Tuesday, April 05, 2016

The State of the Arts interviews Brontë Society Operations and Development Manager Matthew Withey about the bicentenary activities.
TSOTA: What is your role?
MW: My title is Operations and Development Manager. I look after the loos and the roof, but the more glamorous side is that I’m Chair of the Bicentenary Planning Committee. I sit at the centre of our planning for programming and events.
TSOTA: Can you describe the relationship between the Brontë Society and the Parsonage?
MW: The Brontë Society own the museum and the staff are their employees, but are seen as having the skills to put together a programme for our membership. We’ve got a really good team working to put together an exciting programme for the bicentenaries over the next five years.
TSOTA: More than most writers, we see the Brontës as rooted in their place. Is it important for the Society to have a base right at the heart of that place?
MW: I’m biased because I work here and I’m looking out across the moors. I don’t believe in ghosts, but there’s a definite sense of presence. The Museum is a very intimate space. We have people visiting from all over the world, on a pilgrimage to where these incredible works of literature were written and felt. There’s a real sense that the landscape infuses the literature itself. I think it’s very important that we recognise Haworth as the base of this extraordinary creative output. (Mike Farren) (Read more)
Sally Wainwright speaks to The Guardian about her forthcoming To Walk Invisible:
Wainwright, whose other TV credits include ITV’s Scott & Bailey, is working on a new BBC1 drama about the Brontë sisters, To Walk Invisible.
She said the drama would not be a chocolate box retelling of the story. “I’m going to show it like it was, really grim,” she said.
“I think it will surprise people with the truth of what their lives were like. The Brontë Society keeps the Parsonage [now a museum] incredibly spick and span. But one of the things we are trying to do is to show how bleak it was in Haworth, which had no proper sanitation.” (John Plunkett)
More recent additions to Brontëland, as Everyday eBook reviews Lyndsay Faye's Jane Steele.
Lyndsay Faye's remarkable Jane Steele is both fun and moving, a wonderful pick for any reader and a required read for any Jane Eyre fan. It's not often that books are both guilty pleasures and literary feats, but Faye's incredible writing and saucy premise sate both needs. In the literary tradition of misbegotten heroines suffering unimaginable horrors, here is Jane Steele. After all the moldy landlords, evil headmasters, and handsy bosses in British literature, Faye finally gives us a heroine who refuses to suffer in silence. But Jane Steele is not the only lovable character. From her ten-year-old charge who speaks of nothing but horses, Sahjara, to the Columbo-like detective with a moral compass that follows his heart more than the law, Faye's cast of characters is as colorful as those in a Dickens novel.
From start to finish, Jane Steele is as entertaining as it gets, reminding us why we read: to be transported, fully and completely, into a story. (Emily Neuberger)
Female First interviews actress Sally Phillips, who is understandably confused about literary mash-ups, even if she claims to find them interesting.
- Away from the awards, you returned to the big screen in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as Mrs. Bennet earlier this year. So how did you get involved with the film? What was it about the character and the script that was the major appeal? I was sold on the title, to be honest. Call me shallow. It made me hoot. Imagine my delight when I discovered that there's also an Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer and Jane Eyre and the Sea Monster. And of course, everyone loves Mrs. Bennet. I had five of the most beautiful and adorable actresses as children. (Helen Earnshaw)
The one with a sea monster in it it is another Jane Austen mash-up: Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. We would say that it makes no sense with Jane Eyre but neither does it seem to make sense with Sense and Sensibility to be honest.

The Post interviews writer Cori McCarthy:
P: Why did you decide to write young adult fiction?
CM: I write young adult because all of my favorite stories are young adult — The Catcher in the Rye, Jane Eyre and The Lord of the Rings are a few examples. (Alexis Eichelberger)
We always find it rather strange when Jane Eyre is categorised as YA, though. However, actress Anna Kendrick tells Biography about actually reading the book at school as a young adult.
Perhaps an odd icebreaker, but you’ve mentioned several times in the past how being small has been the great blessing and curse of your life and that your classmates were often unkind. How did that begin? I was in seventh or eighth grade and I was reading Jane Eyre. We got to choose our own book. There was this girl – who shall remain nameless, but she was that girl for me – who kept picking fights with me about Jane Eyre. ‘Oh, you think you’re better than us because your book is thicker than ours?’ What do you say to that? I was just so small. I had no response. (Todd Aaron Jensen)
A columnist from The Huffington Post writes about her daughter's approach to reading and literature.
When she says Jane Eyre is her definition of a good woman I track with her because I know the story well, too.
"She's serious about holding tight to her self-respect." Waving her hands, my daughter is pacing the living room.
We've just finished watching the movie again and she's on a roll, monologuing, praising Jane while also ranting against teenagers who disrespect themselves to win the short-term respect of the crowd. With a throbbing heart, I listen in silence to this independent, thoughtful young woman. I'm overflowing with gratefulness, struck by how indebted I am to these books that encourage my daughter more effectively than I can. (Kathryn Streeter)
El Punt (Spain) features writer Toni Hill and his novel Els àngels de gel.
L'obra conté moltes referències reals, com ara les pintures de Klimt i Schiele, i també de novel·les a les quals homenatja, com ara Jane Eyre, de Charlotte Brontë, Un altre pas de rosca, de Henry James, o fins i tot la sèrie Torres de Malory, d'Enid Blyton, i algunes obres de tema bèl·lic. “Volia fer un modest homenatge a les novel·lotes del segle XIX, però des del XXI.” (Lluís Llort) (Translation)
Daily News (Sri Lanka) finds another Brontëite in writer Rizvina Morseth de Alwis.
Q: What are your favourite books?
A: There are many, but my all-time favourites are the classics - Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Mill on the Floss, the list is actually endless. I like all of Austen, and also George Eliot and Virginia Woolf, not only because they wrote beautifully and told interesting stories, but because they gave us strong female characters that broke the stereotype of 'heroines.' 
Bustle shares '10 Love Lessons We Learned From Terrible Literary Couples'.
6. Don't Freak Out Until You Know The Whole Story
As previously established, patience is important in a relationship. So is communication. Sometimes, though, you will think that everything has gone wrong. You'll think your SO is terrible and suddenly it's all aboard the Anxiety Express. If you're Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights, you won't stop to make sure you have the whole story. You'll hope on that train and ride it into the sunset, when you could have just stayed calm and heard Catherine's whole story. Then you'd be living happily ever after with her, instead of just her ghost. (Julia Seales)
Den of Geek! considers Dario Marianelli's soundtrack for Jane Eyre 2011 to be  one of the '25 most underrated scores of the decade so far'.
So many costume drama scores have a sugar-coated, vaguely superficial air to them; that’s why Marianelli’s impressively restrained soundtrack for Cary Fukunaga’s Charlotte Brontë adaptation is such a breath of fresh air. Tied closely into the emotional awakening of Brontë’s title character (played by Mia Wasikowska), Marianelli’s score gradually blooms from cold austerity into sumptuous melodic beauty courtesy of Jack Liebeck’s exquisite violin solos; a work of tact and restraint that captures Jane’s complex essence brilliantly. (Sean Wilson)
We wholeheartedly agree.

Both New Statesman and The Times review the book A Life of Thomas De Quincey by Frances Wilson and both mention our particular opium-eater Branwell Brontë.


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