Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Bustle reviews The Victorian and the romantic by Nell Stevens:
But The Victorian and the Romantic also takes you into the (somewhat imagined) life and mind of Mrs. Gaskell herself — a braided narrative alternating between Stevens life as she muddles through love, heartbreak, and academia, and Gaskell’s life in the mid-1800s. As it turns out, the two have a lot in common: while Stevens’ doctoral thesis on Elizabeth Gaskell seems to be under constant critique, Gaskell’s biography of her recently deceased friend Charlotte Brontë has become the stuff of national scandal and potential lawsuits. “I have three people I want to libel,” Stevens quotes Gaskell as having written to her publisher, in the opening of The Victorian and the Romantic. (Stevens, in contrast, is careful to note she has no people she wants to libel.) (E. Ce Miller)
Bustle recommends Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall:
Though it's set in the modern day, the main character in this hair-raising book bears a lot of similarities to Heathcliff, and I mean that in the darkest way possible. Mike's life was brutal and lonely before he fell in love with Verity Metcalf. And even though Verity is set to marry another man, Mike is certain that this is all part of a roleplaying scenario they used to play. So he watches Verity, waiting for her to send him the secret sign that she's ready for him to rescue her. (Melissa Ragsdale)
The Washington Post reviews The Shakespeare Requirement by Julie Schumacher:
The epistolary structure of her previous novel is gone — this is a straight narrative delivered with acrid wit — but Fitger is still here at its center, just as irritated and harried as ever. Against his will, he’s been named chair of the ungovernable English department, “a funhouse of dysfunctional characters.” (One is obsessed with miniature donkeys; another imitates Emily Brontë; a third wears a 15-pound necklace made of roofing nails.) They are all Olympians in the sport of passive aggression. (Ron Charles)
The future of public toilets in Brontë country, and the one in Penistone Hill in particular, in Keighley News.

The Guardian and the origins of fan fiction:
The tag could also be applied to classics such as Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, reworkings of Shakespeare by the likes of Margaret Atwood and Edward St Aubyn in the Hogarth series, and a spate of parodies: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, or Android Karenina. (Mikaella Clements)
Trouw (Netherlands) recommends the BBC podcast, Beyond Belief:
Waarom zou de schrijfster, zelf dochter van een dominee, de vertegenwoordigers van de kerk zo negatief neerzetten? Wat zegt dat over haar eigen geloof? En hoe zit dat met die andere beroemde schrijfster Charlotte Brontë, die in ‘Jane Eyre’ ook al zo’n hardvochtige dominee beschrijft? De personages uit de boeken kan ik uittekenen, maar over deze vraag had ik nog nooit nagedacht.(...)
Schrijfster Charlotte Brontë gebruikte de nare dominee om van Jane een onafhankelijke vrouw te kunnen maken, die haar eigen morele keuzes maakt, zelfs als de kerk, die nare dominee dus, ertegen is. (Sandra Kooke) (Translation)
A Cup of Joe and great reader comments:
“I was dating a guy who found out that my favorite book is Jane Eyre. One night out of the blue, he said he wanted to discuss something with me, and promptly whipped out a copy of Jane Eyre. He had been furiously reading the whole thing just so we could talk about it together because he knew I loved it. Reader, I married him.” — Shannon
The grandest buildings in literature on Literary Hub:
 Thornfield Hall is described a “fine old hall, rather neglected of late years” by the housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax in Brontë’s novel. Its exterior is handsome enough—three stories high, with battlements around the top that give it a picturesque look—but the interior reflects the desolate outlook of its master, particularly the long, cold gallery on the second floor, which offers up “cheerless ideas of space and solitude.” In contrast, Brontë softens Mrs. Fairfax’s sitting room to reflect her warm personality—it’s a snug, small chamber with a cheerful fire and a cat at the housekeeper’s feet.
Brontë is said to have visited two manor houses in the 1830s and 1840s, both of which claim to be the inspiration behind Thornfield Hall: North Lees Hall in the Peak District, which has the requisite battlements and whose first owner, a lunatic named Agnes, was apparently kept locked in a padded room, and Norton Conyers, in North Yorkshire, which has a hidden door up to the attic and its own requisite madwoman (there seem to have been plenty to go around, unfortunately). Luckily for Jane, true love rises out of the blackened ruins of Thornfield Hall, a dramatic end to the Gothic tale. (Fiona Davis)
Die Presse (Germany) reviews the film adaptation of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society:
Die Inszenierung frönt nicht nur, aber vor allem rustikalem Kitsch – auch in Kontrast zum ausgebombten London. Die belesenen Insulaner wissen sogar Juliets Ladenhüterdebüt, eine Biografie von Anne Brontë, zu schätzen! Hier lässt sich's leben und lieben. „Deine Juliet“ will zurück zum Ursprung – und obwohl sie diesen nur in Guernsey findet, scheint doch ganz Großbritannien mitgemeint. (Andrey Arnold) (Translation)
More Wuthering Heights in El Punt-Avui (in Catalan). The Brontë love interests discussed on the Brontë Babe Blog. In Bed with the Brontës on Girl with her Head in a Book. Finally on the Brontë Parsonage Facebook Wall:

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