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Gruel remained a staple right up until the industrial revolution. It is mentioned not only in Dickens but Hardy and Brontë, too. And it always connotes poverty, hardship and misery. ‘Hannah had brought me some gruel and dry toast,’ says the self-denying Jane Eyre. ‘The food was good – void of… flavour.’ No one, except literature’s most pathological masochist, ever looks forward to a bowl of gruel.Even worse is Elizabeth Gaskell's description of the porridge served at Cowan Bridge to the Brontës and the rest of the pupils.
Until now. Gruel just means a thin food made by boiling oats or other grains in liquid. Gruel is porridge. And porridge is having a comeback. (Violet Hudson)
Who would think of making a dance about Jane Eyre? Well, Albert Drake of Bruce Wood Dance Project did. Wandering Jane begins with six incarnations of our heroine Jane lying neatly in rows, exhausted after leaving Rochester and wandering for days without food or shelter. They are all but comatose in the early dawn. Lauren Huynh discovers “Jane,” pulls the limp body, only for “Jane” to slide back down. Ms. Huynh tries again with a different “Jane.” Same result. Eventually, as daylight appears on the horizon, the Jane figures rise and lumber, dazed and mystified, then gain speed and run, arms pumping. At the end, in silence, they repeat earlier gestures as the light fades. (Margaret Putnam)It was performed last September 10th at Ballet Fete 2016 in the Collin County Ballet Theatre (Eisenmann Center, Richardson, TX).
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. Molly is a 17-year-old foster child in small-town Maine who needs to do community service after getting caught trying to steal a copy of Jane Eyre from the public library. Her boyfriend arranges for her to work helping 91-year-old Vivian organize her cluttered attic. In time, Molly and Vivian discover that their life stories are more similar than they thought: Each of them was in elementary school when her father died and mother went to a mental institution. Vivian, an Irish immigrant to New York City, was placed on an orphan train that brought children to the Midwest in search of families who would foster or adopt them. Like Molly, she had some very bad experiences and was rejected by some families–but Vivian then found the right family and grew up to be rich and happy (as Molly sees it), which gives Molly hope. Ultimately, each of them helps to improve the other’s life. (Becca)Elle starts a review of the book Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear…and Why by Sady Doyle as follows:
Billie Holiday. Charlotte Brontë. Sylvia Plath. Mary Wollstonecraft. Historic women of genius, yes. But hold that thought. (Lisa Shea)Although we don't really see what to do with that thought now. Either that or we are really not comfortable likening those names to Britney Spears or Kim Kardashian or Lindsay Lohan. We're sorry.
The feature-length debut of British theater director William Oldroyd suggests what might happen if Alfred Hitchcock directed “Wuthering Heights.” (Eric Kohn)A SparkNotes' Sparklife columnist lists several couples she will never 'root for' including
Catherine and Heathcliff from Wuthering HeightsWorld Socialist Web Site looks at the fact that many 'UK museums face closure due to funding cuts'. One of them is
This was touted to me in high school as a love story for the ages. But then I read it and I understood that it was really a destructive, imploding star of a relationship between two actual psychopaths. I don’t even want to know what happened to Isabella Linton when she was married to Heathcliff and living in the ominous murder swamp he called home.
And yes, that's Tom Hardy, possibly cosplaying as Bucky Barnes in 19th-century Yorkshire. (Elodie)
An article on the Museums Association (MA) web site on July 6 was titled “Museums across the UK face closure threat—MA voices concern about ‘disturbing’ number of venues at risk.”Remember that our petition is still open to signatures against closing the Read House Museum.
Highlighting just some of the museums under threat due to the government’s cultural vandalism, it noted that Kirklees Council in West Yorkshire was proposing to halve the museums it runs, including the Red House Museum, which has connections with Charlotte Brontë and is featured in her novel Shirley.
Fundraisers at Manorlands has challenged ambitious cyclists to tackle a new ‘extreme’ ride as part of this year’s Brontë Bronte Mountain Bike Challenge.Poppy Peacock Pens discusses Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea as part of #ReadingRhys week. The Little Book Owl reviews Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Histories of Things to Come discusses Wuthering Heights and the 'Brontë effect'. Bluestalking Journal reviews Deborah Lutz's The Brontë Cabinet. More on Ireland and the Brontës on the Brussels Brontë Blog.
The hospice team, who have christened the new ride Heathcliff, have also unveiled two new sponsors for the September 18 event.
In addition, the well-established existing routes, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, have been freshened up.
Sue Ryder senior fundraiser Andrew Wood said: “We’ve given participants a choice between Charlotte Emily and Anne routes for many years now, but we did a long ride in the 3 Dales Mountain Bike Challenge earlier in the year and it was a huge success.
“Therefore we’ve added a 36.4 mile route to this event too and called it Heathcliff.
“Emily Brontë’s Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights spent much of his time in this landscape and was a tortured hero, as will anyone who takes on this challenge.”
The main sponsor this year’s All Terrain Cycles who have moved up from start-finish sponsor last year. Taking place this year is Colin Appleyard Ltd of Keighley.
Tony Booth, managing director of All Terrain Cycles, said: “The Brontë Mountain Bike Challenge suits all abilities and is for a great cause so we are delighted to step up to being the main sponsor.
“The addition of the new Heathcliff ride should be a great challenge for the more advanced riders.” [...]
Heathcliff lasts 36.3 miles and encompasses the Charlotte route plus an additional 8.7 mile loop at the end which takes in the steep incline of Hill House Edge Lane, more of the Calder Aire Link and the other two on hilltop tracks around Thornton Moor Reservoir.
Emily has been heavily revamped, with slightly less distance but more cycling off-road. Anne has a new route with a tough moorland start then down into Hardcastle Crags. (David Knights)