Friday, July 06, 2018

The Yorkshire Post discusses the Brontë Stones project:
It all started back in October 2013 on a three-day walk from Marsden to Ilkley.
Bradford-based writer Michael Stewart was leading a group of writers across the Stanza Stones Trail. Commissioned by Ilkley Literature Festival. the project saw a series of poems by Simon Armitage, responding to the landscape of the Pennine Watershed, carved into stone by letter-carver Pip Hall and placed at atmospheric locations along the 47-mile trail. “On the walkshop, as it was called, we took it in turns to read the poems each time we came to a stone,” says Stewart. “Some people did the whole walk, some came just for parts of it, but by the time we got to Ilkley there were about a hundred people with us.
“I was really inspired by that project and the idea behind it. I live just opposite the birthplace of the Brontës in Thornton and I felt that it gets a bit left out – there is so much focus on Haworth and the Parsonage. I wanted to draw attention to the birthplace and its role in the Brontë story, to conncect Thornton to Haworth. I also wanted to find a way of making the links between the Brontës’ writing and the landscape that surrounded them.”
Stewart approached Bradford Literature Festival with his initial thoughts and out of it came came the Brontë Stones project, a multi-site art installation, which will be launched at this year’s Festival next weekend.
Four new original pieces of writing, by leading contemporary women writers, have been engraved onto stones in locations between the birthplace and the Parsonage along a trail of about eight miles. Three of the works – by Kate Bush, Carol Ann Duffy and Jackie Kay – respond to one of the sisters, Emily, Charlotte and Anne respectively, while the fourth by Jeanette Winterson is a response to the whole Brontë legacy. The idea was that there should be a chronology to the trail, so it begin’s with Charlotte’s stone placed on the wall of the birthplace. (...)
There is a linear walk from the birthplace in Thornton to the Parsonage in Haworth – a route which the Brontë sisters are said to have often taken themselves – and three circular walks relating to each of the siblings.
The Charlotte walk takes in various significant sites including the chapel where the Brontës were baptised and Thornton Hall, thought to have been the inspiration for Jane Eyre’s Thornfield Hall. Appropriately enough the walk commemorating Emily, the sister most associated with being outdoors in the landscape, is the longest, at 15 miles, and the most strenuous. Stewart describes it as “a great big yomp across the moors”. It takes in Top Withens and Ponden Hall, often cited as the model for Thrushcross Grange in Wuthering Heights. “The walk really gives a flavour of the wildness of the landscape.” says Stewart whose latest novel, Ill Will, is based on the untold story of Heathcliff. The Anne walk is a shorter, gentler stroll of approximately seven miles from the Parsonage to Newsome Green. “I tried to make the walks reflect the personality of the writers,” says Stewart. “The idea is to get people out walking and engaging with the writers through the landscape. I really don’t think you get a true sense of Wuthering Heights, for example, if you haven’t gone out on to the moors.” (Yvette Huddleston)
More on The Brontë Stones project in The Telegraph & Argus:
Now the village has a major role in the Brontë Stones project, celebrating the literary sisters’ legacy with memorials in landscapes that inspired their work. Commissioned by Bradford Literature Festival, and unveiled this weekend, the stones are carved with original writing - and, as the T&A has reported, Kate Bush has written a piece for Emily’s stone. The singer says it is a “thank you” to Emily, whose only novel inspired Kate’s breakthrough hit, Wuthering Heights. This year is Emily’s bicentenary and the 40th anniversary of the single.
Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy has written a verse for Charlotte’s stone, Scottish poet Jackie Kay for Anne’s, and Jeanette Winterson has written about the Brontë legacy for the fourth stone. The engravings are by Pip Hall, who has worked on various literary projects.
Walks around each stone, and a linear walk from Thornton to Haworth, follow the footsteps of the extraordinary sisters, who wrote some of the greatest works of literature.
The man behind the project is writer Michael Stewart, who will lead a guided walk of the Brontë Stones on Sunday. (...)
Two of the stones are in Thornton. The Brontë Stone, in the cemetery, overlooks the viaduct and moors, and Charlotte’s stone is at the Brontes’ birthplace, now Emily’s cafe. “I was chatting to the owners, Mark and Michelle De Luca, about having a stone for Charlotte outside the building. They said they could go one better and have it placed in a wall,” says Michael. “Charlotte would have remembered the house, so it seemed fitting to have her stone there. From her bedroom she’d have seen Thornton Hall, a likely inspiration for Thornfield Hall in Jane Eyre. Charlotte’s walk is the shortest, at four miles. It’s one families can do together. It takes in the Bell Chapel, Thornton Hall, the viaduct and Kipping Barn.”
Anne’s walk heads towards Oakworth, past Goose Eye and Parsons Field, along the River Worth. The stone overlooks the Parsonage. “Anne is buried in Scarborough, far from the rest of the family, so this stone marks her return,” says Michael. “Jackie Kay has written a wonderful homecoming poem for Anne.”
Michael searched the moors for a suitably bleak spot for Emily’s stone. “It had to be somewhere remote, away from the tourist trail of Haworth. Ogden Kirk was perfect - it’s a fantastic spot; a stunning outcrop of rock with a reddish tint, overlooking Haworth and the moors.”
Michael is thrilled that Kate Bush has written for Emily’s stone, and has invited her to visit it. “I was seven when Wuthering Heights came out. It fascinated me; I wanted to know who Cathy was and why she wanted to be let in at the window... I read it in my teens, it was the first novel that made me want to be a writer,” says Michael, whose latest book, Ill Will, re-imagines Heathcliff’s missing years in Wuthering Heights.
Emily’s walk is the longest, at 15 miles. “It’s for serious walkers,” says Michael. “It takes in Oxenhope, up to Thornton Moor, Nab Hill, dropping down to Top Withens, Ponden Kirk, the inspiration for Penistone Crags in Wuthering Heights, and Alcomden Stones, cave-like structures where you could imagine Cathy and Heathcliff hiding.
“It passes Ponden Hall, which inspired Thrushcross Grange, then Stanbury to Haworth, back along the river to Oxenhope. Emily walked all those moors. You don’t get Wuthering Heights unless you go to them. “
Accompanying the walks are hand-drawn maps by Yorkshire cartographer Christopher Goddard, available at the Brontë Parsonage; Emily’s cafe, Thornton; Book Corner, Halifax; and Bookcase, Hebden Bridge. (Emma Clayton)
The influence of The Spectator as a critic of the arts:
The Spectator also made its name as an infamously stern critic of the arts: its independence of political party was matched by a disdain for pushy publishers. While George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling and Joseph Conrad were hailed as heroes, the writings of Bulwer-Lytton were ‘baby-fancy’, Tennyson’s ‘namby-pamby’, Dickens’s ‘vulgar and detestable’ and Emily Brontë’s ‘too coarse’. To Charlotte Brontë, a bad review in The Spectator was all the worse because of its influence. ‘Most future notices will in all likelihood have a reflection of The Spectator in them,’ she wrote, after one gentle trashing. But ‘if Jane Eyre has any solid worth in it, it ought to weather a gust of unfavourable wind’.  (David Butterfield)
Lip Service's Withering Looks is coming to Harrogate. Ripon Gazette reports:
Friday, Harrogate Theatre, 6 Oxford Street, Harrogate, HG1 1QF. July 13, 7.30pm. LipService - Britain's favourite literary lunatics, are back with their cult Brontë spoof. In the 200th anniversary year of Emily’s birth, the classic comic duo, Maggie Fox and Sue Ryding, couldn't resist the urge to dust off their crinolines, wear flattering bonnets and sit at rained-lashed windows in a pale and decorative manner. Withering Looks takes an 'authentic' look at the lives and works of the Brontë sisters' well, two of them actually, Anne's just popped out for a cup of sugar. Peopled with many characters we know and love, Maggie and Sue move effortlessly from frock to frock coat. (Barbara Craythorn)
More reviews of the latest episode of The Handmaid's Tale:
There’s some crazy Jane Eyre revisionist shit going on here, and Emily needs to get out of the Red Room before Joseph starts telling his classic yarn about the time he was the White House Deputy Chief of Staff and singlehandedly saved Earth from being hit by an asteroid. (Tara Ward in The Spinoff)
Alexis Bledel fares better, as Emily’s new assignment brings her to a home straight out of “Jane Eyre.” Her new Commander, Josheph Lawrence (Bradley Whitford, the dad from Get Out), Aunt Lydia informs her, is a very important man who is considered the architect of Gilead’s economy. In contrast to the coldly immaculate homes we’ve seen, Lawrence’s is a cluttered mess with colorful paintings on the walls, a feisty one-eyed Martha, and a mentally unstable wife, Eleanor (Julie Dretzin), who tells the new Handmaid her husband designed the very Colonies where Emily was a prisoner. (Andrea Thompson in The Young Folks)
Emily is as surprised as we are that she seems to have stumbled into a Gothic novel, complete with a one-eyed Martha who is surprisingly insolent when she greets Emily into the house with a gruff “Wait here.” And things get only more strange when Commander Lawrence’s mentally unstable wife creeps into Emily’s room to ask her name and tearfully divulge his deepest, darkest secrets — a scene ripped straight from Jane Eyre, complete with a wide-eyed Emily (hair unbound, wearing only a shift of course) staring at Lawrence as he subdues his hysterical wife. (Hoai-Tran Bui in /Film)
The New York Times interviews the author Hanan al-Shaykh:
Who is your favorite fictional hero, or heroine? Your favorite antihero or villain? 
Hero and heroine: Prince Myshkin and Jane Eyre.
The Los Angeles Review of Books talks about The Famous Five's Malory Towers:
The closest equivalent for girls might be Lowood, the abusive school Jane Eyre attends, where the student body is ravaged by a typhus epidemic. Even Lowood is reformed into a “truly useful and noble institution” after the epidemic draws attention to its problems, and Jane thrives there, rising to the exalted position of “first girl of the first class” — a fate not so dissimilar to Darrell’s at Malory Towers! (Josephine Wolff)
The Guardian uncovers that Victorian lace bridal jumpsuits are a thing:
Vogue fashion features editor Ellie Pithers has started receiving emails from brides asking for advice on wedding jumpsuits. Whistles already stocks a Victorian lace bridal jumpsuit, available at £549 for brides wanting to look a little bit Brontë sisters. (Ellie Violet Bramley)
Kollywood's very own Jane Eyre on The News Minute
Shanthi Nilayam (1969)
This film is a loose adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre. The film’s narrative steadily builds up with eerie sounds and clever play with light and shadows. The scene where the woman walks with a lantern at night and the song shot in a hot-air balloon are some of the memorable scenes from this film. Interestingly, Shanthi Nilayam fetched its cinematographer Marcus Bartley a National Award. (Anjana Shekar)
The influence of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is discussed in Church Times:
For those coming to Frankenstein for the first time, or perhaps rereading the novel in its bicentenary year, it is worth attending to the frequent references to Milton’s Paradise Lost and Coleridge’s The Ancient Mariner: powerful Christian narratives, written by men, on the subject of transgression. Then move on to re-reading Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, and you will see the strong influence that Frankenstein had on a later modern classic. (Michael Wheeler)
The Times reviews the film Mary Shelley:
It’s a story of superheroism in disguise from the early 19th century, in a mostly London-set literary milieu that’s captured with curious and probing compassion. We’ve seen this before on film, in Ken Russell’s hysterically over-the-top Gothic, in Julien Temple’s messy Pandaemonium and in Byron, the stately BBC two-parter from 2003 starring Jonny Lee Miller.
Yet it takes an outsider’s clarity to see national mythology anew (see also Jane Campion’s Bright Star or Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre). (Kevin Maher)
A personal story of love for reading in The Tribune (India):
My parents inculcated in me the love for books, find in them ways to understand the world, myself, others, a way to leave the world, a way to return to the world; more human than I left. In my twenties, bookshops and libraries were the places I loved. Jane Austen, Brontë sisters, Wordsworth, Keats and Shakespeare made my nights sleepless. Even now, each reading of the same text is always a learning experience.  (Ritu Kumar)
The Bookseller enjoyed the Bradford Literature Festival:
At the Bradford Literature Festival this week, I saw a city come together over a love of books and literary discussion, with authors tackling subjects as diverse as Islam, the Brontës and Daoism. Yet, when does the country ever get together to celebrate its great authors, its magnificent books and the trade that crafts them? When do we spark it? (Philip Jones)
The American Conservative reviews  The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath:
In The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath, Jamison interlaces her own story with reflections on John Berryman and Raymond Carver, Wide Sargasso Sea and Infinite Jest, Under the Volcano and The Lost Weekend—a whole ice-clinking canon. The Recovering suggests that the experience of addiction and recovery can shift our understanding of narrative and literary creation. (Eve Tushnet)
An intern and Brontëite in PennState News. The Armidale Express, The Senior, and Foster's Daily Democrat talk about this year's Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever. RCF (France) recommends Wuthering Heights as a summer read. Happy Catholic reviews My Plain Jane and Rachael's Ramblings posts about the original Jane Eyre.


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