Saturday, May 08, 2021

The Northampton Chronicle publishes what seems to be a press release from Humber & Ellis Auctioneers trying to sell a 'long-lost portrait by Emily Brontë' owned by the late Christopher Heywood:
A long-lost painting of author Emily Brontë is being sold online by a Northamptonshire auctioneer with a estimated value of between £25,000 and £40,000.
The 'Bonnet Portrait' was deemed 'irrevocably lost' by 19th-century author William Robertson Nicholl.
He wrote an article in The Woman at Home magazine in 1894, which included an illustration of the Wuthering Heights writer by her sister, Charlotte.
The painting, which bears a striking resemblance to the illustration, was purchased by Professor Christopher Heywood for £20,200 in 2011.
After extensive research, the senior English lecturer at the University of Sheffield deemed it to be the lost portrait, setting out his factual and evidence-based reasoning in the Brontë Society Journal in 2015.
Humbert & Ellis Auctioneers, based in Towcester, is offering the painting 'without reserve' on behalf of the executors of the late Professor Heywood in a timed online auction, ending on Sunday, May 23. (Jack Duggan)
Of course, what the article omits are the serious doubts as to the authenticity of the portrait in question. It's true that Christopher Heywood defended it was an Emily portrait painted by her sister Charlotte:
Christopher Heywood (2015) Found: The ‘Lost’ Portrait of Emily Brontë, Brontë Studies, 40:2, 85-103, DOI: 10.1179/1474893215Z.000000000142
Christopher Heywood (2018) Charlotte’s Copies of Emily Brontë’s ‘Bonnet’ Portrait, Brontë Studies, 43:3, 222-247, DOI: 10.1080/14748932.2018.1464802
But it's also true that his 'findings' were contested by other Brontë scholars like Edward Chitham, Sarah Fermi or Patsy Stoneman in several letters and comments. We have to say that the replies by Christopher Heywood, in our opinion, were not entirely convincing:
Edward Chitham (2017) ‘EMILY BRONTË. From a painting by Charlotte Brontë, hitherto unpublished’, Brontë Studies, 42:2, 168-169, DOI: 10.1080/14748932.2017.1280952
Christopher Heywood (2017) A Response to ‘EMILY BRONTË. From a painting by Charlotte Brontë, hitherto unpublished’, Brontë Studies, 42:2, 169, DOI: 10.1080/14748932.2017.1280953
Edward Chitham, Patsy Stoneman & Sarah Fermi (2019) Responses to Christopher Heywood’s Article, ‘Charlotte’s Copies of Emily Brontë’s “Bonnet Portrait”’, Brontë Studies, 43.3 (July 2018), 222–47., Brontë Studies, 44:2, 242-246, DOI: 10.1080/14748932.2019.1577631
Christopher Heywood (2019) Reply to Correspondence Relating to Responses to Christopher Heywood’s Article, ‘Charlotte’s Copies of Emily Brontë’s “Bonnet Portrait”’, Brontë Studies, 43.3 (July 2018), 222–47., Brontë Studies, 44:2, 247-248, DOI: 10.1080/14748932.2019.1567178
The 'uniquely bizarre life of Nancy Mitford' in The Independent:
Nancy admitted that she was often “vile” to her younger sisters. Jessica, who described the famous writer as “sharp-tongued and sarcastic”, recalled that Nancy once told her she looked like “the eldest and ugliest of the Brontë sisters”.  (Martin Chilton)
Philippines Tatler lists Filipino films that 'showcase the beauty of the Philippines':
Hihintayin Kita Sa Langit
Another restored classic is the 1991 Filipino adaptation of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. Hihintayin Kita Sa Langit was shot in Batanes, showcasing its sprawling hillside views and seascapes. It stars Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta and is directed by Carlos Siguion-Reyna. (Frank Sorilla IV)
La Provincia (Spain) has an article on Agnes Grey:
Agnes Grey, la institutriz que se retó a sí misma
Revisitar a los 172 años de su muerte a Anne Brontë, una inflexión en la sociedad victoriana

En Agnes Grey, la conocida novela de Anne Brontë publicada en la Inglaterra del victorianismo temprano de 1847, la protagonista que da título a la historia decide, al cumplir los diecinueve años, viajar a Wellwood después de haber conseguido la aceptación de la familia Bloomfield y acordado el hospedaje con dicho matrimonio y sus tres hijos -Tom, de siete años, Mari Ann, de seis, y Fanny, de cuatro-, en una de las dependencias habilitadas para tal fin como tutora. La familia Grey formada tan solo por sus padres y su hermana Mary trata a toda costa de impedirlo a pesar de que Agnes revela en varias ocasiones su determinación, más bien, su vocación por la enseñanza con el ánimo de luchar, según expresa, por su independencia económica, el derecho a trabajar, enamorarse y valerse por sí misma.  (Santigo J. Henríquez) (Translation)

Buzz (Ireland) recommends The British Library official Zoom tour, next Monday at 7pm:
This will probably include one special room that has 250 of the world’s most precious publications, including the original Magna Carta, Shakespeare’s First Folio and handwritten manuscripts of Thomas Hardy, Charlotte Brontë, Lewis Carroll and Jane Austen. Beatles fans might also get a glimpse of John Lennon’s original handwritten Imagine lyrics. (Connor McCaffrey)

Although we think that the Jane Eyre manuscript is now touring Asia. 

It's always a pleasure to read Augustin Trapenard telling about his love and devotion for Wuthering Heights. This time in an interview for Le Soir (Belgium):
Oui, Les Hauts de Hurlevent, d'Emilie Brontë que je lis vers onze ou douze ans. C'est une révélation. C'est même devenu le livre de ma vie puisque je l'ai lu une trentaine de fois ! J'ai travaillé pendant deux ans et demi sur une thèse. Le livre met en scène la la virilité à travers ses personnages. J'avais l'image de cette tension entre ces deux figures masculines, le bourgeois efféminé et l'homme bête d'une virilité toute romantique. Cette confrontation m'a permis de me poser des questions. Quand on ne rentre pas dans la norme des genres et des classes, on se questionne et on défie très vite les autres normes… (Interview by Béatrice Delvaux and Joëlle Meskens) (Translation)
The New York Times interviews politician and romance author Stacey Abrams:
Which books got you hooked on romance?
Jane Eyre” was the first romance I ever read, full of tortured souls and broken people. Then my older sister introduced me to the wonderful world of Harlequin romances, which arrived in a four-pack every month.
We have to smile reading this comment about a Georgian mansion for sale in Country Life:
The remaining two bedrooms are found as part of a self contained flat in the converted attic which also has a bathroom and kitchen. (Think more teenage/ granny space, less Rochester’s estranged wife in Jane Eyre).  (Lydia Stangroom)
The student newspaper The Observer recommends Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights:
To call Kate Bush a talented musician would be the understatement of the century. Coming from her 1978 debut album, “The Kick Inside,” which was recorded while she was still a teenager, the track “Wuthering Heights” tells a version of the famous Emily Brontë novel. Despite never having read the novel “Wuthering Heights,” which is common for summer reading, I can enjoy the majestic range and vocal control Bush had at such a young age. 
The Spectator discusses the latest event in this woke-sponsored spelling byzantine revolution we are experiencing:
One of the UK’s leading exam boards, OCR, has proposed renaming the ‘Women in Literature’ section of its A level English courses. It is taking votes on new titles: ‘gender in literature’ or ‘representing gender’.
 But ‘women’ and ‘gender’ are not simply interchangeable: they mean entirely different things. ‘Women in Literature’ suggests novels, plays or poems written by women or focusing on the experience of womanhood. There is a vast quantity of excellent work that fits this criteria. You could kick off with Jane Austen, George Eliot and the Brontës, before moving to Virginia Woolf, then perhaps Toni Morrison or Sylvia Plath before coming up to date with Margaret Atwood, Jeanette Winterson, Zadie Smith or Donna Tartt. (Joanna Williams)

El Día (Argentina) talks about women in literature (sorry, OCR), including the Brontës. Want that Wedding posts a 'Boho Bridal Editorial at the Chesterton Windmill' inspired by Wuthering Heights. ReReading Jane Eyre post a new chapter (number 12) of her Jane Eyre in Flash Fiction. Let's finish this newsround with great and hopeful news:

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