Sunday, November 23, 2014

Batman vs the robotic Emily Brontë-saurus

The latest number of the digitally-released comic Batman 66 (Chapter #47, The Osiris Virus, DC Comics) contains an unexpected Brontë reference. The archvillain Bookworm has no less than a Emily Brontë-saurus (run by a Heathcliff 1 computer?) and entraps Batman and Robin in a gigantic Wuthering Heights volume:

Ha! Ha! What pleasure it gives me to look down to my enemies from such Wuthering Heights.
I bid you adieu, caped crusaders... for you will surely not survive the footfall of my Emily Brontë-saurus!
Script : Jeff Parker
Letters: Wes Abbott
Art & Colors: Scott Kowalchuk
Cover: Michael & Laura Allred
Comics Alliance adds:

One of the great things about the current Batman ’66 comic is that it allows for set pieces that the TV show never could’ve budgeted for — the latest issue involves Bookworm’s Wuthering Heights-themed robotic dinosaur, the Emily Brontësaurus, and the very first story involved Batman gliding through the air to chase down the Riddler’s airplane. (Chris Sims)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Jane Eyre-esque earnestness

First, a couple of alerts for today November 22. The first one in Berkeley, CA:

Mallory Ortberg reads from Texts From Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations With Your Favorite Literary Characters
Pegasus Books Downtown
2349 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704
Saturday, November 22, 2014 - 7:30pm
Join Mallory Ortberg, co-creator of The Toast, in a reading from her new book, Texts From Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations With Your Favorite Literary Characters. Based on the popular web-feature, Texts from Jane Eyre is a witty, irreverent mashup that brings the characters from your favorite books into the twenty-first century.
The second one in Elkin, NC:
Murder by the Book” opens at Elkin High’s Dixon Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday with a second performance at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are available at the door, $5 for adults; $3 for students and children. (Kitsey E. Burns on Elkin Tribune)
Great literary road trips in The Guardian with a picture of Top Withins, of course:
Celebrate some of the women who put England on the literary map with a tour of Yorkshire and Cumbria. Start in Haworth, the village in the Pennines where the Brontë sisters, Anne, Charlotte and Emily, grew up. Visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum, furnished as it was when the family lived here, and take the short walk up to Brontë Falls and on to Top Withens, said to be the inspiration for Wuthering Heights, the house in Emily’s eponymous novel.
News Letter mentions the Brontë connection of the Rathfriland Presybterian Church (i.e. Patrick Brontë preached and taught at Drumballyroney Church and School House, between Rathfriland and Moneyslane):
In the congregation we have many historical links, through our families to the sinking of the Titanic with the death of Thomas Rowan Morrow, members who fought in First and Second World Wars, United Irishmen and the Brontë family.
New Jersey Star-Ledger talks about The Hunger Games: Mockingjay and the real need of splitting the adaptation in two movies:
Since Hollywood began, it's been adapting big, unwieldy books — and always managing to do it in one go. Dickens movies often toss away fistfuls of chapters; most versions of "Wuthering Heights" discard the last half of the novel. No American studio ever asked you to see "War" one year, then come back for "And Peace" the next. (Stephen Whitty)
In the Yorkshire Post there is an article about the Gissing Centre in
She takes a pragmatic view of the Centre. “It’s not Haworth, and Gissing isn’t one of the Brontes,” she says. “It’s never going to attract the numbers Haworth attracts, but it will attract the faithful few.”
Dawn (Pakistan) talks the quite subtle gender revolution taking place in Pakistan through cinema and television:
Another equally popular show Zindagi Gulzar Hai sanctified a middle class dupatta-clad girl while villainising the upper class girls in western attire.
The good girl/bad girl dichotomy, however, fails to erase the complexities that animate out of this binary.
With a Jane Eyre-esque earnestness, the good girl pursues a career, lives apart from her husband, and carves a space, where her being is not policed by men. (Nur Ibrahim)
Globe Newswire talks about the newly published writer James I. Marino:
As he grew older, he grew into the literary adventure stories of Ernest Hemingway, and then the Sturm und Drang of novels by Thomas Hardy and the Brontë sisters. Conspicuously absent during all this journey were the stories of such evangelists for fantasy as J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, or Ursula Le Guin. (Richard Adams Carey)
La Presse (Quebec) reviews Bain de lune by Yanick Lahens:
La violence des désirs dans le village fictif de l'Anse Bleue traverse trois générations qui vivront la naissance de la dictature, et n'est pas sans rappeler celle des Hauts de Hurlevent de Brontë ou des Fous de Bassan d'Anne Hébert, et surtout Amour, colère et folie de Marie Vieux-Chauvet, figure majeure des lettres de «l'île magique». (Chantal Guy) (Translation)
Cultura e Cultura (Italy) reviews the film Scusate se esisto! directed by Riccardo Milani:
Donne all’ombra di uomini. Donne che fanno fatica ad affermarsi, oggi come un tempo, quando alcune scrittrici di successo facevano uso di pseudonimi maschili per pubblicare romanzi e antologie. Jane Austen o le sorelle Brontë sono un esempio in tal senso. Le donne erano escluse da quasi tutti i campi lavorativi. (Maria Ianniciello) (Translation)
The first blog post on the Elizabeth Gaskell's House Blog has been published and is a really nice one; Sarah Actually Reads videoreviews Jane Eyre.


The Brontë biofiction, Branwell genre, has a new addition:
by Robert Edric
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Doubleday (20 Nov 2014)
Ebook: Transworld Digital (20 Nov 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-0857522870

Haworth, West Yorkshire, 1848.

Branwell Brontë - unexhibited artist, unacknowledged writer, sacked railwayman, disgraced tutor and spurned lover -finds himself unhappily back in Haworth Parsonage, to face the crushing disappointment of his father and his three sisters, whose own pseudonymous successes - allegedly kept secret from him – are only just becoming apparent.

With his health failing rapidly, his literary aspirations abandoned and his once loyal circle of friends shrinking fast, Branwell lives in a world of secrets, conspiracies and seemingly endless betrayals. To restore himself to a creative and fulfilling existence in the face of an increasingly claustrophobic environment, he returns to the drugs, alcohol and the morbid self-delusion which have already played such a large part in his unhappy life.

Sanctuary is a lacerating and moving portrait of self-destruction. In it, Robert Edric has reimagined the final months of one of the great bystanders of literary history, and, in so doing, has shone a penetrating light on one of the most celebrated and perennially fascinating families in our creative history.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Heathcliff, business guru

The Independent (Ireland) reviews the Gate Theatre production of Wuthering Heights.

Anne-Marie Casey’s adaptation, necessarily compressed, loses most of the fine tissue connecting the bones of one of English literature’s greatest love stories.
Much of it, particularly in the first act, jerks along, made jerkier by Michael Barker-Caven’s over-busy production. Within minutes Cathy has returned home outwardly transformed from her recuperation at the Lintons, a surly young Heathcliff has been scrubbed up by Nelly (the excellent Fiona Bell) to impress her, while vowing undying revenge on Cathy’s tyrannical brother Hindley and Hindley’s wife has gone upstairs pregnant and come down in a coffin. Unless you know the story it all seems rather haphazard.
Wuthering Heights is in a constant spin, and though the ingenuity of Paul O’Mahoney’s set design often pays off, sliding rocks, sliding curtains, beds coming out of walls, and some decidedly naff film projections do more to shred the atmosphere than thicken it.
A key element of the novel’s brooding menace is Hindley, consumed with hatred for Heathcliff from childhood. A sneery wimpish Ronan Leahy is miscast as the vengeful brute, while Joseph is just an ephemeral servant rather then the cursing Biblical moralizer he should be.
Thankfully Tom Canton is a superb Heathcliff, physically and vocally, his hoarse northern accent hollow and dry when making threats that never fail to materialize, and impassioned when articulating his tormented love for Cathy. Kate Brennan is a constantly compelling Cathy, in possession of an untameable love the well-bred Lintons can’t even imagine, but, as a woman, still concerned to better her position.
Brennan embodies perfectly this conflict between her love and her appetite for betterment, spelled out when she tries to justify her intention of marrying Linton. She loves Linton because he’s rich and he loves her, but Heathcliff is a different matter. “He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
With Brennan and Canton, the unvarnished simplicity of Cathy and Heathcliff’s avowals have a visceral power and truth that make love the most desirable but the most terrible of involvements. (John McKeown)
Daily Express has an article on Sheila Hancock's love life and reminds us of the fact that she herself has
previously compared their romance [her marriage to John Thaw] to that of Cathy’s and Heathcliff’s in Emily Brontë’s ‘Wuthering Heights.’
Emily writes extraordinarily about the depth of Cathy and Heathcliff’s desperation, with him actually grabbing her body as she’s dying to try to stop her going, as it were," Hancock explained during an interview with Radio Times in 2013.
"Well, anyone who’s watched somebody die, that’s just what you want to do. I did. ‘Don’t go, don’t you dare go!’ She puts into words something I totally understand."
Hancock has gradually learned to live without the late actor over the past decade, but believes that she was meant to be with him.
"If you have ever known that obsessive love, which sometimes makes it difficult to be together but impossible to be apart, you can identify with the relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff," she said. (Annie Price)
Well, here's something we had never thought Wuthering Heights would help with--business! Linkedin interviews Matt Gross, Boston-based entrepreneur and founder of Mobile First Software. According to him,
reading Emily Brontë’s novel “Wuthering Heights,” with its fictionalization of the character Heathcliff, helped me understand that in a hostile business interaction there’s a human being on the other side, and any negative interactions are likely a result of that person's internal state of mind, not necessarily about what I’m doing or saying. (Chuck Leddy)
The Church Times quotes rather more predictably from Shirley:
We sing Isaac Watts's "O God, our help in ages past". Charlotte Brontë has a girl, "her voice sweet and silver clear", sing it in Shirley. (Ronald Blythe)
The Daily Mail reviews the novel Sanctuary by Robert Edric.
In this fictionalised story of Branwell Brontë, the acclaimed author Edric focuses not on his subject’s youthful collaborations with his sisters, but on the would-be author and artist’s troubled later years.
It’s a brave decision, and lends many of the episodes in this book an autumnal cast: ‘My hopes these days are all dead leaves in a rising wind,’ Brontë confides at one point, and the image recurs as he ponders the debts that swirl around him.
His famous siblings, meanwhile, keep their distance (particularly cold, critical Charlotte) — their success and the secrecy it’s wrapped in forming an exclusive bond. Unable to find his place within the family, Brontë is also adrift in the world, disgraced as a tutor, sacked from his position on the railways for ‘an accounting discrepancy’, and unacknowledged as the father of a long-dead child.
Not everything about this novel works: the dialogue doesn’t always convince and, in the final, distressed stages of Brontë’s life (which ended when he was just 31), his narration is a little too lucid. On the whole, however, it’s a restrained and sensitive portrait. (Stephanie Cross)
We didn't think it possible for anyone to romanticise Lowood, but this columnist from The Collegian does:
I dream of Kenyon having a serious snowstorm or a blackout, literally or figuratively. Then it might turn into an English boarding school like Charlotte Brontë’s Lowood Institution and professors might tell us pilgrims’ tales by the fire, taking us back to the days where the reader was more important than the book, bringing us close to that plane where we grasp the fundamentals. (Kelly Reed)
The novelist Ayelet Waldman writes about travelling to London with a family of fans of Doctor Who on Condé Nast Traveler.
Outvoted but mollified by promises of proper English teas—though not a committed Whovian like my children and husband, I am a devoted re-reader of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters and know well the attractions of cucumber sandwiches and clotted cream—I set about planning the trip. 
Dos Manzanas (Spain) finds Peter Cameron's novel Coral Glynn somewhat reminiscent of Jane Eyre.

And more High School Jane Eyre

This one in Kennebunk, Maine:

Jane EyreAdapted by Willis Hall
Kennebunk High School

The Visual and Performing Arts Department proudly announces Jane Eyre as the Fall Play!  This powerful theatrical production based on the immortal classic by Charlotte Brontë and adapted by Willis Hall, will be performed Friday and Saturday, November 21st and 22nd at 7:00 pm, and Sunday afternoon, November 23rd, at 2:00 in the Alexander Economos Auditorium. There are no advance reservations for this production.  Tickets are $8.00 at the door.
SeaCost Online gives more information:
“It's a unique play for our stage — highly stylized, minimal set, relying on lighting and movement and characterization to bring the story to life. It's a great play for November — a dark and mysterious Gothic romance,” said the play’s director, Val Reid.
“It is a very intense classic, but it is family friendly — anyone can come and see it,” said junior cast member Rosemary Crimp. (...)
Set and lighting design is by Benjamin Potvin and student stage director/manager Ben Walker-Dubay.
“It’s a large cast with students from all grades working together. It’s great to come together across the board like that, we always have fun,” said junior Meira Clark.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mordantly Funny (or how Fundraising and Sewer Work is quite a metaphor for the snooty wars)

The Spectator chooses the best books so far in the year and Melanie McDonagh's selection is:

Muriel Spark wasn’t only one of the great British novelists but a cracking literary critic and a lovely essayist. Her book on Mary Shelley is extraordinarily perceptive; ditto, but more fun, is her writing on the Brontës. Carcanet Press, having last year reissued the Shelley book, has now republished The Essence of the Brontës (£12.95), Spark’s compilation of their letters, with essays. It’s a joy on both fronts. Her piece on the siblings as teachers (‘genius, if thwarted, resolves itself in an infinite capacity for inflicting trouble’) is mordantly funny — her sympathies are entirely with their pupils — while the selection of letters is very fine and occasionally downright malicious. Consider Charlotte on Pride and Prejudice: ‘An accurate daguerrotyped portrait of a commonplace face; a carefully fenced, highly cultivated garden, with neat borders and delicate flowers; but no glance of a bright, vivid physiognomy, no open country, no fresh air.’ Fabulous.
The Irish Times reviews the Dublin production of Wuthering Heights as adapted by Anne-Marie Casey:
Retaining the novel’s framing device, which has the bumbling visitor Lockwood (Bosco Hogan) and the earthy, sympathetic housekeeper Nelly (Fiona Bell) as narrators, the production never settles on a theatrical frame. If anything, it seems to follow a shooting script, zipping through locations and images: the hand through the windowpane, Catherine and Heathcliff tumbling through the moors, Catherine desperately calling his name.
Where the adaptation finds something new to say is the suggestion (informed by the critic Terry Eagleton) that the adopted Heathcliff is an Irish Famine refugee. (We first find him, as a child, muttering the Ár n-Athair.) That might lend Heathcliff’s brutalisation – and ensuing brutality – a political dimension, were there room to explore it.
For Tom Canton’s towering and husky Heathcliff and Kate Stanley Brennan’s whirling Catherine, who hope to dissolve into one another in fantasies both romantic and macabre, their onstage relationship becomes, inevitably, a more physical expression. Conveyed in leaps and lifts and laughs and lunges, though, it threatens to tip into parody. That is the peril of a literal approach; it sticks to the the surface of the story, and here, the book’s most pivotal moments – Cathy’s fatefully overheard conversation or Heathcliff’s grave digging – are served unadorned and strangely muted. (Peter Crawley)
The Yorkshire Post (and several other local newspapers) talk about some sewer works that have to be done in Haworth and that will sadly interfere with the local Christmas celebrations:
Hundreds of people from across the UK were due to flock to the Brontë village over the weekend of December 6 and 7 for the Victorian Christmas Market.
Bands, street entertainment and a diverse range of market stalls had all been planned to entertain the crowds.
But contractors need to move onto the street from December 1 to carry out essential engineering works - and the organiser has decided to cancel after taking council advice.
Despite the disappointment, organisers have praised Bradford Council for the way the issue has been handled. (...)
Mike Powell, Bradford Council’s emergency planning officer, said: “It’s regretful that the event has had to be cancelled, but safety of the public is paramount and the road work has to be done. Council officers will work with the organiser when he submits the new date for his event.”
Darren Badrock, Bradford Council’s principal highway engineer, said that the highway surface - which is made up of stone setts - would be restored to its original condition once the work is completed.
A spokesman for Yorkshire Water said the engineering work related to waste pipes which had been incorrectly connected during the development of a private housing scheme.
A date for the work has been agreed with the council, the company said. Work is expected to start on December 1 and finish on the 13th. (Andrew Robinson)
Also in Haworth the Haworth Church Website makes the following appeal:
Haworth Parish church has played a significant part in English church history. Rev’d Grimshaw, Rev’ds John and Charles Wesley are among key people and pioneers associated with the church. The parish had close links with the Methodist Revival movement. The Brontë connection meant that the parish was, and is, a place of pilgrimage for Brontë fans. (...)
But the building is not just a historical monument. It is central to the Haworth Community; and provides regular worship as well as being extensively used for Wedding, Funerals, Civic occasions etc.
It costs £1,000 a week to keep the church open. Sadly, like so much of our national heritage it needs a great deal of money spending on it to restore it and make it fit for the 21st century.
In 2012 £0.26m went on the new South Roof; the heating system was replaced at a significant cost this autumn. An application to replace the North Roof, around £0.3m, has been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund. Completion will make the building weather-proof; however, to make it fit for the 21st century further work, such as new eco-friendly lighting, new wiring, toilets, etc., needs to be done at an estimated cost of £1/4m.
The church, like the Society, is dependent on those who attend services and well-wishers for its funding. If you believe that you might be able to help please speak to the Rev’d Peter Mayo-Smith. Tel: 01535 648464 or e-mail:
The New York Times reviews the book Novel Interiors: Living in Enchanted Rooms Inspired by Literature by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti:
Rough wood furniture on pale stone floors reminded her of chairs at Wuthering Heights that Emily Brontë called “high-backed, primitive structures.” (Eve M. Kahn)
Vulture reviews the latest episode of Sons of Anarchy (Suits of Woe, S07E11). The Brontë reference of the previous episode is still briefly mentioned:
Juice has been squeezed dry. He talks to Unser and Jarry as they frantically try to get him a deal so he will tell them the truth. “It doesn’t matter anymore, Sheriff. I’m done. It’s too late, for all of us,” he says, tear-stained and numb. He tells them he told Jax the truth and that Gemma knows the truth. By the end, guards are taking him to the infirmary, where Lin’s men will be waiting for him. And he had just gotten into Brontë. Jax did promise it would be quick.
 An ode to the use of imagination in reading is what we found in Kentucky Kernel:
My English teacher of that elk was Mrs. Hunter. Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights was her favorite novel, and she ripped the mammoth to shreds. Every conversation was chewed up and spit out in four different ways.
At the time, I had not the slightest bit of idea or ounce of care to figure out her points about the character development and progression of Mr. Heathcliffe (sic). The book was massive, and my attention span was not as such. (Nick Gray)
Noticias Mercedinas (Argentina) announces the broadcast of the play The Love Course (1969) by AR Gurney on Radio Fénix (November 19, 21.00 h and November 23, 19.00 h):
Both Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra and Emily Brontë’s "Wuthering Heights," which have big parts in this play, are elements in other plays I wrote later on. I guess those two works won’t leave me alone.
The Edmonton Journal talks about the release of a live album by Mike McDonald. Regrettably it won't include his 1997 track 'Wuthering Heights vs The Guns of Navarone'
The evening went smoothly, though some songs were dropped from the finished recording due to errors both large and small.  (...)
"There were other songs I wanted on there, too, like Wuthering Heights vs. The Guns of Navarone, but the mistakes would have driven me crazy every time I listened to it.” (Tom Murray)
And more music and Wuthering Heights. Kate Bush's song is performed in many different ways today in the news. As a kind of Christmas show in Canberra:
We've Got Our Standards. Devised and performed by John Shortis and Moya Simpson. Teatro Vivaldi ANU Arts Centre. November 29,30.
Shortis says Simpson  also sings Ralph McTell's Streets of London and tells stories of being a schoolteacher in the East End of London, as well as performing Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights and a "thrown-up-in-the-air" rearrangement of the old Eurovision Song Contest winner Puppet on a String. (Ron Cerabona in Canberra Times)
With puppets on Boris & Sergey's Preposterous Improvisation Experiment at the Mimetic Festival 2014 in London (The Vaults, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, November):
The final part of the showcase for us was “Boris and Sergey’s Preposterous Improvisation Experiment”. Unfortunately, Sergey wasn’t with us, as Boris explained, but he (along with his three handlers) carried out regardless and delivered a version of ‘Wuthering Heights’ which made Kate Bush’s original look almost sane. (Neil Cheesman on London Theatre 1)
Pittsburgh Historical Fiction Examiner interviews the writer Louisa Treger:
What three novels could you read over and over? (Kayla Posney)
I could give you a list of ten! But if I must restrict myself to three, I would probably choose "Villette" by Charlotte Brontë, "Fugitive Pieces" by Ann Michaels, and "The Hours" by Michael Cunningham.
And Muzikalia (Spain) reviews the BBC documentary Kate Bush: Running Up That Hill:
Si alguien se quedó en que Wuthering Heights (1978) era la música del anuncio del perfume de Gloria Vanderbilt aprenderá mucho con este film. Típico documental estilo BBC, 60 minutos de impactos revisando la consistente, personal y ecléctica carrera de Bush. (Sonia Galve) (Translation)
Televisión Cubana (Cuba) interviews the actor Roberto Perdomo:
¿Cuánta fantasía de niño has podido realizar mediante la actuación?
La mitad. Me queda mucha fantasía y mundos por experimentar y dibujar. Me hubiera encantado interpretar uno de los personajes de la novela Cumbres Borrascosas, además de encarnar a Teresa Racán y a otros clásicos. (Mayán Venero) (Translation)
El País (Spain) describes Àngel Guimerà's play Terra Baixa as 'Wuthering Heights with pubilla' (Jacinto Antón).

Finally, a new installment in the Brontë Society internal little wars: the Brontë Parsonage Blog gives voice to the President of the Brontë Society, Bonnie Greer who completely disagrees with the 'snooty' accusations to some of the leaders of the Brontë Society:
“One of the reasons that I accepted the Presidency is not only because I love the work of the Brontës, but because both the members and the Council have been welcoming and supportive. And because of Yorkshire - the people and the region. I’ve been London-centered for all of my almost thirty years in this country. So to get away from the south east bubble to somewhere “real” - to me that’s great!
One of the reasons I love Yorkshire is because I, too, don’t do “snooty” and “snobby”. I never have, don’t now, and never will. And believe me, if I felt that there was an atmosphere like that around me, I’d be out of there.

High School Jane Eyre

An alert for today, November 20.

The Drama students at Anchor Bay High School (Michigan) are playing Willis Hall's adaptation of Jane Eyre. Further details on The Voice:

"JANE EYRE" PRESENTED at ABHS Nov. 20-21-22: Our Town is invited to attend the play, based on the novel by Charlotte Brontë and adapted by Wills Hall. Curtain time is 7:15 p.m. Mrs. Dawn Battice, in her 19th year as director of the drama department at Anchor Bay High, is excited to provide the students with another rewarding experience in the genre. The production is sure to be another outstanding performance by the students. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students, senior citizens and members of the military.
Also on the ABHS Drama Twitter account.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"It's fun to wear corsets"

A.V. Club suggests which adaptations of the classics you need to see in order to 'cheat English Lit 205'.

Jane Eyre (1997): Anyone in search of exacting fidelity regarding Charlotte Brontë’s definitive character study should turn to the 1983 series, in which an entire episode is spent in Lowood and Timothy Dalton pretends not to be handsome. A&E’s 1997 outing is short on time and low on budget: Scenes fade awkwardly to make room for commercial breaks, and whole subplots—like Jane’s journey to settle accounts with dying Aunt Reed—happen entirely offscreen. But this also means an Eyre tightly focused on its leads (Ciaran Hinds and Samantha Morton), who nail crucial and difficult characterizations of the plucky, introspective governess and the asshole who loves her. Hinds’ Rochester is every inch the abusive blowhard who manipulates Jane for his amusement, and a viewer has zero trouble believing he would stash a wife in the attic. It’s no wonder Morton’s Jane—whose steely gaze barely disguises her temper—often seems intrigued by him despite her better instincts. Backed by a score overwrought enough to make Brontë proud, these two duke it out for the best-earned codependent happy ending of the 19th century.
The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall (1996): Of all the Brontë novels, this might be the trickiest to adapt. Its prickly heroine, Helen Graham, is the most determinedly feminist Brontë heroine, feet planted firmly in a suffragette future: disregarding unfair laws, resenting men’s legal control, and shunning the behind-the-scenes support network of women. But she lacks the relatability of plucky Jane Eyre—Helen’s the wife that’s been locked in the attic. And Wildfell Hall’s plot, which parallels a slowly unspooling tale of marital abuse with a slowly unspooling tale of Helen being harangued to open up in her new life, could feel stagnant on the screen. Instead, director Mike Barker imbues the frame with the cool illumination of a Vermeer, and shows Helen as a natural fit among the scrub trees that have twisted and toughened to survive. There’s even the occasional grace note of uncomfortable sensuality, as Toby Stephens’ Gilbert becomes romantically entitled about her in a way the series suggests makes him a questionable improvement on the last guy. It’s a largely uncompromising adaptation of an uncompromising novel. [...]
Wuthering Heights (1998): Emily Brontë was the most openly Gothic of the sisters whose work came to define the Romantic era. Wuthering Heights, though often described as a dark love story, is actually a two-person horror story that catches a generation of innocent parties in its terrifying wake—which makes it awfully tricky to adapt, since a successful one will have to acknowledge their mutual monstrousness, and most versions softball Cathy. The 1998 miniseries is no exception; Orla Brady’s Cathy is mildly determined rather than poisonous. But Robert Cavanah is as cruel a Heathcliff as the small screen’s ever seen; he’s more bombastic than Tom Hardy’s quietly sinister sociopath in the 2009 iteration, but Cavanah’s right at home in a wholeheartedly Gothic take. (Heathcliff digging up Cathy’s coffin to embrace her bones is a succinct encapsulation of the entire novel.) It’s not perfect—the dated effects mark this as distinctly ’90s, and Polly Hemingway isn’t as compelling a Nelly as she could be. But this version comes closer than most to capturing the psychological sinkhole at the novel’s center. (Genevieve Valentine)
We are sorry but we don't really agree with the versions of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights that have been selected.

We doubt they were there for the cheating, but the Irish Independent carries the story of the celebrities who were there for the opening night of Wuthering Heights at the Gate Theatre.
It has been 70 years since Emily Brontë's haunting romance 'Wuthering Heights' was last staged at Dublin's Gate Theatre.
So there was plenty of excitement in the foyer of the theatre as broadcasters Pat Kenny, Marty Whelan and Gay Byrne crowded through the doors to watch Cathy and Heathcliff's love story play out on the Yorkshire Moors.
"It's a classic book," Whelan said. "And we all love a bit of high drama and romance in the build up to Christmas don't we?"
Actresses Cathy Belton, Ingrid Craigie, and author Joseph O'Connor also attended the opening night as did Master of the National Maternity Hospital Holles Street, Dr Rhona Mahony.
Directed by Michael Barker-Caven the production has been adapted by acclaimed playwright Anne-Marie Casey.
Tom Canton takes on the brooding lead role of Heathcliff while Kate Brennan - daughter of thespian Stephen Brennan and 'Fair City' actress Martina Stanley - plays Catherine.
"It's like a ghost story," Brennan said. "I really connected to the raw passion. I never really do stuff in this period so it's fun to wear corsets and dresses with big skirts for a change." (Kirsty Blake Knox)
Jane Eyre is one of seven life-changing books for MyDaily:
3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë. This gothic novel tells the story of Jane Eyre, one of the most independent female protagonists in literary history. The story follows her journey from her loveless home to the grand Thornfield Hall where she works as a governess. She finds herself falling in love with her employer Rochester only to face the ultimate dilemma. Jane Eyre was written in 1847 and dazzled readers with its intimate voice and portrayal of a young woman's search for equality and freedom. (Tara King)
Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden) reviews Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries:
Men till skillnad från den viktorianska romanen à la Brontë eller Dickens – på vilken ”Himlakroppar” får sägas vara en pastisch – finns hos Catton ingen moraliserande slutsats att hämta. Det tycks i slutändan framför allt vara en postmodern berättelse om verklighetsåtergivningens svårigheter, ett slags genreparodi på den realistiska roman som vill synliggöra tillvaron från alla dess skilda perspektiv. (Viola Bao) (Translation)
This is how Vulture describes the song Chocolate by Giraffage:
Damn, this song is pleasant. It sounds like the soundtrack of a video game about a polar bear who just drifts lazily down an icy, yet calm, river. Periodically, fish jump into her mouth, and she eats them clean, pulling out the bones (Heathcliff-style). (JDF
Eloquent Codex posts about Wuthering Heights.

Jane Eyre at Gaskell's House

Tomorrow, November 20, at Elizabeth Gaskell's House in Manchester, UK:

Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 14:00 to 15:30
Elizabeth Gaskell's Book Club: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Join Dr Karen Laird for an informal discussion of this popular nineteenth-century novel. Whether you read the book fifty years ago or yesterday, we'd love to have you join our conversation.
Drop-in, booking not required. Free activity. Standard admission charges apply. (Please note that standard admission is a ticket which includes entry for a year).

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Inside the Brontë Society

The Yorkshire Post wonders, 'What’s really going on inside the Brontë Society?'

After 40 years in the Brontë Society, Imelda Marsden has gathered enough material for a pacy novel of her own.
If she ever put pen to paper, the story might have allegations of snobbery as a central theme with added intrigue provided by “agitators” calling for sweeping changes at an ancient literary society. The 68 year old former nurse, a life member of the Society, lives and breathes the Brontës but fears “snooty” behaviour is thwarting its full potential along with that of the Parsonage.
She has watched recent events unfold with a feeling of deja vu, having witnessed the controversial departure of a director back in 2000. She has also met many wonderful leaders of the Society but, she says, some are distant and unfriendly.
“Sometimes you can be made to feel as though you are a nobody. I’m a trained general nurse, just an ordinary person. I know that some people have been made to feel inferior. One or two (among the leadership) think they are above everybody else, they are snooty. Yes, it’s a literary society but there are people who are interested in history or art too.”
The apparent disconnection between the leadership and the rank-and-file is acutely felt at meetings, she said. “People on the (Society) Council don’t talk to you, not even to say hello.”
Mrs Marsden, who splits her time between Mirfield and her beloved Haworth, believes changes are needed to widen the appeal of the Brontës and the Parsonage Museum and to boost membership.
“People like Bob Barnard (former Society chairman who died last year) must be turning in his grave. He was brilliant with everybody.” She adds that “people skills” should be a requirement for leadership, not just academic or professional qualifications.
The Society’s recent troubles have included the sudden departure in June of executive director Ann Sumner, who was in post for only 16 months, and last month’s resignation of chairman, Christine Went after just 28 days. Ms Went hit out last month at “agitators” who forced an emergency meeting in a bid - which failed - to bring in a “modernising” leadership. If the Society appoints a successor to Ann Sumner, they will be the fifth director in 15 years.
“There is a depressingly cyclical nature to these departures, as someone pointed out at the emergency general meeting (EGM) in October,” said a Society member, who asked to remain anonymous. “I believe some members of Council are not letting executive directors get on with their jobs without day-to-day interference. ‘Micro managing’ was mentioned several times at the EGM.” The member added: “It’s time to stop being so precious and exclusive and just celebrate the fact that we have this family on our doorstep for everyone to enjoy.”
It’s a view shared by Bradford-based writer Joolz Denby, who tweeted this month: “As a person who has felt the sharp end of the Brontë Society I agree they need to change their attitude.”
She has worked on Brontë -themed community events in recent years but hasn’t received invitations to Brontë Society events. “They see themselves as having an exclusive little club,” she said. “And, like all exclusive cliques, they don’t want outsiders in.” She also described the Parsonage as “deadly dull” and in need of updating.
In Haworth, work is needed to get locals and the Parsonage reading from the same hymn sheet, according to Peter Mayo-Smith, priest in charge at Haworth Parish Church, who says the village has the potential to be a “Stratford-upon-Avon of the North” if people put aside their differences.
He finds spats among members “perplexing” particularly as there have been several over the years. “It seems to keep happening, there is a little bit of a pattern. They seem to have had a high turnover of chief executives.”
Mr Smith was impressed by Ann Sumner who had got involved with the village and was a “breath of fresh air.”
He believes the next executive director must continue her good work.
“I hope and pray that the Parsonage and the Brontë Society get far more involved in the community. We have seen what happens when we do that. The 1940s weekends are run by a community group which raises tens of thousands for charity.”
He called for the creation of a forum, made up of Brontë Society leading lights and local people. And he believes Society members who have been critical of the leadership can play a big part in taking the group forward.
A month on from the EGM, the Brontë Society is keen to move on. In a statement, a Brontë Society spokesman said meetings had taken place between members, Parsonage staff and Society trustees “to build and progress a number of exciting plans to take us through the upcoming bicentenary celebrations and beyond, ensuring the legacy of the Brontë family’s achievements is further strengthened.”
The spokesman said members expressed their “clear support for the Brontë Society Council and the way forward” at the EGM.
“We are aware that some members would like to see the Parsonage Museum run separately from the Brontë Society. However, the Parsonage Museum was given ‘in perpetuity’ to the Brontë Society in 1928 and has been run by Society members ever since, achieving a world renowned collection and visitor experience. Any proposed changes to the constitution of the Society would be subject to a vote amongst the whole membership and would, therefore, need to be put to the AGM in June 2015.”
On the issue of leadership, the spokesman said: “Nominations have been invited from among the trustees for the post of Chairman, and we look forward to receiving them.”
On membership, the spokesman said it has been “stable against a trend of falling membership of Societies and we look forward to it increasing with the bicentenary enthusiasm.”
A conference in August attracted new members and a new database would “transform communication” with members and non-members, improve fund-raising and promote the Society to prospective supporters.
“The publicity that will surround the bicentenaries will generate interest around the world, and the Society looks forward to seeing membership rising as the momentum builds locally and internationally.”
He said the Society is focused on developing relationships in Haworth, including with the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, Christmas market, primary school, parish church and 1940s weekend.
“The leadership team at the Parsonage and the trustees are determined to renew and develop relationships with local, national and international partners to ensure that we not only continue to safeguard the legacy of Brontë family, but add valuable new chapters and interpretations to it over the coming years.” (Andrew Robinson)
The Irish Times features the current stage production of Wuthering Heights at the Gate Theatre in Dublin and talks to the cast.
They sweep in from the Yorkshire moors together, Catherine and Heathcliff, both a little exhausted and a little exhilarated, but seeming more at ease in each other’s company than they have been for nearly two centuries.
The morning is barely over, but the adopted foundling and the daughter of the Earnshaw manor have already moved from the intimate bonds of childhood to a love so consuming that neither can imagine life without the other. Then came adult betrayal and bitter, callous revenge seeping like poison into new generations. Then, finally, the calm peace in the grave.
Now, though, it’s time for lunch, after which the vivacious Kate Stanley Brennan and the strapping Tom Canton will have to do it all over again. Rehearsals for the Gate Theatre’s forthcoming production of Wuthering Heights have reached the run- through stage, and the stars of Anne- Marie Casey’s new adaptation are beginning to experience the destiny of their characters, playing out their romance, division and supernatural reconciliation for all eternity.
Even those who have never read Emily Brontë’s novel will have some sense of it; the story has been absorbed into popular culture, ceaselessly and sometimes uneasily adapted in film and television, famously transformed into poetry and song. A few years ago the novel topped a British readers’ poll to find the “greatest love story of all time”, an odd accolade for so fevered a depiction of affection and abuse, class struggles, near-incestuous desire and scenes of borderline necrophilia.
It is a gothic romance, certainly, but that doesn’t quite cover the intensity and brutality of Emily Brontë’s only novel. It is a battle between untameable nature and the genteel strictures of culture, sure, but it is governed by more metaphysical struggles. In short, it’s a novel that means countless things to countless people. What did it mean to its latest interpreters? (Peter Crawley) (Read more)
The Guardian looks at writers-turned-lyricists and concludes that,
Better, arguably, than any face-to-face collaboration is music’s plundering of pre-existing texts, liberated by the writer being uninvolved and often long dead: Led Zeppelin’s serial use of Tolkien and Icelandic sagas, for example; or the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil”, inspired by Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel The Master and Margarita; Jefferson Airplane’s Lewis Carroll-derived “White Rabbit”; The Ramones’ Stephen King-derived “Pet Sematary”; Nicki Minaj’s wholesale, somewhat less forgiving reworking of Maya Angelou’s Still I Rise; and Bush’s homage to Wuthering Heights and adaptation of Molly Bloom’s monologue in Ulysses. (John Dugdale)
And the Guardian Books Blog wonders what it is that attracts readers to anti-heroes yet makes the avoid anti-heroines.
So in the meantime, what makes a good “anti-heroine”? The definition usually draws on two categories: bad behaviour and unconventional life choices. Anti-heroines come in many guises. Here are some of my favourites … [...]
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
She was my first. I was with her when she was made to stand on that chair and be called a liar. I was with her when she stood “so grave and quiet at the mouth of hell”. Intense, straight-talking, brave and a little bit spooky, Jane Eyre is a lonely teenage girl’s dream. Through her, Brontë challenged many Victorian preconceptions about gender and class, and told a nicely twisted Gothic romance. (Emma Jane Unsworth)
Librópatas (Spain) lists 6 stories featuring mad women:
Jane Eyre, de Charlotte Brontë. Es la novela por excelencia cuando se habla de la loca del ático. Jane Eyre es una joven institutriz que llega a una mansión para instruir a una niña de filiación confusa pero que está bajo la tutoría del señor Rochester. Rochester y ella se enamoran y cuando están a punto de casarse… ¡sorpresa! El ático en el que vivía Bertha Mason (y la casa, en general, del señor Rochester) están inspirados en un lugar real.
Ancho mar de los Sargazos, Jean Rhys. No es una historia decimonónica ni victoriana, así que de entrada no debería aparecer en esta lista. Pero, sin embargo, en justicia debe aparecer: ¿cómo se convierte una mujer en la loca del ático? Rhys lo analiza en una novela magistral, que va más allá de ser la precuela de Jane Eyre. Escrito durante el siglo XX y publicado en los 80, es una fascinante historia de una escritora no menos fascinante. Antoinette es una jovencita que vive en el Caribe con su madre, su hermano y su padrastro. Y que acabará conociendo a un hombre llegado de Inglaterra que se enamora de ella… (Raquel C. Pico) (Translation)
The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel suggests a literary quiz as entertainment for Thanksgiving. One of the questions is:
6. “Reader, I married him” is the first line in the last chapter of what book by Ms. Brontë? (Betty Stein)
You may have overlooked that line because according to The Free Press Journal (India),
Over and above his innate charm, Nehru came to us through his books. In Form IV (Standard VIII), one of the prescribed texts was ‘The Discovery of India’, edited by the well-known academician, Prof C D Narasimhaiah. Unlike other texts like ‘Treasure Island’, ‘Jane Eyre’ and the best of Mark Twain, ‘Discovery’ needed careful and concentrated reading. (V Gangadhar)
Grace and Faith 4 U interviews writer Christopher Shennan:
What is your favorite book/character? My favorite book is Jane Eyre, and my favorite character is Jane Eyre. The richness of description and noble theme of the book captures both my attention and my heart. The character of Jane Eyre satisfies my sense of justice; the downtrodden gaining ultimate fulfilment. (Keith Dixon)
Kudika (Romania) lists the 'top 5' book-to-film adaptations and credits Charlotte Brontë with having written Wuthering Heights. Sofia Loves Reading posts about the novel.

Jane Eyre in Edmonton

In Edmonton, Canada a new student production of Gordon & Caird's Jane Eyre. The Musical:

Jane Eyre
Tue, Nov 18 & Wed, Nov 19
(7:30 pm)
Directed by Linette Smith.
Musical Direction by Daniel Bolland
Semi staged concert with full orquestra.
Myer Horowitz Theatre
The director describes the piece on Vue Weekly:
“The music’s really epic and challenging, so it’s a great piece if you’re studying theatre,” Linette Smith says. “But it also pushes the boundaries of fate, so it’s something really amazing for people that are going through so much change in their life to be able to identify with these characters; and has that whole identity and questioning of woman’s place in the world and that proto-feminism.”
Smith had read the novel “about a million years ago” and was only vaguely aware of the musical until she took the mantle of director and choreographer for Two ONE-WAY Tickets to Broadway’s upcoming production of the show, which runs for only two days at the Myer Horowitz. It’s a pared-down, concert-style production liberated from the expected grand set design and stuffy Victorian trappings. (...)
“We will always question our place and how we get to be who we are,” she continues. “In this show we are dealt these amazing female figures that really question what we think is supposed to be present in society, what we see in magazines, what we see on television, what we see in politics. Jane pushes the boundaries of all of that.”

Monday, November 17, 2014

Literacy Fail

The Coronation Street Blog has published the Corrie Weekly Awards. One of them is

Literacy Fail award: Did Alya really not know that Wuthering Heights was a book before Kate Bush did a song with the same name? She's got a librarian for a mother. I don't buy it. 
Mirabile Dictu posts about the novel and selects several of its beautiful covers. The Review Broads reviews Texts from Jane Eyre. A new Jane Eyre post on Babbling BooksSCBWI Japan Translation Group reviews Minae Mizumura's A True Novel.

Charlotte Brontë and the Author Portrait

A Brontë talk given today, November 17, at the Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society:

Charlotte Brontë and the Author Portrait
Dr Julian North
Senior Lecturer in 19th Century English Literature University of Leicester
Monday 17 November at the Art Gallery and Museum, New Walk, 7.30 pm

Charlotte Brontë has always been seen as a writer who was shy of publicity, but the evidence suggests that she thought carefully about how her reputation might be shaped through portraiture - and that she was less modest in her self-image than has previously been recognised. This lecture will consider Brontë's own, fantasy author portraits, drawn in the 1830's when she was a teenager; her feelings about the now-famous portrait by George Richmond (1850); and the new evidence that she was invited to sit for a daguerreotype portrait, and refused. the lecture will end by showing how her image was used and transformed by the Victorians after her death.
Dr North said: “Charlotte Brontë has always been seen as a writer who was shy of publicity and wanted to "walk invisible".
“But the evidence suggests that she thought carefully about how her reputation might be shaped through portraits – and that she was less modest in her self-image than has previously been recognised.
“This lecture will consider Brontë’s own, fantasy author portraits, drawn in the 1830s when she was a teenager; her feelings about the now-famous portrait by George Richmond (1850); and new evidence that she was invited to sit for a daguerreotype portrait, and refused. The lecture will end by showing how her image was used and transformed by the Victorians after her death.” (Source: University of Leicester)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Full of Atmosphere

We understand perfectly this columnist on Frome Standard:

We all have special places. Houses or rooms within houses that hold powerful memories: a secluded pub by a beautiful beach, the summit of a high mountain overlooking a Scottish loch, a garden, a forest, a railway platform where a proposal of marriage was made, a grave where the remains of a loved one are laid.
The Yorkshire home of the Brontë family is one of my special places.
I love to stand in the hallway and imagine what it would be like to be in that very spot in the years long ago when Charlotte, Emily and Ann (sic) were producing their great writings, to hear father warning them not to stay up too late, as he turned to wind the long case clock half way up the stairs where you can tread today. The place is full of atmosphere, and I just soak it up.
The Sunday Times reviews the upcoming novel Sanctuary by Robert Edric:
Sanctuary, his latest novel, is set closer to home on the bleak moors of Edric’s own county. It is 1848, and the story is narrated by Branwell Brontë, the scapegrace brother of three soon-to-be famous novelists. Buffeted by his own literary failure and a disastrous love affair, Branwell has returned to Haworth Parsonage to live with his father and sisters. Miserable and self-pitying, he is descending into a morass of drink, debt and despair. Edric eschews a conventional plot in favour of vividly realised scenes that build up an extraordinary, poignant portrait of a man lurching towards self-destruction.  (Nick Rennison)
Alison Thompson also in The Times's Hearing is Believing discusses Staying On by Paul Scott:
At 18, I’d read Pride and Prejudice,  Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Anna Karenina and Lace. I knew all about unrequited love, doomed love and a bit about sex with a goldfish thanks to Shirley Conran. But there was nothing on what happened next. Every book stopped with: “Reader, I married him”, or a tragic death. The rest of life was obviously irrelevant.
The Boston Globe interviews the writer and theatre critic Hilton Als,
BOOKS: Do you have a favorite biography? (Amy Sutherland)
ALS: I think Gerald Clarke’s biography of Truman Capote is amazing. I like really old biographies, such as Elizabeth Gaskell’s biography of her friend Charlotte Brontë. Quentin Bell’s biography of his aunt Virginia Woolf has enough sensibility to keep you amused but not enough to make you feel bad about your own writing. Michael Holroyd’s biography of Lytton Strachey is amazing in terms of describing these minor figures in a big world. 
Hull Daily Mail discusses reason why Hull is better (ahem) than Paris:
5) Yorkshire scenery: Have you seen the North York Moors recently? Or our wonderful coast? It's enough to make the most hardened townie come over a bit Wuthering Heights.
The Hindu quotes the writer Dan Brown saying:
“I wrote a lot as a kid. I studied writing. I enjoyed writing, but I thought I would be a musician. I wrote music too. I played the piano but, after a decade as a starving musician, I took to writing novels. I had read all the classics like Shakespeare, Brontë and others. But I did not know about the popular genre. Then I happened to read Sydney Sheldon on the beach, and found it fast and racy. I thought, well, I could do it.” (Ziya Us Salam)
The Hamilton Spectator discusses reading nowadays:
There are depressing stories about celebrated, award-winning authors who lament slow sales and allegedly can't make a living from writing.
Yet there are other stories about stay-at-home moms who become millionaire self-published authors.
There are, indeed, too many readers who have missed the joys of reading Melville or Brontë or Faulkner.
And there are all those children — and adults — who were introduced to the joys of reading Rowling, people who might never have picked up a book were it not for "Harry Potter."
I suspect humanity is reading — and writing — more than ever before. (Paul Berton)
Asbury Park Press talks about some Vincent Price films. Particularly Roger Corman's adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe The Tomb of Ligeia:
The story owes a big debt to literary giants beyond Poe (Daphne du Maurier’s “Rebecca” and Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” can be particularly sensed between the lines) and Price has a fine sparring partner in Elizabeth Shepherd. It’s a genuinely unsettling dive into the demons of memory and manipulation. (Alex Biese)
Fantasymundo (Spain) interviews the writer Raquel García Estruch:
Carmen Jimeno: ¿Y como escritora?
Raquel García Estruch: Como escritora he aprendido mucho de autores de otros géneros literarios. En los que a mi género respecta empecé en mi adolescencia con las novelas de Jean Austen y Victoria Holt. Adoraba aquellas historias que se desarrollaban en mansiones victorianas, en una época en el que el destino de las mujeres no era otro que el de casarse con alguien de buena posición y tener hijos. Después descubrí a las hermanas Brontë, me enamoré de Stendhal, de Dickens, de Oscar Wilde. Después Nora Roberts y Rosemunde Pilcher han sido una auténtica inspiración para mí. He leído sus libros tantas veces que puedo repetir de memoria páginas enteras. (Translation)
We-News (in Italian) reviews Wuthering Heights;  Shelf Love and Hopelessy Devote Bibliophile review Mallory Ortberg's Texts from Jane Eyre.


A new play inspired by the life and works of the Brontës is now touring the Netherlands. Maatschappij Discordia presents:

Weiblicher Akt V: Bron/Brontë
Played and written by Annette Kouwenhoven, Maureen Teeuwen, Miranda Prein. With the special appearance of  Jan Joris Lamers
Wat heeft het romantische werk van de Brontë zussen ons nu nog te zeggen?
Dat het gemis (van een moeder) het niet deugen (van een broer) en ontberingen (eenzaamheid en armoede) een bron kan zijn van grote literaire schoonheid.
Het ruige leven en de vroegtijdige dood van Branwell Brontë was voor zijn keurig opgevoede zusters Emily, Charlotte en Ann hét moment waarop de deur naar hun eigen donkere binnenwereld openging. Dat gaf hun werk de sinistere ondertoon die ons nu nog steeds zo aanspreekt.
In Bron/Brontë spelen Maureen, Miranda en Annette scènes uit de nacht.
    ‘Op een nacht in november waarin de mistige natte sneeuw definitief overging in een sneeuwstorm en      de wind om het huis gierde zaten we allemaal bij het warme keukenvuur na een ruzie met de keukenmeid Tabby over het recht om een kaars aan te steken. Een ruzie die zij won omdat ze weigerde er één te halen. Er volgde een lange stilte die uiteindelijk werd verbroken door Branwell die op lijzige toon zei: ‘Ik weet niet wat ik moet doen.’ Emily en Ann herhaalden hem.
De keukenmeid: Nou, ga dan naar bed.
Branwell: Alles liever dan dat.
Charlotte: Waarom ben je zo mistroostig vanavond Tabby? Oh, hadden we allemaal maar een eigen eiland.
Branwell: Dan ik koos ik het eiland Man.’
Met als bron Shelley, Shakespeare, Brontë én onze eigen Duistere Kant zoeken we antwoorden op vragen als:
            Waar ben je als je slaapt?
            Wie ben je als je slaapt?
            Wat zijn je diepste verlangens?
            Durf je ze te zien?
            Hoeveel duisternis kun je aan?
            Ben je bang voor de schaduw,
            schaamte, schuld, sex en sadisme
of kun je eigenlijk niet zonder?
Hoe langer je in het duister staart hoe meer je ziet….
Gemaakt en gespeeld door: Annette Kouwenhoven, Maureen Teeuwen, Miranda Prein. Met ook altijd een speciaal optreden van Jan Joris Lamers.
             The best thing in the world
             is a shot of whisky
            Have you got some?
11 November to 15 nov, Frascati Amsterdam
25 nov, Theater Bouwkunde, Deventer
277 nov, Walhalla, Rotterdam
2 December to 4 December, Theater Kikker, Utrecht
20 Dec, Monty, Antwerpen
2 and 3 January, 2015, Toneelschuur, Haarlem
January 8, 205, Grand Théâtre, Groningen
De Volkskrant publishes a favourable review of the Amsterdam performances.