10 Fascinating Facts About Charlotte Brontë - On Wednesday 7th December, I’m very honoured to be returning to my old University, the University of Huddersfield, to give a public lecture on Charlotte Br...
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The day begins [...] at 11am at the Brontë Bell Chapel in Thornton, the village where Charlotte was born on April 21, 1816.
A floral tribute will be laid at the chapel, with a second transported to Haworth by bicycle.
The Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth will open at 10am, and throughout the day there will be a series of talks about Charlotte.
Visitors will also be able to to see some of Charlotte’s possessions up close in the parsonage library with a member of the collections team.
Bestselling novelist Tracy Chevalier, the museum’s creative partner during the centenary year, will talk to visitors about her exhibition – Charlotte Great And Small – at the museum.
The parsonage will remain open until 8pm, and people visiting after 6pm will be invited to join staff for a celebratory drink. Normal admission prices apply.
Meanwhile, there will be a birthday party for Charlotte in the Old School Room – just yards from the museum – from 11am to 4pm.
The event is free and open to all the community, and there will be tea, cake and entertainment throughout the day.
Haworth Primary School pupils will perform early scenes from the novel Jane Eyre.
A floral tribute will be laid in the parsonage garden, accompanied by words from Haworth vicar, the Rev Peter Mayo-Smith. A rose donated by David Austin Roses will be planted in the grounds in Charlotte’s memory later in the afternoon.
Parsonage Museum marketing and communications officer, Rebecca Yorke, said: “We are inviting members of the local community to bake a cake for Charlotte and bring it along to the School Room on the morning of April 21.
“We will take photographs of some of the most imaginatively decorated.
“During the afternoon, Sandy Docherty, a Great British Bake Off contestant and Brontë enthusiast, will present the cake she has baked specially for Charlotte."
Also at the School Room, artist Julia Ogden will run a drop-in craft activity to commemorate Charlotte’s birthday, and there will be the chance to write in Charlotte’s Birthday Book.
Visitors who go along in costume will be very welcome. (David Knights)
It’s daunting to write about Jane Eyre 200 years after Charlotte Brontë’s birth. It’s not just that so many people have read and loved (and, yes, also hated) this book. It’s also the difficulty of understanding that Jane’s intimate, confiding voice may not speak to us as directly as we may think.
Among Brontë’s many talents is an ability to make you feel that you are seeing the world just as her narrator does. There’s the cosy way she draws us into the story with that direct address to “you”, the “reader” whom she invites constantly to see what she sees. We fancy we are also seeing a room in the George Inn at Millcote, visible to us “by the light of an oil lamp hanging from the ceiling”, straining to see the exact same scene under the same flickering light as Jane. But it isn’t just what Jane sees that matters: Brontë also takes us deep into her head and, seemingly, her soul. Even when she says, “Gentle reader, you may never feel what I then felt!” we think otherwise. Her “stormy, scalding, heart-wrung tears” seem real, her “agonised prayers” honestly accounted, her “dread” clear and comprehensible.
Reading Group contributor RabBurnout puts it neatly: “The thing is, of course, to read the book oneself, and experience it viscerally – it is definitely a book that the reader forms a powerful personal response to, I think.”
I got to the end of the novel feeling as if I had shared something with Jane – that her experience was mixed into mine and that I had felt as she had felt. So it was confounding to reflect again and realise that, of course, I hadn’t fully understood her. It wasn’t just that she is an unreliable narrator, often concealing her own feelings from herself and her reader; often claiming that black is white, that St John is an admirable, good man, that she’s calm and unflustered when Rochester knows her heart is beating like a steam piston. It’s also that there is much about Jane’s (and by extension, Charlotte Brontë’s) world that I don’t comprehend and for which I can’t feel much sympathy. (Read more)
For Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights is the obvious primary recommendation, along with a recipe for Heathcliff’s Crush, which combines Madeira wine, vodka, elderflower, orange juice and berries for garnish. You soon find out just how popular fortified wine was in the 19th century. (Teri Andrews Rinne)Wuthering Heights was also mentioned by readers of The Guardian trying to define what makes a soulmate. And The Irish Times thinks that Andrea Arnold's film adaptation of the novel is 'underrated'. More films, as Variety reviews Rip van Winkle no Hanayome (A Bride for Rip Van Winkle) and finds that,
Like the heroine of “Jane Eyre” or “Beauty and the Beast,” Nanami is also an ingenue sent to a creepy mansion to serve a dark, brooding master. (Maggie Lee)Jane Eyre 2011 has influenced Noonie Bao's music video for the song Remind Me, as reported by Noisey.
According to the Swedish artist, "The film Jane Eyre with Mia Wasikowska was a great inspiration for this production. I wanted it to sound like the dark woods, huge castles and desperation. The song is about that, about preferring to feel pain rather than not knowing anything at all. I call it Castle Pop.” (Kim Taylor Bennett)According to Cosmopolitan Mr Rochester is famous for opening doors and helping women put on their coats.
2. He opens doors for you and helps you put on your coat. He might be into you, but he might just have manners. Alternatively, he could be a character out of Jane Eyre come to life and you're about to partake in some classic Victorian novel hijinks. (Frank Kobola)And similarly, this Bustle writer recalls that,
As a life-long reader, my first loves came not from seventh period chemistry class or Theatre Club or band camp, but from my favorite novels. We all remember our first book boyfriend (or girlfriend), and I had many: Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights, Jesse Tuck from Tuck Everlasting, Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables, Count Alexis Vronsky from Anna Karenina, and pretty much every single love-interest that Madeleine L’Engle penned to page. (E. Ce Miller)