Saturday, February 13, 2016

Keighley News talks about the new BPM exhibition Charlotte Great and Small:
One of the highlights is a passionate letter on loan from the British Library, which Charlotte wrote to the love of her life, the married Professor Constantin Heger in Brussels; said to be the inspiration for Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre.
It was ripped up by Monsieur Heger and bizarrely sewn up by his wife. One of the contemporary artists commissioned to add to the show is Ligia Bouton, whose response to this is to tear up her own version and stitch the pieces back together.
The show’s curator, the author Tracy Chevalier, told an audience in Haworth at the opening that she felt a bit guilty about putting Charlotte’s intimate items, including her undergarment and a letter she didn’t intend anyone else to see, on display, “sewn back in a Frankenstein kind of way”.
Tracy said: “I’m not sure how Charlotte would have felt about that, it’s voyeuristic, she would probably have been horrified. But we have been respectful and are honouring a tiny woman, who lived in a small world, who had great ambition.”
We see just how small Charlotte was through her child-size bodice, gloves and shoes, marvel at the tiny books and paintings she made and a scrap from a dress she wore to a London dinner party hosted by William Makepeace Thackeray.
The sisters used hair to make jewellery and literally wore their family in rings and necklaces. We are moved by the wisps of Bronte hair.
Artist Serena Partridge used Tracy’s and parsonage staff’s hair as thread to make miniature boots. There’s a tiny bed you can make with quilts embroidered with Bronte quotes and a knitted tableau. (David Knights)
This interview with Claire Harman in The Irish Examiner discusses more Emily Brontë than the subject of her book, Charlotte Brontë:
And, reading the biography of Charlotte Brontë that Claire is in Dublin to promote, it’s clear that she still has an abiding fascination for Charlotte’s younger, and less prolific sister.
“Emily was a genius really,” she says.
“She was a woman of quite extraordinary ability, but she was much more weird than wonderful to be around.
“There was an episode where she brutally attacks her beloved dog who was devoted to her.
“I think she was a frightening person with a volatile temper and a desire to domineer.
“Emily could be totally quelling with her silences and her withholding, and I see that as a manipulative psychological trick.
“Rather than being friendly with strangers, or even quietly affable, she was going to make her presence firmly felt.”
All this makes sense of the brutality and high passions detailed in Emily’s only published novel, Wuthering Heights.
“Charlotte and Anne objected to some of the horror in it, but Emily refused to change anything. (Read more)
Emily's creation Heathcliff fetures in the same newspaper in a completely different way:
It is because of Heathcliff that we are like this,” Karen says and takes another sip from the salt-rimmed glass. “It was irresponsible of them to teach us Wuthering Heights in our formative years.” (...)
Heathcliff was dark and swarthy and could disappear on you at any minute. Where did he even come from? They found him on the side of the road, the divil, with no explanation for himself. Heathcliff went mad with love for Catherine, lashing his head against a tree trunk, eternally tortured by her ghost. We hated the wishy washy drippy Edgar, who was actually living with Catherine on a daily basis.
Heathcliff, like Gatsby, was a romantic hero full of mystery and disappearance and grand gestures. And truly romantic love, the really good stuff, was dramatic and impossible. (Catherine Conroy)
 The Telegraph & Argus reviews 50 Walks in West Yorkshire by AA Publishing:
A potted history of the Brontës accompanies the 7.5 mile walk from Haworth along the Brontë Way to Top Withins, the ruin which was the possible inspiration for Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights. (Helen Mead)
The 175th anniversary of the Christ Church CE Primary School in Colne has Brontë connections. In Lancashire Telegraph:
Stephanie Tilsley, history leader and year three teacher, said that the week was a great way for the children to learn about the school's past.
She said: "The children loved the dressing up and I think in particular the Victorian teacher coming in from the Lancashire Museum Service went down really well.
"Some of the students even said that they wanted to keep the desks in rows facing the front they enjoyed it that much."
Mrs Tilsley said that she dug through the school's archives and constructed a play based on it history which the children acted out at a church service yesterday (Friday).
She said: "I found all the school's old log books and from this I planned out a way to teach it to the children.
"I decided to write it out as a play that the children could act out and it's been a really great way for them to learn about our founder William Hodgson, who was Patrick Brontë's curate, and other aspects of the history."
The New York Times reviews the Yale Rep production, The Moors:
Having its world premiere at Yale Repertory Theater, “The Moors” springs from the same bleak yet fecund Victorian environment that the Brontë sisters called home. The brilliant and arguably tragic Branwell, brother of Charlotte, Emily and Anne, is name-checked and more in the play, and there is the sense of gothic romance throughout. (...)
I relaxed when Ms. McAndrew was the focus, especially because of her ease with the Victorian dialogue; though the cast members deliver the lines with American accents, they retain the feel of Brontë-speech. (David DeWitt)
On the same newspaper a list of memorable literary deaths:
Just a cursory list of memorable deaths (spoilers ahead) can make all of literature seem like one long Edward Gorey strip: Cathy in “Wuthering Heights”; Beth in “Little Women”; Piggy in “Lord of the Flies”; Cordelia in “King Lear”; more or less everyone in “Hamlet”; Leonard Bast in “Howards End”; Anna Karenina; and perhaps most agonizingly, the small children in “Jude the Obscure.” (John Williams)
and a review of I'm Glad About You by Theresa Rebeck:
Alison and Kyle may fall short of Catherine and Heathcliff’s iconic love, but who cares? I still found myself more invested in them than I’ve been in any thwarted couple since Ross and Rachel dominated Thursday nights. (Elisabeth Egan)
Reuters reviews the Indian film Fitoor:
Meanwhile, Noor goes from besotted to obsessed with Firdaus, almost channeling the hero of another classic English novel – the notorious Heathcliff. Actor Aditya Roy Kapoor broods, sulks and rants, and sometimes it is difficult to tell one from the other. (Shilpa Jamkhandikar)
The performances in Graz of a production of William Shakespeare's The Tempest contains a curious Brontë reference.
Der Inseltraum bei der Premiere von William Shakespeares Drama „Der Sturm“ am Samstag in Graz dauert wenige Minuten. Noch versperrt der schwarze eiserne Vorhang im Schauspielhaus die Bühne. Davor an der Rampe aber cremt sich eine Frau im Liegestuhl mit Sonnenschutz ein. Sie trägt einen glitzernden Badeanzug sowie anachronistische Gummistiefel, liest ein Taschenbuch: „Sturmhöhe“ von Emily Brontë. Wer kann diese Leserin sein? ( Norbert Mayer in Die Presse) (Translation)
Das Wagnis einer trichterartigen Bühne mit echtem Humus und Schlammlöchern hat sich gelohnt. Etliche Anspielungen wurden eingebaut - in einer Szene wurde aus Ariel (Sarah Sophia Meyer) eine wunderbare Arielle mit Seejungfrauenunterleib, die im Abgang öfters „Stormy Weather“ vor sich hin pfeift, ganz zu Beginn im Liegestuhl gemütlich in „Sturmhöhe“ schmökert und Musik und Wetter mit einer Geste im Griff hat. (Tiroler Tageszeitung) ( Translation)
Ángeles Caso talks about her Brontë novel Todo ese fuego in El Comercio (Spain):
De las hermanas Brontë, prefiere a Emily, la autora de 'Cumbres borrascosas', cuya obra estima -en sintonía con un octogenario lector que no desveló- que podría ser «la mejor novela que trata la pasión amorosa». Respecto de si es posible alcanzar ese grado literario sin haber tenido la experiencia personal de la pasión y el amor, sospecha que Emily Brontë vivió un amor de adolescencia, que evocaría en 'Cumbres borrascosas'. «Era tímida y asocial, hoy se desenvolvería en las redes de internet sin salir de casa; pero albergaba un genio. Era un ser extraordinario, la adoro», abundó. (Alberto Piquero) (Translation)
Popcorn TV (Italy) lists films with storms:
Jane Eyre: In questo caso, il temporale è il vero protagonista di una delle scene più importanti del film. La stessa autrice del libro, Charlotte Brontë, utilizzò l’espediente del temporale per conferire maggiore pathos alla scena. Quando i due protagonisti si dichiarano il loro amore, una pioggia torrenziale si imbatte su di loro. Scoppia un temporale fortissimo; un lampo distruggerà il loro albero in cui la coppia si era dichiarata amore. Segno, forse, che una tempesta si imbatterà di lì a poco su di loro? (Translation)
Librópatas recommends The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell as the perfect book for this most Brontë of years:
Tiene lo bueno de los best-sellers y es una novela que se lee fácilmente, tiene lo bueno de lo muy (y usemos la palabra en inglés, que es la que mejor lo describe) bookish y hay maravillosas conversaciones literarias y es tremendamente divertido (y por divertido digo reírse en voz alta). Y aunque es una novela fascinantemente literaria en la que se habla mucho de literatura no es de forma pedante y pesada. ¡La protagonista (y la narración) se ríe de toda esa pedantería! (Y sí, a veces quería parar de leer y aplaudir). (Raquel C. Pino) (Translation)
And now the Valentine section, of course:
 It’s something easy to forget, especially for people in their early 20s (i.e., me) who tend to prioritize romance and sex over everything else. Back in Victorian times—or at least as depicted in some of my favorite novels and plays—marriage was rarely romantic.(...) Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest massacres these conventions, and we see in his works (and in Charles Dickens’ novels and even in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre) that friendships are oftentimes the purest (and superior) form of companionship—real love. While there is frequent anxiety about marriage and all that accompanies it, the strongest relationships are those shared by friends. There’s Pip and Herbert Pocket in Great Expectations, and Jane Eyre’s short-lived friendship with Helen in boarding school is among the most intimate in Brontë​'s novel. (Eric Eidelstein in Complex)
Classic Love Stories to Curl Up With on Valentine’s Day
Wuthering Heights
What Catherine and Heathcliff’s love lacks in idealism, it makes up for in passion in Emily Brontë’s iconic novel of the English moors. (Sarah Begley in Time Magazine)
Heathcliffe (sic) & Catherine (Wuthering Heights)
Emily Brontë’s novel brought to life one of the most unique love stories in literary history. It is not the healthiest of relationships, but it’s impressive how even in death, their romance lives on.
Relive the love story: Two versions (2009 and 2013) are available to stream on Amazon Prime. (Heather Thompson in Parade)
Día de San Valentín: el amor en 12 grandes novelas: Cumbres Borrascosas de Emily Brontë,
Los protagonistas de esta historia de amor son la caprichosa y egoísta Catherine y su hermanastro, el rencoroso Heathcliff. Este lazo familiar les prohíbe que las pasiones que sienten mutuamente se puedan materializar, y tampoco ayuda el antagonista hermano de ambos, Hareton, quien hará todo lo posible por separarlos. Pero, como todo novela de pasión desatada, el destino se encargará de encontrarlos en más de una oportunidad, en una novela de amor y venganza. (Diego Almazábar in La Tercera) (Translation)
La rascruce de vanturi, de Emily Brontë
Singura carte a autoarei Emily Brontë, "La rascruce de vanturi", a aparut in 1847 si este considerata o capodopera a literaturii engleze. Povestea romanului se desfasoara pe parcursul a patru generatii si prezinta reconstruirea unei iubiri esuate din cauza prejudecatilor din trecut. (Andra Imbrea in Wall-Street) (Translation)
The most romantic place in Oxfordshire: Broughton Castle, Banbury
The well-kept home of the 21st Baron of Saye and Sele shot back to fame in 2015 after appearing on television as a key location for BBC2's Wolf Hall. With other credits including Jane Eyre and Shakespeare in Love to its name, this is the perfect venue for a Valentine's Day straight out of the movies. (Megan Archer in The Oxford Mail)
Valentine's Day Movie List: "Jane Eyre" (2011): Director Cary Fukunaga ("Sin Nombre") and his talented young cast, including Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender and Jamie Bell, bring fresh energy to the often-adapted gothic tale. Every aspect of the narrative is heightened: The mystery crackles with suspense, the romance smolders with sensuality, and the coming-of-age story flares with intensity. (Brandy McDonnell in NewsOK)
There are more gritty versions of the romance story — ‘Wuthering Heights’, for example — where rapture is tempered with a good deal of agony and the tale of love turns not on the other’s presence but their absence.
But where does that leave us? The happy-ever-after version is far more appealing but it lulls us into a false sense of security and puffs us up with expectations that are bound to fall short.
The Heathcliff version is cruel and cold and no amount of rapture is worth that kind of torment.(The Irish Examiner)
While researchers at Rutgers University may tout Flower Power, and have science to prove that flowers make one happy, the fact is they wilt and die a slow death. Do you know how painful it is to throw away drooping roses that were once brimming with joy? I still have flaky crispy petals from 2001 preserved between the pages of my well-loved copy of Wuthering Heights. (Vedavati in The Good Men Project)
When I reflect on my pathetic memories of Valentine’s day, a few key ones jump out at me. (...) The one where my friend found out she’d been cheated on, so we went up to the common to burn all his paraphernalia - love letters, diary entries about him etc. But, just as the fire lit, a massive gust of wind blew the whole thing away and we had to wander the common like Heathcliff and Cathy, plucking diary entries out of trees and puddles like a really naff version of How To Make An American Quilt. (Holly Bourne in The Guardian)
Ireland’s most romantic bedrooms:  Book yourself into Gregan’s Castle, Georgina Campbell’s hotel of the year, and spend your time playing Heathcliff and Cathy out on the moors. Okay, the Burren. (Sandra O'Connell in The Irish Times)
17 Books to Read on Valentine's Day, Before, After, or Instead of a Hot Date
Wuthering Heights
When Wuthering Heights was first published, people said it was a "vulgar" book, with a "lurid" romance at the center of its story between a wide-eyed heroine and her mysterious Heathcliff. That's Victorians for you. Today the book is a classic, best enjoyed by the old-school romantic to really savor the deep and magnetic attraction between Catherine and her gypsy beau — a romance as eternal as the rocks beneath the famous moors of Wuthering Heights(Nathan Smith in Cosmopolitan)
Bustle concludes this list with a selection of quotes that will make you proud of being single:
“I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”
Jane Eyre is practically the patron saint of solitude. Sure, her story is remembered as one of the most romantic of all time, but something tells me she would’ve been perfectly happy without a Mr. Rochester. (Crystal Paul)
Finally a poll on Playbuzz with 100 classics to be taught at school. The list comes from this initiative:
Anna Karenina, The Thirty-Nine Steps and Twelve Years a Slave are among 100 titles being offered as part of a new initiative from Penguin Classics, following a call for action by Schools Minister Nick Gibb to ensure there is more classic literature being taught in our schools.
The 100 titles - taken from Penguin’s popular Black Classics series - range from the earliest writings to early 20th century works, span fiction and non-fiction, poetry and prose, and are intended to offer a springboard for children to discover the classics. All the titles are by authors who died before 1946 and are therefore out of copyright.
It includes four Brontës: Jane Eyre and Villette by Charlotte, Wuthering Heights by Emily and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne.

Belles Plumes (in French) posts about Wuthering HeightsNovel Readings doesn't really like the Team Brontë vs Team whatever battles... but she is Team Brontë.


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