Monday, September 11, 2017

Monday, September 11, 2017 5:33 pm by M. in , , , , , ,    No comments
Minnesota Star Tribune reviews Sarah Shoemaker's Mr Rochester:
Fans of Charlotte Brontë's "Jane Eyre" may still wonder what the spunky governess saw in Edward Fairfax Rochester, the gruff lord of Thornfield Hall who teased and tormented his way into her heart. Now there's as good an answer as you'll get.
In "Mr. Rochester," Sarah Shoemaker builds a compelling back story for Jane Eyre's true love. Taking pages from Brontë's brand of Gothic novel, Shoemaker gives Rochester an upper-class version of poor Jane's hardship: a remote father who sends him off to a boarding school, then a textile mill, then to Jamaica, where he falls prey to family secrets that will erupt on that fateful wedding day. In this telling, Rochester is a kindhearted man who learned to steel himself against life's disappointments and the disloyalty of one's closest kin.
Does that excuse the choices he makes once Jane Eyre enters his life? Views no doubt will differ. Shoemaker knows her Brontë well, channeling her so expertly that it's easy to imagine that one author wrote both novels. "Jane Eyre" is not required reading before "Mr. Rochester," but knowing the original story will enhance the enjoyment of this companion piece. (Laurie Hertzel)
Bolton's Octagon Theatre goes Brontë again and it will produce a new adaptation of Jane Eyre next January. In The Bolton News:
Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece has been adapted for the stage by Lorna French and will be directed by Elizabeth Newman.
For this production, the Octagon is looking for six young people to make up two teams of two girls and one boy, who will be needed to help bring the story to life.
Youngsters have a chance to star as the younger version of the title heroine Jane or her bullying cousin John Reed.
The other role has been created as part of the adaptation, with the theatre looking for a girl to play the younger version of Mr Rochester's 'mad' wife Bertha, in a plot line yet to be revealed. (...)
She said: "Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is a beautiful story about tenderness, honesty and strength of spirit, and we are all delighted to be bringing a new adaptation of this classic to life here in Bolton with Lorna French.
"We feel that in order to capture the innocence and bold spirit of the characters in Jane Eyre we need young people to bring energy, enthusiasm, and their own spirit into our rehearsal room and our auditorium.
"They will breathe life into some of the most integral characters in the story, and I can’t wait to work with them."
The story follows young penniless and alone Jane as she emerges from a bleak childhood to make her way in life as a governess.
At Thornfield Hall, she falls in love with her mysterious employer Mr Rochester – however, he is hiding a terrible secret that could ruin everything.
The young girls will need to have the playing age of 10 and the boys will need to have the playing age of 14.
In order to audition, the young people must be between the ages of 9 and 15. The two teams will perform on alternate nights. No experience is required, but the young people auditioning must like dancing.
Auditions will be held at the Octagon Theatre Bolton on September 23 from 2pm to 3pm. (Rosalind Saul)
The Moore County Pilot presents (alert included) the just published The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente:
Valente, who grew up reading the Brontës, learned that as children, the siblings’ father purchased a set of toy soldiers for brother Branwell, and then for years, all four Brontë siblings imagined a world for themselves and these soldiers: A world which also included battles between the soldiers and Napoleon.
They called this world “Glass Town,” and it was the setting for hundreds of poems and stories which together constitute the Bronte Juvenilia. Valente wrote a short story based on the Brontes’ imaginary world, for an anthology titled “Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy” (Tor, 2013), but immediately Valente knew what she had written was more than just a short story.
The expansion of that short story became Catherynne Valente’s newest novel for curious young readers “The Glass Town Game.
Glass Town is a marvelous, magical world invented by sisters Charlotte, Emily and Ann, and their brother, Branwell, in which Branwell’s toy soldiers battle real battles with the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte, but when the “Beastliest Day” comes, and Charlotte and Emily must go off to boarding school, the siblings find themselves aboard the Glass Town Royal express.
Gliding through fields that look exactly like Aunt Elizabeth’s handkerchief, where Officer Crashy looks suspiciously like one of the toy soldiers and where mere words make things come to life, the children also discover a mysterious substance called Grog, which can bring life into those once thought lost.
“It is,” says Valente in a recent Publisher’s Weekly article, “like taking the Brontës to Narnia.”
Catherynne Valente will visit with students at Westmoore Elementary and New Century Middle School during the school day on Wednesday, Sept. 13 and will then be reading from “Glass Town Game” and signing copies of all her books at 4 p.m. at The Country Bookshop, 140 NW Broad St., Southern Pines. (Angie Tally) reviews the novel History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund:
Mattie is first a governess, very like Jane in Charlotte Brontë’s novel (as stressed by Patra) and then, during the trial in the book’s second half, only a babysitter. (Anu Kumar)
The NorthEast Today interviews the author Ch. Lady Diana:
In our lives, we all have one book that establishes a deep connection. Which one will be yours? Did it motivate you to grow as an author? (Kingson Chingakham)
Ans: I would certainly say that my school had equipped me with so many books that by the time I was in the 5th standard, I was influenced by Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, by the poems of William Wordsworth, etc. Then picking up the trait from my school, I had added some more books to my list of reading. I remember reading Wuthering Heights, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes, etc. Every book has motivated me to expand my horizon of thinking and writing. 
The Ringer explores the works of film director Jane Campion:
Jane Campion grew up in Wellington, New Zealand, the middle child of a theater director (her father Richard) and actor (her mother Edith). Theater and literature animated her youth: She was obsessed not only with Janet Frame’s work but also Emily Brontë’s evocative descriptions of moors and Henry James’s self-assured heroines. (Lyndsay Zoladz)
El Espectador (Colombia) interviews the writer María Cristina Restrepo:
Me parece que estos escritores son inigualables. Dickens, las hermanas Brontë, Jane Austen, son unos novelistas de miedo. Uno se pregunta “¿A qué horas, escribiendo a mano, lograron hacer esto? ¿Cuándo corregían? ¿Eran virtuosos de por sí?”. Son mis modelos a seguir, los leo siempre con mucha admiración, tratando de ver la manera en que pudieron haber compuesto su obra. (Santiago Díaz Benavides) (Translation)
Underbrain reviews the book La composición de la sal by Magela Baudoin which includes the story
Sueño vertical, en que una madre relata a su hija la vida de Emily Brontë (autora de Cumbres borrascosas) y la de sus hermanas. (Bouman) (Translation)
Brussels Brontë Blog continues exploring the Lake District's Brontë connections.

Finally, an alert for today, September 11, in Westminster Abbey:
Excellent Women – Dame Rose Macaulay: Anglican Apologist?
11th Sep 2017, 18:30
Why are there so many fine Anglican women novelists? From Charlotte Brontë to PD James, from Dorothy L. Sayers to Barbara Pym, from Rose Macaulay to Elizabeth Goudge… who were these women and what inspired them?
Join us in Poets’ Corner as the Reverend Canon Dr Judith Maltby, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, discusses the work of Dame Rose Macaulay (1881 – 1958), in the first of a series of four lectures on significant British women novelists of faith.
The lecture series precedes the publication of Anglican Women Novelists: Charlotte Brontë to PD James, Bloomsbury Publishing, forthcoming in 2018.


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