Saturday, May 07, 2016

The Guardian's children's book teen reviewer, Elimagine, has read Jane Eyre:
I would give this tome a 4.3/5 rating. I know, a little specific, but I really loved the book overall and only disliked how overburdened the language was at times and the actions of some of the characters (specifically one whose name starts with R and ends with -ochester). Also, I was really only completely hooked by the story in the beginning and the rest I had to get into much slower.
The Telegraph & Argus reports some of the upcoming events (for the second half of the bicentenary year) at the Brontë Parsonage:
Staff are heading out into the nearby Parson’s Field on July 2 and 3 for the first Poetry At The Parsonage Festival.
The museum is joining forces with the Word Club from Leeds to tap into Yorkshire’s grassroots poetry scene in honour of the Brontë siblings’ own youthful aspirations as poets.
Charlotte Brontë’s Dark Masterpiece is the title of the latest afternoon talk at the Parsonage, on July 5 at 2pm, focusing on her celebrated final novel Villette.
The talks also include Charlotte and her friendships (August 2), the “Woman Question” (September 6), the relationship with her father (October 4), early responses were writing (November 1) and Charlotte’s ‘after life’ (December 6)
Summer holiday activities will run at the museum from July 18 to September 2, including short talks, guided walks, museum trails, hands-on history sessions, and the chance to meet some of the characters known to Charlotte during the 1800s.
Late-night Thursdays will be held on June 16, July 21, August 18, September 15, October 20, November 17 and December 15, when people can wander the museum until 8pm.
There will also be a walk to Penistone Hill on July 30 to commemorate the anniversary of Emily’s birth in 1818.
Autumn highlights include children’s writer Jacqueline Wilson, spooky storytelling, a Jane Eyre, celebration, a literary lunch with Brontë expert Juliet Barker, and a wreath-making workshop. (David Knights)
Edna O'Brien discusses 'the dead of literature' in The Guardian:
It is impossible not to form a feeling, or a whole raft of feelings, about an author. We like, we dislike, we love, we rebuke, we empathise. I think of Kafka, wishing (or half wishing) to have his works destroyed, pieces that he called “fragmentations against his loneliness”, and I marvel at his humility. I think of Charlotte Brontë, writing to Monsieur Héger in Brussels, asking him not to consider her “raving mad” because of her infatuation, the same Charlotte Brontë who suffered the deaths of sisters and a brother, hearing the wind blow, feeling the keenness of the frost, having to rally to do the daily duties, to keep hope and energy alive in that mourning household. And still she wrote masterpieces. It is this stoical courage and the gift of transcendence that emboldens us, to call writers our friends.
Kingston Guardian is eager to see the new Northern Ballet Jane Eyre production. Quoting Cathy Marston, the choreographer:
She said: “Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre was a novel far ahead of its time and when I think of Jane I feel inspired by images of her passionate but 'impossible' relationship with Mr Rochester, the fire and emotional destruction symbolised by Bertha Mason - the infamous 'woman in the attic', the contrasting icy moorland through which she seems to run from one chapter of her life to another, and of course her final reunion with Rochester.
“But these images only touch the surface of a character and a book that continue to provoke and move - generation after generation, re-read after re-read.” (Jim Palmer)
The Irish Times interviews the writer (and Brontëite) Lucy Caldwell:
Were you always going to be a writer?
It seems so – I wrote my first “novel”, “the robin’s party”, when I was 4½. My Mum says that before I could even write I would ask her to fold pages up to look like books, and tell her what words I wanted in them. I made a programme recently about the Brontë siblings – who were half-Irish, as people often forget – and was digging around in my parents’ attic in search of my own “juvenilia” (not to glorify it with such a word!) and I found boxes and boxes of the “books” and “magazines” I used to make for my sisters, thick chronicles of our imaginary worlds and the genealogies of their inhabitants.
Like the Brontë siblings, my sisters and I made up fantasy worlds as soon as we could read and write. The Brontës started with Branwell’s wooden soldiers; we had Lego people, whose stories we chronicled for generations, and years on end, sending them to die on the wagon trail, or to brave ghettos in a world we called “Braxton”. (Paul McVeigh)
Petoskey News makes a very specific quote on gardening:
One of the author's favorite flowers, Hellebores appear in a touching scene in Anne Brontë's classic novel,"Tenant of WIldfell Hall" (1848). Like many women novelists of that era, Brontë published the novel under a male pseudonym, Acton Bell.
We think that the quote is this one (about Christmas roses, aka Hellebores):
 I was too much agitated to speak; but, without waiting for an answer, she turned away her glistening eye and crimson cheek, and threw up the window and looked out, whether to calm her own, excited feelings, or to relieve her embarrassment, or only to pluck that beautiful half-blown Christmas-rose that grew upon the little shrub without, just peeping from the snow that had hitherto, no doubt, defended it from the frost, and was now melting away in the sun. Pluck it, however, she did, and having gently dashed the glittering powder from its leaves, approached it to her lips and said:
    'This rose is not so fragrant as a summer flower, but it has stood through hardships none of them could bear: the cold rain of winter has sufficed to nourish it, and its faint sun to warm it; the bleak winds have not blanched it, or broken its stem, and the keen frost has not blighted it. Look, Gilbert, it is still fresh and blooming as a flower can be, with the cold snow even now on its petals. - Will you have it?' (Chapter LIII)
 Gender equity in the arts is discussed on The Dallas Front Row Magazine:
In the 1800s, female authors, including the three Brontë sisters and Louisa May Alcott, sometimes published under male pseudonyms. But, that was a long time ago, and of course women are no longer encouraged to take on male nom de plumes. Right? In 1997, Joann Rowling, author of the Harry Potter book series, was told by Bloomsbury to publish under the gender-ambiguous pseudonym, J.K. Rowling. (She later purposely used a pseudonym for anonymity). This does happen, and gender equity in the arts remains an issue. (Bethany Radcliff)
Sydsvenskan (Sweden) talks about Jane Austen and briefly mentions the Brontës:
 Det är inte hur man har det utan hur man tar det! hojtar prästdottern från Bath förnumstigt, och hoppar därmed över Freuds soffa – där hennes nästan samtida författarsystrar vid namn Brontë skulle komma att ligga och vräka sig – för att istället skriva in sig i en kognitionspsykologisk tradition nästan 200 år innan kbt blir terapiformen à la mode. (Amanda Svensson) (Translation)
In the same newspaper we find another reference in a review of a Malmö exhibition by Ana Rebordão:
Likt en Caravaggio bygger hon mästerligt dramatiken genom mörker och ljus, i en korsning av gotisk skräck, film noir och "Twin Peaks". Samtidigt tränger en formlös gestalt fram ur historiens djup. I Charlotte Brontës viktorianska roman "Jane Eyre" hålls den galna kvinnan inspärrad på vinden. Rebordão låter henne ta plats i salongen när hon suggestivt upplöser gränsen mellan kvinnans traditionellt dubbla roller som madonna och hora, jungfru och häxa. (Carolina Söderholm) (Translation)
Publishing Perspectives interviews David Mann, the illustrator responsible for the cover of the Pulp! The Classics collection who confirms that Wuthering Heights is one the most successful titles of the collection.

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