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Stepping into this exhibition is possibly quite like seeing the Soane as Charlotte would have seen it. This idiosyncratic one-room show is as packed full of ideas as the objects that crowd the room itself.The Christian Science Monitor reviews Claire Harman's Charlotte Brontë. A Fiery Heart:
A curate's desk, stuffed full of artefacts and relics that 'could' have a connection to the Brontës.
There are treasures on display on loan from the Brontë Parsonage Museum: the dress Charlotte wore to a dinner party at Thackeray's house, as well as an 1838 guidebook from London Zoo, and Charlotte's tiny account book, where she recorded her expenses during her first trip to London.
Charlotte Brontë's notebook where she recorded her expenses during her first trip to London in July 1848.
Comparisons are made between Charlotte's plain (food-stained?) dress and the fashions of the time, with a fashionplate from 1850.
Charlotte's trips to the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park in the company of Dr David Brewster are represented by a Brewsterscope, a contemporary instrument for viewing 3D photography.
Charlotte Brontë's dress, which she wore to Thackeray's dinner party, 12 June 1850
You can also see variations on the George Richmond portrait of Charlotte Brontë: friends claimed the sketch didn't reflect the true likeness, it made her more beautiful. Cory has created an altered version of the picture with a larger nose and chin, perhaps creating a more realistic portrait of the author. (...)
If you're a stickler for historical accuracy and have unbending views about the authenticity of artefacts, this might not be the Brontë exhibition for you.
But if you enjoy wit and whimsy, and are happy to imagine other worlds belonging to our favourite authors that aren't set down in official historical reports, there's plenty to both inform and inspire at this show. It's both affectionate and irreverent; fanciful and full of important detail. We rather liked it. (Zoe Craig)
Harman emphasizes the parallels between Charlotte and Branwell, who were just a year apart, by juxtaposing episodes of their youth. The two collaborated on stories set in the fantastical Angria, and both wrote to renown poets for encouragement – Southey’s response taught Charlotte a lifelong lesson in adopting a male persona so as to be judged on her writing, not her gender. Both experimented with opium (at least, Harman makes a convincing case that Charlotte did) and harbored an obsessive unrequited love for someone married. Branwell’s privilege as the only son worked against him, however. His father’s homeschooling afforded him knowledge of the classics, but deprived him of peers, and his freedom to travel and socialize (which Charlotte desperately longed for) led to opium addiction. (Elizabeth Toohey)Keighley News talks about the upcoming Reader, I Married Him, edited by Tracy Chevalier:
Reader, I Married Him was commissioned by the Brontë Society as part of celebrations of the 200th anniversary of Charlotte’s birth.Victorian Musings reviews the book.
The book features stories from some of the finest and most creative voices in international contemporary women’s fiction.
The collection is edited by Tracy Chevalier – who is working closely with the Brontë Parsonage Museum on bicentenary events – and published by Borough Press.
The 21 stories in Reader, I Married Him, one of the most celebrated lines in fiction, are inspired by Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre and shaped by its perennially fascinating themes of love, compromise and self-determination.
Tracy Chevalier and fellow contributors Helen Dunmore and Salley Vickers will visit Haworth to read from the anthology. (David Knights)
Great works, from Hamlet to Wuthering Heights, are mischievously reduced to the idiot poetry of textspeak – with very funny results. (Nicholas Lezard)Mallory Ortberg, by the way, posts on The Toast a very funny list of every meal in Wuthering Heights ranked in order of sadness:
Wuthering Heights is the story of a group of people who eat the most miserable meals imaginable, and cannot experience love as a result. Sometimes they have tea, but more often they are merely offered it, and decide they are too furious to have tea, and die instead. Here is every meal the characters of Wuthering Heights almost eat before being interrupted by sex-rage and dying.Business World reviews the film Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis by Lav Diaz:
The second accusation is harder to refute: incandescent lights, an aluminum tripod, printed shirts impossible for that time period (though printed textiles have been around since the 12thcentury). It’s also not a little nitpicky (was Godard held accountable for the off-the-rack look of Emily Brontë’s and Saint-Just’s costumes in Weekend?). (Noel Vera)This columnist from The Courier-Tribune didn't like Jane Eyre:
This is something librarians understand completely. I’m glad I tried reading “Moby Dick” and I’m glad I liked it. I sometimes reflect there are those same books, like “Jane Eyre,” that others convinced me to read, and to my chagrin, and theirs, couldn’t get through the first chapter. (Dave Bare)Alex Weiss in Bustle lists things to do with old books (besides reading them, of course):
While I'm not looking forward to ridding myself of any books, I wouldn't mind getting rid of some of the book clutter that takes over my desk and floor. And if I'm honest, I know that there are multiple books I'll never crack open again — whether it be the botany college textbook I actually bought or one of my many copies of Wuthering Heights. If you're also a book collector, then I'm guessing you might be able to relate.Elena Ferrante's pseudonym is discussed in Tidningen Kulturen (Sweden):
Det saknas inte dubbleringar i kvinnolitteraturen och man har kastat fram "The Madwoman in the Attic" av Sandra M. Gilbert och Susan Gubar från 1979 och de exempel som tas upp där, men dessa handlar om 1800-talsromaner och de projektioner kvinnliga författare, uppfostrade till att vara "the Angel in the house", k Jane Eyre, eller att som Emily Brontë hoppa över kvinnolinjen helt och låta sin Catherine få en soulmate i den demoniske mannen Heath Cliff i stället. Eller när de kvinnliga författarna ofta fick ta till manliga pseudonymer för att tas på allvar. (Enel Melberg) (Translation)A scholar alert for tomorrow, March 24:
unde ta till för att visa fram mörkare sidor, exempelvis genom att ge den änglalika huvudpersonen en dubbelgångerska, som den galna kvinnan på vinden i Charlotte Brontës
Why Lucy Doesn’t Care: Migration and Emotional Labor in VilletteTalia SchafferThe Oregonian publishes an excerpt of Lyndsay Faye's Jane Steele and The Outerhaven reviews the novel; Jaú e Mariola (in Portuguese) reviews Jane Eyre 1944.
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
In this talk, Shaffer explored what happens if we read Lucy Snowe in Villette (1853) as a migrant caregiver, an early fictional example of a worker in an emerging economic category. Drawing on contemporary sociological studies of caregivers’ experiences with surveillance, cultural disorientation, and visibility, particularly Arlie Russell Hochschild’s theory of ’emotional labor,’ she asked, is it possible to read Charlotte Brontë’s last novel not as a case study of the unique psychology of a baffling individual but, rather, as a proto-sociological account of labor in a new global economy? What might such an approach mean for readings of the novel?