Saturday, August 27, 2016

St John in the Wilderness at the Kirklees and Calderdale Brontë Group

On Saturday, August 27, 2016 at 1:03 am by M. in    No comments
An alert from the Kirklees and Calderdale Brontë Group:
Mirfield Library.
Tuesday 30th August at 2pm,

Guest author Alan Titterington to have a book signing of his book St John in the Wilderness. One of Alan's ancestors had a connection with Charlotte Bronte's brother Branwell.

All are welcome. Are you interested in literature, social history, art, music, the Brontës and other writers? Meet other people with the same interest. Brontë descendants of Charlotte's cousins to be involved.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Peter Wilby from the New Statesman visited Haworth a few days ago:
The Brexit vote and the subsequent fall in sterling’s value has led, it is reported, to a sharp increase in tourism. I thought of this as we struggled through people crammed into the excellent Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, West Yorkshire, the other day. Haworth is a tiny village (population 6,379) that was so poor two centuries ago that raw sewage ran down the main street. Now, it has created a flourishing industry from being the place where the Brontës’ novels were written.
BBC4's Woman's Hour has a discussion of Wide Sargasso Sea, celebrating its 50th anniversary:
Love and betrayal and madness: it's 50 years since Jean Rhys' masterpiece Wide Sargasso Sea was published. It tells the story of the first Mrs Rochester, the madwoman in the attic of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. Dr Laura Fish, senior lecturer in creative writing at Northumbria University and author Julia Rochester talk about the novel and its impact.
The List reviews the Dyad Production's Jane Eyre. An Autobiography as seen at the Edinburgh Fringe:
Sole performer Rebecca Vaughan pours her soul into making Jane an emotionally sympathetic hero for the audience to follow, and while her rendering of the supporting cast is sometimes less nuanced (Rochester only ever seems to growl or bellow; the peasantry is caricatured as a set of ee-by-gum yokels), they're at least distinct and easily recognised. Writer / director Elton Townend-Jones has done a good job of condensing the novel into 90 gripping minutes, and the staging – an off-white backdrop and couch, transformed by lighting cues – is elegantly simple. (Niki Boyle)
RTÉ informs that Happy Valley will have a third season and mentions something about Sally Wainwright's To Walk Invisible:
The cast of Happy Valley also includes Rebellion's Charlie Murphy as police officer Ann Gallagher. The Love/Hate star recently reunited with Wainwright for an upcoming one-off drama about the Brontë sisters for BBC One, To Walk Invisible. Murphy plays the youngest sister, Anne, with the biopic telling the story of how Anne - author of the acclaimed novels Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - and sisters Emily and Charlotte came from obscurity to become literary icons.
The Irish Times has advice for book clubs:
Another theme which emerges, perhaps unsurprisingly, is wine.
“Book club without wine would be Heathcliff without Cathy, Oscar minus Lucinda, Holden without his ducks in Central Park,” says Helen McClements. (Freya McClements)
Sparknotes's SparkLife has a couple of questions for your English class:
14. Why was Heathcliff such a tool? (...)
17. Could Emily Brontë have possibly come up with a LESS euphonic name than Thrushcross Grange? (Elodie)
MyRepública reviews the Classical Comics' Wuthering Heights version:
A favorite book of many readers, this classic tale of wild, passionate and intense love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff is presented as a full-color graphic novel, featuring beautiful hand-painted watercolor art work. The traditional approach taken to the art in this book creates a wonderful sensory experience that is certain to engage any reader. Another positive here is the fact that the graphic novel stays true to the original novel. It utilizes all the authentic text and dialogue. This graphic novel was specifically designed to encourage readers to enjoy classical literature. They also offer alternative text versions to cater for different readership levels.
Bustle on books to share with the ones you love:
And I just recently gave my boyfriend a copy of Jane Eyre, just in case he turns out to have a secret wife hidden in the attic. (Charlotte Ahlin)
The Guardian reviews the pilot episode of I Love Dick, based on the Chris Kraus novel, created by Jill Soloway:
Soloway has called Kraus’s book “the invention of the female gaze”. It’s a puzzling sort of compliment. I Love Dick was published in 1997. If it “invented” the female gaze, what were the Brontës and Virginia Woolf up to? I Love Dick’s real innovation was to make the intellectual thrills of feminist criticism the engine of a novel – and to heighten that novel’s reality through Chris’s pursuit of pleasure. (Judy Berman)
Vogue on the new season of BBC's Poldark:
The latter gave the directors ample opportunity to focus on their hero’s more desirable attributes – there was, for instance, the moment Ross set his scythe to his crops in the hot sun, his bare muscled chest oiled and flexed, Heathcliff-style locks framing his lion-like features. Not forgetting, too – and how could we? – the sun-drenched naked sea swimming scene. (Emily Sheffield)
South Coast Register talks about a local school program for encouraging students to read:
He said the students get to choose from thousands of titles, many of which are included on the Premier’s Reading Challenge list.
“The children choose what they want,” he said.
“We could give them all a Jane Eyre and make them read it but they probably won’t enjoy it and won’t want to read again.
“We need to make reading and literacy fun and enjoyable. (Robert Crawford)
Well, we hope that some of them will choose Jane after all.
iNews's subject is rom-coms:
It made me think about Wuthering Heights. OK, not a rom-com, but bear with me. Heathcliff is the wild outsider who liberates Cathy and shows her she has a dark side. But in the end she marries boring, solid, wealthy Edgar. She refuses to leave her comfort zone. That’s why they end up miserable. In the screwballs, the heroines are Heathcliff. (But without all the tiresome bashing of heads into trees and gnashing of teeth. And definitely without hanging puppies.) They drag the men into chaos, and the chaos is the relationship. Because love has to be a bit chaotic, it has to be a bit messy. (Samantha Ellis)
Wuthering Heights features on a list of maternal childbirth death featured in novels on Project-Syndicate; Fernweh's Call posts about Villette.
12:57 am by M. in , ,    No comments
An extraordinary concert will take place next September 17 at Elizabeth Gaskell's House in Manchester:Saturday, September 17, 2016 - 19:00
Concert: Love, Loss and Longing

As part of our Brontë200 season, join us for a programme exploring love, loss and longing in the life and work of Charlotte and Emily Brontë, through music and the spoken word.
The centrepiece of the concert will be the world premiere of Robin Walker’s Letter to Brussels, a setting of Charlotte Brontë’s passionate letters to Constantin Heger, her tutor in Brussels, performed by soprano Lesley-Jane Rogers.
Emily Brontë's poetry will complement Charlotte's texts, in anticipation of her own bicentenary in 2018, and we will hear work by contemporary poet Edwin Stockdale.  This is also a rare opportunity to hear the song cycle of six Emily Brontë poems by John Joubert, and the premiere of Robin Walker’s song setting of her poem Self-Interrogation.
The performance will take place in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Drawing Room, where Charlotte visited her dear friend (and biographer) on several occasions.

Featuring Lesley-Jane Rogers, Soprano
Janet Simpson, Piano
Suzanne Casey, violin
Philip Watts and Edwin Stockdale, Readings

Letter to Brussels  for soprano and piano by Robin Walker 
Six Poems of Emily Brontë  for soprano and piano by John Joubert
Self-Interrogation  for soprano, violin and piano by Robin Walker 
Poems by Edwin Stockdale
Readings of Charlotte and Emily Brontë's poetry
Pamela Nash, Artistic Director on Elizabeth Gaskell's House, has more information about this unmissable event:
Charlotte Brontë: contemporary visions of her love and troubled genius expressed through the power of music and the spoken word

Manchester's exciting Bicentenary contribution will centre on Elizabeth Gaskell's House. This unique concert experience is of both national and regional significance: commemorating the genius of the author's work through contemporary re-interpretation in music and poetry and featuring two world premieres, it brings to light not only the power of her genius but also the condition of suppression in the lives of Victorian women, including that of Emily Brontë, whose work is also celebrated in the theme of unattainable love.
Robin Walker has written a commemorative song setting entitled “Letter to Brussels” based on the letters of Charlotte's unrequited love for Constantin Heger, and this will be the centrepiece, to be featured alongside settings of Emily Brontë by living composer John Joubert and by a further premiere by Robin Walker – also of Emily's poetry – and complemented by the Brontë-inspired poetry of young North West poet Edwin Stockdale and by the poet Philip Watts. The musicians, all highly experienced proponents of contemporary music, are the soprano Lesley-Jane Rogers, pianist Janet Simpson and violinist Suzanne Casey.

The composer Robin Walker is recognised as a giant of British contemporary music, and along with John Joubert (the other living composer on the programme), has a particular affinity with the work of both Brontë sisters. Like them, Walker's own compositional processes are founded in an instinctual response to both discipline and passion, and it is the meeting of these elements which forms the equilibrium in his new song ”Letter to Brussels” for soprano and piano. Whereas Elizabeth Gaskell, as a Victorian biographer, was constrained to avoid the more compromising circumstances in the life of her subject (she omitted reference to the tyranny of religious and social prejudice which dogged the Brontë women, as well as the perceived 'shame' of Charlotte's rejected attempts to win romantic affection), Walker, in his contemporary role, has sought to reveal that which Charlotte was so desperate to expostulate. By exposing the conflict within her inner life - her rage at unrequited love for an unattainable man and also her desperate need to escape the stifling Protestantism and patriarchy of her father - the composition will bring a new resonance to the 'missing' elements from the biography, yet in the very place in which it was written. The poignancy of this association will be certain to heighten audience awareness of a part of her creative genius and life experience which can most powerfully be expressed through the re-interpretation of her words through music of the highest calibre.

Walker's second premiere, “Self-Interrogation”, for soprano, violin and piano, similarly explores the common themes of despair and lost love and is the one remaining unperformed song in a series of Emily Brontë settings which lead you from hope-of-love to despair-and-death: the condition of Emily's life in a nutshell, also the ideal companion piece to illustrate the absolute contemporary relevance of the Brontë sisters' work to us today through a modern voice, and in anticipation of the upcoming Brontë 200 commemorations of Emily's birth.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thursday, August 25, 2016 11:00 pm by M. in ,    No comments
The Brazilian Dona Mirna Cia. de Teatro is performing an adaptation of Wuthering Heights in São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil:
O Morro dos Ventos UivantesAdapted by Clau Siqueira
Directed by  Mayla Fernandes

With Alexandre Proença, Clau Siqueira, Fernanda França, Mayla Fernandes, Luiz Fernando Oglou, Verena Cervera e Vinicius Ramos.

Teatro Elis Regina (rua João Firmino, 900, Assunção, São Bernardo)
August 5, 12, 26 at 20:30h

Previously the production was performed in São Paulo:
Teatro do Ator, May 27, 8pm
Teatro Elis Regina, May 18, 7:30pm
Teatro ETA, April 16, 7pm
More information on ABCD Maior
Yorkshire Post interviews playwright Linda Marshall Griffiths, author of the Villette adaptation that will open next month in Leeds at the West Yorkshire Playhouse's Brontë Season:
Villette was penned by Charlotte Brontë in 1853. It’s set in that same period and is widely regarded as her other masterpiece. Like Jane Eyre it’s a story about loneliness, yearning and the redemptive power of love. My stage adaptation is about those themes too, but instead of the 19th century this production of that ground-breaking novel will be set in a ravaged near future. Linda Marshall Griffiths who has adapted Villette for West Yorkshire Playhouse.
There will always be some who believe these classics of English literature should never be tampered with, but there is I think good reason for fast-forwarding the action a couple of hundred years. In the novel so much is withheld and Lucy Snowe is perhaps Charlotte Brontë’s most enigmatic heroine. On stage I needed to find a way to show what is hidden in the novel. (...)
Charlotte was writing falteringly after the death of both her sisters Emily and Anne. Somehow their presence although never acknowledged haunts Villette. Lucy’s backstory is never explored (she was advised not to include it as it may be too autobiographical) but we know she longs for those unnamed others.
This was my starting place. What if I allowed that back-story into the novel? What if those two sisters were allowed to raise their heads in the play?
Then I began thinking about who the invisible woman is now? Or in the future. Who would be that workforce that did the jobs no-one wanted to do, who were easily disposable? I began thinking of clones created like worker-ants, identical and made purely to work. What if Lucy was a single clone surviving a pandemic that had killed her identical sisters?
Holding fast to the story and characters I moved the setting of Villette onto an archaeological dig in the future. Lucy attempts to flee her past to become part of team looking for the bones of the Lady of Villette – a survivor herself she may hold the key to an ebola-like virus.
Keighley News announces the return to Haworth of the Jumble and Pearls family fair next November:
The fairs, now in their second year, will be at the Old School Room alongside the parish church, on September 4 and November 6. (...)
The latest ‘pop-up’ fairs are being organised to tie in with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charlotte Brontë this year.
Rosalia added: “The Old School Room is the only building built by, and taught at, by all of the Bronte family." (David Knights)
Essential Surrey & SW London publishes a belated review of the Jane Eyre. An autobiography performances seen at the Edinburgh Fringe:
With just a simple, well-lit couch at her disposal Rebecca Vaughan manages to capture the essence of the novel from the first few minutes and brings all the key moments of the book vividly to life opening with Jane hiding from her violent cousin in the windowseat, her challenging time at Lowood Institution, her arrival at Thornfield and subsequent relationship with the brusque Mr Rochester plus everything that follows. Elton Townend Jones, writer and director of the show has done a terrific job in condensing the book in such a stylish and yet effective manner, nothing pivotal is overlooked, nothing superfluous is included. (Amanda Hodges)
Poet Holly Pester discusses flying dreams on The Literateur:
Upon the gift of some toy soldiers the Brontë children invented a phantasy world called The Glass Town, an imaginary colony of Africa for them to inhabit and rule. Charlotte Brontë describes a race of people called the O’Dears.
The origin of the O’Dears was as follows. We pretended we had each a large island inhabited by people 6 miles high. Hay Man was my chief man, Boaster Branwell’s, Hunter Anne’s, and Clown Emily’s. Our chief men were 10 miles high except Emily’s, who was only 4.
The order of design was the reach of the bodies, reproducing the dream of Empire. The hi-men, the blank page, the climate and the polity. After the development of The Glass Town the children elaborated the paracosm to include, Angria, a new colony for the phantasy Duke of Wellington and his sons to play war games in. And after that Emily and Anne created Gondal, a Queendom ruled by Augusta Geraldine Almeda. Gondal was an island in the North Pacific, just north of the island of Gaaldine. It included at least four kingdoms: Gondal, Angora, Exina and Alcona. The northern island, nucleus to the state of rule, resembled Yorkshire in its climate and fauna.
Gondal was a spin off cosmos, created by the younger girls in reaction to their lowly status in The Glass Town and Angria. Emily added to and elaborated Gondal for the rest of her life. She created detail and history, she rarely left the house except to walk on the moors. In Gondal she played with melodrama and the slight of thought. Gondal was a daydream with sovereignty. The heroine queen, Augusta Geraldine Almeda, or A.G.A. was imagined as passionate and ruthless. Her lovers’ lives end in prison, death or exile.
Emily was playing, fantasising and walking up hills. She was asking, ‘what are
others for me? How am I to desire them? How am I to lend myself to their desire?’
Utter a little world that’s alleged or rejected by culture as she finds it, but her body
insists on it. She was assuming a posture that finds a desire, asking, Why ask to know the date?
Film adaptations listed on Signature:
Jane Eyre” (1943, 1983, 2006, 2011)
There are so many options for a film adaptation of this classic that it’s practically overwhelming. Know that watching any of them is not going to give you the full story as each one takes liberties. The 1943 picture is worth watching if you’d like artistic shots, Orson Welles’s somewhat miscast take on Rochester, and an uncredited performance by Elizabeth Taylor as Helen Burns. While the 1983 miniseries starring Timothy Dalton is your best bet for closest textual adaptation, the 2006 film with Ruth Wilson features one of the more acclaimed versions of Jane. Most adaptations find it hard to reconcile Jane’s quiet warmth with her bold and passionate thoughts, but Wilson does a great job with the juxtaposition. Just be prepared for an additional racy scene you didn’t remember from the book. The latest 2011 version with Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska plays with the original order of the storyline and builds on the scarier, more secretive aspects of the original novel, but is also a strong option.
Popmatters reviews the DVD release of the film Symptoms by José Ramón Larraz (1974):
Larraz reveals an admirable level of restraint here and, in this approximation of horror and drama, he articulates a shimmering elegance filled with tree-lined nature paths, placid ponds and wind-swept corridors. It’s like a Brontë novel restructured as a Hitchcock film; at every moment there is the small but conscientious dropping of a clue that points toward the film’s inevitable conclusion. (Imran Khan)
Broadway World talks about the University of Montana's Montana Repertory Theatre Presents Fall Educational Outreach Tour which includes, as we have posted before, Brontë to the Future!
Written by playwright Laramie Dean, this funny and engaging comedy features Emily and Charlotte Brontë and their most beloved characters including Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester, and Catherine and Heathcliff as they travel forward in time to the future. Bronte? to the Future! is a mashup that places the Brontës' beloved Jane and Rochester and Catherine and Heathcliff in the world of today-and possibly tomorrow-while retaining all the romance and Gothic splendor of the original stories.
Told in under 50 minutes, this engaging and relevant new comedy is played out by two actresses, and the theatrical appearance of their many suitors, as they struggle with all the same issues teens have today: relationships, authority figures, and peer pressure. Having watched the play, audience members can compare and contrast the original novels with the play and discuss both the Gothic novel and the Romantic genre.
The Porterville Recorder lists settings which inspire:
Another memorable place we visited on the way to the famous Lake District was the Brontë parsonage, home to Charlotte Brontë, author of “Jane Eyre,” and her sister Emily Brontë, who wrote “Wuthering Heights.” The old parsonage, church and cemetery were clustered on the top of a hill with the town of Haworth below. It was easy to envision the rugged land around the Brontë home as the ‘wild moorland’ described in their writings, especially on a cold foggy morning.
Patrick Brontë was the minister of the small stone church next to the parsonage and was actively involved in the community of Haworth. He was a widower with four talented children— Charlotte, Emily, Ann and Branwell—a busy man, yet providing his family with a rich supply of literature and encouraging them in the arts. The world-wide influence of Charlotte, Emily and Ann (“The Tenant of Wildfell Hall”) continues today, even though they had to begin their careers using the pen names Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, because females were discouraged from becoming published authors! (Judy Lowery
You and Your Wedding lists romantic and literary wedding vows:
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
“I have for the first time found what I can truly love - I have found you. You are my sympathy - my better self - my good angel; I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my center and spring of life, wraps my existence about you - and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.” (Penny YYW)
Japan Journals has a long and quite complete article about the Brontës and Haworth:
カラー・ベル、エリス・ベル、アクトン・ベル…。同じ姓を持ち、同時期に小説を発表したこの3人は何者なのか? そもそも男性と女性のどちらなのか?――3人とも女性の心情をよく理解している様子ではあるものの、社会の規範に反抗するような挑戦的な内容を女性が書けるはずがない…。結局、1人の男性が3つのペンネームを使い分けているのだろうというのが、大多数の意見だった。
果たして、この3人の作家はどのような素性を持つ人物だったのだろうか? ハワースを語る際に欠くことのできない3姉妹、その中でも「母親」的存在であったシャーロット・ブロンテを中心に話していこう。 (Read more) (Translation)
Le Figaro (France) is all for the Victorian blouse in the new fashion season:
Depuis quelques saisons, l’époque victorienne inspire les collections de prêt-à-porter des créateurs. Façon romantique chez Valentino ou gothique pour Marc Jacobs, on rêve de s’habiller en héroïne évanescente des romans des sœurs Brontë. La pièce la plus accessible de ce vestiaire un brin puritain reste la blouse victorienne. Avec son col qui remonte droit sur le cou et ses broderies anglaises, on peut l’adopter facilement sans paraître déguisée. (Anthony Vincent) (Translation)
Bay Weekly lists mid-summer reads, like Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair; Linnet Moss discusses the  Jane Eyre engagement scene again both on page and screen; Reader, I Blogged it... reviews Wuthering Heights.
Tomorrow, August 26, at the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
Parsonage Unwrapped: Celebrating Charlotte Brontë with Christine Alexander
August 26, 7.30pm
A special event to mark this new publication

To commemorate Charlotte's bicentenary, the Brontë Society has commissioned a new publication, Celebrating Charlotte Brontë: Transforming Life into Literature in Jane Eyre, by Christine Alexander and Sara Pearson.
At this special Parsonage Unwrapped event, Christine Alexander, Emeritus Professor at the University of New South Wales and Director of the Juvenilia Press, will speak about the way this book is designed to usher today's reader into the world of Charlotte Brontë's life and fiction. She will explore the rich historical and biographical context of Charlotte Brontë's lived experience, focusing on objects from the Brontë Parsonage Museum collection, and will discuss the way Brontë transformed the 'stuff of life' into her literary masterpiece Jane Eyre.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Yorkshire Evening Post announces the upcoming Northern Ballet performance of Wuthering Heights in Leeds, part of the West Yorkshire Playhouse Brontë season:
The production has been choreographed by Northern Ballet’s artistic director, David Nixon. The adaption of Wuthering Heights will be staged at the West Yorkshire Playhouse from September 6 to 10 launching the theatre’s Brontë season. It is set to an original score by celebrated composer, Claude-Michel Schönberg, who is known for his West End and Broadway hits, including Les Misérables and Miss Saigon. Mr Nixon said: “Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights is not a novel that you read and put back on the shelf. “It is a story that absorbs you, creating powerful imagery that stays with you long after you turn the last page. “In my adaptation of this timeless tale, I have brought to life the key elements of the narrative, focusing on the intensity and devastation of the relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff.”
The last episode of the new season of Channel 4's Great Canal Journeys (August 31th, 20.00h) will feature Haworth. On WhatsonTV:
On their final trip of the series, Timothy West and Prunella Scales are transported into their own pasts as they revisit the Yorkshire of their origins (Tim was born in Bradford, where Pru’s mother also lived).
They’re travelling along the 200-year-old Leeds and Liverpool Canal, which takes them through the Pennines and Yorkshire Dales.
Along the way the couple make a diversion to see the Brontë sisters’ home in the village of Haworth, have to hold on tight over the steepest lock staircase in Britain, meet Huddersfield-born poet Simon Armitage and explore the model village of Saltaire.
Another alert. In Birmingham, this October the premiere of John Joubert's Jane Eyre opera. Kensington, Chelsea & Westminster Today says:
From its first publication in 1847, Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece Jane Eyre has inspired innumerable theatrical interpretations for both stage and screen. To mark the 200th anniversary of Brontë’s birth in 2016, and in anticipation of British composer John Joubert’s 90th birthday in 2017, Kenneth Woods and the English Symphony Orchestra will premiere Joubert’s opera based on Brontë’s first and most popular novel. Jane Eyre will receive its world premiere in a concert performance on 25 October 2016, at the Ruddock Performing Arts Centre in Birmingham. The SOMM label will be on hand to capture a live recording which is scheduled to be released in March 2017 to coincide with Joubert’s birthday.
Joubert’s Jane Eyre has been over two decades in the making, yet the seeds were sown as far back as 1969, when the composer penned his song-cycle Six Poems Of Emily Brontë. He became drawn into the world of the Brontë sisters and, perhaps inevitably, Jane Eyre. The result is a major operatic work with “a score of translucent beauty – Joubert’s undoubted magnum opus,” comments conductor Kenneth Woods. For the premiere, soprano Katherine Manley will portray the title character and baritone David Stout – who previously collaborated with Woods on a SOMM recording of Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen – will take on the role of Rochester. They will be joined by a full supporting cast. The librettist is Kenneth Birkin, a post-graduate student of Joubert’s at Birmingham University whose Ph.D. focused on the libretti of Strauss’s post-Hofmannsthal operas. (...)
Kenneth Woods remarks, “In Jane Eyre, John has created something very special – an opera based on a literary masterpiece in which the music is not only worthy of the original text but seems absolutely of and from it. Joubert emerges in this score as both a great literary and great musical mind. It’s astonishing that a work which is the crowning achievement of a composer as revered and important as John Joubert has had to wait almost two decades for a premiere performance and recording. The English Symphony Orchestra and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of this historic project in partnership with Siva Oke, SOMM’s owner and the Executive and Recording Producer of Jane Eyre,” says Woods. “It was due to Siva’s enthusiasm for Joubert’s music that the idea of recording Jane Eyre was born.” SOMM Recordings had previously recorded 80th and 85th birthday tributes to John Joubert, the second of which consisted of first recordings of his three String Quartets with the Brodsky Quartet.
Siva Oke says, “I first heard John Joubert’s music 10 years ago when pianist Mark Bebbington played his Lyric Fantasy based on themes from the love scene between Jane and Rochester in Act 2 of Jane Eyre. I was stunned by the beauty and lyricism of the music. When we recorded it, as part of John’s 80th birthday celebrations, Christopher Morley described it in his liner notes as luminous and radiant and I couldn’t agree more.”
Bustle asks authors Carla Neggers and Brenda Novak about the dyanmics of suspense and romance:
Carla Neggers: Brenda, I’d love to get your take on the challenges and opportunities of the stand-alone romantic suspense novel versus a romantic suspense series? While Liar's Key the sixth book in my Sharpe and Donovan series, I’ve also written stand-alone romantic suspense novels. Do you have a preference?
Brenda Novak: Somehow I missed Mary Stewart, but I read Jane Eyre when I was nine or 10 and absolutely loved it. Iconic for its dark, gothic tone, it’s a great example of how a little mystery and danger can enhance a good romance. I was biting my nails at the mysterious sounds in the night, the fire and the shocking discovery of the hidden woman, which then, of course, further complicated the romantic conflict. I see it as a textbook example of what I was saying before—that the romance and the suspense need to enhance each other. I've loved stories that mix these elements ever since. (Cristina Arreola)
Slate has an article on Anthony Trollope's characters:
I don’t know whether university English departments still fill up with earnest young women who hope that they’ll learn something about life and love from Victorian novels, but mine did. Make no mistake, we had inklings of how misguided we were. My friends and I engaged in long conversations about how our favorite 19th-century authors portrayed girls like us: So many of George Eliot’s heroines practice a form of ecstatic renunciation while the ordinarily shrewd Jane Eyre seems oblivious to what Mr. Rochester’s past behavior suggests about him as a future husband. Scrutinizing the way classic fiction depicts women has become one of the well-worn grooves of scholarship, but I often think, looking back, that we’d have been better served by a bit more critical attention to how those books portray men. (Laura Miller)
411Mania lists the best songs of the 70s. Number one is:
The was no question which track was going to top my list. Kate Bush is royalty in my neck of the woods (South London, in the UK). Local chain restaurants have her lyrics and quotes adorning their walls (that’s not a joke) and there has always been a certain pride in the fact that these working class suburbs – famed for their lack of culture and distinct identity – could deliver the most uniquely demented and willfully intellectual art-pop sensation of the 70s. So influential is Bush, that comparing female pop and rock stars to her has become a cliché that journalists simply cannot avoid. She inspired and continues to inspire an endless array of artists and – quite remarkable – despite the repetition of her themes, the imitation hasn’t blunted Bush or “Wuthering Heights”. (David Hayter)
Women's Agenda talks about the financial situation of women:
Austen is writing at a time in history when a man really was a financial plan. In fact, marrying well was virtually the only financial hope a woman had. Austen herself – who never married – lived with her widowed mother and unmarried sister on the charity of her wealthiest brother. Her books didn’t really earn her much money until after she died, but at least they were an attempt at supporting herself. The Brontës were forced to hire themselves out as miserable, resentful governesses, until the success of Jane Eyre gave them some independence. (Jane Caro)
Los Angeles Review of Books talks about the recent Dickens Universe conference:
Robyn Warhol, a specialist of 19th-century seriality, gave the closing lecture on her project of collating sections of Victorian novels in the order they were originally published. Like a lot of Victorian novels, it’s online and it’s compelling on even just a glancing level. If you squint hard enough, it looks like Wuthering Heights is giving birth to The Communist Manifesto!!!
El Universal (Venezuela) interviews the actress Michelle de Andrade, Catalina in the upcoming Venezuelan adaptation of Wuthering Heights:
-¿De qué manera piensa preparar este nuevo personaje? ¿Cree que necesita alguna educación adicional?
-En este momento estoy participando en una miniserie de cinco capítulos inspirada en la novela Cumbres borrascosas, pero mucho más actualizada. Allí interpreto el personaje de Catalina, una mujer bastante fuerte  que día a día me consume en todos los sentidos. Termino agotada. Así que al terminar, necesito unos días de relajación y meditación que me ayuden a deslastrarme de la intensidad de Catalina. Quizá me vaya a la playa para volver a ser yo y retomar la inspiración que me llevará a este nuevo rol. También me gustaría hacer un curso de actuación, porque lo cierto es que me están tomando en cuenta para personajes más adultos y necesito profundizar mi educación en la materia.
-Catalina es un personaje sumamente dramático...
-Es la protagonista del clásico universal escrito por Emily Brontë, que está adaptando VIP producciones. Es una mujer enérgica, caprichosa y egoísta. Todavía no sabemos qué canal transmitirá el proyecto. (Gabriel Guzmán Lacruz) (Translation)
Disappore (Italy) talks about the Fictious Feasts series by Charles Roux:
Il pessimo sapore del pasticcio di carne mangiato in collegio dalla piccola Jane Eyre nell’ omonimo romanzo di Charlotte Brontë è impresso indelebilmente nella memoria della protagonista, che lo ricorda con immutato disgusto. Roux edulcora questi ricordi con una immagine gradevole e rassicurante. (Nunzia Clemente) (Translation)
Dolci & Parole (Italy) interviews the author Chiara Giacobelli:

Dicci il titolo di un libro e il perchè lo consiglieresti a tutti.
Cime tempestose” di Emily Brontë, perché si parte sempre dai classici e per ricordarci che deve esistere un prolungamento di noi stessi all’esterno, altrimenti per quale ragione saremmo al mondo? (Translation)

Carrie Frye blogs on Longreads about  'The Summer Break Where Charlotte Brontë Started Jane Eyre; Nthepa Segade reviews Wuthering Heights; JennRa (in Spanish) vlogs about Jane Eyre; Tazzina di Caffè (in Italian) reviews Villette; eloiseisreading posts about The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

Finally, would you like to see how Charlotte Brontë's 'Thackeray' dress will travel from Haworth to New York? Check out the Brontë Parsonage Facebook Wall.
2:14 am by M. in ,    No comments
The Brave Theatre Miss Brontë production (written and performed by Mel Dodge) is now touring Australia:
Brave Theatre presens
Miss Brontë
Written and performed by: Mel Dodge
Directed by: Lyndee-Jane Rutherford

Charlotte Brontë has a secret. In fact secrets seem to run in the family... How could an unmarried woman living in a secluded parsonage, with only her sisters for company, write one of the World's greatest love stories? She had tasted love and her secrets echo in the pages if Jane Eyre.
Miss Brontë tells the story of Charlotte Brontë, left alone after the death of her beloved sisters and brother. In an isolated parsonage on the bleak Yorkshire Moors, with only her father for company, she must find a way to continue to write. Her publisher has asked her to prepare a preface for a reprinted volume of her sister’s novels, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey. She intends to tell the world the
truth about her family. She explains their creative childhood, their wretched years as governesses, her brother’s alcohol and opium addiction and their plan to become published authors under male pseudonyms.
In searching through her documents she finds a letter suggesting the existence of an unfinished manuscript by her sister Emily. In her search for the hidden document she discloses a secret of her
own. Charlotte had fallen in love with her married French professor. She wrote love letters to him for years. All of her heroes, including Mr Rochester, and the subject matter of many of her novels are based on her love for him.
She explains the horrific deaths of her siblings, the glorious joy of their success and the bitter despair of being judged, not as an author, but as a woman. At the end of the play, the audience is left with a sense of the courage, tenacity and passion that made her work so alluring.
As the audience leaves, they are given a letter from Mrs Gaskell, Charlotte’s friend and biographer, describing some further details of her life, including her short marriage, death and her professor’s response to her letters. He had torn them to pieces and his wife had found them, carefully sewed them back together and kept them for the rest of her life. They are now in the British Museum.
Miss Brontë is based on extensive research into the life of Charlotte and her family. Seventy-five percent of the words come from Charlotte’s own letters and novels. The rest is crafted by Mel Dodge through biographical information. A one-woman show, with beautifully hand-made prop and  ostume, it is an intense, absorbing 75 minutes of storytelling at its best.
August 21, 2 pm,  Ruffy Hall, Ruffy, Victoria
August 23, 8 pm, Mooroolbark Community Centre, Mooroolbark, Victoria
August 25, 26, 7.30 pm, Forge Theatre and Arts Hub, Bairnsdale, Victoria
August 26, 2 pm, Nyerimilang Heritage Park, Lakes Entrance, Victoria
August 27, 8:00 pm, John Leslie Theatre, Sale, Victoria
September 1, 7 pm, Altona Theatre, Altona, Victoria
September 3, 7.30pm, Portland Arts Centre, Portland, Victoria
September 8,9, 8 pm; September 10, 2 pm, Queanbeyan Performing Arts, Queanbeyan, NSW

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 11:35 am by M. in , , , , , ,    No comments
PopMatters vindicates Villette as Charlotte Brontë's best novel:
(...) What separates Villette from the other book fans know well comes from a place where Brontë’s expedition traverses the darkest shadows away from the slightest sliver of light. A strong narrator emerges, one who toys with sentence patterns to create a transformative work—a distinction Jane Eyre cannot claim. The familiar markers of marginalization and suffocation of desire still lurk. Villette takes the reader beyond the nexus into waters no one wants to chart.
Lucy Snowe: the presciently named character enters the imaginary Kingdom of Labasscecour in a town called Villette. She enters the town with nothing more than her name. Described by Brontë as a woman with “no attractive accomplishments—no beauty”, she enters the city as the stereotypical outsider. Between the cracks of her character lies an astonishing courage to venture into a town where she knows no one, and where no one knows who she is. (Read more) (Stephen Wyatt)
The Stage reviews We Are Brontë as seen at the Edinburgh Fringe:
This silly-sweet pastiche is as much about contemporary theatre conventions as it is ‘about’ the life and work of the Brontës. Angus Barr and Sarah Corbett carefully explain that their show is meant to be an expressionistic take on the Brontës rather than an adaptation of any one novel.
Dressed in black, and with only a handful of props at their disposal – keys, doorknobs and books (of course books) – they proceed to layer gothic cliche on top of gothic cliche. They waft about, windswept, and wave black feathers around in a vaguely symbolic manner. It’s all done with tongue firmly inserted into pallid cheek, and with a lingering wink at companies such as Shared Experience, which has churned out its fair share of Brontë shows over the years. (Natasha Tripney)
Flavorwire retroreviews Kenneth Branagh's Dead Again 1991:
The Gothic horror aesthetic owes more than a little to the Welles-starring 1943 Jane Eyre, as well; the photography of the moody opening scene, in which Garcia visits Branagh on death row, recalls scores of similar scenes in various films noir. (Jason Bailey)
Pitchfork lists the best music videos of the 1970s, including Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights:
Fittingly for a song with two striking videos—one each for the British and American markets—Kate Bush wrote “Wuthering Heights” not from Emily Bronte’s novel, but after catching the end of a BBC adaptation on TV. The first single from Bush’s debut album got a chart boost from a performance on the UK chart show “Top of the Pops” (that Bush later described as “watching myself die”), which sent it to #1.
The British video directed by Keith MacMillan, however, does an infinitely better job of representing what made Bush and her breakthrough song so great. Having studied with English actor and mime Lindsay Kemp (who worked with David Bowie as well), her training is reflected in the video’s stunningly expressive choreography, a combination of ballet, mime, and theater. MacMillan dials back the urge to layer on visual effects too heavily, and when he does, it’s only to multiply Bush (always a good idea), or emphasize her movements. Otherwise, she’s just performing for a video camera on a soundstage drenched in dry ice, but Bush plays to the rafters: Her fluid movements and facial expressions are as exaggerated as her vocal performance. Bush would go on to make several more great videos, but “Wuthering Heights” remains unique for its pre-MTV simplicity and grand unveiling of a peerless musical talent.(Eric Harvey)
Ripley & Heanor News is eagerly awaiting the performances of the ChapterHouse Theatre at the Nottingham Castle; Amberley's Book Blog posts some thoughts about Anne Brontë's Agnes Grey; Nick Holland has visited the Ashley Collection in the British Library and post about it on
1:50 am by M. in , ,    No comments

Thanks to Austin MacCauley for sending us a review copy of this novel
St. John in the Wilderness
Alan Titterington
Austin MacCauley Publishers Ltd.
ISBN: 9781786121943 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781786121950 (hardback)
ISBN: 9781786121967 (ebook)
This book is obviously a labour of love. A book born and bred of the necessity of reconstructing a family history, tracing your ancestors and establishing a connection, a continuity with your past. Something everybody can sympathise with. Who has never felt the necessity of exploring their family tree?  Who has never tried to find their origins and the chain of events, ordinary or extraordinary, that helped to shape what is now their place in life and history?

Alan Titterington has done just that but with a twist. He has researched extensively the times and facts of his great-great-grandfather, John Titterington (1815?-1852) worsted spinner, manufacturer who resided at Higgin Chamber Mill, Sowerby, Halifax. He has traced details of his quarrels with his father Ely, his stay at the Debtor's Prison in York, his marriage, children (legitimate or not)... and particularly he has imagined what sort of relationship he could have had with Branwell Brontë.

We know that John Titterington was an acquaintance of Branwell Brontë from his time at Luddenden Foot. It is recorded in his notebook at the time:
At R. Col last with
G. Thompson
J. Titterington
R L. Col
H. Killiner and another.
I quarrelled with J. T. about going but after a wrestle met him on the road and became friends — quarrelled almost on the subject with G. Thompson. Will have no more of it.
August 18th, 1841. P. B. B
Regrettably, this is the only factual link between Branwell and J. Titterington(1). The rest of the details described in the present novel are more or less plausible what-if-accounts which are disseminated through the narrative. Some of them are indeed possible, as the vivid account of the setting of the scene drawn by Branwell as 'The rescue of the punchbowl, a scene in the Talbot' (1848), now at the Brotherton Collection in Leeds. Alan Titterington suggests names and backgrounds for all the figures represented in the sketch, introducing John Titterington as St John in the Wilderness(2). Other details are certainly intriguing like the two portraits of John Titterington and his wife Mary Holdsworth which have been attributed to Branwell Brontë in several occasions(3), but which have not been authenticated even after extensive study(4). Other details are more far-fetched and certainly difficult to believe, such as the encyclopaedic knowledge that John Titterington has of the works and lives of the Brontës.

The author also repeats some of the Branwell-wrote-parts-of-Wuthering-Heights storyline, directly descended from Fancis Grundy's Pictures from the Past but luckily this is not over-emphasised, and although we don't buy it, it is certainly more palatable than Branwell discussing their sisters published works at a public house (which is also featured). The legend claiming that Branwell had fathered an illegitimate daughter is also briefly mentioned(5).

The book will certainly benefit from a more exhaustive revision. Many paragraphs are fully saturated with information (i.e. the visit to the York Minster, but also many, many others) which can be edited into footnotes and which often stagnate the narrative annoyingly. The novel, as a story, needs to be shortened. The rhythm and internal pace will be greatly improved without some distracting elements which are in the way of the main narrative and don't add anything to it. A paradigmatic (and paradoxical on a blog like this) example is the whole Scarborough narrative about Anne Brontë's death. Moving as it is, it feels foreign and can be completely purged with no change to the main plot(6).

We could continue enumerating further problems or loopholes in the novel but it would be pointless and certainly stupid. As we said before, this is not a historical novel with mass-media designs, it's a labour of love. Can it be improved? Certainly. Does it feature an interesting and consistent story? For sure. Is its setting believable? Yes, and the research is also compelling. Are its Brontë connections plausible? Well, read it and judge for yourself.

(1) J. Titterington was identified by Daphne du Maurier in The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë as James Titterington, the brother of John. Nevertheless it seems plausible attending the inner story of the Titterington family as digged up by the author, that Branwell was talking about John.
(2) Nevertheless, Daphne du Maurier identified St John in the Wilderness as John Brown: "out of his usual milieu, perhaps, and thus dubbed 'in the wilderness'".
(3) In The Brontës, Juliet Barker says that he 'possibly' painted them. As a matter of fact, they were used in the exhibition Branwell Brontë and his Circle at Cartwright Hall in Bradford in 1994.
(5) Another novel which also explored this possibility:  Daughter of The Northern Fields by Pamela Haines (1987), also mentions James (probably confused with John) Titterington.
(6) Proof readings are also needed. I.e. Haworth in inconsistently written correctly (on few occasions) and as Howarth (most of the time).

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Argus reviews a recent performance of Wuthering Heights by the ChapterHouse Theatre Company in Haywards Heath:
It was a beautiful evening with a good turn-out for the production, which meant that the voices of the eight performers only just carried to the back and were sometimes a bit shouty. It was also difficult to make out the character’s features and expressions in the fading light.
The second half saw the dramatic tension greatly increase as the two feuding families clashed. The quiet Edgar Linton was unable to compete with his dying wife Cathy’s passion for Heathcliff to whom she declared “I want to be with you and only you”.
Adapted by Laura Turner, the character flaws and nastiness of the egotistical protagonists were well presented as they set up their own inevitable downfalls.
Fitting music, which complemented the tragi-romantic theme, was provided by violinist Hannah Dale. (Tania Deaville)
The performance at Nottingham Castle is reviewed by Nothingham Live:
The young actors in this two-hour-plus production have learnt a huge script, keeping close to the complex original text, a daunting task in itself. The result is competent, but understated, keeping all the human emotion of the novel whilst loosing nothing of the characters journey.
A standout performance comes from Emily Rose-Hurdiss, excellent in the starring role as the free-spirited Cathy. Before reviewing I’d watched the recent Tom Hardy version of Wuthering Heights, which worked both ways. Had I not, I probably wouldn’t have had a clue what was going on in the first half due to the sound issues, it was a long time since I’d read the novel, however, living up to a major production is no easy task. Aaron Charles gives an admirable performance as Cathy’s inseparable friend and later lover Heathcliff, but is not dark and villainous enough. One ripped shirt does not a Tom Hardy make. (Tanya Raybould)
Impact Nottingham thinks that Jane Eyre is the quintessential love story:
We’re all familiar with the literary canon, thought to be the realm of dead white men. But when we are always told that the classic love story is Jane Eyre and the quintessential horror is Dracula, we feel like we might be missing something. (Matteo Everett)
Midland Reporter-Telegram interviews a local librarian:
MRT: Who is a fictional and real-life hero and why?
Jessica Waller: In terms of fiction, it's hard to beat Jane Eyre. As a young girl, having a female character that was "poor, obscure, plain, and little" assert her own mind in the face of a man like Rochester was pretty powerful. She was the first heroine I met that was truly active in her story, and she made mistakes and then had to learn how to live with them. For a stubborn girl like me, those were good lessons.
Patheos on Catholicism and feminism:
I discovered that Christianity meant an alternative to the narratives of power of secular society. I noticed that so many landmark feminist novels (The Golden Notebook, The Awakening) upheld sexual liberty as a guarantor of genuine freedom, while at the same time defining sexual liberty only through relation to men. Now, I do believe in sexual liberty, but I believe it leads beyond the orgasm, and that escape from institutional marriage into a hedonistic paradise with the man of your choosing is still a sort of dependence on males for pleasure and identity. The liberation of the feminist whose devotion of God gives her the freedom to walk away from men (see Jane Eyre) is a greater one. (Rebecca Bratten Weiss)
Awesome Gang interviews the writer Kellyn Roth:
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Ooh, that’s a hard one! Well, I’d take the Bible (ah, I’m such a good girl!), A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, and Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.
And the Wear Valley Advertiser interviews Talulah Riley:
After reading Fifty Shades Of Grey she decided to transpose the stereotypical misogynist, making the female character the dominant party.
"In a lot of romance literature, the male characters have characteristics which would be considered quite misogynistic, like [Jane Eyre's] Mr Rochester. Yet those guys are considered really attractive to women.
"What if there was a female character that was equally obnoxious, sexually manipulative, conniving and out for herself? That was the genesis of the book. (Carolyn Hill)
Emily, writing posts about the the recent Brontë Society Conference in  Manchester. Check it out:
It has been a brilliant weekend, full of thought-provoking, challenging, fantastic ideas and new readings and theories that were both surprising and strange.
Freya Gowrley posts about her visit to the Parsonage part of a research project on the commonplace books of Ellen Warter:
Since beginning my research on the commonplace books of Ellen Warter, I – like their author – have been preoccupied with the Brontës. For Warter, the sisters were the objects of estimation, affection, and interest, and she obsessively documented them within her own literary productions. Made around 1880, and now housed in the Centre for Research Collections, University of Edinburgh, her commonplace books are quite unlike ‘conventional’ examples of the genre, which traditionally compile excerpted texts from a broad array of writers upon various topics. Instead, Warter devoted over 300 pages of her volumes to the lives and literature of the Brontës, rendering them more of a record of the family than anything else.
1:12 am by M. in ,    No comments
Feline Brontës in a (humour) crime novel is your guilty pleasure? We can indulge you:
The Death of Downton Tabby
Series: No2 Feline Detective Agency
by Mandy Morton
Allison & Busby Publishers
ISBN: 9780749020606
Pub. Date: 23rd June 2016

The Town is celebrating its first literary festival, and The No. 2 Feline Detective Agency has been hired to oversee security.
On the arrival of the three Brontë sisters and the famous aristocat, Sir Downton Tabby, Hettie Bagshot and her sidekick, Tilly, are plunged into crisis as a serial killer stalks the festival grounds. Will there be an author left standing? Will Meridian Hambone sell out of her 'littertray' t-shirts? And will there be enough crime teas to go round?
Through heatwave and violent storm, Hettie and Tilly face up to the horror and spite of the literary world in a real spine thriller!
It seems that these feline Brontës are nine and live on the Porkshire Moors:
The Brontës of Teethly had also accepted Tilly’s invitation, and all three 9 sisters – known for their bonnet novels set against the backdrop of the Porkshire Moors – were to appear.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy column on Slate begins today with a fragment of an Emily Brontë poem:
Still, as I mused, the naked room,
The alien firelight died away;
And from the midst of cheerless gloom,
I passed to bright, unclouded day.
—Emily Brontë, A Little While, A Little While
The Telegraph & Argus covers the upcoming activities at the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
The Summer holidays are in full swing at the museum, and so is our programme of family activities!
We’re finding that our Brontë Mystery trail is going down a storm with families, and the Meeting Charlotte talks that we’re running twice a day each Tuesday have been really well attended.
They are the perfect supplement to our Charlotte Great and Small exhibition, curated by novelist Tracy Chevalier, which keeps going from strength to strength.
We’re also offering fun, family-friendly drop-in craft workshops every Wednesday of the summer holidays, between 11am and 4pm. These sessions are all artist-led, and all materials are provided.
Why not come along on Wednesday August 24 and make your own 3D paper boat, or visit on August 31 and create your own Parsonage in watercolour?
Best of all, these trails, talks and workshops are all free with admission to the museum.
We’re looking ahead to our Brontë Festival of Women’s Writing, which runs from September 9 to 11, and we’re delighted to be hosting our sixth festival dedicated to showcasing and celebrating women’s writing and the limitless ways in which the Brontë sisters continue to inspire contemporary literature.
Tickets are currently still available for all festival events, but they’re going very quickly and spaces are limited!
The festival kicks off on the afternoon of Friday, September 9, when the inimitable Glynis Charlton returns to Haworth with another of her friendly, informal writing workshops – Glynis’s sessions always sell out, so book your ticket soon!
On Friday evening, we’ll be hosting a Meet the Editors evening in partnership with Mslexia, the nation’s best-selling literary magazine.
Come along to Cobbles and Clay from 7pm to meet editors from three of the region’s most influential independent presses (Bluemoose Books, Comma Press and Dog Horn Publishing), who will be sharing their wisdom and providing tips on how best to submit your work.
The evening will end with a Spotlight open-mic session, and is not-to-be-missed for all aspiring local writers.
Mslexia will also host two writing workshops – How to Write a Synopsis and An Arresting First Page - at the glorious Ponden Hall on Saturday, September 10.
Saturday evening sees our star-studded headline event at West Lane Baptist Centre – award-winning novelists Jessie Burton (The Miniaturist, The Muse), Grace McCleen (our 2016 writer-in-residence) and Tracy Chevalier will discuss The Magic of the Miniature.
This will be a totally unique and very special event, featuring readings from Jessie and Grace’s work, and tickets are in high demand – don’t miss out!
Finally, perennial favourites LipService, the long-established comedy duo, will close the festival on sunday September 11 with their brand-new, specially-commissioned walking tour of Haworth – Withering Walks.
This journey of discovery promises to reveal a whole new side to both Haworth and the Brontës, so don your walking boots and join us for this whirlwind tour around crumbling cobbles, ghostly ginnels and blasted stumps.
Tickets for all events can be booked online at or by calling 01535 640188. (David Knights
Siblings' love or rivalry in The Telegraph:
Then there’s feuding sibling authors A S Byatt and Margaret Drabble, whose rift is “beyond repair” and wasn’t helped by Byatt’s novel The Game, which Drabble described as “a mean-spirited book about sibling rivalry”. Happily, this kind of split is rare. The aiding and abetting closeness of Charlotte and Emily Brontë – or Serena and Venus Williams – is more typical. (Rowan Pelling)
Finding 'The One' on the Daily Mail:
All the iconic couples from literature lived quite near each other. Romeo and Juliet in the same city, Cathy and Heathcliff the same house... but, of course, that’s not exactly what we mean by The One.
The One is our way of talking about a feeling; a passion so strong and special that you believe it must be unique.
As a child of parents who no longer seemed to like each other much, I only had romantic role models from literature, and I read voraciously; graduating quickly from children’s staples to my parents’ bookshelves lined with classics by the Brontës, (Kate Eberlen)
Quora discusses Friedrich Hayek's economic ideas:
But then, compared to Hayek, the economics profession in general would not even accept that there was a problem in their formalistic theories of the economy. Many were addicted to Keynes’s absurd “circular flow” model, in which capital gets tucked away in the attic like one’s mad wife (gratuitous Brontë reference). (Timo Virkkala)
Books Tell You Why tries to summarise the events that took place at the latest Brontë Society AGM:
The museum houses the world's largest collection of Brontë memorabilia from clothing to furniture, and even manuscripts and letters. It is an important site for both Brontë scholars and general fans. The society dedicates itself to the promotion of modern day study of the four writers and hosts festivals, competitions, and other events to that end. The Brontë Society's events and work have become even more important recently as this year marks Charlotte Brontë's bicentennial, with each of her siblings' celebrations following soon after. However, the society's goals have recently been put in jeopardy by a growing disagreement between distinct factions of the society. The dispute recently came to a head during the society's annual meeting in June, prompting numerous mocking headlines about the large argument that took place in the presence of a reporter. (Read more) (Adrienne Rivera)
Kocham Czytać (in Polish) reviews Wuthering Heights.
1:08 am by M. in ,    No comments
Today in Las Vegas, a chance to see a performance of How Clear She Shines by Linda Lister:
Sin City Opera presents
Opera in August
Summerlin Library
August 21th, 2:00pm
Literature to Life, An Operatic Journey

The concert will feature “How Clear She Shines,” a chamber opera by UNLV Opera director Linda Lister with libretto adapted from the writings of Anne, Emily and Charlotte Brontë. Musical stylings from beloved historical novels including Jane Eyre  and Wuthering Heights, as well of other classical favorite such as Dangerous LiaisonsLes Misérables and Peter Pan.
More information on the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016 10:20 am by M. in , , , ,    No comments
Six  books for shy readers in The Guardian. One of them is Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca:
Rather like Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, Mrs de Winter wins her confidence when she tames a wild husband. Unlike Jane, she never gets a first name. (Katy Guest)
Financial Times reviews The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914 by Richard J Evans:
In these sketches, and throughout the volume, Evans gives thorough coverage to the continent as a whole, especially when it comes to writers and intellectuals. The Hungarian poet Bertalan Szemere and melodramatic Swedish novelist Fredrika Bremer each receive lengthy treatment (Bremer, a sort of Swedish Charlotte Brontë and a feminist reformer, enjoyed enormous popularity in both Britain and America). On the other hand, more familiar figures such as Tocqueville, Flaubert and John Stuart Mill get somewhat short shrift. (David Bell)
The Telegraph interviews the actress and writer Talulah Riley:
The writers who inspire me most are all women: Enid Blyton, Agatha Christie, Margaret Mitchell and Emily and Charlotte Brontë. (...)
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
It may be billed as a romance, but this is also dark and explores power balances between couples, which I find fascinating. (Rachel Hosie)
Mic Book Club talks about Rebecca Traister's All the Single Ladies. Once again we happen to see how twisted her views on Charlotte's relationship with her husband are:
Her chapter on female friendship is titled, "Dangerous as Lucifer Matches" — a quote from the husband of Charlotte Brontë in reference to letters she exchanged with her best lady friend, Ellen Nussey. Having browsed some of the letters these two sent to each other, Brontë's husband, Arthur Bell Nicholls, seemed shaken by their intimacy and asked Nussey to burn every letter she had received from his wife. He threatened, that if she did not promise to burn them he would no longer let Brontë and Nussey see each other.
It's a dramatic sentiment: The love between women is so threatening it must be burned. Yet it's a relatable sentiment today for a romantic interest to be deeply jealous, perplexed or even threatened by the depth of the emotional connection you share with your bestie. (Samhita Mukhopadhyay)
He was not shaken by any intimacy, he was worried that letters so frank and with so many unveiled references to other people would be (as it ultimately happened) read by others.

The Conversation reviews about the film Swallows and Amazons 2016:
It is clear, that works of literature about place allow the reader to escape into an earlier, easier world – and in the case of the Lake District, a world fixed in that perfect past by virtue of being a National Park.
This type of literary tourism seems to be a peculiarly British phenomenon – think Shakespeare’s Stratford, Dickens’ London, The Brontë’s Yorkshire, Hardy’s Wessex – but one that is attractive to visitors worldwide. (Sally Bushell)
The author Jamie Le Fay on Blockchain:
I was as excited and delighted with Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre as I was with Battlestar Galactica (the original TV series). The Mists of Avalon, an Arthurian legend retelling from the point of view of the female characters, had as much effect on me as Cosmos by Carl Sagan.
Inspirational quotes on #Amreading:
1. “Life appears to me too short to be spent  in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.”
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Technological advances have brought great things to this world, but they have also made it easier to spread strife and animosity, criticizing strangers near and far for the slightest of wrongs or differences in personality or culture. This poignant quote of Brontë’s pulls us back to reality, reminding us that such negativity wastes the precious minutes that life grants to us. (Katie DiFilippo)
Books for reading time and time again on Babamail:
Jane Eyre
For much of its history, the novel has been a medium where strong female characters have reveled. This was never more true than in Charlotte Brontë's most famous story about the feisty Jane Eyre. Jane is one of my favorite literary heroines.
UniversoHQ (Brazil) reviews the Portuguese translation of Jane, le renard et moi:
Escrita e desenhada respectivamente pelas canadenses Fanny Britt e Isabelle Arsenault, a HQ utiliza a obra literária britânica como “fuga” da protagonista Hélène, uma garota introvertida que não tem nada de gorda, apesar do constante bullying das companheiras de escola.
Assim que adentra ao universo vitoriano onde a (também oprimida e sofrida) Jane Eyre busca sua emancipação, o belo traço cinzento de Isabelle Arsenault ganha fortes e bem marcadas cores, enfatizando esses momentos de escapismos da personagem principal.
Formando um breve paralelo comparativo, o Século 19 em que viviam Charlotte Brontë e suas irmãs escritoras (dentre elas Emily, autora de O morro dos ventos uivantes) era uma época em que a literatura popular era considerada “perigosa” para os jovens, ávidos pela liberdade de espírito e pela erudição precoce.
Uma mulher como Jane Eyre era uma heroína lutando pela independência moldada no condicionamento feminino daquele período, cujas expectativas sociais eram restritas e resumidas a prendas domésticas e “bons” casamentos. Eyre – que “se tornou adulta e brilhante e magra e sábia” – reflete tudo que a pequena leitora quer ser. (Audaci Junior) (Translation)
Bücherstöberecke (in German) reviews Wuthering Heights; Quirkbooks suggest ways to cheer up Heathcliff; Bibliophilove (in Spanish) and Once Upon a Book Star post about Jane Eyre.
1:45 am by M. in , ,    No comments
Juliet Barker's two events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival are Brontë-related:
Juliet Barker
The Brontës in Their Own Voices
Sat 20 Aug 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Garden Theatre

Setting new standards in literary biography, Juliet Barker’s The Brontës earned her a reputation as the foremost authority on Yorkshire’s literary family. To mark the bicentenary of Charlotte’s birth, Barker has produced The Brontës: A Life in Letters. Using selected correspondence written by Charlotte, Emily, Anne and their brother Branwell, a close-knit family is revealed, including elegiac tributes by Charlotte to her beloved siblings. This event is part of Both Sides of the Border, in association with Borderlines, Carlisle's Book Festival.

Part of our Literary Legends series of events.

This event is part of Both Sides of the Border, in association with Borderlines, Carlisle's Book Festival.
Juliet Barker on Jane Eyre
Sun 21 Aug 11:00am - 12:30pm
Writers' Retreat

In the bicentenary of Charlotte Brontë's birth, Juliet Barker, the unrivalled authority on the Brontës, leads today's workshop on Jane Eyre. Set against the magnificent backdrop of the Yorkshire Moors, this epic love story remains one of the most popular works of English fiction. Expect an open discussion from the start: you can either read the book ahead of the event, or be inspired to pick it up afterwards.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday, August 19, 2016 12:45 pm by M. in , , , , , ,    No comments
The 43rd Ilkley Literature Festival (September 30-October 16) is discussed in the Yorkshire Post:
To mark the 200th anniversary of her birth, Charlotte Brontë is celebrated throughout the festival with a whole series of talks, workshops and even a guided walk exploring her life and work. “We have two different strands,” explains Feldberg. “Beyond Jane Eyre which is about different aspects of and perspectives on Charlotte’s work and her life. That includes the guided reading group which this this year is Villette. We have a walk around Ilkley that looks at the buildings that Charlotte would have seen when she came to visit the town. There is an event about Charlotte Brontë and slavery in the Caribbean. She was born nine years after the abolition of the slave trade act (1807) and she was 17 years old when it was abolished – and it was a hot topic in Yorkshire at the time – partly because of William Wilberforce’s involvement. And it is interesting how her novels touch on these issues. Then we have another strand which is completely different called Charlotte Brontë’s Festival which is really inspired by what an interesting and complex and multi-faceted person she was. Given what we know about her interests through her letters and her early childhood writings, if she lived in the 21st century what would she be interested in?” (Yvette Huddleston)
LiteraryHub publishes an excerpt from Riverine by Angela Palm:
A look at the miniature view cut by a window: Catherine looking out at the moors in Wuthering Heights, fretting from inside, and Anne Carson’s parallel vista while staying at her mother’s house in “The Glass Essay.” These are little landscapes of loss and stagnation, the women confined within the walls of their respective homes. The distance, those moors that swallowed their respective men, swells outside the window.
Elle Magazine interviews the actress Kristen Stewart:
She's 26, the same age as my younger cousin (to whom I'm very close), and I find myself slipping into the same role I have with her: protective yet practical, keen to make things comfortable for someone who is slightly less socially confident than me. She won't do up her seatbelt, despite the car's incessant beeping and in the end I tell her to buckle up for goodness sake, and she does. I feel instinctively that I want to keep her safe. There's a withered red rose on the dashboard and I have a hunch who it's from (stay tuned). The fact that she keeps it there makes me think my instincts might be right – she's one of those people who cares so acutely they're forever teetering on the edge of suffering. But then, as Anne Brontë wrote, 'who dares not grasp the thorn, should never crave the rose.' (Lotte Jeffs)
Tablet reviews The Sacred Combe by Thomas Maloney:
It’s a familiar scenario. The protagonist, after some definitive break with the past, finds him- or herself at a mysterious mansion, often the ancient seat of a decaying family. They infiltrate and either heal, in the optimistic version, or are themselves dragged down; in either case they transform along the way. Rebecca, Bleak House and Jane Eyre are obvious examples, along with Brideshead Revisited and The Woman in Black. In children’s literature the genre encompasses the Harry Potter and Narnia series, The Secret Garden and Elizabeth Goudge’s magical The Little White Horse. (Suzi Feay)
Los Angeles Times reviews Jung Young Moon's Vaseline Buddha:
There are novels that try to transport you, that in the words of Neil Gaiman act as “a dream that you hold in your hand.” If the dream succeeds, you forget the physical book you are holding and travel to Tralfamadore, Wuthering Heights, Wonderland, wherever; you live life through the eyes of the characters, become other than you are. (Tyler Malone)
Verily Magazine on getting over FOMO as an introvert:
Realizing that it’s not wrong, embarrassing, or—heaven forbid—nerdy to value my alone time revolutionized my outlook on life. I mostly credit this to reading Quiet (a must-read for all introverts), but also to identifying with the strong-willed but bookish, soft-spoken characters in novels like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Fahrenheit 451, and Jane Eyre. We introverts love people, but we know that we cannot show them the love they deserve when we’re too burned out from spending time with them. (Madeline Fry)
The Belfast Times talks about the actress, now novelist, Talulah Riley:
In a lot of romance literature, the male characters have characteristics which would be considered quite misogynistic, like Jane Eyre's Mr Rochester's Riley says. "Yet those guys are considered really attractive to women. (Hannah Stephenson)
La Prensa (México) has an article about the writer Sonia Ehlers:
La escritora mexicana residente en Panamá cree que hay más amor que odio en su novela. “Te puedo decir que soy amante del realismo de Camus, de los diálogos de Heminghway (sic), del romanticismo de Jane Austen, de los mundos paralelos de Virginia Wolf y las hermanas Brontë. Los vicios de algunos escritores también forman parte de los protagonistas de esta novela”, argumenta. (Fanny D. Arias Ch.) (Translation)
Ahora (Spain) reviews a recent bilingual republishing of the complete poetry of Emily Dickinson:
En los prólogos de la edición que nos ocupa, José Luis Rey soslaya la “leyenda, cierta, de su vida aislada, de la bella de Amherst”, para atender a su clasificación dentro de la tradición a la que pertenece: “hija del padre de aquella literatura, Ralph Waldo Emerson”, “admiradora de las Brontë”, “influencias fundamentales de la Biblia y Shakespeare”, “poeta de lo trascendental”.  (Natalia Carrero) (Translation)
Cromos (Colombia) announces a film series on TV channel Studio Universal:
Se inicia con el estreno de “Jane Ayre”(sic), la historia de una joven institutriz que huye de su empleo en Thornfiel House debido al amor que siente por su jefe, Edward Rochester, y el pasado que éste oculta. La joven, que fue criada en un orfanato, reflexiona sobre su juventud y los acontecimientos que la llevaron al neblinoso páramo donde trabajaba, así de decide regresar. El film es una exquisita adaptación de la novela de Charlotte Brontë y lo protagonizan Mia Wasikowska y Michael Fassbender. (Translation)
SoloLibri (Italy) reviews George Eliot's Silas Marner:
Non per questo gli autori hanno fallito nel descrivere personaggi di spessore umano significativo, basti pensare a Heathcliffe (sic) di “Cime Tempestose” o all’eroina “Jane Eyre”. (Claudia Graziani) (Translation)
Últimas Noticias (Venezuela) interviews the screenwriter Fernando Azpúrua
-¿Y qué pasó con el cine y la televisión?
– Ahorita acabo de terminar de escribir una mini serie junto a César Sierra para IdeasVIP. Es una versión de cinco capítulos de la novela “Cumbres Borrascosas” que estrenará muy pronto en las pantallas de los venezolanos. Ha sido un proyecto que me ha enseñado muchísimo y definitivamente otra forma de acercarse a la ficción. (Translation)
Wuz (Italy) talks about the Italian translation of Lyndall Gordon's Charlotte Brontë. A Passionate Life. Once Upon a Book Star posts about Jane Eyre.