Thursday, May 25, 2017

Wutheringly Gothic in 50 words

On Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 11:33 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
The York Press reviews Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre giving it 5 stars.
You will not see a better theatre show in York this year, and you won't have seen a better theatre show in York since The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time. [...]
Your reviewer cannot urge you enough to see Sally Cookson's remarkable interpretation of Charlotte Brontë's no less remarkable novel. Yes, the ticket prices are on a Premier League scale, and you wish they could be cheaper, but this is Premier League theatre. What's more, Jane Eyre is a Yorkshire story, back on home turf after Cookson's premiere at the Bristol Old Vic and subsequent transfer to the South Bank.
Rather than being adapted for the stage with a plodding narrator, this is a devised production of vivid, vital imagination. Michael Vale's set is rough hewn, gutted to the minimum, with wooden flooring and walkways, a proliferation of ladders, a sofa, and yet it evokes everything of Brontë's harsh world.
Cookson's cast is multi role-playing, aside from Nadia Clifford's Jane Eyre, who never once leaves the stage in three hours (interval aside), changing costumes in full view with the assistance of fellow cast members. The story hurtles along so fast, the ensemble company runs on the spot between scenes to the accompaniment of thunderous drums, and they even take a mock piddle at one point in the rush to crack on: one of the comic elements to counter the grimness up north.
Energy, energy, energy! And that applies not only to Clifford's feisty, fiery Jane Eyre, whose accent may curve towards her native North West, but that in no way lessens her performance. The cast as a whole is magnificent, be it Tim Delap's troubled Rochester, Evelyn Miller's triptych of Bessie, Blanche Ingram and St John; Paul Mundell's austere Mr Brocklehurst and tail-wagging Pilot the dog; Lynda Rooke's chalk and cheese Mrs Reed and Mrs Fairfax or surely-too-good-to-be-an understudy Francesca Tomlinson's five-hand of roles.
There is so much more that makes Cookson's production so startling,movingly brilliant: the sound design of Dominic Bilkey, the inexhaustible movement direction of Dan Canham; the beautiful, haunting compositions of Benji Bower for the on-stage band of David Ridley, Alex Heane and Matthew Churcher, who join in ensemble scenes too and never take their gaze off the action.
Last but very definitely not least is Melanie Marshall, the diva voice of Bertha Mason, a one-woman Greek chorus whose versions of Mad About The Boy and Gnarls Barkley's Crazy will linger like Jane Eyre in the memory. (Charles Hutchinson)
York Mix is enthusiastic about it too:
The entire cast (of what seem like dozens) are standouts: from the wagging tail and leg stumping glee of dog Pilot, played by Paul Mundell, who also gives us an imperious Brocklehurst and shifty Mason; to the brittle hatreds of Mrs Reed, and warm generosities of Mrs Fairfax, both played by Lynda Rooke.
We do not doubt we see nearly 20 characters before us. When Evelyn Miller (Bessie, Blanche Ingram, a solicitor, St John) is on stage, we are unable to look away: she brings grace to even Blanche, and is part of the chorus of Jane’s conscience, her own past peopling her thoughts.
Hannah Bristow is saintly Helen Burns, rascally child Adele, mysterious Grace Poole, and Diana Rivers, moving easily among characters perhaps five decades apart in age. [...]
The only mild failing is the robust sound which at one or two instances obscures an actor’s words: but at these times, the powerful cacophony illustrates the uproar on stage. I only minded because I want to catch every nuanced phrase!
This is an athletic production, a feminist reading of a feminist book, one that returns to the ‘coming of age’ aspect of a book originally subtitled ‘An Autobiography’.
The love story is just one part: Brontë, and director Sally Cookson, remind us that women had (have?) less power over their choices than men; imagination, bravery and education can save us; and that Jane speaks for us all when she states “I am a free human being!”
At the show I saw, Nadia Clifford wiped away a few tears as the cast gathered to bow. The story of finding one’s power, and maintaining this self-belief, is potent.
Please catch one of this week’s shows of Jane Eyre. The music is amazing: the production company could sell the soundtrack (hint, hint, Sally Cookson!). And the tale, inspiring. (Rose Drew)
British Theatre Guide reviews it as well:
Cookson’s ensemble—seven actors and three musicians—are superb. Nadia Clifford excels in the leading role, powerfully capturing the character’s defiance (she refuses to be belittled by her social superiors) and her overwhelming love for Rochester. Also terrific is Tim Delap, who delivers all the Byronic qualities you could hope for while also capturing Rochester's playfulness and sly sense of humour.
Most of the performers demonstrate their versatility in multiple roles. Having chilled us to the bone as Mr Brocklehurst, the villainous supervisor of Lowood School, Paul Mundell delivers a brilliant comic performance as Rochester’s canine companion, Pilot. Lynda Rooke skilfully captures the icy disdain of Mrs Reed and the genial warmth of Mrs Fairfax, Rochester’s housekeeper. Evelyn Miller captures the haughtiness of Jane Eyre’s love rival Blanche Ingram and the cold idealism of St John Rivers, and Francesca Tomlinson is particularly moving as Jane’s ill-fated childhood friend Helen Burns.
As with her recent staging of La Strada, Cookson makes music an integral part of Jane Eyre by placing the band (Matthew Churcher, Alex Heane and David Ridley) centre stage. Throughout the production, their excellent musicianship is crucial to the creation of atmosphere and pathos.
Music and drama come together most powerfully in the figure of Bertha Mason, Rochester’s first wife, played by the opera singer Melanie Marshall. Since the publication of Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea in 1966, we have seen more sympathetic portrayals of the first Mrs Rochester which acknowledge the harsh treatment she has been forced to endure as a result of her insanity. Far from being a frenzied wildcat, Marshall—dressed in a floor-length red dress—is a still and sinister presence on stage, who haunts Jane throughout her life. Her beautiful renditions of anachronistic pop songs—Noël Coward’s “Mad About the Boy” and Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy”—add another dimension to the production.
Katie Sykes’s lovely costumes evoke the period without fetishizing the past. Aideen Malone’s lighting and Dominic Bilkey’s sound add texture to the production, particularly during its more gothic moments.
Since it was first staged at the Bristol Old Vic in 2014 before moving to the National in 2015, Jane Eyre has received widespread critical acclaim. I can’t argue with their verdict. Jane Eyre is a thrillingly inventive, fabulously entertaining piece of theatrical storytelling. (James Ballands)
Your Local Guardian is giving away a pair of tickets to see Jane Eyre at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff.

Lincolnshire Live reports that,
Writers of all ages are being invited to pen their own ultra-short Gothic stories in a new 'flash fiction' competition for Lincoln Book Festival this year, open for entries now.
The Gothic genre is broad in nature and can include romance, thriller and mystery. Whether drawing on the intrigue of a Wilkie Collins thriller, the drama of a Brontë epic, or the menace of an Edgar Allen Poe parable, each writer's challenge is to produce a compelling short story in precisely 50 words - no more and no less!
Lincoln Book Festival 2017 takes place from September 25 to 30 at venues across the city and will be encouraging literature lovers and history enthusiasts of all ages to "Go Gothic" with a series of Gothic-themed events and activities.
Lincoln Book Festival Trust chairman Phil Hamlyn Williams said: "Gothic fiction has given us some of the finest literature in the English language, from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, so even within the confines of those 50 words we hope to see writers of all ages and experience let their imaginations run wild. We'd particularly like to see entries from local schools, book clubs and community groups and hope writers will have great fun planning, plotting and penning their short stories." (Dawn Hinsley)
Spectator has an article on 'Finding literary inspiration in the garden' and recalls the fact that,
Literature is full of gardens. [...] The love between Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester blossoms in the gardens of Charlotte Brontë’s novel. (Alice Dunn)
J Stor Daily has an article on depression and how it's perceived.
American author Ernest Hemingway famously said, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.” Hemingway died by taking his own life at the age of 61, a life plagued by alcoholism.
Hemingway’s claim reflects a widespread association of depression with intelligence (and vice versa, of happiness with stupidity or naïveté), an association that is at once deeply tragic and actively harmful for depressed people. It suggests that there is some hidden romantic upside to being depressed: Aren’t artists usually moody and melancholy? Aren’t romantic heroes, like Emily Brontë’s Heathcliff, given to “darkness” and brooding? Isn’t depression a sign of sensitivity, self-awareness, and passion?
In this way, depression is often linked to an abundance of romantic imagery—the gothic, the bohemian, the melancholy, the icon of the loner-rebel, etc. This misconception convinces some people that depression is just part of their personality, such that seeking treatment would mean being somehow less themselves, less thoughtful, less creative. In reality, the experience of depression couldn’t be further from the creative, the romantic, the passionate. For clinical depression, unlike the emotion of sadness, works only to devalue and destroy the self. (K.C. Mead-Brewer)
Ebony points out that not everyone in classic novels is white:
On the other hand, instead of racebending every costume drama character, it would be great if studios didn’t whitewash the characters of color who are in these classic stories. Take Wuthering Heights for instance. The character of Heathcliff isn’t White like he’s been portrayed in the movies. Instead, he’s described as a lascar, which is an antiquated term referring to Indian sailors. Also, further description provided by Emily Brontë—which includes a now-offensive term—could also mean Heathcliff is of the Roma people, who did originate from India and went on to migrate to other parts of the world. In any event, he’s not White. However, he’s routinely played by White actors, at least until the 2011 indie adaptation of Wuthering Heights, which starred then-unknown actor James Howson as Heathcliff. (Monique Jones)
The Express Tribune's The Good Life (Pakistan) reviews the book Aadhay Adhooray Khawab by Shahid Siddiqui in which
we find the character of Agha reading Emily Brontë’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ and the character of Heathcliff intrigues her. Rai, a man loved by so many, would become Heathcliff to her Catherine and this parallel makes the novel a beautiful composition of light and pure romance. (Sonia Irum Farooq)
Ed Westwick was once named as a possible Heathcliff so it's quite funny to see him described by Radio Times as
all gold jewellery and chest hair, with the broodiness of a Home Counties Heathcliff, the tattoos of a rocker and the abrasive language of a docker. (Craig McLean)
France Inter has an article on 'the fourth Brontë', Branwell. Out and About … writes briefly about a trek to Top Withins.
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
A new exhibition with engravings and lithographies by Paula Rego (including her 2001-2002 series on Jane Eyre) opens today, May 25, in Lisboa, Portugal:
Gravuras e Litografias. Paula Rego
May 25 - June 17
Centro Português de Serigrafia (CPS), Sede
Inauguração com Atelier Aberto: 25 de Maio, 18:30

Uma importante exposição de gravuras e de litografias da consagrada artista portuguesa Paula Rego inaugura a 25 de Maio pelas 18:30 na Sede do Centro Português de Serigrafia (Rua dos Industriais, nº 6 em Lisboa Tel. 213 933 260), ficando patente até 17 de Junho.
Durante a inauguração, o Atelier CPS de Serigrafia, Gravura e Litografia estará aberto ao público visitante.
Na mostra estão representadas obras das conhecidas séries Pendle Witches (1996), After Hogarth (2000) e Jane Eyre (2001-2002). O eminente crítico e historiador de arte inglês Tomas Gabriel Rosenthal (1935-2014), realça a importância das séries na sua gravura e acentua o lado narrativo, quer da pintura, quer da gravura da artista, o seu forte conteúdo erótico, o sentido de humor e a provocação que são a sua imagem de marca.
More information on Diário de Notícias.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Keighley News reports that there was a major power cut yesterday in the Haworth area and the Brontë Parsonage Museum, among others, was affected by it:
Brontë Parsonage Museum this morning tweeted that they had been forced to close temporarily due to the lack of electricity in the village’s tourist heartland. (David Knights)
As seen on its Twitter and Facebook timelines, the museum was back open again a few hours later after 'essential system checks'.

One and Other reviews Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre.
Nadia Clifford is stunning in the role of Jane, transformed from a child to the adult Jane when she is helped into her corset and dress on stage by other cast members. The production is an ensemble piece performed seamlessly by seven actors and three musicians. Except for Jane, all play more than one part and are all on stage most of the time.
The stripped down, minimal set designed by Michael Vale is comprised of an enormous wooden structure, almost like a child’s play park climbing frame with various ramps and ladders. The actors move all over it with a choreographed, dancelike grace, as the director puts it, "perform[ing] and illustrat[ing] the physical and emotional struggle Jane encounters as she develops from a child into an independent woman." The set is surrounded by white curtains, used to great effect by changing colour and film projection. Dramatic use of real fire is stunning.
At the centre of the stage underneath the towering wooden platform are the musicians, making the band a central and intrinsic part of the production. Composer Benji Bower uses many genres including folk, Jazz, sacred, orchestral and pop to create Jane’s World.
Bertha Mason (Melanie Marshall) is dressed in bright red, contrasting with the muted colours worn by the rest of the ensemble. She is always alone, gliding around the set and illustrating with song the life of Jane, very much part of the story but running parallel to it as opposed to with it. Hidden in plain sight as in the book, Melanie Marshall as Bertha is subtly imposing: she doesn’t speak but uses her remarkable singing voice to outstanding effect.
This touring production was originally shown over two nights, then stripped back to three hours (including an interval). Sometimes the telling of Jane’s story jumps a little clumsily from one event to another, probably because of the necessary edits to get the majority of the book in: a small point as the overall pace and enjoyment is very much there.
The whole cast are phenomenal, their energy breathtaking. To climb ladders for three hours is no mean feat, everyone moving with perceived effortlessness with such smoothness and elegance. A truly remarkable performance and production. (Julia Parry)
It all boils down to one thing for Cosmopolitan as it lists 'The 16 Biggest F*ckboys of Literature', including
2. Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre. Yeah, yeah, Jane and Rochester have a beautiful love story, if you ignore the part where he lies about being previously married and hiding his wife in the attic of his house. His solution when she *shocker* finds out? Asking her to live in France with him even though they can’t get married. Jane, girl. You deserve better. [...]
12. Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. Sure, he’s gone through some stuff re: the whole not being able to marry the woman he loves because of his status thing, but marrying a woman and then forcing their son to marry Cathy’s daughter purely for the sake of revenge is a very elaborate fuckboy move. (Julia Pugachevsky)
There was a time when we thought that talking about books was always a good thing. Now we're not so sure.

Elle (India) takes a better approach by listing their favourite fictional heroines (as opposed to Disney princesses).
While there’s still a long way to go before Disney princesses can be appointed the face of feminism in mainstream culture, there have been several fictional characters who are perfect for the role. From Harry Potter’s Hermione Granger to Pride and Prejudice’s Elizabeth Bennet, here are some of our favourites. [...]
Jane, Jane Eyre
‘Ahead of her time’ is a common compliment for any Victorian heroine with even a hint of a spine, but it’s perfectly apt for Jane Eyre. To understand the brilliance of Jane’s character, you need to put it in the context of the era she was created in. This was a time when women rarely had agency over their own lives. To rebel against societal conventions and assert her independence despite the hardships she endured makes Jane one of the strongest literary characters ever created.
What she taught us: Never let anyone else take control of your life. (Salva Mubarak)
A review of the play Can You Forgive Her? by Gina Gionfriddo in The New York Times begins as follows:
Feisty women trying to jump class are so 19th century; I’m looking at you, Jane Eyre. And so 20th century, too: Have you met Sister Carrie?
For the playwright Gina Gionfriddo, such characters are all too 21st century as well. Many of her plays, including the Pulitzer Prize finalists “Becky Shaw” and “Rapture, Blister, Burn,” feature heroines trying to escape the social immobility that locks them into dreary lives. (Jesse Green)
Deadline reviews it too but mentions another Brontë heroine:
The coincidences beggar the imagination, and it’s important to remember that while unlikely plot twists and turns may have been the forte of Anthony Trollope (whose novel gives the play its name) and Charles Dickens, the women novelists of that time were more inclined to weave romance from ordinary yarns. It was, after all, Charlotte Brontë’s near-forgotten heroine Shirley Keeldar who begins her ur-feminist tale with the memorable promise of “something unromantic as Monday morning.” (Jeremy Gerard)
Saga interviews writer Julian Fellowes, whose musical based on The Wind in the Willows opens in London in June.
Which books wouldn’t work as a musical? I don’t know. I could say Wuthering Heights, or something. Not because I think it’s depressing. It’s my favourite book. But I think it’s complete, if you know what I mean. It doesn’t need to become a film, although they’ve tried it many times. It doesn’t need to become a TV series or a musical. It is what it is. A complete experience.
However, I can give you all that guff and next year someone might do a musical about it called The Yorkshire Moors, or something, and we’ll all go and it’ll be fabulous.
I don’t think there are absolutes. Always remember the old quotation: nobody knows anything. Every year someone does something that everyone swore could never be done, and away we go. How many times have we been told the film musical is dead and here we are bouncing down the aisles to La La Land. (Simon Hemelryk)
Another fan of Wuthering Heights is children’s author Tom Palmer. From the Yorkshire Evening Post:
Tom Palmer’s latest book - Killing Ground - is set in Halifax and concerns a haunting at The Shay Stadium, which leads to an Anglo-Saxon Viking conflict. “I wanted to write about history, and a haunting with ghosts. I researched Anglo-Saxon settlements, visited The Shay and visited a settlement they recreated in Norfolk. Plus I wanted to set it in Halifax. When I read Wuthering Heights when I was 19 it amazed me that a classic like that was set around where I grew up - books about your home town make them more interesting.
Newsday features a Bellport house for sale:
Splashes of Tinseltown — including a statue from the 1939 film adaptation of “Wuthering Heights” — were incorporated into the renovation of this circa-1920 Bellport Village Colonial listed for $1.695 million. (Danny Schrafel)
Here's how SyFyWire describes the 1985 film The Bride:
The Bride is a deeply bizarre film. It's as if a dark wave fan in the '80s watched Dune and the "Wuthering Heights" music video too fast while suffering a fever. (Clare McBride)
The daughter of one of the first dad bloggers writes on Romper about how it has affected her.
For the most part, I liked reading about myself, or at least the version of myself my father chose to portray — an unpaid, unscripted character in our family's domestic drama. My persona changed from column to column: sometimes I was a pint-size spitfire showing up the adults with my clever quips, other times I was a gracious yet endlessly put-upon player in events beyond my control. I was half Stephanie Tanner, half Jane Eyre. (Claire Shefchik)
Entertainment Weekly and others alert to the fact that Jane Eyre is leaving Netflix on June 16. The Brussels Brontë Blog reports that the Brontë plaque on 'Bozar' has been thoroughly cleaned and is much more visible and readable now.
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An alert for today, May 24, in Rockdale, Australia:
Medical mishaps and maladies in the Brontës’ lives and novelsby Dr Vasudha Chandra
Wed. 24 May 2017
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm AEST
Rockdale Library, Level 3 Meeting Room
444-446 Princes Hwy
Rockdale, NSW 2216

The novels of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë are full of illnesses, injuries and untimely deaths, as were their own lives. This illustrated lecture explores the health of the Brontës, speculates on the diseases and disorders of the fictional characters the sisters created, and discusses treatments used at the time.
More information in the St George & Sutherland Shire Leader.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 10:24 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre is now on stage at the Grand Opera House, York, and The York Press has attended one of the rehearsals and asked some questions to Nadia Clifford and Tim Delap, who play Jane Eyre and Rochester.
"I've visited The Parsonage in Haworth many times: I'm a bit of a Brontë obsessive," says Nadia, who grew up on the other side of the Pennines before training at the Bristol Old Vic.
"When Jane Eyre was on at the National I was in another play there, Pomona, at the same time, which I now feel is a bit of a blessing, as I'm now doing Jane Eyre and working with Sally Cookson is such a treat.
"When I auditioned, Sally works in such a daring way in her auditions. Often directors will see you for 15 minutes, but with Sally she really mines the text and works with you and allows you to feel you can trust the room and perform better."
Nadia made such an impression when performing as Jane Eyre aged ten in the audition that the role was hers. "There are days in rehearsals where the magnitude of the show has hit me. It's exciting; I'm relishing the challenging but it's physically and emotionally demanding, so I have to pace myself," she says.
"It's three hours; I don't leave the stage; I'm the only person on there all the time; all my costume changes are on stage, so it's been a little like an athlete in training."
Working with a movement director and fight director help Nadia prepare for the role, and looking after the voice will be important too. So will the Yorkshire accent. "Because I'm a northerner, I'm aware of the responsibility to get the accent right. For so many people in Yorkshire, they are so proud of Jane Eyre and the Brontës and their legacy," she says.
"It's a very specific way of looking at the world; they were very isolated; London was this distant metropolis and that does have an effect on the authorial voice, which is why the stories have lasted."
Tim Delap, who was last seen on a York stage in Regeneration at the Theatre Royal, now returns to the city in a production with an even more stellar reputation. "I'd heard of Sally's production but not been able to see it, but I'd heard amazing things about it, so when I was asked to audition in front of Sally, I was delighted," he says.
"It was the most intensive audition process I've ever done, with an awful lot of physical work, so it was more like a rehearsal than an audition. It's a very physical show and Rochester is a physical character so she wanted to put me through my paces at several auditions, followed by several pairings and finally with Nadia."
Fitness is vital. "It's like a workout doing this show. I've cycled to and from rehearsals and doing that and the rehearsals is more than enough for keeping in shape," says Tim.
Working on the play has been an eye-opener. "Some people think of Jane Eyre as a girlie book, and I have to admit I hadn't read it until the auditions, but then you realise Jane is not meek and mild; she's fiery and powerful; it's a wonderfully written novel that's thrilling to read and the show reflects all that energy," he says. (Charles Hutchinson)
The Culture Trip is looking forward to the staging of Jane Eyre as a promenade play on June 20-22 at Haddon Hall.
Haddon Hall, the spectacular ancient seat of the Duke of Rutland in England's Peak District, is hosting its own theatre adaptation of the Charlotte Brontë classic—a unique and immersive experience inside one of the most celebrated Victorian novels. [...]
One can see why Haddon Hall, a country house in the Peak District built between the 11th and 16th centuries, has so often been used to depict it: the manor is as gray-dark and formidable from the outside, and mysterious and rich on the inside, as the novel’s own Thornfield. No less than three productions of Jane Eyre—a 1996 film, a 2006 BBC mini series, and another film in 2011—were shot in Haddon for those very reasons. Readers may also remember the manor for its appearance in The Princess Bride (1987), or in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice.
It should therefore come as no surprise that the Hall is hosting a series of performances sure to delight any Jane Eyre fan—or fans of immersive theatre in general. The Lord and Lady Edward Manners commissioned local writer and former Haddon guide Gillian Shimwell to adapt the novel for the manor itself. The result is an experience quite unlike any other, a journey back in time and inside one of the most influential novels ever written in English.
Add to that the wider delights of the picturesque locale, whether of the Haddon Hall estate (which extends to The Peacock at Rowsley hotel) or the Peak District in general, and you also have an uncommon opportunity to revel in the charms of the English countryside. The next performances will take place on June 20—22, with each ticket including a post-show, three-course meal at the Haddon restaurant. More information here. [...]
The peculiarities of adapting and playing Jane Eyre at Haddon Hall—that is, roaming around an ancient house with the audience immediately around you—presented some novel challenges to the troupe of actors, as well as for writer/director Gillian Shimwell. We spoke with the professionals involved about how these conditions shaped their work, and to what extent the unusual proximity affects the audience. (Simon Leser)
There are also a couple of interesting videos, so don't miss them!

The British Film Institute recommends 10 essential films starring Laurence Olivier. And there's of course
Wuthering Heights (1939)
Director William Wyler

Aghast at how little the 23-year-old Olivier read, Noël Coward gave him Emily Brontë’s gothic masterpiece after casting him on stage in Private Lives (1930). But Olivier had a miserable time playing Heathcliff, as he loathed Merle Oberon and resented director William Wyler refining his stage mannerisms. Ordered to forget boyhood heroes Douglas Fairbanks and John Barrymore, Olivier learned how to work with the camera and channel both his moody arrogance and the knack for switching from charm to fury that he had inherited from his vicar father. He was rewarded with an Oscar nomination and the heartthrob role of Darcy in MGM’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1940). (David Parkinson)
Darling magazine lists '8 Reclusive Female Authors Any Literature Lover Should Read'. Emily Brontë is one of them.
6. Emily Brontë
Despite being born into a remarkable literary family, Emily Brontë carved out a voice and vision entirely her own. Far less interested in fame than alcoholic brother Branwell or ambitious elder sister Charlotte, she spent her time writing poetry, baking and taking long walks across the moors that surrounded the family parsonage. Solitary and intense, Emily’s work reveals a greater sense of kinship with God and nature than with other human beings.
Recommended Work: Wuthering Heights is Brontë’s only novel and if you haven’t read it, you should — really. But if you have, we recommend checking out her poetry. Equal the intensity; half the time. (Kathryn Bradford Heidelberger & Nancy Ritter)
Sydsvenskan (Sweden) features Jean Rhys and, among her other works, Wide Sargasso SeaDaniel Agnew posts about Wuthering Heights. Twitter user @8bitnortherner has managed to recreate the Pillar Portrait in cross-stitch and it's lovely. 'The Brontë Hair Bracelets and Mourning Jewellery' on AnneBrontë.org
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
The Scenkonstbiennalen 2017, The Swedish Biennial for Performing Arts, includes a (12 minute) production of Wuthering Heights:
moment:teater presents
Svindlande Höjder
23-28 May at Östgötateatern in Norrköping.

Original: Emily Brontë
Idea, concept and script: Åsa Berglund Cowburn
Costume: Kim Halle
Set Design: Åsa Berglund Cowburn
Music: Kate Bush and Simon Steensland
Producer: Daniel Szpigler
Participants: Lotta Östlin Stenhäll and Sofia Rönnegård

Monday, May 22, 2017

We don't think anyone will be much surprised by the latest developments in what used to be the Red House Museum. Reported by The Telegraph and Argus:
Kirklees Council, which owns the Grade II listed 17th-century Red House building, had invited expressions of interest from local groups wanting to take over the site in a community asset transfer. [...]
But after considering three bids, the Council has now determined that none can progress and the historic building will be offered for sale instead.
Ward councillor Lisa Holmes, who was part of one of the bids, said she had been left “angry and frustrated” over the decision and hoped to appeal it.
She told the Telegraph & Argus that the newly-formed Gomersal Community Group had hoped to take over both Red House and the neighbouring Gomersal Public Hall.
But their bid for Red House alone had been turned down in part because it was too commercial.
“Our idea was that Red House would be more commercial, and that the public hall would be wholly for the community.
“If we could take on both buildings, the plan was for the main Red House building to be a nursery offering some heavily subsidised places to disadvantaged families, the barn would be a community unit, and the cart shed turned into a cafe and deli.
“This way the Public Hall could be completely for community use, with ideas for activities for older children and socially isolated older men.
“But as Gomersal Public Hall isn’t ready to go out for expressions of interest, the Council has considered the scheme for Red House on its own, and this is thought to be too commercial.”
Information given to interested groups states Red House cost the Council £30,000 a year to run and that groups could negotiate a percentage of commercial use of the building, up to 30 per cent.
A Council spokesman said: “The expressions of interest in an asset transfer received for Red House have been assessed and none of them were felt to be suitable for progressing to a full business case. Therefore in line with the decision made by the Council’s cabinet on 3 October 2016 a brief is being prepared to allow the property to be offered to the market.”
Charlotte Brontë was a frequent visitor to Red House in the 1830s when it was home to the Taylor family and her friend Mary. The building also featured in her novel Shirley. (Jo Winrow)
Taste of Cinema looks at 'Great Cinematographers Overshadowed by the Iconic Directors They Worked With' including Gregg Toland who
was truly one of the most innovative and influential cinematographers to ever live. He was nominated five times for best cinematography and won an Oscar for “Wuthering Heights”, released in 1939. (Rashawn Prince)
Mark Gorman reviews Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre. Nick Holland posts about Patrick Brontë on AnneBrontë.org.
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An alert for today, May 22 in Lansing, M
Monday, May 22, 2017  11:00am   Lansing, MI
The Brilliant and Bizarre Brontë Sisters
Talk by Elliot Engel

Lansing Town Hall Series - Luncheon

Lansing Town Hall was organized by a group of women in 1953 to raise funds for the Lansing Symphony Orchestra. Since then, Lansing audiences have enjoyed some of the finest programs available on the lecture circuit today. Hour-long lectures begin promptly at 11:00 a.m. at Causeway Bay Lansing Hotel and Convention Center (formerly Best Western Plus); lunch with the celebrity speaker to follow. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday, May 21, 2017 10:48 am by M. in , , , ,    No comments
The Sunday Times asked readers about their favourite British days out:
I love to explore Britain, and one of my most memorable days out was just my daughter, Natalie, and me. Natalie has always adored the writing of the Brontë sisters — her favourite novel is Wuthering Heights. She had never been to Haworth, in West Yorkshire (pictured), so we took a day exploring the lovely village: the Brontë Parsonage Museum, which is bursting with history, followed by an exhilarating trek up to the ruined farmhouse of Top Withens, picnic in tow. We paddled in the brook and took wonderful photos of the day. I cherish these memories I have with my children, and I feel blessed to have so many experiences available in these islands. I have always had to work on a strict budget and most of the wonderful experiences I’ve had were free or great value for money. (Amanda Pearce, Grimsby)
A Brontë mention in the Commencement Address by Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF at the  Washington College, Chestertown, Maryland on May the 20th:
Two-thirds of today’s children will have jobs which have not been invented yet. [2] Studying Aeschylus, not to mention a little Sappho, Brontë, and Dylan – while cultivating an interest in design – is what allowed Steve Jobs to see the Walkman and dream of the iPod. This renaissance education is your comparative advantage in the years ahead. (...)
This morning I have referenced the Greek poet Sappho, Charlotte Brontë, Abigail Adams, and Clara Barton.
Having informally surveyed other commencement addresses, I realized that far too many quotes come from famous men, and not nearly enough come from famous women. So, we are beginning to shift the balance today!
Darling Magazine lists reclusive female authors not to be missed:
6. Emily Brontë
Despite being born into a remarkable literary family, Emily Brontë carved out a voice and vision entirely her own. Far less interested in fame than alcoholic brother Branwell or ambitious elder sister Charlotte, she spent her time writing poetry, baking and taking long walks across the moors that surrounded the family parsonage. Solitary and intense, Emily’s work reveals a greater sense of kinship with God and nature than with other human beings.
Recommended Work: Wuthering Heights is Brontë’s only novel and if you haven’t read it, you should — really. But if you have, we recommend checking out her poetry. Equal the intensity; half the time. (Kathryn Bradford Heidelberger & Nancy Ritter)
The Sunday Times' real estate section lists Brearley Hall:
The former home of Patrick Branwell Brontë, the ill-fated brother of Charlotte, Emily and Anne, is for sale for £1.5m. Overlooking the Calder Valley, nine-bedroom Brearley Hall is just outside Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. Brontë had lodgings there in the 1840s, when he was clerk of Luddendenfoot station, before he descended into drug and alcohol addiction. (Audrey Ward)
The Guardian (Nigeria) reviews the novel  Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun by Sarah Ladipo Manyika:
Toussaint’s brief appearance leaves a certain wistful pathos in the reader; and Morayo responds by idealising his absence, imagining him on a mythical return to the motherland. Like her protagonist – who places Wide Sargasso Sea above Jane Eyre on her bookshelf in order “to redress the old colonial imbalance” – Manyika is in the business of ‘moving the centre’. (Molara Wood)
Business Standard on Byronic archetypes:
Then the Bronte sisters seemed particularly fond of the archetype. Eldest Charlotte Brontë's "Jane Eyre" had Rochester, a heroic version, middle sister Emily Brontë's "Wuthering Heights" had the genuinely dangerous Heathcliff, who spares no effort in seeking to destroy both the Lintons and the Earnshaws for revenge, while the youngest, Anne Brontë's "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" has a rare female example in the titular tenant Helen Graham.
A new bookstore with the name Brontë has opened in Irun, Spain. El Diario Vasco covers the story:
El viernes inauguró el local en un acto que, en sus propias palabras, resultó toda una «declaración de intenciones». A medida que su proyecto iba tomando cuerpo, «en estos últimos meses mucha gente me ha preguntado por qué la librería se llamaba Brontë». No había mejor manera de explicarlo que leer algunos pasajes de Jane Eyre, la primera novela de Charlotte Brontë, una de las tres hermanas escritoras que dan nombre a la nueva librería irundarra. La actriz local Ana Pérez puso voz a estos textos del siglo XIX que aún remueven mente y alma, más cuando se pronuncian con tanta exquisitez, tanto sentimiento como les aportó ella en su lectura dramatizada de apenas cinco minutos que dejó a todos los presentes con ganas de más.
Precisamente es ése uno de los valores con los que Brontë se presenta en sociedad. (Iñigo Morondo)  (Translation)
La Opinión de Murcia (Spain) interviews the writer Alberto Chessa who is not really very well-informed when he says:
El primero es la mera curiosidad de saber qué es lo que realmente se estaba leyendo en la Inglaterra del siglo XIX. No era lo que el canon ha sancionado: ni a Dickens, ni a las hermanas Brontë? A esos los leían las clases ilustradas: cuatro gatos. Las clases obreras –y estamos en el cogollo de la revolución industrial– leían esto: penny dreadfuls, que costaban un penique y que cada semana les dejaban grandes aventuras, amores tachonados por lo imposible y lo catastrófico y, por supuesto, todo lo que tuviera que ver con lo tétrico, lúgubre, luctuoso y demás. (Daniel J. Rodríguez) (Translation)
Ignorance is bold but... circulating libraries, anyone?

The problem with La Tribuna (Honduras) is not ignorance, it is inventing things:
Emily Brontë: la novelista, que también fue una de las poetas más reconocidas del siglo XIX, sufría de insomnio. Por eso antes de dormir caminaba muchas veces alrededor de su mesa de centro, hasta que se sintiera lo suficientemente cansada y pudiera caer rendida. (Translation)
El Cotidiano (Spain) reviews the film Lady Macbeth:
Ambientación perfecta, exquisita fotografía, dirección artística impecable, paisajes desolados barridos por el viento, que nos remiten a los ambientes de Cumbres borrascosas, y un elenco de actores tan desconocidos como eficaces en una película que tiene algunos fallos en cuanto a la verosimilitud del relato, sobre todo cuando este adquiere los tintes más sangrientos. (José Luis Muñoz) (Translation)
A personal reading history including the Brontës in El País (Costa Rica); El Mundo (Venezuela) lists Wuthering Heights, we don't know which version, among the best romantic movies; La Poesia e lo Spirito (in Italian) reviews Reader, I Married Him.
12:48 am by M. in ,    No comments
Two new covers of Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights:
Directed & Produced by: Nick Baird
Music Producer: Tom Chandler
Starring: Franki Floro & Atara Glazer
Choreography by: Franki Floro

Marcelle Knapp
Directed : Depac Sound and Light
Design: Yasmin Mole
Choreography by: Bradley Griffith

Caro Emerald
Live @ The Emerald Island Tour (16-03-2017)
Muziekgebouw Eindhoven

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Saturday, May 20, 2017 9:55 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
The Scotsman gives 5 stars to Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre.
It is, of course, one of the great romances of all time, threaded through with a quest for truth and integrity as well as for passionate physical fulfilment; and on a great, simple scaffolding set by Michael Vale, superbly lit by Aideen Malone, it’s played out by Cookson’s company with a mixture of music, athleticism, flowing ensemble work and sheer passion that takes the breath away time and again, as we follow Nadia Clifford’s tiny, brilliant and indomitable Jane through her mighty journey. The show is haunted by a timeless sequence of songs of love and despair magnificently sung by Melanie Marshall, as Mr Rochester’s first, Caribbean wife, Bertha. And as Britain lurches towards a general election apparently dominated by many of the same dour, joyless and cruel attitudes that led Jane Eyre to her magnificent rebellion, it’s worth asking whether the sheer passion of this production doesn’t owe something to the sense that that driving 19th century belief in equal human worth is now in peril, and no longer setting our society on a steady path of progress, but gradually slipping beyond our reach. (Joyce McMillan)
On Northern Soul Sally Cookson compares her production La Strada to Jane Eyre.
Cookson points out that the challenge of staging La Strada was “almost the direct opposite” of that presented by Jane Eyre, which was “to tell the story through action without losing the richness of Jane’s internal life and the depth of characterisation that her inner monologue provides”. (Kevin Bourke)
The Times discusses Brearley Hall and its Branwell connections:
Another property on the market awash with bookish connections is Brearley Hall, the former home of the forgotten Brontë — Branwell, the brother of Charlotte, Emily and Anne, who became a painter and writer. The grade II* listed house, which has a guide price of £1.5 million through Carter Jonas, is “in the heart of Brontë country”, says Simon Wright, of Carter Jonas in Leeds. It is about ten miles from Haworth, the Brontë family home. According to Wright: “The cultural riches that a connection to the Brontë family bestows upon a property are impossible to quantify.” Branwell’s time at the house pre-dates his sisters’ fame as authors. “It is understood that he lived at the property while working as the clerk in charge at Luddendenfoot station in 1840,” says Wright, and the 1841 census records him as the resident at Brearley Hall. The building, which dates from 1621, has nine bedrooms. (Anna Temkin)
#AmReading lists '10 Popular Novels That Were Initially Hated' including
5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Seen as both strange and depressing, Wuthering Heights met very poor reception upon its initial release, with some even going as far as to suggest that it be burned. (Melanie Weaver)
The Yorkshire Post interviews garden designer Tracy Foster, who has created the Welcome to Yorkshire’s plot at the Chelsea Flower Show.
Name your favourite Yorkshire book/author/artist/CD/performer? Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. I was commissioned to make a garden based on the Brontë family and Haworth, about five years ago and I came away with a great admiration for all of them – brother included – and how creative they all were, despite some pretty primitive living conditions.
ABC (Spain) talks to actress Isabelle Huppert, who (obviously, she played Anne in Les Soeurs Brontë 1979) knows the Brontës well enough to make a point:
Haciendo honor a su curiosidad, Huppert admitió su pasión por aquellos cineastas con apuestas «diferentes». «Mi curiosidad me motiva, pero no necesariamente me inspira. Uno puede trabajar sin salir de casa. Fíjate en las hermanas Brontë y los mundos que crearon en sus libros sin viajar a ningún sitio. Los actores dependemos de los realizadores para dar vida a los personajes. Ellos son mi verdadera fuente de inspiración». (María Estévez) (Translation)
The Guardian's Secret Teacher wonders why it is assumed that children will read when teachers don't actually do.
I know for a fact that several of my colleagues have never read anything by Charles Dickens, Jane Austen or the Brontës, and nothing longer than 600 pages that isn’t by JK Rowling.
However, Study Breaks suggests '6 Soon-to-be Classics That Every Student Should Read in College' in spite of not having enough time 'with the mountainous novels that are Jane Eyre and The Grapes of Wrath'

Keighley News looks at the Keighley heritage that is gone.
There’s an empty space on the corner of Cavendish Street and North Street where the old Keighley College buildings have been demolished for redevelopment – and with them the last remnants of the Mechanics’ Institute, built in the late 19th century, partly destroyed by a famous fire a century later. [...]
There have been three railway stations (the Brontë sisters were intrepid early travellers); the first a small wooden affair, without even much of a ticket office; the second a handsome stone building, on what’s now Sainsbury’s car park. (Chris Manners)
The Brontës also knew the now-gone Mechanics' Institute, of course.

The Telegraph and Argus looks into the origins of the names of several places in Yorkshire.
The famously misspelt Busfeild Arms, in East Morton, was made for three cottages and was once The Hare and Hounds. It is also famous for its mention in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.
MovieBoozer posts about Wuthering Heights 1939 and suggests a drinking game. My Fujoshi Life gives a 5/5 to Manga Classics' Jane Eyre.
1:07 am by M. in    No comments
An alert for today, May 20, in Magdeburg, Germany:
Claudia Michelsen liest Texte der Schwestern Brontë
Musik: Samuel Lutzker – Violoncello
Magdeburger Domfestspielen April 20, 19.30

Claudia Michelsen ist eine der erfolgreichsten deutschen Schauspielerinnen, nicht zuletzt durch ihre Rolle als Hauptkommissarin Doreen Brasch in der Magdeburger Ausgabe des Polizeiruf 110. Ihre Gabe, Frauen in Grenzsituationen authentisch zum Leben zu erwecken, brachte ihr bereits zahlreiche Auszeichnungen wie den Grimme-Preis oder die Goldene Kamera ein.

Bei den Magdeburger Domfestspielen widmet sie sich erneut Frauen in besonderen Situationen: den Schwestern Emily, Anne und Charlotte Brontë. Bis heute gehören sie u den beliebtesten Autorinnen des 19. Jahrhunderts. Ihre großen Romane „Jane Eyre“, „Sturmhöhen“ und „Agnes Grey“ waren Skandalerfolge. Geschrieben allerdings alle unter männlichen Pseudonymen. Ihre Romanheldinnen
sind unkonventionell, leidenschaftlich und passten nicht in das viktorianische Frauenbild. Aufgewachsen mit einem alleinerziehenden Vater, der als Pfarrer und verhinderter Literat seinen
Kindern in ihrem Schaffensdrang nicht im Wege stand, schufen die Geschwister Figuren, die bis heute noch faszinieren.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017 10:16 am by Cristina in , , , , , , ,    No comments
The Edinburgh Reporter gives 5 stars to Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre.
There are set-pieces aplenty to delight a life-time’s imagination and beyond. Jane’s bone-shaking stage-coach travels are realised through a gee-up giddy montage of  mime and harness Rap. The Lowood children seeking warm from a candle suggests a nuanced homage to Georges de La Tour’s Nativity painting. The bedclothes on fire episode is satisfyingly convincing, but equally ominous is when Jane bashfully accepts Rochester’s bridal veil and train gift. The cast playfully toss and tumble it with wind effects but the suggestion of ectoplasm, even a winding-sheet, is ever there. Bertha Mason is going to see to that. Increasingly throughout Act 2, a section of the cast serve as Chorus voicing Jane’s mounting expectations and inner conflicts. One poignant scene has them force her to view herself in hand held vanity mirrors.  Better she sketch a self-portrait to remind her of her undeserving origins and hopeless expectations of Rochester’s requited love.
Whilst the opening ten minutes of Act 1 are acoustically near to bombast and percussive overbearing things soon settle down. The plaintive a capella sang by the Lowood School girls, Kyrie Eleison (Lord Have Mercy), chimes ironically with the discordant, brutish faux piety of Mr. Brocklehurst (Ben Cutler). Cutler’s utterly improbable role as Rochester’s ever faithful dog, Pilot, is – well, barkingly superb. The swelling denouement is resolved with heroic credibility. A moment frozen in a pin-drop silent kiss. Reader – you will be married to this show. If you want to know if ever faithful  Pilot does/doesn’t escape the terrible conflagration up at the house – look away now.  Of course he does.
Melodramatic romance with passionate panache, forged in the volatile smithy of Bristol Old Vic’s turgid genius for doing things the awkward way. This Jane Eyre gives your heart and soul a breath of fresh daring. Omnia Vincit Amor. (John Kennedy)
Disclaimer features the production too
The company have devised an adaptation which captures the very essence of Brontë and her poetic voice, but which is easy to follow - especially for those who have not read the book. It is not predominantly a love story, nor a period drama; Katie Sykes’ costume design is purposefully simple yet authentic, using primarily mute colours, except for that of mad Bertha Mason’s striking red gown. Overall, it is an autobiography of a young girl who, in ignoring the demands to control her passions, becomes a headstrong maverick. [...]
The story weaves through Michael Vale’s playground of wooden scaffolding and iron bars, creating a set only enhanced by Aideen Malone’s lighting design, Benji Bower’s composition and Dominic Bilkey’s sound design. Bold reds wash over the stage foreshadowing the fate of Thornfield Hall, and lamps with yellow bulbs evoke a cosy fire in the cold common room at Lowood. There are intermittent effects of thunder and recorded voice-overs, but most of the sound effects are imaginatively created by the percussion of the body and the human voice, with Jane Eyre’s frantic door banging made by the stomping of feet and the sounds of a whip composed by the company’s breathy whistles.
The arrangements of Noel Coward’s ‘Mad about the Boy’ and Gnarls Barkley’s hit ‘Crazy’ are fittingly eerie, executed with haunting vocals by the disturbed Bertha Mason, who floats across the stage with a ghostly disposition. Building tension is established in the musical accompaniments performed by actor-musicians David Ridley, Alex Heane and Matthew Churcher, enhancing the feelings of madness which undercurrent the whole piece, until the climactic peak arrives when Thornfield Hall is put to torch, and fire licks the stage. [...]
The beating heart of National Theatre’s ‘Jane Eyre’ is Jane’s raw desires for freedom and independency, a piece heavily driven by the power of the story. It is fearless and stimulating theatre which quickens the pulse, with every thought, action and word imagined. Without being doused in commercial spectacle, ‘Jane Eyre’ has become one of the most visceral, innovative and inspired productions I have seen. (Alex Terry)
More Jane Eyre, as Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel looks back on those wonderful four days during which Katharine Hepburn played Jane in February 1937.
By February 1937, Hepburn had built a name-above-the-title career in the movies. But she also had soured on the whole Hollywood thing. So she returned to the stage in the lead of "Jane Eyre," in a touring production with the Theatre Guild.
A month before the production hit Milwaukee, Hepburn generated headlines for a different reason: her new boyfriend, Howard Hughes. [...]
There were headlines again when he flew the following day to see her in Chicago, one of several stops for "Jane Eyre" before Milwaukee. [...]
After the final performance of "Jane Eyre" on Feb. 27, about 200 fans waited outside the stage door at the Pabst. With a half-dozen police officers there to protect her on her "12-foot dash" to her waiting limousine. To the people waiting, she said, according to the Sentinel:
"How do you like it?"
"The crowd chorused a satisfied sigh, and dispersed," the Sentinel noted. (Chris Foran)
The same article also reminds readers of the fact that this is the last weekend for the Milwaukee Repertory Theater's production of Jane Eyre.

The Guardian features actress Kaya Scodelario, who speaks briefly about working under Andrea Arnold's orders in Wuthering Heights 2011.
She was cast as Catherine Earnshaw in 2011’s Wuthering Heights, a bold, passionate take on Emily Brontë’s ultimate teen romance, directed by a post-Fish Tank, pre-American Honey Andrea Arnold. “She would say to me: ‘If you come on set and you’re on your period and you’re pissed off, it’s fine; your character is on her period and she’s pissed off.’ To have a director say that openly in front of an entire crew? It was like, yes! This is amazing! That’s the dynamic that a woman can bring to a film set.” (Ellen E Jones)
More on the Jane Eyre references in the new screen adaptation of Anne of Green Gables from The Sydney Morning Herald.
Early on in the story, Anne is wrongly accused of theft and refuses to apologise, instead chanting to herself the great motto of self-reliance from Jane Eyre: "If all the world hated you and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved of you, you would not be without friends". (Jacqueline Maley)
The Guardian reviews the book A Talent for Murder by Andrew Wilson.
The biographer of Patricia Highsmith, Sylvia Plath and Alexander McQueen, Andrew Wilson has written fiction before, but A Talent for Murder is an entirely different kind of beast. You may perhaps have read those books in which Jane Austen is a detective, or the Brontës come back as ghosts: fan fiction in which a writer’s enthusiasm for their literary hero leads them towards a reimagining of the hero’s life. James Joyce, secret agent, etc. There are of course some fine examples of the genre: Drood (2009) by Dan Simmons, featuring Dickens and Wilkie Collins, and a number of novels by Matthew Pearl, who specialises in this kind of thing. But no one to date, to my knowledge, has successfully cast the queen of crime herself as the lead character in a crime novel – until now, that is. (Ian Sansom)
The Conversation discusses how 'World War I Changed Weather Forecasting for Good', recalling that
Culture has rarely tired of speaking about the weather. Pastoral poems detail the seasonal variations in weather ad nauseam, while the term “pathetic fallacy” is often taken to refer to a Romantic poet’s wilful translation of external phenomena – sun, rain, snow – into aspects of his own mind. Victorian novels, too, use weather as a device to convey a sense of time, place and mood: the fog in Dickens’s Bleak House (1853), for example, or the wind that sweeps through Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1847). (Barry Sheils)
The Spinoff (New Zealand) describes Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights as 'high-risk, high-reward'. Now Novel shares '7 lessons from books made into movie adaptations', including a couple of references to Wuthering Heights. Batch of Books is giving away a copy of Sarah Shoemaker's Mr Rochester (open only to US and Canada residents).
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
Some Brontë-related talks in recent (or current) conferences
International Congress on Political, Economic and Social Studies
May 19-22, 2017, International University of Sarajevo- Bosnia Herzegovina

The Eyre Affair as a Postmodern Parody of Jane Eyre
Merve Bekiryazıcı

Although being a term that has been used since the ancient times, parody has always been a controversial subject, and it has been defined by a good number of critics in different ways throughout the periods. While some critics see it as a low form of literature, some others have tried to raise it to a higher status, this time stripping it off from its humour which they considered to be dragging parody down. This paper will examine the main controversies over the term, referring to leading critics’ views on the subject and then will analyse The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde in this sense. It aims to show how Fforde’s book can be read as a postmodern parody and how it carries the main characteristics of postmodernism and parody alike.
British Association of Slavonic and East European Studies

31 March – 2 April 2017
Fitzwilliam College – Churchill College, University of Cambridge

Russian Jane Eyre: Zhenskaya istoria (A Story of a Woman) by U. Zhadovskaya and Feminine Bildungsroman in Russian Literature of 1860s
Natalya Sarana
National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow

The novel by U. Zhadovskaya, Zhenskaya istoria, was published in 1861. By the time the novel came
out, Zhadovskaya had already been famed for her poems and her first and well-reviewed novel Far from the big society (1857). The plot of Zhenskaya istoria is centered on a young girl Lisa, who is trying to find her calling and her place in the provincial life of her distant relatives. As the story develops, Lisa goes through all the stages of hero’s growth inherent to a Bildungsroman character.
In my paper I will analyze Zhenskaya istoria as a text crucial to the study of feminine Bildungsroman
in Russian literary history of 1860s and written in a deliberate dialogue with Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.
Jane Eyre is thought to represent an example of a feminine Bildungsroman in British literature of
1840s and the key text on “the woman question” with its main topic lying in the search of not a perfect marriage, but of new experience. Accordingly, Lisa, Jane’s Russian ‘sister’, feels that she is tired of her colorless life and dependence on others. Moreover, Russian text adopts resembling metaphors as found in Jane Eyre. Zhadovskaya not only inherits the tradition of British feminine Bildungsroman, she also inscribes it in the discussion of “the woman question”, one of the topic questions in Russian society of 1860s.
International Society for the Study of narrative
2017 Narrative Conference
Lexington, Kentucky
March 23-26, 2017
“Labor Disputes and Narrative Time in Charlotte Brontë’s Shirley”—Deirdre Mikolajcik, University of Kentucky

Panel: “Amen: even so come, Lord Jesus!”: 3 Readings of St. John Rivers’ Words and the Enigmatic Ending of Jane EyreChair: George Butte
“‘Amen: even so come, Lord Jesus!’: Whose Words, Whose Consciousness, and a Phenomenology of Irony”—George Butte,
Colorado College
“The Angel of the Abyss: Why St. John does not actually have the last word in Jane Eyre”—Rashna Singh, Colorado College

“The Other(ing) World of Wuthering Heights—Shannon Dryden, University of Idaho

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thursday, May 18, 2017 7:23 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
The Herald (Scotland) gives 5 stars to Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre.
On designer Michael Vale's set of wooden platforms and catwalks, Nadia Clifford's furious Jane is shunted from pillar to post in a show as restless in its execution as Jane's own journey. Her brutalised childhood as an orphan hungry for knowledge is illustrated by a cast of nine, who morph from bullying family members to religiously oppressed pupils of the school where Jane is exposed to even more of life's cruelties. [...]
Brontë's constant theme of how independent women are locked up is made explicit. This is indicated both by the scarlet lighting that illustrates Jane's early incarceration, and in the operatic gospel sung by Melanie Marshall as Bertha, the first Mrs Rochester, which sits alongside Benji Bower's live chamber jazz score and a couple of knowing contemporary pop numbers. [...]
 The end result is a fearless and unmissable whirlwind of a show. (Neil Cooper)
All Edinburgh Theatre reviews it too, giving it 4 stars out of 5 and deeming it 'Pure Theatre'.
Nadia Clifford’s Jane is always going to be at the centre of things, and hers is a characterisation of suitable contradictions – sometimes supremely poised, sometimes the servant of unfettered emotion, but never the weak, subordinate character some adaptations turn her into. It is an extremely impressive display that contrasts beautifully with some of the more expansive turns around her – notably Paul Mundell’s scarily comic teacher Mr Brocklehurst, and his wonderful turn as Pilot the dog.
Of necessity, there is a great deal of doubling among the cast, with Evelyn Miller and Francesca Tomlinson (standing in for Hannah Bristow at this performance) particularly good at differentiating their roles without exaggerating them. Singularly impressive is the way they give life to those people who seem unfathomable to modern audiences – Tomlinson’s doomed, saintly Helen Burns, and Miller’s pious missionary St John Rivers.
Any portrayal of Mr Rochester has inherent problems, particularly in a production that stresses the equal-rights themes inherent in the story as clearly as this does. Rather than seeing him though Jane’s eyes, as the book’s first-person narrative makes us do, we actually witness what he does and says, running the risk of him appearing more of a self-justifying brute than a swoonsome Byronic hero. Tim Delap walks a very fine line successfully, making Rochester much more human and aware of his fallibility than we might be used to.
Constant use is made of music both ancient and modern, with Melanie Marshall’s Bertha often providing songs that comment on and inform the action, in a way that is allusive and effective. Her voice is supremely affecting and utterly without histrionics.
There are wonderful coups de theatre here – some full of drama, others beautifully understated, such as when Aideen Malone’s lighting – exemplary throughout – is used to show children warming themselves around a fire.
Not surprisingly in such an open-hearted production, its faults are not exactly concealed. The most obvious is its sheer length. Distilled from an original two-part adaptation, it clocks in at just over three hours, and it certainly begins to drag a little towards the end of each act.
There is an almost desperate attempt to give a flavour of every part of the book. There are plenty of over-faithful touring adaptations of classic novels that seem to be designed as cribsheets for exam students more than anything else; this is not one of those, and so a little more could have been jettisoned.
Whatever the verve and invention of the staging, it does become subject to the law of diminishing returns; the music, in particular, starts to feel overused. There are odd moments of over-assertive exposition that are completely unnecessary when it is so often so good at telling the story more obliquely. Using members of the cast to voice Jane’s inner thoughts or conscience, for example, is amusing the first time but annoying thereafter.
There is also the odd moment of overt humour that feels forced, as do some of the more prosaically physical staging choices. These are few and far between, in a refreshing production that – at its best – is a shot of pure theatre. (Hugh Simpson)
The List, however, gives it only 2 stars out of 5 and finds it 'disappointing'.
Using a style familiar from other large scale adaptations – such as Kneehigh's Rebecca – Jane Eyre mixes a live musical score and physical theatre interludes, with an ensemble switching between roles. This allows the production to cover large swathes of the narrative, but does not lend itself to either dramatic set-pieces or deeper reflections. Christianity is given a contemporary critique – God, says Jane, is a loving tyrant and His agents are hypocritical or passive-aggressive – and Jane herself is feisty. Yet a key concern – how acceptable is it for a man to lock his mentally ill wife in the attic until she conveniently kills herself? – is never questioned.
The liveliness of the cast and the moments of inventions – such as when the ensemble become Jane's interior monologue – are undermined by the number of flaccid scenes and stock characters, as well as the set's disappointing flat-pack aesthetic. In attempting to broaden Jane's story, and add it a modern edge, the National Theatre/Bristol Old Vic collaboration forgets to develop a coherent and dramatic focus. (Gareth K Vile)
Bouquets and Brickbats reviews it too and fives it 5 stars.

Business Insider has an article on the '10 benefits of reading that will make you more employable' and we were pleasantly surprised to see The Tenant of Wildfell Hall as a recommendation.
2. Your vocabulary is richerThis may be taken for granted, but if you read regularly and read a wide variety of styles, you will learn new words and you will have the confidence to use them. Again, strong communication skills and the ability to voice your thoughts in an effective way is a crucial tool for any potential employee to have under their belt.
What book do we recommend?The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’ - Anne Brontë. Classic fiction that feels current and as important as ever, the novel traces the story of Helen Huntingdon (the titular tenant) and is as heartbreaking as it is empowering. (Helena Roots)
BBC Radio 6 wonders, 'Which books do musicians love to read?'
Laura Marling is a lover of the classics and she named Jane Austen and The Brontë Sisters as her favourite authors when she was asked about her reading habits by The Guardian in 2008.
But Laura didn't fall for the apparent romance of their work, oh no.
"They're always made out to be so sweetly romantic, but they're not - they're brutal," she said.
"I love the way you can fall in love with a piece of literature; how words alone can get your heart doing that."
More on musicians and literature, as Vice's Noisey has an article on John Darnielle.
Over the phone from his home in Durham, North Carolina, Darnielle is quite candid about his teenage past. Though he doesn't admit to being an erstwhile goth. He prefers the term "death rocker."
"On the West Coast, the term 'death rock' was floating around in the ether. Nobody really used 'goth,'" he says. "[In 1983] there weren't any bands saying, 'Oh yes, we play death rock.' But I liked that term a lot. I was 16 years old and I loved that the word 'death' was right there up front. Who has never been 16 and not thought that was cool stuff to be thinking about? To me, goth was Wuthering Heights, and I was more into gore. I wanted stuff that had death in it, not people that faint. [Laughs] But goth was also Bram Stoker, and Dracula is kind of ground zero for goth." (Cam Lindsay)
Bustle lists '9 Books To Read When You Need A Break And A Little Time To Disconnect' and one of them is Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair:
8 'The Eyre Affair' by Jasper Fforde
For an entirely different kind of mystery novel, how about the adventures of Thursday Next, literary detective? This is about as escapist as escapist fiction can get: a woman in an alternate version of England who has the ability to jump into books and hang out with literary characters. It's sort of like Douglas Adams meets Charlotte Brontë, in the best possible way. (Charlotte Ahlin)
European Business Express has an article on the Culloden Hotel Estate and Spa in Northern Ireland and we find this Brontë mention extremely confusing:
Strategically positioned artworks, ornate mirrors, chess boards, and furniture that would throw the Antiques Roadshow into a spin are tastefully selected. One such piece is of Anne and Maria Brontë. The Brontë sisters had a strong County Down connection, they had good taste. (Sarah-Jayne Smith)

We are back on familiar ground here: The Spectator has a letter from a reader on the 'Japanese Brontë fever' as the letter is summed up.
Sir: Gary Dexter rightly draws attention to the close linguistic relationship between Japan and the United Kingdom, but misses one set of authors on whom the Japanese dote (‘Found in translation’, 13 May). Here in Haworth, we get so many visitors from Japan who come for the Brontë connections that it has been judged necessary to put many of the signposts in both English and Japanese. Coach-loads of Japanese visitors throng my local to enjoy the language and the food. Occasionally I’ve even been bought a pint by some of the more expert visitors, who often want a translation of the Yorkshire dialect, particularly from Wuthering Heights, and to hear it spoken. The whole business is an honour for us and it seems to be a delight for them.
David Pearson
Haworth, West Yorkshire
Writergurlny reviews Sarah Shoemaker's Mr Rochester.
12:30 am by Cristina in , ,    No comments
Her own house is an apt sign of the unfair neglect suffered by Elizabeth Gaskell during many decades. It's sad that for such a long time it seemed to have been just one more house in what's still today a suburban neighbourhood, with even locals ignorant of the fact that an important - albeit also unknown - writer had lived there, as seen in the testimonies read in one of the upstairs rooms of the house.

But as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. And just like Elizabeth Gaskell's work is now enjoying well-deserved recognition, her home is now cherished as it should have been ever since her daughters died. The opposite seems to have happened during the intervening years during which the house was even painted in a ludicrous pink colour.

Fortunately, the house has now been restored to its pleasant original light yellow and it's a treat to visit. The voluntary staff are all welcoming, helpful and knowledgeable, and they truly go out of their way to help visitors in any way they possibly can. We visited over the Easter holidays and there were activities planned for little ones, such as an Easter egg hunt and a workshop.

Stepping inside through the front door is quite thrilling in itself: So many Victorian celebrities crossed the same threshold!

The first room to see is the morning room, in which there's an information screen and also the lovely portrait of Elizabeth Gaskell's daughters when small. A glass cabinet holds several items which are extremely touching because of their simplicity: a doll, a couple of miniatures of Elizabeth Gaskell herself, some clothing items and her wedding veil. In another room there's her wallet, with her own name embossed on it. We were truly amazed to see that these objects had, for over a century, been kept in private hands which had known to cherish them properly.

Then there's William Gaskell's study, which is a bibliophile's delight with its floor-to-ceiling bookcases.

And then come the pièces de résistance: the drawing room and the dining room. The drawing room, of which there's a picture showing how it looked when the Gaskells lived there, is such a lovely room. The tea things are ready and you actually feel like sitting down while Elizabeth Gaskell pours you tea and mesmerises you with her great storytelling. It was also fun to imagine Charlotte Brontë hiding behind the curtains.

The dining room is, surprisingly, where Elizabeth Gaskell kept her writing desk. whichwas actually just a round table. The desk is placed right in front of the window, thus catching all the light and looking onto the garden. While you look around the desk, full of all the writing paraphernalia needed for writing in the 19th century, there's a recording of a pen scratching the paper while writing which helps create the right atmosphere. Excuse us, however, while we have a 'Room of One's Own' moment, though. While we wouldn't dream of taking William Gaskell's study away from him (he did need it for work and visits), we were pretty amazed to see that this great writer from the 19th-century made do with a simple round table. Servants would have been frequently around, setting the dining table, cleaning, etc. No wonder she once said that, 'the interruptions of home life are never ending'.

The rest of the room is a regular Victorian dining room, with a huge table which made true many of those 'imaginary dinner parties' many people fantasise about nowadays. Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens and many others sat there. The Gaskell's silver is on display there too, which again amazed us by the sheer fact of still existing.

After the dining room, the visit continues upstairs, via the staircase, which also brought to mind the many household names which once went up and down it. The upstairs rooms, which would have been the bedrooms in the Gaskells' time, haven't yet been re-created, though there are plans afoot for turning one of them into a master bedroom, with a cradle and all. However, they are well worth a visit, and not just for the fact of what they were. They are now used for explaining what the house has gone through: its past, what happened after the last of the Gaskells' daughters died, as well as telling the fascinating process of renovation. Impressively, while carrying out the works on the house, they came across things that may date from the Gaskells' time.

Then there's the basement, which would have been the servants' territory. Even if we didn't know how kind Elizabeth Gaskell was to servants, this area of the house would show it: it is an airy, luminous basement, which is now home to a lovely tea room-cum-secondhand bookshop as well as a workshop area.

Finally, there's the garden, which we couldn't truly enjoy as it was a rainy day, but which looked lovely and well-kept. During our visit, we saw a good many volunteers braving the rain and working in it. Dotted around the garden, there are stones with inscriptions about the house and garden, one of which is by Charlotte Brontë herself.

And then, the visit was over and we were sincerely sad to leave. There's something touching and moving throughout the whole visit. We don't believe in ghosts or anything, so we think it's all down to Elizabeth Gaskell herself, a lovely house and hard work on the part of the staff and the people who have made it what it is, but the house doesn't feel at all empty or museum-like. Throughout it all, you have the feeling of being inside a home, and not just any home, but one that used to belong to Elizabeth Gaskell, one of the best hostesses in Victorian times. Even after all these years, she still is.

Here's a link to a virtual tour of the house.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 10:58 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
Edinburgh Guide gives 4 stars out of 5 to the local performances of Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre.
In this stripped back and stunning adaptation, Sally Cookson has turned the greyness inside out and focussed on the incredible strength of spirit of this young woman whose character is diametrically opposed to the stereotypical woman of her time, and indeed could give lessons in plain speaking now.
From birth to Jane’s confined physical life, Nadia Clifford utterly embraces her character at every stage. With conviction, she portrays Jane as honest, sensitive and passionate on her journey to live independently at a time when the odds were particularly against her, seeing herself as nothing short of an equal to a man. ‘I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.’
Her bemusement at being asked to shed old boots and don fineries for her wedding to Tim Delap’s unkempt and ramshackle Rochester is especially stark.
Among the cast who take on several roles, Paul Mundell stands out with his beautifully enunciated Irish accent as Mr Brocklehurst, before bounding and wagging as Pilot the dog to the audience’s delight.
The poor demented Bertha Mason is represented by Melanie Marshall with haunting music that includes rich, tingly versions of Does that make me Crazy? and Mad about the Boy.
Michael Vale’s set, like a giant wooden playground with metal ladders, extracts necessarily highly physical performances from the ensemble cast who provide Jane’s inner thoughts and strike some dramatic tableaux.
Live music is played under a ceiling of Beaubourg style lights and pulleys that hold strings of surprises.
The whole performance is enclosed within three walls of giant white curtains that act as sponges for the lighting from Aideen Malone that evokes miserable rain streaks, the horrors of the red room where Jane is punished, and the blue of when ‘It is a bright sunny day. The rain is over and gone’.
Dominic Bilkey’s bone-shaking thunder and insistent rhythms of a steam train, that were signalling change in Brontë’s time, add to the atmosphere of this epic piece.
Sally Cookson’s radical version of Jane Eyre was originally presented in two parts at Bristol Old Vic. It then transferred to the National Theatre where it was re-imagined as a single performance which explains its three hour duration.
The call ‘It’s a girl!’ that opens and closes this audacious adaptation is a joyous battle cry. (Irene Brown)
Edinburgh Evening News also gives it 4 stars.
In the title role, Nadia Clifford is a force of nature. Energetic, inquisitive and instantly engaging, she hops from vignette to vignette as Jane’s life unfolds in a collage of stylised movement and a clear, crisply delivered script. Scenes are further lifted by the gifted vocals of Melanie Marshall who sings the role of Bertha Mason. It is a stunning performance with some unexpectedly poignant renditions of familiar tunes, never more so than her electric delivery of Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy, during which you could hear a pin drop. Also on fine form is Lynda Rooke who slips effortlessly between Jane’s cold, bitter aunt, Mrs Reed, and the lovable, kindly house-keeper Mrs Fairfax. Two entirely disparate characters. As Rochester, Tim Delap’s ‘trite, commonplace sinner’ is an earnest man, peculiar, distracted and distant. Elsewhere, members of the company flit from role to role, creating, on the whole, beautiful little cameos. With the band on stage throughout (padding for Michael Vale’s stark modern design) the production soars until shortly into Act Two at which point the impetus is lost. An accessible, if slightly over-indulgent production then, but one that is well worth seeing, if you can afford the time. (Liam Rudden)
The Reviews Hub also gives it 4 stars, summing it up as 'Confident and Compelling'.
Featuring a strong company of actors, each individual is well cast in their respective roles, delivering solid, confident performances. Nadia Clifford is a feisty, bolshy Jane unlike any you will have ever seen on the silver screen. Her Jane is no wilting wallflower, but instead a full-blooded, fiery, determined young woman, and Clifford’s passionate delivery of Jane’s lines (some of the longer speeches are lifted vertabim from the book) is stirring and heartfelt. Her Jane is also stoutly northern, although her accent wanders west of the Pennines if truth be told.
However. while it’s impressive that the company are able to morph into different parts, scenes such as the human stage coach lack some finesse and polish (perhaps due to a total lack of props). Moreover, while the part of Pilot is a tricky problem for a production team to solve, and though Paul Mundell is very convincing, it brings a little too much comedy to certain scenes, for example, the emotional finale.
The lighting design is simple but effective, enabling bright colour, such as the red room, to reflect boldly off the white voile that lines the three stage walls. However, more dimming of the lights between scenes would improve the fluidity of the drama – some of the staged deaths are rushed and lack dramatic pause; the actors standing up and walking off stage all of a sudden with the lights still up while other actors continue to look on.
The set is minimalist (typical of a National Theatre production) and generally functions well in enhancing the underlying themes of Jane Eyre. There are some clever sequences involving windows that serve as nice theatrical metaphors for Jane’s fluctuating imprisonment and liberation, and the positioning of different characters on the varying ladders and different levels of the stage set is heavy with symbolism but effective. Although it seems a lost opportunity that Bertha Mason appears more times at the lowest point on stage, often under Jane’s level, as opposed to above her (up in the attic).
The live musicians are fantastic and the singing, in particular the soulful, versatile voice of Melanie Marshall is mesmerising. However, overall musically, this production is saturated with too many different genres to the point where it doesn’t know what it’s trying to be and lacks cohesion. Though it’s impressive that hits like Mad About the Boy and Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy have infiltrated the realm of the Brontës, it does seem rather forced. There are also musical episodes that seem to borrow from bands like The Lumineers, jazz and blues and there are even reminiscences of Colin Matthew’s World War One inspired No Man’s Land. Whilst, some of these influences seem appropriate, the overall musical impression is disjointed.
Overall, however, this is a confident and compelling production and re-interpretation of Charlotte Brontë’s novel. Moreover, it is a memorable and genuinely different version than that which audiences will have seen on TV and in cinemas. (S.E. Webster)
The F Word reviews the play No Place for a Woman:
Mental health is not discussed explicitly, though it is a strong theme of the play. Annie’s symptoms are not taken quite as seriously by the people around her as they would be now. They are also simply misunderstood. Her behaviour and placement towards the end of the play are reminiscent of the ‘mad’ Bertha Mason in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, who is locked away to try and contain violent and challenging behaviour which does not fit with the passive feminine ideal of the time. (Samuel Sims)
And more theatre as The Times reviews Winter Hill at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton, in which
[Playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker] flings about numerous cultural allusions, from the Brontës to Macbeth, from Aristophanes’s Lysistrata to the Easter Island statues. (Sam Marlowe)
And a last note on stage matters as Otago Daily Times describes Rebecca Vaughan's one-woman-show, Jane Eyre. An Autobiography, recently seen at Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival as 'spellbinding'.

Signature Reads interviews Tracy Chevalier and asks a question about last year's anthology Reader, I Married Him.
SIGNATURE: This certainly isn’t the first time you’ve taken a cue from classic literature, or art of the past. Among other works, last year you edited an anthology inspired by Charlotte Brontë’s infamous line, “Reader, I married him,” from Jane Eyre. Do you find yourself naturally gravitating towards the classics when working on your own writing?
TRACY CHEVALIER: It’s not deliberate. In both instances – Shakespeare and Jane Eyre – I was asked, and a commission is quite different from a natural inclination. Having said that, I do look to the past a lot for inspiration, and that is where most of the classics – whether books or paintings or tapestries or poets – lie. (Meghan McCullough)
America Magazine doesn't like the Jane Eyre similarities and references in the latest screen adaptation of Anne of Green Gables.
It is the dark and unsettling tale of a poor orphan. Abused as a young child and then traumatized in an institution, the plain and wounded girl finally finds a place that feels like home. But as soon as she lets down her guard, the people she believed could offer her the love she longs for break her trust. Our heroine takes flight and wanders into the night with nowhere to lay her head.
Ah, the story of Jane Eyre, you might say. I know that bleak tale of woe and moor-wandering!
But you would be mistaken. It is “Anne With an E,” the new retelling of L. M. Montgomery’s whimsical Canadian classic, Anne of Green Gables. [...]
The new series is full of Jane Eyre references (even the episode titles are drawn from Jane). The filming reminds one of Cary Fukunaga’s 2011 version of “Jane Eyre,” with its beautiful candlelit scenes, in which each frame could be a painting by Georges de la Tour. The new series makes Anne’s early years like those of young Jane, abused by the family she lived with. It turns Anne’s orphanage into Jane Eyre’s Lowood, and even the kind Reverend Allan of Montgomery’s book is warped into a grim Mr. Brocklehurst, who sternly lectures Anne about lying. The result certainly is not Montgomery’s Anne but a clumsy mix of painfully melodramatic additions that feel awkward next to the handful of excellent scenes that bring life to the original tale. (Haley Stewart)
Lady Macbeth is back on BrontëBlog thanks to a review from Belper News:
Later, the screen relaxes soaking up moorland landscapes with an enthusiasm reminiscent of Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights. (Natalie Stendall)
This is not the first time we read about Céline Dion's song It's All Coming Back to Me Now and its connection to Wuthering Heights. The Awl is not thrilled about it:
[Songwriter Jim Steinman] also says on his website that he wrote the song, “under the influence of Wuthering Heights.” This checks out — the song is melodramatic and tortured as hell. Consider the first verse:
There were nights when the wind was so cold / That my body froze in bed if I just listened to it / Right outside the window / There were days when the sun was so cruel / That all the tears turned to dust / And I just knew my eyes were drying up forever. The song goes on to paint the picture of a narrator who “banished every memory you and I had ever made,” likely due to the fact that the relationship was a very abusive one. A later verse explains:
There were those empty threats and hollow lies / And whenever you tried to hurt me / I just hurt you even worse and so much deeper. That’s not great. While this does bring up the specter of physical abuse, with all the context around the song, it seems more clear this is a kind of obsessive, emotional abuse. Steinman explains:
It’s like Heathcliffe (sic) digging up Kathy’s [sic] corpse and dancing with it in the cold moonlight. You can’t get more extreme, operatic or passionate than that. I was trying to write a song about dead things coming to life. I was trying to write a song about being enslaved and obsessed by love, not just enchanted and happy with it. (Scott Rogers)