Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Wednesday, March 08, 2017 11:12 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
Today, International Women's Day, The Sun shares the results of a survey on inspirational fictional heroines.
In a poll of 1,000 British women, Bridget Jones was voted as the most inspirational fictional heroine from literature or movies, ahead of International Women’s Day today.
Asked the same question, the 1,000 men polled plumped for wizardly star Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series, played by actress Emma Watson. [...]
The poll was carried out by CD and DVD sales service Ziffit.com.
The most inspirational fictional heroines voted by women
1. Bridget Jones – played by Renée Zellweger
2. Hermione Granger – played by Emma Watson in the Harry Potter movies
3. Jane Eyre – from Charlotte Brontë’s novel of the same name [...]
The most inspirational fictional heroines voted by men
1. Hermione Granger- played by Emma Watson in the Harry Potter movies
2. Princess Leia – played by Carrie Fisher in Star Wars
3. Bridget Jones – played by Renée Zellweger
4. Katniss Everdeen – played by Jennifer Lawrence in Hunger Games
5. Scarlett O’Hara – played by Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind
6. Mary Poppins – played by Julie Andrews
7. Jane Eyre – from Charlotte Brontë’s novel of the same name
However, The Times of India considers Jane Eyre as one of '5 most underrated women characters from classics', but also Lucy Snowe from Villette.
Jane Eyre: In an age when poetry ruled the literary minds, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre revolutionized the art of fiction. Jane Eyre is not a pretty looking dame who has been taught the finesse, etiquettes and the coquetteness so common for the girls of her age, but she is a strong, individualistic, passionate woman with an almost spiritual psyche who does not take the brutalities of her aunt submissively, but gives a piece of mind to her when she leaves for Lowood. She rises above her Gothic surroundings, difficult circumstances and distressing company to prove her mettle as a survivor who is morally, intellectually and anesthetically venerable. Though the novel became very popular, the character of Jane Eyre remained shrouded in obscurity and could not get as much limelight as her contemporary heroines, partly because she was more real and uninteresting than the majority of fictional dames of her time. [...]
Lucy Snowe (Villette): Charlotte Brontë introduces Lucy Snowe as a girl who is plain looking with practically no appealing accomplishments. She is friendless and forlorn and knows how to restrain her feelings and emotions. Lucy secretly loves handsome and gentlemanly Dr John since her childhood, but accepts the proposal of Paul Emanuel (but does not marry him!) who is a male chauvinist and a staunch Catholic who tries hard to convert Protestant Lucy, but fails. Lucy is practical and is not ready to break norms for unreachable dreams and unworkable ambitions. She is one of the most sensible heroines of English literature and has been rightly described by critics as a quiet observer for the most part of her life who truly breaks free of the expected domestic fate. (Smita Mishra)
Agnes Grey and Helen Huntingdon, both created by Anne Brontë are both terribly underrated, particularly on a day like today.

And according to Bustle, Charlotte Brontë is one of '14 Female Authors Who Were Ahead Of Their Time'.
The Brontës were a weird and tragic family (all five of Charlotte's siblings died before she did). But there's no doubt that they had a huge impact on English literature—especially Charlotte. Jane Eyre was considered revolutionary in its day for being a creepy Gothic romance that was also intellectual with actual literary merit. Charlotte Brontë broadened the genre of what was considered "literary," and proved that women could write bestsellers (Jane Eyre actually increased in sales once it was revealed that Charlotte was a women, because it was now seen as a "scandalous book"). (Charlotte Ahlin)
On the Penguin Books website, Caitlin Moran tells the story of how 'books made me a feminist'.
The Railway Children, Jane Eyre, Ballet Shoes, What Katy Did, Anne of Green Gables, Gone With The Wind, Pride and Prejudice, To Kill A Mockingbird, I Capture The Castle and, of course, Little Women - what I instinctively gravitated towards was stories about girls, and women. Stories about their lives - struggling with money, wondering what their careers would be, reading books, learning skills, finding clothes that made them happy, learning how to have relationships with siblings, friends and parents, chafing against societal restrictions, getting angry about the injustices of a wider world. Grieving. Hoping. Carrying on.
In The Irish Times, Kate Beaufoy writes about her novel The Gingerbread House.
Since The Gingerbread House doesn’t slot conveniently into any publishing niche, I had my doubts that he would be interested. After all, even though the issues it confronts are germane to the lives of millions of readers, carers don’t feature prominently in books. With the exception of the semi-autobiographical family in Margaret Forster’s Have the Men Had Enough (1989), the only notable carer I can call to mind is Grace Poole in Jane Eyre. So when I sent the novel to Black & White it was with no real expectation of the book being published. To my surprise, they were passionately keen to take it on board.
Xposé (Ireland) reviews Smock Alley Theatre's production of Polly Teale's Brontë.
The play is a fascinating watch because it questions what drives people to write, why and if fame matters, and how three young women from the Yorkshire moors made their names as some of the most renowned authors in history. [...]
I admire how much the cast gets out of Smock Alley’s intimate and minimalistic set at the Boys’ School: with just a few chairs and a table, the Brontës come alive again. We are front-row witnesses to a chaotic family dynamic, both as grief tears them apart and as they learn of their literary success.
Ashleigh Dorrell as Anne Brontë stands out for her ethereal nature and her ability to communicate her character’s thoughts in a quiet way. As Catherine Earnshaw from Wuthering Heights, her otherworldly look becomes ever more haunted and you really do believe she is horrified by the decisions she has made and the person she has become. However I wasn’t particularly keen on Katie McCann donning for all intents and purposes a shower cap to transform from Emily Brontë to Nelly the housekeeper for those scenes, although her matronly concern is well portrayed.
The ‘drunk’ acting by Desmond Eastwood as Branwell is somewhat exaggerated with deafening roars, and when I saw it he accidentally knocked one of the chairs apart as he stumbled raucously around the stage. His youthful bravado is more believable, amplified by the symbolism of his tight curls turning lank and wild as the character battles his addiction. As Heathcliff he conveys a wonderful intimacy with Catherine, complemented by Ashleigh Dorrell’s stellar performance.
For me, the star of this is Ruairí Lenaghan, who plays multiple roles including Patrick Brontë, Charlotte’s tutor Constantin Héger, and Edward Rochester from Jane Eyre. He sinks into each part with seamless authenticity, contending with multiple accents and physical ailments, and shines the most as the shy and earnest Arthur Bell Nicholls. Louise O’Meara is equally at her best as Charlotte Brontë here, playing off the growing fondness and mutual embarrassment between the characters.
One of the most striking elements of the play for me is the exploration of how loss shapes you: perhaps most evident towards the end of the play, when Charlotte is left alone as those closest to her have passed away. Though she feels their physical presence around her, their absence is tangible as she sits alone at her desk.
Overall, I thought it was a wonderful show, suited to both Brontë diehard fans and newcomers. Those who aren’t overly familiar with the books will learn more about the women who wrote them, and those who have devoured every word will consider aspects of the authors’ personalities that they perhaps hadn’t before. (Marése O'Sullivan)
It truly saddens us to see Charlotte and Anne Brontë used as an example of a bad relationship between sisters. From The Irish Times:
However, throughout history, there are many examples of sisters whose relationships could best be described as complicated or, at worst, toxic; Anne and Mary Boleyn, Charlotte and Anne Brontë, and LaVerne, Patty and Maxene Andrews (the Andrews Sisters), are some notable examples. Whether it is the build-up of years of resentment from childhood, sibling rivalry, a clash of personalities or just plain old-fashioned hatred, a falling-out among sisters can be particularly nasty. (Teresa and Mary Louise O’Donnell)
Aaaaand the blunder of the day comes from Newsly (Italy):
Charlotte Bronte autrice inglese (1816-1857), pubblicò nel 1987 Jane Eyre, all’inizio sotto uno pseudonimo. Racconta una sorta di storia autobiografica di Jane. Considerata una delle prime figure femministe nella letteratura, Jane lotta per la sua libertà e la sua autodeterminazione. La storia di una figura e donna forte. (Giordana Marsilio) (Translation)
Luke McGrath reviews Wuthering Heights for The Huffington PostLibération (France) features Augustin Trapenard, who is described as 'un grand amoureux d’Emily Brontë' (no translation needed, we think). Straits Times (Singapore) describes Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights as 'racially reinterpreted'. The Hindu discusses pen names, including the Brontës'. Artscape (France) features the manga version of Jane Eyre.

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