Friday, July 01, 2016

Providence Journal reviews Claire Harman's biography of Charlotte Brontë:
Claire Harman’s book isn’t always easy reading. It is a serious scholarly work (she is also the author of biographies of Fanny Burney and Robert Louis Stevenson) but devotees of the Brontë sisters will surely be captivated by this handsome volume with its evocative pictures not only of the Brontë family, but also of the parsonage where they lived, the moors that inspired them and of their own artwork. (Phyllis Méras)
The Berkshire Eagle interviews Daniel Elihu Kramer, author of My Jane, performed by the Chester Theatre Company:
That part is the opening of Chester Theatre Company's 26th season — "My Jane," a new play by Kramer based upon Charlotte Brontë's beloved "Jane Eyre," that began performances Wednesday, June 29, at Chester Town Hall, where the production is scheduled to run through July 10.
"My immediate thought when I became producing artistic director had to do with how I wanted to start," Kramer said. "Everything doesn't ride on the first show, but the first show says a lot about us."
This first show — an imaginative exploration of Charlotte Brontë's 1847 novel — suggests that Kramer is building on the foundation laid down by Stevens.
"People come to us for plays that are complex, thoughtful and which ask something of them," Kramer said; "that generate conversation in the theater or on the way home in the car; plays that will draw you into their world and engage you and then, when it's over, you're not done with it or it's not done with you."
So, what better introduction to audiences than a new play built around a 19th-century novel that came up 10th in a 2003 BBC survey of the British public's most beloved novels.
Kramer had done an informal survey of his own among a variety of people he knew regarding their thoughts and experiences while reading "Jane Eyre."
"People have had such intensely private experiences of the book such a depth of connection with this story. These voices kept saying to me 'Let me in.' So, I began to ask how these experiences, how these personal stories contribute to Brontë's story." (Jeffrey Borak)
Keighley Online highlights the shooting of scenes of To Walk Invisible at Dalton Mills:
A Keighley mill has another filming credit to add to its show reel after scenes from a new BBC Brontë drama were filmed on-site.
Dalton Mills was used for some of the interior scenes from Sally Wainwright's 'To Walk Invisible', which is expected to hit TV screens later this year.
The Telegraph reviews the latest album by Bat for Lashes, The Bride:
What is intriguing is that Khan’s reference points remain so intrinsically female. When the singer’s lover appears like a spectre at her window foretelling his own death on the sad, gripping Joe’s Dream (Don’t Say Goodbye) while Khan’s voice rises to a spooky falsetto, an obvious parallel might be a gender-reversed Wuthering Heights, every bit as reflective of the mood and imagination of Brontë as Bush. (Neil McCormick)
Catherine Kovach thinks that both Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre perpetuate rape culture. On Bustle:
4. Heathcliff and Isabella from Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Heathcliff's dangerous tendencies have been romanticized in the years sinceWuthering Heights was released. Isabella, too, romanticized the character. Isabella may have been a bit of a spoiled brat, but no one deserves to be treated the way she was treated by Heathcliff. Heathcliff hangs her dog and refuses to allow her to sleep in a bed even when she is pregnant with his child. Despite the obvious abuse, no one helps her, because she was considered to be Heathcliff's property at the time. Also toxic masculinity rears its ugly head once again when Heathcliff loses what little humanity he had left after overhearing that his beloved Catherine will never marry him because it's "beneath her."
5. Jane and Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Rochester teases Jane to the point of tears multiple times and keeps his first wife locked in the attic. Yet we're supposed to accept him as a love interest for our heroine. But the creepiest part of their relationship stems from the fact that she feels that that she has to irritate her fiancé every time he gets sexually aroused in order to keep him from hitting on her. From the novel:
In other people’s presence I was, as formerly, deferential and quiet; any other line of conduct being uncalled for: it was only in the evening conferences I thus thwarted and afflicted him. He continued to send for me punctually the moment the clock struck seven; though when I appeared before him now, he had no such honeyed terms as "love" and "darling" on his lips: the best words at my service were "provoking puppet," "malicious elf," "sprite," "changeling," &c. For caresses, too, I now got grimaces; for a pressure of the hand, a pinch on the arm; for a kiss on the cheek, a severe tweak of the ear. It was all right: at present I decidedly preferred these fierce favours to anything more tender. […] Meantime, Mr. Rochester affirmed I was wearing him to skin and bone, and threatened awful vengeance for my present conduct at some period fast coming. I laughed in my sleeve at his menaces. "I can keep you in reasonable check now," I reflected; "and I don’t doubt to be able to do it hereafter: if one expedient loses its virtue, another must be devised."
Yet after all my task was not an easy one; often I would rather have pleased than teased him."
Financial Chronicle (India) talks about Emily Brontë, one of July's darlings:
Emily Brontë’s one and only novel Wuthering Heights is a timeless classic sealed thus till eternity, with a million hearts swooning over and yearning for Heathcliff. I could go on thus for all the others, but that would be a waste of time and space, for there’s none in the world of bibliophiles that needs to be introduced to them. Sadly, though, not all of them could truly know their iconic status in their lifetime—Emily Bronte suffered the misfortune of being a woman in a ‘man’s age’— when she began writing it was under the pseudonym Ellis Bell, as did both of her sisters Charlotte and Anne, who wrote under the pseudonyms Currer Bell and Acton Bell respectively. But she suffered the double misfortune of ill health, and a quaint predisposition to resist ‘doctors that would poison her’. As a consequence, she died just a year after the publication of Wuthering Heights — at the age of 30. Heartbreakingly, the carpenter that made her coffin said he had never made a narrower one — it was a mere 16 inches wide, so frail had she become. What fertile minds succumb to the body’s feebleness, and death forever eager to devour them all… (Zehra Norqvi)
The Guardian talks about portraying animals on stage:
But depicting animals on stage is not child’s play, it’s a real skill. I genuinely thought that Craig Edwards’ performance as Rochester’s dog, Pilot, in Sally Cookson’s staging of Jane Eyre at Bristol Old Vic and the National, deserved an award all of its own. Preferably in the shape of a dog biscuit. (Lyn Gardner)
The Federalist mourns the closing of The Toast, like many of us:
If Mallory Ortberg converted to Lutheranism she’d be Mallory Wartburg, but you wouldn’t get to read about it at The Toast. Tell it not in Gath: as of July 1, we have to find some other one-stop shoplifting venue for Charlotte Brontë, “Dune,” and the harrowing of hell. (Rebekah Curtis)
The Progress interviews the Valedictorian and Salutatorian of their local high school:
In addition to a commitment to overachievement, both students share a favorite teacher; Ms. Lynda Fraley
“I can instantly tell, ‘did I write this before Ms. Fraley’s class or after,’” Borrows said. “She manages to tie so much in with the literature curriculum, we read books like Jane Eyre and Great Expectations, she makes it all relevant and enjoyable despite how hard the writing is.”
Valley News on the short lives of some writers:
Writers, the good ones, are a short-lived species, and it’s remarkable how few manage to enjoy a happy and productive old age.
Some are cut down in their 20s and 30s before they can achieve their full potential: Keats and Shelley, Katherine Mansfield, Stephen Crane, Sylvia Plath, Emily Brontë, Dylan Thomas, Flannery O’Connor, the brilliant Ross Lockridge Jr., Nathaniel West. (W.D. Wheterell
Both e-cartelera (Spain) and Dire Giovani (Italy) reminds us how Jareth's character from Labyrinth (1986) was based on both Heathcliff and Rochester.

Libreriamo (Italy) recommends a trip to Haworth:
Una visita alle brughiere spazzate vie dal vento che collegano la West Yorkshire e la East Lancashire Pennines lascia pochi dubbi sul motivo per cui la regione ha ispirato le sorelle Brontë a scrivere classici come “Cime tempestose”, “Jane Eyre” e “Il segreto della signora in nero”.
Il paese delle sorelle Brontë, come è noto, include il villaggio di Haworth, dove Emily, Charlotte e Anne hanno vissuto; Top Withens, la casa colonica fatiscente e presunta ambientazione di Cime Tempestose; e Thornton, alla periferia di Bradford, dove sono nate le sorelle Brontë.
L’attrazione letteraria più popolare nella zona è il Brontë Parsonage Museum, dove le sorelle vivevano e scrivevano. Il museo è ancora arredato come lo era quando la famiglia viveva lì e comprende il tavolo da pranzo in mogano, che le sorelle usato per sedersi e scrivere e, anche se piuttosto morbosamente, il divano verde dove Emily è morta. (Translation)
ChEEk Magazine interviews Sarah Sauquet, creator of the app Un Texte, Un Jour:
Et quels sont tes textes classiques fétiches? (Faustine Kopiejweski)
J’aime beaucoup les romans et d’une manière générale, je suis plus sensible à l’histoire qu’au style. (...) J’adore aussi Jane Eyre et Les Hauts de Hurlevent. Je n’ai pas de chapelle, je peux aussi bien lire les mémoires de Nabilla qu’À la recherche du temps perdu. (Translation)
GraphoMania (Italy) on famous 'love stories':
Cime tempestose di Emily Brönte: un libro che ci racconta di come la passione ci possa spingere a fare di tutto, anche cose che non ci saremmo mai aspettati. (Miranda) (Translation)
A review of Alison Case's Nelly Dean can be listen to on WAMC; a weekday reporter and Brontëite on rtv6ABC; Vintage Vlog vlogs about The Tenant of Wildfell Hall;  The Young Readers Review posts about Wuthering Heights; The Bookish Badger reviews Lyndsay Faye's Jane Steele; Sannas Bokhylla (in Swedish) reviews Villette.

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