Saturday, September 10, 2016

New York Magazine reports the opening of the Morgan Library exhibition Charlotte Brontë. An Independent Will:
[Yelling] Where all my Brontë-heads at? I’ve got the news you’ve been waiting your whole life for: New York City’s esteemed Morgan Library & Museum — a museum exclusively for nerds like you and me — will display the original manuscript from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre on its first-ever trip to the States. Are you ready for this???
The manuscript is open to a page in the wildly popular Victorian novel where Jane has rebuffed Mr. Rochester: “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me. I am a free human being with an independent will, which I now exert to leave you.” It is on loan from the British Library, a place from which it rarely leaves, and the exhibit, “Charlotte Brontë,” is timed with the 200th anniversary of Brontë’s birth, which was in April of this year.
Additionally on view for any major Brontëniacs are a portrait that Branwell Brontë painted of his sisters on loan from the National Portrait Gallery in London and a blue dress that the writer wore, fit for the frame of a woman who was only four-foot-nine. The exhibit runs through January 2. (Dayna Evans)
More reviews of the Northern Ballet's performances of Wuthering Heights in Leeds. A good one and not so good one:
Shedding the density of detail in turn aids the novel's transformation into a dance work built around emotion and the physical outpouring of uncontrollable feelings. The rough, wild love of Cathy and Heathcliff plays out on the bleak, windy moors, in Henry Moore monochrome colours in Ali Allen's set, where the one tree is bent by the weather and stripped of leaves. The choreography here is rugged, the clothes loose, the dancers' feet hammering the floor to Schonberg's music.
By contrast, dancing on pointe takes over for the more rigid Linton world of Thrushcross Grange, the clothes formal, the choreography refined, the game of badminton somewhat arch. Except when Torres's newly gentrified Heathcliff – the show's stellar performer – maltreats Rachel Gillespie's broken butterfly, Isabella Linton. In the production's best moment, he has eyes only for Cathy as he shoves Isabella around the wedding dancefloor.
Nixon makes a beautiful, flowing connection between the young Cathy and Heathcliff (Ayami Miyata and Kevin Poeung), as they roll off and their older selves roll on. Later, as Torres's Heathcliff withers in the snow, the young lovers return, conjoined for eternity. (Charles Hutchinson in The York Press)
These set the scene for the drama in the second act but they unwind so slowly that the two halves feel unbalanced. With most of the narrative thrust saved until after the interval it frequently feels like the emotional heart of the story is being constrained.
And there’s too much emphasis on the gaiety of the Linton family home — a badminton scene is included for no real reason and a giddy maid is a comedy inclusion that simply distracts from the brooding plot.It’s not until Heathcliff starts to woo Edgar’s sister Isabella (Rachael Gillespie) that his physicality brings any sense of violence. Drawing his riding crop down her corset with equal parts revulsion and Fifty Shades Of Grey, there’s a chemistry between them that’s sadly missing with Cathy.
This lack of chemistry, combined with a score that’s more suggestive of matching sweaters than all-consuming passion, makes this ballet little more than a visually sumptuous costume romance. (Susan Darlington in The People's Daily Morning Star
Keighley News reports some of the upcoming talks at the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
Afternoon talks and are continuing at the Brontë Parsonage Museum to celebrate Charlotte’s bicentenary.
They are being held on the first Tuesday of each month at 2pm the year as part of a programme to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Jane Eyre writer.
The talks, which focus on various aspects of Charlotte’s life, will resume with Persons of Significance on October 4.
The talk looks at Charlotte’s relationship with her father Patrick, exploring how she was influenced by his achievements as a published author, romantic, pamphleteer, supporter of women’s education and speaker on social concerns.
The talk will also look at why Patrick’s reputation was later sullied by his attempt to have Charlotte’s life and work more widely understood.
Early Responses To Charlotte’s Published Writing, on November 1, highlights the early critics of Jane Eyre, including one who said the novel would be “admirable if written by a man, odious if written by a woman”.
Charlotte’s After Life, on December 6, looks at the ‘mythologising’ of the Brontës – which began even before the deaths – and the way people’s view of Charlotte has changed over time.
The talks are free with admission to the museum.
Late Night Thursday sessions are also continuing. Once a month, when the Brontë Parsonage Museum will open until 8pm. Sessions are being held on September 15, October 20, November 17 and December 15. (David Knights)
Keighley News reports that the Jorvik Theatre's production of Wuthering Heights will finally be performed at Haworth Church next November 18th:
The Friendsof the Brontës’ Church have announced the new date for a stage presentation of Wuthering Heights.
Jorvik Theatre Company will perform their adaptation of Emily Brontë’s famous novel at Haworth Parish Church on November 18 at 7.15pm.
The production was originally planned for July 30, but had to be postponed because of an unavoidable overrun in work to repair the church’s north-facing roofs and the introduction of modern kitchen and toilet facilities. (David Knights)
In The Telegraph & Argus, the actress Natalie Gavin talks about her role on the audio drama Tiny Shoes:
Bradford actress Natalie Gavin stars in an audio drama which can be listened to at the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
The 25-minute play, produced as part of the Bronte Season, is called Tiny Shoes and is also available online.
Written by Emma Adams of Crossflatts, it stars Natalie as Carrie, a married woman who visits Haworth to clear negative distractions in her troubled life. She has been hooked on the BrontË family since being given a copy of Jane Eyre as a child.
Natalie also voices Charlotte - described as “an essence of Charlotte Brontë” - who represents Carrie’s inner thoughts and demons. “It’s an honour to be involved in such a special project,” says Natalie, who has starred in TV dramas such as Prisoners’ Wives, Syndicate 2 and Jericho, and played Buttershaw playwright Andrea Dunbar in acclaimed, multi award-winning film The Arbor. (...)
Emma Adams reveals that Carrie is based on a woman she met while working as a tourist guide at the Parsonage. “She came to visit the Parsonage, we got talking and her story was incredible,” recalls Emma. (Emma Clayton)
The Times walks through the Cleveland Way, including Scarborough:
We climbed the many steps to St Mary’s Church on its ridge. Poor Anne Brontë, dead at 29 of the consumption that had already claimed her sister Emily, lies buried here in a flower-strewn plot. The prospect from the cliff railings just above the church must be one of the best on this coast of wonderful views – the big crescent of North Bay rimmed with elegant Victorian hotels and houses, headlands of many-coloured cliffs reaching into the ice-blue sea beyond. (Christopher Somerville)
The Australian and The Mercury publish more reviews of Wild Island. A novel of Jane Eyre and Van Diemen's Land by Jennifer Livett.
Livett splits her narrative into halves, with chapters alternating between Charles O’Hara Booth, commandant at the Port Arthur penal settlement in the 1830s, and Harriet Adair, or “Grace Poole” as she is sometimes known, nursemaid to the recovering madwoman Bertha Mason.
The eagle-eyed among you will recognise those names. Grace Poole and Bertha Mason are characters taken from Jane Eyre, the classic 19th-century bildungsroman by Charlotte Bronte. In fact, Harriet Adair’s sections function as a sequel to Jane Eyre, picking up the story where Bronte left off. Booth’s sections, on the other hand, follow historical rather than fictional characters.
We meet Sir John and Lady Jane Franklin. We meet Colonel George Arthur. We meet indigenous girl Mathinna. This alternating point of view — interweaving beloved fictional characters with well-known historical ones — has a beguiling effect. In a subtle sort of way, it promotes Jane Eyre, Rochester and the rest of the Thornfield gang to the status of history.
Livett’s focus on detail and authenticity means the fictional characters feel as much a part of historical record as the Franklins. It helps that Livett treats them with reverence and care, so they genuinely feel like continuations of the originals. Mr Rochester, in particular, is just as Byronic as he has ever been. Bertha Mason also steals the show as the untameable creole heroine who wants to uncover her past.
To flesh out Bertha’s history, Livett draws on Jean Rhys’s classic novel Wide Sargasso Sea, which adds yet another layer of depth and complication. Then there are echoes of Richard Flanagan’s Wanting in the character of Lady Jane Franklin. There is a real thrill in seeing all these old friends putting the band back together. (Read more) (Rohan Wilson) 
The philosophical, propenal reform commandant clearly revels in the solitude and beauty of Tasmania’s natural world. Livett’s masterful portrayals of Booth’s bush wanderings convey an intimate sense of place. Wild Island’s subtitle, A Novel of Jane Eyre and Van Diemen’s Land, references one of Livett’s favourite novels, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, from which she draws a key storyline.
Adair has come to Van Diemen’s Land with Mrs Anna Rochester (Brontë’s Bertha), who is recovering from years of imprisonment in the attic of Thornfield Hall. They’ve been sent to the colony by Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester, searching for the truth about Anna’s past. (Penny McLeod)
The Irish Examiner is visiting Leeds:
I’ve read the Brontë sisters’ books but didn’t realise they lived nearby and the brooding moors of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre are just a short trip away.
The playhouse is proud of the artistic landscape of the north, and in the coming months they have an adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s Villette in honour of her 200th birthday, and Northern Ballet’s production of her sister Emily’s Wuthering Heights. (Denise O'Donoghue)
The film The Disappointments Room contains a clip of Jane Eyre 1944. The Hollywood Reporter:
A hash of films like The Haunting, The Amityville Horror, and Poltergeist (which is even referenced by one of the characters), the movie tries to upgrade its pedigree with a brief excerpt from the Orson Welles version of Jane Eyre, a classic tale of an undesirable person locked in an attic and wreaking havoc on the downstairs tenants. But there simply isn’t enough freshness in the script to warrant another journey inside a dark old house. (Stephen Farber)
The Verge reviews The Handmaiden by Park Chan-Wook:
There is something inescapably Western about Park Chan-Wook's The Handmaiden, even though its adaptation of British novelist Sarah Waters' Fingersmith moves the setting to Japanese-colonized Korea in the 1930s. Its intertwining schemes and bungled cons recall Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder; its first half, with a brooding lower class heroine shipping off to a country manor has shades of Jane Eyre. (Emily Yoshida)
More reviews. The Fresno Bee and Articolo 21 (Italy) on The Light Between Oceans:
The formula: Start with a selection of “Sophie’s Choice.” Add a dash of “Wuthering Heights.” Finish with a bit of “The Danish Girl.”
L’urlo assordante del vento, principale protagonista del film così come del romanzo di Emily Brontë, accompagna la faticosa risalita di Isabel al faro, e impedisce a Thomas di sentire i richiami disperati della ragazza, piegata in due dai dolori dell’aborto imminente. (Lucia Tempestini) (Translation)
La Voz de Galicia (Spain) on Une Vie by Stephane Brizé:
Encuentro en esta historia sobre una mujer y su crecimiento, la entrada en las sendas del dolor, la pasión, la deslealtad ajena, la enajenación mental, el sacrificio, la esperanza de que la vida no es solo buena, pero tampoco siempre desoladora, una soberbia manera de aggiornar un relato decimonónico, con una fuerza como no recuerdo desde las Cumbres borrascosas de Andrea Arnold. (José Luis Losa) (Translation)
Another film reviewed is Lady Macbeth by William Oldroyd. ScreenDaily and Variety:
Lady Macbeth is one of several recent attempts to free British costume drama from the prettifying conventions that so often stifle it – its austerity echoes Terence Davies, while its evocation of the earthiness often suppressed in modern treatments of the Romantic era has much in common with Andrea Arnold’s 2011 Wuthering Heights. (Jonathan Romney)
As such, Oldroyd’s film winds up joining Amma Asante’s “Belle” in the limited pantheon of films to address racial relations in the old British gentry; like Andrea Arnold’s revisionist “Wuthering Heights,” however, it does so entirely tacitly. (Guy Lodge)
WhatsonStage reviews the play How to Date a Feminist by Samantha Ellis:
It may be that the unevenness is due to Kate being somewhat autobiographical: Ellis, also a journalist, wrote the hugely enjoyable memoir How to Be a Heroine, which looked at her life through the prism of the novels she's identified with. Wuthering Heights is the urtext for her; a key moment of self-realisation, as for Kate, being that Heathcliff is actually awful. (Holly Williams)
Bustle lists pick-up lines from classics:
13. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (Charlotte Ahlin)
Vanity Fair (Italy) interviews the writer Louise Doughty:
È amante della tragedia greca e shakespeariana, quindi. (Laura Pezzino)
«Sì, ma anche di quella pre-shakespeariana, che noi chiamiamo “tragedia della vendetta” di era giacobina. Per quanto riguarda, invece, la letteratura vittoriana, mi sento di fare parte del “team Brontë” piuttosto che del “team Austen”».
The Daily Nation (Kenia) pays tribute to a recently-deceased local politician, William ole Ntimama:
The reading tastes of Ntimama were varied too. As a boy born and bred into the colonial literary firmament, it was inevitable that he should have interacted with Victorian and Elizabethan fiction, which would have been the literary menu of the day. So yes, he read Oliver Twist by Mark Twain and that unforgettable poetic diction of Emily Brontë in her famous novel Wuthering Heights. (Andrew Leteipa Ole Sunkuli)
The Age links Jane Eyre and a... wooden spoon:
I've seen its face, as plain and simple as Jane Eyre's, grow glossy and glamorous in a vat of quince jelly or turn a whiter shade of pale in a béchamel. (Fenella Souter)
El Periódico (or El Mundo Financiero, Deia)(Spain) talks about the installatio n Sigh by Sam Taylor-Wood, with music by Anne Dudley, now at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao:
Para crear la banda sonora, la compositora Anne Dudley se basó en una serie de fotografías que la artista británica hizo en Yorkshire, inspiradas a su vez en la novela clásica de la literatura victoriana "Cumbres borrascosas", escrita por Emily Brontë. "Es casi onírico" el efecto de escuchar la música y a la vez contemplar a los músicos reproduciendo los gestos propios de la ejecución musical sin instrumentos en sus manos, en opinión de la comisaria de la muestra, Lucía Agirre. (EFE) (Translation)
Infobae (Argentina) mentions Charlotte Brontë in an article about contemporary Argentinian 'romance' writers:
 Año 1847. Un ignoto autor llamado Currer Bell publicaba Jane Eyre, que se convertiría en poco tiempo en todo un suceso. Las transformación de una niña educada para ser "paciente, correcta y abnegada" en una mujer luchadora y de espíritu independiente en los albores de la era victoriana inglesa plantaba la semilla de una nueva manera de entender y disfrutar la literatura: la mujer vista a través de un cristal femenino; a fin de cuentas ese desconocido escritor era, en realidad, Charlotte Brönte (sic), la mayor de las tres hermanas, cuyas obras en la actualidad son objeto de adoración y disfrute de miles de lectores en el mundo. (Juan Batalla) (Translation)
An alert for tomorrow, September 11th, from the Pendle Borough Council:
Sept 11, 12.00h
Rosehips to Raven Rock foraging walk in Brontë Lancashire
Learn the gentle art of picking as we explore the hedgerows, woods and moors the Brontës knew on a 2 mile walk. Sample wild jams (bring some bread or crackers) and we'll brew up some of our produce and share wild food recipes.  Meet environment artists Kerry Morrison and Elly Langlois at the Panoptican Atom sculpture car park on the Haworth Road between Stanbury and Laneshaw Bridge. 
L'Express (France)'s astrological chinese zodiac-whatever says something like if you a Virgo you are like Wuthering Heights. Or maybe not, we don't really read it with too much attention. Good Things, Books reviews Wuthering Heights. Vook: Books + Video Games reviews Nelly Dean by Alison Case. Finally, the Brussels Brontë Blog publishes the second part of its (very) interesting investigation on the Russian translations of Villette.

And by the way... we almost forget, today is our 11th anniversary online. Wow.


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