Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Guardian reviews the premiere of John Joubert's Jane Eyre opera and gives it 3 stars out of 5.
It’s hard to imagine Jane Eyre working convincingly on stage – the size of the cast, with 16 named roles, most only appearing in a single scene, isn’t very practical either. But as a timely reminder of the melodic strengths and potency of Joubert’s music this fine performance, with April Fredrick as Jane, David Stout as Rochester and Mark Milhofer as the Reverend St John Rivers, certainly did the trick. (Andrew Clements)
Source
Here's one more for the collectors, as Yorkshire Post announces the launch of a special edition liqueur to mark the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth.
The limited edition Charlotte’s Reserve drink has been handmade by local craftsmen using a secret recipe to evoke the rugged Haworth moors which the writer and her sisters called home. [...]
Charlotte’s Reserve, which comes in a 20cl bottle presented in a box designed to look like a leather-bound book from the 18th century, is a bramble and creamy caramel liqueur sweetened with wildflower honey and jasmine. “Liqueurs have a bit of an image problem with the modern consumer and are often consigned to the back of the drinks cupboard to be brought out at Christmas. But it’s my mission to raise awareness of these drinks as a versatile ingredient in cocktails. The fruity liqueur mixes perfectly with champagne and with mixers to make a refreshing cocktail and works really well with chocolate,” said Sir James, who lives at Birstwith Hall in North Yorkshire. “We’re working with the hospitality industry throughout the UK and overseas to demonstrate this to younger consumers through a series of exclusive recipes.” [...]
Charlotte’s Reserve costs £19.99, with a percentage of the proceeds from sales going to the Brontë Society to ensure the upkeep of the family’s legacy.
BookRiot has an article on 'Anne Brontë, Anger, and the Resonance of Assault in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall'.
Anne Brontë was angry as hell.
Two weeks ago, on a whim and the kind of Brontë kick that good, gloomy autumn weather often inspires in me, I decided to reread The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I hadn’t read it in years but within minutes of cracking the pages, I was struck by this fact all over again: Anne Brontë was angry. Her reputation as the least interesting and exciting of the Brontë sisters, the piety of her novels, and the contemporary accounts of her as mild, meek, and gentle obscure this fact, but she was.
Anne Brontë’s anger is evident in virtually every page of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, her second, final, and most famous novel. In it she depicts, with what was for the time, graphic detail, the physical decline of a debauched rake and the emotional and psychological abuses he inflicts. She exposes how a bad marriages to a bad man can trap, subjugate and oppress a woman. She excoriates a society that is fraught with dangers and seeks only to keep them in the dark. (Maddie Rodriguez) (Read more)
The Scotsman laments the many unfinished projects left behind by Angela Carter.
One of the melancholy aspects of such a detailed work is the number of projects which came to nothing – her opera based on Woolf’s Orlando, the novel she was planning before her death using characters from Charlotte Brontë, a production of Wedekind’s Lulu – but this is balanced by sensitive readings of the less-well known of her works. (Stuart Kelly)
La razón (Spain) reviews discusses the work of poet Pere Gimferrer.
Es éste un libro justificadamente complejo, pero no hermético o impenetrable. El lector debe desechar una comprensión realista, narrativa, lineal, ni mucho menos íntegra, de unos textos que alientan con una significación propia bajo el código de una fluencia poética hecha de obsesivas fijaciones temáticas, un exquisito ritmo interior y un tono nada complaciente, repleto de veladas alusiones críticas a nuestra contemporaneidad; basta leer un poema como «Dióscuros» para encontrar el rechazo de un europeísmo condicionado por oscuros intereses económicos; o «Wuthering Heights», en borrascosa alusión a los acomodaticios bandazos ideológicos de cierta partitocracia política. (Jesús Ferrer) (Translation)
The Telegraph has a creative suggestion for Bonnie Greer:
The outspoken Chicago-born critic and playwright Bonnie Greer made headlines last summer when she resigned as president of the Brontë Society after a period of disagreement that culminated in her reportedly banging a Jimmy Choo shoe on the table at the AGM to keep order.
There’s probably an amusing play in that, and Greer is not above turning moments of her life into art: she turned her 2009 Question Time face-off with the BNP’s then leader Nick Griffin into an opera. (Dominic Cavendish)
The Guardian discusses women artists in history and begins the article with a reference to Charlotte Brontë's own artistic work, which we think would make her really proud.
One of the most unsettling works of art I have seen for a long time is a small sketch in a school atlas that was identified last year as a self-portrait by the young Charlotte Brontë. Why is it so unsettling? Because of the talent it shows. Could she have been an artist as well as a great writer – and how many other talented women have found their ability to draw trivialised or suppressed through the centuries?
Brontë found her voice in literature, of course, as did her sisters, while her brother Branwell tried to become a professional artist. Why was it the boy, in this brilliant family, who got to call himself an artist? And why is it that while women have often been able to pick up a pen and become great writers, visual art was an almost entirely male preserve before modern times? (Jonathan Jones)
Yorkshire Post has an article on Halloween, Haworth and Wycoller Hall.
To my knowledge there is no evidence the Brontë sisters were witches, yet it is to Haworth that many people go at Halloween to celebrate - if that’s the right word - ghosts, ghouls and all things evil.
For sure, there are references to witches in Wuthering Heights, and at one point Mr Rochester muses on how Jane Eyre exerts “witchery” over him, but the reason Haworth claims to be the centre of Yorkshire’s Halloween season is simply one of geography.
On the other side of the so-called Brontë Moors stands the ruin of Wycoller Hall, said to have been the inspiration of Rochester’s Ferndean Manor, and it is in the area known as Pendle Witch Country, where in the early 17th century 12 people were found guilty of witchcraft after Britain’s most famous witch trial. To this day, every Halloween they manage to spread their black magic - in the form of astute marketing - to the Haworth side of the Pennines. (Read more)
On the other side of the pond, Town Topics recommends the current exhibition on Charlotte Brontë at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York.
Next morning it’s only a short walk to the Yorkshire moors and Haworth where the Brontë sisters are in residence at the Morgan Library and Museum. In New York, there’s still and always room for Anyone and Everyone, any time and every time. (Stuart Mitchner)
The Boston Globe reviews André Téchiné's film Quand on a 17 ans.
It’s not enough that Thomas (Corentin Fila) is a biracial kid in an all-white community. He is also adopted, has a Heathcliff-like personality, and must commute for three hours every day from his family’s marginal dairy farm in the mountains to school smelling, probably, of manure and hay. He has a sick mother and is confused about his sexual identity. (Peter Keough)
More celebrations of Dark Shadows 50th anniversary mentioning the Brontës' works. Den of Geek! interviews actress Lara Parker.
Do you have a particular favorite period in Dark Shadows, any particular favorite time line? Well, I think the 1795, the triangle. The romance with Barnabas and Josette and Angelique, I think that was probably the best story. That was a really good story because there was no way out of it. There was no way to resolve it. There was unrequited love on all three parts. They worked in a little Julia Hoffman, she was also in love with Barnabas. That was my favorite period sure.
Of course, I always wanted to play the heroine. I didn’t want to be the heavy. I wanted to be the ingénue I wanted to be the one Barnabas was in love with. So, in the end, Dan Curtis gave me the part, Catherine in Wuthering Heights, the very last months of the show. But it was boring. It wasn’t nearly as interesting as the Angelique and Barnabas story. (Tony Sokol)
Slate discusses whether it's okay to own books that you will never read:
Is there something just a little bit gauche about displaying books in one’s home that one isn’t actually reading, and has no intention of reading? I have no intention of consuming The Brontës at Haworth or The Woman’s Day Book of American Needlework cover to cover, but nor are they fraudulent representations of my interests. Is it acceptable to treat books as decor, a representation of one’s aesthetic aspirations rather than one’s intellectual biography? What is the normal approach to displaying books in one’s home? (Ruth Graham)
Sasstrology seems to think that Heathcliff was a Scorpio:
Have you ever wanted someone to obsess over you? (Think Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights.) If so, you’ve got to get with a Scorpio. (Michelle Suzanne)
Helen MacEwan writes on the Brussels Brontë Blog about a couple of recent talks on the Brontës by Blake Morrison and Monica Wallace. On Facebook the Brontë Parsonage Museum shares a picture of Charlotte's Ambassador, Dame Jacqueline Wilson visiting the library at the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

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