Review - Villette at the West Yorkshire Playhouse - *Review by Richard Wilcocks* Charlotte Brontë’s *Villette*, which was recognised by knowledgeable readers in nineteenth century Brussels as a close parallel...
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The day had begun with biographer Claire Harman offering fresh and fascinating insights into the life of Charlotte Brontë. Having dismissed Brontë as “too much done” in terms of biography, she discovered that recent scholarship on Brontë’s copious letters allowed fresh areas of insight to open up. She sketched a vivid picture of the children of Haworth parsonage, the closeness of the siblings, the imaginative worlds they created and wrote down in miniature books. Brontë, she said, while fearing a life sentence as a schoolteacher, still had the nous at the age of 19 to write to the Poet Laureate Robert Southey, to ask how to promote her writing. “Literature is not the business of a woman’s life, nor should it be,” came the sniffy response. Harman described, in particular, four letters written by Brontë to Contantin Heger, the schoolmaster in whose boarding school she and Emily had enrolled in Brussels, and to whom she became close (he is thought be a model for Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre and for her later novel The Professor). Written after her return to Haworth, the letters are, Harman said, “one of the great unrequited love laments in literature”. The fact that Heger did not respond to Brontë likely broke her heart, though it also gave her renewed determination to publish her writing. (Susan Mansfield)The Arizona Republic posts a Top 10 of swoon-worthy period romances:
'Jane Eyre' (2011)Salon describes Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights 2011 adaptation as:
This faithful, gorgeous adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s classic Victorian novel has enough wistful longing and bushy sideburns to satisfy any Brontë fangirl. But Michael Fassbender is the film’s ace in the hole, playing the part of dark and dashing Mr. Rochester as if he invented tortured brooding. He taps into whatever character magic Brontë worked that has had readers the past 166 years rooting for the guy who has a secret wife locked in the attic to get the girl. (Barbara VanDenburgh)
magnificent, nearly wordless. (Andrew O'Hehir)Go4Travel recommends the Peak District:
The Peak District National Park is home to the quiet English villages that you could only imagine as being brought to life straight out of a fairytale book. Hathersage includes a Jane Eyre trail, whereas Hartington is a village full of interest and things to do. (Lauren Davidson)Jezebel reports that the Government has placed an export ban to Queen Victoria's diamond and sapphire coronet and remembers when something similar was done with a piece of Jane Austen's jewelry:
If this sounds familiar, it’s probably because Kelly Clarkson ran into the same problem when she tried to purchase one of Jane Austen’s very rare pieces of jewelry and the UK government refused to issue an export license until UK buyers had another chance to match the sale price. The turquoise and gold ring is now proudly displayed at the Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, Hampshire, with a note explaining that Clarkson tried it, but did not succeed.The editor of the Daily Leader remembers how
Guess this means I’ll just have to cat burgle any Brontë baubles that find their way onto the open market. (Kelly Faircloth)
And then of course reading such greats as Charlotte Brontë’s “Villete” (sic) or Walker Percy’s “Lancelot” served as inspiration, showing what great writing can accomplish and what styles I can emulate. (Julia Miller)El Mundo (Spain) quotes a story by Patti Smith about Sylvia Plath's tomb in Heptonstall:
Esta inquietante aparición me produjo una punzada, pues conocía bien ese sobre. En él había guardado unas fotos de la tumba de la poeta a la luz otoñal del norte de Inglaterra. Para hacerlas había viajado de Londres a Leeds cruzando la campiña de las Brontë hasta Hebden Bridge y el antiguo pueblo de Heptonstall, en Yorkshire. No llevé flores; me sentí particularmente empujada a sacar la foto. (Translation)Not sure if Jane Eyre is the best place to illustrate back-to-school days. 24 (Hungary) uses it:
Persze nem ők kezdték, hogy csak egy népszerű példát említsek, már az 1847-es Brontë-regény, a Jane Eyre – és nyilván a belőle készült fél tucat filmes feldolgozás – is azt üzente, hogy az iskola még egy magányos árva lányt is hozzásegíthet az emberi élethez. (Bodnár Judit Lola) (Translation)Wuz (Italy) reviews The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge:
Magia, scienza e desiderio di libertà si incontrano in un questo romanzo, con una coraggiosa eroina che rompe gli schemi, nel solco di Jane Eyre. (Translation)A local obituary for a Brontëite in Henley Standard. The Journeys of a Girl reviews Wuthering Heights. Californica posts about the Caitlin Kuhwald's Jane Eyre illustrations.