Tuesday, October 25, 2016

John Joubert's Jane Eyre World Premiere

On Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at 12:30 am by M. in , ,    No comments
The first professional performance (albeit in a concert form) and recording of John Joubert's Jane Eyre opera (1987-1997) takes place today, October 25th in Birmingham:
Jane Eyre. The Opera
by John Joubert
An Opera in Two Acts
Space  Ruddock Hall
King Edward's School & King Edward VI High School
Edgbaston Park Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2UA
7:30 PM Tuesday, 25 October 2016

A concert performance by English Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Kenneth Woods
recorded live by SOMM Recordings

Please join us for a pre concert talk at 6.30pm

April Fredrick as Jane Eyre, soprano
David Stout as Rochester, baritone
with full supporting cast

Since its first publication in 1847, Charlotte Brontë’s fatalistic masterpiece Jane Eyre has inspired countless re-readings and retellings. Now, marking Brontë’s 200th  anniversary and his own 90 th  birthday, the revered British composer John Joubert will finally see the world premiere concert and recording of Jane Eyre, his long-awaited third opera. The unforgettable tale of an obsessive love threatened by an unutterable secret, the opera has been more than 20 years in the gestation. It is, says conductor Kenneth Woods, “Joubert’s undoubted magnum opus”.

With a single public showing as an amateur production some years ago, Joubert has since substantially revised it for this official world premiere, but the idea had taken root as far back as 1969. That’s when, while writing his song-cycle, Six Poems Of Emily Brontë, he was drawn into the world of the Brontë sisters and, inexorably, Jane Eyre. The result is a major operatic work, with a score of translucent beauty, of foreboding; suffused with a sense of the destiny that may hold terrors, may hold love – but may not be withheld.
More information at the ESO website and on Seen and Heard International.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Monday, October 24, 2016 10:44 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
Vulture looks into 'The 70 Greatest Conspiracy Theories in Pop-Culture History' and one of them concerns the Brontës:
Emily Brontë didn’t write Wuthering Heights; Branwell Brontë did. Those who have a hard time believing women are capable of writing classic novels will find this theory appealing. It suggests that Emily Brontë’s brother, Branwell, a painter with a weakness for booze, was the true author of Wuthering Heights. The evidence for this claim existed entirely in the pants of both Brontës. Some believed that Emily, as a woman, could not have written a book with the sophistication and maturity of Wuthering Heights, so her brother must have. As one critic put it, “masculine expressions occur in the first chapters which no gentlewoman of the prim and prudish ’40s would have dreamed of using.” Add to that a rumor that Branwell had read to his friends a story that sounded much like Wuthering Heights years before the book was published and so began a conspiracy theory that still won’t die. (Adam K. Raymond)
PopXO ignores conspiracy theories and includes both Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre among other '13 *Classic* Books By Women That Every Girl Needs To Read!'
1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Being orphaned into the home of her aunt and being subjected to the cruel regime at Lowood Charity School could not break Jane Eyre’s spirit and integrity. This classic never grows too old to revisit, as it follows the journey of a passionate young woman whose choices and yearnings take her places she had never imagined. [...]
7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Passionate, fiery and bordering on violent, the love between Catherine and Heathcliff (a foundling adopted by Catherine’s father) takes a rather ugly turn when he is humiliated by Catherine’s brother. Thinking that his love is not reciprocated, Heathcliff leaves Wuthering Heights only to return as a rich polished man brimming the revenge for all that he had been subjected to. (Manika Parasher)
A columnist from Am Reading lists 10 books she can't live without and one of them is
4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Known as a Gothic novel, Emily Brontë wrote the story of Wuthering Heights using stream of consciousness. As a result, the novel is fearless in portraying the dark side of characters, and covers the entire life of Catherine and Heathcliff, as well as their offspring and younger cousins. It’s hard to pinpoint why exactly this novel is so engaging, but this is a classic that was impossible to put down. It’s known as the pinnacle of romance novels, as well as characterization. (Caitlin Stiles)
Interviewed by Booktopia (Australia), writer Anthea Hodgson reveals herself as a Brontëite.
8.  Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why? [...]
And it would be just plain rude if I didn’t also mention Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, Daphne du Maurier and Mary Stewart; we used to hang out all the time when I was a teenager, and I’m pleased to say we still catch up. (Anastasia Hadjidemetri)
New Statesman tells about the novel Angela Carter never got to write.
At the end of her life, her thoughts were on money and how her “two boys” – her husband and son – would manage without her. She told her literary executor, Susannah Clapp, to give permission to everything and anyone who wanted to use her work for commercial purposes, however naff or vulgar. Her last book, by the way, was to have been a fictional life of Adèle Varens, the vivacious young ward of Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre. How I would have loved to read it. (Sarah Baxter)
And so would we.

AnneBrontë.org discusses why the Brontës paid to be published.
1:34 am by M. in , ,    No comments
An alert for today, October 24, from Ipswich, MA:

Charlotte Brontë and Jane Eyre
6:30 PM - 7:45 PM
Ipswich Public Library • 25 North Main Street • Ipswich, MA 01938

Charlotte Brontë’s 1847 novel, Jane Eyre, is one of the enduring achievements of 19th-century British literature. The book tells the story of Jane, orphaned at an early age, who is forced to endure childhood with uncaring relatives and, later, in a brutal orphanage. As an young adult, she is hired as governess for the daughter of Mr. Rochester, a powerful but mysterious master who hides a dark secret.

The novel, told from Jane’s first-person autobiographical point of view, is a masterpiece of narrative storytelling and internal emotion, encompassing psychology, morality, sexuality, poetry, horror, and social criticism. The lecture will discuss three topics: the brilliance of Jane Eyre as a novel, Charlotte Brontë’s complicated family life in the wilds of northern England, and the context of rapid changes in mid-nineteenth century Victorian society.

Presented by Randall Warniers. Mr. Warniers has pursued interest in 19th-century British literature and early 20th-century American cinema for decades. He has worked in the world of publishing since 1989 and he is currently a freelance editor and book publisher.
(Via Salem News)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday, October 23, 2016 11:10 am by M. in , , , ,    No comments
The Herald on Sunday reviews The Jane Austen's Writers Club by Rebecca Smith:
Writing fiction has never been anything but hard. You can’t help feeling, however, that it is more difficult now than it was in Emily Brontë’s or Ernest Hemingway’s day. It is not that the act itself has become more demanding, but that so much attention is now directed on the process – an entire new industry in fact – that it requires great powers of assurance or determination or a good set of earplugs to avoid the cacophony of advice. Should one wish to avoid it, of course. (Rosemary Goring)
We have been unable to trace the path discussed by Scott Hough in The Inquisitr:
When I first discovered this, I attempted to follow a timeline, following the dates each artist recorded each work, establishing precedents. Doing this, I found something that surprised me. The trail I followed led to a novel by Charlotte Brontë, written in 1847, Jane Eyre, one that I have not yet read. The influence of the novel is plain to see in subsequent media produced by a range of artists over decades.
Chicago Pride interviews the writer Jeff Mann:
Gregg Shapiro: In the same chapter, you make reference to "Wuthering Heights in West Virginia." Is that how you envisioned the story?
JM: To some extent. I’ve been a fan of Wuthering Heights since high school, and Heathcliff was a dark and tortured early role model for me. Certainly both protagonist Brice and love interest Lucas have good reasons to be tortured, and I can relate, having a certain tormented streak in me as well. Country is about torment and suffering—how hard life can be, so much harder than any of us are led to believe in our youths—but it’s also about a theme I worked out in my Civil War novel Salvation and in my upcoming novel Insatiable—how life’s pain, loss, and difficulty can be handled with stoic strength, but, just as importantly, with the help of a clan of solid, caring friends, lovers, and family whose support will get you through. I’ve been blessed with that in the past, and I’m blessed with that now.
La Stampa (in Italian) interviews the writer Howard Jacobson:
C’è chi l’ha descritta come il Philip Roth inglese. Ci si ritrova? (Elisabetta Pagani)
«O il Woody Allen inglese, ma non è così. Ho un’altra formazione: Dickens, le Brontë, Jane Austen. Mi conquistano l’eleganza e la vanità di alcune espressioni, la profondità che si cela dietro l’apparente leggerezza. E poi gli inglesi sono ironici e pessimisti, come gli ebrei. Quindi io lo sono due volte!». (Translation)
El Universal's Confabulario (México) reviews Elena Garro. Antología, edited by Geney Beltrán Félix:
Detrás de ella, es decir a sus espaldas, se alza su vida, bulliciosa, ensordecida luego, como la de muchos de sus personajes. “Una vida aburrida y a la que si pudiera le echaba un borrón”, diría la escritora. ¿Le creeríamos? Sería como querer borrar también su parentesco literario con Turgueniev, Dostoievsky, Fitzgerald, Strindberg y hasta con la Brontë de Cumbres borrascosas. Y es que ella hablaba desde lo que sabía, y más aún: desde lo que era, como dice Geney Beltrán Félix: “ante todo una imaginadora de historias”, incluso de la suya. (Guillermo Arreola) (Translation)
Fabula (in French) discusses fan fiction and mentions Wide Sargasso Sea; The Mountaineer presents a local production of The Mystery of Irma Vep.

Check the latest #trumpbookreport tweets on Jane Eyre  and Wuthering Heights.
Oberon Books has just published the Villette adaptation performed by the West Yorkshire Playhouse company:
Re-imagined by Linda Marshall Griffiths
Oberon Books
ISBN: 9781786820495
September 2016

An adaptation of the classic novel on the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth. 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.
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?

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Picture: Credit Emon Hassan for The New York Times
The second offering, which opened on Thursday at Hunter College’s Kaye Playhouse, could not have been more different: the premiere of the American composer Louis Karchin’s “Jane Eyre,” with a libretto by Diane Osen based on the Charlotte Brontë novel. Though Mr. Karchin’s restless score is pungently contemporary, the opera over all takes a traditional approach to music drama. Here is a three-act adaptation of a classic novel, for a nine-person cast and 40-piece orchestra, with big arias that end with flourishes and invite applause. (...)
The challenge with taking an old-fashioned approach to opera, as the composer and librettist do in “Jane Eyre,” is that the resulting work invites comparisons with classic masterpieces. Brontë began Jane’s story in her miserable childhood, as an orphan raised by a spiteful, abusive aunt. The opera begins later in the tale, when Jane has become a governess at the estate of the secretive, volatile but dashing Edward Rochester, and we see the kindling of their romantic feelings.
As Jane, the compelling, rich-voiced soprano Jennifer Zetlan has an early aria in which she recounts the character’s childhood in detail; inevitably, this traditional device seems out of sync with Mr. Karchin’s piercing, contemporary music. The score bustles constantly, rather in the vein of Janacek, though crucial arias and scenes build to glittering radiance that recalls Richard Strauss, moments that seemed derivative. I liked the opera best when Mr. Karchin’s score calmed down, thinned out and depicted incidents with more mystery and subtlety.
The cast members gave their all, especially Ryan MacPherson as Rochester and Thomas Meglioranza as St. John Rivers, a minister who appears later in the story. Sara Jobin conducted a colorful, bristling account of the score. The director Kristine McIntyre incorporated some effective video elements into a basically simple, traditional staging. Still, I wonder what could have been had Mr. Karchin and his librettist taken more chances and fashioned a dramatic structure that better suited the contemporary style of the music. (Anthony Tommasini)
The Salem News talks about an upcoming event at the Ipswich Public Library:
But Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” has been a must-read for 200 years now, and shows no sign of losing its status among readers.
To examine the qualities that have earned this novel so much admiration, a presentation on “Charlotte Brontë and Jane Eyre” will be held Monday, Oct. 24 from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m., at the Ipswich Public Library,  located at 25 North Main St.
“What makes it special is the character of Jane Eyre, who is independent, and sees the dishonesty and hypocrisy around her,” said Randall Warniers, who will give Monday’s talk.
In particular, Eyre criticizes notions of class that dominated English culture, which valued people only in terms of their positions in a social hierarchy.
“Also, the writing is just beautifully evocative and dramatic, in descriptions of her encounters with people,” Warniers said.
To help illuminate these qualities, he will talk about the circumstances in which Bronte wrote “Jane Eyre.
“To read a 19th-century novel, it’s important to have a concept of the times,” Warniers said. “That includes how women were treated, and how orphans were treated, because both of those are central to ‘Jane Eyre.’”
Eyre grows up as an orphan, then takes a position as governess in the home of Edward Rochester, a domineering figure with a dark secret.
“Then I’ll talk about Charlotte Brontë and her family life,” Warniers said. “Three major authors came out of one family: Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë. They each published a novel in the same year, 1847.” Warniers will include a slide show in his presentation, which will also consider the setting of the Brontë sisters’ lives in the north of England, which was “rough and wild” in the 19th century, he said. (Will Broaddus)
The Hindu quotes Tom McCarthy saying about Tintin:
Years later, I read an interview with the novelist Tom McCarthy who wrote Tintin and the Secret of Literature where he said the books featuring the young journalist with the quiffed hair created “a huge social tableau ... managed with all the subtlety normally attributed to Jane Austen and Henry James, and a huge symbolic register worthy of a Brontë or a Faulkner.” (Suresh Menon)
Merinews reviews The Living and the Dead in Winsford by Hakan Nesser
Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights and Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles are but two of the finest literary works that exploit the moor's eerie atmosphere that seems tailor-made for tragedy and crime. The treacherous bogs, brooding ruins, desolate landscapes and harsh, inhospitable weather mirror the bleak mindscapes of the characters and evoke a sense of gloom, mystery and foreboding which hovers over the narrative and casts a spell on the reader. (Vasantha K. Krishnaraj)
The New York Times reviews The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride:
McBride’s second novel tells a familiar love story. Young girl leaves small town for big city, meets older man, damaged, sexy, difficult. She redeems him and is redeemed by him. It could be schlocky romance; it could be daytime TV; it could be “Jane Eyre”; it could be Jane Birkin singing Serge Gainsbourg’s “Je T’aime . . . Moi Non Plus.” Do you still need proof that the story line isn’t what makes a story or a song or a movie bind to your deeper mind? (Jeanette Winterson)
Another NYT review, Napoleon's Last Island by Thomas Keneally:
The set pieces in the novel, with both affectionate homage and tongue-in-cheek irony, call to mind the giants of 19th-century fiction: a child imprisoned inside the cold and damp stones of a boarding school that feels more like an orphanage (Dickens); a “determined and cunning delinquent” punished by being locked in cupboards and cellars (the Brontës); a young lady’s first ball, with a sumptuous gown bought for her by an admirer (Austen); smart soldiers, lovely belles and old generals dancing in country estates amid the lingering echoes of war (Tolstoy). (John Vernon)
Fall-Leaves-Fall sighting in Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette:
"Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away," Emily Brontë wrote in much the same Gothic mood that she brought to her 19th-century novel, Wuthering Heights. "I shall sing when night's decay/Ushers in a drearier day." (Ron Wolfe)
L'Express (in French) reviews the film Mal de Pierres:
Tout l’amour qu’elle lui voue n’est qu’imagination.
Il faut dire que Gabrielle ne connaît de l’Amour que les images qu’elle s’en est faites en lisant Les hauts de Hurlevent, de Brontë et Propos sur le bonheur, d’Alain.
Dommage que les oeuvres sus-citées ne soient qu’un prétexte dans le film à montrer de jolies couvertures de livres, façon ornement d’une bibliothèque Ikea ou chanson de Vincent Delerm. (Translation)
Same as Les Echos twice. Here:
Jeune femme élevée dans la petite bourgeoisie agricole, cette Emma Bovary provençale ne craint pas de prendre des risques pour séduire celui qu'elle aime, quitte à s'affranchir des conventions et à choquer son milieu. Elle se fixe d'abord sur l'instituteur du village, pourtant marié et bientôt papa, qui lui fait découvrir les romans des soeurs Brontë. (Thierry Gandillot) (Translation)
And here:
La lecture des « Hauts de Hurlevent », par exemple : bouleversée par ce roman d’un sombre romantisme, elle se jette littéralement dans les bras du très sage et très… marié maître d’école qui le lui avait prêté. Au début des années 1950, il n’en faut pas plus pour faire scandale. (Annie Coppermann) (Translation)
La Libre:
La faute aux parents, aux professeurs, ou les deux ? De toute façon, ils ont eu tort de donner à Gabrielle le goût de la lecture. Elle prend "Les Hauts de Hurlevent" à la lettre, se projette dans les personnages au point de se prendre pour une héroïne animée de sentiments incandescents, consumée d’une passion charnelle dévorante. Il faut la voir jeter son dévolu sur son malheureux professeur qui n’a rien demandé. (Fernand Denis) (Translation)
Éprise de l'instituteur qui lui donne à lire « Les Hauts de Hurlevent », déçue par la petitesse des cœurs qu'elle rencontre. Rêvant d'une vie à la hauteur de sa soif de romanesque. (Sophie Avon) (Translation)
Le Figaro:
Gabrielle voit son passé revenir comme une vague. C'était une fille de la campagne. Elle avait, disons, du tempérament. À l'intérieur, cela brûlait. Elle tombait amoureuse de l'instituteur qui lui avait offert Les Hauts de Hurlevent. (Eric Neuhoff)(Translation)
Télé 7 Jours:
Nicole Garcia signe une ample fresque romanesque, teintée de fantastique, entre La Leçon de piano de Jane Campion et Les Hauts de Hurlevent. (Translation)
Télérama interviews the writer Marie Barthelet:
Marie Barthelet cite Oscar Wilde et les sœurs Brontë, comme pour confirmer cette intuition – même si Jane Austen a aussi les faveurs de certaines, ajoute-t-elle. (Christine Ferniot) (Translation)
Il Corriere della Sera (in Italian) interviews the author Alessia Gazzola:
Tra i modelli letterari della scrittrice, tante donne: Alicia Giménez-Bartlett, Agatha Christie, e autrici inglesi dell'Ottocento, da Jane Austen alle sorelle Brontë, fino ad arrivare a Virginia Woolf. (Translation)
Libreriamo (in Italian) interviews another writer, Aldo Cazzullo:
Più in generale considera che le sorelle Brontë pubblicano nello stesso anno tre grandi romanzi (“Jane Eyre”, “Cime tempestose” e “La signora di Wildfell Hall”) e tutte e tre firmano con un nome maschile, perché era inconcepibile che una donna potesse scrivere un libro. (Translation)
Regió 7 (in Catalan) reviews Jane, le Renard et Moi:
Un campament d´estiu és també un dels escenaris de 'Jane, el zorro y yo' (Salamandra Graphic), un conte sobre l´assetjament escolar a partir de la història ­?potser no verídica, però veraç? d´Hélène, una nena a qui unes companyes fan la vida impossible i que es refugia en les pàgines de la Jane Eyre de Charlotte Brontë. Història, a més, servida amb unes il·lustracions i una acurada edició que la converteixen en tot un caramel. (Pep Corral) (Translation)
Onedio (in Turkish) compares some Turkish exploitation films with their originals:
1. Derbeder (1977) - Wuthering Heights (1939)
Yönetmenliğini Temel Gürsu'nun yaptığı Derbeder filmi; Ağa kızı İpek’le, fakir ırgat Ferdi’nin aşkını konu alır. Yoksulken İpek ile bir araya gelemeyeceğini anlayan Ferdi, hayallerini gerçekleştirmek için İstanbul'a doğru yola çıkacaktır.
İlginç olan ise, Türkiye'deki köy yaşamını konu eden ve ağa-ırgatlık sistemine değinen bu yapımın; Emily Brontë'un Uğultulu Tepeler adlı romanıyla aynı adı taşıyan 1939 yapımı "Wuthering Heights" filminin uyarlaması olmasıdır. William Wyler tarafından usta bir şekilde çekilen ve şimdilerde klasik olarak gördüğümüz pek çok tekniğin ilk kez kullanılmasını sağlayan filmin baş kahramanı yoksul Heatcliff, bir anda karşımıza köylü ırgat Ferdi olarak çıkmayı başarmıştır... (Translation)
Publika's horoscope (in Moldavian) includes a Wuthering Heights recommendation:
Ții cu dreptatea și ești o fire impulsivă, de accea ar trebui să citești „La Răscruce de Vânturi” de Emily Bronte. Urmărind prietenia dintre Heathcliff și Catherine, care se transformî în dragoste, aceasta ăți va demonstra că prietenia pe viață există. (Translation)
Trendencias (in Spanish) posts about the musical Wasted; Camden New Journal has some new literary sisters; a wedding proposal made in Haworth on Boho Weddings; the Brontë Parsonage Museum presents the Serena Partridge pieces for the Brontë 200 exhibition at the Celebrating Museums in Yorkshire conference held at the Sheffield Museum. Like a Porcelain Doll (in Polish) reviews Jane Eyre. The Japanese Brontë Society posts about their recent Hiroshima convention.

By the way, remember this independent film project? It seems it is not quite dead. Helena Independent Records publishes:
The next project in the works is “Wuthering Heights.” [Bryan] Ferriter hopes to finish the filming in England. (Marga Lincoln)
12:47 am by M. in ,    No comments
A family workshop at the Morgan Library, part of the Charlotte Brontë: An Independent Will exhibition:
Brontë Book Arts
Saturday, October 22, 2–4 pm
Morgan Library & Museum

Create your own mini-manuscript book with artist Andrew Eason, Head of Adult and Young Adult Services at Plainfield Public Library District. In the style of Charlotte Brontë and her siblings, utilize materials to create a miniature book to illustrate or write a story to share with your family. A visit to the exhibition Charlotte Brontë: An Independent Will is included in the workshop.

The Morgan's family programs offer a unique and engaging museum experience. Our innovative art workshops are designed for adults and children to complete together. They are limited to families with children and due to the use of special art materials are intended for the ages listed.

Tickets include free museum admission for the day of the workshop. Appropriate for ages  6–12.

12:43 am by M. in , ,    No comments
An alert from the Brussels Brontë Group for today, October 22:
Saturday 22 October 2016
Room P61, Université Saint-Louis, Rue du Marais 119, 1000 Brussels

11.00: Presentation by Monica Wallace: ‘Charlotte Brontë’s Irish honeymoon’

In 1854 Charlotte Brontë, herself half Irish, married her father’s Irish curate, Arthur Bell Nicholls, with whom she had nine months of happy marriage before dying in pregnancy just before her 39th birthday.
Monica Wallace, who is from Dublin and is the former Transport Attaché for Ireland to the EU, will have a look at the places and people they visited on their honeymoon in Ireland.

14.00: Talk by Blake Morrison

The writer Blake Morrison will talk about his interest in the Brontës, dating from his childhood growing up in Skipton near Haworth in Yorkshire, and his play ‘We Are Three Sisters’, an adaptation of Chekhov’s play to tell the story of the Brontës.
Blake Morrison’s award-winning memoir of his father, ‘And When Did You Last See Your Father?’, was made into a film in 2007. He is Professor of Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths College, University of London.
12:38 am by M. in , ,    No comments
A symposium celebrating the 50th anniversary of Wide Sargasso Sea takes place today, October 22, in New York:
Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea: A Celebration
Saturday, October 22, 2016 at 10:00 am to 5:30 pm
The New School, Wollman Hall, Eugene Lang College
65 West 11th Street Room B500, New York, NY 10003

The Department of Literary Studies presents a public symposium to mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Jean Rhys’s most famous and influential novel, Wide Sargasso Sea. This day-long symposium is the latest in a worldwide series of events marking the occasion.

Speakers include novelist Robert Antoni, author of Blessed is the Fruit and As Flies to Whatless Boys; novelist Caryl Phillips, author of Dancing in the Dark and The Lost Child; critic and cultural historian Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert, author of Literatures of the Caribbean and Phyllis Shand Allfrey: A Caribbean Life; critic and cultural historian Erica Johnson, author of Home, Maison, Casa: The Politics of Location in Works by Jean Rhys, and coeditor of Jean Rhys: Twenty-First Century Approaches; and New School Literary Studies professor Elaine Savory, author of Jean Rhys and Introduction to Jean Rhys.

For more information, please visit the Literary Studies Department blog WRITLIT.
12:33 am by M. in ,    No comments
An alert from the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
Head to the Museum over October half term and try your hand at our spooky Halloween trail!
We will also be offering short guided walks in the churchyard, which will leave from outside the gift shop and are filled with tales of life in old Haworth.The walks will run Monday to Friday, and depart at 2pm.
On Wednesday 26 October, workshop Wednesday is back as part of the Big Draw! Local artist Vic Buta will be leading a family-friendly drawing workshop - with a steampunk theme! This drop-in workshop will take place in our admissions area and run 11am-4pm.
All activities free with admission to the Museum.

Friday, October 21, 2016

BBC News shows a video of the rehearsals of the Brontë rock musical Wasted, which has just opened as part of the Brontë season at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
In 1978 Kate Bush famously took Wuthering Heights to the top of the charts. Now, the Brontës themselves have become the subject of a musical.
Wasted is a tale of sex, drugs and early death, told in the musical style of rock icons such as Queen and Rage Against the Machine.
The BBC's entertainment correspondent Colin Paterson went along to final rehearsals at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
And more Brontë-related things on stage as Planet Hugill features John Joubert's Jane Eyre opera and its Jane Eyre soprano April Fredrick.
The South-African born composer John Joubert (based in the UK since the late 1940s) will celebrate his 90th birthday in 2017, and in celebration his opera Jane Eyre is being recorded on the SOMM label. The opera is being given in concert on 25 October 2017 (the work's world premiere) with Kenneth Woods conducting the English Symphony Orchestra at the Ruddock Performing Arts Centre, King Edward's Schools, Birmingham B15 2UA, and the performance is being recorded by SOMM. The performers include April Fredrick as Jane, David Stout as Rochester, Clare McCaldin as Mrs Fairfax and Mark Milhofer as Rev. St John Rivers. I caught up with soprano April Fredrick to find out more about the opera. [...]
April had never sung any of Joubert's music before and as well as appreciating getting to know his music, she finds he writes well for the voice, and he aptly captures Jane's combination of a passionate nature with strong self control.
She has warm words too for Birkin's libretto, with its combination of carefulness and lushness. The compression necessary to turn the novel into an opera has been done with imagination. The first scene is an imagined confrontation between Jane and Mr Brocklehurst, as she is about to leave Lowood, which telescopes the first ten chapters of the book.  This technique is used in other scenes, to put some of the back story into monologues. The libretto uses a lot of text verbatim, and the passages that are not feel a close version of the original.
Jane herself is a very big role, on stage for a lot of the time, and singing a great deal. In style, April feels that the dramatically well realised opera recalls Britten in the psychologically acute way Joubert writes, and for April you forget that singing is not the normal way of communications. Even in the most lyrical moments, Joubert adds something to the harmonic mix which keeps the music from being perfectly consonant all the time.
Joubert's opera is in three acts, but the performance on October 25 will be cut, re-shaping the work into two acts so that it fits onto two CDs. April does not feel that the essentials of the opera are lost,
It is very much a stage work, not a concert piece, and though the performance on 25 October is being given in concert April feels that it really deserves to be on the stage. The performance and subsequent recording will thus not only celebrate Joubert's 90th birthday, but hopefully will stimulate interest in the opera. April feels that it deserves to be seen and having got to know the work, she is amazed that it has never been done before. (Robert Hugill)
Birmingham Post has an article on it as well.
What was it that attracted John to Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre?
“I thought it was a great romantic novel, and had operatic potential. It’s a great love story, and I thought one should be able still to write about love - after all, it’s the basic emotion for most people, everybody!”
The ending of the opera is magical, but isn’t there a question-mark at the end, in the layout of the concluding chord?
“Oddly enough, I was thinking about that the other day, and yes, I think there is. The remarkable thing is that at the beginning of the novel Rochester isn’t a very nice person, a bit of a cad, really. He treats Jane very badly, but at the same time is very attracted by her.
“She, on the other hand, she is a very early feminist, she wants to find work and be accepted. Though there are big differences between each other, they nevertheless fall in love. And the question mark at the end is, I think, it’s not very much emphasised, but that it’s just suggested that this is not the end of the story, that she’s taking on something really big.
“Rochester is now a crippled man, and a blind man, and she still is determined, and they do get together, despite his moral objections to her taking him on as a semi-invalid. There’s a little bit of tension, there.”
The idea for Jane Eyre began in the early 1980s, when John took early retirement from the University of Birmingham. “But I did have commissions to get on with, so I had to squeeze time in between, working on Jane Eyre, so I wrote it over a very long period, alternating between commissions as they came in.”
When this forthcoming concert-performance was mooted, John went back to his score of Jane Eyre, and realised that some of the material in the scenes, as well as orchestral interludes between the scenes, was superfluous to the action. He decided to make one event central to each scene, and actually cut 45 minutes’ worth of music.
“You can take your time writing a novel, but you can’t take your time writing an opera!”
He modestly adds that the discarded orchestral interludes have now formed the basis of a new work, his Third Symphony. “I call it Third Symphony on themes from the opera Jane Eyre.
“There was a time that I thought I’d never live to see the opera performed, and so I composed a piano Fantasy upon Themes from Jane Eyre, and I think material from the opera has appeared subconsciously in other works.
“The subconscious is very important in the creative process, and I don’t really know how I do it, or why I do it. All I know is, I can only write what I do write, what I can write.” (Christopher Morley)
The Christian Century recalls an 'experiment' in which Jane Eyre was read as a sacred text.
A few years ago I wrote here about my student Vanessa Zoltan and her experiment with reading Jane Eyre as if it were a sacred text. She read and reread each chapter, prayed its prayers, wrestled with its difficulties. She often felt transformed by her reading, for once she began to treat Jane Eyre as sacred, she found herself approaching other parts of her life—relationships, conversations, encounters with strangers—as if they were also sacred.
There were times when she felt betrayed by the novel, as when the full horror of the imprisonment and death of the West Indian “madwoman in the attic,” Bertha Rochester, impressed itself on her through repeated reading. Loving Jane as she did, Vanessa was surprised to find the sacred heart of the novel in Bertha, a character who upended Vanessa’s expectations about her project, a character who made her feel not only challenged, but also read and interpreted. A sacred text, Vanessa learned, is not a perfect text, free from contradictions and outrages. A sacred text is a generative text, one that keeps reading and changing us.
Sacred texts also become sacred in community, and so Vanessa gathered a small group of Jane Eyre lovers and invited them into her practice, teaching them what she had learned. Fellow M.Div. student Casper ter Kuile joined in. Wouldn’t it be fun, he teased, to try this with a book that people actually read? (Stephanie Paulsell)
Erm... Jane Eyre is actually widely read.

BBC News marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Wide Sargasso Sea.
“She seemed such a poor ghost, I thought I'd like to write her a life”, Rhys explained of her feelings for the first Mrs Rochester. It sounds modest enough but half a century on, the book is enshrined in campuses around the world and beloved by readers of all stripes. Something else has become clear, too: the novel has forever changed the way we read Jane Eyre. As author Danielle McLaughlin recently put it, writing for The Paris Review: “The novel didn’t just take inspiration from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, it illuminated and confronted it, challenged the narrative”. Or, to quote novelist Michele Roberts, “Rhys took one of the works of genius of the 19th Century and turned it inside-out to create one of the works of genius of the 20th Century”. (Hephzibah Anderson) (Read more)
KPCC has a an original cast member and an original fan talk Dark Shadows which is 50 this year, just like Wide Sargasso Sea.
Both women agree: It wasn't a traditional soap opera about who is sleeping with who; nor was it a scary vampire story. It was an old fashioned Gothic romance, often based on classics of literature, like Jane Eyre. "Of all of the incarnations of these vampire stories, what so many people miss, and what (creator) Dan Curtis totally got, is that so much of this hinges on romance. It's not the gore and the horror. That's not the story. The central theme of Dark Shadows is that love triangle and unrequited love." (John Rabe)
The Daily Dot reviews DC Comic's Deadman:
The dark, painted interiors of the mansion—and, strangely enough, the lettering style—are reminiscent of the late '80s heyday of Vertigo's horror like Sandman and Hellblazer, while the heroine's internal monologue is clearly inspired by vintage romance comics. And it all comes together in a setting that originated with books like Jane Eyre and Rebecca, now familiar thanks to decades of haunted house movies. (Gavia Baker-Whitelaw)
Evening Standard reviews Alan Bennett's Keep on Keeping On, which includes some of his diaries.
Then again, among his many affectionate and grateful remarks about his partner Rupert, especially those recording their many visits to churches and country houses, provisioned with their own sandwiches, there’s this corker: “31 August. R. having spent most of the evening (and yesterday’s) watching Wuthering Heights turns to me at the finish and says: ‘You’re rather like Heathcliff.’ Me (gratified): ‘Really?’ R: ‘Yeah. Difficult, Northern and a c**t.’” (David Sexton)
Manila Bulletin interviews writer Anna Todd:
Growing up, what kinds of books did you read? Who is your favorite author? My favorite author is Cassandra Clare, by a million times! But I didn’t read her until I was about 21, maybe. Before that, I read The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, it’s a war story. I didn’t know why I loved it so much. I love classics like Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and I read things like The Babysitter’s Club, I loved all those books but it was mostly like tame things until I found Fifty Shades of Grey, and then I was like, “Oh okay, there’s a whole other world of books I didn’t know existed.” (Angelo G. Garcia)
The Telegraph has picked up on the Twitter hashtag #TrumpBookReport. This tweet telling Wuthering Heights as Mr Trump would is hilarious:
The Guardian features the sculptures made by David Medalla:
In the middle of a further gallery, a tangle of golden wire – suspended on precarious lengths of bamboo and powered by a motor atop the trunk of a silver birch – slowly rotates on a bed of sand, leaving combed furrows that are perpetually drawn and erased. Surrounding this folly, first made in 1963, hang stretched hammocks of thin, coloured fabric, appended with reels of cotton. The audience can use these to stitch drawings and designs on to the lengths of material.
More lengths of fabric – with stories printed, sewn and painted on to them – line the walls. Here is Emily Brontë, there is an invented myth of a virgin-eating crocodile. Delicate, touching and wan, Medalla’s art is as hard to grasp as the soapsuds climbing and falling next door, where a long poem called The Bubble Machine is also pinned to the wall. The poem itself is a delightful, painful spume of reminiscence. (Adrian Searle)
Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights is one of Electric Literature's '13 Literary Songs for the Halloween Season'.
Awesome creepy weirdo Kate Bush supposedly wrote “Wuthering Heights” in one night under a full moon when she was just 18, having devised the idea for it years previous when she caught the last 10 minutes of a BBC adaptation of Emily Bronte’s gothic novel of class warfare, mental decay and psychosexual obsession. (Bush shares a birthday with Emily.) Little could Bush have guessed at the time, her song would go on to become the first chart-topper by a female recording artist in the UK, and would inspire other awesome creepy weirdos such as David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust and St. Vincent, who frequently cites “Wuthering Heights” as her go-to karaoke jam, to get on with their bad selves in the years to come. Needless to say, there’s more than a little of Bronte’s novel in the song itself, which focuses its allusive energies on Catherine Earnshaw’s ghost and its recapitulant efforts to get at Heathcliff, her erstwhile lover, through his window casement. In fact, Bush’s song unfurls from Catherine’s spectral POV: “Ooh, it gets dark! It gets lonely,/ On the other side from you./ I pine a lot. I find the lot/ Falls through without you./ I’m coming back, love./ Cruel Heathcliff, my one dream,/ My only master.” Bush’s eerie vocal stylings, like some falsetto ghost priestess luring you to your doom, are a fitting conductor for Catherine’s tale. Ditto the cascading piano, Tangerine Dreamy guitar solo and intermittent strings that sherpa her voice as it climbs towards new heights, all the while invoking Catherine, the love that can never be Heathcliff’s and hers: “Heathcliff, it’s me — Cathy./ Come home. I’m so cold!/ Let me in-a-your window.” (Adrian Van Young)
It's been a while since our last Brontë analogy in a football article. This one is courtesy of The Guardian.
And then, just as Rafa Benítez seemed to have broken the spell, just as he had ended the dependence on the old guard, Mourinho returned. It was like Heathcliff taking control of Wuthering Heights once again. There was one glorious high and then a second, crushing end to the affair. (Jonathan Wilson)
Reading with Jade wonders whether to read Wuthering Heights.
Three Wuthering screenings today, October 21, at the Vienna International Film Festival:
Augustinerstraße 1, 1010 Wien

October 21, 16.30 h (also November 7, 18.30h)
Abismos de Pasión, 1954
by Luis Buñuel

This “Wuthering Heights” is nothing if not Spanish in its tone. It’s also Roman Catholic down to its toes in the way that it reflects the particular obsessions of the self-described nonbeliever who made it. It’s still the tale of the mystical, all-consuming love of the well-born Cathy (here named Catalina) for her childhood sweetheart, the handsome, rudely tyrannical, former stable boy, Heathcliff, renamed Alejandro by Buñuel. The English moors are now the barren hills of rural Mexico and what once seemed to be a romantic rebellion against the genteel manners of Anglican England has now become a darker, timeless war between the forces of light and darkness. (Vincent Canby)

October 21, 18.30 h (also November 5, 16.00h)
Wuthering Heights, 1939
by William Wyler

Out of Brontë’s strange tale of a tortured romance Mr. Goldwyn and his troupe have fashioned a strong and somber film, poetically written, sinister and wild as the novel was meant to be, far more compact dramatically than Miss Brontë had made it. It isn’t exactly a faithful transcription, which would have served neither Miss Brontë nor the screen – whatever the Brontë societies may think about it. But it is a faithful adaptation, which goes straight to the heart of the book, explores its shadows and draws dramatic fire from the savage flints of scene and character hidden there. (Frank S. Nugent, New York Times, 1939)

October 21, 21.00h
Hurlevent, 1985
by Jacques Rivette

Hurlevent is Rivette’s impressive rendition of Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights”. He shifted the action to the Cévennes and characterised by a wild, sun-drenched landscape where isolated farms can be several miles apart. He also introduced three dream sequences, the most impressive of which is interpolated in the middle of the movie and marks a turning point in the action, the three-year separation of Heathcliff/ Roch from Catherine. The blurring of frontiers between conscious and unconscious perception which is made tangible in this central oneiric scene allows a poignant insight into Catherine’s psyche without any need for words. Rivette understood perfectly well that simplicity in the dialogues, locations and costumes was necessary to avoid the trap of over-dramatisation – into which the old period drama of 1939 (with Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon) had fallen. (Valérie Hazette)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

In Keighley News, Diane Fare tells us about the latest goings-on at the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
Staff at the Parsonage were delighted last week to play a part in a very elaborate marriage proposal!
We were contacted a short while ago by Victor, a gentleman from Stockholm, who six years previously had met the love of his life in America, and was now hoping to propose marriage to her.
But this wasn’t to be an ordinary proposal... as his fiancée-to-be was a huge fan of the Brontës, and was working on Wuthering Heights, it struck him that Haworth and the Parsonage would be the ideal setting for a proposal, and so he endeavoured to make it happen!
On a quiet Friday morning this month the couple arrived at opening time, and Victor managed to secretly pass a book to museum assistant Victoria, who had a special role to play in the proceedings.
The couple wandered through the museum, eventually finding themselves in the Children’s Study, a room particularly associated with Emily, where Victor’s girlfriend Lauren spotted a book on the windowsill with her name on it – surprise!
It was a book of poems, made especially for the occasion, and inside Lauren found inscribed a marriage proposal. Luckily for us – and Victor – Lauren accepted, and the happy couple left as Brontë Society members!
They’ve promised to return in the future, and we all wish them well, and were very happy to play a part in such a momentous day.
And speaking of momentous days, a flock of school children were delighted to spot Professor Sprout, Head of Hufflepuff House and Professor of Herbology, on the steps of the Parsonage this week: aka actress Miriam Margoyles for those of you who aren’t immersed in the world of Harry Potter!
According to The Morning Call,
Re Jane” is being developed by TV Land,  Paramount Television, production company Anonymous Content and Kim. The half-hour comedy is adapted from Patricia Park's 2015 debut novel of the same name.
Park's book follows Jane Re, a half-Korean, half-American orphan, who lives in Flushing, Queens and is a contemporary retelling of “Jane Eyre.”  Looking to escape her life ruled by the traditional principle of nunchi (a combination of good manners, hierarchy, and obligation) Jane becomes an au pair for the Mazer-Farleys, two Brooklyn English professors and their adopted Chinese daughter.  The script will be written by Maria Maggenti of  “Finding Carter” who also will executive produce with [Daniel Dae] Kim and Anonymous Content's Steve Golin and Doreen Wilcox Little.
VLT (Sweden) reviews Eva-Marie Liffner's Blåst!
Syskonen Brontës fantasivärld Gondal, skapad i barndomen innan vuxenlivets gråhet tog över, förenas med Tolkiens Midgård och Första världskrigets skyttegravar. Bilmekanikern Ned Shaw är vän med Johnnie T, som vi snart förstår är Tolkien, och han har en förmåga att röra sig mellan tidsplanen. Det är som om Brontë-barnens blåsiga hed, Oxfords murriga bibliotek och sagolandet Gondal existerar i en och samma dimension, och intrigen kastar sig hejdlöst mellan de olika världarna som om inte mer än ett par steg skilde dem åt.
Låter det förvirrat? Ja, det är snurrigt, och en del förkunskaper om såväl Tolkien som familjen Brontë krävs för att inte helt gå vilse.
Romanen följer ett antal spännande spår, som exempelvis att barnen Brontë aldrig dog, utan att de valde bort ett vuxenliv av besvikelser för att i stället försvinna in i Gondal. En fantasi så stark att den lyckas brotta ner verkligheten och till och med självaste döden.
Eva-Marie Liffner skriver om hur även den vildaste fantasi kan pressas in i sin tids konventioner. Barndomen och fantasin blir en protesthandling, ett land att klösa sig kvar i så länge som möjligt. (Kristian Ekenberg) (Translation)
The Irish News finds a Brontëite in writer Lisa McInerney.
5. And the book [you'd take to a desert island]?
I've never been bored by Wuthering Heights. (Jenny Lee)
The Conversation discusses present-tense fiction and point to the fact that
it’s perfectly possible to find a surprising amount of present tense in the nineteenth century novel, including works by Charlotte Brontë and Charles Dickens (Camilla Nelson)
The World of Chinese uses a quotation from Jane Eyre when discussing the character 平:
It is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave and we stood at God’s feet, equal—as we are!” This declaration from Jane Eyre can still stir the heart. The key to building a civilized world is equality, a society without bias or discrimination. For that, we have 平 (píng). (黄伟嘉 and 孙佳慧)
Corriere Salentino (Italy) has an article on Wuthering Heights. The novel's final sentence has made it onto a list of the best closing lines in a selection by Ragan's PR Daily. Word Adventures posts about the novel as well. Lakeside Musing posts about Agnes Grey. SandyPluto writes about Jane Eyre.
1:00 am by M. in , ,    No comments
A world premiere is taking place today October 20 at the Center for Contemporary Opera in New York:
Jane Eyre
by Louis Karchin
Libretto by Diane Osen
Based upon the novel by Charlotte Brontë
October 20  7:30 PM and 22 8 PM at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College

Director: Kristine McIntyre
Conductor: Sara Jobin

Jane Eyre: Jennifer Zetlan
Rochester: Ryan MacPherson
Roderick Ingram / St. John Rivers: Tom Meglioranza
Mrs. Fairfax: Kimberly Giordano
Blanche Ingram: Katrina Thurman
Mr. Mason / Mr. Briggs: Adam Cannedy
Mr. Wood: David Salsbery Fry
Mary / Bessie: Jessica Best
Diana / Mrs. Ingram: Jessica Thompson
Marisa Karchin, Michelle Kennedy, Caitlin Mead, Rachel Rosenberg, Alize Rozsnyai, Abigail Wright

Production Manager: W. Wilson Jones
Costume Designer: Rachel Townsend
Lighting Designer: Burke Brown
Scenic Designer: Luke Cantarella
Rehearsal Pianist: Isabella Dawis
 More information in New Jersey Stage and Opera News.
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
The rock musical Wasted opens today, October 20, at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds:
Courtyard Theatre
October 20, 21,22 at 7:45pm
October 22 at 02:30pm

A new musical drama telling the remarkable true story of four young people with huge passions and amazing dreams.
Misfit kids from a Yorkshire village yearn to be heard, find fame beyond their wildest hopes and die tragically young. Full of energy, emotion and humour, with songs inspired by their shocking, controversial genius, Wasted is the Brontës as you have never seen them before.
This ‘demo-tape’ workshop gives Playhouse audiences the exclusive first chance to experience the complete show in a work-in-progress staging.
Wasted has won a prestigious award from the Kevin Spacey Foundation. 

EDIT: On BBC Radio 4's Today programme:
Kate Bush famously took Wuthering Heights to the top of the charts - now the Brontës themselves are the subject of their own rock musical, Wasted. The BBC’s entertainment correspondent Colin Paterson went along to final rehearsalsë
12:10 am by M. in ,    No comments
A new production of Charles Vance's Wuthering Heights opens today in Ledbury, Herefordshire:
Ladbury Amateur Dramatic Society presents
Wuthering Heights
adapted for the stage by Charles Vance
The Market Theatre, Ledbury
20th – 22nd October  Thu – Sat   8pm
Emily Brontë’s great classic, the immortal love story, is set amongst the bleak beauty of Haworth Moor; the landscape over which towers the wild and terrible figure of Heathcliff.  The tale of his searing passion for the beautiful Catherine Earnshaw has the vividness of nightmare, the beauty and simplicity of an old ballad, and depth and intensity of ancient tragedy.A spell-binding thriller and ghost story.
More information in the Hereford Times.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 11:04 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
Pendle Today brings our attention to a short film which highlights the Brontë connections to Lancashire with special attention to Wycoller Hall and which features Tracy Chevalier.
A new short film spotlighting Lancashire’s little known Brontë connections has been released.
Called “In Brontë Footsteps”, it features multi-million bestselling American historical novelist Tracy Chevalier.
Tracy visited Pendle this autumn for the first time, to find out about the area’s Brontë associations. [...]
The film also showcases the beautiful wild border country which inspired the Brontës, with views which Tracy Chevalier describes as “awe inspiring”.
Tracy said: “It is news to me that there are these Lancashire connections. But now I’m not surprised at all because it’s one big landscape.”
The novelist followed in the Brontës’ footsteps, walking over the moors into Lancashire along the Brontë Way and said: “It felt timeless and it was a feeling that I know the Brontës must have had.” Tracy Chevalier made the six mile journey with fellow novelist Jessie Burton, international bestselling author of “The Miniaturist”. They walked from Ponden Hall – thought to be the real Wuthering Heights - to Wycoller Hall, the real Ferndean Manor in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Jessie Burton was also captivated by the picturesque village and hall, set in its peaceful valley. She said: “It’s stunning, beautiful and quiet.”
Leader of Pendle Council, Coun. Mohammed Iqbal said: “Wycoller is just nine miles as the crow flies from the Haworth Parsonage. “Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne Brontë often crossed the border over the moors into Lancashire, as Tracy Chevalier and Jessie Burton discovered.
Coun. Eileen Ansar, who leads on tourism, said: “Tracy’s thoughts and feelings on visiting Wycoller for the first time have been captured in this atmospheric film. “We hope the film will encourage more people to come and visit our beautiful countryside and follow Brontë walks which can be found on our new website www.visitpendle.com.”
The film shows Tracy exploring the atmospheric village and ruined hall with John Crow, a volunteer ranger, storyteller and Friend of Wycoller. John will be leading the last in a series of 21 events in Pendle to mark the Charlotte Brontë bicentenary with a ghost walk in Wycoller on Sunday, October 30th at 1pm where he’ll tell some of the hair-raising stories which inspired the Brontës.
The video also features Nelson and Colne College student, Anna Stephenson playing the part of Charlotte Brontë. Anna (18), from Colne, is the youngest member of the international Brontë Society. The film ends with Tracy taking the old carriage track down into the village in the footsteps of the fictional Jane Eyre as she is reunited with her lost love, Mr Rochester. Tracy added: “I felt a little bit tearful as I was walking around. “I’m going to go home and re-read the last section of Jane Eyre and say ‘I’ve been there!’” (Will Cook)
We absolutely agree - Wycoller truly warrants a visit. A year ago we were rather worried about Wycoller Hall , so we are glad to see it being promoted this way.

The Everygirl recommends Wuthering Heights as one of 'The 10 Page-Turners You Should Be Reading This Fall'.
8. Wuthering Heights
Published way back in 1847, Wuthering Heights may have been way ahead of its time: Like in many modern-day novels (Gone Girl and Fates and Furies come to mind), the characters are self-absorbed and complicated, bordering on unlikeable. The story is complex, violent, dark, and captivating in a masochistic sort of way. Crack it open on a rainy fall day. (Daryl Lindsey)
All Romance Reads reviews the book Boyfriend by the Book by Laura Briggs.
But Jodi’s friends think she’s turning into a lonely workaholic. They try to fix her love life, buying her a copy of the bestselling relationship guide that claims women can find true love by channelling the wisdom of famous storybook heroines. Jodi thinks it sounds crazy—no way is she acting like Jane Eyre or Lizzie Bennet to find a man! [...]
Her attempts to think like the greatest heroines in romance lead her to meet everything from a modern Mr. Rochester to an angsty Heathcliff, and even a Darcy-esque novelist. 
Les Echos (France) reviews the film Mal de pierres, starring Marion Cotillard.
Gabrielle rêve d'amour fou. Jeune femme élevée dans la petite bourgeoisie agricole, cette Emma Bovary provençale ne craint pas de prendre des risques pour séduire celui qu'elle aime, quitte à s'affranchir des conventions et à choquer son milieu. Elle se fixe d'abord sur l'instituteur du village, pourtant marié et bientôt papa, qui lui fait découvrir les romans des soeurs Brontë. Quand il refuse ses avances, elle crise. Face à son comportement, qui scandalise le village, ses parents songent à la faire interner. (Thierry Gandillot) (Translation)
PopCrush tells you to 'Forget Mr. Darcy, Edward Rochester or Heathcliff: History’s most romantic figure is now officially Simon Konecki' because he made pink confetti full of love messages for his girlfriend singer Adele fall at the end of the concert she gave on the day that marked their fifth anniversary. Donostia Book Club celebrated its first meeting discussing Jane Eyre. The Brontë Parsonage Museum Facebook page reminds visitors that this is the last week for audio drama Tiny Shoes. Brussels Brontë Blog has another post on Villette translations in Germany.
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
A musical alert for today, October 19, in Haworth:
Charlotte in SongIn association with Sinfonia Viva
Haworth Parisch Church
October 19th 2016 06:45pm - 08:00pm

Working in association with the Brontë Parsonage Museum and primary schools in Haworth, Nottingham-based orchestra and community arts group Sinfonia Viva (http://www.vivaorch.co.uk) are presenting a cycle of song-writing workshops for children, inspired by the life and works of Charlotte Brontë. The workshops culminate in this special live performance at Haworth Parish Church and we hope you will join us to hear the children perform their work.

This project is the first in a special series of bicentenary collaborations with Sinfonia Viva, which are being developed in memory of Virginia Rushton, Brontë Society member and founder of Operahouse Music Projects.
On Twitter, Sinfonia Viva shares pictures of the planning going on in preparation of their Human Heart Has Hidden Treasures project.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 11:45 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
Jacqueline Ryder, chairman of the Friends of Red House Museum speaks to The Telegraph and Argus.
Friends of a museum with strong links to the Brontës, which is closing down due to budget cuts, are hoping it can stay open until Christmas. [...]
It had been thought that once the decision was made Red House Museum in Gomersal could be closed as early as next month.
But Jacqueline Ryder, chairman of the Friends of Red House Museum, said they have appealed to the council to allow them to stay open until Christmas. [...]
She told the Telegraph & Argus: “At the moment we are hoping it will be able to stay open until Christmas but we are just waiting for that confirmation from the council. “We are in limbo when it comes to organising events in the run up to Christmas until we get a date.” [...]
Expressions of interest in the Red House and Dewsbury museum buildings which are no longer required are also being invited.
Mrs Ryder added: “I’m sure the council will consider any serious approach to them, including charities and social groups.
“As far as we are aware, groups such as the National Trust, English Heritage and The Brontë Society, but none of them are interested in taking on the house as far as we know.”
Graham Turner, cabinet member for Creative Kirklees, confirmed at the earlier cabinet meeting that there had been no interest in either site, saying: “We have spoken to many organisations in the museums and heritage sector, and no-one has expressed an interest in taking on any of the sites.” [...]
Mrs Ryder said that other than the period furniture and items in the house, there are two things of interest due to the Brontë connection. These are the windows in the dining room and a painting of Vesuvius, both of which are described in the 1849 novel. Charlotte was a frequent visitor to Red House, which was owned at the time by the family of her close friend Mary Taylor. (Jo Winrow)
The situation brings to mind Charlotte Brontë's words about the sisters' book of poems:
 our book is found to be a drug; no man needs it or heeds it
The Daily Mail features a family who did awfully on BBC's National Lottery's 5-Star Family Reunion quiz show. The mother didn't reply to a single question in the literature round, which included
3. Mr Rochester is a character in which Brontë book. Pass (James Dunn)
According to AmReading, Wuthering Heights is one of '5 Perfect Coffee Shop Reads'.
2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
This book will complete your Literary Bookworm Vibe. We all remember the title from high school, because “Wuthering” just isn’t a word; so we all know that this book is a serious book. This is art, this is a classic. Go ahead and throw on your own hipster scarf, order an almond milk vanilla latte, and settle in on a barstool by the window. So, you heat up to 100 degrees fahrenheit because you refuse to take your scarf off and the sun is beaming in like a spotlight, but this is your haven: this is your safe place, the place you come to read, to learn about yourself and others.
This book is truly a masterpiece, and you will actually learn a great deal about yourself and others. The characters here are people you’ve met, friends of friends, or yourself. They’re relatable in the cruelest way: that they are not great people, but we all know or are them. This is literature that asks the hard questions about sensitive things: family, relationships, duty, propriety. If you skipped it in high school and just read the cliffsnotes, now is the time to read it. In a coffee shop. (Laura Seabourne)
Scottish Book Trust looks at the film adaptations of Muriel Spark's works, but finds there are plenty more stories by her which could do with an adaptation such as
The Public Image (1968), an odd take on fame and the world of film in which Annabel Christopher, “a twentieth-century Jane Eyre”, is repackaged and marketed to cinema audiences as “The English Lady-Tiger”, but has her image tarnished by her jealous husband (Willy Maley)
Dagens Nyheter (Sweden) reviews the book Blåst! by Eva-Marie Liffner.
Det är ännu krångligare än det låter. Så här: på 1910-talet börjar en bilmekaniker vid namn Ned Shaw falla baklänges genom seklerna. Kanske hänger det samman med att han återvänt från skyttegravskriget som invalid. I alla fall öppnar tiden sina portar för honom och han är plötsligt samtida med syskonen Brontë. Eller om han är en av de många fantasigestalter som Brontësyskonen med Emily i spetsen befolkar sina dagdrömmar med. [...]
Man kan läsa ”Blåst!” som en berättelse om fantasin i sig. Vad den är, varför den behövs, och hur den uppkommit. Som ett bålverk mot förgängelsen. I prästgården lever syskonen Brontë sina liv som gisslan hos lungsoten. Sjukdomen har redan tagit deras mor och det är bara en tidsfråga innan den lokale brännvinsdoktorn på nytt ska kallas till huset. I historierna syskonen berättar för varandra omtolkas därför förloppet: modern har gäckat döden genom att gå ombord på en båt. Ute på havet är hon oåtkomlig.[...]
”Det är inte alls svårt att dö”, sägs det i Brontës prästgård, ”bara man inte ser tillbaka”. (Jens Christian Brandt) (Translation)
RTVE (Spain) reviews Jane, le renard et moi.
La historia tiene mucho de autobiográfica, según confiesa la escritora, Fanny Brit, que nos narra la infancia de una niña de 12 años, Hélène, que vive en Montreal a finales de los años 80. Sus amigas la han dejado de lado sin ninguna explicación, e incluso se dedican a humillarla públicamente, lo que ha provocado que su autoestima esté por los suelos y que la joven se haya refugiado en la lectura de Jane Eyre, la mítica novela de Charlotte Brontë, con cuya desgraciada protagonista se siente identificada. (Jesús Jiménez) (Translation)
The Jerusalem Post tells about Mrs Reed's false accusations of Jane at the beginning of Jane Eyre in an article about Hillary Clinton. She Made Me Do It posts about Jane Eyre.
1:00 am by M. in , ,    No comments
A couple of alerts from literary festivals:
Manchester Literary Festival
Reader, I Married HimCharlotte Brontë celebration with Tracy Chevalier & Nadifa Mohamed

18 Oct, 6.30pm
Central Library, St Peter's Square, City Centre M2 5PD

‘Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! – I have as much soul as you, – and full as much heart!’ No heroine is more beloved in British literature than the independently-minded governess of Charlotte Brontë’s eponymous novel, Jane Eyre. Now author Tracy Chevalier (Girl with a Pearl Earring) has edited a collection of 21 stories inspired by the book and shaped by its themes of love, c
ompromise and self-determination.

At this special event to mark the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth, award-winning authors Nadifa Mohamed (Black Mamba Boy, The Orchard of Lost Souls) and Tracy Chevalier will read their stories and discuss their thoughts on Jane Eyre with host Carol Ackroyd.
At the Beverley Literary Festival
New Responses to the BrontësNat Johnson, Andrew McMillan and Zodwa Nyoni
Beverley Minster 7:30PM

The Choir of Beverley Minster provides an atmospheric backdrop to a special event marking the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth.
Beverley Literature Festival, along with Ilkley Literature Festival and Off the Shelf, have commissioned three writers to produce new work inspired by this remarkable family.
Award-winning poet, Andrew McMillan, draws on the life of Branwell, former Monkey Swallows The Universe singer-songwriter, Nat Johnson, uses song to explore how the three sisters connected as individuals and writers, while acclaimed playwright, Zodwa Nyoni, unites Charlotte with a 21st century teenager.
Join us for a unique performance and a discussion about the Brontës as a source of inspiration.