Saturday, April 15, 2017

A reader of the Yorkshire Evening Post reminds their readers of the upcoming Ellen Nussey bicentenary:
Historic anniversary
John Appleyard, Liversedge
The name of Ellen Nussey may not be too familiar to many readers but she was a lifelong friend of the author Charlotte Brontë whom she met at Roe Head School, Mirfield in 1831. Ellen was the 12th child of John Nussey a clothing merchant of Birstall Smithies, near Gomersal in West Yorkshire.
In the 1840s Ellen and Charlotte were regular visitors to Oakwell Hall, a young ladies boarding school. Ellen Nussey’s early home was the Rydings at Birstall which partly inspired ‘Thornfield Hall’ in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. The Rydings property is still partly visible on the Leeds road(A62), near the crossroads with A652 Bradford road.
The Nusseys last rented home, where she died aged 80 years old in 1897 was Moor Lane House, which is now the Gomersal Park Hotel.
After Charlotte Brontë’s death in 1855 Ellen defended her memory and reputation in a number of letters, some of which can still be seen in the University of Leeds. April 20 is the 200th anniversary of Ellen’s birth, she is buried in the graveyard at St Peter’s Church in Birstall.
BBC Radio Leeds Johnny L'Anson magazine (1h 10 min into the show) featured Simon Armitage this morning talking about the Mansions in the Sky exhibition at the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

Milwaukee Magazine presents the new production of the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre: Polly Teale's Jane Eyre.
In 2001, audiences watched Anna Karenina shadowed around the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre stage by an ominously gesturing dark figure and a mysterious cellist, which musically beckoned her to tragic fate as the story unfolded. That’s the combination of music, movement and theater one can expect from the work of Great Britain’s Shared Experience Theatre, deploys imaginative language words and dramatic movement to tell the stories of classic novels and plays. This month, The Rep turns to another Shared Experience adaptation, Polly Teale’s telling of Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë’s dark psychological tale of a young governess’s life at Thornfield Hall, the estate of the mysterious Edward Rochester. Reviewers have called the original English production a “masterpiece of storytelling,” and director KJ Sanchez has an impressive roster of actors to spin the tale, most of whom are new to Milwaukee audiences.
April 25-May 21 (Paul Kosidowski)
Christiane Amanpour chooses her ten favourite books for the New York Times:
Jane Eyre” Charlotte Brontë
As a schoolgirl this book had an enormous impact on me. It’s not just one of the great works of English fiction, but many describe how it morphs its meaning to suit all seasons of the reader’s life. The story of the evolving emotions and thoughts of a young girl who reaches womanhood and falls in love with an older man evokes a great romantic love. But on the other hand, the story of his wife, hidden away — descending into madness — caused me frissons of deep fear at the mental illness which was very much the unspoken unknown then, and in my own childhood. At the end of the day it’s an important work for all boys and girls to read, because of its highly developed, complicated and wonderful female heroine.
The Times' latest paperback picks include
The Dark Circle by Linda Grant
Most Britons who have made it to an advanced age will recall that plague of their childhood years, “galloping consumption”. Romanticised as the poets’ disease (Keats, Emily Brontë, Orwell, et al), tuberculosis principally ravaged the unsanitary lower classes. This fine, persuasive, moving novel chronicles the moment when this horror was largely abolished: 1949-51, when the NHS came into being.  (John Sutherland)
The Young Folks reviews the film A Quiet Passion by Terence Davies:
In the pantheon of movies about women writers the path veers towards the British: Austen, Brontë, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Director Terence Davies gives audiences a new vision of the female writer, both in geography and personality with his Emily Dickinson biopic, A Quiet Passion. With a sensitive and nuanced performance from star Cynthia Nixon, A Quiet Passion will certainly please literary buffs. (Kristen Lopez)
The Minneapolis Post quotes dialogue from the film:
Here’s a snippet of Davies’ often witty dialogue:
“Did you say something to him to shock him?”
“Only that I just finished reading ‘Wuthering Heights.’ And he was scandalized.”
“Have you read it?”
“No. So I told him that to condemn a novel he had not read would be like going to Sodom or Gomorrah and being disappointed that neither were Philadelphia.” (Pamela Espeland)
Metro interviews the director of the film:
Your films are not known as being humorous, but the first half of “A Quiet Passion” is a laugh riot. (Matt Prigge)
As John Waters told me, “You’re really good at misery and death.” And I am! But I wanted this to be funny. I didn’t want it to be solemn. They were very learned people. They were like the Brontës — they had read everything. She not only wrote 1,808 poems; she wrote three volumes of letters, for god’s sake. It was an enormous output. And she loved gardening, and she loved to improvise on the piano. She may have not gone too many places, but she had a rich inner life.
Citizen reviews discussed in The Huffington Post:
I have been thinking about all of this as I approach the end of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. While in some ways I would like to review this much-loved book, I can't get past the feeling that I don't really have the right. After all, writing any book seems to me to be such a herculean effort that it would be impossible, or at least arrogant, of me to review it. And given the subjective nature of reading, is it possible to apply any kind of star system to such a complicated beast as a work of fiction? (...)
So, perhaps I will take a step into a brave, new(ish) world of citizen reviews and write about Jane Eyre. I'll just remember that I'm not critiquing Charlotte Brontë, but joining a discussion with other booklovers about my favourite topic: books. (Fleur Morrison)
If you do it, please do not engage in discussions which ignore historical and sociological context. Buzzle lists Jane Eyre among classics that are 'super sexist':
Jane Eyre is another classic literary proto-feminist character, but boy is there a lot of sexist nonsense going on around her. Mr. Rochester might be the mean, grumpy man of her dreams, but he locks his wife in the attic rather than deal with her mental illness sensitively. And doesn't tell his girlfriend about it. And we're supposed to accept him as our romantic hero. He's less openly sexist than Jane's creepy cousin St. John... but that's a pretty low bar to clear. (Charlotte Ahlin)
Pionero (Cuba) lists literary pseudonyms:
Ellis Bell, Currer Bell y Acton Bell: Estos fueron los seudónimos que usaron Emily, Charlotte y Anne Brönte (sic). Las tres hermanas escritoras ocultaron su identidad para crear tres clásicos de la narrativa inglesa: Jane Eyre, Cumbres Borrascosas y La inquilina de Wildfell Hall. (Marcía Rodríguez) (Translation)
Ten books to read before you are thirty according to Eva (Vietnam):
Đồi gió hú” của Emily Bronte:
Cuốn tiểu thuyết kể về tình yêu ngang trái của Catherine và Heathcliff. Tình yêu của hai người hoang dại và mãnh liệt như chính vùng đất họ sống. Sau tất cả những bi kịch, những ghen tuông, những đau khổ giằng xé nhưng cuối cùng họ vẫn được chôn cất bên nhau.
Chuyện tình này gây ám ảnh cho tất cả người đọc. Nhưng độc giả vẫn không cưỡng lại được mà muốn đọc cuốn sách lần nữa bởi tình yêu hoang dại của hai nhân vật đầy hấp dẫn và bởi nghệ thuật văn chương đỉnh cao của tác giả. (Translation)
An excerpt of the upcoming book Mr Rochester by Sarah Shoemaker can be read on WattpadRuang 92 (in tagalog) posts about Agnes Grey.

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