thetrailofyourbloodinthesnow: “I wish a woman could have action... - thetrailofyourbloodinthesnow: *“I wish a woman could have action in her life, like a man. It agitates me to pain that the skyline over the...
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The lives of the Brontë sisters were punctuated by as much drama and tragedy as their novels. The creators of a new BBC drama tell Stylist what they discovered about the nation’s favourite literary siblings.Evening Standard looks back on 2016 at the National Theatre and concludes that it 'deserves a standing ovation'.
The Brontës’ lives – spent writing novels in a parsonage in Haworth, West Yorkshire, 200 years ago – might sound like a privileged upbringing but the tortured romances of Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall hint at the struggles of their authors Emily, Charlotte and Anne and the alcoholism and drug addiction of their brother Branwell. In one-off drama To Walk Invisible director Sally Wainwright (of Happy Valley) and actor Chloe Pirrie (who plays Emily) have created a sharp, gritty and lively depiction of the Brontës’ lives. Here’s what they uncovered…
The Brontës lived in a time of filth and disease. Charlotte was known to have several teeth missing; TB (which killed five of the six Brontë siblings) was rife and the average life expectancy in Haworth was just 25. In the drama, the actors’ fingernails are painted with dirt but Wainwright says, “It would have been quite a lot filthier. There would have been open sewers running down the street.”
Their brother Branwell caused chaos and shame. Painter and poet Branwell, the only brother among the Brontës, was expected to provide for the family, but instead turned to alcohol and opium. He stole money, had an affair with his boss’s wife when he was a tutor and set fire to his own bed. Wainwright believes the Brontës’ subsequent need for money meant that, “Branwell’s decline was instrumental in pushing the sisters to write.”
Artistic Director Rufus Norris made it clear last year when he took over the helm that he wasn’t going to play it safe. There was a bonkers Alice in Wonderland musical spin-off created with Damon Albarn, a very testing mediation on death by Caryl Churchill and Patrick Marber wrote a slow-going play about non-league football. Sally Cookson brought her extraordinarily physical production of Jane Eyre over from Bristol, and Duncan Macmillan delivered one of the plays of the year with People Places and Things (featuring the performance of a lifetime from Denise Gough). It was an interesting guide for what might be to come, but looked at now, it feels like a warm-up for the epic year it's just had. (Jessie Thompson)And LondonTheatre1 looks forward to 2017 theatre-wise. One of the good things to come is:
Sally Cookson’s adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre begins a tour of the UK in AprilThe Yorkshire Post also looks back on 2016:
There have been some great highlights across the arts in the region this year – for example, we saw the UK’s first ever prize for sculpture take place in Yorkshire courtesy of the wonderful Hepworth Wakefield, the Yorkshire Festival gave us a fanatastic smorgasbord of international art events all across the county for three weeks in the summer and we saw the launch of the Brontë 200 bicentenary celebrations of the famous literary family, with several exciting cross-artform events. (Yvette Huddleston)The Times of India discusses women and literature.
According to author Anita Nair, “Literature has always been ambivalent in its representation of women. Good women as in ones who accepted societal norms were rewarded with happily ever after. Even feisty heroines eventually go onto find content and life's purpose in a good man's arms, be it Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice) or Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre). Alternatively, they are left to rue their lot with a contrived courage as with Scarlett O Hara (Gone with the Wind) or have to take their lives like Anna Karenina or Karuthamma (Chemmeen) or Emma Bovary (Madame Bovary).” [...]The Creators Project reports an unexpected find:
[Author Jaishree] Mishra is of the opinion that women writers still feel pressurised in the world of literature. “I find it curious that some of the constant literary bestsellers are stories with women protagonists (all the Bronte & Austen books and even some written by men, like Flaubert's 'Madame Bovary') while, in today's publishing climate, editors balk terribly at that, even advising their writers to use male pseudonyms (eg J K Rowling) as readers are apparently put off by women writers and woman-centric stories. Whoever came up with that should be shot,” adds Mishra. (Ankita Shukla)
At the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, an object originating from another former British colony was also found to contain a time capsule of sorts. The wooden panel holding together a painting of Krishna from 19th-century Thanjavur, India, was deteriorating due to insect damage and causing cracks in the paint layer. Conservators decided to remount the painting onto a more stable support, and as they released the painting from the panel, they found a full page from The Times of London, dated Wednesday, April 29, 1857. The articles of the day ran a wide gamut—a report of an insurrection in Sarawak was published alongside discussion on Charlotte Brontë. (Noémie Jennifer)Edinburgh Evening News jokes about the imagination required for buying gifts.
To be fair, he tells me that buying for me is equally challenging. I can see his point. Gift buying requires imagination, and that’s a quality that Yorkshiremen view as a frivolity, best left to vapourish sisters wuthering about on the heights, or Alan Bennett. (Susan Morrison)El Periódico (Spain) reviews the Spanish translation of Jane, le renard et moi. Nick Holland has written an article for The History Press blog listing '10 things you didn’t know about Emily Brontë'.