Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Trailblazing Jane

Theatre People looks at what the new season is bringing to London:

The National Theatre offers a plethora of intriguing productions during Artistic Director Rufus Norris' debut season. The play I am perhaps most looking forward to is 'Jane Eyre.' The National's co-production with the Bristol Old Vic, directed by Sally Cookson, begins performances in the Lyttelton Theatre on 8th September and continues through to 10th January 2016. It will be interesting to see how the two theatrical power houses adapt Charlotte Bronte's classic novel for this eagerly anticipated stage revival. (Tom Millward)
And so does The Shields Gazette:
Finally, almost 170 years on, Charlotte Bronte’s story of the trailblazing Jane Eyre is as inspiring as ever. This bold and dynamic production uncovers one woman’s fight for freedom and fulfilment on her own terms on December 8. (Vicki Newman)
Tribune de Genève (Switzerland) features the fourth volume of Stieg Larsson's Millenium saga by David Lagercrantz and makes it clear that.
Il y a bien eu des suites aux romans de Margaret Mitchell, Jane Austen, Emily Brontë, Agatha Christie ou Ian Fleming. Mais rien de si «top secret». (Pascale Frey) (Translation)
RTE (Ireland) also uses this book to discuss other books that have received similar treatments such as Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea.
Described as a prequel to Charlotte Brontë's novel Jane Eyre, the highly-regarded novel Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys was published in 1966 and remains a kind of cult classic. Prequels – now that’s a whole other ball game. (Paddy Kehoe)
Another recently-released book on Flavorwire: Elena Ferrante's The Lost Child, which 'Concludes Her Tetralogy on Female Friendship and Feminist Doubles'.
Doubles — whether twisted sisterhoods or dark mother-daughter duos — are a common feature of feminist fiction. They appear in many iconic works, from Bertha, the infamous madwoman in the attic whose violence symbolizes Jane Eyre’s suppressed rage to saintly-or-evil Rebecca, laughing from beyond death at the mousy second Mrs. DeWinter, to the returned spirit of Beloved torturing her mother, Sethe, the two women growing and shrinking in proportion to each other. Doubles represent different kinds of womanhood: the furious and the complacent; the sexual and the proper; the one who stays and the one who leaves; the radiant and the ordinary; the sacrificed and the survivor. The structures of racism, classism, misogyny, the world of men — these intruders bifurcate the lives of women, who by necessity must take different routes through the hostile maze; they must choose either to combat the forces that push them down or cooperate with the oppressor. (Sarah Seltzer)
More traditionally, The Irish Times discusses the English literature curriculum.

This article from The Guardian also mentions the classics:
Growing up, the books I read were littered with dead mothers: Wuthering Heights, Oliver Twist, any number of fairy tales. Before I was old enough to even figure out how women got pregnant in the first place, I knew that the process of becoming a mother was incredibly dangerous. (Lilit Marcus)
Racked looks at bedridden female characters and coincidentally mentions a scene connected to Catherine's motherhood.
WUTHERING HEIGHTS
By Emily Bronte
Mr. Lockwood spends the night snowed in at a house called Wuthering Heights and sees a ghost named Catherine. As it turns out, she was in love with WH's housekeeper Heathcliff, but married someone else, even professing her love for him on her deathbed.
Catherine's dead the entire novel, which is not great ~for women~ but she has a pretty high-octane flashback sickbed scene, wherein she swears she sees birds coming out of her pillow and pines for Heathcliff aloud. And if there's one way to be the ultimate bed-dweller, it's to put on a melodramatic show about it. Then, people will come visit you in bed instead of you ever having to leave that warm place. (Claire Carusillo)
The Oxford University Press Blog wonders whether Yorkshire was the birthplace of film recalling that,
However, filmmaking in Yorkshire carried on. A 1920 adaptation of Wuthering Heights (A.V. Bramble), filmed 9 miles north of the Brontes’ home in Haworth, was hailed in The Biograph as ‘a real triumph of film art’. (Annette Kuhn and Guy Westwell)
Fast forward many years and we have Michael Fassbender playing Mr Rochester on screen. According to Jezebel,
Those of us partial to the Victorian period film might have difficulty conceiving him as anyone other than Jane Eyre’s Rochester, but I for one am perfectly content to have the option. (Rachel Vorona Cote)
Bustle lists '17 Songs For Book Nerds Perfect For Your Next Read, From Bowie To The Beatles' and of course Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights is included on the list:
Kate Bush meets Emily Brontë. It's your moody teenage self's dream. (Rachel Semigran)
Bedford and Bowery mentions the song too when speaking about Faten Kanaan,
a synth captain who wrangles a sound that balances between Kate Bush at her most forlorn and the closing credits to a film about some murderous British-schoolgirl love triangle. Perhaps she’s a descendent of the Brontes. (Nicole Disser)
More pop culture as Forward's The Sisterhood discusses what the MTV Music Video Awards 'Taught Us About Female Friendship'.
By the modern period, female friendships became a fixture in history and literature, with important depictions by authors like Jane Austen and the Brontë Sisters. (Maayan Dauber)
The Brontë Parsonage Museum Facebook page reports that there are still tickets for a couple of events included in their Brontë Festival of Women's Writing.

73 Treasures and A Charlotte Brontë Manuscript

 © Lancashire County Council's archive
An exhibition currently at the Museum of Literature in Preston, Lancashire contains an interesting piece of Brontëana. A letter from Charlotte Brontë:
75 Years, 74 TreasuresSome of the county’s rarest historic items, brought together to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Lancashire County Council’s archive service.

Museum of Lancashire, Stanley Street, Preston, until Saturday, September 27
Lancaster Maritime Museum, Custom House, St George’s Quay, Lancaster from October 3 until January 10, 2016.
But now items like a letter from Charlotte Brontë, watercolour paintings of Lancashire landmarks, a ship’s logbook, lost property registers from Blackpool trams, maps and sketchbooks, are considered such gems they feature in a new exhibition. (The Blackpool Gazette)
In their day, they would have seemed nothing out of the ordinary.
The letter is from Charlotte Brontë to Lady Kay-Shuttleworth, 22 March 1850 after her visit to Gawthorpe Hall.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Reading Jane Eyre regularly

Los Angeles Daily News reports that Los Angeles News Group Managing Editor Carolina Garcia is retiring. She is a Brontëite as

She keeps an old, hardbound copy of “Jane Eyre” on her bookshelf and reads it regularly. (David Montero)
According to Gold Web TV (Italy), Wuthering Heights is the embodiment of a 'classic':
In quale epoca, quindi, viaggeremo oggi? Cosa vedremo, ascolteremo? Se è vero quanto abbiamo scritto finora, sarà la sensibilità di chi scrive a scegliere la meta e condurre il viaggio. Pertanto scegliamo l’Inghilterra, più precisamente la contea dello Yorkshire; quanto al tempo, siamo nell’ ‘800. Troviamo un’abitazione, una casa coloniale in mezzo alla brughiera chiamata ‘Wuthering Heights’, ‘Cime Tempestose’. Qualcuno lo riconoscerà, l’avrà già visto, altri ne avranno sentito parlare, magari evitandolo: parliamo del libro di Emily Brontë. E’ stato il suo unico romanzo e spesso si tende a confonderla con Charlotte Brontë, la sorella, anche lei nota scrittrice. Il romanzo ‘Cime Tempestose’ è stato scritto in epoca vittoriana e fu pubblicato dalla scrittrice con lo pseudonimo di Ellis Bell. Il libro non fu accolto molto bene, fu persino ritenuto immorale. La struttura della narrazione non piaceva e il contenuto appariva ‘forte’ e crudo. La struttura, in effetti, non era molto vicina a quella tradizionale. Si definisce struttura a matrioska quella di questo romanzo. Nel romanzo ritroviamo molti di quelli che oggi definiamo, in linguaggio cinematografico ‘flashback’. Il racconto della storia del protagonista, Heathcliff, parte dal suo arrivo nella casa degli Earnshaw, quando era piccolo. I figli del signor Earnshaw, Hindley e Catherine, non vedono subito di buon occhio il nuovo arrivato, ma con il tempo Catherine si affezionerà sempre di più a lui. Hindley invece, ne diventerà sempre più geloso.  E mentre il legame con la ragazza si rafforzerà, la gelosia di Hindley diventerà sempre più forte fino a quando, diventando erede del patrimonio paterno ridurrà Heathcliff a poco più di un servo. Senza dire troppo, ci limitiamo ad accennare all’amore che legherà il protagonista a Catherine e al rancore all’odio che cresceranno in lui quando non riuscirà ad averla. L’odio con gli anni si sedimenta e diventa progetto di vita. Il suo desiderio di vendicarsi di Hindley e di tutti coloro che hanno reso impossibile il suo sogno d’amore, lo renderanno cieco nei confronti del mondo e ‘Cime tempestose’ diventerà casa piena di dolore. Film e serie tv lo hanno ripreso spesso e ora quando pensiamo a un amore tormentato pensiamo a questo romanzo. Sarà per questo che è un ‘classico’? (Francesca Surdi) (Translation)
Bustle has compiled '13 Experiences Only Book-Lovers Have When Dating', such as
10. You've been known to call a date by the wrong name
No, Heathcliff was not your ex's name, but you can't convince your date of that. You didn't mean to call out your literary-lover's name in the moment of passion, but you were reading right before you went out, and can you really be blamed for having books on the mind at all time? (Sadie L. Trombetta)
And speaking of Heathcliff, The Conversation has an obituary on horse trainer Bart Cummings, who
was a man of distinctive and impressive appearance. In youth he had the brooding good looks of a Heathcliff.  (Wayne Peake)
The Literary Sisters gives four stars to Wide Sargasso Sea. And finally congratulations to The Brontë Sisters blog on her more than 600,000 pageviews.

New Jane Poetry

Two new Brontë-related poems of Rita Maria Martinez have been published on the Notre Dame Review online companion, NDreVIEW:

NDreVIEWSummer/Fall 2015
Marsh End Priestess and Jane Eyre Thinks of Tarzan's Jane.


But there is more, the author herself confirms that her
poetry collection, The Jane and Bertha in Me, will be published by Kelsay Books in 2016. These poems take Charlotte Brontë's Gothic heroine and revamp her with tattoos, fishnets, and modern feminism. Martinez also resurrects infamous “madwoman” Bertha Mason Rochester and examines the stigma associated with mental and neurological illness. Watch for individual poems forthcoming in Apalachee Review and in Gargoyle. Visit Martinez's website at http://comeonhome.org/wordpress_development/.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Jane and Rochester under the drones

The Conversation on the evolution of female pen names:

The evolution of female pen-names from Currer Bell to J.K. Rowling (...)
Most discussions of contemporary women writers who have adopted male pseudonyms or initials to mask their sex draw connections between these writers and a long line of literary women, such as the Brontë sisters and George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), who have published under assumed names. (...)
Likewise, women authors challenged expectations of women’s domestic and maternal roles. Budding writer Charlotte Brontë received the following comments in a discouraging letter from English poet laureate Robert Southey in 1837: (Michelle Smith)
Literature cannot be the business of a woman’s life, and it ought not to be. The more she is engaged in her proper duties, the less leisure she will have for it, even as an accomplishment and a recreation. To those duties you have not yet been called, and when you are you will be less eager for celebrity 
The New York Times talks about selfie drones, the dark side of technology, indeed:
Imagine sunsets at the lake or beach with dozens of selfie-drones cluttering the sky, each vying for that perfect shot. Picture canoodling on a seemingly remote park bench during your romantic getaway and ending up on video. The intimate walks and tête-à-têtes that call to mind Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester would hardly be the same with drones whizzing by. Think of your children building sand castles and being videotaped by passing drones. Who will be watching and recording us, and where will that information end up? (Stephanie Rosenbloom)
The model Neelam Gill in  ABP:
Neelam agrees she is "uncool" in some ways: "Reading! Since a young age I've always loved reading books and I've never grown out of it. It's a form of escapism."
Books she has read in recent months include Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights and Khaled Hosseini's And The Mountains Echoed.
Lisa Ma vindicates the Luddite activism innovations (wtf?) in The Huffington Post but saying that Charlotte Brontë was a pro-luddite writer is a bit misguided (did she read Shirley?):
The Luddites left a legacy of pro-craftsmen literature in some of the most influential cultural figures such as writer Charlotte Brontë, novelist Mary Shelley, industrialist William Morris, critic John Ruskin and writer Thomas Emerson.
And Los Angeles Times pays tribute to the retiring News Group Managing Editor, Carolina Garcia:
But an absent father and a dedicated mother growing up drew her to stories with strong women. She keeps an old, hardbound copy of “Jane Eyre” on her bookshelf and reads it regularly. (David Moreno)
The Misfortune of Knowing shares her opinions on Jane Eyre;  The Indiependent revisits Catherine Earnshaw's character. Nick Holland's Anne Brontë explores the stay of Anne in London in 1848.

Guillermo Del Toro on Jane Eyre in Toronto

If we were near Toronto today, August 31, you are pretty sure that we would attend this master class at the TIFF'2015:
Gothic Master Class: Guillermo del Toro on Jane Eyre

Guillermo del Toro joins us for an extended introduction and post-screening discussion on the 1943 adaptation of the Charlotte Brontë masterpiece, starring Joan Fontaine and Orson Welles.
Jane Eyre
Joan Fontaine and Orson Welles star in this atmospheric adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's classic Gothic romance.
Schedule: Monday, August 31
7:00pm 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The secret Brontë novel of Hannibal Lecter

The Western Daily Press gives us the results of a recent survey on classic literary heroines:
Elizabeth Bennet, the charming and quick-witted protagonist from Jane Austin's  (sic) beloved Pride and Prejudice, has been crowned the nation's all-time favourite classic literary heroine.
Agatha Christie's much-loved detective Miss Marple was runner-up, followed by the eponymous central character from Charlotte Brontë's 1847 novel Jane Eyre. (...)
The survey of 1,000 UK adults was conducted by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment to mark the DVD release of Thomas Hardy's Victorian love story 'Far from the Madding Crowd', whose Bathsheba Everdene was named 13th most popular character
A spokesman said: "The study shows that classic stories are still very popular amongst the British public. (...)
3. Jane Eyre - Jane Eyre - (1847) Charlotte Brontë (...)
9. Catherine Earnshaw - Wuthering Heights (1847) Emily Brontë
The Sunday Express publishes a list of the best new short story collections:
The Redemption Of Galen Pike by Carys Davies (Salt, £9.99)
This delicate, magical collection won the Frank O’Connor Award for Short Stories and the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize and it’s easy to see why. They are precise but full of beautifully observed details that fill compact vignettes with incident and emotion.
They include the sadly tender tale of Charlotte Brontë heading to a meeting with her publisher with a declaration of love in her heart and The Journeyman where a world of unexpressed yearning is given voice in a gift of an uneaten dish of fresh peas and mint and a page-and-a-half of faultless prose. (Charlotte Heathcote)
Deccan Herald reviews yet another collection of stories, A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin:
Did I mention that, in one story, a couple’s date involves going to a Greyhound bus station to watch Midnight Cowboy on personal TV sets into which they feed quarters? Did I mention the narrator who observes that “heroin” sounds nice because the word reminds her of Jane Eyre and Becky Sharp and Tess? (Dwight Garner)
Entertainment Weekly reviews the latest episode of Hannibal (Season 3, Episode 13):
Of course things go wrong. Dolarhyde can’t be controlled, nor his actions predicted, in such a way. He attacks the convoy, leaving only Hannibal and Will for a brief road trip to Hannibal’s cliff-side dacha, where he previously kept Miriam Lass and Abigail. The setting is like that of the Brontë novel Will and Hannibal were always secretly enacting. (Keith Staskiewicz)
More reviews, The Post and Courier publishes an article about Outline by Rachel Cusk:
Whether with strangers or loved ones, the dilemma stays the same: Is it possible to be close (and share a story, a journey, a life) while also keeping separate and free? The narrator’s feelings are almost always mixed. On one hand, she considers human separateness a kind of tragedy. She laments, for instance, the separateness of Cathy and Heathcliff in “Wuthering Heights,” looking from the outside into the Lintons’ drawing room and seeing totally different scenes. To Cathy, the family scene is everything she wants, to Heathcliff, everything he disdains. When the narrator’s airplane neighbor takes her by boat to a small cove, they find themselves sharing the space with a family. She can’t take her eyes off them. (Catherine Holmes)
Hickory Record has an article about Janine Mendenhall, historical fiction writer:
Mendenhall said to think in terms of Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, or even Downton Abbey when wondering what sorts of stories influenced her writing and her fascination with period costumes. (Mary Canrobert)
Whiplash talks about the classic Genesis album Wind and Wuthering 1976 (with blunder included):
Citações literárias continuam misturadas com tentativas de humor, como atestam os títulos das instrumentais "Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers…" e "…In That Quiet Earth" , que reproduzem as frases finais do romance O Morro dos Ventos Uivantes (Wuthering Heights), de Charlotte Brontë (NOP, wrong sister!) e da filler “Wot Gorilla”, referência a Chester Thompson, ex-Frank Zappa, que passara a acompanhar o Genesis nas turnês. (Roberto Rillo Bíscaro) (Translation)
 The Times posts a short review of Alison Case's Nelly Dean and lists the National Theatre's production of Jane Eyre as one of the Autumn season hottest tickets. Little Crocodile posts a nice Jane Eyre illustration. Pepi's Symposium talks last year's Shake and Stir's production of Wuthering Heights in Australia. Absolutely Gothic posts about Heathcliff and larchs (did the Monty Python knew about this?).

Often Rebuked on the Radio

Alexandra Gilbreath
Today on BBC Radio 4:
Words and Music
Today 17:45
Wide Open Spaces

Alexandra Gilbreath and Steve Toussaint read poetry and prose which explores our feelings about wide open spaces, the yen to explore but also the fear of what we'll find. From meadows to mountain tops, down rivers and out to sea, across city roof tops and down harrowing migrant trails and the final frontier, what may lie deep inside our imagination? With readings from Emily Brontë to Eduardo Galeano, from Langston Hughes to Jackie Kay and Robert Louis Stevenson and the music of Hadyn, Herbie Hancock, Sibelius and Tallis.

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

Emily Brontë
Poem 'Often Rebuked Yet Always Back Returning', read by Alexandra Gilbreath
Music: Masekela/Irving
Stimela (the coal train)Performer: Hugh Masekela.
Aaron Copland
Appalachian Spring (Opening)
Performer: St Louis Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin (conductor).
Although the poem is attributed to Emily Brontë in the programme, there is no consensus about it (check this old post for more information).

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Brontë Completists

The Telegraph & Argus talks about Yorskshire destinations for the upcoming bank holiday:

Haworth, the home of the famous literary family - the Brontës - is one of Yorkshire's popular tourist destinations.
Doreen Pickles from The Old White Lion Hotel and Restaurant says they are traditionally busy during bank holidays but this latest getaway is the last chance for families to take a break before the children return to school.
"Haworth has always been a busy village and people are staying at home and doing short breaks," says Doreen.
But what is the appeal of Haworth? "It is very quaint, a lot of people comment on that and everything is within walking distance," adds Doreen. (Sally Clifford)
Flavorwire on being an author completist:
The last time I intentionally became a completist was soon after graduating college, when I sat down and read the last minor works by the Brontë sisters, Agnes Grey by Anne and The Professor by Charlotte, supplementing my rampage through their bigger novels in high school. Having also read some Brontë juvenilia, I felt satisfied in declaring myself a Brontë completist. (Sarah Seltzer)
Bustle explores the website How Long to Read This:
Oh, man, do you really have to read Rebecca if you've read Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre? Yes. Yes, you do. Daphnew du Maurier's classic story will take you less than 6 hours to read: 5 hours and 53 minutes, to be exact. (Kristian Wilson)
You can check your Brontës on the website, but the reading times vary wildly according to the edition chosen.

Also on Bustle, being well read:
There are poetry-lovers, and memoir devotees, and readers who have been devouring the same ten classics (1984,Slaughterhouse Five, Wuthering Heights, etc.) since high school. (E. Ce Miller)
Financial Times discusses the figure of the dramaturg in theatre productions:
Wait a minute, you might think: isn’t that the job of a director? Mike Akers, dramaturg on Jane Eyre at the National Theatre, points out that the director has many tasks to juggle in rehearsals. “I’m able to sit outside all the other pressures and focus solely on the arc of the story and the way it is coming across as a piece of theatre, as opposed to a novel. The dramaturg is the little voice on the director’s shoulder.” (Sarah Hemming)
Howard Jacobson describes an Edinburgh Book Festival anecdote in The Independent :
I just had time to denounce reading as a gender-sensitive activity. I grew up reading countless novels written about women by women, I said, and never once felt excluded on the grounds that I wasn’t one. Jane Eyre pleased me more than Tom Jones. Reader, I was Fanny Price.
The Irish Times reviews Latest Readings by Clive James:
This collection of essays is haphazard, as James blithely admits. Yale University Press “kindly” asked him to compose a book about whatever he happened to be reading, and he has done just that. His selection is “in no particular order”, his reading habits not unlike those of a bookish child during the summer holidays.
A bookish child reads Enid Blyton one day and Charles Dickens the next, about Nancy Drew, or Wuthering Heights. Latest Reading conveyed to me a sense that a fatal illness may let you off the hook, presumably if you’re not suffering too much. (Éilís Ní Dhuibhne)
Another review, this time of a novel by Lucy Treloar, Salt Creek. In The Australian:
Among much else, Salt Creek is a subtle study in masculinity. For all his biblical sternness, the patriarch may have corrupted his sons. Given the chance, Fred — like Hester — escapes to England, realising his vocation and there able to express his homosexual desires. Mr Bagshott, touring the district to make records for the colonial government, may have been acquainted with the Brontës back in Yorkshire, but reprehends the education of women and Aborigines, opinions unthinkingly bolstered by scripture. (Peter Pierce)
The Nation (Sri Lanka) talks about the Gothic literary genre:
By the Victorian era, the popularity of the genre began to diminish and was replaced by the historical romance. Although the genre had lost its place as a dominant genre, gothic fiction was still being published, as proved by the works of Edgar Allen Poe, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1847) and Charles Dickens’ work.
Die Welt (Germany) reviews Lila by Marilynne Robinson:
Manchmal erinnert das alles an Jane Eyre oder Aschenputtel. Nur ist der Prinz hier ein alter Prediger. Und nichts geht so gut aus wie im Märchen. Lila und John kommen einander nach vielen einsam verbrachten Jahren nur sehr vorsichtig näher. Etwa über das Buch Ezechiel und Lilas Fragen nach dem Sinn ihrer Lebensgeschichte. "Ich weiß nicht, wo ich herkomme", sagt sie zu John, "ich kenn meinen eigenen Nachnamen nicht." (Carmen Eller) (Translation)
Epictetus. Discourses on wargaming posts an enigmatic Brontëblog (no relation with us) post;  1001 films (in French) reviews Wuthering Heights 1939.

Emily's Poems in Luton

An alert for today, August 29:
Luton Poetry Society presents
Be A Poet - History Comes Alive

Luton poets are set to travel back in time to meet and perform as historical poets, all dressed up for the occasion The event will feature great minds like Sylvia Plath, Thomas Gray, Lady Mary Chudleigh and Emily Brontë, stretching even to 70 BC to discover ancient Roman poet Vergil (Vergilius Publius Maro).

Luton Central Library (Conference Room)
29th August, 2015
2pm to 4pm. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Gloomy as Its Owner

The Columbia Star publishes extracts from the 1890-1895 journal of Mamie Boozer Morrell, the grandmother of the author of the article, Kathy Morrell Newman:

*1891: “I am reading a book called “Jane Eyre” and words fail me when I try to tell how I enjoyed it. All I can say is that when I am not devouring it I am hungering and thirsting for it. I get scolded very often for reading so much by everyone but Papa and he never has in his life; on the contrary, he tries to cultivate my tastes more and more.”
In The Guardian, Helen Maslin publishes a top ten of literary castles and country houses:
Thornfield Hall, Jane Eyre
Thornfield is a typical gothic mansion, as remote and gloomy as its owner. But having already survived the abuse of Gateshead and the cruelty and privation of Lowood, Jane Eyre is undaunted. She takes up the position of governess to Mr Rochester’s young ward and is shown around the Hall, finding “all was well-arranged and handsome”, although she admits to some qualms about the third floor. Here, the rooms and corridors are dark and gloomy and filled with all the oldest furniture. The housekeeper, Mrs Fairfax, says “One would almost say that, if there were a ghost at Thornfield Hall, this would be its haunt.”
From the third floor, comes mad and mirthless laughter. There is an unexplained fire in the night. Later, Jane hears a scream and the sounds of a struggle and finds an injured man, oozing blood. After he has been secretly despatched in a chaise, Rochester is unable to face re-entering the house: “Come where there is some freshness, for a few moments,” he said, “that house is a mere dungeon; don’t you see it so?”
When Jane returns after a year’s absence, she finds that Thornfield has suffered the fate of so many mansions in gothic novels. It’s a blackened ruin.
BBC Radio 4 intervies Susan Calman, creator of the new Radio 4 sitcom Sisters:
 As comedian Susan Calman's new sitcom about the lives of two sisters starts on Radio 4 we asked her to pick out a few of her favourite real and fictional sisters. Here goes... (...)
Like many schoolchildren of a certain age, I was forced to read the Brontë’s novels. Personally I found the repressed, corset-stretching romance rather dull. Stop staring wistfully round the moors love! He’s no good for you! Try Tinder, there are loads of blokes on there.
It must have been hard for them though. Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre was released within months of her sister Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. Charlotte, although the most famous and successful of the family, was fascinated by the topic of sibling rivalry, and explored the 'finding of the self' in her work. Emily by contrast was reserved and painfully shy, but if Charlotte ever had plans to dominate her, she’d have thought twice after Emily, bitten by a possibly rabid dog, calmly walked into the kitchen and cauterised the wound herself with a hot iron. Would you tangle with a woman like that, even if she were your sister?
My sister and I have never written rival novels. But I did once burn myself with her straightening iron when I was pretending it was a lightsaber. So in many ways I’m as bad ass as Emily Brontë.
Literary landscapes in the Daily Mail:
'No visit to the Yorkshire Moors, for example, can be undertaken without thoughts of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights; Dorset will be forever glimpsed through the prism of Thomas Hardy's fictional Wessex; the Kent marshes will always belong to Dickens.' (Jane Shilling)
The Hindu interviews the writer Sneha Deepti:
Apart from The Brontë Sisters, Sneha Deepti is fond of Rabindranath Tagore’s literary works. “I draw inspiration from their writing style as well. ‘Mandaravalli’ unfolds chapters of a bold woman who follows the path of dharma and contributes to society, braving all odds. (Rani Devalla
Claire Smith is taking the Rory Gilmore Challenge and talks about it in the Burlington County Times:
As I had loved reading “Pride and Prejudice” for school, I decided to venture into a similar vein with “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë. While I preferred Austen’s classic, I pitied Jane’s childhood abuse and her struggle with Mr. Rochester.
NME lists the best songs of the band The Maccabees:
Spit It Out. (...) It begins with a foggy, atmospheric piano that sounds like it could soundtrack the opening to a Jane Eyre film adaptation, before blooming into a blistering scorcher of a tune, full of angry, barked vocals. (Lucas Fothergill)
Sveriges Radio (Sweden) is a bit extreme here, talking about sequels:
Sherlock Holmes och Lord Peter Wimsey och systrarna Brontës hjältinnor fann inte i vila i graven. Alla stapplar de omkring som litterära zombies, långt efter den naturliga döden. Uppföljare funkar nästan aldrig. Det är ju ett svårt uppdrag: någonstans mellan spökskrivarens och copywritens. Man ska fånga föregångarens geniala gnista, hålla fast den, rentav tortera den, långsamt, utan att den skriker. (Ulrika Knutson) (Translation)
The Northampton Chronicle is waiting for the local performances of ChapterHouse Theatre's Jane Eyre.

Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall

The second installment of the Eyre Hall trilogy is already available:
Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall: Book Two Eyre Hall Trilogy (The Eyre Hall Trilogy 2)
Luccia Gray
August 28, 2015

Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall is the second volume of The Eyre Hall Trilogy, which will chronicle the lives and vicissitudes of the residents of Eyre Hall from the beginning to the height of the Victorian era.
Following Edward Rochester’s death, Jane Eyre, who has been blackmailed into marrying a man she despises, will have to cope with the return of the man she loved and lost. The secrets she has tried so hard to conceal must be disclosed, giving rise to unexpected events and more shocking revelations.
Romance, mystery, and excitement will unfold exploring the evolution of the original characters, and bringing to life new and intriguing ones, spinning a unique and absorbing narrative, which will move the action from the Yorkshire countryside, to Victorian London, and across the Atlantic Ocean to Colonial Jamaica.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Not Dating Heathcliff

The Derby Telegraph recommends the ChapterHouse touring Jane Eyre performance in Buxton for this upcoming bank holiday:

Chapterhouse Theatre Company presents Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre in one of the few open air venues in Britain, Pavilion Arts Centre in Buxton. Can easily be enjoyed as a family or with a bottle of something cold – umbrella advised!
Same for the Liverpool Echo:
Jane Eyre is coming to Liverpool’s Exchange Flags. (...)
And if your name is Jane you could be in with a chance for an extra special evening.
The first 10 Janes to get through the doors on the day of the production and prove their names will receive free entry and a complimentary house drink from Fazenda Rodizio Bar & Grill. (Catherine Jones)
Cambrian News announces yet another Brontë-related piece of sorts, Lip Service's Withering Looks:
A spoof on the lives of the Brontë sisters, Withering Looks, is to appear at Neuadd Dwyfor in Pwllheli this evening (Thursday).
An authentic insight into the lives and works of the three Brontë sisters — well, two of them actually, Anne’s just popped out for a cup of sugar.
The wind turbines issue in Brontë country is again in the news. The Telegraph & Argus report of a new application:
 A detailed statement accompanying the application explains: "The proposed wind turbine will be sited in a field of grazing land approximately 385 metres east of the A6033 Hebden Road, the nearest major road.
"An existing turbine owned by the applicant lies 236 metres to the west of the proposed site.
"The development is being put forward to generate renewable energy for the National Grid and to help meet the Government’s renewable energy targets and obligations.
"It would also off-set the high energy usage of the joint applicant’s businesses and reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
The statement points out the turbine would be designed and located to minimise impact on the surrounding landscape's appearance, character and wildlife.
It also notes: "The proposed turbine will not be visible from the area around the [Brontë] Parsonage and [Haworth Parish] Church or the top end of Haworth Main Street near the Black Bull."
A spokesman for the Brontë Society said it was aware of the application, but did not currently wish to comment.
The plans will be decided by Bradford Council. (Miran Rahman)
The Irish Times talks with the writer Kathy Lette:
Favourite authors? (Brian Campbell)
The Brontës - I am a walking Brontosaurus; Jane Austen - a barbed commentator on the battle between the sexes; and Flaubert. Madame Bovary’s salutary tale of marital double standards could be renamed `The Mourning after the Knot Before’.
Gina Barreca in The Hartford Courant doesn't date any Heathcliff:
Believing my passionate, unbridled, unedited reactions to any kind of emotional incident meant that I was a deeply intricate and complex soul. It took me long years to realize I more or less couldn't contain myself. I did everything except run through the darkness shouting "Heathcliff! Heathcliff!" into the storm.
And that was only because I didn't date anybody named Heathcliff.
Gulf News interviews the Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan who has a colourful reading list:
“There are also autobiographies, like Gandhi’s and Hitler’s. But I want to get on to Wuthering Heights next. It’s amazing how those women came up with all these stories living in the middle of nowhere,” he says, referring to author Emily Brontë and her sisters. (David Tusing)
Wow reviews Abnormally Funny People, seen at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival:
New girl to the party is Caro Sparks and she lives right up to her name. Highlights of her set include finding out British Sign L anguage for c***and an unforgettable, fabulous signing version of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights. I have never liked that song. Till now. (Kate Copstick)
The Upcoming reviews the Liv Ullman's film adapation of Miss Julie:
Love triangles are some of the most heartbreaking dilemmas, but the film fails to get a single tear from the audience. Surely, this is not an ardent romantic story akin to Wuthering Heights, but there is still a pronounced lack of emotional engagement in the direction that the performances are left to carry upon their shoulders. (Alejandro Arrieta)
The Millions discusses among other things endings in novels:
These are not the definitive endings of Shakespearean plays — there is no marriage or sweeping death — or Greek plays — there is no intervention from a god or interpretation from a chorus. Neither are they the end of Jane Eyre, where Jane finds her way back to a diminished Rochester, or the end of Age of Innocence, where we skip ahead many years to see that Archer’s choice (of how to live) was indeed permanent, or the end of Anna Karenina, where Anna throws herself under a train and Levin comes to religion, one forever unhappy and one forever happy. (Matthew Salesses)
Cooma-Monaro Express reviews the book An Economy is not a Society by Dennis Glover:
In its original political and economic usage, "reform" was a 19th Century movement that set out to build a sounder moral basis for the new economy being created by the Industrial Revolution, and he names "the great thinkers and writers of the day, most notably Charles Dickens, William Blake, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charlotte Brontë and many others ..." (Nick Goldie)
 Malta Today interviews the Libyan writer Hisham Matar:
What role could your work, and Libyan contemporary literature, can play in the much needed reconciliation process in Libya, which is plagued by deep divisions (tribal, regional, political etc.)? (Teodor Reljic)
Libya is being eaten up by the disease of revenge. In her 1847 masterpiece, Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë writes, “Treachery and violence are spears pointed at both ends – they wound those who resort to them worse than their enemies.” If you want to see a vivid example of this, look at Libya today.
Sentieri Selvaggi reviews the Ghibli film When Marnie was There:
L’atmosfera, in fondo, è ribadita dal “Marnie” del titolo, che tara la natura hitchcockiana di un racconto più vicino a certe suggestioni gotiche dell’autore inglese (si pensi a Rebecca la prima moglie) e contestualmente attento alle possibili reminiscenze dei romanzi ottocenteschi (fra Henry James, Dickens e Emily Brontë). (Davide di Giorgo) (Translation)
Todo Literatura (Spain) talks with the writer Rita Morrigan:
¿Quiénes son tus autoras clásicas favoritas del género romántico?
Por nuestra propia historia, el romanticismo en España apenas duró. En mi biblioteca están Rosalía de Castro y a Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer. Sin embargo, en el romanticismo inglés sí hay muchos más referentes. Las que están en mi biblioteca y que he releído varias veces son Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, las hermanas Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell y Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Translation)
The Times-Union Superquiz has a Brontë-related question (not an easy one!); Beauty and Lace reviews Alison Case's Nelly Dean;  Spiral Nature reviews Jody Gentian Bower's Jane Eyre's Sisters. The Brontë Parsonage Facebook Wall publishes exciting news:
Our collections team have returned from London with some exciting new acquisitions, recently purchased at auction from Sotheby's! These two watercolour paintings attributed to Charlotte Brontë depict a white carnation and a study of a convolvulus, a crocus and an aster. We'll shortly be sending them away for some conservation work, and they'll be on display in 2016, Charlotte's bicentenary year!

The Brontës in Brussels and in French

The Brontës in Brussels by Helen MacEwan appears in French in Belgium:
Les Sœurs Brontë à Bruxelles
Collection : la ville écrite
Publisher: [BE] CFC-Éditions
Author: Helen MacEwan
Hardback, 225x150mm, 224p, 90 colour illustrations,
French edition
2015
 ISBN-13: 9782875720139


« Mes amies m'ont conseillé […] de postposer l'ouverture de l'école de six mois, et […] de passer cette période dans une école sur le continent […] Je n'irais pas en France ou à Paris. J'irais à Bruxelles, en Belgique […] la vie là-bas est pratiquement la moitié moins chère qu'en Angleterre, et les possibilités d'éducation sont égales, voire supérieures à n'importe quel endroit en Europe. » (Charlotte Brontë, Lettre à Elizabeth Branwell, 29 septembre 1841.) En 1842, Charlotte et Emily Brontë, dont les romans respectifs Jane Eyre et Les Hauts de Hurlevent compteront parmi les plus importants du 19e siècle, quittent les landes du Yorkshire pour Bruxelles. Âgées d'une petite vingtaine d'années, toutes deux souhaitent perfectionner leurs connaissances en langues, principalement en français, en vue d'ouvrir une école pour jeunes filles en Angleterre. Le « pensionnat de demoiselles Héger-Parent » les accueille

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A new respect for Wuthering Heights

The Gazette & Herald talks about Scarborough and asks something we positively know:

Did you know that Ann(sic) Brontë is buried in the graveyard at St Mary's Church? (Maxine Gordon)
ABC Radio (Australia) interviews the writer Nikki Gemmell:
Gemmell had wanted to be a writer ever since she devoured Jane Eyre as a primary school student in Wollongong. But being brought up by a single mother instilled a fear of becoming a 'starving poet in a garret' in her, and so after leaving university she set out to make a living. (Rosanna Ryan
Chicago Sun-Times reviews a local production of After Miss Julie:
Miss Julie, recently jilted by the officer she fancied, is clearly on the prowl, and desperate to lose her virginity. She and John have had a powerful, long-suppressed attraction since she was a child (there are echoes of Heathcliff and Catherine of “Wuthering Heights” here). (Hedy Weiss)
Sioux City Journal reports the new Janes in town:
#29. Jane
Rank in 2014: 322nd
This name originated as a female form of John, but has grown to be so much more. The name was hugely popular in the 17th century as an element in name combinations (such as Sarah-Jane) but was also used in the 1400s. A 19th century influence on the name comes from the main character in Charlotte Brontë's novel “Jane Eyre” (1847). (Laura Delamare)
We had a good laugh with this satirical piece on SBS's The Backburner:
“There are some really dangerous ideas in there for young people,” claimed one parent. “We should be sticking to the classics - like Wuthering Heights, that excellent story about the harassment of a woman by a scorned almost-lover who feels entitled to her life, or Romeo and Juliet where those teens go have sex then kill themselves - that’s what they should be studying.
More lists on Bustle, "10 Ways To Get Out of Your Genre Rut":
Choose A Book That Was Assigned Reading, But That You Never Actually Read
Whoever thought that assigned reading could actually be interesting? Sure, it seems as though every book a teacher ever assigned got automatically blacklisted, however, if you open your mind, this could be the way to finally get yourself to a whole new place in your literary life. Break out the old syllabus and get to reading. You may find that you have a new respect forWuthering Heights when it isn’t forced upon you. (Vanessa Jackson)
According to Domain, these are a few things you should have in your home after the age of 30:
A copy of the following books: Pride and Prejudice, To Kill a Mockingbird, Jane Eyre, Love in a Cold Climate, The Pursuit of Love, The Line of Beauty, The Dud Avocado, The Group and Infinite Jest (this final one you will never read, but best keep it there with the thought that you might one day). This is mostly because these are my favourite books and I think everybody should read them. But really, you just need to have books – because not having any is unforgivable. (Annie Stevens)
Financial Times discusses radio podcasts including
The presenter Melvyn Bragg unexpectedly discovered his appetite for learning was shared when he was given 9am on a Thursday morning — the “death slot” — on BBC Radio 4. He used the opportunity to do something he had always wanted to do: hurry leading academics through their field of expertise, live on air. Bragg himself thought this concoction would last about six months. In Our Time has survived 17 years.
Although by the end of the 45 minutes you might not entirely understand nuclear fusion, utilitarianism, Jane Eyre, carbon — or whatever topic has been chosen that week — having it as a podcast allows you to rewind and have another go. Either way, the harried scholars are invariably fluent and generous with their knowledge. (Lily Le Brun)
Manga Maniac Cafe posts the favourite reads of writer Emma Chase:
3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë: I’ve adored this book since I was fifteen years old – the drama, the passion! To me, Heathcliff is the prototype for every romantic “bad boy” who came after him.