Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Source (Pictured: Lily Cole at the Brontë Parsonage Museum
photographed by Simon Warner)
The Telegraph and Argus has pictures and information about the launch of Emily's bicentenary celebrations, including the exhibition Making Thunder Roar.
Two hundred people descended on the Brontë Parsonage Museum for the first party to celebrate Emily Brontë’s 200th birthday.
The event at the Haworth museum was held to launch a year-long exhibition dedicated to the life and work of the famous Wuthering Heights author.
Brontë Society members and creative people were among the first people to be given a glimpse of the exhibition, Making Thunder Roar.
Guests included a host of artists, writers and musicians who have been involved in putting together this year’s packed programme of events to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Emily’s birth.
They included model and social entrepreneur Lily Cole, the Brontë Society’s 2018 creative partner, Ben Myers, who was heavily involved in creating Making Thunder Roar, and novelist Michael Stewart.
Artist Peter Brears was on hand to examine the second exhibition of 2018, a display of his original illustrations for the book The Real Wuthering Heights: The Story Of The Withins Farms.
Also present was Sally Wainwright, who wrote the acclaimed 2016 TV biopic about the Brontë family, To Walk Invisible. She has contributed to Making Thunder Roar.
Rebecca Yorke, the Brontë Society’s communications officer, said the launch was very successful, with guests giving a “really good response” to the new exhibition.
She said: “People enjoyed hearing about our plans for the year, presented by Brontë Society executive director Kitty Wright and contemporary arts commissioner Jenna Holmes.
Although the centrepiece for 2018 at the Brontë Parsonage Museum is the Making Thunder Roar exhibition, staff have retained last year’s well-received life-size recreation of Branwell Brontë’s studio.
Making Thunder roar was launched the day after the Brontë Parsonage Museum reopened after its annual month-long closure. The first members of the public to visit were Harriet Coates and Jill Galvani from the Wirral. (Jim Seton)
The Brontë Parsonage Museum also shared pictures of the event on their Facebook page.

The Yorkshire Post features Helen MacEwan and her new book Through Belgian Eyes (we posted our review of it only a few days ago here).
“I started a branch of the Brontë Society here and I got more and more interested in their time in Brussels,” she says. “Everything that’s been written about it so far is how Charlotte Brontë saw the Belgians and how she felt, so I thought this would be a new way of looking at her and her books. What I wanted to do was to give a bit more background of her time here and I found as I was working on the book there were lots of new insights. I looked at archive newspaper articles to see how she – and her books – have been perceived here through the ages.” MacEwan was surprised during her research that, given how critical Charlotte was of Belgium – she was particlarly scathing about Catholicism – in fact, many Belgian commentators were very generous and they saw Charlotte’s time in their capital city as positive and productive. Not least because her novels provided an interesting portrait of their capital city, shortly after Belgium gained its independence in 1830. “Her stay in Brussels absolutely stimulated her imagination,” says MacEwan. “She experienced living in a city for the only time in her life. It was both claustrophobic and full of interesting things. She wrote about the city’s art galleries, theatres and beautiful parks and buildings.” MacEwan says that she sees her book as a companion to Villette, providing a context for the novel. It also quite timely. “With all the debate around Brexit I think it is nice to have this as an antidote,” she says. “Because the image of Brussels in the British press is often quite negative at the moment, it is interesting to go back and look at the city’s beginnings and to realise that even when Charlotte was here it was a very international capital with a lot of influence from outside.” (Yvette Huddleston)
Nightlife (Canada) reviews Fanny Britt's Hurlevents.
Le drame se joue pendant le souper de départ d’Émilie (Florence Longpré), qui part vivre en Écosse pendant un certain temps. Y sont invités ses colocs Édouard (Benoit Drouin-Germain) et Isa (Emmanuelle Lussier-Martinez), Marie-Hélène, ainsi qu’une certaine Jane Burns, écrivaine au talent prématuré ayant récemment sorti un livre ayant fait beaucoup de bruit. Dehors, une tempête fait rage, et le vent siffle lugubrement.
Isa souhaite partir rapidement du souper pour aller rejoindre son amant, un autre professeur du département; Édouard est fébrile devant la perspective d’accueillir Marie-Hélène chez lui, car il aimerait bien lui avouer son amour; et des participants inattendus se grefferont au petit groupe – Catherine (Kim Despatis), la sœur d’Émilie, débarquera de Kamouraska en compagnie de sa mauvaise humeur et de son amoureux de peu de mots, Sam Falaise (Alex Bergeron), pour des raisons qui resteront un temps assez mystérieuses.
Les préoccupations très contemporaines dont déborde le texte de Fanny Britt jouent beaucoup sur les doubles standards qui nous entourent; ses talents de moraliste sont étincelants, et les observations mordantes sur les contradictions de la jeunesse se succèdent à un rythme vertigineux.
Les deux personnages qui évoquent le plus l’esprit du texte de Brontë, avec leur amour violent et dépendant, Catherine et Sam, servent de contrepoids laconiques face aux incessants échanges de leur vis-à-vis citadins. Pendant ce souper où crèveront à la surface de l’eau quelques bulles de vérités, et où des querelles éthiques fuseront, Brontë reviendra hanter le récit, de moins en moins discrètement. (P.-A. Buisson) (Translation)
The Bookseller announces the publication - in June - of Girl With Dove: A Child’s Escape Through Reading, a memoir from Oxford lecturer Sally Bayley.
In Girl With Dove, Bayley recounts how she escaped her disturbing upbringing by disappearing into a world of books and reading. Girl With Dove is a "striking literary memoir of survival". Through reading, Bayley befriends literary heroes from Victorian literature: Jane Eyre and characters from David Copperfield become her saviours, offering her humour and guidance during difficult moments in her life.
The book combines the voices of literary characters with those of her real-life counterparts, with Girl With Dove said to read as a magical series of strange encounters. Weaving literary classics with a young girl’s coming of age story, this is a book said to testiy to the transformative power of reading and the literary imagination. [...]
Bayley said: "As a child I needed a way out of the world I found myself in. I wanted to create a new family, so I went looking for one in the books I read. Jane Eyre and Miss Marple and later Betsey Trotwood from David Copperfield became my literary family; but they were also my hired detectives whose job it was to find out what on earth was going on in the strange adult world around me." (Natasha Onwuemezi)
Lancashire Evening Post reviews the novel The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements.
Emily Brontë of Wuthering Heights fame was said by her sister Charlotte to have ‘found in the bleak solitude many and dear delights,’ the heroine of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden made a memorable journey across the moors, and the poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath are reported to have been moved by the rugged landscape. And now Katherine Clements, a critically acclaimed historical novelist and short story writer based in Manchester, has harnessed the moors’ wild, ethereal beauty for a stunning 17th century ghost story that puts Yorkshire gothic firmly on the reader’s map. (Pam Norfolk)
The Stanford Daily discusses discusses 'ethnic literature' within the context of 'identity politics'
“While no one would argue that the strongest reason for including ‘Jane Eyre’ in the English syllabus is so that African-American students (or any students, for that matter) can come to feel sympathy toward the experiences of nineteenth-century English women,” the literary critic Michael Hames-Garcia reminds us, “a parallel argument about ‘Invisible Man’ is commonplace.”
We need to move beyond thinking within our own, or other people’s, identity categories — and using them to decide which texts are worth reading — and towards a project of continuous self-creation and re-creation in literature. This approach is amenable with, if not necessary for, an understanding of the canon as a series of “great books” through which we can come to know ourselves and our place in the world. (Miguel Samano)
Krapp's Last Post (Italy) begins a review of a stage production of Chekhov's Three Sisters by quoting from Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea.
"Quel convento era il mio rifugio, un luogo di sole e di morte […]. Ma la felicità, pensavo in principio, non c’è la felicità? Deve esserci. Oh, la felicità, ma è naturale, la felicità, come no”.
(da “Wide Sargasso Sea”, Jean Rhys, trad. it. di Adriana Motti, Adelphi, Milano 1971, p. 53)
C’è un punto, ne “Il grande mare dei Sargassi” di Jean Rhys, un punto che va all’incirca dalla prima all’ultima pagina, in cui si percepisce la vita venir meno sotto i piedi. È il “tempo di Bertha” che, letteralmente, brucia. Come se un enorme aspirapolvere risucchiasse tutto l’ossigeno presente nella sua casa romita e, con esso, qualsiasi lacerto-incerto di felicità.
Già, la felicità. Soffocata del tutto. Un attimo soltanto e poi – bum! – non c’è più. (Matteo Tamborrino) (Translation)
Where There's Ink There's Paper posts about Jane Eyre. The Mitford Society has a post on 'Top Withens: The Real Wuthering Heights'.


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