Friday, December 09, 2016

Their Right to Creativity

On Friday, December 09, 2016 at 1:53 pm by M. in , , , , , , , ,    No comments
Radio Times announces To Walk Invisible:
Bafta-winning writer Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley, Last Tango In Halifax) returns to the BBC this Christmas for a period drama involving some very special characters: the Brontë sisters.
Yes, Emily Brontë (author of the ground-breaking Wuthering Heights), older sister Charlottë (the woman behind the phenomenally successful Jane Eyre) and younger sister Anne (who wrote The Tenant of Wildfell Hall) are all the subjects of the one-off 120-minute drama.
Expect, as the BBC puts it, "the story of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë, sisters who overcome a life of hardship and the tragic decline of their troubled brother to write great works of literature".
Yesterday, the film was screened at the BAFTA and a further Q&A was held with Sally Wainwright and cast members Chloe Pirrie, Finn Atkins and Charlie Murphy.

The Hindu Business Line has visited Haworth:
And then, many, many years later I found my way to Haworth in Yorkshire, where these writers, long recognised as amongst the greatest in English literature, lived. The Brontë sisters — Charlotte, whose 200th birth anniversary is this year (no, the trip wasn’t planned to commemorate that, I promise), Emily and Anne. And their brother Branwell who tried to paint but failed and then tried to be a drunk, succeeded and died from that success, and their father Patrick who was the curate at the church and though a frail, sickly man, outlived the children and died an octogenarian. They all lived in this big stone house behind the church, which was called Parsonage because that is what a house allotted to members of the clergy was called. There was, and is, a cemetery in front, which, I imagine, must have been a depressing and all too realistic sight to wake up to. But then there were the moors behind the house and they were bleak, cold, windy and maddeningly inspiring, so maybe the tombs weren’t that bad after all.
So they all lived in this big house with an aunt who moved in to help raise the children after Mama Brontë died. Largely ignored by the adults, the Brontë siblings took to making up and then writing down stories and poems in miniscule handmade books, some of which are on display at National Portrait Gallery, London. I went and spent an hour peering into these books and the many drawings and paintings the siblings made — their art, though not at the level of genius as their books — was still mighty skilled. Or so I think. As you can tell, I’d forgive every Brontë folly. (Read more) (Deepa Bhasthi)
The Telegraph & Argus announces a couple of Christmas events at Brontë country:
A museum in the district will be opening its doors for Christmas for the final time this weekend in one of a number of events taking place across Bradford.
Elsewhere in the district this weekend, Haworth will be lit up by a procession of torches, and one of the nation’s best loved children’s books and films will be brought to life on ice.
Christmas is coming to Red House Museum in Gomersal this weekend for the final time as the period house is due to close its doors in just under a fortnight.
The Friends of Red House are busy helping staff to prepare for the last major event - Red House at Christmas, which takes place on Sunday.
The house will be decorated as it might have been in the 1830s, when Charlotte Bronte was a regular visitor.
There will be a traditional kissing ball hanging in the hall, as well as performances from the Nonsuch Dulcimers, Honley Brass Band and the local community choir.
Jacqueline Ryder, chairman of the Friends of Red House, said: “This will be a bittersweet occasion for so many people, knowing that the museum will close to the public on 21 December.
“But the Friends and staff are determined to make the event one to remember.
“The afternoon will close with carol singing and fireworks.”
Red House Christmas will be open between noon and 4pm.
A decision was taken by Kirklees Council in October to close Red House and another museum due to budget cuts.
The Grade II-listed 17th-century cloth merchant’s home was frequently visited by Charlotte Brontë and was featured in her novel, Shirley.
In Haworth, the atmospheric torchlight weekend is taking place in Main Street.
Tomorrow there will be a carol parade at 3pm at the foot of the Haworth Church steps, where people can sing Christmas carols and listen to traditional festive music.
On Sunday the torchlight procession will begin at 4.30pm from beside the Christmas tree in Main Street.
Residents and visitors can walk up the cobbled Main Street together carrying candlelit torches and singing carols.
The procession is followed by a traditional candlelit carol service in Haworth Parish Church. (David Jagger)
The closing of the public toilets in Haworth is also mentioned in the same newspaper:
Haworth's remaining public toilets could close as part of Bradford Council's swingeing budget cuts.
The blocks at Central Park and the Brontë Museum car park are earmarked to shut, saving more than £53,000 a year in running costs.
Across the district, seven public conveniences are under threat. The total saving would be £144,600 a year. (Alistair Shand)
The Atlantic Magazine asks what the most interesting family in history is:
Glennon Doyle Melton, author, Love Warrior
I’m fascinated by writers, sisterhood, and women ahead of their time—so if I could spend time with one historical family, it would be the Brontës. I’d thank Anne, Emily, and Charlotte for insisting on their right to creativity before the world gave them permission. And I’d assure them that we women now regularly use our own names on our books.
Eugene Weekly recommends winter reads:
Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart by Claire Harman.
While reading Claire Harmon’s excellent biography of Charlotte Brontë — famed author of Jane Eyre — I found myself wondering how the Brontës would have fared in the 21st century. Harmon intimately describes the siblings’ faults and talents, creating a tangible portrait of the Brontë family in all its oddball charm. Would Branwell Brontë have sought help for his opium addiction and alcoholism, I wonder? Would Charlotte Brontë have found true love on eHarmony, crafting her image through writing to supplement her abysmally absent social graces? Would all four siblings have lived to a ripe old age, producing mountains of literary genius, instead of dying tragically young from tuberculosis?
I have always been intrigued by the Brontës and their churning creativity, so this glimpse into their world proved fascinating. Harmon depicts Charlotte Brontë with warmth and fondness, while keeping honest about the darker sides of her nature. Brontë’s blatant obsession with her professor is cringe-worthy, an unrequited infatuation that clung to her for years. But Harmon’s descriptions of Brontë’s sensitivity, her bluntness, her ability to craft fantasy worlds to which she mentally escaped, truly shed light on the complexity and deep intelligence that characterized the life of this great novelist. With every success Brontë encounters, I felt cheered, and with every obstacle, I despaired for her. As a woman and author in the 19th century, she faced difficulties at every turn, and Harmon’s biography portrays the full contextual magnitude of Brontë’s accomplishments.
If you’re looking for a book that makes you want to reach back through time and hug its subject, Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart fulfills every wish. (Amy Klarup)
The Chicago Tribune looks for the best poetry books in 2016:
Robyn Schiff, "A Woman of Property" (Penguin)
Somehow this opens the floodgates to Thomas Hardy, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charlotte Brontë, Flaubert, Aeschylus, "Jaws 3-D" and "The Spy Who Loved Me," but casually, as if the poem were a tractor beam sucking up whatever's at hand. It shouldn't work, but it works like — well, like a charm. (Michael Robbins)
Insider Media talks about Castle Hotel in Conwy:
A Lincolnshire-headquartered hotel group has snapped up a 17th century, grade I-listed hotel in Wales after securing a £10m investment from the Business Growth Fund (BGF) earlier this week.
The Castle Hotel in Conwy, which was built on the site of a Cistercian abbey, has been bought by The Coaching Inn Group as part of a planned £50m expansion programme.
The 27-bedroom property retains many original features, including stone mullion windows and fire surrounds, and has a bar, restaurant and beauty salon.
Past visitors have included William Wordsworth and Samuel Johnson. Charlotte Brontë spent her honeymoon at the hotel and the Queen of Romania visited the restaurant while convalescing in Llandudno in 1890. (Stephen Farrell)
Daily Maverick (SouthAfrica) reviews My Own Liberator by Dikgang Moseneke:
When recreating his years on Robben Island he reimagines his “10pm-to-midnight crusade on the island” and how during the even lonelier hours he worked his way through writings of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Chaucer, Shakespeare’s tragedies, the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, TS Eliot, Keats. (Mark Heywood)
KTEP talks about slash fan fiction:
Slash plays with the relationship between creator and audience, injecting adult themes into decidedly non-adult content to see what happens, and commenting on an overall lack of queer characters in fiction. And what of the original creators whose works form the basis for this remixed lit-smut? Well, to be fair, they did conjure fantasy worlds with virtually limitless possibilities. "It's like they're begging us to fix them," says one of the heroes in the new coming-of-age comedy Slash, a line which amounts to the film's most succinct explanation for why these writers do what they do. As we're told repeatedly, the Brontë sisters themselves wrote their own form of fan fiction. (Andrew Lapin)
Déjà Vu TV on The Worldin:
Stories have been reinvented for centuries. Shake­s­peare reworked Chaucer’s poem “Troilus and Criseyde” into a play. “The Lion King” bears a noticeable trace of “Hamlet”. In “Wide Sargasso Sea” (1966), Jean Rhys unravelled the history of Antoinette Cosway, Mr Rochester’s spurned wife in “Jane Eyre”. These works provoke us into analysing the original story: what was left out, and why? Why do its themes endure? (Rachel Lloyd)
Info Chrétienne (in French) mentions a well-known story of Emily Brontë and Keeper:
Emily Brontë frappa très violemment le sien au point de le laisser à moitié aveugle.Le sien, c’était Keeper, un chien qui oubliait, volontairement ou non, l’interdiction de se coucher sur les lits et avait, ce jour-là, reçu la correction promise, avant d’être soigné avec amour par sa maîtresse ; c’était aussi un chien qui n’oublia pas l’écrivain après sa mort et resta, prostré, devant la porte de sa chambre la nuit, après avoir accompagné sa dépouille lors de ses funérailles. Une récente étude empirique tend à prouver que le meilleur ami de l’homme dispose, comme ce dernier, de la mémoire épisodique, mais de manière bien plus limitée dans la durée. (Hans-Søren Dag) (Translation)
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
A couple of alerts for today, December 9:
Patrick Brontë and his Ulster Background
The Untold Story of Literature's Most Famous Father

with Pauline Holland

Linen Hall Library
17 Donegall Square North
Belfast BT1 5GB
Northern Ireland
Fri 09-12-16 @ 13:00
And at the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
Treasures by Candlelight
An exclusive after-hours event
December 9, 7.30PM

Experience the historic rooms of the Parsonage by candlelight and view some treasures of our collection at close quarters in the Museum library. Places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Thursday, December 08, 2016 10:29 am by M. in , , , , ,    No comments
The playwright Enda Walsh shares this anecdote on iNews:
We went on a school trip to see an adaptation of Wuthering Heights in Dublin. I was about 12 or 13 and we sat in the front row and we had a massive bag of Maltesers.
We scooted them across the stage as the actors were trying to act. “NO, HEATHCLIFF!“ while a Malteser just skidded past this poor lady’s heels. She actually became a very successful agent and I told her years later. She said, “You were part of that front row? Jesus Christ!” (Alice Jones)
The Times of India publishes an obituary of the Indian actress and politician Jayalalithaa:
Jayalalithaa, then perhaps in her twenties, had ushered us into her brand new home at Poes Gardens, and she was showing us around.
My father, Tamil film actor Gemini Ganesan, had asked if he could show the place to his "girls", especially the library that she had apparently described to him with great passion. The books were indeed 'real' and she had an amazing collection of English classics - Shakespeare, Dickens, Kingsley, Hardy, Tennyson, Brontë, Wilde, and more. (Narayani Ganesh)
David Tang in Financial Times hopes it is not too late to save the Northern Powerhouse initiative:
Across Yorkshire, I would pine every season to shoot at Gunnerside, Garrowby and Mulgrave. At the latter we would enjoy the best fish and chips for lunch from nearby Whitby, on whose beach Dracula was washed ashore. And then there are, of course, those extraordinary Brontë sisters.
PJ Media on Poldark and romances written by men:
Unfortunately, we have been acculturated to hear romance in a woman’s tone of voice. While no huge subscriber to the genre, I have read plenty of period romances in my time. I’m not talking about the pulp whose pages are so easily manipulated that you can tell where the sex scenes are located based on the cracks in the spine of used copies, but classic romances. Austen will always hold a special place in my heart along with L.M. Montgomery (if you’ve never, you must read The Blue Castle now—quickly! I’ll wait) and even the Brontë sisters. (Susan L.M. Goldberg)
A talk at the Fairfield University is covered on the student's newspaper, The Fairfield Mirror:
Faculty member of Regis University’s MFA and the Fairfield County Writer’s Studio and creative writing professor at Fairfield University, Sophfronia Scott, elaborated on her decision to invite Fitzgerald to Fairfield; a major part of her reasoning was the originality and relatability he provided to students, according to Scott.
“I know that students tend to read a lot of dead authors and even though I’m a big fan of Charlotte Brontë and Jane Austen, we can’t have them here with us,” said Scott. “I think it’s important to meet writers who are working today in the industry.” (Alicia Phaneuf)
Insider lists several Netflix recommendations:
Netflix's newest show "The Crown" also has viewers watching other period pieces, "Elizabeth" and "Jane Eyre." (Kirsten Acuna)
US News on lending or accepting money from relatives:
As families gather for the holidays, those with more financial assets than others may feel the urge to help out a niece, nephew or other relative. In fact, the rich relative has become a popular archetype in literature and pop culture, from the eccentric and free-spirited Auntie Mame (the inspiration for the bestselling 1955 novel and the musical "Mame") with a soft spot for her nephew Patrick to Jane Eyre's uncle leaving his fortune to her to Uncle Phil on the popular TV show "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" taking in his nephew, played by Will Smith. (Susan Johnston Taylor)
Modaija (Poland) discusses the latest collection of WEAVE:
 Frak, wąskie spodnie z wysokim stanem, kamizelka, koszula z wysokim kołnierzem, obwiązana fularem – skąd my to znamy? To bardzo popularny w XIX wieku wygląd dżentelmena. Tak nosił się Pan Darcy w “Dumie i Uprzedzeniu” Jane Austin, tak samo wyglądał Heathcliff w “Wichrowych Wzgórzach” Emily Brontë. Ale to oczywiście nie tylko kostium bohaterów książek z tego czasu. Tak z angielska nosili się wszyscy eleganccy panowie w tamtych czasach. Strój wojskowy ewoluował do stroju codziennego, spodnie z krótkich culottes (wtedy jeszcze wąskich) ciagle się wydłużały. Strój ów miał podkreślać smukłe i umięśnione ciało męskie, dodawać panom wzrostu. I oczywiście miał być elegancki i wygodny. (Translation)
The World in looks at what's coming TV-wise in 2017, much of which seem to be remakes.
Stories have been reinvented for centuries. Shake­s­peare reworked Chaucer’s poem “Troilus and Criseyde” into a play. “The Lion King” bears a noticeable trace of “Hamlet”. In “Wide Sargasso Sea” (1966), Jean Rhys unravelled the history of Antoinette Cosway, Mr Rochester’s spurned wife in “Jane Eyre”. These works provoke us into analysing the original story: what was left out, and why? Why do its themes endure? (Rachel Lloyd)
Interesting Literature has compiled a list of 10 of the Best Poems about Lost Love, one of which is
Emily Brontë, ‘Long neglect has worn away’. This short poem about lost love – written by the poet who also gave us the novel Wuthering Heights, of course – is included in our pick of Emily Brontë’s best short poems. Click on the link above and scroll down to number 6 on the list (it’s also worth reading the other seven poems, as well!).
The Telegraph & Argus discusses the closure by the Bradford Council of the public toilets of among others Central Park and by the Brontë Parsonage in Haworth. Several German news outlets talk about the Wilhelm Merton Prize for European Translations 2016 to Andrea Ott, translator among others of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre or Shirley.
This is a trilogy of modern retellings of Jane Eyre (with truly awful covers):
Euphoria (The Thornfield Affair #1)
Amity Cross
Release: October 11th 2016

No one cared to give her a name.
And his came with the weight of the world.
Orphaned as an infant, Jane Doe has nothing, but desires everything life has to offer.
When she’s offered work at Thornfield, a grand English manor turned hotel, she meets her match in the dark and brooding proprietor, Edward Rochester.
He’s arrogant, moody, and hurtful, but as Jane’s attraction grows for this strange and powerful man, so does her spirit. Soon enough, tensions rise to breaking point, and they become embroiled in an illicit affair of the mind and body. An affair that neither is strong enough to turn from.
But Edward harbors a dark secret, one he is reluctant to share, even with his new confidant Jane. It’s a secret so dark and shocking it could tear them apart forever.
Can Jane choose between what is right and her one chance at true happiness?
Welcome to Thornfield where two lost souls are destined to love…no matter the cost.


Paradox (The Thornfield Affair #2)
Amity Cross
Release: November 8th 2016

All her life, all Jane Doe has ever wanted was a name, a family and someone to love.
She’s suffered many hardships, but none have come close to her treatment at the hands of the enigmatic Edward Rochester.
The only thing Jane wants to do is love Edward openly, but he has forced her to keep their budding romance hidden. Despite giving him an ultimatum, his will is set in stone and he refuses. His secrets run so deep they’ve driven a wedge between their hearts, keeping them apart but still longing for one another.
Driven by death, madness, rivalry, violence and love, their story inevitably intertwines once more, and they realize they cannot escape the affair they began in the middle of the English summer… but they soon learn not all things were meant to stay hidden.
When Edward’s darkest secret finally sees the light of day, will Jane be able to forgive him, or will she be forced to leave Thornfield forever?


Zenith (The Thornfield Affair #3)
Amity Cross
Release: December 6th 2016

After reuniting with her lover, Jane Doe thought she finally found her place in life.
She has a name, a family and a declaration of love from the enigmatic Edward Rochester, but in a single moment of violence, everything is destroyed. In the aftermath, she’s has no choice but to flee Thornfield if she hopes to save herself from the same darkness that has claimed him.
Alone and afraid, Jane turns to the only person she knows can help, John Rivers. He gladly offers her refuge at his art studio and it is here she hopes to find the way forward into a new life… but Thornfield and the secrets it holds are not done with her yet, and neither is Edward Rochester.
When she comes face to face with the woman who orchestrated her attempted murder, Jane is torn apart by revenge yet again. She’s trapped in a game she does not understand and it’s only the love of the man who wronged her that will save her from making the most fatal mistake of all.
Before all is said and done, Jane must face her feelings and ask herself the ultimate question if she hopes to survive.
Is love enough?

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Wednesday, December 07, 2016 11:14 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
Have you seen the clips from To Walk Invisible yet? Daily Express quotes Sally Wainwright speaking about the production.
“I recently watched the 1970s drama serial about the Brontës, and they all spoke extremely correctly, posh and stiff, as if they’d been to drama school,” she told Radio Times. “Certainly they would have known correct grammar, but they would most definitely have had a Yorkshire accent and used local phrases.
“We’ve got books that have dialect in them, but we don’t know how accurate they are, so I’ve had to be quite inventive with the use of language, because I desperately wanted to get away from making it sound like just another period piece.”
She added: “The BBC approached me about five years ago to do something for the bicentennial of Charlotte’s birth in 1816. They wanted a biopic, and it could have been a full series, but I wanted to focus on the Brontës as mature adults, so I chose the three-year period leading up to Branwell Brontë’s death in 1848.
“The tragic aspect of the Brontës – three of the siblings died within ten months of one another – has always been a draw, but in this film I really didn’t want them to be defined by their deaths.” (Shaun Kitchener)
The Yorkshire Evening Post features The Kings Arms pub in Haworth after its £180,000 renovation.
A traditional pub in the Brontë family’s home village will pay tribute to the literary sisters after undergoing a Victorian makeover. The Kings Arms in Haworth has returned to its 19th-century roots after a major £180,000 renovation project, and will serve a food menu inspired by Charlotte, Emily and Anne’s typical diets in the 1800s. [...]
The pub now boasts Victorian-themed decor, food and drink inspired by the period and a selection of real ales named after the writers. Staff will wear authentic outfits based on 19th-century fashions, including tweed waistcoats. The director of the Kings Arms’s owners the Bridgehouse Pub Company, Andrew Clough, was raised in Haworth, and he has appointed former Airedale Heifer licensee Adrian Hawker as manager. “I know the Kings Arms well and have seen first-hand what great potential it has. It lost its way in recent years but this renovation has taken it back to its roots of being a proper traditional pub for locals and visitors to the village,” said Mr Clough. The Brontë-themed beers will all be brewed locally at the company’s site in Keighley, and the seasonal menu will include wild boar stew and mini Yorkshire puddings. (Grace Newton)
The University Times has an article on Gothic horror.
When discussing gothic romance with PBS’s Charlie Rose in October 2015, actor Tom Hiddleston described it as having “a kind of brewing melancholy that stirs the soul”. Dr. Murphy observed that this was a very educated way of stating the difference between what she classed as a “contained Gothic” and an “original Gothic” – the former describing Crimson Peak and other modern work, the latter in reference to works such as Dracula or Frankenstein. Both of these are Gothic horrors of almost mythical proportions, but what is perhaps most surprising about this topic is to see the likes of Jane Eyre mentioned alongside these titans of horror and literature alike. Murphy explained that Jane Eyre is a Gothic text at heart, with aspects of multiple other genres within it. This could perhaps classify it as a “contained” or “popularized” Gothic text, which is tailored in the more extreme elements and mixed with elements of other genres in order to make it more universally accessible. This ”hybrid Gothic” is the precursor to more modern works of the same nature, most notably the Twilight series of books and films. (Stephen Smith)
The Guardian has an article on UK-China cultural relations and recalls the fact that,
The UK has been using culture as a soft power tool in China for a number of years. This year, for example, the Royal Shakespeare Company embarked on its first major tour of China and the British Library has organised exhibitions with literary treasures such as Shakespeare’s First Folio and Charlotte Bronte’s fair copy manuscript to Jane Eyre. (Mark Brown)
The Irish Times shares a curious tidbit from 1940s Italy:
Another reason for the popularity of Irish theatre in the 1940s was that the publication and/or staging of French and British texts was prohibited by the Italian Copyright Agency on June 6th, 1940. Italian theatres had to find an alternative – and find one they did. As a result of the ban, “English language authors who had hitherto had little or no association with Ireland suddenly began to be presented as Irish”. Such names included Eugene O’Neill, George Kelly from Philadelphia, who rejoiced in an Irish surname, and even Emily Brontë – all were “presented as Irish”. (Catherine Dunne)
12:30 am by M. in , ,    No comments
Some alerts for today, December 7th:

At the University of Huddersfield,
Charlotte Brontë: 200th Anniversary
by Nick Holland, writer and biographer
MHM Public Lectures
Wed 7 December 2016,
Brontë Lecture Theatre at 6.30pm
University of Huddersfield
Queensgate, Huddersfield
HD1 3DH, United Kingdom

How did Charlotte overcome the prejudices of her time? What were the demons that drove Charlotte on, and that nearly destroyed her? Did she really burn a successor to 'Wuthering Heights' and suppress the publication of Anne's greatest novel for ten years, and if so why? We'll take a look at why Charlotte Brontë was such an important writer then, and why she remains so today.
At the Pennsylvania State University,
Penn State Altoona
3000 Ivyside Park, Altoona, PA 16601, USA

Penn State Altoona's English program will offer Senior Seminar presentations on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. in the Fireside Lounge of the Slep Student Center.

1:40 p.m. — Veronica Compton, “To ‘Eyre’ Is to Rebel: The Conflict of Victorian Womanhood in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Tuesday, December 06, 2016 11:26 pm by M. in    1 comment
The BBC has just released four clips and a gallery of pictures of To Walk Invisible, which will be screened next December 29th. Enjoy them:




The Paris Review has a very interesting article on Charlotte Brontë's juvenilia as seen at the Morgan Library's current exhibition, Charlotte Brontë: An Independent Will.
To attempt to pry into the juvenilia—or “hidden works,” as the biographer Claire Harman terms them—of Charlotte Brontë is to encounter a gentle but undeniable refusal. The current exhibition devoted to Brontë’s life and work at the Morgan Library & Museum, drawn largely from its own collections and that of the Brontë Parsonage Museum, allows a few tantalizing glimpses of Brontë’s early writing. Most touching and accessible is her very first extant work, a small book made for her youngest sister “Ane,” who was motherless by her second year and motherless again at age five after the deaths of the family’s two eldest daughters. Open to a page illustrated by a beguiling tiny watercolor of a sailing ship, the book makes clear how early Brontë, then age twelve or so, understood the power of imaginary travel. That travel was very soon denied to adults, for the books that followed are, even when examined with a magnifying glass, virtually unreadable, despite their careful script and wonderfully exact illustrations; they’re simply too tiny for the middle-aged eye, and perhaps for any eye other than that of a Brontë sibling. (Read more) (Cynthia Payne)
A couple of articles on the upcoming (December 29th) broadcast of To Walk Invisible:
The BBC built a life-size replica of the Haworth Parsonage and neighbouring graveyard on Penistone Hill for further location filming.
Indoor filming was carried out in Manchester, on a set painstakingly created with advice on historical accuracy from Brontë Parsonage Museum staff.
Sally Wainwright, writer of popular contemporary dramas like Happy Valley and Last Tango In Halifax, said she had tried to make To Walk Invisible feel as authentic as it could.
She said: “When people watch it I want them to feel that they are transported back in time. It’s not a chocolate box world and I hope it does reflect the real world that they lived in.this
“The primary aim of To Walk Invisible is to entertain people, for people to engage with it as drama and to enjoy it. I hope people will want to go away and know more about the Brontës, read their novels and read Emily’s poetry.
“What’s interesting about the story to a contemporary audience is the domestic situation of the three Brontë sisters.
“The family are living with the alcoholic Branwell, who was very ill. It started in 1845 and goes through to 1848 when he died. The story is really about these three women living with an alcoholic brother and how they start trying to publish."
Jonathan Pryce plays the Rev Patrick Brontë, with Chloe Pirrie, Finn Atkins, Charlie Murphy and Adam Nagaitis playing the Brontë siblings.
Pryce said that even without the Brontë name, To Walk Invisible would still be an exciting and relevant drama.
“Sally focuses on the tensions among the family; it’s about a family who happen to be called Brontë and happen to be very successful authors. It’s not all sweetness and light, it’s quite dark and troubled.” (The Telegraph & Argus)
Love/Hate star Charlie Murphy embarked on a "Brontë bootcamp" for her upcoming BBC role.
The Wexford actor, who played Siobhan in RTE's gangland drama, has a leading part in the BBC's festive film To Walk Invisible, which chronicles the lives of the Brontë sisters.
Murphy will take on the role of Anne, the author of the acclaimed novels Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. (...)
In preparation for the role, Murphy and her co-stars took part in the week-long bootcamp in Haworth, West Yorkshire, the lifelong home of the sisters.
During the course of the bootcamp, the actors learnt how to write with old-fashioned ink pens and were given the opportunity to quiz Juliet Barker, the author of the Brontës' official biography.
It also allowed the actors to form a close bond. (Kirsty Blake Knox in The Irish Independent)
And the US broadcast on March 26:
A New Classic - To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters
This one-night television event tells the true story of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte, who faced a bleak future as a family of unmarried women. Unable to rely on their alcoholic brother or near-blind father to provide for them, they worked as governesses to privileged and often unruly children. This is the story of how — against all odds — their genius for writing romantic novels was recognized in a male-dominated, 19th-century world.
See the new program on Sunday, March 26th, 2017 at 9/8c. Stay tuned for more updates! (PBS Masterpiece)
Incidentally, Anne Brontë is the subject of this article on Impact Magazine:
Many of us are familiar with both Charlotte and Emily Brontë as major literary figures, however Anne is often overlooked and outshone by the success of her sisters. It is likely that you have read or studied Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre at some stage, but why not Agnes Grey or The Tenant of Wildfell Hall? (...)
Although is it fair to say that Anne was the most radical of the Brontë sisters, her presentation of forward-thinking and feminist issues make her a talented author in her own right. During her lifetime and for much time since, Anne has taken a backseat in the literary scene compared to her sisters Emily and Charlotte. However in recent years, literary critics have begun to re-evaluate Anne’s work, raising her novels to the status of classic English texts. Now appears to be the time that Anne receives the reputation she deserves. (Sophie Hunt) 
Another Magazine on Veronique Branquinho's Brontë-inspired fashion designs:
 Veronique Branquinho’s woman is the kind that Charlotte Brontë had in mind when writing Jane Eyre (1847) and Villette (1853): “Fashion for me is a language and I want to tell a story,” says Branquinho. Her most recent collections, she says, have been inspired by the poetry of Emily Brontë and the work of Lewis Carroll, and are true to her cascading, covered-up silhouettes. (...)
Last year’s autumn collection began a creative love affair with Brontë that would inform her next couple of collections. Sweaters, especially, featured a checkerboard intarsia with words from Emily Brontë’s poem I’m Happiest When Most Away. “I took it from a really beautiful book I have called Poems of Solitude,” explains Branquinho. “I think that is part of my women; they’re independent and strong, but at the same time they’re fragile and I can imagine they get lost in romantic fantasies of solitude. It’s not an in-your-face slogan because I like the power of a whisper.” (...)
 A fan of the great romantic novels of the 19th century, it’s unsurprising that Branquinho relishes in life away from the hoi polloi – just like Charlotte Brontë’s heroines. (Osman Ahmed)
Cornell Chronicle talks about a recent talk at the University:
Fiction writer and associate professor of English Ernesto Quiñonez began a recent talk with a plot summary of “a story told by the neighbor.”
“It’s about a reclusive man who lives in a mansion. The man appears to be a gentleman, but his manners are not quite there.” He claims to come from old money, and could be hiding something, Quiñonez said.
“We learn that this man had once been in love with a rich, spoiled, brattish, temper-throwing woman, who actually had been in love with him but did not marry him,” because he lacked social status and education, he said.
The man had disappeared before the story begins, has now returned, and is wealthy – “and his only goal is to take back the love of this woman who had scorned him, had left him, for a richer man.”
Quiñonez then reveals that this story is “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë – though his listeners would be correct to assume it to be F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.
His talk in Goldwin Smith Hall’s English Department Lounge, “The Fingerprints of Influence,” was off and running. (...)
Among the similarities between Brontë’s novel and Fitzgerald’s, he said: “It is interesting to note that in both novels they start at the lawn where these characters live. Brontë’s Mr. Lockwood and Heathcliff could be mistaken for Nick Carraway and Gatsby. And in both novels, Mr. Lockwood and Nick Carraway are pathetic, peripheral, passive narrators. They are not really involved in the story, and are basically outsiders, looking in.” (Daniel Aloi)
The White Horse Theater Company is touring Germany with English-spoken plays (including an adaptation of Jane Eyre by Peter Griffith) to be performed in high schools around.  Lübecker Nachrichten and  Ostsee Zeitung talk about the performances at the Gymnasium Am Tannenberg in Grevesmühlen:
Picture Source: Annett Menke
Jane Eyre ist die Heldin des ersten Romans der englischen Schriftstellerin Charlotte Brontë, veröffentlicht im Jahr 1847. Inzwischen wurde das Buch – das im Original „Jane Eyre - eine Autobiografie“  heißt – schon oft verfilmt. Es wird die Geschichte der Waise Jane Eyre erzählt, die eine harte Zeit im Waisenhaus erlebt, sich später als Gouvernante in ihren Arbeitgeber verliebt – ihn dennoch verlässt, obwohl sie seine Geliebte hätte werden können – und sich alleine durch das Leben schlägt, bis das Schicksal sie und ihren dann blinden Geliebten wieder zusammenführt. Einige der Gymnasiasten kannten den Film, was es ihnen einfacher machte, dem Theaterstück zu folgen. (Annett Meinke) (Translation)
Henley Standard talks about a recent talk organised by the Women's Institute in Grays:
Members were invited to join Val at her home on November 21 to discuss next year’s programme.
Val introduced our speaker, Jane Stubbs, author of Thornfield Hall, in which the classic story of Jane Eyre is retold by the servants from “below stairs”.
To better understand her main character, the housekeeper Mrs Fairfax, Jane showed a dressmaker’s dummy in a replica Victorian dress, which she proceeded to disrobe, layer by layer, down to the corset.
This was “straight-laced” — one tug on the lace and it was undone, hence the term “bodice ripper”.
It was indeed a delightfully light-hearted look at the daily life of women in Victorian times.
School's Week interviews the author Lucy Crehan:
What is your favourite book? (Laura McInerney)
I really like Jane Eyre because it’s a great story. I told it to my friends on a long walk a couple of years ago and it made one of them cry.
Bustle lists literary characters which are, as a matter of fact, terrible people:
4. Cathy Earnshaw
Yeah, Heathcliff is just as bad as Cathy from Wuthering Heights, but at least Heathcliff had a rough childhood that explains some of his behavior. Cathy is just garbage. She loves Heathcliff, but she won't marry him because it would "degrade" her, and then she's furious at him for leaving her?? You are creating all of your own problems, Cathy! Please just date Heathcliff or break up with him, don't keep going back and forth until you die in childbirth and then haunt him forever, that's so rude. (Charlotte Ahlin)
Hello Giggles recommends reads for the holiday season:
 10. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë  (Thebookishpress instagram)
Spoiler alert: This is a very sad novel. But it’s also a novel all about true love and never-ending passion. In the movie The Proposal, Sandra Bullock’s character says she reads this novel every Christmas, and if you’re the right kind of person, you just might start that tradition yourself. (Anna Buckley)
Mental Floss talks about laudanum:
Another famous victim of laudanum addiction was Branwell Brontë, the brother of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne. Together the four siblings shared the same tragic and lonely upbringing, which in the sisters unleashed a creative spark that kindled into some of the greatest works in English literature, including Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Yet Branwell, who seemingly shared the same potential talent as a poet and artist (he created respected juvenilia alongside his sisters), instead descended into alcohol and laudanum dependency, his sensibilities seemingly too delicate to take the constant rejections an artist must endure. Branwell died a penniless addict at 31 years old in 1848, just a year after his sisters’ most famous novels were published. (Claire Cock-Starkey)
SugarScope reviews Claire Eastham's We're all MAD here:
I mean let us analyse this from a literary perspective. David Copperfield was beaten, Jane Eyre was made to stand on a chair with a sign around her neck and Harry Potter? Well he was practically attacked every day! In many ways school could totally be likened to prison. (Lucia Ennis)
Danmarks Radio (Denmark) lists music+literature associations:
I 1847 udgav Emily Brontë under pseudonym sin roman ‘Stormfulde højder’, som i dag er en af engelsk litteraturs store klassikere. I romanen fortælles historien om den forældreløse Heatcliff, som adopteres af familien Earnshaw, og om Heatcliff og hans stedsøster Catherines umulige forelskelse. Mere end 100 år senere udgav sangerinden Kate Bush sangen ’Wuthering Heights’, som er baseret på netop Brontës klassiske værk. Nana Kira Schrøder Rafn) (Translation)
El Colombiano (Colombia) on writers' pseudonyms:
Muy conocido es el caso de las hermanas Brontë, Charlote, Emily y Anne, novelistas y poetas inglesas del siglo diecinueve, que no hallaron otra manera de publicar sus obras, sino con seudónimos masculinos. Y la buscaron. Cuentan que Charlotte envió un poemario suyo a Robert Southey (Ricitos de oro y los tres osos) y recibió esta frase por respuesta: “La literatura no es asunto de mujeres y no debería serlo nunca”.
Charlotte es conocida por su novela Jane Eyre; Emily por Cumbres Borrascosas y Anne por La inquilina de Wildfell Hall. Publicaban como Currer Bell, Ellis Bell y Acton Bell, respectivamente, hasta que estuvieron seguras de que sus obras eran bien recibidas por el público.
Y para darnos cuenta de que en las clasificaciones de la literatura no hay una que se refiera a la que es hecha por hombres y otra la que es hecha por mujeres, sino que hay buena o la mala literatura, recordemos el final de la novela de Emily Brontë. (John Saldarriaga) (Translation)
The Stage describes Sally Cookson's take on Jane Eyre as 'one of the best Brontë adaptions, if not one of the best literary adaptations ever to grace a stage'; Blogs of a Bookaholic reviews Jane Eyre.
11:46 am by M. in , ,    No comments
The Ukranian composer Julia Gomelskaya (1964-2016) has died from a car accident as reported in the local press. Among her numerous chamber and symphonic compositions, she was also the author of a Jane Eyre ballet commissioned in 1997 by the London Children's Ballet (as last performed in 2008):

1997
Choreographer: Pollyanna Buckingham
Composer: Julia Gomelskaya
Original Scenario: Lucille Briance
Costume Design: Elizabeth Gale
Set Design: John West
Lighting Design: John West

2008
Choreographer: Nicole Tongue
Composer: Julia Gomelskaya
Original Scenario: Lucille Briance
Costume Design: Aya Murayama
Set Design: Terry Parsons
Lighting Design: Mark Jonathan
An alert from the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
Charlotte's After Life

A free Tuesday talk
December 06th 2016 02:00pm - 02:30pm

The process of mythologising the Brontës began even before their death, but gathered pace with Gaskell's biography of Charlotte Brontë. This talk looks at the different prisms through which we have viewed Charlotte's life and work, and the reasons our picture of her has altered so much over time.

Free with admission to the Museum.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Monday, December 05, 2016 10:45 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
Author and broadcaster Daisy Goodwin has selected the 'Best books for... living with an alcoholic' for the Daily Mail.
There is nothing new about the effects of alcohol, as Anne Brontë’s classic The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall makes clear. Anne, who had seen the effects of alcohol and opium addiction on her brother Branwell, writes about the alcohol-fuelled cruelty Arthur Huntingdon inflicts upon his wife, Helen.
When she sees her husband is trying to coax their son into joining his drinking games, Helen snaps, and takes her son and goes into hiding, knowing that if her husband finds her he could kill her.
It’s a brilliant study of how a seemingly charming man can turn into a monster under the influence of drink.
According to The Guardian, Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own is number 45 of 'The 100 best nonfiction books'.
Once Woolf has invented Judith Shakespeare, the poet’s sister who eventually kills herself, she can embark on a review of the creative lives of her great predecessors – Jane Austen, George Eliot, and the Brontë sisters, of whom she wrote, that Charlotte Brontë, burnt by rage, died “at war with her lot… young, cramped and thwarted”. (Robert McCrum)
Katzenworld recommends 'Six Off-the-Beaten Track Cat Reads' such as
Le Chat, Emily Brontë (1842)
An essay, written in French while Brontë was studying in Belgium. In it, Brontë defends the cat, stating that their self-reliance is far better than the hypocrisy of humans. Quite. (Marc-André)
The Wire (India) writes 'in defence of critics'.
Once these works are open to free flowing inquiry, the power structures they replicated, espoused and enforced could be questioned. This gave rise to hitherto silenced, marginalised voices. In the process, we gained brilliant rewritings, exhilarating revisions. Entirely new disciplines were born, with their promise of unchartered territories and endless potential. Jean Rhys could challenge the ‘natural’ centrality of a white woman’s story in Jane Eyre in her Wide Sargasso Sea; Chinua Achebe could use a phrase from an Irishman’s poem predicting a Christian apocalypse to tell the story of a Nigerian village threatened by colonisers in Things Fall Apart; Jane Smiley could interrogate the simplistic binaries of good daughter/bad daughter in King Lear to come up with A Thousand Acres, visibilising the structures that sustain gender oppression. These works would not have been possible without scholars and critics who took on revered canonical literature. (Neha Yadav)
On AnneBrontë.org, Nick Holland mentions that he will be giving a lecture on Charlotte Brontë at the newly named Brontë Lecture Theatre in the University of Huddersfield  at 6.30pm and goes on to share '10 Fascinating Facts About Charlotte Brontë'.
12:31 am by M. in ,    No comments
This is arguably one of the most improbable Brontë sightings ever. Guess what magazine you never expected to see Charlotte Brontë mentioned:

Asphalt Pro (December 2016 Issue)

Editor's Letter
Luddites Unite For Sustainability
As a fan of Charlotte Brontë and her novel Shirley, I learned about Luddism through literature, rather than a history class. You can blame that on the sparse education in our public school system or my selective attention span. The point is I guard against technophobia in myself when I sense it, but I also guard against judging technology solely on its wow factor. (Sandy Lender)
(Via Sandy Lender) 

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Sunday, December 04, 2016 11:14 am by M. in , , , , ,    No comments
The Guardian begins the 'best-of-the-year' season with a look back at 2016 in dance:
The best work has come not from youthful next big things, but from seasoned creators. Akram Khan gave us Until the Lions and his reimagining of Giselle (for English National Ballet), both darkly resonant pieces. Cathy Marston’s Jane Eyre for Northern Ballet, Richard Alston’s An Italian in Madrid and Michael Clark’s to a simple, rock’n’roll… song represented very different genres of dance, but were all the result of rigorous and fine-tuned process. (Luke Jennings)
Fiona MacDonald selects love letters for BBC Culture:
Charlotte Brontë to Professor Constantin Héger, 18 November 1844

It’s not the words alone that speak to us. “Some of the physical items have a story to tell on their own,” Clarke tells BBC Culture. “There’s an item that was torn up and then sewn together, or just the addition of a doodle, or you can see that some documents have been through the wars.” One of the most fragile letters in the collection was ripped up and thrown away by its recipient. While studying languages at a boarding school in Brussels run by Professor Constantin Héger and his wife, Charlotte Brontë became infatuated with her teacher. After returning to England, she wrote several letters to him – but he discarded them all. “Incredibly four of her letters have survived,” writes Clarke. “Curiously, it is thanks to his wife – who retrieved them from the waste paper basket and sewed them back together – that we are privy to their content today.”
As Clarke points out, Brontë’s stitched-together missives offer us a glimpse into the mind of the novelist. “The letters are deeply poignant and reveal the extent of Charlotte’s passionate feelings for the professor, her desire to see him, her despair at his silence and ultimately her resigned desolation and sense of rejection – emotions that she would later pour into Jane Eyre and Villette.”
The Sunday Times on creating your personal library:
Starting a collection is easy, says Simona Lyons, the bibliotherapist at the School of Life, in central London. In fact, the odds are that you already have. “Select books to mark significant moments in your life — a childhood favourite in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, or Jane Eyre for a coming-of-age story,” Lyons suggests. (Rebecca Myers)
In The Sunday Times, Richard Myers explores the story behind any scent with old fashioned clichés. If you use old romantic perfumes...
Currently reading Wuthering Heights (again). Dream dinner guest Ernest Hemingway or Dame Barbara Cartland.
TV Wise reminds us of the UK premiere date for To Walk Invisible:
BBC One’s one-off Brontë drama To Walk Invisible will premiere on Thursday December 29th at 9pm, it has been announced.
To Walk Invisible revolves around Charlotte, Anne and Emily’s increasingly difficult relationship with their brother Branwell, who in the last three years of his life – following a tragically misguided love affair – sank into alcoholism, drug addiction and appalling behaviour. (Patrick Munn)
A Younger Theatre reviews Her Aching Heart as performed in The Hope Theatre in London:
The set-up is a fun twist on gothic novels ranging from Wuthering Heights to Rebecca: the love story at its heart is between an aristocratic lady (Colette Eaton) and a local peasant girl (Naomi Todd). (Fred Maynard)
A Brontë reference in this recipe found in The Kankakee Daily Journal:
I might have gleaned the idea for this dish from watching Jamie Oliver's old series, "Jamie At Home." I loved watching Oliver working in his potager (garden), pulling fresh veggies and firing up his outdoor ovens and grills, to turn them into something delectable only minutes after they were plucked from the soil.
Oliver's garden was so rural, rustic and complete, with chickens, veggie patches, fruit trees and a kitchen right out of a Brontë novel. (Deb Terrill)
News Corp Australia Network on weather:
Weather is not just a metaphor for life — stormy spells, long periods of sunshine — it is life. How many of your best memories involve an eccentricity of the weather? How many treasured movies and novels lodge forever in your mind because the wind or the rain or the sunshine not just sets the story but inhabits it? Think of the tornado in The Wizard of Oz, the rain scene when Andy Dufresne finally finds freedom in The Shawshank Redemption, the wind in Wuthering Heights, the snow in Dr Zhivago. (Angela Mollard)
António Sousa remembers in Correio da Manhã (Portugal) how
Ao contrário de quase todo o País, Dona Ester, minha mãe, não via vantagens no sentimentalismo dos poetas românticos. Também contra o que era hábito nas senhoras daquele tempo, que liam romances mais ou menos morais, consagrados à família, ao casamento e aos dramas da educação dos filhos, Dona Ester, minha mãe, era leitora de Cesário Verde – que ela considerava poder ter sido um antídoto para várias gerações, caso fosse estudado nas escolas – e conservava o discreto mau hábito de folhear Jane Austen (por snobismo, gostava de ‘Mansfield Park’) e preferia Charlotte (a de ‘Jane Eyre’) a Emily Brontë (a de ‘O Monde dos Vendavais’). (Translation)
Bongdanet (Vietnam) alerts of the broadcast today of Jane Eyre 2011 on K+NSIf Mermaids Wore Suspenders explores time in Jane Eyre;
1:08 am by M. in ,    No comments
Auditions for an amateur production of Polly Teale's Brontë in Summertown, Oxford:
Thistledown Theatre
Sunday, December 4 at 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM UTC
Summertown United Reformed Church
294a Banbury Road, Summertown, OX2 7ED Oxford, United Kingdom

Brontë is the story of the Brontë sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne and their brother Branwell. It explores the claustrophobic environment and familial relationships which shaped the Brontë's well-known works, especially Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre.
Performances will take place in the Old Library of the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin 22nd-25th March and 29th-31st March and 1st April.
All are welcome to audition; no parts have been pre-cast.

Cast

Charlotte Brontë (20s-30s)
The strongest (and eventual survivor) of the trio of sisters. Author of Jane Eyre.
Emily Brontë (20s-30s)
Longs to be alone, free. Author of Wuthering Heights (and of another book, burned by Charlotte after her death?)
Anne Brontë (20s-30s)
Dutiful; as the play begins she is returning from her latest post as a governess. Of the three, Anne is the most concerned with the changing political and economic situation in the wider world. Author of the Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
Mrs Rochester/Bertha (20s-50s)
The maligned mad wife of Jane Eyre and an extension of Charlotte's inner self. This is likely to be a very physical part.
Cathy (20s)
Heroine of Wuthering Heights and a figment of Emily's imagination throughout the play.
Branwell Brontë (20s-30s)
A dissolute and drunken failed writer. Envious of his sisters; sad about his own lack of success.
Patrick Brontë (late 40s-60s)
The patriarch; a minister. He outlasts his wife and all his children.
Other parts to be played by the Company:
Arthur Huntingdon, Heathcliff, Arthur Bell Nicholls, Rochester, Mr. Heger (any age)
Rehearsals will take place two-three times per week (Sunday-Wednesday) from January. There will likely be a read-through before Christmas. Please come to the auditions with an idea of your availability.
Auditions will consist of cold readings. There is no need to prepare anything. Please plan to arrive at 6.30 and stay for at least an hour.
If you are unable to attend the audition, please contact us. We are very happy to make arrangements to see you separately at another time in the weeks on either side of the audition date.
Recalls will be by invitation only on 12th December.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

The North Jersey Record talks about the Brontë200 celebrations in Haworth, NJ:
Charlotte Brontë got a 200th birthday celebration at the Haworth Library, which included readings, historical discussions and movies dedicated to the author of "Jane Eyre."
Haworth draws its name from the English hometown of the literary Brontë sisters. According to the borough's web site, Haworth, which incorporated in 1904, dates its name to 1872. John S. Sauzade, a New York author and railroad man named the borough "Haworth" in honor of one of his favorite author's hometowns.
Haworth's tribute, "Brontë Week," includes a reading of the entire book aloud in the library by volunteers and via Skype from Haworth, England. Events, which kicked off Nov. 27, will run through Sunday. The book reading, which began Friday, is expected to take 22 to 24 hours, with overnight breaks. In addition to the readings, the library also is showing several Brontë-themed movies, including versions of "Jane Eyre."
"It's a great way to share with our sister city across the pond the passion that we have for books as a wholesome form of entertainment," Mayor John Smart said Friday, pointing out the use of 21st century technology to share a 19th century story. (Marc Lightdale)
Check the Friends of the Haworth Library Facebook Wall for updates on the readathon. By the way the readers of chapter one were no others than the Brontë Parsonage staff at the Parsonage Library.

The manuscript edition of Jane Eyre published by Éditions des Saint Pères is the subject of this article in Newsweek:
Now ready to take Britain by storm is Brontë’s manuscript of Jane Eyre , which offers rare insight into the author’s world. Brontë’s prose is clear, with only occasional modifications. She sometimes strikes out words, proposes others, circles a sentence she doesn’t like and replaces it with another carefully crafted option. Nelson explains that at the time Brontë wrote Jane Eyre, her earlier work, The Professor , had been turned down by several publishers. “One can imagine that’s why she took extra care in her choice of words and style. It is probably the last draft before publication; you can see how much of a perfectionist she was.”
The book itself has the quality of a work of art. “The ink, the paper, the cover, the fact that they are all crafted by hand in limited editions makes the experience all the more intimate,” says Nelson. It takes a certain set of skills to produce Éditions des Saints-Pères books and so the publisher works with a company who specializes in restoring old films—such as Jean Cocteau’s 1946 movie La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and the Beast)—who have experience handling delicate materials. (Claire Toureille)
The Telegraph & Argus on the last time the Red House Museum will celebrate Christmas:
Dressing the house for Christmas will be a poignant occasion for the Friends of Red House.
Since the museum in Oxford Road, Gomersal, opened to the public in 1980 staff have literally trimmed the halls with boughs of holly and other foliage they find in the gardens to give visitors an insight into Christmas past.
This year though the celebrations will be tinged with sadness as it will be the final time the house will be decked up for Christmas since its closure to the public, on December 21, was announced as part of the budget cuts.
However, despite the disappointment the museum is closing, the Friends of Red House are determined their forthcoming Christmas event, on Sunday December 11, will be a happy occasion.
On Thursday, (December 8), the dressing of the house will begin to help re-create the Christmas past as it would have been enjoyed when the Taylor family lived there.
The Southern Daily Echo is excited about the fact that the National Theatre's production of Jane Eyre (which is qualified as 'superlative' in The Stage) will tour the UK next year, including Southampton:
The National Theatre will be touring Sally Cookson’s energetic and imaginative new adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece Jane Eyre and is coming to Mayflower Theatre from Monday 8- Saturday 13 May 2017.
This is a very significant time to be announcing the tour, as 2016 marks the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth and 2017 is the 170th anniversary of when Jane Eyre was first published.
This exciting new stage version of Jane Eyre was originally presented in two parts at Bristol Old Vic, and then transferred to the National Theatre, re-imagined as a single performance, playing to sold out houses at the NT’s Lyttelton Theatre. Casting for the production is yet to be announced. (Hilary Porter)
Kate Bush, a tory? So? Financial Times and Caitlin Moran in The Times comment on it:
The whole point about Bush is that she has never played by the rules. She doesn’t care about fashion or what other people think (otherwise she could never have made that first, ineffably weird “Wuthering Heights” video, let alone released that godawful album The Dreaming). (James Delingpole)
Geoff Norcott in The Independent says:
Kate Bush fans could take heart from the possibility she might have been left-wing when she wrote some of the soundtrack of their lives. Maybe she should come out and give a discography in which she underlines her political state of mind at each point.
Wuthering Heights – Marxist Feminist
The New Yorker has an article about Stevie Nicks:
By 1983, Nicks was ready to make another record. Her relationship with Iovine was strained, but Nicks asked him to produce the record anyway. “The Wild Heart” is inspired in part by the unravelling of that relationship, and in part by her mourning for Anderson. Nicks frequently cites as a guiding influence for the recording sessions the 1939 film adaptation of Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights,” which depicts an undying, almost fiendish love. Mostly, the songs are about bucking against the circumstances that separate us from the people we need. (Amanda Petrusich)
Which brings us again to Kate Bush, via The Prosen People:
In January 1978—half a decade before Stevie Nicks reunited with her ex-lover and Bella Donna producer Jimmy Iovine to put The Wild Heart together—a doe-eyed adolescent crooned her eerie debut through a thick brunette mop of bangs, instantly taking the British music scene by storm. No one knew what to make of Kate Bush, a soft-spoken young woman who blushed shyly through interviews and then walloped the airwaves with her hyper-stylized siren’s call, wailing to Heathcliff at the window in her first released single.
Perhaps it is not surprising that the difficult story of Wuthering Heights speaks so directly to songwriters: the saga of Cathy and Heathcliff is, of course, about the the potency of love and its potential to simultaneously drive and incapacitate those who plunge headlong into its deepest, darkest depths. It’s a story of self-destruction and despair—is there any romance that hasn’t been to some degree beleaguered by both? If music is supposed to express the core experiences and emotions of the human condition, “shouting ‘Cathy’ and banging your head against a tree,” as Helen Fielding would put it, is probably a good starting point for translating the inner turmoil of thwarted or unrequited devotion.
“It was perfect material for a song,” Bush shared in one of her earliest interviews. “It was so passionate and full of impact. And I read the book,” she is quick to add. “Yeah, I read the book before I wrote the song, because I needed to get the mood properly.”
The original inspiration for the song had come many years earlier, when Bush caught the last couple minutes of television miniseries adaptation of Brontë’s masterpiece. She couldn’t have been older than ten years old at the time, but the image of Cathy haunting the windows of Thrushcross Grange captivated Bush, swirling around her imagination for the next decade of her life until she released “Wuthering Heights” in that uncanny voice over the keys of a Grand piano.
Or The Irish Times:
A sense of being apart from the era has always been crucial to the appeal for Bush’s fans. Nobody much expected Wuthering Heights in the post-punk era. She’s never been part of any zeitgeist. (Donald Clarke)
The Upcoming reviews the Off-West End production Her Aching Heart:
This tongue-in-cheek, bodice-ripping musical is superbly fun. In a pastiche of the Mills and Boon genre it follows the lesbian love affair of an aristocrat and a simple country girl. It’s a gothic romance more comparable with Blackadder than Brontë. There is no subtly; at times the script feels like a succession of increasingly more elaborate innuendos. (Georgie Cowan-Turner)
The San Francisco Chronicle reviews the novel The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride:
The damaged older man and the lonely, hurt, intelligent girl who loves and saves him has been a trope since at least “Jane Eyre.” Unlike McBride’s first book, in which familiar subject matter was interpreted anew through the stuttering, circular form of the language, here McBride can’t quite escape the cliche. Her lyricism still scatters light across the page, and her fragmented style hammers you with immediacy, but the story falls prey to nostalgia and wishful thinking. (Marthine Satris)
Read It Forward lists 25 authors on the best books they've ever received:
Olivia Sudjic: Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
I began with a beautiful blue Virago edition of Jean Reese (sic)’s Wide Sargasso Sea, and was electrified. As Reese (sic)’s Antoinette and Jane Eyre’s Bertha began to fuse in my mind, connecting an old favorite novel with a new one, the initial electrical jolt turned into a mixture of rage, wonder, and self-reproach for having put the experience off for so long.
Bustle speculates on Westworld (warning, some spoilers ahead):
Charlotte's about the right age, would likely be invested in the park as a member of his family. Now, the Man in Black did tell Teddy that his daughter's name is Emily. He also told Teddy that the "Big Bad" Wyatt had kidnapped Dolores, which just isn't true. He's manipulating Teddy and only letting the host know exactly what he wants him to. If he knew that Charlotte was on the premises and could interrupt his mission at any time, it's possible that he could have lied about her name to keep people in the park from knowing their relationship. Maybe the Man in Black is a Brontë sister fan. (Leah Thomas)
Bleeding Cool and Den of Geek! discuss the origins of fandom:
Fandom has been around for a lot longer than people realize, even in that way that goes beyond mild interest and towards those deeper fascinations that tend to spawn related activities. Charlotte and Emily Brontë wrote stories as children in the 1830s that we’d think of as fan fiction today. (Mark Seifert)
Fanfiction has always been a thing. From The Great Game to Wide Sargasso Sea to Spockanalia, fans have long been inspired to become creators in the fictional worlds they love. Fandom as we now know it, however, is a more modern development. (Kaytl Burt)
A curious initiative in Donostia (Spain). El Kolmado has a way of vindicating a reduced VAT for culture products like other basic products: Jane Eyre as a peas and carrots jar (via EFE).

Letralia (in Spanish) lists several Paris literary associations:
Jean Rhys vagaba por París en los años treinta. En Ancho mar de los Sargazos nos contó quien era la mujer metida en el desván por su marido en Jane Eyre. Por qué esa mujer que representaba la vibración y la sensualidad del Caribe acabó loca en un desván de Londres a causa de la frialdad de su marido. Y ella misma unía la vibración del Caribe con esa vibración interminable de París a través de los siglos. (Antonio Costa Gómez) (Translation)
Vijesti (Montenegro) discusses the films of William Wyler:
Kao što je i ponudio hrabru l'amour fou interpretaciju u Wuthering Heights (Orkanski visovi, 1939), gdje impresivno korištenje pejzaža ima metonimijski potencijal, naročito kada se Heathcliff (Laurence Olivier) povezuje sa prirodom. (Aleksandar Bečanović) (Translation)
Babbling Books and Delicious Reads reviews Wuthering Heights. Vull Escriure (in Catalan) selects Jane Eyre for its call for writing. Broadside Blog posts about Charlotte Brontë's dress as shown at the Morgan Library in New York.
1:08 am by M. in ,    No comments
The world of the horror (Brontë) mash-up has a new addition. This time, it's not a Brontë character who is reused/reimagined/exploited (use what you prefer) but the Brontës themselves:
Anne Brontë Nightwalker: A Brontë Blood Chronicle (Brontë Blood Chronicles) (Volume 1)
by Gea Haff
Paperback: 322 pages
Publisher: Firefox Press; 1 edition (November 4, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0997795301

In 1849, Anne Brontë died a devout and innocent virgin. Three days later, she rose from the dead. Now from the jagged wilderness of the Blue Ridge Mountains, to a glittering lair deep beneath the Biltmore Estate, a lonely Nightwalker fights her eternal hunger as she strives for salvation amidst temptation and blood. Gea Haff weaves Brontë biography through this modern gothic tale in Book One of the Brontë Blood Chronicles. For mysterious reasons, Asheville Paramedic Anne Bell never lays down ties and only works the night shift. Deputy Santos knows she's not normal. The new ER doc watches her like a wolf. And the handsome Professor Hardcastle, a Brontë scholar, is on the verge of discovering her true identity. Then just as love blooms in Anne's bloody world, her long-lost sister Emily suddenly arrives, resurrecting memories and bringing her own feral brand of violence to this snow-draped mountain town. Anne's going to need all the help she can get. A vicious Alpha predator circles nearby, feasting on the innocent, and he won't stop until securing his greatest prize: Anne Brontë, Nightwalker.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Here's a lesson on how you should read everything carefully when going to an exhibition and then tweeting about it. Also a lesson on how to go 'viral' by posting something that's not actually real. We have read the following article in Metro, which also gets points for not checking information gleaned online:
But however goth you think you were, Charlotte Brontë (the one who wrote Jane Eyre, not the one who wrote Wuthering Heights) has got you beat, because she literally repaired her shoes with the actual honest to God hair of her dead siblings.
We sh*t you not.
The museum caption, which is pretty blase about this incredible fact, reads ‘long walks over damp ground caused damage to Charlotte’s mourning shoes which she meticulously repaired with the hair of her departed siblings. A sprig of heather, symbolising solitude, is believed to have been stitched with Emily’s hair.’
To be fair, what else is one supposed to do when one’s mourning shoes spring a hole?
Maybe it’s morbid, but we’re quite impressed with Charlie’s needlework skills. Embroidering a sprig of heather using hair can not be easy.
At last look the tweet had over 13,000 likes which (probably) makes them the most popular Victorian mourning shoes on the internet. (Rebecca Reid)
This all comes from this tweet:


The tweet is truly popular and as @bookwitchsara reports it's been liked and retweeted by people like Lin-Manuel Miranda (the staff of the Brontë Parsonage Museum would welcome him at the museum while he's in the UK).

Brontëites with common sense as well as visitors to the Charlotte Great & Small exhibition at the Brontë Parsonage Museum with the ability to read captions properly and understand what they are seeing are rolling their eyes by now. For everybody else, here's a couple of tweets by the same user after receiving an enlightining reply by artist Serena Patridge:

@bookwitchsara has pinned the following tweet at the top of her timeline:
And today's cautionary tale in a nutshell is: think before you tweet!

Anyway, onto real things now. The Boston Globe interviews writer Alice Hoffman about books:
BOOKS: What books have had a big effect on you?
HOFFMAN: Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights” was extremely important to me. So was reading Toni Morrison for the first time. When I read Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” that was the first time I felt my mind blow open. I thought that book was speaking to me. I was 12 or 13 when I read that. I read everything on my mother’s bookshelves. I read Betty Smith’s “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” all of Shirley Jackson’s books, which I loved. I read “The Group” by Mary McCarthy. It had tons of sex in it, or so I thought at the time. (Amy Sutherland)
Another bookish interview, to Anna Kendrick, in The New York Times:
What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors stick with you most?More serious than I am now. The year I turned 12, I read “The Crucible,” “Jane Eyre” and “The Great Gatsby,” and after I finished each one I was beside myself with rage. Abigail Williams and Daisy Buchanan never get their comeuppance, and Jane never gets to go off (Jerry Springer style) on the Reed family? I’m still mad about it.
The Telegraph has writer Stephenie Meyer recommend a few books and among them is
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. My favorite protagonist. She has a harsh beginning and a limited future but she has integrity.
The Seattle Times has already selected the best books of 2016 and one of them is
Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart” by Claire Harman (Knopf). There have been many biographies of Charlotte Brontë over the years, but Harman’s had this dyed-in-the-wool Brontë fan mesmerized: the details of life at Haworth are told with an almost cinematic vividness, and the excerpts from Brontë’s recently published letters add a moving intimacy. (Moira Macdonald)
Deadline gives the date for the American broadcast of To Walk Invisible:
On March 26 a Masterpiece special, The Brontës: To Walk Invisible, chronicles how Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë’s genius for writing romantic novels was, recognized in a male-dominated 19th-century world. [...]
MARCH ON PBS: [...]
The Brontës: To Walk Invisible” on MASTERPIECE – Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë, all unmarried, faced a bleak future. Unable to rely on their alcoholic brother or near-blind father to provide for them, they worked as governesses to privileged and often unruly children. This is the story of how — against all odds — their genius for writing romantic novels was recognized in a male-dominated, 19th-century world. Sunday, March 26, 9-11 p.m. ET (Lisa de Moraes)
Keighley News shares the programmed walks in the area for the Christmas season and Adventure Travel Magazine includes a 'Brontë walk' on its selection of '9 of the best winter hikes in the UK'.
3. BRONTË WALK, HAWORTH, YORKSHIRE DALES
Calling all literacy fans, this one’s for you. Haworth is notorious for its association with the Brontë sisters who lived their short but fruitful lives within the village, where they wrote outstanding literacy works, keeping the Haworth Moors popular in the centuries to come. However, the Brontë Walk has a lot to offer, even if you’re not a fan of the literature.
The walk takes you out of Haworth, towards the Brontë waterfalls and infamous Top Withens – the supposed setting of Wuthering Heights. In the winter months, the purple moorland will be covered in a sheet of overwhelming white, with a chilling atmosphere that can be warmed with a post-walk visit at a Haworth pub. (Sophie Goodall)
As you probably know, Tracy Chevalier is doing a Brontë calendar on Twitter, opening a new window each day at 2 pm GMT. Here's yesterday's lovely start: