Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Yesterday was International Women's Day and we have lots of Brontë mentions sparked by it. The Yorkshire Post included all three Brontë sisters on a list of 'the women from Yorkshire who have made history'.
Anne, Emily and Charlotte Bronte
People across the world know the names of the Brontë sisters, responsible for some of the most celebrated works of literature of all time. The writers' names are synonymous with the rugged landscapes and cobbled streets of Yorkshire. Under the pseudonyms Acton, Ellis and Currer Bell, the three sisters from Haworth penned works that included Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, which have gone on to be published in at least 67 languages and produced for both the big and small screens. (Susie Beever)
The Telegraph and Argus summed up the events for the day in the area.
This year's theme is 'Choose To Challenge' and with Bradford's long history of strong and influential women, we are no stranger to standing up for what we believe in and breaking down barriers.
From Haworth's literary trio, The Brontë sisters, to campaigner Margaret McMillan who fought for the 1906 Provision of School Meals Act, it's in our blood. (Natasha Meek)
On Twitter, the Brontë Parsonage shares a podcast concerning the same initiative.
UCL recommended 'Books to celebrate International Women’s Day' including both
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (Print)
"Written by Charlotte Brontë who had to write under a male pseudonym, due to women writers were not acceptable in society. Jane Eyre is a role model as she endures bullying, discrimination by her peers, and through her courage and determination fights to marry a man with disabilities. A book which sends a strong message even today’s women."
Carolyne Megan, Collections Assistant
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (Print)
“The mesmerising and haunting story of Antoinette Cosway, an important character in Jane Eyre. This novel begins in her youth in Jamaica until she meets a certain Mr Rochester. One of my favourite books ever. A true classic.”
Both books have also made it onto the list of 'top female writer reads' compiled by Shemazing.
'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Brontë
Orphaned as a child, Jane has felt an outcast her whole young life. Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at Thornfield Hall, where she has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle. Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit. She falls in love. Hard.
But there is a terrifying secret inside the gloomy, forbidding Thornfield Hall. Is Rochester hiding from Jane? Will Jane be left heartbroken and exiled once again?
'Wide Sargasso Sea' by Jean Rhys ((W.W. Norton Company)
Wide Sargasso Sea, a masterpiece of modern fiction, was Jean Rhys’s return to the literary centre stage. She had a startling early career and was known for her extraordinary prose and haunting women characters. With Wide Sargasso Sea, her last and best-selling novel, she ingeniously brings into light one of fiction’s most fascinating characters: the madwoman in the attic from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. This mesmerising work introduces us to Antoinette Cosway, a sensual and protected young woman who is sold into marriage to the prideful Mr. Rochester. Rhys portrays Cosway amidst a society so driven by hatred, so skewed in its sexual relations, that it can literally drive a woman out of her mind.
A new introduction by the award-winning Edwidge Danticat, author most recently of Claire of the Sea Light, expresses the enduring importance of this work. Drawing on her own Caribbean background, she illuminates the setting’s impact on Rhys and her astonishing work. (Fiona Murphy)
GoBookMart lists 'Books That Every Woman Should Read At Least Once', including
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë is one the great classic novel. The story is about an orphaned child, Jane. She has felt as an outcast her entire young life. Even though Jane is of plain appearance, she has an unyielding spirit, a sharp wit and great courage. When she gets a job as a governess for proud Edward Rochester’s ward Adèle at Thornfield Hall, Jane’s courage is tested. Soon after her arrival, Jane finds herself drawn to Edward’s troubled yet kind spirit and she falls in love with him. Jane Eyre is a story about a woman who has been striving for happiness her entire life. It is about love, justice, prejudice, strength, struggles, and existence. (Akshada Sidhaye)
The Rider looks at 'Impactful women in our lives'.
When Marisa Palacios Knox was 10, she read “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë for the first time. 
“It imprinted on me,” Knox said. “I was very inspired by the sort of moral strength and independence of Jane and the idea of being able to hold to principle in spite of passion and desire.”
She has looked at Jane’s characteristics as something to aspire to, and now Knox, an assistant professor in the Literatures and Cultural Studies department, teaches “Jane Eyre” in her courses. (Sol Garcia)
Voci di Città (Italy) has an article on strong literary women.
Jane Eyre e un’intera esistenza di crudeltà e sofferenze. (Assunta Saragosa) (Translation)
Co-founder of the Women's Equality Party, Catherine Mayer discusses women and grief in Marie Claire.
Throughout my formative years, culture high and low served up variations on this theme, weeping widows, wailing mothers, grief-crazed girls. The only relief came in the form and agency of villainesses, Black Widow, both a Marvel assassin and the unrelated titular serial killer of a 1987 movie (‘she mates and she kills’); or Jane Eyre’s cruel and self-indulgent Mrs Reed. I absorbed, too, society’s contrasting expectations of male grief. Sorrow, it seems, turns to men to stone, but for the tiny veins that pulse at their temples and granite jaws. (Maria Coole)
USwitch recommended what to stream on International Women’s Day 2021 such as
6. To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters
This fantastic BBC drama follows the lives of three of the most celebrated British authors of all time: Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë. The two-hour film portrays the sisters’ struggles to overcome obstacles to get their novels published, all while caring for their alcoholic brother, Branwell. (Catherine Hiley)
Faro de Vigo (Spain) on how some local women approached the day:
Por todo ello, un aspecto fundamental para poner freno a estos comportamiento es la educación. De ello se encarga la profesora Malores Villanueva, quien ayer en lugar de acogerse a la huelga optó por enseñar a su alumnado el fundamental papel de las mujeres en la sociedad. “Decidimos conmemorar a la mujer repasando la trayectoria de notables figuras de la literatura como Rosalía de Castro, Xela Arias, el papel de las hermanas Brontë, cómo antes no tenían presencial en el espacio público o representación en el ámbito escrito. Mi sensación es que el alumnado es muy consciente de toda esta situación. Todos tienen madres, hermanas, tías... saben lo que es la desigualdad y no lo quieren para ellas”, concluye. (Elena Villanueva) (Translation)
El comentario (Mexico) and El diario (Spain) listed women writers who published books under pseudonyms.

An opinion column on CNN discusses the recent interview Harry and Meghan's Oprah interview.
American women have certainly started coming to this realization since then: As Rebecca Traister notes in "All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation," in 2009, the majority of American women were single for the first time.
But the idea that marrying the right man is the path to happiness, wealth and indeed adulthood has remained ingrained in our cultural consciousness. Traister notes that this is the underlying message of many of the most famous works of literature read by young women, such as the "Little House" series, "Anne of Green Gables" and "Jane Eyre." Not to mention numerous fairy tales and Disney scenarios. And as the mother of a little girl, I can tell you it is almost impossible to prevent kids from being exposed to this myth. (Kara Alaimo)
Perhaps Ms Traister should reread Jane Eyre, particularly the ending.

Comic Years discusses WandaVision and 'The Pervasive Trope of The “Mad Woman”'.
The mad woman trope was fully formed in the era of Victorian literature, and is elaborated as the “Mad Woman In The Attic” that pops up in Victorian and Gothic fiction with alarming regularity. Jane Eyre is often given as the primary example for this trope, where the wife of a male love interest is locked away due to her deteriorating mental health. This character was written by a woman – Charlotte Brontë – who was reportedly horrified by the lack of sympathy that readers held for the poor woman. Brontë would be equally aghast to learn how the trope has evolved over the years to work as shorthand for women as villains. It is easier to cast a woman as a villain if she is insane, because the lack of empathy that society holds for the mentally ill has always held. (Emily O'Donnell)
Varsity revisits Downton Abbey.
The country house genre that Downton leeched off is so popular, that the English canon can sometimes seem hard to distinguish from the National Trust Guide to the South-East. Thornfield Hall, Brandham Hall, Mansfield Park — lovely day trips. But Brontë, Austen and Pinter wrote stories about those houses so they could ask questions about what they represented. From its inception, the genre critiqued stiff-upper-lip Englishness and the colonial foundations on which it was built. Downton never did that. It asserted those sensibilities over and over again, telling the world that Britain was a polite nation with a mannered past. (Alex Haydn-Williams)
A contributor to Book Riot on how she approaches the 'what is your favourite book' question.
As a self-proclaimed avid reader, I inevitably get asked the dreaded question: “What is your favorite book?” Of course, if I’m speaking to a fellow reader who is sensitive about this question, I get in a more acceptable form: “What are your favorite books or authors?”
Either way it’s framed, it is a big question. As a novice to this conversation, I would fumble for a moment before talking about the latest book that I loved. Now, I have a more seasoned approach: I have answers prepared. My go-to book is Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. It’s a classic, and usually wards off further inquiries. On the off chance my conversation partner has similar tastes, I already know I have a friend. It’s a win-win, as far as I’m concerned.
The truth, however, is not that simple. Don’t get me wrong, Jane Eyre has my whole heart. It’s a story that has seen me through good times and bad, whose words simultaneously provide comfort and inspire wonder. I know it like a familiar landscape, all the fonder for the number of times my eyes have run over it. I know how it begins, the places to anticipate pain or happiness with the steadiness of knowing where the story will take me. (Sarah Rahman)
Los 40 (Spain) reviews singer Blas Cantó's music video Voy a quedarme:
Blas Cantó hace suya la frase de Emily Jame [sic] Brontë: "No sé de que están hechas las almas pero la mía y la suya son una sola" para dar inicio a su canción, y es que quizás ese es el mayor mensaje que el artista quiere transmitir con su canción, un mensaje con el que el artista demuestra que su abuela le acompaña en cada paso que da. (Nuria Andrés Moreno) (Translation)
American Kennel Club features the Yorkshire Terrier.
As its name says quite clearly, the Yorkshire Terrier is associated with the County of York in northern England – the same backdrop that gave us the stormy moors of “Wuthering Heights,” the folksy veterinary tales of James Herriot and, more recently, the upstairs-downstairs dramas of great houses like television’s “Downton Abbey. (Denise Flaim)
Finally, The Guardian had an obituary for scriptwriter Betty Willingale:
A successful partnership with the producer Jonathan Powell resulted in The Mayor of Casterbridge (by Dennis Potter, 1978), Wuthering Heights (by Hugh Leonard and David Snodin, 1978), Testament of Youth (by Morgan, 1979), Pride and Prejudice (by Fay Weldon, 1980), Thérèse Raquin (by Mackie, 1980), The Woman in White (by Ray Jenkins, 1982) and The Barchester Chronicles (by Plater, 1982). (Anthony Hayward)


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