Friday, September 22, 2017

7th Brontë Festival of Women's Writing

On Friday, September 22, 2017 at 12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
A festival showcasing and celebrating women's writing at the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
7th Brontë Festival of Women's WritingSeptember 22- September 24

Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë were pioneering women writers and continue to inspire contemporary literature in limitless ways. The Museum is delighted to be hosting its seventh festival dedicated to showcasing and celebrating women's writing.

Friday 22 September from 7pm
Cobbles and Clay
Getting Yourself Out There! Self-Publishing and Self-Promotion 

with academic Laurie Garrison, and novelists Sarah Dunnakey, Jane Davis and Helen Taylor. The festival kicks off with this evening focuses on the growth of alternative publishing methods, and our  panel will share their experiences of self-promotion and the dos and don'ts when developing your audience.

Saturday 23 September from 2pm
Brontë Parsonage Museum
Stepping Into the Sisters's Shoes: Writing Workshop with Liz Flanagan

Are you a teenage girl who likes to write? Join YA author Liz Flanagan for a writing workshop here at the Brontë Parsonage Museum. In this workshop devised especially for girls aged 12-16, Liz will lead a series of writing exercises, designed to be fun and accessible. Attendees will also be invited to take a walk through the Museum and draw inspiration from the collections to create a new piece of writing.

Saturday 23 September, 2:30pm
Venue: West Lane Baptist Cente, Haworth
Adapting the Brontés with Rachel Joyce and Deborah McAndrew

The novels of the Brontës are among the most commonly adapted in literature. Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall have been brought to life as plays, ballets, films, operas and radio dramas. Join novelist Rachel Joyce and playwright Deborah McAndrew as they discuss the challenges inherent in adapting some of the world’s best loved fictional texts to suit a new medium.

Saturday 23 September, 7:30pm
West Lane Baptist Centre, Haworth
Sarah Perry: Meet the Author of The Essex Serpent

Novelist Sarah Perry talks about her bestselling novel The Essex Serpent. Set in 1893 and firmly rooted in the author’s home county of Essex, The Essex Serpent follows Cora, a keen amateur naturalist convinced that what the local people think is a magical beast may be a previously undiscovered species, and William Ransome, a local vicar who sees the rumours as a distraction to the true faith.

Sunday 24 September, 10:30am
Ponden Hall, Stanbury
Writing for Stage: A Workshop wth Deborah McAndrew

Join playwright Deborah McAndrew for a workshop on writing for the stage, which will combine her extensive advice and experience with more practical exercises, and  a focus on the particular challenges of adapting classic novels.

Sunday 24 September, 02:00pm
Ponden Hall, Stanbury
Writing for Radio: A Workshop with Rachel Joyce

Rachel Joyce, award-winning novelist and author of BBC Radio 4’s Jane Eyre, Agnes Grey and Shirley, hosts a workshop on writing for radio covering the essentials of the medium – ‘telling’ instead of ‘seeing’ and some of the dos and don’ts of audio drama. Rachel has also written over twenty original afternoon plays and adaptations of the classics for BBC Radio 4, including all the Brontë novels.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thursday, September 21, 2017 10:42 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
Exploring words in Jane Eyre on the Oxford University Press blog looking into the Gytrash/guytrash.
One of them is guytrash “goblin; specter.” The word occurs in Jane Eyre. The idea that trash here is a variant of thurse is Scott’s, and it looks convincing. In Chapter 12 of Charlotte Brontë’s novel, the goblin is described so: “…a great dog, whose black and white color made him a distinct object against the trees. It was exactly one mask of Bessie’s Gytrash (sic)—a lion-like creature with long hair and a huge head; it passed me however, quietly enough, not staying to look up, with strange pretercanine eyes, in the face, as I half expected it would. The horse followed—a tall steed and on its back a rider….” After all, the figure turned out not to be G(u)ytrash, and the most frightening part of the description is the word pretercanine, most likely Brontë’s coinage on the analogy of preternatural (so “beyond what one could expect from a dog’s eyes”). (Anatoly Liberman)
On Female First, dress historian and author Lucy Adlington picks her 'Top 10 Novels For Fashion Lovers'.
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë (1847)
Jane Eyre is one of those classic novels which gives something new each time you read it.  There are plentiful references to clothes throughout the book, all giving insight into characters and emotions.  While early Victorian fashions seem demure and restraining they, like Jane’s calm exterior, can hide passionate souls.  From Jane’s drab school uniform, to the ravaged lace of her wedding veil, clothes show mood… and madness.  I particularly like Jane’s adoption of black and grey for daily wear. Seemingly sensible, it actually becomes a colour of possibility and quality, in contrast to the peacock colours of more gaudy characters. Add a brooding Mr Rochester and you’ve all the elements for intelligent escapism.
Gears of Biz recommends '10 Books Like ‘Good Omens’ To Read While You Wait The Upcoming Miniseries', including Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair.
What Good Omens does for the Bible, Jasper Fforde does for all of English literature. The Eyre Affair is set in a slightly different universe from our own, where people watch Richard III like it’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Thursday Next is employed as a literary detective. Everything changes for Thursday, though, when she discovers her ability to actually jump into books, and soon she’s on the case tracking down the kidnapper of Jane Eyre. (Bill Cooke)
A columnist from Deseret News discusses motherhood and creativity.
Before having kids, I worried about the tug between my creative endeavors and being a mother. After all, my favorite female writers, the Jane Austens and Willa Cathers and Brontë sisters of the world, led famously childless lives. While things have certainly advanced since the Victorian era, there is a still the tug between creativity and mothering. Even as a teenager, I had the habit of flipping to the author’s bio of each book I read, just to see how many children she had. (Tiffany Gee Lewis)
The Gainesville Sun features the Gainesville Orchestra's opening show for the 2017 season, "From the Mediterranean Sea to the German Alps".
[...] other pieces will include Francis Poulenc’s Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano [...]
Poulenc’s trio brings the audience to the German Alps, Haile said. It’s a “very passionate, very sweeping” piece that resembles romantic dramas like “Wuthering Heights” and “Jane Eyre.” (Paige Fry)
From First Page to Last has a Q&A with writer Claire Evans:
6. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life which book would it be?Wuthering Heights. Without a doubt. It’s probably the book I have read the most – maybe 10 times at various stages of my life. I think there is something elusive about it, something unknowable. Every time I read it I promise myself I will really concentrate, find what I’m missing, but then I get swept along and have to accept there are no more clues to be had. Emily Brontë is top of the list of women I would like to talk to in the afterlife – if there was one. I think if I could understand her, I would finally understand this book. But then maybe I’d find it less compelling. I don’t know. I think it’s a masterpiece by the way – THE masterpiece of novel writing. Just writing this makes me want to read it again.
Writergurlny features Isabella Linton. Paperblog reviews Ángeles Caso's Todo ese fuego in Spanish. And more on Branwell Brontë and Wordsworth’s Lake District on the Brussels Brontë Blog.
A new retelling of Jane Eyre has just been published:
Jane, Unlimitedby Kristin Cashore
September 29, 2017

The highly anticipated standalone from the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the Graceling Realm series—a kaleidoscopic novel about grief, adventure, storytelling, and finding yourself in a world of seemingly infinite choices.
Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.
Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family’s island mansion called Tu Reviens.
Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.” With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn’t know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.
Read Jane, Unlimited and remember why The New York Times has raved, “Some authors can tell a good story; some can write well. Cashore is one of the rare novelists who do both.”

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Chester Chronicle features the new book Charlotte Brontë, Legacies and Afterlives by Amber K. Regis and Deborah Wynne.
The front cover is also a University of Chester production, having been designed by Dr Simon Grennan, research fellow in the department of art and design.
This volume of essays has been compiled as a response to Charlotte Brontë’s bicentenary and offers a timely reflection on the persistent fascination of Brontë’s life and work.
The essays cover the period from her first publication in 1847 to the 21st century and explain why her work has endured in so many different forms and contexts.
Charlotte Brontë, Legacies and Afterlives analyses the intriguing afterlives of characters such as Jane Eyre and Rochester in neo-Victorian fiction, cinema, television, radio, the stage and, more recently, on the web.
From obituaries to vlogs, from stage to screen, from novels to erotic makeovers, it takes a fresh look at 150 years of engagement with one of the best-loved novelists of the Victorian period.
A further University of Chester connection is that one of the chapters has been written by Dr Louisa Yates, director of research and collections at Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden and a visiting lecturer in English at the University of Chester.
Professor Wynne said: “The impulse motivating the current volume of essays stems from the question of why Charlotte Brontë’s work continues to be so widely read. We are also asking why her characters have endured in so many different forms and cultural contexts.
“Visitors come from all around the world to visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum and it is clear that Charlotte Brontë is a cultural phenomenon which continues to evolve, as do her literary legacies.
“The book’s contributors come from many universities and we bring the story of Charlotte’s afterlife and legacy up to 2017. (Leah Jones) reviews Aline Brosh McKenna's Jane.
Aline Brosh McKenna doesn’t just recreate the story of Jane Eyre but instantly makes it her own. She sets Jane’s goals threading her wants, feelings, desires, ups, and downs throughout the story. McKenna’s approach to the novel fascinated and inspired me. In particular, the way we see life through the very private and secret life of Jane herself. Jane is a woman that is coming into her own and profound within her thoughts. She observes, which McKenna makes a huge part of the story for a fantastic reason. It connects to her art and her way of dealing with others.
Another captivating part of Jane is following our leading lady through her journey of becoming her woman. We witness her finally not being alone and what that comes with. She forms her own chosen family and makes moral decisions as she figures out whats right and wrong, good and evil and so on. The original novel deals with this theme as well, but McKenna takes it a little deeper. She brings it into the new age, especially as she tries to figure out her aspirations and dreams through her art and job.
Ramón K. Pérez is an absolute craftsman of an artist. I can honestly say, without a shadow of a doubt, that I was blown away by Pérez pages for this graphic novel. Jane is a remarkable work of art that reads personal and feels personal through the art. He takes Jane’s perspective and observations, bringing you fully into her point of view. He brings that feeling and frame of mind not only within in the art but the colors Irma Kniivila provides with his assistance. They lace the graphic novel with a combination of arresting moody, but rich, warm colors. It creates a perfect balance for the story as a whole. It even amps up the romance brewing between Jane and Mr. Rochester so well. [...]
Jane is a lovely and out of this world inspired adaptation of the original novel. It’s natural, sensible and above all else, true to itself. (Insha Fitzpatrick)
And another Jane Eyre retelling on Vox: YA novel Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore.
If you’re a fan of gothic great house books, you know there are only a few directions for Jane, Unlimited to go in. There’s the Jane Eyre direction, where the heroine wins the love of the saturnine master of the house, only to be briefly foiled by his still-living ex-wife. There’s the Rebecca direction, where the heroine wins the love of the saturnine master of the house, only to be briefly foiled by his dead ex-wife. Or, if you really want to stretch, there’s the Northanger Abbey direction, where the whole story turns out to be the product of the heroine’s over-active imagination.
But Jane, Unlimited romps joyously over all of these expectations. Why pick one road, it demands, when you could pick all of them? Having spent its first 84 pages providing Jane with a plethora of potential mysteries to investigate, the narrative pivots on a single moment of decision and then spins out from there into several parallel timelines, unraveling what might ensue from every choice she makes.
One decision leads Jane into a spy thriller. Another takes her into a gothic horror story. Another into a space opera. There are more. (Constance Grady)
And Publishers' Weekly has a Q&A with the author:
This novel also contains a lot of allusions to many classic novels, most notably Daphne du Maurier’s RebeccaWell, if the main character was going to have all these different kinds of adventures, I realized the setting was going to be really important because it would be the backdrop against which all these adventures would be set—almost like how the setting of a video game lays a foundation for what the game will be like. So once I decided that Jane was an orphan and that most of the story would take place inside a house, it had to be a strange, isolated house where a lot of odd things could be going on. And once I settled on that I couldn’t help but think of Rebecca. And then how could I have a house of mystery without some Jane Eyre references? And then something else prompted me to include Winnie-the-Pooh, and Dr. Who, and Vermeer. What was I thinking? It sounds ridiculous. (Sue Corbett)
Hull Daily Mail reviews Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre.
The actor playing Jane is incredibly versatile, as are the rest of the cast, but she effortlessly eased from playing a ten-year-old orphan into a well-versed governess with her own independence. [...]
With a live band on stage and haunting operatic vocals from a surprise character, it was the music that really added to the drama of the story.
With Mad About The Boy and Crazy slowed down and performed at pivotal parts, the modern additions fit well with the 170-year-old tale.
With the first screech of a baby, I was unsure whether the play would be too thespian for my taste. However, within a couple of scenes I was drawn in and the three hours seemed to zoom by.
The standing ovation at the end is testament to what a wonderful play this is, but with swapped gender roles and the odd swear word, do not expect a typical retelling of this classic story. (Hannah Robinson)
The Huddersfield Daily Examiner has author Alan Titterington speak about Branwell Brontë.
Branwell Brontë has unfairly gone down in history as a drunken drug-taker says an author who has researched his life.
This year marks 200 since Branwell’s birth in 1817 and Calderdale writer Alan Titterington says Branwell was a highly talented man who brought out the creativity in his famous sisters.
He said: “Usually in the shadow of his more famous literary sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne, Branwell is increasingly recognised as a major driving influence of their creativity from childhood.
“Remembered more for a dissolute life of alcohol and opium abuse, he was nevertheless the first to be published (poetry in the Halifax Guardian) and his achievements were less than his sisters not just because he lacked their application but because of the sheer diversity of his talents. It was also Branwell that encouraged his sisters to write novels rather than the less profitable poetry.”
Alan says Branwell was poet, portrait painter, church organist, Greek classicist and in possession of an unusual skill to write in both Greek and Latin simultaneously using both hands for which he won bets in pubs around Halifax, including the since-demolished Talbot public house in the adjacent Woolshops, frequented by Piece Hall traders and visitors alike on market days.
Branwell recorded a friendship with businessman John Titterington in his Luddenden diaries, painted portraits of him and his wife Mary and visited his friend on market days at the Halifax Piece Hall where John and his father Eli and his brothers traded from room 63 in the Rustick gallery.
Thomas Titterington, John’s grandfather, an original tenant at the Piece Hall, opened his room for business at 43 Rustick on the very first day of trading at the market on January 1, 1779. Blondin’s Ice Cream Parlour now occupies this space.
In honour of both Branwell’s birthday celebrations and specifically in memory of the original Piece Hall tenant Thomas Titterington, his great-great-great-great-great-great granddaughters Niamh, Erin and Ruby Titterington have been invited to open trading on October 7 by ringing the Piece Hall bell at 10am.
The girls’ grandfather Alan has re-imagined events from 1848 in his novel St John in the Wilderness which includes capturing the essential flavour of the times on trading days at the Piece Hall as well as Branwell and the Brontë family. The eponymous John of the title, disinherited by his own father, goes on to be incarcerated in the debtors’ prison at the notorious York Castle from where he relates the story of his eventful life.
Number 63 Rustick is today trading as Spogs and Spices. (Andrew Hirst)
More on the Brontë Society taking over the Haworth Visitor Information Centre in Keighley News.
Councillor Gary Swallow, chairman of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council, said: "The end of the information centre, as proposed by Bradford Council, would have been a great loss to the tourist industry in Haworth.
"And it would have jeopardised our viability as a tourist centre.
"So I'm delighted that this is going to be run by the Brontë Society. We wish them well and if they need any assistance or advice in future as a parish council we'd be more than willing to work with them."
Worth Valley ward councillor Rebecca Poulsen said: "While it's a shame that it's got to this stage, I think it can and will work and I'll support the society to make it a success.
"Losing the VIC completely would have been absolutely abysmal for this area, so I think this is the best outcome we could have hoped for." (Miran Rahman)
Still locally, Yorkshire Evening Post features Nancy Barrett, who aims to make 'the arts more accessible to those on low incomes'.
“Creative Scene was an ideal project for me. We are based in Dewsbury and it’s a town that I genuinely find fascinating. [...]
“This is a historic and really diverse part of Yorkshire. I associate it very much as the traditional ‘West Riding’; it’s full of history like the Luddite Riots, shoddy and mungo production, endless Brontë-connections and some really beautiful landscapes too, not to mention fine historic house and walled gardens and handsome town centres." (Alison Bellamy)
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
An alert in Arlington, VA for today, September 20:
"The Secret History of Jane Eyre" by John Pfordresher
How Charlotte Brontë Wrote Her Masterpiece
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
7:00pm - 8:30pm
Central Library, Arlington, VA

Why did Charlotte Brontë go to such great lengths on the publication of her acclaimed, best-selling novel to conceal its authorship from her family, close friends, and the press?
Georgetown University Professor of English John C. Pfordresher, author of "The Secret History of Jane Eyre," explores these questions through an investigation into the relationship between the novel's heroine and its author, a link Brontë denied but which in complex ways emerges in virtually every aspect of the book.
Books will be available for sale and signing after the event.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 9:26 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
Broadway World has a video interview with Nadia Clifford, who currently plays Jane Eyre in Sally Cookson's adaptation.

The Washington Times reviews the novel The Little French Bistro by Nina George.
Novels about women leaving a dismal marriage are legion. One of the first in English was Anne Brontë’s “Tenant of Wildfell Hall,” whose heroine Helen takes her young son and runs away from her alcoholic husband. This was published in 1848 when divorce was not possible, and legally the child and any property the wife might have owned belonged to the father.
Helen therefore must live a secret life to protect her boy and herself. Brontë was taking aims at the cruel failures of the law to protect women and their children. Nowadays, novelists who take up the theme of the wife who abandons her marriage have no need to argue in favor of divorce. Instead they interrogate a relationship, asking implicitly or explicitly what shortcomings justify the wife’s departure. (Claire Hopley)
USA Today's Happy Ever After interviews writer Mimi Matthews.
Joyce: What inspires your book ideas? Mimi: Anything and everything. However, the biggest source of inspiration for me comes from my research. It’s while researching for my non-fiction history projects that I discover interesting tidbits about things that happened in the Victorian era, many of which find their way into my stories. I also draw inspiration from 19th-century novels by authors like Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and the Brontë sisters. For The Lost Letter in particular, classic Victorian literature definitely played a role in shaping the flow and style of the story. (Joyce Lamb)
Los Angeles Magazine recommends 'Seven Bars in L.A. That Are Perfect for Reading Books' such as
7. The Wellesbourne
10929 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles
We couldn’t make this list without including the only West L.A. bar we know of that can literally boast its own library. Dark wood, shelves lined with vintage tomes, and that’s just one of the snug rooms you’ll find at this decidedly Old World-inspired drinking den. Fireplaces, chesterfield sofas, velvet drapes—if you’re not reading something Victorian up in here, you’re probably doing it wrong.
What to Read Here: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (Brittany Martin)
While The New York Times recommends the show Literati: A Comedy Show About the Greatest American Novels Never Written at Union Hall.
This regular live show and podcast welcomes new comedians each month to read a selection of literature, real or imagined, in character and in costume. On Thursday at 9:30 p.m.,the guest headliners are Jacqueline Novak, left, who doles out Jane Austen-like wit with the self-assurance of Jane Eyre, and Jaboukie Young-White, whose Twitter feed could be compiled into a best-selling book of aphorisms. (Kasia Pilat)
Uncut reviews the film God's Own Country.
This debut feature from Yorkshire-born actor and first-time director Francis Lee shows the British countryside as a lonely and unforgiving place; his camera unflinching as it captures the graphic realities of livestock farming. It would be easy to see God’s Own Country as an uneasy mix of Brokeback Mountain and All Creatures Great And Small – it isn’t. Instead it feels closer in spirit to Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights – which similarly took place in an eerie, untamed wilderness – or Pawel Pawlikowski’s splendid Yorkshire-set same-sex romance My Summer Of Love. (Michael Bonner)
The Times has an obituary for Jeremy Dale Roberts who trained
singers for a recording of Bernard Herrmann’s opera Wuthering Heights at Barking town hall.
Another obituary can be read in Ojo (Perú), the actress Saby Kamalich who played Cathy in a Peruvian TV adaptation of Emily Brontë's novel in 1963.
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
Boom! Studios publishes today a contemporary comic adaptation of  Jane Eyre:
by Aline McKenna (Author), Ramón K. Pérez (Illustrator)
Archaia - Boom! Studios
ISBN-13: 978-1608869817

A reimagining of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel Jane Eyre set in present day, written by acclaimed screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna and Eisner Award-winning illustrator Ramón K. Pérez.
Growing up in a broken home in a small fishing town, Jane dreamed of escaping to art school and following the allure of New York City. When that dream becomes a reality however, it’s not long before she feels out of place by the size of the city and the talent of her peers. She soon discovers her place as she begins to nanny a young girl named Adele, but that is upended when she falls for the girl’s father, Rochester, a sardonic man of power, wealth, and unexpected charm. Jane learns that in the world of New York’s elite, secrets are the greatest extravagance and she’ll have to decide if she should trust the man she loves or do what ever it takes to protect Adele from the consequences of his deception.
Award-winning screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) makes her graphic novel debut with Eisner Award-winning illustrator Ramón K. Pérez (Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand) in this powerful reimaging of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel Jane Eyre in present day Manhattan, where luxury masks dark secrets.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017 10:32 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
The Independent features Branwell in the year of his bicentenary with the headline 'Branwell Brontë: The mad, bad and dangerous brother of Charlotte, Emily and Anne' and yet the article, with comments by Simon Armitage, is not as sensational as the headline would imply.
The sisters, of course, are known the world over for their collective body of work including Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Very little is widely known about Branwell, other than he had ambitions to be a successful artist which were never realised, and died aged 31 after spiralling into addiction to alcohol, laudanum and opium. There are even conspiracy theories which abound which claim Branwell actually wrote his sisters’ books for them.
But while it’s tempting to view Branwell as a Byronesque, proto-Beat Poet figure who suffered for his art through drink and drugs, the reality is he led a rather tragic life littered with failures, fraught ambitions, and unfulfilled dreams. [...]
But this is Branwell’s year, and curating a series of events and exhibitions at the Parsonage is the poet, playwright and novelist Simon Armitage. On 7 October, at the museum, Armitage will be in conversation about Branwell’s life with the actor Adam Nagaitis, who portrayed the Brontë brother in last year’s Sally Wainwright BBC drama about the family, To Walk Invisible.
“To a certain extent, I’ve always been aware of Branwell,” says Armitage, who was born in Huddersfield and now lives in Holmfirth. “But I suppose he was always a background figure in the Brontë story. He did literally paint himself out of his own portrait of the family.”
The Parsonage asked Armitage, who says growing up in West Yorkshire meant the Brontë story was “always part of the landscape for me”, to curate this year’s Branwell events. “It’s not really a celebration,” he says carefully. “I think that’s the wrong word when talking about Branwell. But it is a marking of the 200th anniversary of his birth. I think what I’m hoping is that this year will raise Branwell’s profile a bit. I suppose it’s something of a re-branding exercise.”
Largely educated at the Parsonage by Elizabeth and visiting tutors, Branwell was a precocious child with a not inconsiderable intellect. He was red haired and quick-witted, and had a fiery disposition. He had ambitions to both be an artist and a writer, and his gregarious personality and creative impulses had an effect on his sisters, of that Armitage is in no doubt.
“I think he must have been a huge influence on his sisters in their creative writing and creative thinking. He was exciting and interesting, and we can only speculate about the extent to which his escapades fuelled their creativity,” he says.
Others have speculated more closely about Branwell’s involvement in the sisters’ work; indeed there has long been a “Branwellian” movement, since the 1920s at least, which firmly believes he actually wrote Wuthering Heights, if not more of the Brontë books.
It’s a theory that’s roundly dismissed as nonsense these days, and which was satirised in Stella Gibbons’ 1932 novel Cold Comfort Farm, in which the character Mr Mybug is writing a book devoted to the conspiracy theory. Mr Mybug opines, “You see, it’s obvious that it’s his book and not Emily’s. No woman could have written that. It’s male stuff…”
The main argument (apart from, of course, that the whole idea is the sort of sexist claptrap roundly taken down in Joanna Russ’s 1983 book, How To Suppress Women’s Writing) against the whole idea is that while Branwell had very lofty ideas and was certainly not backwards at putting himself forwards, he probably didn’t have the talent and drive to do it.
Branwell had announced early on that he was going to be a poet and a painter. According to Armitage, he couldn’t have set the bar any higher. “He chose poetry and oil painting which were probably the most difficult disciplines to progress in at that time,” he says. [...]
“Really, his talents didn’t take him much beyond his teenage years,” says Armitage. “The lack of progress with his painting must have really frustrated him. His talent had dried up at the point when for most people they were beginning to enjoy artistic accomplishment.
“There’s certainly a picaresque element to his life, which some people seem to find quite exciting. But it’s more poignant and sad, really. If Branwell was being judged by today’s standards then we would certainly say he suffered from mental health problems and addiction issues.”
As part of this year’s Branwell commemorations at the Parsonage, they have recreated his studio, and while it is comprised of non-original items (unlike the other rooms in the museum which feature the exact clothing, furniture and decorations that the Brontës wore and used) it has been painstakingly researched and sourced and is everything you would want the den of the wayward Brontë brother to be. Unmade bed, filthy sheets, books scattered across the floor. [...]
“He was usually the author of his own downfall,” says Armitage. “His jobs always ended in disaster. I’m sure his heart wasn’t in any of them, they were never what he aspired to, but he could never make a success of what he wanted to be. He never produced anything of a high enough quality. He felt a failure.”
What might have made things worse for Branwell was that, as Armitage puts it, “as he was nosediving, his sisters’ stars were rising”. [...]
Most people who beat a path up the cobbled street of Haworth to the Parsonage go in search of the sisters, Charlotte, Anne and Emily. But this year at least they’ll be leaving with more of a sense of who Branwell, the wayward son, actually was.
If he left no other legacy, at least he created the only surviving portrait of our greatest literary dynasty, and though in a fit of pique and frustration he painted himself out of it, he’ll always be there, in the background, the black sheep of the Brontës. (David Barnett)
The Telegraph reports that the Brontë birthplace is for sale again and describes its current status as a lovely café.
Jane Eyre found the small mug of coffee she drank “with relish” at her daily 5pm meal “revived vitality”, while “a basin of coffee” failed to pull Heathcliff out of his crazed restlessness. Yet both Charlotte and Emily Brontë might be surprised to find their childhood home has been turned into a bustling community café.
The circumstances behind the coffee shop – now called Emily’s – have the makings of a 19th-century novel. “We bought it as a repossession three years ago,” says Mark De Luca, a former building surveyor who had left his job due to illness. “The house had been used as a buy-to-let, split up into bedsits. It was owned by a London property developer who had fallen into difficult times.”
Mark, 33, and his wife Michelle, 32, had been looking for a place to open a coffee shop. When they discovered this terraced brick cottage in the heart of Thornton, a village four miles west of Bradford, “the Brontë element was an added bonus,” says Mark.
They bought the house for £120,000 and spent £70,000 fixing it. “We stripped the property back to a shell and redid it: new flooring, damp works, roof repairs, new heating throughout, extensive repairs to the timber sash windows, new bathroom suite and a full internal decoration,” he says. “We created it from nothing, really.”
The De Lucas also had to apply for planning permission, including consent for change of use to part residential and part commercial, because of the building’s protected status. The Grade II* listed building was built in 1802 and was home to the Brontë family between 1815 and 1820.
What now serves as one of the main parts of the café, with seating for 16 on a variety of vintage school chairs and tables next to an original fireplace, is the former dining room where Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne were born. [...]
“We’ve brought the house back to life. It had fallen by the wayside and now it’s got its own heartbeat,” says Mark. “Thornton used to be pushed aside as Haworth’s poorer relative but now it holds as much importance to the Brontë family.”
He was “no Brontë aficionado” before buying the property, and has learnt about the history of the family and their house through a former owner who ran it as a museum from 1997 to 2006, the Brontë museum in Haworth and the busloads of fans who visit the coffee shop each year. [...]
“Patrick said that his happiest days were spent at Thornton and in Haworth he was a stranger in a strange land,” says Mark. “I lost my mother at a young age and my father at a relatively young age. Being from a broken family, I can relate to that.”
It is partly this background that prompted Mark to start a “suspended coffee” programme at Emily’s, whereby customers can cover the cost of an extra coffee so people who might not be able to afford one can come in for a hot drink. “You never know what’s going on in people’s personal lives,” says Mark. “We’re a social community where people come in for a shoulder to cry on or a laugh to be had.”
Now that Mark and Michelle have two children – Mariella, three, and Theodora, one – they are looking to sell the coffee shop. “We’ve got another business in the village, a hair salon that Michelle runs. It’s come to the point where one has to go, and unfortunately you can’t get rid of kids that easily,” he quips.
He is looking for offers in the region of £250,000 for Emily’s, which brings in £49,000 per year from being open four days a week. Included in the lot is the De Luca family home, a two-bedroom residence attached to the coffee shop with a private entrance, full of original Brontë-era features (07966 662832,
Mark and Michelle are currently looking for a new home in the Thornton area, so they’ll be near enough to keep an eye on the café. “I intend to experience Emily’s from a customer perspective now,” says Mark. “I’m excited for the property’s future, but there’s an element of me that’s sad to see it go. I’ve grown very attached to it. I’ll never own a property like that again.” (Lauren Davidson)
The Independent (Ireland) asks broadcaster Sile Seoige about her favourite things.
The book. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë; an absolute classic. I can still quote from it. As a teenager, I was obsessed by it. (Elle Gordon)
The Guardian has lunch with poet Lemn Sissay.
He’s come straight here from a meeting with some TV people at Channel 4, a “beautiful meeting” he says, if such a thing exists. He’s in talks to create a show or a series about orphans and foster children – he reels off a list: “Cinderella, Batman, Heathcliff, Harry Potter, Jane Eyre, Moses.” The idea will involve linking those characters with kids currently in care. “Families are like clever PR companies, protecting their monopoly of the idea of what it feels to be loved,” he says. “But dysfunction is also at the heart of all families. And a child in care is walking proof of that. People fear it might be contagious.” (Tim Adams)
A columnist from Las Provincias (Spain) thinks women shouldn't ask for permission to be or forgiveness for being feminists and quotes from Jane Eyre. Nick Holland has written a little (as it's actually a vast subject) on The Brontës On Film, Television and in Fiction on AnneBrontë.org.
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Two new Brontë-related papers:
Cathy’s mourning in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering HeightsJ. Albert Myburgh
Literator; Vol 38, No 1 (2017), 9 pages. doi: 10.4102/lit.v38i1.1359

In Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, illness and death cause characters to foresee, fear and react to other characters’ deaths. In this article, I explore the significance of Cathy’s anticipatory mourning of, and response to, the eventual actual deaths of her ailing father, Edgar, and her sickly cousin, Linton. Core 19th-century perspectives and fears relating to illness and death are both evident and contested in the representation of Cathy’s anxiety and suffering. I also investigate how Cathy’s grief is exacerbated by and affects the behaviour of other characters, notably Nelly, Linton, Heathcliff, Zillah and Hareton. The depiction of these characters’ responses to Cathy’s misery enriches their portrayal, implying that Cathy’s fear and grief are integral to both the novel’s plot and its character development.
Charlotte Brontë : plume insoumise
Isabelle Le Pape
Revista XIX,  v. 1, n. 4 (2017)

Les romans des sœurs Brontë révolutionnèrent les conventions de l’écriture féminine dans l’Angleterre du milieu du XIXe siècle. Le mystère autour du choix de leurs pseudonymes n’y est pas étranger. La plupart des critiques s’interrogeaient alors sur l’identité sexuelle des auteurs, notamment sur celle de Currer Bell, auteur de Jane Eyre (1847). Nourrie par une créativité littéraire intense dès son plus jeune âge, Charlotte Brontë va s’engager dans la voix littéraire avec une opiniâtreté rare, affrontant les représentations attachées à son identité de femme auteur. Nous questionnerons son entrée dans la vie littéraire depuis les juvenilia jusqu’à son dernier roman, Shirley (1849), dans un monde éditorial dominé par des confrères masculins, afin de comprendre en quoi ses écrits ont brisé radicalement les conventions alors de mise.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday, September 17, 2017 11:01 am by M. in , ,    No comments
Decatur Daily reviews Claire Harman's biography Charlotte Brontë. A Fiery Heart:
I admit the Brontë family’s relationships leave me livid, as well as the contemporary attitude toward women that made the sisters publish under pseudonyms. This new biography of Charlotte only adds to the irritation I feel when I learn more of the accomplishments of this brilliant woman. There are illustrations of her drawing skills and newfound novelettes and letters that only make it more of a travesty that she was denied her rightful place as a woman of letters. (Jane Davis)
Stuff (New Zealand) quotes author Min Jin Lee and her 2007 book Free Food for Millionaires:
"It really was such a hard book to write because I was trying to write a 19th century-style narration, because those are the kinds of books I love to read," says Lee, who counts George Eliot and the Brontë sisters amongst her formative influences. (Stephen Jewell)
Diario de León (Spain) presents Santiago Posteguillo's new book, El Séptimo Círculo del Infierno:
La inspiración para su obra la busca en grandes nombres de la literatura mundial, como el ruso León Tolstói o las británicas Jane Austen y Charlotte Brontë. (Nayara Batschke) (Translation)
Deadline Hollywood on the film Beast:
Unusually for a genre movie of this kind, the lead character is a woman, which was [Michael] Pearce’s goal from the outset. “I’ve always been struck by how many anti-heroes we have in cinema,” he said, “like Travis Bickle or Michael Corleone. But I can’t think of many anti-heroines, and the ones that we do have come from literature, whether it’s Gone Girl, Cathy from Wuthering Heights, Carrie or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I really struggled to think of a genuine film anti-heroine, and I thought, ‘That’s really weird.’ (Damon Wise)
Greenwich Time traces a profile of new author Finn Murphy:
Murphy's late father, John Cullen Murphy, produced the "Prince Valiant" strip for many years until his death in 2004 and his brother, Cullen Murphy, also wrote for the series.
"It wasn't, say, like the Brontës, where the siblings created an incredibly complex fantasy world,” said sister Caitlin Murphy of Manhattan earlier this year.
“But my parents did value reading. There were always lots of books around, and television viewing was limited. Trips to the library were a regular event. Finally, both my parents were themselves enthusiastic readers, so we grew up in that kind of atmosphere," she said. (Alexandra Villarreal)
A podcast by Proyecto Grado Cero (México) on Wuthering Heights.
A couple of recent Ph.D. theses focusing on Brontë translations:
Translating Forms of Address in Jane Eyre & North and South
Müller, V.K.
Utecht University
(2016) Faculty of Humanities Theses

This thesis deals with translating forms of address, in particular ‘you’, into Dutch, specifically in the 19th-century novels Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. Different relationships between main characters and some minor characters in Jane Eyre are analyzed in four different Dutch translations, dating from 1946, 1980, 1998 and 2014, to find translation strategies that are used for the forms of address. Context and historical background of these translations are taken into account with these analyses. The findings of this thesis suggest that there are multiple possible strategies to translate ‘you’ into Dutch, all of which take the dialogue surrounding the form of address into account, as well as the dialogue setting and the plot of the story. A strategy for translating ‘you’ into Dutch in North and South will be based on the strategies as observed in the various translations of Jane Eyre into Dutch. The proposed strategy will be tested in an annotated translation of some excerpts of Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel.
Tradução e Reprsentação em Wuthering Heights
Fábio Pereira Da Silva
Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, 2015

Based on Carvalho’s (2006) translation proposal and Mendes’ (1971) translation of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1985), this dissertation aims at discussing the differentiation process in translation. According to Carvalho (2006), the translators did not keep the features of the Yorkshire dialect in their translations of Brontë’s work into Portuguese. Instead, they would have chosen not to represent the dialect in such a way that the Brazilian readers could not note the linguistic differences in Joseph’s speeches along the novel. To solve this problem in her thesis, Carvalho (2006) proposes another translation of the Yorkshire dialect in order to recover in a non-standard Portuguese what was “lost” in the previous translations. Her new translation would be able to put the Portuguese-language reader into contact with the English “dialect”. However, when one compares her proposal with Mendes’ (1971) translation, it becomes clear that there is no “dialect erasure” in his version, as she argues. What Carvalho (2006) calls “erasure” is a result of her own representation of what translation would be and of an idealisation of language, dialect and the translator’s role in translation. She makes a representation of the “Yorkshire dialect” different than the one Mendes (1971) does, but she believes to be more “faithful to the original”. However, the analysis of her proposal shows that she needed to transform the “Portuguese” language to try to be “faithful to the original”, creating another differentiations which did not occur in the “original” itself. It is also noted that Carvalho’s (2006) discourse is embedded in ambivalences from her own theoretical viewpoint. Although she sometimes criticises the traditional view of translation, she reiterates it. Based on Derridean deconstruction, we approach this problem by considering translation as a transformation of the source text. This transformation enables the translator to create in another language other texts with new meanings, that is to say, different representations of the so-called original, which is a representation as well. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Santa Fe New Mexican reviews both A Girl Walks Into a Book by Miranda K. Pennington and The Secret History of Jane Eyre by John Pfordresher:
Readers whose editions of Jane Eyre are worn from repeated perusals may find two recent critical works about Charlotte Brontë worth a look. Miranda K. Pennington and John Pfordresher each see Brontë as anticipating modern feminism, though Pfordresher remains at an academic remove. By contrast, Pennington uses Jane Eyre essentially as a life manual. (...)
In part because of Jane’s evident backbone, Pennington takes as her main premise that Brontë’s protagonist is emotionally relevant in 2017. Then Pennington adds a few pinches of personal attitude and makes Jane and her creator, along with Charlotte’s sisters, Emily and Anne, into behavioral role models. In this way, Pennington combines long-term, deep knowledge of a biographical subject with a certainty that life lessons may be drawn from that subject in the here and now. Her approach is eye-opening, personal, and engaging. (...)
Pfordresher begins some interesting arguments, but doesn’t fully develop them. He maintains, for instance, that Brontë disliked women of color and offers a discussion of Bertha (the madwoman in the attic) to prove this point. However, the more compelling finding may be that Brontë herself related strongly to Bertha even while portraying her unsympathetically. This interior struggle in Brontë’s writing is exactly what Pennington writes about and finds most germane. By comparison, readers may find Pfordresher’s more familiar approach somewhat colorless. He notes that the death of Brontë’s mother and widowhood of her father infiltrate virtually all of her fiction, but leaves one longing for an acknowledgment of the strains the sisters experienced in other family interaction — such as with Branwell. For one thing, he famously removed himself from his painting of the siblings. Pfordresher’s notion that Branwell is the model for Rochester at least provides a welcome (if unconvincing) foray into a less well-trod area. Is this the “secret history” to which he refers?
Nevertheless, both critical approaches are reminders of just how compelling and different was Brontë’s authorial voice. A result of reading either book will be a strong urge to pick up Jane Eyre once again. Even from a high-desert vantage point, there’s simply no turning away from what West Yorkshire and its people meant to the creative psychology of Charlotte Brontë. (Patricia Lenihan)
Pacific Standard interviews Aline Brosh McKenna on her Jane Eyre graphic adaptation (with Ramón K. Pérez), Jane:
Tell me a little bit about how this book got started for you.
I always loved the story of Jane Eyre, it was a big touchstone for me in my early teenhood. I wanted to do some sort of homage to it but I never quite figured out what it could be. And then I adapted a graphic novel [Rust] for Archaia a few years ago, and it just hit me that this would be a wonderful way to adapt sections of it. Because [my version] isn't all of the Jane Eyre story, it's really just the Rochester section—that found a new spin on this character that I loved.
Jane Eyre is, in many ways, a story about the restrictions placed on women in the 19th century. What was it about the story that inspired you to adapt it for the modern day?
I think the essence of Jane Eyre is that she is good, moral, and pure in an impure world. That's the most important thing about the character that I clung to throughout the story. [In terms of what I adapted,] I was compelled by the haves and have-nots of being in the big city, and Jane who doesn't have a lot of money, and wants to be an artist. She comes to the city and has to live within her means but nonetheless develops a relationship with one of the wealthiest men in the city. There's a lot of obvious wish fulfillment there, but also just the social realities that we're dealing with, as opposed to the social realities that the [1847] Jane is dealing with.
So you were interested in a story about Jane bringing the 1 percent down to Earth?
Exactly. Bringing her moral perspective to the 1 percent.  (Read more) (Interview by Katie Kilkenny)
The designer Hannah Nunn shows her home in Hebden Bridge in The Yorkshire Post:
Her refurbished flat looks lovely and is also the perfect location for photographing her growing range of homeware. She and photographer Sarah Mason have just completed a shoot for her latest design, Charlotte’s Garden, which was commissioned by the Brontë Society to celebrate the bicentenary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth. It is made up of the flora in bloom around the Brontë Parsonage in late April, as Charlotte’s birthday was April 21.
Like the rest of Hannah’s designs, which include lighting, wallpaper and fabric, it has appealed to a national and international market.
“The first two rolls of wallpaper went to a lady in America and she was thrilled because she’s a Brontë fan,” says Hannah, who began her making career when she moved to Hebden Bridge after art college and a seven-year spell in Wales. (Sharon Dale)
 महाराष्ट्र (in Hindi) has an article on Emily Brontë (unfortunately with a drawing of Charlotte Brontë).

The Irish Examiner visits Brontë country and York:
Geoff Power visits the North Yorkshire landscape that inspired the Brontë sisters and Bram Stoker, and visits the medieval town of York, a haven for anyone with a sweet tooth.
The mist that exhaled slowly from the remote Upper Heights fanned across the gully that separated Stanbury and Howarth (sic) Moors.
We leaned into the wind as the path twisted uphill towards a distant blackened ruin. We had to pinch ourselves; it was early January and, incredibly, we were alone on this famous stretch of land.
For it was here that the Brontë sisters carved tragic incident and character out of a barren and beautiful landscape – unchanged for thousands of years. In the 1840s, Charlotte, Emily and Anne hitched up their dresses and strolled across this desolate moorland and, in the process, gathered ideas for their much-loved novels and poetry.
A Scarborough heritage walk in Scarborough News:
Leaving the market, head north up Cross Street, and continue into Auborough Street, swinging right into Castle Road, with The Scarborough Arms and Wilson’s Mariners’ Homes ahead. Castle Road swiftly leads to St Mary’s Church. Beyond the car park’s walling, you’ll find Anne Brontë’s grave near Church Lane. (Maureen Robinson)
The Guardian's best UK theatre this week includes:
Jane Eyre
The days when adaptations of classic novels made for dull theatre are long past. Sally Cookson has been leading the charge and her version of Charlotte Brontë’s novel is a pleasure: witty, theatrically inventive yet also faithful to the spirit of the original novel and its psychological underpinnings, as Jane’s conflicted thoughts and inner confusions are given voice by the ensemble.
Hull New theatre, 18-23 September; touring to 21 October. (Lyn Gardner and Judith Mackrell)
This letter published in The Telegraph & Argus is worthy of attention:
I AM very pleased the Visitor Information Centre in Haworth is being taken on by the Brontë Society – i.e. Parsonage – and it’s very easy to blame the council.
Haworth has thrived on the back of the Brontës. It’s also easy to overlook that the Brontës were born in Thornton, a village that has long been forgotten.
If the Visitor Information Centre can be taken on, what hope is there for the Brontë house in Thornton, where Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne were born?
The Brontë house at Thornton was the only place that all the siblings and parents lived together in harmony, as spoken by Patrick Brontë himself.
Andrew Duxury, Riddlesden
The Times's Pedant on English prepositions:
NM Gwynne, in Gwynne’s Grammar, warns that “to give the wrong preposition is illiterate, as ‘different to something’ is wrong and ‘different from something’ is correct”. Again, no explanation or evidence is offered for why a construction used by many great writers should be counted “illiterate”. (One example will do, from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre: “Mr Rochester, as he sat in his damask-covered chair, looked different to what I had seen him look before; not quite so stern — much less gloomy.”) (Oliver Kamm)
The Circleville Herald interviews the author Amy Randall-MacSorley:
Favorite books! My bestest present ever was the year my grandmother bought boxes of Nancy Drew books at an auction and gave them to me. Heaven! I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on. My favorites include Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, The Stand by Steven (sic) King, Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, Neither Wolf nor Dog by Kent Nerburn, so many, many more. I can’t pick one!” (Jennifer Bahney)
Knoxville News-Sentinel reviews the novel If the Creek Don't Raise by Leah Weiss:
The first person Kate meets is the preacher’s sister, Prudence: “The charcoal lids of her eyes are sunken. Her neck is creased with grime, her nails caked to the quick with dirt, her shapeless dress little more than a rag. One shoe is tied with a strip of cloth to keep the sole from flapping. This is poverty the likes of which I’ve never imagined except in the books of Dickens and the Brontë sisters,” Kate says. (Tina Chambers and
Time lists all the references seen in Darren Aronofsky's Mother!:
The isolated house and toxic relationship between Him and Mother is reminiscent of the sort of romance on the moors the Bronte sisters excelled at conjuring up. The heroine takes abuse because of her desperate devotion and is constantly being told to calm her nerves. (After all, women in Victorian times were always being labeled “hysterical.”) (Eliana Dockterman and Eliza Berman)
More on Mother!. Jennifer Lawrence is quoted in CineSerie (France):
La comédienne a fait un rapprochement entre le film et les romans victoriensprésentant des parcours de femmes qui se font peu à peu ôter leur dignité. Jennifer Lawrence lisait d’ailleurs Jane Eyre de Charlotte Brontë au moment du tournage. (Kevin Romanet) (Translation)
Ellen Margulies has a Wuthering Heights Stockholm syndrome in Tennessean:
Oh, Mother Nature, you moody beast. First, you slap a little winter on the tail end of summer. (Things got so gloomy there for awhile I found myself roaming across the moors searching for Heathcliff.)
Hyperemesis gravidarum in The Huffington Post UK:
It is thought that the author Charlotte Brontë might have been suffering from it when she died in 1855 after four months of pregnancy with intractable nausea and vomiting, apparently unable to tolerate food or water. (Rosie Newman)
Filmmaker Magazine interviews the director Clio Barnard:
Filmmaker: You worked with Brazilian cinematographer Adriano Goldman, who has recently shot the Netflix series The Crown. How did the two of you come together on this film? (Tiffany Pritchard)
Barnard: Initially I wanted Mike Eley, who worked with me on The Selfish Giant, but he wasn’t available. With Adriano, part of the reason I wanted to work with him was because he wasn’t from Yorkshire, and I knew he would bring an outsider’s eye to this. I also loved how he filmed Yorkshire in Jane Eyre — that felt like the Yorkshire I know, not the romanticized version that you often see.
Lettera 43 (Italy) on literature and rock:
Non meno celebre un altro amore sfortunato, quello di Kate (sic) e Heathtcliff nel romanzo ottocentesco di Emily Brontë, Cime tempestose. Kate Bush, affascinata dal romanzo, ne trasse una canzone - Wuthering Heights (1978) - che deve il suo successo alla particolare voce quasi da soprano dell’artista e all’atmosfera da fredda brughiera della musica grazie ai notevoli arrangiamenti in forma di ballata e alla chitarra di Ian Bairson. (Annalisa Terranova) (Translation)
Télérama (France) recommends Wuthering Heights 1970:
Les Hauts de Hurlevent (1970). Une adaptation méconnue, hyper-romantique – et très gothique ! – du classique d’Emily Brontë, où le beau ténébreux Heathcliff est incarné par un futur James Bond (Timothy Dalton, alors tout jeunot).Cécile Mury, Pierre Langlais and Samuel Douhaire) (Translation)
The Huffington Post (Québec) reviews Lady Macbeth:
Ce qui crée la modernité du film, c'est que William Oldroyd choisit le même parti pris que Nikolaï Leskov: celui de raconter une histoire forte dont on suit le déroulement dramatique avec anxiété et malaise. Pour détourner l'attention, il choisit un décor romantique, une comédienne au regard triste et doux, un paysage qui rappelle Les Hauts de Hurlevent entre la passion et la folie. Ou Les Sœurs Brontë, le film d'André Téchiné en 1979 avec Isabelle Adjani, Isabelle Huppert et Marie France Pisier, même atmosphère de plaines et de vent. William est avant-gardiste. Sa force, c'est de ne ressembler à personne. (Menou Petrowski) (Translation)
A Wuthering Heights-lover and model in La Crónica de Salamanca (Spain); Smart Bitches, Trashy Books reviews Villette (spoiler, she didn't like it).
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The Dangerous To Know theatre company presents a brand new adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's Shirley:
Adapted by Caroline Lamb
Directed by Helen Parry
Stage Maganer ... Joe Colgan

Seán Fitton ... Michael Barraclough / Reverend Helstone / Mr Sympson
Jo Gerard ... Mrs Barraclough / Hortense / Mrs Pryor
Mark Roberts ... Robert Moore
Elka Lee Green ... Caroline Helstone
Sam Redway ... Joe Scott / Louis Moore
Caroline Lamb ... Shirley

Fairfield Mill
Sedbergh, Cumbria, UK
September 16, 1pm, 3pm, 7pm
September 17, 11.30am, 2pm, 4pm

Discover the dark side of the industrial north and witness the Luddite uprisings with a gritty mill tour based on the classic novel.

Friday, September 15, 2017

CBR interviews Aline Brosh McKenna about her comic Jane.
CBR: Aline, let’s start with the inevitable first question — people know your work from movies and TV, but what made you want to venture out into the wild world of comic books and graphic novels? Aline Brosh McKenna: I adapted a book called Rust for Archaia a bunch of years ago, and in doing so, I really discovered and fell in love with graphic novels. Jane was an idea that I had for a while, and I really wasn’t sure what form it could take, and then it hit me that it could be a wonderful graphic novel.
I had become a big fan of Ramón from Tale of Sand, so I then went into the process of trying to find an open slot in Ramón’s life so he could do the book — and I waited for him, and waited for him, as I have not waited for another man in a very long time. [Laughs] I waited and waited. Finally, he was available to do it. It’s just been really fun, really rewarding. [...]
Jane Eyre is one of the most celebrated pieces of English literature, and no easy thing to take on, I’d imagine. No!
What is it about that original text that you find so inspirational, and perfectly ripe for a modern retelling like this? Every writer has their foundational texts. For me, the Brontë sisters were a huge part of my development as a writer, but I had despaired ever doing anything like that, because I knew at a certain point I probably wasn’t going to be a novelist. What I think has been liberating is taking this Jane story and putting it into a different form. I felt like we had more freedom with the material and the inspiration, and we kind of approached it like you might a modern-day Shakespeare adaptation.
I selected the things that had really resonated with me the most as a kid, when I had first read the book. For me, it was the Rochester relationship and the relationship with a man who is sort of dark and difficult, and all the other things that had become very compelling to me, and in the years after I read it as a child. It was an opportunity to select those most strife-ridden, romantic moments, and bring those to life.
There’s a long history of modern-day reimaginations of classic literature, and examples where it works very well — and a lot where it doesn’t. For you in approaching this, was it pretty easy for you to bring what you wanted from the story into the modern-day setting? I just really kind of chose the things that spoke to me the most, and I went about it that way. Things that really had stuck with me over the years since I had read it. That was really where I started from — the emotional relationship. Jane Eyre’s story has three sections in the novel, but this is really just the middle section.
Finding a way to make it current and relevant, but keeping the heart of Jane and her purity and her moral goodness, and her ability to be sort of a guidepost — a moral compass — for Rochester, and in this case, helping him become a better parent. I loved writing an “Annie” story, I loved writing a fish-out-of-water story, and the corporate intrigue was really fun. I just selected elements I was excited to write about.
In that process, as you alluded to earlier, how much freedom did you feel to, other than the external factors like the setting and time period, stray from the original material as needed to tell this story? We stray it from quite a bit. There’s a lot of invention. But I think the core energy of their relationship, and him discovering somebody who is from a different place and class, but actually has something to teach him; and the ever-present, he’s overlooking her external lack of qualifications to be in that world to see into her heart. It has a Beauty and the Beast element to it, this story — she’s the first person to see past his defenses, as well, and I think that’s what has made it such a staple romantic fantasy.
Definitely want to talk a bit more about Ramón Pérez’s work here — one of the best in the biz, without hyperbole — and getting this big of a story from him is neat to see, as is him doing a grounded story like this after a few years of superhero work at Marvel. When we started talking about it, we had a lot of the same references, visually, in terms of classic illustration art. A bunch of the pictures I showed him, he already had and had seen, which was interesting.
Ramon loves the ladies. [Laughs] I think doing something romantic and, on the face of it, more female-driven, really appealed to him. He really brings that — he brings a little bit of a male gaze to a female gaze story, which I think makes it sexy. [...]
Now that you’ve got your first graphic novel under your belt, do you find yourself bit by the bug? Are you planning on doing more? Definitely. I’m already cooking some stuff up. It’s very satisfying for someone who works in a process where I need 150 artisans to make anything — to make a TV show or a movie, you need 150, 200 collaborators. Working so closely with Ramón and the intimacy and the directness of that really appealed. The 13-year-old in me who read and loved Jane Eyre is thrilled that a book came out of it. Something you can hold in your hand like that really is a very satisfying feeling.
We discussed in the beginning of this interview about how Jane was previously being developed simultaneously as a film — is there any activity on that front? Right now, the rights have lapsed back to us. We’re thinking about what we might do with it, but haven’t made any definite decisions about that yet. (Albert Ching)
The Buffalo News reviews The Glass Town Game by by Catherynne  M. Valente.
This wondrous novel from acclaimed author Catherynne Valente was inspired by the Brontë siblings' childhood writings about an imaginary world they invented called Glass Town and spent endless hours playing in the parsonage at Haworth. As the novel begins, 12-year-old Charlotte and 10-year-old Emily – still mourning the deaths of their two older sisters - are dreading "The Beastliest Day," the return to boarding school. The girls are en route, escorted by 11-year-old Branwell and eight-year-old Anne, when they find themselves whisked off to Glass Town, where  their toy soldiers have come to life. Wellington commands an army of limeskin soldiers; Napoleon commands an army of frogs and rides a fire-breathing ceramic rooster. "Don’t worry, Em," Charlotte tells her sister. "We're only in an insane, upside-down world populated by our toys, our stories and Napoleon riding a giant chicken on fire. Nothing so bad as School." This is a world where words have real power, where the encyclopedia is "the son of the Gods, sent to redeem us from disorder" - and where a magic potion can bring the dead back to life. Valente offers dazzling wordplay, cleverly weaving in amusing references to the Brontës' life and work (there's a Wildfell Ball, the girls go by false names Currer and Ellis Bell, Charlotte muses that Mary Shelley might have named her wicked scientist "Edward or Mason or Rochester or something") that will resonate only with readers already familiar with the Brontës' work. Emily, painted silver to disguise her status as a "breather," gets her first kiss from young Lord Byron. Jane Austen shows up as a killjoy although there is this: "You must try to hear one of Janey's storyables while you're here; they're better than any of the desserts." The young Brontës the author presents seem to hew closely to the persons they were: Charlotte commanding, Emily the smartest, Branwell jealous of his sisters' talents, Anne, the quiet deep one. As the characters argue about what makes a good story, the problems with happy endings, the choices that must be made, the children's struggles to find courage in this imaginary world reflect the hard lessons they have learned in the real world they left behind.  This lovely book will appeal to children 10 and up and to Brontë fans of any age. (Jean Westmoore)
Fosters features the Jane Eyre. The Musical performances currently on stage in Portsmouth, NH.
“She’s an icon both in literature and in women’s history,” said Tess Jonas, a New York-based actress with Boston and New Hampshire roots who plays the lead role. [...]
The Seacoast Rep’s production is directed by Danielle Howard, responsible for several hit musicals at the theater, including last year’s “Little Women” and “Titanic,” and “South Pacific” in 2015. She said audiences for Jane Eyre will experience a story told with sweeping music and dramatic choreography.
“If there are people out there who don’t know Jane Eyre, I think they’ll find this a new telling. Theater does things that film can’t, and I think it can bring things to life in a different way,” Howard said.
“They’ll hear a really passionate, moving score,” she said. “There are a lot of new faces in the cast, and some glorious voices.” [...]
[Choreographer C. Robin Marcotte] Marcott is a specialist in “physical theater,” which Howard said focuses on using the movement to convey the inner character. She said the story takes place on “an emotional landscape.”
“The movement is always coming out of the character and emotion of the story. It’s evocative of the inner world of Jane,” Howard said.
Jonas said she was struck by the power of Brontë’s words, which are reflected in the song lyrics. “Songs in musicals are generally heightened emotional moments, and the fact that the lyrics in this particular musical are directly from the novel ‘Jane Eyre’ underscores how heightened these emotional moments are. Those words become even more important and more weighted because they are Charlotte Brontë’s words originally.”
Jonas, who played the socially-climbing Alice Beane in “Titanic,” said she dove eagerly into researching Jane Eyre’s character and Brontë, and it gave her a new take on feminism. “I really like that part of the process. It is important to understand the historical and literary significance of this particular work,” Jonas said. “I remember being like, is Jane Eyre really that feminist? And I read it, and it really is. ”
“She’s very austere, and she’s very stern and she’s watchful and very quiet. Her strength comes from her watchfulness and her humor, but also she’s constantly thinking. Within the context of this time period, she actively decides how her life is going to go,” she said.
NPR reviews the book The River Bank by Kij Johnson, a sequel to Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows.
Fan fiction — fiction written by fans of a given intellectual property, set in that property's world — is frequently disparaged as self-indulgent, amateurish, immature and derivative. To call someone's original work "fan fiction" is, likewise, to denigrate it. This is a shame, because I've read fiercely beautiful, accomplished, insightful work that is absolutely fan fiction — work which, were it acknowledged as fan fiction more regularly, could go a long way towards rehabilitating the practice of imagining oneself into one's favorite worlds, foregrounding their backgrounds, and asking of them "what if?" Wide Sargasso Sea is fan fiction about Jane Eyre; Clueless is fan fiction about Emma — and Kij Johnson's The River Bank is fan fiction about Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows. (Amal El-Mohtar)
The Irish Times discusses the auction of several items connected to W.B. Yeats wondering whether these items should belong to the nation.
The value of preserving writers’ material contexts is well understood. Think of Emory University’s Seamus Heaney collection whose recent show used the poet’s desk as its centrepiece; or Proust’s preserved cork bedroom in the Musée de Carnavalet in Paris, the Hemingway home in Key West, the objects in Haworth’s atmospheric Brontë parsonage or Manchester’s Gaskell house. (John McAuliffe)
Brand South Africa has an overview of South African literature.
Olive Schreiner’s novel, The Story of an African Farm (1883) is generally considered to be the founding text of South African literature. Schreiner was born on a mission station and worked as a governess on isolated Karoo farms, an experience that informed the novel.
The novel draws on the post-romantic sensibility of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, and is still a key text in the formation of a truly South African voice. However, it has been criticised for its silence with regard to the black African presence in South Africa. (Mary Alexander)
Variety features the film Mother! starring Jennifer Lawrence.
When asked if she thought the film was a feminist story, Lawrence answered in the affirmative. “To me, this is incredibly feminist in the way that these Victorian, patriarchal novels show these loving, amazing husbands that are very slowly and delicately taking away their wives’ dignity,” said Lawrence, who was reading “Jane Eyre” during the shoot. “To be a feminist movie, we don’t have to all be women and all be aggressive. Before we knew what feminism was, people were writing these novels that showed women’s strength being drained from them.” (Ramin Setoodeh)
While The Hollywood Reporter reviews the film Una questione privata.
Their mutual passion for Wuthering Heights and American music, notably Judy Garland singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on the record player, makes him hope they can become a couple, but his better-looking best friend Giorgio (Lorenzo Richelmy, who played Marco Polo in the TV series) seems to be equally high in her affections. (Deborah Young)
Writergurlny posts about Edgar Linton. Book Fifty reviews The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell. On Facebook, The Brontë Parsonage Museum commemorates the anniversary of the death of Maria Brontë (née Branwell) on a day like today in 1821.
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The Gordon & Caird Jane Eyre musical is performed in Portsmouth, NH:
Seacoast Repertory Theatre presents
Jane Eyre
Music by Paul Gordon. Lyrics: John Caird
September 15 – October 8.

Based on the novel by Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre is a five-time Tony-nominated musical adaptation by composer-lyricist Paul Gordon and writer John Caird. Like its namesake Jane Eyre is a hauntingly beautiful gothic romance that explores religion, sexuality, and feminism through powerful music and storytelling. Don’t miss this wonderful period drama.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Comicosity has an enthusiastic review of Aline Brosh McKenna's Jane.
Brosh McKenna, Perez, Kniivila and Bennett bring Brontë’s classic, Jane Eyre, to comics with the new original graphic novel Jane. I’m going to say straight out of the gate that I have never read the original Jane Eyre or seen any film adaptation or any other piece of media referencing the original, so if you’re hoping for an analysis of how this version interprets the original work, this is not the place to look. What I will talk about, though, is how this creative team wove a tale that hooked me with the first five pages and never let go.
Brosh McKenna has extensive experience writing in the worlds of film and TV and it shows with this OGN. This story could leap to the screen with next to no effort, and it would be interesting in that medium as well. That’s not to say this feels like a project that isn’t meant for comics or like Jane is a pilot work as some comics tend to be, but rather that the drama in Jane unfolds in a similar way that you’d find in a film or TV series. That Jane is an OGN works well for the story, as being chopped into monthly instalments would have hurt the way this story unfolds. Part romance, part mystery, this tale is brilliantly paced as the relationships build and questions start being answered.
The writing is strong and the masterful work of Ramón K. Pérez elevates the script into brilliance. I had huge expectations when I saw his name attached to this project and I was not disappointed. There is a reason why he is an Eisner award winner and his expressive artwork shows that in Jane. Action is not the name of the game here as much of this tale is about relationships and emotional ties, but Perez sells the story in every single panel. You can feel chemistry between Jane and every single character in this story, which is why I found the story so compelling. You won’t find a stiff character in the bunch and Kniivila does a great job giving Perez’s pencil work an extra punch with the colours. She works brilliantly with Perez’s fabulous shadow work throughout the graphic novel and the artwork throughout is simply fabulous.
While I cannot comment on the ties to Bronte’s original work, I found Jane to be a completely engrossing tale and an excellent read. Brosh McKenna, Perez, Kniivila and Bennett deliver top tier work that deserves your attention and a place on your bookshelf.
The Verdict: 10/10 (Aaron Long)
Medium jokes about 'Millennial Women [...] Killing the Classic Heterosexual Romance Plot'.
Millennial Jane Eyre just accepts Rochester’s weird attic mancave sight unseen because at least this one wants to commit, you know? (Holly Wood, PhD)
The Dartmouth has an article on the rise of the novel.
[English and creative writing professor Andrew McCann] explained that the “novel” as we know it today is a “narrative that’s imaginative” and “fictional” and emerged in the 18th and 19th centuries. McCann, who specializes in British Romanticism and Victorian literature, notes how writers such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë and George Elliot played important roles in the development of the novel as one of most widespread literary genres.
“They focused the novel on everyday life in the 19th century, and this is also a big part of the genre,” McCann said. “It tells a kind of democratizing ethos. It seems to focus on the lives of ordinary people, ordinary settings.” (Marie-Capucine Pineau-Valencienne)
Movie Pilot discusses book-to-film adaptations and looks back to its origins:
And the trend took off indeed. Just about every film up for an Academy Award in 1939 was an adaption (Of Mice and Men, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, The Wizard of Oz and Wuthering Heights), and by 1977, three fourths of awards for Best Picture at the Oscars went to adaptations. (Brittany K. King)
The Quebec edition of The Huffington Post reviews the film Lady Macbeth.
Pour détourner l'attention, il choisit un décor romantique, une comédienne au regard triste et doux, un paysage qui rappelle Les Hauts de Hurlevent entre la passion et la folie. Ou Les Sœurs Brontë, le film d'André Téchiné en 1979 avec Isabelle Adjani, Isabelle Huppert et Marie France Pisier, même atmosphère de plaines et de vent. William est avant-gardiste. Sa force, c'est de ne ressembler à personne. (Minou Petrowski) (Translation)
A few days ago, an article praised Anne Brontë for being the 'Yorkshire visionary who inspired female entrepreneurs' and today we have a similar nod to Mary Taylor's hard work during her time in New Zealand on Business Insider (Australia).
On 24 July 1845, 28-year-old Englishwoman Mary Taylor disembarked from a ship in Wellington harbour. Her brother William Waring Taylor had already settled there and despite a comfortable middle class life in the old world, she travelled out to the fledgling colony – a dangerous months-long sea journey in those days — to start anew at a place where women had opportunities to control their own destiny.
Taylor opened a general store on Cuba Street, itself named after the settler ship the Cuba. Her cousin Ellen Taylor joined her from the United Kingdom in August 1849 and the business flourished, according to FL Irvine-Smith’s Wellington history book Streets Of My City.
Mary Taylor reportedly even wrote articles for English newspapers and worked on a novel while running the shop on Cuba Street. But after Ellen died of tuberculosis in 1851, she started to miss her acquaintances in England, including her close friend Charlotte Bronte.
“It is apparent from her letters that in New Zealand she missed the literary associations of her friends, and felt isolated, mentally and physically, especially when the mails brought from her beloved Charlotte such ‘incredible’ achievements as Jane Eyre and Shirley, with news of their repercussions,” Irvine-Smith wrote.
While Mary Taylor returned to England in 1859 or 1860 to live out her remaining years, she had set a precedent of risk-taking, independence and entrepreneurship on Cuba St that remains to this day.
“Cuba Street is Wellington’s centre of creativity and cool,” said Mark Clare, managing partner at Clare Capital, a corporate finance advisory firm in Wellington. (Tony Yoo)
We are pretty sure that she would be immensely proud to be remembered that way.

The new Valentino collection is described as follows by The Guardian:
Meanwhile at Paris fashion week, the signature Valentino look has exerted a powerful slow-burn influence on fashion in the five years it has defined the house. Long, fluid, with a slender shape that hints at the body but doesn’t cling, it is a romantic silhouette – part Brontë heroine, part Renaissance principessa – that has proved catnip to modern party girls bored of LBDs. (Jess Cartner-Morley)
The Spectator discusses how 'Pragmatic women have cross-dressed throughout history – but it doesn’t make them transgender' and mentions the Brontës' use of pseudonyms. Geo (Pakistan) recalls the fact that Jane Eyre was one of the books removed from the Punjab University’s library and burned during the 1980s.

It was Ask a Curator day yesterday, and the Brontë Parsonage Museum Twitter offered followers the chance to ask Principal Curator Ann Dinsdale and Curator Sarah Laycock questions about the collection. You can read the thread here.