Friday, December 20, 2019

Fine Books & Collections examines the catalogue of the exhibition Five Hundred Years of Women’s Work, which opened at the Grolier Club in New York City last week and which includes a selection of items from the Lisa Unger Baskin Collection.
Most of the catalog, published by Oak Knoll Press, is given over to a vibrant, illustrated list of the 116 exhibit items, featuring one superlative after the next, e.g., the astonishing first book (1642-44) on obstetrics written by a woman, Louise Bourgeois Boursier; a breathtaking needlework sampler (ca. 1840s) by Charlotte Brontë; and a stunning illuminated manuscript (1892) by Irish-born artist Phoebe Anna Traquair. Unger Baskin’s awe-inspiring achievement is justly celebrated between the catalog’s thick paper covers and should enthrall anyone with allied interests, which is to say, literature, education, civil rights, suffrage, slavery and abolition, science and medicine, and printing and book arts. (Rebecca Rego Barry)
The Washington Post quotes the opinion of Emmanuel Carrère, 'arguably France’s greatest contemporary writer of nonfiction' on Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome.
Carrère’s likable style isn’t just conversational, it’s openly confessional. We learn that Edith Wharton’s “Ethan Frome” is one of his favorite novels, as well as one of the world’s saddest: It “makes ‘Wuthering Heights’ seem like ‘The Sound of Music.’ ” (Michael Dirda)
The Washington Times recommends Genius and Ink. Virginia Woolf on How to Read, a collection of some of the reviews she wrote for The Times Literary Supplement.
Pegged to the 100th anniversary of her birth, she discusses Charlotte Brontë. Pegged to his passing, she discusses Thomas Hardy. She offers us “Fanny Burney’s Half Sister,” a gripping soap opera of a tale. She examines Elizabeth Barrett Browning and her “Aurora Leigh,” looking at the fairness of Barrett Browning’s legacy and, in an amusing example, the difference between prose and novelistic poetry. (Tara Wilson Redd)
The Irish Times has asked 'well-known figures' about their favourite book of 2019 and here's writer Kevin Barry's:
Kevin Barry, Novelist
Seduction And Betrayal by Elizabeth Hardwick (Faber & Faber, €9.99)
For sheer precision, intelligence and eloquence of thought, there was nothing that came close to Seduction And Betrayal by Elizabeth Hardwick.
It’s a reissued collection of essays that originally came out in the 1970s. These are long, biographical essays on women of the literary past, whether factual or fictional characters – so the Brontës, Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf are in there, as well as the invented heroines of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa.
It’s a sparkling survey, full of wit and bite and empathy, and the way Hardwick holds on a thought, turns it around, and then investigates it from a new perspective is dazzling. She has a pre-internet intelligence, it goes deep rather than broad.
I don’t think there’s anyone like her now writing. (Richard Fitzpatrick)
National Post recommends the '10 movies you should watch before 2019 ends'.
Level 16
Canadian writer/director Danishka Esterhazy has called her Handmaid’s Tale inflected dystopian thriller “Jane Eyre meets Logan’s Run.” It’s the kind of pitch that will excite at least two groups of moviegoers. They will not be disappointed by this smart, satisfying sci-fi story set in a Spartan girls’ boarding school. (Chris Knight)
Flick Philosopher reviews Greta Gerwig's Little Women and concludes,
I’d love to now throw every classic novel about women at Greta Gerwig and see what she makes of them all. I bet she’d do something amazing with Wuthering Heights or, I dunno, Little House on the Prairie. Someone make that happen sharpish. (MaryAnn Johanson)
Another reference to Wuthering Heights in a review of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in The Times. Beware of spoilers!
The emotional heart of the tale is the contest between Rey and Ren, everyone’s favourite Byronic bad boy, whose mask now sports a chrome grill and glowing red cracks. He’s a man so brooding, he seems to carry his own weather conditions around with him, ensuring a constant backdrop of rain and lightning strikes, as if Heathcliff had wandered in from the moors. (Tom Shone)
Les Echos (France) tells the story behind a property in Cannes.
Dans le quartier de La Croix-des-Gardes à Cannes, cet hôtel particulier, typique de l'architecture de villégiature de cette époque, fut construit entre 1850 et 1860 par l'ambassadeur du Royaume-Uni en France, sur un terrain que lui avait cédé Lord Brougham, le légendaire aristocrate qui a « lancé » Cannes au xixe siècle. Cette villa baptisée « Hurlevent », en hommage sans doute à la romancière Emily Brontë, et la « Eléonore-Louise », celle de Lord Brougham - deux jumelles dans leur conception - étaient les deux seules propriétés sur la colline de La Croix-des-Gardes. (Jean-Denis Errard) (Translation)
A contributor to Verily has written an article on 'What Jane Eyre Taught Me about Personal Conviction and Love'

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