillermo Del Toro's film was one of the best of the year:
Guillermo del Toro is one of my favorite directors, and it was nice to see him return to his spooky roots after the bombastic Pacific Rim. While the marketing made it look like a scare-a-minute haunted house movie, it was actually more of a gothic romance along the lines of a Charlotte Brontë novel. The script doesn't offer many surprises to the savvy viewer, which is fine because the real star of the film is the gorgeous cinematography and set design. The titular mansion is a lavish combination of elegant and decaying, and the mayhem that takes place within is wonderful to behold. (Aaron Boehm)
Another student publication, The Boar, visits Haworth:
For many readers, Yorkshire and the Brontës are inseparable. Renowned for living in almost complete isolation on the Yorkshire moors, many literary critics and biographers have used the idea of the Brontës living secluded lives as an explanation for the dark, gothic themes of the well-known novels they created like Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. In fact, it has often been considered that the only reason these books were written is because their authors were completely removed from civilised society!
However, this notion of the sisters living isolated lives is far from the truth. The Brontë sisters actually lived in the small village of Haworth, and grew up in the Parsonage there, with their father being the vicar of the surrounding area. For this reason, they lived in one of the largest houses in Haworth and were prominent figures in their local community. It is also often considered that the Brontës lived hermitic lives, never venturing far from the village. This is another myth though, as the sisters were actually surprisingly well-travelled, with Emily and Charlotte both travelling to Brussels to improve their education. (Nicola Paling)
The Classics Club posts about Wuthering Heights.

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