Thursday, June 14, 2018

Newcastle Chronicle Live features some of the 100 objects  that museums have picked from their collections for the Great Exhibition of the North (June 22 and September 9). Here's what the Brontë Parsonage Museum has selected:
Museums across the North of England have joined together to show off the 100 objects which best illustrate the region.
The History of the North in 100 objects is an online-based project which aims to showcase the north’s “pioneering spirit and impact of the north of England’s inventors, artists, scientists and designers”. (...)
Emily Brontë’s Writing Desk, c.1830s-1840s Brontë Parsonage Museum (Yorkshire)
This writing desk, complete with original contents, is a symbol of the creative force that was Emily Brontë.
It is filled with treasures and relics commemorating Emily’s literary career: a magpie hoard of pen nibs, sealing wax, five newspaper reviews of ‘Wuthering Heights’ and a letter offering the only suggestion that she was working on a second novel. Contemporary accounts tell us that she and her sisters wrote at their desks in the Parsonage dining room each evening.
Her magnum opus ‘Wuthering Heights’ was published in 1847 under the pseudonym Ellis Bell. Brontë died a year later aged 30. (Simon Meechan)
The same site has another, more general article on the event.
What are the upcoming highlights?
It depends on your interests, of course, but there really is something to attract everybody.
Whether you are keen to see the famous Stephenson’s Rocket which is making a special visit ‘home’ or John Lennon’s piano - or perhaps Emily Brontë’s writing desk; a Lowry painting or the oldest surviving FA Cup in the world - there are unique opportunities to get up close and personal with famous exhibits. (Barbara Hodgson)
The Guardian recommends the 'Top 10 lost women's classics', which are certainly worth looking at. According to the columnist,
There wouldn’t be a thirst for workplace romances if Charlotte Brontë hadn’t drawn up the template for them. (Caroline O'Donoghue)
The Christian Science Monitor reviews A View of the Empire at Sunset by Caryl Phillips.
 In “A View of the Empire at Sunset,” the latest novel by Caryl Phillips, the writer returns to the themes of racism and colonialism through an imagined account of the life of author Jean Rhys. Phillips draws upon the events of Rhys’s real life, using it as a scaffold upon which to write his tale, to explore a sense of “otherness” and isolation amidst shifting power struggles.
Rhys, best known for her book “Wide Sargasso Sea,” lived one of those lives that embodied the arc of the 20th century. She came of age during the societal strictures of the Edwardian Era and the fading influence of the British Empire and persisted (yes, a deliberate word choice) through the feminist movement and the social upheaval of the late 1960s.
Phillips borrows one of Rhys’s own techniques. Readers might recall that, in “Wide Sargasso Sea,” Rhys also embellished a tale with an imagined life. A prequel to Charlotte Bronte’s novel “Jane Eyre,” she crafted a backstory for Mr. Rochester’s wife, the madwoman confined to the attic. She illuminates the woman’s experiences, giving her a voice and a perspective that counters the original patriarchal narrative.
It is no coincidence that the life of Mr. Rochester’s wife echoes Rhys’s own life – a shared Caribbean background and a sense of isolation on another continent that leaves them stranded between two cultures. It is likely no coincidence that Phillips’s life follows a similar pattern. He was born on St. Kitts but grew up in Great Britain. (Joan Gaylord)
Wide Sargasso Sea is also mentioned in a review of The Recovering: Intoxication and its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison in The Spectator.
I struggled with Jamison’s literary criticism on occasion, for although painstaking it can be narrow in its focus here. I didn’t love being told, by way of introduction, that Berryman’s unforgettable and wildly innovative poems The Dream Songs conjure‘ a landscape full of booze and tortured knowledge’; nor that the stately and magnificent Wide Sargasso Sea is a novel in which Jean Rhys’s ‘core wounds, alienation and abandonment’ are found ‘in the imagined life of someone else’. No novelist wants to be read like that. (Susie Boyt)
The Nerd Daily recommends June releases, including
My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton
Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights. (Elise Dumpleton)
As does Today:
11. "My Plain Jane" by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows and Brodi Ashton, $14, Amazon
Penniless Jane Eyre and brooding Mr. Rochester may seem familiar, but the classic story gets a weird twist that includes a murder mystery and a ghost hunt. Although the book isn't available until June 26, pre-order it now and be the first to read it. (Danielle Wolf)
On the Brussels Brontë Blog, Eric Ruijssenaars looks at several places in Brussels at the time of the Brontës' stay in the city.

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