Thursday, March 09, 2017

Keighley News reports on the activities organised by the Brontë Parsonage Museum for the school holidays.
The Brontë Parsonage is limbering up for another set of school holiday activities.
Wild Wednesday! returns to the Haworth museum with a look at the miniature gardens that the Brontë siblings invented to accompany their fantastical fictional worlds.
A spokesman said: “Spring is the time gardens are waking up and coming into bloom, so try your hand at creating your own secret garden with Rachel Lee.
“You can have trees and hedges, flowers and ponds; anything you want, as long as it’s tiny.”
The April 19 event will be followed by another Wild Wednesday!, entitled Nussey’s Notes, on April 19, also from 11am to 4pm.
The event will celebrate the 200th birthday of Charlotte Brontë’s best friend, Ellen Nussey. The pair wrote hundreds of letters to each other over the years, Ellen carefully keeping more than 500 of those she received from Charlotte.
Artist Julia Ogden will help museum visitors design their own writing paper and envelopes.
The Easter holidays will also feature short guided walks, museum trails and hands-on history sessions. Visit brontë.org.uk for the latest information. (Richard Parker)
Now for some news left over from yesterday's celebrations of International Women's Day. Metro also tells about the survey on fictional heroines and asks its staff about their own favourite fictional heroines. However, strangely enough, these results don't include Jane Eyre on number 7 of the heroines chosen by men, which is confusing.

The Booklist Reader recommended 'Women Reading Women: Audiobooks that Celebrate Female Achievement', one of which was
Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart, by Claire Harman, read by Corrie James
The focus here is on Charlotte, but the lives and works of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, their eventual publication, and the aftermath are explored, with Harman quoting extensively from letters and manuscripts. James does a fine job dramatizing these excerpts, shifting easily into flawless French when needed. (Joyce Saricks)
The Daily Dot selected '10 quotes from inspiring women on equal rights'. One of the quotes was from Jane Eyre, illustrated with the fragment of Emily from the Gun Portrait and with a rather garbled view of reality.
7) “Women are supposed to be very calm generally, but women feel as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer.” —Charlotte Brontë
Charlotte Brontë was a poet and author, most known for her novel Jane Eyre, which was groundbreaking during the Victorian era for its female perspective. In her personal life, Brontë defied gender roles as well, opting for the independence of writing and thinking rather than taking up marriage and motherhood as a young woman. (Kristen Hubby)
Offering this view is a sad way of celebrating her life and achievements, like finding out she didn't do enough for the cause after all and feeling the necessity of making things 'right', even if unreal.

Kent News list influential women from Kent, including
- Kate Bush: The Bexleyheath-born singer-songwriter, musician and record producer first came to note in 1978 when, at the age of 19, she topped the UK Singles Chart for four weeks with her debut single Wuthering Heights, becoming the first female artist to achieve a UK number-one with a self-written song. (Emily King)
FirstPost imagined an alternative version of Jane Eyre featuring PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).
Women writers using pseudonyms, including the Brontës, were discussed by El Tiempo (Colombia) and Luccia Gray.

Afflictor interviews Margaret Atwood.
Question:What is a book you keep going back to read and why?
Margaret Atwood:This is going to sound corny but Shakespeare is my return read. He knew so much about human nature (+ and minus) and also was an amazing experimenter with language. But there are many other favourites. Wuthering Heights recently. In moments of crisis I go back to (don’t laugh) Lord of the Rings, b/c despite the EVIL EYE OF MORDOR it comes out all right in the end. Whew.
The Guardian hosted a live webchat with Ruth Wilson a couple of days ago and two participants asked her about her Jane Eyre in 2006.
Kathryn Geertsema asks:The first role I saw you in was a Jane Eyre miniseries – by far my favourite adaptation. What was it like having to carry a production like that, and at a relatively young age? What have been your most thrilling roles? I didn't think about it much in the first part of filming, I was just doing my job, and then we had a press junket halfway through shooting, and I suddenly realised it was quite a bit deal and was quite scared. My brother when the reviews came out was worried that AA Gill would give me a bad review, and luckily he didn't.
I've had many thrilling roles luckily - Hedda, obviously, Alice in Luther, Stella in Streetcar. I've been very lucky. [...]
southboroughelaine asks: Can I ask about playing Jane Eyre? My favourite scene is just before the proposal. You put such passion into your speech about being small but all to be reckoned with. Where did that energy come from? Amazing. I remember reading this scene in the script and being incredibly moved by it, the writing by Sandy Welch was wonderful. I knew it was the pinnacle of the story, and I also knew I would probably have to cry in it. At drama school I'd never been able to get to tears, so I trained myself to cry to a song, and so on the day we filmed the scene, I played the song, got myself into a state, and did the scene. It was a Bon Iver song. 
Finally, an alert for today from Hillsborough, NJ:
Women Novelists of the 19th Century
3/9/2017
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Hillsborough Library
Program Room A
Registration is open

In honor of Women’s History Month, Jessica Brent, Ph.D., will explore the history of women’s writing and the rise of the woman writer in 19th century England, focusing on Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, and George Eliot (the pen name of Mary Ann Evans). She will examine the historical conditions that enabled the emergence of the woman writer and the rise of the novel. Prof. Brent will also address the challenges, conflicts, and successes women writers experienced, the heroines they created, and how readers have received their work during their own time and in the present, including contemporary film adaptations.
Speaker: Jessica Brent received her doctorate in English from Columbia University in 2003 with a focus in nineteenth-century literature, and currently teaches English at Raritan Valley Community College.

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