Tuesday, March 29, 2016

In today's newsround we will be visiting many of the places associated with the Brontës. Starting with Brussels, as Lyndall Gordon writes about Charlotte's infatuation with Constantin Heger in New Statesman.
In the run-up to the bicentenary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth on 21 April 1816, there has been a renewed surge of wonder at this young woman who speaks so intimately across time – “Reader, I married him” – that she binds “Reader” to her. Jane Austen became the prime literary celebrity a few years ago, but in recent years that kind of glory has shifted to Charlotte, whose anniversary is being celebrated with new biographies and a collection of stories inspired by Jane Eyre; exhibitions in New York, London and Haworth; and television and radio programmes, including a Radio 3 series ­acknowledging Charlotte as not only a novelist but also one of the great letter-writers in our language.
Brussels has emerged as a current site of inspection. Charlotte went there, accompanied by her younger sister Emily, in 1842 and she returned alone for a second year in 1843. The idea was to improve her French and German with a view to opening a school at the parsonage in Haworth, but a stronger motive was to travel. (Read more)
The Telegraph and Argus reports that Thornton is launching a series of celebrations as Charlotte Brontë's birthday approaches.
An arts centre in Thornton will celebrate one of the village's most famous figures by holding an exhibition dedicated to women in the arts later this week.
Next month, Thornton is celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of Charlotte Brontë, the oldest of the literary Bronteësisters, who were all born in the village.
To mark the occasion, and in recognition of how the sisters paved the way for women in the arts, all of South Square Centre’s exhibitors from April to the end of May will be women. And during the exhibition, called I'm No Bird, visitors will be asked to nominate who they feel is the most influential woman in Bradford's history.
There will also be a range of artworks, events and activities in response to the celebrations, starting with a launch event on Friday. [...]
South Square has commissioned Yorkshire Film Archive to create a short film, weaving together images of women recorded on film over the decades of the twentieth century, engaging in a variety of activities from politics, engineering, education and sports.
The film will be accompanied by a soundtrack by Todmorden-based musician Magpahi, aka Alison Cooper.
Yvonne Carmichael, Artistic Programmer for the gallery, said: "We are really excited to be working with Yorkshire Film Archive as well as numerous female local musicians, artists and DJs to celebrate the bicentenary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth.
"It is funny how it often gets forgotten that the sisters were born here. I don't know if it's because we don't shout out about it. It's great that with this anniversary there are now some key people talking about Thornton.
"We've taken this upcoming anniversary as inspiration to have this exhibition and to have a great party."
Visitors will be asked to nominate their pick of a Bradford born or based pioneering woman from the time of the Brontë’s to the present day.
The launch event takes place between 7-9pm on Friday and will be followed by an after party at The New Inn featuring DJ sets by Lucy Barker and Kirsty Taylor. Everyone is invited to bring along their own five-song DJ-sets showcasing their favourite female musicians on mp3 players to add to the nights soundtrack. Staff from Emily's, the bistro based in the Brontë's former, will be providing food
Limited edition risographed posters of the event by artist Anna Peaker will also be available.
The exhibition, which features work by artists such as Jane Fairhurst, June Russell and Patricia Calver, runs from April 2 - May 29 with the gallery open Tuesday - Saturday between noon and 3pm. (Chris Young)
Condé Nast Traveler has an article on Norton Conyers.
Famed writer Charlotte Brontë once visited a North Yorkshire home and heard a legend there about a mad woman who had lived in the attic. That story ended up inspiring the character of Bertha Rochester in Brontë's novel Jane Eyre, one of the classics of British literature. Now, that home—the Norton Conyers manor house in Wensleydale—is open to the public following a decade-long refurbishment. [...]
Beyond its connection to a beloved novel, Norton Conyers is a Grade II-listed property, meaning it has been recognized as "having special interest" to the United Kingdom. Two kings, Charles I and James II, both spent the night here, and many of its 18th-century furnishings, including paintings, have been well-preserved. Hardcore Brontë fans will also be excited to hear that the walled garden and orangery are also available for weddings. As for the attic? Local historians are going through documents discovered during the renovation to try and learn the identity of the woman who inspired one of literature's most memorable characters.
If you want to build a fuller Brontë-themed itinerary in England, drive about an hour and a half to the Brontë Parsonage Museum in nearby Haworth, West Yorkshire, where Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and Branwell grew up. (Lilit Marcus)
A reader of The Irish Times writes about who he considers key in the 'revival' of Patrick Brontë's Irish origins.
Sir, – While the family of Co Down-born Patrick Brontë is synonymous with the Yorkshire moors, as Frank McNally writes (“An Irishman’s Diary”, March 26th), the Irish connection was revived in 1921 by the appointment of New Zealand-born James Brontë Gatenby, a descendant of Patrick’s brother, as professor of zoology in Trinity College Dublin.
James’s son, Peter Barry Brontë Gatenby, who died last year, became professor of medicine at Trinity College in 1960.– Yours, etc,
Dr John Doherty
Still in Ireland, The Belfast Telegraph has politician Mike Nesbitt share some of his favourite things.
My best book
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. I like it because a woman, who as far as we know was a country spinster, wrote the best love story ever, just from her instinct and imagination. (Kerry McKittrick)
Unexpectedly, Charlotte Brontë helped the Republican troops during the Civil War in Spain (1936-1939), as highlighted by The Christian Science Monitor's review of Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 by Adam Hichschild.
In 1936, opposing armies occupied different sectors of the campus of the University in Madrid. At one point the Republican troops fortified their positions in the lecture halls by sheltering behind ramparts built from the thickest books they could find: Kant, Goethe, Voltaire, Pascal, Thomas De Quincy, Charlotte Brontë, and sturdy encyclopedias. They learned that a bullet would typically pierce 350 pages before stopping.
The Guardian has an obituary on Asa Briggs and recalls that he
had a powerful sense of place. He was proud to hail from the heart of Brontë country. The pioneering quality of his books on the Victorian era came from their attunement to regions and communities, to particular cities and social groups, as well as from his ease in moving between literary sources and more conventional historical ones. (Jonathan Bate)
The Chicago Tribune features a local stage adaptation of Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair.
The literary world comes to life in the latest production at Valparaiso University.
Set in an alternate 1985, "The Eyre Affair" runs April 1-10 at the school's Center for the Arts in Valparaiso.
"Thursday Next is our heroine. She's a literary detective. This is a world in which there's an alternate universe. Crime and war are still going on, airships are the preferred mode of travel, and novels and authors are the rock 'n' roll stars of this world," said Austin Tichenor, director of "The Eyre Affair."
"I'm a lover of literature myself. I also love Jasper Fforde's novels. They operate on so many levels. They are, at once, a novel steeped in the tradition of the 19th century but also filled with science fiction and elements of time travel and vaudeville comedy." [...]
When: 8 p.m. April 1 and 8; 2 p.m. April 2-3 and 9-10
Where: Valparaiso University Center for the Arts, 1709 Chapel Drive, Valparaiso
Tickets: $15 adults; $10 seniors and non-Valparaiso University students; free Valpo students, faculty and staff
Information: 219-464-5162 or www.valpo.edu/theatre (Jessi Virtusio)
Daily Corinthian recommends Catherine Lowell's The Madwoman Upstairs.
In Catherine Lowell’s “The Madwoman Upstairs,” the last living descendant of Charlotte Brontë’s family must go on a literary scavenger hunt to uncover the secrets of her past. Lowell’s first book, this novel opens at the death of Samantha’s father, when she discovers that she is the heir to a wealth of literary memorabilia stretching back to the famed literary family.
Samantha is at first skeptical, but after enrolling at Oxford University, the facts and the fiction begin to merge. With the help of a young English professor, she must dive into the world of literature, as well as her own life. A fast-paced read, this will delight fans of “Special Topic in Calamity Physics” and “The Weird Sisters". (Cody Daniel)
San Francisco Examiner recommends an interesting event featuring two writers of recently-released Brontë-related novels: Catherine Lowell and Lyndsay Faye.
Tuesday, March 29
Catherine Lowell: The author discusses her debut novel “The Madwoman Upstairs,” about a descendent of the Brontë family who embarks on a modern-day literary treasure hunt, along with Lyndsay Faye, author of “Jane Steele,” a bold and brilliant re-casting of Charlotte Brontë’s classic “Jane Eyre.” [7 p.m., Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera]
Apparently, this is how the staff at TV Fanatic celebrate things:
Grab your copy of Wuthering Heights, your lollipops, and let's celebrate! (Christine Laskodi)
Which is totally fine by us even if Wuthering Heights is not much of a party-inducing sort of book.

Now seriously. if you're as mystified as we are by the reference, Fusion clarifies why. It has to do with TV show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
 This musical tribute to “Heavy Boobs,” from the episode that will air tonight. [...]
At least big boobs know how to make themselves useful. The characteristically witty lyrics enumerate various objects that Rebecca can hold under her chest, a list that includes both a paperback copy of Arabian Nights and a hardback copy of Wuthering Heights. (Molly Fitzpatrick
Finally, and on a more serious note, AnneBrontë.org celebrates Easter with Anne Brontë. The Silver Petticoat Review posts about Wuthering Heights 1992. The Plus Ones reviews the Shake & Stir performances of Wuthering Heights in Sydney.


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