Saturday, December 31, 2016

Saturday, December 31, 2016 10:37 am by M. in    No comments
Keighley News reports good news from the Parsonage and Haworth after the screening of To Walk Invisible:
The Brontë Parsonage Museum was packed today with visitors inspired by last night’s TV screening of Brontë family drama To Walk Invisible.
Punters included many local people who had never previously thought of visiting the Haworth museum even though it was on their doorstep.
Staff reported visitors buzzing with positive comments about Sally Wainwright’s 90-minute film about the three famous novelists and their wayward brother Branwell.
The extra influx of people to both the museum and Haworth’s Main Street – which featured in the film – was accompanied by universal acclaim for the BBC film.
The museum’s Twitter feed has for the past few hours been inundated with rave reviews from Brontë enthusiasts.
Local councillors also expressed their admiration for To Walk Invisible and spoke of its potential long-term effect on boosting Haworth’s tourist trade.
Kitty Wright, executive director of the Brontë Parsonage Museum, today mingled with visitors to find out what they thought of the film.
She said: “We’re very busy today, far busier than we would normally expect for a day between Christmas and New Year.
“People are telling our staff they’re here because they’ve seen the film. I was down in the village of lunchtime and there seems to be a buzz in the high street.
“We’ve had some local people through the museum who have never been before – the place has become real, immediate and powerful to them.”
Kitty said the entire museum team had enjoyed To Walk Invisible, and described it as “the most astonishing production, gritty and true”.
She added: “Although the film doesn’t tell people who know about the Brontës anything new, I think it was very accessible for people who aren’t immersed in the Brontës. It worked on a lot of levels.”
Cllr Gary Swallow, acting chairman of Haworth, Stanbury and Cross Roads Parish Council, enjoyed watching To Walk Invisible.
He said: “It was well produced and showed a different aspect of the Brontë story, emphasising the trouble the family had to go through with the condition of the brother.
“It also showed some good period shots of Haworth Main Street. The crew did a marvellous job with the shopfronts.”
Worth Valley ward councillor Russell Brown admitted he was not a particular fan of the Brontës, but had watched To Walk Invisible to see the results of the local filming.
He said: “it was quite informative and changed my perception of the Brontës – I think I’ll take another look at them.
“I’m sure the film will bring about more visitors, and I’m sure people are going to want to sell Haworth around the world.” (David Knights)
The National reviews the production:
It dramatised the story of the three surviving Bronte sisters and their useless brother, Branwell, and it dumped all the silly clichés of Victorian dramas.
There was no flouncing or fainting or blushing. There was no soppy love story. Instead there were three sisters who were being strangled by boredom and their unfulfilled brilliance.
They had tried a bit of teaching and a bit of governessing, as lower middle-class ladies had to do if they weren’t pretty or rich enough to secure a husband (Charlotte famously despised teaching and called her pupils “dolts” who kept interrupting her daydreams with their silly questions). (...)
There was nothing pretty and soothing here. Even when Charlotte first suggests that the sisters could write, Emily is furious – and quite frightening. She loathes the idea of the grubby outside world being given access to her private thoughts.
But practical, bossy Charlotte says they have talent which can’t be wasted, and they have to make their way in the world, somehow. A life of teaching the brats of the upper class would mean misery and insult. A life as novelists would offer fulfilment and freedom.
I was initially quite miffed that the story focused so heavily on Branwell, the drunken brother, but this was necessary. All the family’s money had been thrown at him, as the only son, in the hope that he would acquire a profession, but he wasted it all.
The sisters were given little but achieved everything. So the women didn’t need to be centre stage in this drama – that was the whole point.
You can shove them aside and ignore them and give all your money and effort to the strapping lad of the house and the women will slip away to the dining room, pull up a chair, and get writing.
They are an inspiration to every single person who is plain, dumpy, shy, exhausted and ignored.
They say: “Life is brutal and there’s no rainbow or handsome prince, so roll up your sleeves and just get on with it.
The script made them even more inspirational by portraying them as vivid and alive. They were kept safe from period drama stereotypes by a script peppering with swear words and casual, modern language. There’s was nothing prim and proper here, just the rough, real, brilliant Brontes. (Julia McDowall in The National)
SnarkyOverload also praises the production.

The mumbling/inaudible complaints against the BBC on the broadcast of To Walk Invisible are mentioned in other respected (ahem) media: the Daily Mail and OK! Magazine,
Viewers were less than impressed with the sound quality of To Walk Invisible, a one-off drama telling the story of the Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne and their brother Branwell, that aired last night.
Complaints flooded Twitter about the BBC One drama, with one Twitter user saying: 'So disappointed by #ToWalkInvisible spoiled by bad sound quality. Visually beautiful and well-acted but much was muffled drowned by soundtrack.' (...)
While many struggled to understand what the actors were saying during the two-hour long programme last night, viewers still praised the show and the creator Sally Wainwright for the portrayal of the Bronte family. (Natalie Corner)
 While a seventh angrily added: "#ToWalkInvisible what is wrong with the sound surely the @BBC have been told enough times, we can't hear this whispering style dialogue."
However, some fans were quick to jump to the one-off TV movie's defence and argued that they could hear the dialogue perfectly.
One person tweeted: "Not sure why people can't hear/understand the dialogue in #ToWalkInvisible Fine here in Haworth! They just can't understand our accent ;)."
A second added: "Genuinely can't get why people can't hear the dialogue. It's perfectly audible and understandable in Dublin anyway #ToWalkInvisible." (Olivia Wheeler)
The Guardian discusses new books for 2017 like Samantha Ellis's Take Courage:
It’s a nice link to another pseudonymous writer, Anne Brontë, whose life is uncovered by Samantha Ellis in the forthcoming book Take Courage. In it, Ellis argues that we have allowed the greater celebrity of Anne’s sisters, Charlotte and Emily, to overshadow her achievements and her talent. It is our loss, argues Ellis; and the same may be said for many other writers whom we have allowed to be sidelined. (Alex Clark)
Audible, the Amazon-owned provider of audiobooks, has released a list with the most popular audiobooks of 2016, including:
“Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë, narrated by Than­die Newton. The story of an orphaned girl tormented by the family that takes her in. (Mary Ann Gwinn in the Boston Herald)
ArtDaily explains what will be the next voyage of the manuscript of Jane Eyre after visiting the Morgan Library in New York:
In 2017 the British Library will, for the first time ever, take some of its most spectacular items on tour to cities around China, beginning with the National Library of Beijing in April.
Ten iconic items from the Library’s collections, including Charlotte Brontë’s handwritten manuscript of Jane Eyre and one of the earliest quarto editions of Romeo and Juliet, will be the star items in a major exhibition showcasing British literary and cultural highlights from Shakespeare to Sherlock Holmes.
Following the exhibition in Beijing, there will be pop-up displays in other cities across mainland China and Hong Kong, including Shanghai, Wuzhen and others.
Rose Wild's Feedback column in The Times mentions the Brontës:
Sue Whitham wrote: “I am amazed that such an erudite writer makes no reference to the mother of them all, viz Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, published in 1847 and never out of print. Here is the archetype of the lowly heroine and the masterful hero, arrogant and mysterious. Yet by the end of the book, Jane has married him and has complete control. There are no explicit scenes, yet the whole book is simply heaving. Mills & Boon works are pale daughters of Jane Eyre, but the debt needs to be acknowledged.”
 The Guardian reviews Charmed Life: The Phenomenal World of Philip Sassoon by Damian Collins:
Sir Philip Sassoon said that he might have been interesting had he slept with Michelangelo’s male muse Cavalieri or invented the wireless instead of Marconi. He would not have felt such “a worthless loon”, he added, if he had painted Velázquez’s court painting Las Meninas or written Wuthering Heights. These hankerings show the essence of the man: a classy aesthete, with a love of big names and modern gadgets. (Richard Davenport-Hines)
Kultur Kueche (Germany) reviews the film Love & Friendship by Whit Stillman:
Warum selbst in unserer Redaktion mancheiner Jane Austen mit Charlotte Brontë verwechselt ist dem Autor der folgenden Kurzkritik schleierhaft: okay beides waren britische Schriftstellerinnen, und sie lebten nicht zu völlig utnerschiedlichen Zeiten, wobei die eine erst ein Jahr vor dem Tod der anderen das Licht der Welt erblickte. Mit “Jane Eyre” hat die von Brontë gar verachtete Austen jedenfalls nichts zu tun – Janes bekanntestes Werk heißt “Stolz und Vorurteil” und lieferte bezeichnenderweise zentralste Anregungen für die sattsam bekannte Bridget Jones. (nikore) (Translation)
Wyborcza (Poland) lists some books for 2017:
Siri Hustvedt, „Świat w płomieniach” (The Blazing World)
Do tej pory była kojarzona, przynajmniej w Polsce, jako żona Paula Austera. Teraz role mogą ulec odwróceniu, bo ta powieść amerykańskiej pisarki o norweskich korzeniach Siri Hustvedt wzbudziła entuzjazm krytyki. Od czasów gdy w pierwszej połowie XIX w. siostry Brontë publikowały swe powieści pod męskimi pseudonimami, do końca XX w., gdy artystka Harriet Burden (postać fikcyjna) podszywa się pod trzech mężczyzn, niewiele się zmieniło w sytuacji utalentowanych kobiet. Tak zdaje się twierdzić Hustvedt. Literacki majstersztyk na skrzyżowaniu feministycznej tradycji spod znaku Virginii Woolf i thrillera. (Juliusz Kurkiewicz) (Translation)
El País (Spain) interviews the writer Liliana Colanzi:
¿Qué libro la hizo querer ser escritora? 
Jane Eyre. Los cuentos de Stevenson. Orgullo y prejuicio.
Universia (Brazil) recommends books to read, at least once, in 2017:
Jane Eyre
A obra conta as experiências de sua heroína homônima, Jane Eyre. O livro contém elementos de crítica social, com um forte senso de moralidade, mas não deixa de ser considerado a frente do seu tempo, dado o carácter individualista da personagem e a exploração do classicismo, religião e feminismo. (Translation)
Bitchmedia republishes a Sarah Seltzer 2008 article with a new introduction: It's Jane House. We Just Live in It. Brontë, feminism, and the Gothic tradition. The Fangirl Initiative lists several Wuthering Heights derivatives. Rob Watches Movies reviews Wuthering Heights.

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