Sunday, September 25, 2016

"Why Bronte? Because it serves bran well?"

On Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 11:36 am by M. in , , , ,    No comments
Luckily, not every trainwreck is permanently shattered. In 1844, Charlotte Brontë melted down after she was ghosted by the object of her affections. As a young woman, she spent her childhood making up stories with her sisters, but she understood that her gender made the dream of a literary career impossible. Then she met Monsieur Constantin Heger, the intimidating, married proprietor of a girls school in Belgium where both Charlotte and Emily Brontë worked as teachers.
Heger took a professorial interest in Charlotte, encouraging her writing, lending her books to read and giving her special assignments. From Brontë’s point of view, at least, the two developed a passionate, enduring connection (it’s unclear if it was ever consummated, or even really reciprocated). Either way, Heger’s wife was not particularly fond of her husband’s adoring
protégé, and when Brontë left her job at the school, Heger cut off contact.
Brontë was heartbroken and wrote him letter after letter, each one more hysterical than the next. However, a few years later she bounced back and retaliated, Taylor Swift style. She wrote a series of novels about young women’s affairs with cold, older men — under a male pseudonym at first — including “Jane Eyre.” (Rachelle Bergstein)
The Straits Times (Singapore) presents the novel The Ornatrix by Kate Howard:
She also works in the university's trade union. Her long list of literary influences is heavily British, including the Brontë sisters, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy. (Lee Jian Xuan)
The Derbyshire Times tells the story of Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall and also adds how
The hall itself has been the setting for films such as Jane Eyre, The Princess Bride and Pride and Prejudice, so you may well spot this lovely place in many a starring role.
#amReading recommends Gothic novels if you like the Brontë Sisters. The list begins with a novel of Anne Brontë, who happens to be a Brontë sister too:
 1. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
If you’ve only read the works of her more prominent sisters, you should definitely check out this book by Anne Brontë. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall tells the story of a mysterious young widow who takes up residence at Wildfell Hall. (Aubrey Fredrickson)
A reader of the Portland Press Reader mentions Jane by April Lindner:
I’m late to being a Springsteen fan (I’m a classical music woman) but have come to appreciate him. I found much about the thoughts of a serious rock musician in the book “Jane” by April Lindner. She used his personality in a retelling of the famous novel “Jane Eyre,” making his personality that of the dark, brooding hero. (Marilyn Crowley)
The Sunday Times reviews the restaurant Bronte in Trafalgar Square and a Brontë joke was unavoidable:
Now it’s been taken over and redesigned by Tom Dixon and called Bronte. Why Bronte? Because it serves bran well? No, because Nelson, the bloke on the post outside, was the first Duke of Bronté. (AA Gill)
361 Magazine (Italy) lists several literary England destinations:
Non è possibile pensare ai romanzi delle sorelle Brontë senza far riferimento alla brughiera, affascinante paesaggio che fa da cornice alle opere delle sorelle scrittrici. E infatti è ad Haworth, immerso nel tipico selvaggio habitat dell’Inghilterra, che Emily, Charlotte e Anne vissero, tanto da far prendere alla zona il nome di Brontë Country. In questo villaggio della contea del West Yorkshire le sorelle crebbero respirando quell’atmosfera suggestiva che poi avrebbero impresso nei propri romanzi. Nella casa georgiana in cui le tre abitarono dal 1820 e in cui diedero origine ai loro celebri romanzi, è ospitato oggi il Brontë Personage Museum. Nei dintorni di Haworth sorge invece il Top Withens, una fattoria che pare abbia ispirato la casa di Heathcliff in Cime Tempestose. Ma numerosi sono i luoghi collegati alle sorelle e alle loro opere. Camminando per la brughiera dei dintorni, si può incorrere ad esempio nelle Brontë Waterfall, il Brontë Bridge o il Penistone Crag, la “grotta delle fate” menzionata più volte in Cime Tempestose. (Giorgia Lo Iacono) (Translation)
Il Librario (Italy) explores how attitudes about marriage have changed with time in literature:
Pensate a Jane Austen o a Elizabeth Gaskell, alle sorelle Brontë: la vita matrimoniale non interessa più, la protagonista celebra se stessa e la propria adultità con un patto, un contratto che la legittima come parte viva della società. Ma poi? Qualcosa s’incrina: basta leggere Middlemarch o Ritratto di signora per accorgersi che l’idea di matrimonio come prescrizione sociale rasserenante è entrata in crisi, e anzi la delusione delle aspettative iniziali accende un incredibile (e ancora attualissimo) motore narrativo. (Gloria Ghioni) (Translation)
Infobae (Argentina) discusses why we use the derogatory term 'chick lit' and not 'boy lit', for instance:
Hay cuentos y novelas escritas por hombres y por mujeres. Eso es literatura. Sin embargo, mayormente es así, a secas, cuando el autor es un varón. Si no, es "literatura femenina". Como si la visión del mundo sólo fuera universal cuando es de ellos. En Madame Bovary (1856), Gustave Flaubèrt habla de amor, de inconformismo y de adulterio, pero lo suyo es "realismo", mientras que a las hermanas Brontë, aunque todas sus obras son clásicos, se las encasilla en "romántico". (Daniela Pasik) (Translation)
Finally, a possible first edition of Villette will be on sale next September 29th. The George Mason friends (Fairfax County Public Library) have more information here.
12:30 am by M. in , ,    No comments
A couple of alerts for today, September 25. Both of them in Wycoller Country Park:
Walk & Ride Festival
Brontës and the Atom
Sunday 25th September. Start: 11:00
Duration: 4 hours
Distance: 6.5 miles
Grading: Medium

A walk to celebrate Charlotte Brontë's bi-centenary and The Atoms 10th anniversary. Fosters Leap Wycoller Dene and on the Brontë and Pendle Way through Germany to Wycoller village (and cafe) and back to the starting point.
Jane Eyre off the page! In Brontë Lancashire
by Pendle Borough Council
Sun 25 September 2016
14:30 – 15:45
The Aisled Barn
Wycoller, Wycoller Country Park
Near Colne, United Kingdom

To celebrate Charlotte Brontë’s bicentenary in Bronte Lancashire. Join Sue Newby from the Brontë Parsonage Museum to bring Jane Eyre off the page in Wycoller, Lancashire.  With a really simple script and costumes we’ll re-create the early part of Jane’s story. Together we’ll dramatise her time with the awful Reed family and then her banishment to the most horrible school in literature – Lowood. Everyone gets to join in this FREE workshop. It’s suitable for children aged 8 years and above and all families are welcome - no drama skills required! (...)
After the workshop, enjoy visiting the atmospheric village which inspired the Brontës including the ruined hall which is the real Ferndean Manor in Jane Eyre.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Saturday, September 24, 2016 12:36 pm by M. in , , , , ,    No comments
A little belatedly we report the nomination of Ponden Hall in the 2016 Dorset Cereals B&B awards. In The Guardian:
Boasting a stunning location on the Pennine Way, Ponden Hall is a must-visit for literary enthusiasts. Built in 1634, the Brontë children visited the hall regularly, using the library. “Branwell Brontë wrote a short ghost story about the house,” Akhurst says, “and there is compelling evidence that Ponden provided inspiration for Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. One of our three guest bedrooms, the Earnshaw Room, houses the ‘Cathy window’ – in the book, Cathy’s ghost tries to get in the house through the window when she’s searching for Heathcliff.”
To make the room even more special, Akhurst commissioned an 18th-century-style box bed like the one described in Wuthering Heights. With such attention to literary detail, it’s easy to see why Ponden Hall has welcomed famous writers, including Tracy Chevalier (Girl with a Pearl Earring), and TV dramatist Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley).
Most guests come to Ponden Hall on the Brontë trail, so Akhurst recommends walks to the Brontë Waterfall, or to Top Withens, a ruined farmhouse set in the exposed moorland location that inspired Wuthering Heights. Over the border into Lancashire, historic Wycoller Hall is thought to be the inspiration for Ferndean Manor in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.
More Brontë history abounds in Haworth, at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, where the literary family lived, and Akhurst used to work. For foodies, Akhurst recommends 10 the coffee house for coffee and cakes, Embers restaurant for dining, and, “For something more unusual, join a reading group at Cobbles and Clay cafe.”
Coincidentally, Vesna Armstrong Photography posts several pictures of Ponden Hall.

LitReactor posts a vindication of Branwell Brontë, on the 168th anniversary of his death and at the verge of next year's Branwell's own Brontë200:
Branwell Brontë died 168 years ago this weekend, on September 24th, 1848.  His cause of death was listed as “chronic bronchitis and marasmus”, a polite way of saying he was a coughing, half-starved, alcoholic, laudanum-addicted wreck who finally, mercifully, proved unequal to the struggle of drawing breath.
He lived just long enough to witness the first glimmering of what his sisters would become – Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey were published in 1847, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall in 1848.  This cannot have helped his condition. Once, too, Branwell had dreamed of becoming a celebrated author, but, like his other plan to set the world on fire as a renowned poet and portrait-painter, or to marry his one great love, his literary ambition had dissolved into the bottom of a brandy glass.  Charlotte, Emily and Anne deliberately kept Branwell out of discussions about their work. They knew their success would choke him.
They failed, however, to keep Branwell out of the legends that grew up after their deaths. He only published a few poems in his local newspapers during his lifetime, but Branwell’s name is forever associated with the nineteenth century classic novels written by his sisters.  The Brontë label is a powerful one, conjuring up lowering skies, windswept moors, unbridled passion and haunting poetry.  Although Emily, Anne and Charlotte’s novels are all unique, common threads run through all of the books. Theirs was the Romantic impulse at its most pure and intense. (Karina Wilson) (Read more)
BBC's Radio 4 in Four lists some baddies we love to love. Including:
3. Heathcliff
Since its publication in 1847, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights has become one of the most admired and popular of all English novels. Heathcliff is more often thought of as a romantic hero, because of his love for Cathy than for his later years of retribution. In the second part of the novel he grows into a vicious, haunted man. His complicated, mesmeric and peculiar nature makes him a rare character, with components of both the hero and villain.
The New York Times reviews The Bestseller Code by Jodie Marcher and Matthew L. Jockers:
Nonetheless, there’s an awkward charm in watching an algorithm discern the things that humans appreciate instinctively. In a section about syntax, Archer and Jockers point to “Reader, I married him,” Charlotte Brontë’s famous line. “Isn’t the entire point of so many stories to get that ‘I’ and that ‘him’ closely aligned, separated by an all-important verb like ‘married’?” they write. “So often, this is entirely why we keep turning the pages.” (Jia Tolentino)
Richard and Judy in The Daily Express disagree with the choice of Emily Blunt for the The Girl on the Train film:
But really – though I understand the pressures on producers to cast beautiful women in lead roles – it’s pretty ridiculous. I can’t watch Victoria because Jenna Coleman is so spectacularly lovely (although that doesn’t stop Richard) and Queen Victoria simply wasn’t.
It’s a shame. It would be like casting Marilyn Monroe as Jane Eyre. A travesty.
The Globe and Mail reviews Emma Donoghue's The Wonder:
One of the book’s most arresting phrases is about Anna’s last day of eating. First, communion is “the end of being a child.” Another strong refrain comes from Psalms: “[S]trange children have faded away.” Following the trail of novels such as Oliver Twist or Jane Eyre, the stop sign on childhood comes too soon, and this story’s conflict fades rather quickly as well. The Wonder’s ending fits a Victorian tale, but it could have used a little more salt. (Alix Hawley)
The Minneapolis-St Paul Star Tribune reviews the same novel:
So many things are right in this novel that I wished — almost angrily — that a few things had been better, most particularly the dialogues in which characters tell each other things for no reason except that the reader needs to know them. And the ending struck me as contrived. But then, I could say the same about “Jane Eyre,” which I love. The bottom line: Read it. The important things will stay with you while the clumsy ones will fade from memory. (Patricia Hagen)
The New York Observer is very critical with the producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who thinks that Hollywood is failing at the young male audience:
Perhaps, Lorenzo, you oily insider from the executive suite, you approached your in-house focus group – your sons, 18 and 15. Possibly, they were bellyaching that they had to readWuthering Heights in AP English – a novel BY A WOMAN — or attended a school-imposed workshop on how not to rape a sleeping co-ed.  (Thelma Adams)
The National visits the FutureFest in London:
The Tobacco Dock is a gated thoroughfare filled with glass box-rooms. And I couldn’t help but feel the echoes of the original Crystal Palace “Great Exhibition” of 1851, where Darwin, Dickens, Charlotte Brontë and thousands of others gazed upon the inventive and productive plenty of the British Empire. (Pat Kane)
Bustle has a list of reader types:
1, The Classics Reader
This reader can often be found at rare bookstores, trying to track down the perfect copy of Jane Eyre. They've read every classic — not for class, for fun — and you're pretty sure that 80% of the things they say are actually book quotes. They're very sophisticated, and when you're looking for classy conversation, this is your go-to reader friend. (Julia Seales)
The Georgia Straight asks the author Kevin Patterson about the book that changed his life:
There is a window in adolescence and early adulthood when one is open to being rocked by books in a way that does not persist long enough. That feeling of watching a movie play in one’s thoughts, of losing even the sense of turning pages: for a lot of us it was Jane Austen, for others Tolkein (sic) , one of the Brontës, or Hemingway.
Jezebel discusses the apparent 'rise of the sexy period drama':
The costume drama, the argument goes, was once a reliable straight adaptation where sex was a mere afterthought, less valued than a lovingly accurate depiction of either source material or subject matter. It’s where Shakespeare and Jane Austen, the Brontes and important men of genius found a modern audience; it’s where the best of British culture and history was simultaneously preserved and adapted. The genre, it would seem, has devolved into a melodramatic romp in which important novels and influential historical figures are reduced to lumps of lusty flesh. A handful of critics bemoan the sexy costume drama and point to the usual suspects: the inevitable dumbing down of culture, Hollywood, and, of course, women. (Stassa Edwards)
El País (Spain) reviews The Houses of the Russians by Robert Aickman:
Como si Roald Dahl y Lovecraft hubieran tenido un hijo secreto (al fin y al cabo, esto es ficción) y lo hubieran mandado a los páramos de Cumbres borrascosas. O al Hotel Fawlty. (Carlos Primo) (Translation)
La Razón (Spain) reviews the film Lady Macbeth by William Oldroyd:
La trama ambientada en el siglo XIX se inspira en Shakespeare –poquito- y en la obra de Nikolai Leskov, quien ya andaba en la famosa película de Andrzej Wajda “Lady Macbeth en Siberia”. Este film acaba pareciéndose más a “Cumbres borrascosas”, eso sí, con muchos asesinatos. Francamente inútil. (Carlos Pumares) (Translation)
El País's Cinemanía (Spain) thinks more or less the same:
Como Cumbres borrascosas protagonizada por el estrangulador de Boston, digo yo. Lady Macbeth es la historia de Katherine (sí, como Catherine Earnshaw), una joven recién casada en un matrimonio de conveniencia a la que Oldroyd nos presenta como una víctima de la brutalidad de su marido y su suegro. (Andrea G. Bermejo) (Translation)
Página 12 (Argentina) describes the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine in the Patagonia:
Las cumbres borrascosas del Paine –un nombre que significa azul y que, contradiciendo a Emily Brontë, “no traduce bien los rigores que allí desencadena el viento cuando hay tempestad”– nos dicen adiós. (Graciela Cutuli) (Translation)
The Queen's University Journal (Canada) thinks that Shakespeare is overrated. Not really a good idea to use the Brontës (big fans) to build up the notion:
The notion of star-crossed lovers: Try reading Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre. Loss of innocence: Just pick up Lord of the Flies. Death, honour and revenge:Hello, Harry Potter, anyone? (Gabi Sandler & Clayton Tomlinson)
According to GraphoMania (Italy) Wuthering Heights was one of the favourite books of Henry Miller; this Vogue China photoshot is called Wuthering Heights. Bookstr talks about the Morgan Library exhibition on Charlotte Brontë.
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
The West Yorkshire Playhouse Brontë season continues with a very singular new adaptation of Villette:
by Charlotte Brontë
Re-imagined by Linda Marshall-Griffiths
September 24th to October 15th (Post Show Discussion Wed 5 Oct)
Courtyard Theatre

Lucy Snowe, alone and abandoned, boards a boat in search of purpose.
Arriving at an archaeological site digging for the remains of the elusive Lady of Villette, she works alongside the beautiful Gin, the prying Beck, the charming Dr John and the remote Professor Paul, though Lucy remains an outsider.
Absorbed in her work to find a cure for the next pandemic to secure humanity’s future, can she open herself up to the possibility of love and put the bones of the past behind her?
On the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth, West Yorkshire Playhouse celebrates her unique genius with a daring new adaptation by a fellow Yorkshire writer, Linda Marshall-Griffiths. With echoes of the illness and loss that wracked Brontë’s own life, both novel and play explore the redemptive power of love and the uncertainty of holding on to it.
EDIT: The Ilkley Gazette adds:
A Playhouse spokesman said many people considered Villette to be better, more ambitious and complex than Charlotte’s more famous novel Jane Eyre.
Linda Marshall Griffiths has approached’ novel from a 21st century perspective, focusing on around Lucy Snowe, a brilliant virologist who could play a crucial role in finding a cure for a pandemic virus but is plagued by her a past which torments her at every turn.
As the urgency and burden of her work grow greater, she grapples with the promise and possibility of love and the fear of losing it.
Director Mark Rosenblatt said: ‘This re-imagining of Villette gets to the heart of the original novel but finds a way to connect it with a modern audience.
“It relocates and updates the action to a near-future world, placing Lucy in a position of isolation and distance as the last survivor of her kind - as Charlotte Brontë was the last of her siblings when she wrote Villette.” (David Knights)

Friday, September 23, 2016

Vogue features the book Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear . . . and Why by Sady Doyle.
Charlotte Brontë, whose pitiful, unreciprocated letters to her married former teacher and possible former lover are Monica Lewinsky-esque in their desperation. (Julia Felsenthal)
Broadway World sums up the plot of Samantha Ellis's play How to Date a Feminist:
Kate likes her men tall, dark and smouldering. She has a fatal attraction to bad men. Then she meets Steve... a feminist. Can she overcome her love of lipstick, cupcakes and Heathcliff? Can he forgo the ethical confetti and learn to be a little bit more exciting in bed? Can the two of them reinvent romance for the 21st century?
The Hindu has German author Line Hoven talk about her love of books.
“My dad, however, did manage to collect a shelf full of books. This, in a way, piqued my interest in comics right from a young age,” she says. “That apart, I like reading the classics — Jane Austen, Brontë sisters and Charles Dickens. I feel more attracted to that era,” she says. (Naveena Vijayan)
National Post lists Emily Brontë as a possible asexual.
“But what about people who aren’t attracted to anyone? That’s where the asexual people fall,” said [Anthony F. Bogaert, author of Understanding Asexuality], who, in his book, raises the possibility Isaac Newton and Emily Brontë were asexual, “although we can’t be sure of this, of course.” (Sharon Kirkey)
USA Today's Happy Ever After has writer Jessica Cluess select her 'Top 5 favorite historical miniseries' which include
Jane Eyre (2006). Anyone who’s seen this series knows it’s not really, well, tonally in step with Charlotte Brontë’s novel. Brontë’s Jane is a plain, quiet woman who masks her passionate feelings behind a feeble countenance, and her Rochester is a rugged madman who locks women in attics and is perhaps a bit melodramatic. In this TV version, however, Jane and Rochester are adorable dorks. They laugh and tease each other, she’s forthright and confident, while he’s a sweet curmudgeon. It’s the rom-com Jane Eyre, mixed with a bit of spice.The scene where Rochester tries to convince Jane not to leave, for example, features a heavy make-out session in her bed that will make you cry “historical inaccuracies!” while rewinding to watch it again. Frankly, all the reasons above make this fun. If you want to feel haunted, see the Cary Fukunaga version, probably the best adaptation of the novel ever. If you want a bowl of popcorn and a lovely couple of hours on a rainy day? Choose this. (Joyce Lamb)
Dagens Nyheter (Sweden) discusses the film Love and Friendship directed by Whit Stillman.
Han blandar inte ihop sjuttonhundratalets cembaloslingor med artonhundratalets emotionella pianoforte, eller Austen med Brontë. De flesta scener är filmade som små tablåer dit skådespelarna kommer inströvande. De levererar, utan att lägga ner mycket känsla, Austens listigt uppbyggda dialog tills de enskilda slingorna flätats ihop till en komplicerad fuga. [...]
Det var lika givet att Stillman förr eller senare skulle bli tvungen att göra film av Jane Austen som det var att Andrea Arnold skulle ta sig an Emily Brontë. Men det är alltid vanskligt också, det där, att borra rakt in i en inspirationskälla. (Kerstin Gezelius) (Translation)
More Autumny quotes on Bustle obviously quoting Emily Brontë. Reference Recordings shares the fact that Fanfare magazine recommends Carlisle Floyd's Wuthering Heights opera.
Another Jane Eyre derivative on Kindle-world:
Crystal Spires: Adele Varensby Aine Maxwell
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 785 KB
Print Length: 58 pages

The little girl from Jane Eyre is all grown up. Adele Varens embraces life in America with both talons

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thursday, September 22, 2016 8:19 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
The Telegraph and Argus reports that the new, less glaring, signs are now up at Top Withens.
Now the company has installed new ones (pictured), on waist-height wooden plinths, featuring softer colours.
The signs, designed with the help of the Brontë Society, carry information about the ruined farmhouse, which was reputedly the inspiration for the setting of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.
A Yorkshire Water spokesman said: “We hope people find these new signs useful and interesting.
“We carefully thought about a design more sympathetic to the landscape – and the wooden plinths help achieve this look.
“The historical information in them is also more engaging, but retains the safety message we originally wanted to communicate.”
The Bronte Society said it was pleased to be involved in the project.
A spokesman said: “Although the association of Top Withens with Wuthering Heights is a loose one, the site continues to hold a special significance for Bronte fans across the world.
“We are grateful to Yorkshire Water for providing the opportunity to work in partnership on signage more in keeping with this inspirational landscape.”
This mysterious image from the Gilmore Girls Instagram account has fans wondering about its meaning:

A photo posted by @gilmgilmooregirls on

Sites like Seventeen, Citizen Oracle, Aceshowbiz and more all wonder about the meaning of those books, including of course Jane Eyre.

Lithub interviews Sady Doyle, author of Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear…and Why.
Noah Berlatsky: Why have we now mostly forgotten that aspect of Wollstonecraft. Is it a good thing that her scandalousness is no longer part of the mainstream historical memory of her?SD: She sort of got reabsorbed into the canon but at the cost of becoming a very boring figure, when she was anything but.
And I think many of her ideas now are boring. I mean, one of the big controversies is that she thought women should be allowed to use botany. Which believe it or not was a hot button topic because if you teach your daughter botany, she is indirectly learning about sex, learning about plant parts, and god knows what she’ll go out and do next now that she knows about pollination. When we just teach her ideas she can seem like a very staid respectable figure.
And you see this with Charlotte Brontë too. Her biographers nowadays and the people who stump for her kind of write around it. I remember reading the introduction to Charlotte Brontë’s selected letters, which has these incredibly raw, emotional break-up letters. And the introduction said, well, some of us may find this embarrassing, but keep in mind it may have been a writing exercise.
No it wasn’t! She had a terrible break-up, she had a crush on a man who was married, who may never have liked her at all, and she wrote these crazy-sounding letters. It’s not that embarrassing. She was a human being, she had a very lonely life in some respects, and when she found a human connection, losing it was painful to her.
So people try to write around all the scandalous part of these women’s lives because they’ve become canonical, respected figures. And I think diving into the juice and the rawness and the dirt of their lives, the fact that they were human beings trying to forge some new kind of gender politics in a world that was incredibly hostile to them—that makes them more relevant to us. I would hope that you’ll read this book and maybe one of the things you’ll do is stop thinking Mary Wollstonecraft was boring. Maybe you’ll like her a little more.
If she means the introduction by Margaret Smith, then we can't find her saying anything like that.

Autumn means one thing in Brontëland: It's 'fall, leaves, fall' time. Our first sighting this year comes courtesy of Bustle. The Books Are Everywhere compares Jane Eyre and its 2011 screen adaptation.
12:30 am by M. in , ,    No comments
Another Brontë-related novel to be found in the prolific world of vanity publishing:
Cassocked Savage: The Life of Patrick Brontë
Cenarth Fox
Fox Plays, August 13, 2016
ISBN-13: 978-0949175090

Patrick Brontë, father of the famous sisters, was of lowly Irish birth. His father was kidnapped and became a slave. Pa
t's dad survived, married and Patrick was born. He had 9 younger siblings. He lived in a two-roomed cottage and from these humble origins became an amazing teacher then won a scholarship to Cambridge graduating with honours.
A priest in the Church of England, Brontë fathered six children, three of whom--Charlotte, Emily and Anne--became famous novelists. Their novels remain hugely popular today.
But Patrick copped a bad press. He asked the novelist Elizabeth Gaskell to write a biography about his daughter Charlotte. In her book, Mrs Gaskell gave Patrick a hard time. So hard that critics inferred he was 'a cassocked savage' and 'a mad dog who should be shot'. Really?
Biographers and publishers pushed the Gaskell line. Patrick's evil reputation was set in cemetery stone. But not any more.
Now his life-story can be revealed. And what a story. The redhead from County Down led an amazing life. He was a poet, novelist, hero and way ahead of his time. He gave his children a fabulous education with giant dollops of love. He inspired them to write. He was a fierce advocate for health, education and social reform. And he loved dogs! Meet the unsung champion from the wild Yorkshire moors.
Cassocked Savage is based on the play Saucy Pat by Cenarth Fox

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 11:28 am by Cristina in , , , , , , ,    No comments
Splash Magazine reviews the theatre production You on the Moors Now.
Drawing inspiration from iconic heroines of nineteenth century novels, You on the Moors Now imagines a universe in which Jane Bennett, Jo March, Cathy Earnshaw, and Jane Eyre band together to escape the expectation of marriage and forge their own path. Filled with gut-busting humor and outrageous twists, this feminist reimagining of classic literature layers a surprising amount of genune meaning into its madcap storyline. [...]
Still, it can’t be denied that the play has a delightful cast of characters. Drawing on the original stories and contemporary language and themes in equal measure, the show creates cartoon versions of its characters, with the men (Darcy, Laurie, Heathcliff, and Rochester) behaving like a hybrid of spoiled children and particularly poor interpretative dancers. The story turns into a literal battle of the sexes as the men and women openly declare war on one another, rallying minor characters to join the fight as well. [...]
You on the Moors Now is the type of art that I never realized I needed until I experienced it. Watching Lizzie Bennett call Darcy a dickbag or Jo March pulling a knife on Heathcliff is something I never anticipated doing, but I am extraordinarily glad I did. You on the Moors Now breaks the mold of what an adaptation can be and creates something that is bizarre, hilarious, and in spite of all that, moving. The show is an absolute delight. (Jessie Bond)
The Times Literary Supplement looks at 'the guises of Rochester', claiming that
This idea of the poet as little more than a libertine persisted, however – not helped by Samuel Johnson in Lives of the English Poets (1779): "in a course of drunken gaiety, and gross sensuality, with intervals of study perhaps yet more criminal, with an avowed contempt of all decency and order, and a resolute denial of every religious obligation, he lived worthless and useless, and blazed out his youth and his health in lavish voluptuousness". Nonetheless Johnson's book inspired Charlotte to name her brooding hero Mr Rochester. It is conceivable that she was also familiar with William Henry Ainsworth’s Restoration potboiler Old St Paul’s (1841), in which Rochester, as usual characterized as a cunning lecher, appears in disguise – as, of course, does Brontë’s Rochester. (Alexander Larman)
Signature discusses 'flawed females in fiction'.
I studied English Literature at University and have had the privilege of adapting several great novels for stage and screen. What I have learned from the masters is that it is a character’s flaws that make them interesting. In fact, whenever I see the ‘likeability’ of a female character in a contemporary story discussed, I always wonder what Emily Brontë would have said if an editor had told her to ‘tone down’ Cathy Earnshaw’s behavior, or what Louisa May Alcott’s response to the idea that Jo March might be ‘a bit unfeminine’ would have been. Probably they would have been nonplussed. In both those iconic portrayals, character is entirely action, by which I mean there are few deliberated choices for Cathy or Jo; their intrinsic natures, for good or bad, drive their stories in Wuthering Heights and Little Women. (Anne-Marie Casey)
Signature also looks into '3 Medical Mysteries in Literature', one of which is Charlotte Brontë's cause of death.
But I’m certain that Haworth, England, the village where the Brontë family lived and died, was far from the tourist attraction it is today. Contaminated water and an inadequate sewer system made it one of the unhealthiest places to live in 19th-century England. All three sisters were thought to have died of “consumption,” which we now know as tuberculosis, an infectious disease of the lungs that’s highly treatable with antibiotics. But they could have succumbed to other bacterial infections such as typhoid, which befell a Brontë servant, or possibly, in Charlotte’s case, a nasty tooth infection (she reportedly had terrible teeth).
Some say Charlotte was pregnant when she died, and suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, an extreme form of morning sickness marked by acute nausea, vomiting, and weight loss (the same condition the Duchess of Cambridge endured while carrying Prince George and Princess Charlotte), which could have contributed to her death in 1855. We may never know exactly what took the lives of these fascinating women. But one thing is clear from the Brontës’ novels and personal letters: illness and isolation were never far from their practical or creative minds. (Leslie D. Michelson)
The New York Times reviews the book Trainwreck. The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear . . . and Why by Sady Doyle and mentiones the reference to Charlotte Brontë cointained therein.
After establishing that the proto-feminist Wollstonecraft was also our earliest train wreck, Doyle then includes an array of women who fit into her category, like Charlotte Brontë; Sylvia Plath; and Valerie Solanas, the radical feminist author of “SCUM Manifesto,” who shot Andy Warhol in 1968. Doyle is most expansive when she shows how other categories, like race, further restrict women’s identity, with the consequence that women of color are even more likely to be dismissed as train wrecks than their white ­counterparts. (Salamishah Tillet)
The Nation (Pakistan) interviews actress/model Armeena Rana Khan.
Are you into books? If yes, which one’s your favourite? ARK: Books are my best friends. It’s like having a constant companion to speak with. They question your beliefs and perceptions of the world. They challenge you and shape your mind in a way that very little else can.  Who would I be without them? I love the classics as I feel they have withstood the test of time and just like with food I am very careful about the intellectual content I let into my mind. My favourite novel is ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Brontë’ (Izah Shahid)
The Nation has also selected a few quotes on freedom, one of which is by Charlotte Brontë.
 “I  do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.”-   Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre) The quote is taken from British novelist Charlotte Bronte’s masterpiece ‘Jane Eyre’ which revolves around an orphaned but headstrong female lead character who stays unbroken in the worst of times and emerges as an independent woman. (Rimla Batool)
20 Minutos (Spain) has a list of 'on-screen' 'nannies'.
Jane Eyre, el drama con ribetes de intriga gótica surgido de la pluma de Charlotte Brontë, cuenta con una recordada versión en blanco y negro de 1944 con Joan Fontaine y Orson Welles, y una no menos notable versión que protagonizó Maria Wasikowska dirigida por Cary Fukunaga, el director de True detective, en 2011. (C. Rull) (Translation)
Lokal Kompass (Germany) recommends Jane Eyre among other classics. Das Kaminzimmer posts about the novel in German too.
12:30 am by M. in , ,    No comments
Polly Teale's Brontë is being performed in Southfields, London these days:
Southfields Theatre Group presents
by Polly Teale
St. Barnabas Church, Southfields, SW18
21st, 22nd, 23rd & 24th September 2016 – 7:30pm

It is 1845. Branwell Bronte returns home in disgrace. Plagued by alcohol and drug addiction, he has been dismissed from domestic service following an affair with the mistress of the house.
As their brother descends into alcoholism and insanity, bringing chaos to the household, the sisters write… Brontë beautifully evokes the real and imagined worlds of the Brontës, in a production in which their fictional characters come to haunt their creators.
And in México D.F.:
Lo joven y lo clásico
Cumbres BorrascosasDiscussed by the writer Karen Villeda

Sala Adamo Boari del Palacio de Bellas Artes
September 21, 19:00

La poeta y narradora inglesa Emily Brontë (1818-1848) publicó, un año antes de morir de tuberculosis, Cumbres borrascosas, novela que exalta las pasiones y muestra el lado oscuro del amor. La escritora Karen Villeda (Tlaxcala, 1985) comentará esta obra en la próxima sesión del ciclo Lo joven y lo clásico, el miércoles 21 de septiembre a las 19:00 en la Sala Adamo Boari del Palacio de Bellas Artes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 10:53 am by Cristina in , , , , , , , ,    No comments
Keighley News seems excited about a new take on Villette going on stage this weekend at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds as part of the Brontë season.
A daring re-imagining of Charlotte Brontë’s ground-breaking last novel Villette is being staged in Leeds.
The play, written by Linda Marshall Griffiths, opens at the West Yorkshire Playhouse on Saturday, September 24 and runs until October 15.
Villette is the centrepiece of the Playhouse’s Brontë which offers contemporary responses to the Brontë sisters across performance, dance and music.
The new play is said to remain true to Charlotte’s into longing and loneliness while exploring the kind of woman its central character Lucy might be today and in the future.
A Playhouse spokesman said many people considered Villette to be better, more ambitious and complex than Charlotte’s more famous novel Jane Eyre.
Linda Marshall Griffiths has approached’ novel from a 21st century perspective, focusing on around Lucy Snowe, a brilliant virologist who could play a crucial role in finding a cure for a pandemic virus but is plagued by her a past which torments her at every turn.
As the urgency and burden of her work grow greater, she grapples with the promise and possibility of love and the fear of losing it.
Director Mark Rosenblatt said: ‘This re-imagining of Villette gets to the heart of the original novel but finds a way to connect it with a modern audience.
“It relocates and updates the action to a near-future world, placing Lucy in a position of isolation and distance as the last survivor of her kind - as Charlotte Bronte was the last of her siblings when she wrote Villette.”
The Brontë Season includes a work-in-progress performance of Wasted (October 20-22), a new musical drama about the Brontës; Tiny Shoes, an audio drama available at the Brontë Parsonage Museum and online; readings Brontë letters; panel discussion; and the digital project Know Your Place featuring stories of defiance. (David Knights)
Smithsonian recommends visiting the exhibition on Charlotte Brontë at the Morgan Library, with special emphasis on the manuscript of Jane Eyre.
How did Charlotte Brontë go from scribbling in secret to one of England’s (and literature’s) most famous names? Look for the answer in a passage in Jane Eyre, in which her famously plain heroine tells her husband-to-be that she is a “free human with an independent will.” That bold declaration is at the center of a new exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York—one that celebrates the author’s 200th birthday with a look at the forces that turned her into a writer.
Brontë has been at the center of literary legend since her first published novel, Jane Eyre, appeared under a pseudonym in 1847. The book was immediately loved and loathed for emotions that flew in the face of convention and courtesy, and the identity of its author became a much-contested question. But even after Brontë was discovered to be the person behind the pen name Currer Bell, myths about her childhood, her family members and the atmosphere in which she became an author have persisted.
The popular image of the Brontë sisters and their brother Branwell—all of whom died before they turned 40—has long been one of Gothic isolation and tragic pathos. But those ideas are far from true, and the Morgan’s exhibition Charlotte Brontë: An Independent Will grounds Charlotte’s brief life in objects from her everyday world. From miniature manuscripts she wrote as a child to her drawings, paintings, letters and clothing, the exhibition is full of clues as to how a parson’s daughter living in Yorkshire could become a worldly and bold author.
At the center of the exhibition is a handwritten manuscript of Jane Eyre, Brontë’s most famous novel, which is in the United States for the first time. It is open to the passage in which its heroine, a poor and plain governess, reminds her would-be lover that “I am a bird, and no net ensnares me.” She refuses to marry Edward Rochester, a wealthy landowner, unless he accepts her as an equal and not a subordinate. That fiery sentiment was echoed by Brontë herself. In an era in which women of her station were expected to be governesses or teachers, she aspired to be a novelist. And even when her work gained fame, she challenged her readers to judge her by her output and not her gender. (Erin Blakemore)
We don't really know what The Guardian means:
Now, in a response to the recent re-establishment of “Brontë Land” on the other side of the Pennines, Wordsworth is leading a comeback for Cumbrian literary tourism, reminding visitors that if it was not for his work, and that of his fellow Lakeland Poets, we might never have felt so strongly about one of England’s most dramatic natural landscapes. (Vanessa Thorpe)
Recent re-establishment? Hasn't it been there for nearly two centuries?

Lithub lists A True Novel by Minae Mizumura among '10 Giant Translated Novels that Make a Mockery of “Subway Reading"'.
This transplantation of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights to postwar Japan became an immediate success upon its English translation in 2013, with the New York Times proclaiming it a “fascinating meditation on cultural borrowing and the dislocation of modernity.” The book begins with a prologue featuring the author herself as the main character, and from there it becomes a love story, set amid an investigation into what happened to Japan’s culture after the country was savaged in World War II. This book’s arrival in the States marked the long overdue English-language debut for one of Japan’s most interesting and prominent contemporary authors. (Scott Esposito)
Ghost Cult reviews the music album Realms by Darkher.
The Chelsea Wolfe-esque intonations of project founder Jayn H. Wissenberg arrive early in second track ‘Hollow Veil’: brief opening segment ‘Spirit Waker’ eliciting more of those Wuthering Heights-styled atmospheres. Possessing a fuller and more expansive sound than previously, exquisite drum patterns and sparse yet heady riffs crash into the swells whilst Wissenberg’s blissfully harmonic, touching voice laments in the foreground. (Keefy)
Buzzfeed Books lists '13 Of Your Favorite Books If Their Titles Were Honest'. Jane Eyre's actually name should be 'Always Ask about Their Ex'. Diario Vasco (Spain) features the new film Lady Macbeth and points to the fact that it was shot on the moors that inspired the Brontë sisters. The Guardian tells the poignant story of a young Syrian refugee now living in Germany who enjoys listening to classic audiobooks such as Jane Eyre. The Brussels Brontë Blog looks at translations of The Professor in Russian and Ukrainian. The Brontë Parsonage Blog has a guest poster write about Tracy Chevalier and Jessie Bruton's talk at the Parsonage on September 10th.

Finally, an alert from the Springfield, Missouri:
The Library Center, 4653 S. Campbell Ave.
Springfield, MO
"The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" by Anne Brontë
Books You Always Meant to Read
7 p.m. in the Harrison Room for adults.
A classics book discussion.
12:30 am by M. in    No comments
This is the complete educational tour of the Montana Repertory Theatre's production of Brontë to the Future!:
Brontë to the Future!
Written by Laramie Deam

In this comedy by Laramie Dean, The Brontë sisters, Emily and Charlotte, having told their most well-known tales-Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, respectively-now want to leave the past behind and explore a future time in order to see what will happen to their characters in a more contemporary setting. Brontë to the Future! is a mashup that places the Brontës' beloved Jane and Rochester and Catherine and Heathcliff in the world of today-and possibly tomorrow-while retaining all the romance and Gothic splendor of the original stories.

2-3 Missoula / Masquer Theatre
6 Missoula / Hellgate High School
7 Ronan / Ronan High School
8 Potomac / Potomac Middle School
9 Missoula / Hellgate Middle School
12 Big Sandy / Big Sandy High School
13 Box Elder / Stone Child College
14 Malta / Malta High School
15 Poplar / Poplar High School
19 Lambert / Lambert High School
20 Sidney / Northeast Arts Network
21 Sidney / Sidney Middle School
22 Wibaux / Wibaux High School
24 Glendive / Dawson Community College
26 Miles City / Miles City High School
27 Colstrip / Colstrip High School
28 Rosebud / Rosebud Middle School
29 Lame Deer / Chief Dull Knife College


3 Red Lodge / Carbon County Arts Guild
4 Billings / Billings West High School / Billings Public Library
5 Joliet / Joliet High School
6 Gardiner / Electric Peaks Arts Council
7 Livingston / Sleeping Child Middle School
9 Lewistown / Lewistown Library
10 Lewistown / Lewistown Middle School
11 Choteau / Choteau High School
12 Power / Power High School
13 Great Falls / Great Falls Public Library
14 Browning / De La Salle Blackfeet Middle School
16-17 Quinns / Quinns Hot Springs Dinner Theatre
17 Thompson Falls / Thompson Falls High School
18 Plains / Plains High School
20 Warm Springs / Montana State Hospital
21 MEA
24 Kalispell / Linderman Education Center
25 Kalispell / Flathead High School
26 Philipsburg / Philipsburg High School
27 Boulder / Jefferson High School
28 Deer Lodge / Powell County High School
31 Missoula / Willard Alternative High School / Masquer Theatre


1 Victor / Victor High School
2 Missoula / Meadow Hill Middle School
3 Missoula / C.S. Porter Middle School
4 Missoula / Washington Middle School
8 Darby / Darby High School
9 Missoula / Loyola High School
10 Arlee / Arlee High School

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday, September 19, 2016 11:20 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
Singer John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) is a fan of Wuthering Heights 1939, according to this interview from Vice.
What film or TV show makes you cry?There are films that move me. I can't bear any film where children are being tormented, I can't stand that. Wuthering Heights is fantastic, the original one. There's such great moodiness on it and such great pathos and tragedy, sadness. That kind of film I love. Because I can analyse the characters and see where they're going wrong and bring it back into my own life. (Biju Belinky)
While this columnist from BookRiot considers herself a 'book-to-film snob'.
The distrust only got worse when I caved and watched a Wuthering Heights adaptation. Beyond the fact that I found it hard to buy that Ralph Fiennes would be considered “as dark almost as if it came from the devil” (not to mention that I always thought Heathcliff was either Romani or black Irish, given the numerous “gipsy” references throughout the book), I actually, literally face-palmed when I realized that Catherine Linton was played by the same actress who played Catherine Hareton. And let’s be real, it’s pretty clear that makeup team didn’t put all that much effort into making her look younger, or Heathcliff older. I felt betrayed, you guys. WH has been my very favorite book for eleven years, and this felt like watching a middle school play adaptation of it. I turned off the TV and vowed to never, ever watch another WH adaptation again.
So far, I’m sticking. [...]
Giving another adaptation the chance to mess up Wuthering Heights for me, though? Yeah, let’s not go to Crazy Town. (Carolina Ciucci)
The Sisters's Room interviews Ann Dinsdale, principal curator at the Brontë Parsoange Museum:
 Among all the poems written by the  Brontës, which one is your favourite?Emily is definitely my favourite poet amongst the Brontës and I like quite a lot of her poems. I think my favourite is one of the short, really simple, poems she wrote called High Waving Heather which is just so evocative of the moors in Haworth, you know. But then I like some of the quite gloomy poems, the one about wild Decembers is a particular favourite, and I love the fact there’s so much repetition of the language in that which it probably would never get away with a modern editor, but it really kind of reinforces that passing of time… so definitely poems by Emily.
Digital Spy has a recommendation for film-makers in a review of the episode 5 of the current Victoria TV series:
Yes, we admit it, screenwriter Daisy Goodwin and, perhaps more importantly, the very watchable Coleman and Hughes, are doing a good job of convincing us that Albert is a worthy romantic lead for our feisty heroine – even if we do hold a teeny torch for [Rufus] Sewell's Lord M. (Note to period dramas producers: if you're remaking Jane Eyre or Rebecca, he's your perfect Rochester or De Winter). (Jo Berry)
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch features an inspiring teacher.
Lynn Morrissey, a class of 1969 graduate who is now a writer herself, remembered walking into Goff’s class senior year and being surprised to see the desks in a circle facing each other.
“I had no idea what was going on, but I realized that was symbolic of her embrace of all her students,” Morrissey said. “We were all equal to her, all of our opinions mattered when we talked about literature.”
Morrissey said reading “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë in the class inspired her to stand by her views and values when dealing with her peers.
“That gave me the courage as a young woman to speak my mind,” she said. (Mike Faulk)
Savidge Reads interviews writer Susan Davis:
What is the first ‘grown up’, and I don’t mean in a ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ way, that you remember on your parent’s shelves or at the library, you really wanted to read? Did you ever get around to it and is it on your shelves now? I discovered copies of ‘Fanny Hill’ and ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ in my dad’s dressing table drawer once, but they seemed dull at the time. When I searched again as an adolescent they had magically disappeared. I suppose the first ‘grown-up’ book must have been ‘Little Women’ which was one of the few books my mum actually owned and was much prized on her shelf. Is that grown-up enough? Followed closely by the usual suspects, classics like ‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘Wuthering Heights’ which I loved.
HungryForever shares a recipe for a Jane Eyre-style seed cake. You can see Rita Maria Martinez 's recent reading in Florida here (starting around the 42 minute mark). Marina Saegerman writes about visiting Norton Conyers on the Brussels Brontë Blog. AnneBrontë.org has a post on Anne Brontë's godmothers. According to the Brontë Parsonage Blog the book Push Me Away seems to 'plagiarise' Sarah Fermi's Emily's Journal.
Two new Brontë Society publications only to be found at the Bronté Parsonage Museum shop:
Celebrating Charlotte Brontë: Transforming Life into Literature in Jane Eyre
by Christine Alexander and Sara Pearson
The publication of this book was pade possible by a generous bequest from Frank Milner (1930-2014), a member of the Brontë Society.
ISBN: 978-0-9505829-0-0

Celebrating Charlotte Brontë: Transforming Life into Literature in Jane Eyre invites the twenty-first reader into Charlotte Brontë's material world, both the world of the author and the world she created in her most famous novel. Providing detailed commentaries and lavishly illustrated with objects and images from the author's own life and times, this book explores Charlotte Brontë's accomplishment in imaginatively transforming her lived experience into a fictional masterpiece.

Every Sounding Line
by Grace MacCleen

Grace McCleen was writer-in-residence at the Brontë Parsonage Museum during Charlotte Brontë's bicentenary year in 2016. Every Sounding Line, a collection of new poems, is the result of this residency.
The book, is illustrated with images captured by the author on her walks to Top Withins, reputedly the setting for Emily Brontë”s novel Wuthering Heights.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday, September 18, 2016 10:59 am by M. in , , , , , ,    No comments
An interesting article on the new ways to market classics is published in The Guardian:
“There’s a Penguin Classics edition of Emily Brontë’s Complete Poems, of which we sell a few hundred a year,” says Winder. “But by choosing some of the poems, and packaging them for 80p, liberated from the large format, we sold 30,000 copies. An enormous audience for curated literature has suddenly been conjured up out of nothing.” (John Walsh)
The Night is Darkening Round Me is the title of the Penguin Little Black Classics edition.

The Observer promotes Wordsworth country:
Now, in a response to the recent re-establishment of “Brontë Land” on the other side of the Pennines, Wordsworth is leading a comeback for Cumbrian literary tourism, reminding visitors that if it was not for his work, and that of his fellow Lakeland Poets, we might never have felt so strongly about one of England’s most dramatic natural landscapes. (Vanessa Thorpe)
The New York Times discusses insomnia:
My voracious appetite for spoken-word audio led me to discover a treasure: the free audiobooks on LibriVox, a storehouse of public-domain literature narrated by volunteer readers. I began to spend my nights in the company of great authors, wandering around in the 19th century, an era no longer protected by copyright laws. Here I befriended the “lady explorer” Isabella Bird, who scaled the Rocky Mountains and survived the winter in a cabin cooped up with frontiersmen. Charlotte Brontë whisked me to the fictional kingdom of Labassecour. (Pagan Kennedy)
Sometimes it really hurts to see someone you respect misquoted and misused in the so-called American Thinker (we can imagine some better names for it):
Virginia Woolf knew that if you wanted to be a great writer like George Eliot and the Brontës and Jane Austen, you would probably have to go childless, as they did. (Jeremy Egerer)
Carolina Ciucci on Bookriot didn't like Wuthering Heights 1992:
The distrust only got worse when I caved and watched a Wuthering Heights adaptation. Beyond the fact that I found it hard to buy that Ralph Fiennes would be considered “as dark almost as if it came from the devil” (not to mention that I always thought Heathcliff was either Romani or black Irish, given the numerous “gipsy” references throughout the book), I actually, literally face-palmed when I realized that Catherine Linton was played by the same actress who played Catherine Hareton. And let’s be real, it’s pretty clear that makeup team didn’t put all that much effort into making her look younger, or Heathcliff older. I felt betrayed, you guys. WH has been my very favorite book for eleven years, and this felt like watching a middle school play adaptation of it. I turned off the TV and vowed to never, ever watch another WH adaptation again.
The Herald Sun enters in the Lionel Shriver- Yassmin Abdel-Magied controversy:
And doesn't she realise that in the end she is demanding a complete repudiation of acts of imagination and empathy, so that writers are forbidden to write anything but autobiography?
Hear here the voice of segregation, insisting the Shakespeare was wrong to give us Shylock, Tolstoy insensitive to give us Anna Karenina, Mark Twain a bastard to write of Jim, and, I guess, Emily Brontë impudent to imagine Heathcliff. (Andrew Bolt)
The Brontë Parsonage Blog recommends the upcoming new production of Villette in Leeds; Heroines and Heartbreakers explores heroines who find their power, including Jane Eyre.
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
The Dutch band The Rossettis begins today, September 18, a tour presenting their musical and poetic show On Op Woeste Hoogte where Vincent Bijlo plays Patrick Brontë in 1860:
Haworth, Yorkshire, Engeland. Het is 1860. Aan tafel in de woonkamer zit dominee Patrick Brontë. Brontë, gespeeld door Vincent Bijlo, denkt terug aan zijn 3 veel te vroeg overleden dochters, Anne, Charlotte en Emily. Hij mist ze, maar hij heeft hun erfenis, die van onschatbare waarde is.
Hij laat ze wederopstaan. Hun poezie wordt verklankt door The Rossettis.
The Rossettis is de band rond zangeres Mariska Reijmerink, die Engelse poëzie op muziek zet. De band bestaat verder uit Jan-Peter Bast op piano, Arthur Brenkman op drums en percussie en Sophie de Rijk op viool.
De familie Brontë
Charlotte, Emily, Anne en enige zoon Branwell overleden allemaal jong. Charlotte is beroemd geworden met haar roman Jane Eyre, Anne met Agnes Grey en Emily met haar onvergetelijke liefdesgeschiedenis van Cathy en Heathcliff in Wuthering Hights. Zoon Branwell probeerde het als portretschilder, huisleraar en dichter, maar mislukte eigenlijk in alles.
Op Woeste Hoogte ademt op eenentwintigste-eeuwse wijze de negentiende eeuw. De gedichten gaan over gevoelens die wij in onze tijd nog steeds kennen: verdriet, blijdschap, angst, wraak en het verlangen om tot bloei te komen. (Translation)
18 september, 13.00h: Beauforthuis, Austerlitz
19 september: Kleine Komedie Amsterdam
30 september, 20.30h: Jan van Besouw, Goirle
1 oktober: Stadstheater, 20.30h, Zoetermeer
3 oktober, 20.30 h: Stadsschouwburg, Utrecht

Saturday, September 17, 2016

This is a nice story published in The Telegraph & Argus:
Haworth Parish Church’s connection with one of the village’s most famous literary personalities has been revived during roof repair and improvement works.
And the refurbishment has allowed the church's custodians to take possession of a rock-solid link between Charlotte Brontë and another notable British female writer and artist – Elizabeth Gaskell.
Stone from Elizabeth's old home in Manchester has been brought across to Haworth to comprise a section of new flooring for the church.
A spokesman for the parish church explained: "As part of our restoration plan an engraved glass door was installed at the north door leading into Church Street.
"It replaced an old wooden entrance and, as part of the work, it was necessary to lay new stone flooring.
"Stuart Burgess, the contracts manager for the project's contractors Oldham-based firm Maysand, has produced a durable piece of history to 'reunite' Charlotte with her close friend, the writer, painter and biographer Elizabeth Gaskell.
"Maysand had previously carried out a project on a house on Plymouth Grove, Manchester where Elizabeth had once lived."
Mr Burgess said: “When we worked on the Gaskell House in Manchester we lifted some stone flags from just inside the front door.
"We were asked to dispose of them and they were still in my van destined for the skip when I came to work Haworth’s parish church roof.
“At the same time my mother-in-law and I were discussing the history of the Brontës and, after I did some research on the family, I made the connection between Elizabeth Gaskell and Charlotte Brontë.
“Given where the stones were laid at the front door of the house in Manchester, Charlotte Brontë must have stood on them so I approached the church to see if they might be interested in using some of the stone at the north door.”
Charlotte Brontë is said to have visited the house in Manchester on at least three occasions, and now visitors to Haworth will have an opportunity to "walk in the footsteps" of not one but two classic British authoresses.
Maysand’s managing director Bryn Lisle said: “It was really pleasing to see the stone being used again in a historic building, and we were delighted that we could help make such a historic literary connection.”
The rector of Haworth, Reverend Peter Mayo-Smith, who is also the honourable treasurer of the Brontë Society, said: “It’s amazing that in the 200th year of Charlotte’s birth that the two friends should be re-united in this way.
“We’d like to thank Stuart and Maysand for enabling us to make this very special connection between two famous authors again.” (Miran Rahman)
The Guardian Books Podcast talks with  Deborah Levy, author of Hot Milk. She mentions how Jane Eyre's famous poor, obscure, plain little speech (particularly the word obscure) influenced her writing of the narrator Sofia Papastergiadis:
Deborah Levy joins us in the studio to talk about sun, sea and Charlotte Brontë in her novel Hot Milk - and whether it feels any different to receive the Booker nomination second time around.
The Bookseller announces a new 2018 release. A new YA novel based on the Brontës juvenilia:
Sarah Odedina has acquired her first three titles for Pushkin Children’s Books, buying titles by Celia Rees, Marcella Pixley and Emily Murphy.
Celia Rees’ YA novel Glass Town Wars involves the Brontë sisters, a teenage boy and epic battles. Odedina bought world rights from Rachel Calder at the Tessa Sayle Agency and publication is set for 2018. (Charlotte Eyre)
The monthly account of the Brontë Parsonage Museum events is published in Keighley News:
The school holidays have finally drawn to a close, so our wonderful front-of-house team are recovering after one of our busiest Augusts in recent years.
The new children’s trail, written by our Museum Assistant Victoria, was really popular, as were the Wednesday workshops; we’re now planning for October half-term!
I mentioned our collaboration with West Yorkshire Playhouse in my last piece – whereby visitors to the museum can enjoy listening to a short contemporary drama written by Emma Adams, entitled Tiny Shoes. (...)
On the final day of the month, September 30, we have our special Parsonage Unwrapped evening.
This month’s theme is Charlotte and her Travels, and our brilliant young curatorial assistant Amy – who spends all her days ensconced in the museum library – will be talking about Charlotte Brontë’s visits to Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Belgium, not to mention her five trips to the Great Exhibition in London in 1851!
The talk will take place in the intimacy of the library, and will feature precious objects from the museum’s collection.
As usual, guests are greeted with a glass of something bubbly when they arrive (or non-bubbly if you prefer!), and there’s an opportunity afterwards to have a look around the museum, which you practically have to yourselves!
On October 4 we have another of our very popular free Tuesday talks; this one is entitled Persons of Significance and focuses on Charlotte’s father Patrick Brontë.
His rags-to-riches story is a fascinating one, and visitors are always keen to learn more about the father of three literary geniuses, so do come along if you fancy learning more.
The talk is free with admission to the museum, but make sure you arrive in plenty of time, as they have become increasingly popular and it can be a squeeze in the cellar!
And speaking of talks, when next I write, I will have delivered my first-ever talk outside of the museum. If people can’t get to the Brontës, we do our best to take the Brontës out to the world – well, West Yorkshire in this case…
And finally, I must say I enjoyed seeing the Parsonage on TV last week – the very lovely Timothy West and Prunella Scales called in during filming of Great Canal Journeys. I hadn’t realised until I watched the programme that the pair are Yorkshire born – and very proud of it too! (David Knights)
The Yorkshire Post on the West Yorkshire Playhouse's Brontë Season in Leeds:
“The Brontës, the West Yorkshire Playhouse, it’s a no-brainer,” says Mark Rosenblatt, associate director at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. “It’s also possibly a bit of a dangerous thing to tackle.”
He’s right. With 2016 marking the bicentenary of Charlotte’s birth, there are plenty already on the Brontë bandwagon. However, cows don’t come much more sacred than the Brontës in West Yorkshire.
On balance though it would probably be more dangerous not to tackle. So it is that a whole season of work based around the Brontës is heading to the stages of the Playhouse over the next month. However, be warned there won’t be a bonnet in sight.
“We had a moment where we could have done something quite traditional, but we chose not to follow that path,” says Rosenblatt. I think it’s really exciting we chose not to do that.”
What the Playhouse has chosen to do is present an embryonic musical called Wasted, which reimagines the literary sibling powerhouse of the Brontes as a nascent rock band, hold a series of related discussions, stage work that takes the Playhouse literally into the landscape of the Brontës and raise the curtain on a new version of Villette.
Charlotte Brontë’s third novel, it has been not merely adapted, but re-imagined for the stage by Linda Marshall-Griffiths. Rosenblatt is the director of this brand new take on the story of Lucy Snowe who arrives in Villette, a fictionalised version of Brussels, destitute and alone. The narrative is famously internal and as the book charts her various relationships, there is only one voice which is heard. It is not the most obvious story to turn into a stage play.
Rosenblatt says: “Linda has stuck faithfully to the story that Charlotte Brontë told, but has found a really daring way to stage it. The novel is about a shy girl who has been afflicted by a family tragedy which means she’s alone in the world.
“It’s a hard story to stage because it’s about the girl in the corner watching what is going on around her and is alone in the world. The job of putting a shy, private girl on stage isn’t easy.”
The action, such as it is, has been transposed 120 years hence and in the stage version the heroine, Lucy, is looking for a cure to the pandemic which has wiped out much of the human race.
“It’s not Villette with zombies, there are no zombies. But it is quite a sci-fi telling of the story,” says Rosenblatt.
The actor charged with bringing this shy girl to life is Laura Elsworthy.
“It’s so exciting that this is coming to the Playhouse,” says the Hull native. “I’m a Yorkshire lass, but I wouldn’t really think of reading a Brontë novel because their writing feels almost sort of above me. Like it’s not for people like me. “
But the play has made me realise that it really is, it helped me to really enjoy the novel. When I got the audition I read the play and that made me really want to read the book. It also made me really want to get the role.
“If this production gets people reading the Brontës, especially people who think it’s not for them, that it’s all about the bonnets, then that’s great.”
It’s a big responsibility for the actor, but Elsworthy clearly feels she is taking on the role not just of Snowe, but of an advocate of the Brontës.  (...)
For those concerned that the Brontë season is chok-full of the purely avant-garde - and there will be many - rest assured there will be pieces to please everyone.
“We do have Wuthering Heights by Northern Ballet for people who might consider themselves purists,” says Rosenblatt. “Jane Eyre had just been done really successfully by the National Theatre, not that that would necessarily stop us doing a production.
“However, our thinking was to do something that other people aren’t expecting and wouldn’t necessarily do. It might be something that people will be surprised at, but that’s the spirit of the Brontës.” (Nick Ahad)
The York Press reviews the play Blackthorn by Charley Miles performed at the Barber Studio in Leeds:
Thomas Hardy's Tess Of The D'Urbervilles and Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights are the heavyweights of depicting rural life and in no way would your reviewer wish to burden Charley Miles with comparisons, but so many plays write of the urban experience instead, when rural existence demands more than the soap double act of Emmerdale and The Archers. (Charles Hutchinson)
Bustle lists 12 Classics To Read If You're Obsessed With Fall:
5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Gothic literature is a must-read in autumn, and Brontë's Wuthering Heights is a staple of the genre. The dark tale of Heathcliff and Catherine will transport you to a world of creaking windows, old diaries, and wild moors. (Julia Seales)
The Guardian celebrates the republishing of The Wind Off the Small Isles by Mary Stewart:
Though her obituary in the Guardian suggested that “in subject matter and treatment she was a natural successor to Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë”, Stewart herself was more reticent about categorising her work. (Alison Flood)
Publishers Weekly picks, among others, Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear... and Why by Sady Doyle
Contemplating her subjects’ crimes (having sex, having needs, having opinions) and her subjects’ options (self-destruct, disappear, or risk the continual public fury to which a woman who refuses to be shamed, silenced, or stopped is exposed), Doyle compiles portraits including those of historical figures such as Charlotte Brontë and midcentury icons such as Billie Holiday and Sylvia Plath to such contemporary subjects of spectacle as Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, and Britney Spears.
Ellen Vanstone describes in The Globe and Mail a script of a TV episode that never came to be:
On the show about cops and the mentally ill, my loss of innocence began when I pitched an episode about an old lady who dies alone in a rundown mansion. In the opening scene or “teaser,” her corpse is carted off in an ambulance while neighbourhood kids dare each other to go into the “haunted” house. Two of them sneak in. Suddenly, the ghost of the old lady appears at the top of the stairs! She descends toward them, uttering gibberish. The children scream and run. One falls. She’s still coming! … Cut to title card and theme song. At the top of Act 1, our cops reveal it’s not a ghost, it’s another old lady who’s insane and secretly living in the attic. Like Rochester’s mad wife in Jane Eyre, the second old lady was stuffed up there years earlier owing to the stigma of mental illness. Our hero cops and mental-health workers must now solve the mystery of who she is and how she ended up there.
The Telegraph & Argus informs of a local initiative to restore the Raikes Burial Ground in Skipton:
Raikes burial ground in Raikes Road, Skipton, a time capsule to town's Victorian and literary heritage, is the last resting place of a bunch of characters who have made their mark not just locally but world wide.
The history of these men and women has lain dormant for about 140 years, but over the last couple of years their stories have been brought back to life by a group of enthusiasts who call themselves the Friends of Raikes Burial Ground. (...)
Other literary connections include a family named in one of Robert Burns’ poems, members of the Heelis family, one of whom married Beatrix Potter and Rev. John Cartman, whose uncle presided over the funerals of both Charlotte and Patrick Brontë. (Clive White)
Le Figaro's Madame (France) talks about the wedding dresses seen at the New York Fashion Week:
Les mariées Rodarte se prennent pour des héroïnes des sœurs Brontë dans des créations d’inspiration victorienne aux broderies anglaises. (Anthony Vincent) (Translation)
Will you enjoy Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights.. ? This Ginger Generation (Italy) tests your inner teen:
Cime tempestosePer te l’amore è tutto. Una passione travolgente, che non si ferma davanti a nulla e a nessuno. Sei disposta per il tuo amore a compiere delle pazzie e sai essere fedele fino alla fine e oltre.
Nonostante il tuo amore assoluto sai anche essere una donna dalla vendetta spietata. Chiunque ti avrà contro dovrà tremare.
Amerai Heathcliff e Catherine. Li shipperai più di qualsiasi altra coppia tu abbia mai shippato. Sono la coppia più tenera e avvincente dei libri inglesi.
Jane Eyre
Sei una ragazza timida e riservata. Anche se il tuo aspetto e i tuoi modi possono far credere agli altri che sei un topino indifeso, quando invece sei una donna forte e sai batterti per i tuoi ideali.
Soffri in silenzio se il tuo lui non ti guarda. Sei fedele e leale. Sei tanto silenziosa quanto tenace.
Seguirai con passione l’amore tormentato di Jane Eyre e il mistero che circonda il suo padrone. (Claudia Lisa Moeller) (Translation)
Tempi (Italy) captions with irony some of the pictures of the recent trip of Mark Zuckerberg through Africa. For instance, this one, is described like this:
di nuovo sul Lake Naivasha, in posa sulla jeep assieme a ieratica bellezza locale con smartphone, sfondo Wuthering Heights versione safari. (Giacomo Ghirardini) (Translation)
Il Manifesto (Italy) interviews the author Edna O'Brien:
Si direbbe che il suo rapporto con la letteratura sia quello di una scrittrice al tempo stesso romantica e pragmatica: per un verso – ha detto in più occasioni – lei sente che le sue storie le arrivano alla mente con una tale forza che si sente obbligata a scriverle; ma allo stesso tempo il suo rapporto con il lavoro implica, giorno per giorno, l’allenamento di un atleta. (Francesca Borrelli)
Certamente, la mia è una disposizione romantica, che mi deriva forse dal primo romanzo che ho letto, Cime tempestose, una grandissima storia d’amore al cui interno c’è, tuttavia, anche molta consapevolezza. (Translation)
College Fashion now devotes a post to Emily Brontë-inspired fashion; Bookriot renames some novels with titles à la Friends. For instance, Jane Eyre is The one with the secret closet; Books from Basford shares her experience at the Brontë Festival of Women's Writing. Colouring in the Midsts of Madness reviews Wuthering Heights: A Colouring Classic. The Canberra Critics Circle reviews Mel Dodge's Miss Brontë play. Marina Saegerman posts on the Brussels Brontë Blog the first half of a chronicle of her visit to Norton Conyers.