Elizabeth Gaskell and the Brontës - It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Anne Brontë’s writings, and those of her sisters Emily and Charlotte Brontë as well. There are other writers who I lo...
9 hours ago
Drawing inspiration from iconic heroines of nineteenth century novels, You on the Moors Now imagines a universe in which Jane Bennett, Jo March, Cathy Earnshaw, and Jane Eyre band together to escape the expectation of marriage and forge their own path. Filled with gut-busting humor and outrageous twists, this feminist reimagining of classic literature layers a surprising amount of genune meaning into its madcap storyline. [...]The Times Literary Supplement looks at 'the guises of Rochester', claiming that
Still, it can’t be denied that the play has a delightful cast of characters. Drawing on the original stories and contemporary language and themes in equal measure, the show creates cartoon versions of its characters, with the men (Darcy, Laurie, Heathcliff, and Rochester) behaving like a hybrid of spoiled children and particularly poor interpretative dancers. The story turns into a literal battle of the sexes as the men and women openly declare war on one another, rallying minor characters to join the fight as well. [...]
You on the Moors Now is the type of art that I never realized I needed until I experienced it. Watching Lizzie Bennett call Darcy a dickbag or Jo March pulling a knife on Heathcliff is something I never anticipated doing, but I am extraordinarily glad I did. You on the Moors Now breaks the mold of what an adaptation can be and creates something that is bizarre, hilarious, and in spite of all that, moving. The show is an absolute delight. (Jessie Bond)
This idea of the poet as little more than a libertine persisted, however – not helped by Samuel Johnson in Lives of the English Poets (1779): "in a course of drunken gaiety, and gross sensuality, with intervals of study perhaps yet more criminal, with an avowed contempt of all decency and order, and a resolute denial of every religious obligation, he lived worthless and useless, and blazed out his youth and his health in lavish voluptuousness". Nonetheless Johnson's book inspired Charlotte to name her brooding hero Mr Rochester. It is conceivable that she was also familiar with William Henry Ainsworth’s Restoration potboiler Old St Paul’s (1841), in which Rochester, as usual characterized as a cunning lecher, appears in disguise – as, of course, does Brontë’s Rochester. (Alexander Larman)Signature discusses 'flawed females in fiction'.
I studied English Literature at University and have had the privilege of adapting several great novels for stage and screen. What I have learned from the masters is that it is a character’s flaws that make them interesting. In fact, whenever I see the ‘likeability’ of a female character in a contemporary story discussed, I always wonder what Emily Brontë would have said if an editor had told her to ‘tone down’ Cathy Earnshaw’s behavior, or what Louisa May Alcott’s response to the idea that Jo March might be ‘a bit unfeminine’ would have been. Probably they would have been nonplussed. In both those iconic portrayals, character is entirely action, by which I mean there are few deliberated choices for Cathy or Jo; their intrinsic natures, for good or bad, drive their stories in Wuthering Heights and Little Women. (Anne-Marie Casey)Signature also looks into '3 Medical Mysteries in Literature', one of which is Charlotte Brontë's cause of death.
But I’m certain that Haworth, England, the village where the Brontë family lived and died, was far from the tourist attraction it is today. Contaminated water and an inadequate sewer system made it one of the unhealthiest places to live in 19th-century England. All three sisters were thought to have died of “consumption,” which we now know as tuberculosis, an infectious disease of the lungs that’s highly treatable with antibiotics. But they could have succumbed to other bacterial infections such as typhoid, which befell a Brontë servant, or possibly, in Charlotte’s case, a nasty tooth infection (she reportedly had terrible teeth).The New York Times reviews the book Trainwreck. The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear . . . and Why by Sady Doyle and mentiones the reference to Charlotte Brontë cointained therein.
Some say Charlotte was pregnant when she died, and suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, an extreme form of morning sickness marked by acute nausea, vomiting, and weight loss (the same condition the Duchess of Cambridge endured while carrying Prince George and Princess Charlotte), which could have contributed to her death in 1855. We may never know exactly what took the lives of these fascinating women. But one thing is clear from the Brontës’ novels and personal letters: illness and isolation were never far from their practical or creative minds. (Leslie D. Michelson)
After establishing that the proto-feminist Wollstonecraft was also our earliest train wreck, Doyle then includes an array of women who fit into her category, like Charlotte Brontë; Sylvia Plath; and Valerie Solanas, the radical feminist author of “SCUM Manifesto,” who shot Andy Warhol in 1968. Doyle is most expansive when she shows how other categories, like race, further restrict women’s identity, with the consequence that women of color are even more likely to be dismissed as train wrecks than their white counterparts. (Salamishah Tillet)The Nation (Pakistan) interviews actress/model Armeena Rana Khan.
Are you into books? If yes, which one’s your favourite? ARK: Books are my best friends. It’s like having a constant companion to speak with. They question your beliefs and perceptions of the world. They challenge you and shape your mind in a way that very little else can. Who would I be without them? I love the classics as I feel they have withstood the test of time and just like with food I am very careful about the intellectual content I let into my mind. My favourite novel is ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Brontë’ (Izah Shahid)The Nation has also selected a few quotes on freedom, one of which is by Charlotte Brontë.
“I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.”- Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre) The quote is taken from British novelist Charlotte Bronte’s masterpiece ‘Jane Eyre’ which revolves around an orphaned but headstrong female lead character who stays unbroken in the worst of times and emerges as an independent woman. (Rimla Batool)20 Minutos (Spain) has a list of 'on-screen' 'nannies'.
Jane Eyre, el drama con ribetes de intriga gótica surgido de la pluma de Charlotte Brontë, cuenta con una recordada versión en blanco y negro de 1944 con Joan Fontaine y Orson Welles, y una no menos notable versión que protagonizó Maria Wasikowska dirigida por Cary Fukunaga, el director de True detective, en 2011. (C. Rull) (Translation)Lokal Kompass (Germany) recommends Jane Eyre among other classics. Das Kaminzimmer posts about the novel in German too.