Friday, April 07, 2017

BBC News features Clare Twomey's Wuthering Heights project currently being carried out at the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
Visitors are being invited to recreate a long-lost manuscript of Emily Brontë's 1847 classic Wuthering Heights to celebrate 200 years since her birth.
The original manuscript no longer survives and its disappearance has been shrouded in mystery.
The Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, West Yorkshire, is inviting visitors to copy out a sentence of the novel to create a handwritten book.
Museum organisers hope it will be ready in time to be displayed next year.
The museum has commissioned artist Clare Twomey to create thousands of pencils for the project.
Jenna Holmes, arts officer at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, said: "The lost manuscript of Wuthering Heights is one of the great Brontë mysteries.
"It's a simple but very powerful work, which we think will strike a chord with visitors to the museum this year."
Ann Dinsdale, the museum's principal curator, kick started the project with the artist by writing the opening sentence from the novel.
The Huddersfield Daily Examiner has further information:
The project, ahead of celebrations for the bicentenary of Emily’s birth, is the creation of artist Clare Twomey. Because the original manuscript of the 1847 novel was lost, visitors are being offered the opportunity to copy Wuthering Heights, a sentence at a time, into a hand-made book.
Thousands of special pencils have been produced to write the book and visitors will be allowed to keep them as a memento.
The project, which launched earlier this month and is supported by the Arts Council, runs until January 1, 2018. After that the book will be displayed at the museum during the bicentenary celebrations. [...]
Jenna Holmes, arts officer, explains the thinking behind the work: “It’s a simple but very powerful work, which we think will strike a chord with visitors to the museum this year. We hope they will find it a rich experience to participate in the mass act of writing.” The museum will publish regular updates and excerpts from the book through social media (#WHManuscript). (Hilarie Stelfox)
On Facebook, the Brontë Parsonage Museum shared a live video of Ann Dinsdale writing the first line. As well as a picture of the first visitor to write a line and what the manuscript looked like at the end of the day. On Twitter, Clare Twomey published several updates as well.

London Theatre has a great announcement:
Following a previous run at the National Theatre and a UK tour, Sally Cookson's production of Jane Eyre returns to the National this September from 26 September to 21 October 2017. Described as an innovative reimagining of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece, it marks a collaboration between the Bristol Old Vic and the National.
Devised by the original company it is directed by Cookson with dramaturgy by Mike Akers, set design by Michael Vale, costume design by Katie Sykes, lighting design by Aideen Malone, movement by Dan Canham, music by Benji Bower and sound design by Dominic Bilkey. The cast will include Hannah Bristow, Matthew Churcher, Nadia Clifford, Ben Cutler, Tim Delap, Alex Heane, Jenny Johns, Melanie Marshall, Evelyn Miller, Paul Mundell, Dami Olukoya, David Ridley, Lynda Rooke, Francesca Tomlinson and Phoebe Vigor. (Dom O'Hanlon)
Bustle has selected '10 Underrated Literary Heroines, From Éowyn To Sansa Stark'.
I'm even a sap for Jane Eyre, and her unhealthy romance with a dude who keeps his ex-wife in the attic. But for all the amazing female book characters who we honor with think pieces and fan fiction and Etsy mugs, there are so many more who don't get nearly as much love as they deserve. Here are a few criminally underrated literary heroines. [...]
5 Thursday Next
If you like books and you're not reading the Thursday Next series, what are you doing with your life? Thursday is a Literary Detective. She has the ability to jump "into" literature, and interact with famous fictional characters. She has a pet dodo. She's that rare female lead of a action-packed book who's actually allowed to age into her fifties and have multiple children. She's pretty much the coolest ever, go read her books.
6 Bertha Mason / Antoinette Cosway
Bertha Mason (or Rochester) is the "madwoman in the attic" from Jane Eyre. She doesn't really get her fair due in that book, though: she's mostly a creepy obstacle to Jane's happiness, and her only motivation seems to be to start fires. Wide Sargasso Sea, however, makes Bertha (or Antoinette) into the protagonist, taking us back to when Mr. Rochester first married her in Jamaica. Jean Rhys paints a portrait of a young woman driven mad by society's strict role for her, a far more nuanced portrayal than the madwoman in the attic. (Charlotte Ahlin)
The Boston Globe has an article on the exhibition I’m Nobody! Who are you? at the Morgan Library and Museum.
It’s the writing that matters, of course, and that’s the show’s primary focus. On display are several of the poems in Dickinson’s distinctive slanting cursive. Some are in the fascicles, or hand-sewn booklets, she assembled. An audio component offers 24 of the poems read by poet Lee Ann Brown. In addition to manuscripts, there are Dickinson letters, first editions, her Bible, and works by authors she admired, including Shakespeare, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Charlotte Brontë. (Mark Feeney)
And more on Emily Dickinson as a couple of newspapers review the film A Quiet Passion. From The Times:
Despite knowledge of the Brontës in England, a woman poet was still considered freakish in the mid-19th century on the east coast of America, and Dickinson’s frustration and need for affirmation is highlighted as she hands a tiny beribboned and bound volume of her work to the local minister, the Rev Charles Wadsworth (Eric Loren), basking in his admiration. When he leaves town, she is devastated, intellectually and romantically. (Kate Muir)
From The Guardian:
Emily and her sister talk about George Eliot and the Brontës, though not about her Massachusetts contemporary Louisa May Alcott. And no one is tactless enough to mention Dickens’s Miss Havisham. (Peter Bradshaw)
The Telegraph reviews the stage adaptation of I Capture the Castle at Watford Palace Theatre,
Happily, this new musical, adapted by Teresa Howard, is blessed with a wonderful Cassandra in relative newcomer Lowri Izzard. She not only has a voice as clean and bracing as a mountain spring but embodies a budding mix of sensitivity, scorn and emotional tumult, even if she is not quite “Jane Eyre with a touch of Becky Sharp”, as the vicar in the novel so perfectly describes her. (Claire Allfree)
Bustle reviews the TV series Harlots:
Think of Passion of the Christ, Amadeus, any Jane Austen adaptation, and far too many Shakespeare adaptations. That's why shows like this, and movies like Belle and the 2011 adaptation of Wuthering Heights are essential to better representation in the future. (Leah Thomas)

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