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To mark the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth, the author Tracy Chevalier commissioned a group of fellow writers to create a short story inspired by the most famous line from Brontë’s classic novel, Jane Eyre. Reader, I married him was the collection that followed, featuring the work of 21 women writers, including Elif Shafak, Emma Donoghue and Chevalier herself.Daily Herald reminds theatre-goers that the production of Jane Eyre the Musical at the Hale Center Theater Orem closes on Saturday.
Two of those writers, Lionel Shriver and Joanne Briscoe, joined Chevalier on stage to read from their stories (The Self-Seeding Sycamore and To Hold, respectively). They discussed the impact and meaning of that line – one of the most enduring in literature – and how it inspired such a variety of responses.
For Briscoe, the line “Reader, I married him” was “a moment of triumph” for one of fiction’s most-loved protagonists. “We are the reader, but we are Jane”, she suggested. It highlights Jane’s agency: it is Jane that marries Rochester, not the other way round. And for Shriver, the line’s famous breaking of the fourth wall between reader and character underlines the sense of connection between them. But Shriver also pointed out that it’s the line’s shock factor: “Reader, I married that asshole”, as she put it – that really hits home. (Rebecca Laurence and Fiona Macdonald)
Kenna Lynn Smith and Elizabeth Dabczynski-Bean are both cast in the title role.Shore News Today picks Alison Case's Nelly Dean as one of this year's beach reads.
“It’s my favorite book,” Smith said. "They asked me to do the publicity photo for it about a year before, I guess because they thought I looked like her, and then when I found out they were doing it, I just started learning as much as I could about (the musical).
“This one delves into the mind a lot,” Smith said. “It’s heavy in that it deals with real, hard issues that not everyone talks about but that should be talked about.”
Dallyn Vail Bayles plays Rochester. Throughout the course of the musical, Bayles said, his character finds reasons to both hope in a happier future -- and has that hope removed -- at different times.
"This phrase is used a lot in the musical, where judgment was tempered with mercy, and it's just a beautiful thing," Bayles said. (Derrick Clements)
Sequels to classic novels can be uniquely dissatisfying, as many contemporary authors cannot capture or recapture the voice, spirit, or tone of the original (Alexandra Ripley’s “Scarlett” comes to mind). Because I’ve never read Emily Brontë’s sweeping story of love and passion on the English moors, I was able to enjoy this enthralling first novel without comparing it to its source. And enjoy it I did, from first page to last. “Nelly Dean” tells the story of the Wuthering Heights servant from her girlhood, in which she was treated as almost the equal of Cathy and Hindley Earnshaw, to the introduction of Heathcliff, the wild, darkly mysterious orphan boy, to Nelly’s painful demotion from beloved playmate to mere kitchen girl. It unravels many mysteries – the secret of Nelly’s strained relationship with her parents, the tragedy of her love for Hindley, and her indispensable but unacknowledged role as the angel of the Earnshaws. Reading “Nelly Dean” is like having a long, romantic, tempestuous and thrilling dream. I did not want this dream to end. (Marjorie Preston)Interviewed by the Daily Mail, journalist Naga Munchetty is revealed as quite the Brontëite.
[What book] …would you take to a desert island?A webchat on Diario de Mallorca (Spain) with writer Maria Jeunet shows she's a Brontëite too.
Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. I could get lost in the passion, pain and landscape - just in case I got bored of sun, sea, sand, sunshine, fresh fruit, great seafood . . .
Y autores que me hayan impactado... La lista es tan grande que me tiraría la tarde anotando nombres. Pero me mojaré: Borges, Sábato, Dickens, las tres Brontë, Stephen King, Kate Morton, Camilla Lackberg... Como ves, omnívora total :) (Translation)According to this review of Dear Fang, with Love by Rufi Thorpe in The Washington Times,
Novelists and playwrights love putting the girl behind the eight ball. To cite only work in English, think of Shakespeare’s Viola and Rosalind and Juliet; of Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennett; of Hawthorne’s Hester Prynne and Rapaccini’s daughter; of Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Dickens’ Little Dorrit. (Claire Hopley)Sturgis Journal features artist Tom Beldon, who would enjoy
interpreting ‘Wuthering Heights’ with lots of bruised-purple clouds, full moons and deep-forest shadows. Give me a dark and stormy night and I’m happy. (Rosalie Currier)Financial Times reviews the film Me Before You and sums it up as
a bit Rochester and Jane Eyre, simplified for the sighs of the multiplex. (Nigel Andrews)New York Mag's The Cut quotes 25 famous women on crying. One of them is Joan Didion:
“It was once suggested to me that, as an antidote to crying, I put my head in a paper bag. As it happens, there is a sound physiological reason, something to do with oxygen, for doing exactly that, but the psychological effect alone is incalculable: it is difficult in the extreme to continue fancying oneself Cathy in ‘Wuthering Heights’ with one's head in a Food Fair bag.” — Slouching Towards Bethlehem, 1968 (Julie Ma)The Huffington Post considers Heather Vogel Frederick 'Charlotte Brontë for the internet age'. The Irish Times lists several sibling writers. Keighley News reports that celebrity chef Rick Stein visited the Brontë Parsonage Museum. Le Bleu du Miroir (in French) reviews Wuthering Heights 2011. Jess's Reading Nook reviews the original Emily Brontë novel. Heights Libraries list several Jane Eyre sequels or retellings. Adventures of a Bibliophile reviews the Jane Eyre audiobook read by Thandie Newton. Les Soeurs Brontë (in French) is re-reading Villette.