Saturday, June 16, 2018

Recent and current activities at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Keighley News:
Birthday celebrations for Emily Brontë are really taking flight as the Parsonage Museum prepares for a second packed six months of activities.
The Haworth museum recently launched its Wings of Desire exhibition, which will run until July 23, and is free with admission to the museum.
And on the Brontë Society website it has released details of the next few events coming up before the end of the summer.
Keighley Central ward councillor Cllr Zafar Ali, the Lord Mayor of Bradford, was among guests during the launch of Wings of Desire this month.
Artist Kate Whiteford has produced new work inspired by the merlin hawk that Wuthering Heights author Emily nursed back to health in the mid-19th-century.
Kate, who specialises in land art, has combined film, poetry, music and paintings, and created a centrepiece film featuring footage of birds of prey in flight, the local landscape, and a birds-eye view of the flight to Top Withins.
The soundtrack includes Chloe Pirrie, who played Emily in 2016 Brontë biopic To Walk Invisible, reading from Emily’s poem The Caged Bird, and music from folk group The Unthanks.
The film can be seen in the Brontë Parsonage Museum, where there will also be Kate’s framed watercolour pictures inspired by Aerial Archaeology photographs of the Yorkshire Dales.
In the exhibition Whiteford meditates upon the iconography of the bird of prey, its metaphorical properties and associations with fight and flight, escape and predation. (...)
The Bronte Parsonage Museum will continue its monthly talks on Tuesdays at 11am and 2pm, and the next one on July 3 will be entitled My Dungeon Bars.
A spokesman said: “Emily Brontë rarely left her native Yorkshire and when she did, it was with reluctance.
“This talk looks at the few experiences Emily had in the world at large and explores the idea that for her, home represented freedom, and her ‘dungeon bars’ were the constraint and alienation she felt when she was away.”
The talk is free with admission to the museum.
The Brontë Society is teaming up with Bradford Literature Festival to present a special event in Haworth on July 8 from 4pm to 5.30pm.
Renowned poet Jackie Kay will return to the village to celebrate the unveiling of her work commemorating Anne Brontë, specially commissioned by the festival, as part of the Brontë Stones project.
Jackie will read her work in Parson’s Field behind the Parsonage, where the Anne Stone is sited, then afterwards in the nearby Old School Room. She will team up with journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed to explore her inspiration, her work, and her affinity with Anne Brontë. (...)
Melanie Abrahams, this year’s guest curator at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, will lead a walk along Brontë pathways and moorlands on July 23.
She will be joined by guest speakers and artists John Agard, Sarala Estruch and Joe Williams, and local writer Tamar Yellin, as well as members of the public.
During a ‘walk of life’, inviting contemplation, reflection, and philosophical musings, they will be able to hear unfolding narratives, alternative stories and flights of fancy along both well-trodden paths, and lesser known routes. (...)
Until August 31, visitors to the museum can see one of the National Portrait Gallery’s most important pictures back in its original home. (David Knights)
Sarah Shoemaker, author of the Jane Eyre sequel Mr Rochester, defends him in the letters to the editor of The New York Times:
To the Editor:
Lauren Groff (By the Book, May 27) seems confident that Charlotte Brontë “knew” Mr. Rochester was “a villain.” However, one year after the publication of “Jane Eyre,” Brontë wrote to her editor: “Mr. Rochester has a thoughtful nature and a very feeling heart; he is neither selfish nor self-indulgent; he is ill-educated, misguided; errs, when he does err, through rashness and inexperience: he lives for a time as too many other men live, but being radically better than most men, he does not like that degraded life, and is never happy in it. He is taught the severe lessons of experience and has sense to learn wisdom from them. Years improve him; the effervescence of youth foamed away, what is really good in him still remains. His nature is like wine of a good vintage: time cannot sour, but only mellows him. Such at least was the character I meant to portray.”
The Irish Times insists on imposing a contemporary view without context:
As much as we might love the novel, she adds, “the Wuthering Heights version of love is horrible and damaged. If anybody came to me who was suffering what Cathy suffered you'd be telling them to call the guards.” (Jennifer O'Connell)
AltDaily reviews the Williamsburg (VA) performances of Jane Eyre. The Musical:
There is no shortage of talent in this cast and crew. Every single facet of this production stood out. The many costume designers, MJ Devaney, Dylan George, Lisa Neun, Amy Stallings, Alex Swanenburg, Jeri Sherritt, Elizabeth Farrell, and Linda Auge, must be mentioned in this piece. I cannot praise their talents enough. Every character had the perfect choice of clothing put on them, and it added to the gothic and dark vibe of the show in a way that cannot be understated. (...)
Jeff Nicoloff as Edward Fairfax Rochester gave a stellar performance and was definitely a crowd favorite as a singer (even for those of us that did not enjoy the character he portrayed). Music director Richard Whitley, choreographer Dana Margulies Cauthern, and all of the musicians should be incredibly proud of their work. (Raven Hudson)
The Sydney Morning Herald talks about the Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever (Sydney and Melbourne):
The ethereal voice! The haunting lyrics! The red dress! It's 40 years since Kate Bush's blustery, bewitching single Wuthering Heights soared to the No. 1 spot on the singles charts in Australia and the UK and its rapturously reviewed album, The Kick Inside, propelled a 19-year-old daughter of a doctor from Kent to eternal pop music fame. At a time when Michael Jackson and ABBA were opting for blinged-up studio productions for their music videos, Bush chose an English moor, a simple red dress and some quirky, sensual moves. (...)
Since 2016, when the first Wuthering Heights re-enactment was held, up to 500 people have attended each event in Melbourne and Sydney. This year, more than 20 events are being staged worldwide, including 10 in Australia, to mark not just the 40th anniversary of Wuthering Heights and The Kick Inside, but Bush's 60th birthday on July 30.
The question is, why this need to "wuther"? "I love being kooky," says Michelle Kitzler, a caterer and mother of five from Bondi. "Growing up as a tomboy, I saw Kate as a figure of strength." (Greg Callaghan)
The Manawatū Standard (New Zealand) has an interesting story about the history of the Nga Tawa Diocesan School which was founded by Mary Taylor's niece:
One day in 1891, Miss Mary Taylor decided to open a girls' school in her home.
The setting was beautiful: a rambling country house with extensive grounds, surrounded by tall tawa trees, a few miles north of Shannon at the foothills of the Tararua Range.
Mary was well-educated, and a music teacher. She and her brother Waring Taylor, both originally from Yorkshire, lived together in his farm homestead.
Mary was known as May, to distinguish her from her aunt Mary Taylor (close friend of Charlotte Bronte) who had sailed to New Zealand to join her own brother, William Waring Taylor, but later returned to England. (Tina White)
Cambridge Independent reminds us that Kate Mosse
has also written three works of non-fiction, four plays and is curating a collection of short stories inspired by Wuthering Heights to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Emily Brontë’s birth in 2018. (Gemma Gardner)
The Irish Times reviews Girl with Dove by Sally Bayley:
The young Bayley retreats into the various foreign terrains in literature, first devouring the beginner’s books Peter and Jane and Milly-Molly-Mandy, but moving swiftly to the adult section of the library and on to Miss Marple, Jane Eyre, David Copperfield and Betsy Trotwood. Each of the fictional characters take on, to Bayley’s mind at least, the form of real people; as immediate and lifelike to her as the very strange women she lives with. The characters prove a lifeline in a childhood that the reader eventually realises has been pockmarked with neglect, isolation and trauma. The literary characters become her friends, her advisers, her eventual saviours. (Tanya Sweeney)
Daily Mail talks to some quiz shows presenters:
Judith Keppel: ‘Everyone thinks I’m going to be brilliant in a pub quiz team but, much to my frustration, I can never retain the information,’ says Ben Shephard. ‘I will always confuse kings and queens, the Brontë sisters and various characters from Dickens.’ (Jenny Johnston)
Vanity Fair on Netflix romantic comedies:
But there are no P.S.A.s on the teen romance The Kissing Booth, a film Ted Sarandos told Adalian was “one of the most watched movies in the country, and maybe in the world.” That Netflix production, which debuted May 11, is a monument to underage eroticism, starting with the 16-year-old protagonist Elle (Joey King) learning on the first day back to school that over the summer, she became a hot girl. It’s like Grease, but with even less attention to consequences, or Twilight through the lens of The O.C. The Brontë sisters would have loved the barely suppressed anger issues of hot love interest Noah (Jacob Elordi); maybe the movie arose out of a need to appeal to viewer clusters trying to find both a dupe for summer reading and titles that have since left Netflix. (Sonia Saraiya)
The Australian reviews Manderley Forever: The Life of Daphne Du Maurier by Tatiana de Rosnay
She is best known for a few prominent novels, but her other fiction frequently challenges. The shifting authorial voice in The Parasites (1949) is striking. Her nonfiction books are consistently readable: gripping narratives that bring times, family and characters alive, notably her father as well as Branwell Brontë and the Bacon brothers, Francis and Anthony. (Jill Burton)
An Emily Brontë mention in Varsity:
Anyway, the burdens of the world settled upon my shoulders yesterday morning and, like in an Emily Brontë novel (there is actually only one), it did begin to drizzle. The horrid kind that makes my hair look like candyfloss. Once I had sent some self-pitying Snapchats about pathetic fallacy, I sat and moped some more. (Julia Davies)
The Times reviews Caitlin Moran's How to be Famous:
It’s quite a ride, this book. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, sweetly romantic and fiercely angry. Often all at once. Sometimes the wordplay of the autodidact desperately seeking synonyms becomes exhausting; rock stars are “be-leathered yodellers” in Dolly’s publish-me-pleeeeeeease lexicon. At other times, Moran, a Times columnist, calms down and riffs on authors she loves, like the Brontës, and those moments are beautifully written. (Melissa Katsoulis)
Coconut cake à la North and South in The Guardian:
During my teenage years, in the absence of a love story in my own life, I lost myself in fictional romances. I sat in drawing rooms and walked in gardens with Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferras. I fell in love with George Emerson over a dinner table in Florence. My heart broke for the English patient, and his memories of Katharine Clifton. I took a seat in a Manhattan restaurant alongside Carol and Therese. I wandered dark hallways in Thornfield, and then escaped with Jane Eyre in the middle of the night. I agonised with Stevens as he recalled lost moments with Miss Kenton. I swooned at the letter sent from Frederick Wentworth to Anne Elliot. (Kate Young)
National Post reviews the film Beast:
 The chief suspect is Pascal Renouf (Johnny Flynn), a dark anti-hero of the Wuthering Heights variety.  (Chris Knight)
Isle of Man Today talks about the new exhibition of the local artist Bruno Cavellec:
Bruno, originally from the Breton port of Lorient, and now settled in Peel, said that he was greatly inspired by the romanticism movement on the late 18th century, and by his love of writers such as the Brontë sisters and the painter Caspar David Friedrich, and that he wanted to revisit his initial inspirations again.
’This is about the man and the artist that I am now, at nearly 60, painting how I felt when I was 20,’ said Bruno.
’It is why the quote from T.S Eliott is very real to me. It is going back to the beginning and discovering Friedrich and Brontë again. Wuthering Heights was one of my favourite novels when I was a teenager. (Mike Wade)
America Magazine reviews Last Stories by William Trevor:
Despite many of his stories’ bourgeois trappings, Trevor has never shied away from something like the Gothic, the nearly horrific side of everything from romantic passion to parenthood. This collection’s “An Idyll in Winter” seems, at first, a mere sketch of a schoolgirl and her older male tutor, looking back with decidedly mixed feelings on their brief time together. “We are close to moorland,” the girl’s mother warns the tutor before he takes the job. “You may find the solitude oppressive.” Of course, he reads Wuthering Heights to his student and quips that the moors are “very Heathcliffian.” (Throughout Last Stories, Trevor indulges a weakness for literary allusion.) (Tom Deignan)
Fairfax County Times talks about the singer Marie Miller:
Last year, her album “Letterbox” became her most popular to date, and many of its songs were inspired by literature, just as her early writing was. The song “Story,” for example, touches on epic characters such as Heathcliff and Catherine from “Wuthering Heights,” and Hector’s wife Andromache from “The Iliad.” (Keith Loria)
Cineséries Magazine (France) reviews the film version of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society:
 La saveur piquante n’apparaît que deux fois dans le film : quand les protagonistes hauts en couleurs (et en caricatures) se disputent sur la supériorité d’Emily sur Anne Brontë, que Juliet défend pourtant bec et ongles et lors du générique ! (Chloé Margueritte) (Translation)
Il Manifesto (Italy) on Emily Dickinson:
Eppure, alla morte del padre, sceglie la via della clausura, si chiude in camera di bianco vestita, nella casa di famiglia, lasciando ostinatamente la vita e il caos del mondo al di là di una candida tenda di pizzo fino al sopraggiungere della morte, che la coglie nel suo letto per una nefrite a soli 55 anni. Perché una donna che legge Cime Tempestose e rifiuta l’ipocrisia della società opponendosi alla «disubbidienza in segreto» decide di chiudersi in una gabbia? (Beatrice Fiorentino) (Translation)
Shine (China) informs that Wuthering Heights 2011 will be screened at the Shanghai International Film Festival (June 18 and 23); M. Miles pairs Vincent Van Gogh and Jane Eyre. My Jane Eyre explores a facsimile edition of Jane Eyre's manuscript. The Brontë Babe posts about Charlotte Brontë's Stancliffe's Hotel.

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