Thursday, January 18, 2018

Female anger vs Mr Rochester

On Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 11:07 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
An article in The New York Times discusses female anger.
I’d loved Rhys for nearly a decade before I read her final novel, “Wide Sargasso Sea,” a reimagining of Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” whose whole plot leads inexorably toward an act of destructive anger: The mad first wife of Mr. Rochester burns down the English country manor where she has been imprisoned in the attic for years. In this late masterpiece, the heroines of Rhys’s early novels — heartbroken, drunk, caught in complicated choreographies of passivity — are replaced by an angry woman with a torch, ready to use the master’s tools to destroy his house.
It wasn’t that these authors were writing exclusively about female anger rather than female sorrow; their writing holds both states of feeling. “Wide Sargasso Sea” excavates the deep veins of sadness running beneath an otherwise opaque act of angry destruction, and Plath’s poems are invested in articulating the complicated affective braids of bitterness, irony, anger, pride and sorrow that others often misread as monolithic sadness. “They explain people like that by saying that their minds are in watertight compartments, but it never seemed so to me,” Rhys herself once wrote. “It’s all washing about, like the bilge in the hold of a ship.” (Leslie Jamison)
Atwood Magazine has singer/songwriter Unwoman speak a little about each song from her album War Stories, which we already mentioned last week.
Bad Man
This is sung from the perspective of Mr Rochester, from Jane Eyre. He is the actual worst. I’m critical of this trope, the sweet and perfectly innocent young woman saving a dissolute narcissistic man from himself, which unfortunately is still a popular one. (Mitch Mosk)
Metroactive reviews the film The Phantom Thread and focuses on Mr Rochester too.
Anderson claims that The Phantom Thread is a gothic tale—like Jane Eyre's Rochester, Woodcock is made to falter, rising to love a woman loyal enough to survive his scorn. And it's like the dynamics in Rebecca (1940) with Manville as the Mrs. Danvers character. The perverse difference is that Alma finds a way to bring Woodcock low, and it's not through her sterling character—it's via her desire to be the nursemaid of the immobile man. We have signs of Woodcock's tenderness—he's haunted by the stock-still ghost of his mother, and the hollow voice sounds like he's in the grave already. (Richard von Busack)
Broadway World Australia features the show Out of Character, which
considers some of the questions that have rarely been asked, what did fairy-tales really have to say? What would Charlotte Bronte have made of Edward Cullen? And what did thirteenth century women think about sex?
Taking well-known characters and authors, in monologue and music, Out of Character searches for an answer to what it is to be a woman and whether it is possible to break out of that womanly character. From the Garden of Eden through to 21st century romance, the show celebrates the curious, the strong, and the uncharacteristic women who have featured in literature throughout history.
Spanish actress Carmen Machi tells ABC (Spain) about how she decided she wanted to be an actress.
Tengo la sensación de que desde muy niña entendía el juego interpretativo. Pero hubo un momento decisivo. Casi a escondidas, pues tenía dos rombos, vi la película "Jane Eyre", en la que trabajaba Elizabeth Taylor. No era la protagonista, pero a mí me impresionó cómo moría aquejada de tuberculosis -su personaje tenía más o menos mi edad-, y en mi habitación, yo sola, reproduje la emoción que había sentido. Creo que me fascinó la catarsis de fingir morir. (Carmen R. Santos) (Translation)
Europe 1 (France) had a special programme on the Brontës. You can listen to it (in French, obviously) here.
Les sœurs Brontë. La force d’exister : c’est le titre de l’ouvrage de Laura El Makki, paru chez Tallandier à l’automne dernier. Franck Ferrand reçoit aujourd’hui son auteur. Lorena Martin nous emmènera ensuite sur les traces des sœurs Brontë, à Haworth – elle évoquera notamment le bicentenaire d’Emily Brontë. (Translation)
The Brontë Babe reviews Charlotte Brontë's novelette Stancliffe's Hotel. The Sisters' Room has an article in Italian on 'Anne Brontë's silent revolution' and Anne's 198th birthday was celebrated by AnneBrontë.org yesterday.
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In Bourbonnais, IL a reading of Jane Eyre:
Thursday, Jan. 18
"Jane Eyre" Book Club, 6 p.m., Bourbonnais Public Library, Cardinal Conference Room. Reading chapters 1-15 of "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte and discussing them. Info. (Via Kankakee Daily Journal)
March 2018: Chapters 16-27
May 2018: Chapters 28-38
And an alert from the New York Ceramics & Glass Fair 2018 (Bohemian National Hall, New York):
Thursday, January 18
12 noon
Pot(tery) Tales in Victorian Painting and Literature”—Dr. Rachel Gotlieb, Adjunct Curator, Gardiner Museum in Toronto.
There is a wealth of information to be gleaned by deciphering ceramics in Victorian art and literature. This richly illustrated presentation shows how English Genre, Pre-Raphaelite and Aesthetic artists, as well as novelists Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Anthony Trollope charged their pottery and porcelain with deep metaphorical meanings to heighten the narrative for the public to interpret. Crockery in the cupboard, on the mantel, the table or the floor represented popular motifs, exemplifying topical issues that touched on hygiene, faith, temperance and etiquette. Broken and empty vessels stood for despair and neglect, and personified “fallen” women. Alternatively, platters and cups filled with food, drink and flowers signified happiness and domesticity. Specific objects, especially jugs, were coded by color, size, form, and location to demarcate gender and virtue, whereas the ubiquitous blue willow plate ignited the social divisions of the time: on the one hand serving as a lightening rod of bad taste and lower class and on the other hand embodying national pride of English manufacturing, nostalgia and domesticity, only to be embraced and adopted in the mania for blue-and-white china. This talk explains how depictions of ceramics played a central role moralizing and decorating Victorian society.
Dr. Gotlieb is the 2017 Theodore Randall International Chair in Art and Design at Alfred University in Alfred, New York, and was previously the Gardiner’s chief curator and interim executive director. She is currently writing a book titled Ceramics in Victorian Literature and Painting: Meanings and Metaphors.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

First of all, a reminder that Anne Brontë was born on a day like today in 1820. We are two years away from her own bicentenary.

Recently, The Stage picked last year's Octagon Theatre production of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall as one of the best shows in the UK in 2017. The Bolton News is proud of it.
The Octagon Theatre has been recognised for staging one of the best shows in the country.
Its adaptation of the Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall in spring last year was named as one of the best shows from around the UK in 2017 by leading specialist entertainments and theatre publication The Stage.
The national recognition comes just days before the theatre brings another Brontë classic — Jane Eyre — to the stage.
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was one of just eight shows to be picked from across the country.
Elizabeth Newman, artistic director who directed The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and who is also directing Jane Eyre, said: “We’re thrilled it was picked out as one of The Stage’s top shows of 2017. It was wonderful to direct this passionate play adapted by Deborah McAndrew. She really did capture the essence of Anne Brontë’s novel, which still resonates over 100 years after it was written.
“We had a brilliant cast and I loved to see audiences engaging with the play. I am very excited to be working on another Bronte story this year and am busy in rehearsals for Jane Eyre which opens on Thursday.” (Saiqa Chaudhari)
The Yorkshire Evening Post has published a letter from an enthusiastic life member of the Brontë Society:
In praise of Parsonage Museum
Jean Bull, Addingham.
As a life member of the Brontë Society, I would like to commend those involved at the Parsonage Museum at Haworth, who promote the Brontë family. The bicentenary anniversaries have brought in new audiences because of the vibrancy and creativity of events. April 2016 started with a party in Haworth, items loaned for exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery and the Morgan Library in New York, and a ceremony in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey. The society is working hard to reach a wider audiences locally, nationally and globally. Be there to celebrate.
This might just be our first sighting of Valentine's Day this year: Yorkshire Life has put together a list of '10 romantic things to do in Yorkshire'.
A novel idea
Wuthering Heights is, of course, not a real location, but you can visit Top Withens, thought to be the place that inspired Emily Brontë to put pen to paper to recount the bleak romance of Cathy and Heathcliff.
Visit the village of Haworth a great day out and of course, stop by Haworth Parsonage, the Brontë family home.
Libreriamo (Italy) turns to fictional characters for inspiration to face 2018.
Jane Eyre: trascorri un po ‘di tempo con te stesso
Da un lato, Jane Eyre racconta la storia d’amore tra Jane e un uomo che tiene rinchiusa in un attico la sua prima moglie malata di mente. Dall’altro lato, Jane Eyre si presenta come uno dei primi romanzi scritti da una donna a contenere un messaggio inaspettato: “Se non ami te stessa, come diavolo puoi amare qualcun altro?” Jane sposa Rochester soltanto quando riuscirà ad essere mentalmente, emotivamente e finanziariamente indipendente e uguale a lui. Il consiglio, dunque, è quello di passare un pò di te da sole con se stesse per imparare a conoscersi meglio. (Translation)
Poet Rita Maria Martinez has got in touch with us to let us know that the podcast Bonnets at Dawn interviewed her and they 'talked about Charlotte's letters, reading to spark the poetic imagination,  and how illness or disability can shape one's writing'. You can listen to it here on episode 28.
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A new adaptation of Jane Eyre opens tomorrow, January 18, in Bolton:
Jane Eyre
based on a the novel by Charlotte Brontë
A new adaptation by Janys Chambers and Lorna French
Directed by Elizabeth Newman
Octagon Theatre Bolton
Thu 18 January - Sat 10 February 2018


Jessica Baglow ... Jane Eyre
John Branwell ... Brocklehurst/Rev Wood/Capt. Frederick Lynn/Robert/Carter
Claire Hackett ... Mrs Reed/Mrs Fairfax/Lady Ingram
Michael Peavoy ... Mr Rochester
Marc Small ... Richard Mason/St.John Rivers
Kiruna Stamell ... Bessie/Miss Scratcherd/Grace Poole/Diana Rivers
Anna Tierney ... Abbot/Miss Temple/Blanche Ingram/Mary Rivers
Leah Walker ... Bertha Mason/Louisa Ingram/Miss Rosamund

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

Penniless and alone, Jane emerges from a bleak childhood to make her way in life as a governess. At Thornfield Hall she falls in love with her mysterious employer Mr Rochester, however he is hiding a terrible secret that could ruin everything.

Jane’s indomitable spirit, sharp wit and great courage drives her to fight for her independence and to follow her heart whatever the obstacles. This new stage adaption is a passionate and dramatic retelling of Charlotte Brontë's masterpiece.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 10:50 am by Cristina in , , , , , , ,    No comments
Yorkshire Post features the new play Jane Hair.
The new theatre production Jane Hair: The Brontës Restyled, tells the story of Emily, Charlotte, Anne and Branwell’s path to fame, and is set, and performed in, a hairdressing salon. It will tour venues in the heart of Brontë Country, at a time when accusations have been rife that there has been a effort to “dumb-down” the appeal of the novels, after actress Lily Cole was appointed as a creative partner of the Brontë Society, prompting the resignation of one of its prominent members. But for the creators of the new play, and for the Arts Council and the Brontë Society, who have supported it, the production is an opportunity to celebrate the literary family. It was devised by Haworth-born writer and television producer Kirsty Smith, of Sneaky Experience, and actress Kat Rose-Martin, who is from Bradford and spent last year touring with Northern Broadsides as well as playing Britain’s first female boxer as part of Hull City of Culture.
Miss Smith said: “We both felt there wasn’t anything out there about the Brontës that connected with us as local women. These were brilliant, inspirational women from Bradford who did things that weren’t expected of them. “We want to introduce them to people who know nothing about the Brontës. A lot of people only know them as faces on a tea towel and may be surprised by what they achieved. “Old school Brontë fans may be a little surprised by their presentation, but the play is about how hard they worked on their path to fame.” The play will be performed at Keighley and Bradford colleges, and at a hair salon in Thornton, later this month - just weeks after the Brontë name was again at the centre of controversy when former Brontë Society member and author Nick Holland, claimed Ms Cole’s appointment had turned what will be the 200th anniversary year of Emily Brontë’s birth into a “rank farce”. Miss Smith said the modern take on the Brontë family story, which sees the family work in a hairdressers while pursuing their own creative projects - is an opportunity for more people to “have ownership” of the Brontës. “The Brontës have been dead for 200 years - no one knows what they would think of anything today,” she said. “Let’s not be afraid to talk about them in a new way.”
Audience development officer at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, Jenna Holmes, said: “One of our roles is to partner with artists on new work that will surprise or challenge people’s preconceptions of the Brontes. “We recognised that Jane Hair would bring new and different audiences to the Brontes’ and were happy to support Sneaky Experience to develop and promote the piece.” The play will be performed at hair salons at Keighley and Bradford Colleges, plus in the heart of Brontë Country in Thornton, where the siblings were born. Head Of Department at Keighley College, Victoria Aird, said its salon was the “perfect setting” for a play celebrating artistic excellence from Keighley, while a Bradford College spokesman said it was excited to be part of an “innovative performance”.
Starring actors Kat Rose-Martin, Rosie Fox, Jeanette Percival and Ryan Greaves, tickets are still available for two shows at Bradford College on January 26, and at De Luca Hair Boutique in Thornton on January 27 (meet at the Brontë Birthplace at 7.15pm) via (Lindsay Pantry)
Still locally, The Telegraph and Argus reports that, 'Tourism [is] now worth £656m a year to Bradford's economy' and looks forward to 2018:
“With more regeneration in the city centre and a programme of cultural and creative events taking place across the district including the British Science Festival, Bradford Literature Festival, events to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Emily Brontë, and Tour de Yorkshire, 2018 looks set to be another great year to visit Bradford.” (Rob Lowson)
The novel Under the Pendulum Sun, by Jeanette Ng is described by Black Girl Nerds as 'a Brontë hommage on LSD'.
Catherine’s brother, Laon Helstone, has disappeared in Arcadia, the Fae land, a recently discovered land that most colonizing powers are now desperate to establish trade links with. Catherine, with the support of the missionary society her brother belongs to, leaves to Arcadia, hoping she will find him.
From the start, Under the Pendulum Sun establishes its strong Victoriana theme. It isn’t only visible in how the characters behave but also in who they are, as one of the main characters is a missionary. Their morals too are very much Victorian. But Under the Pendulum Sun also references to many Victorian works: it goes from hymns, to the Victorian texts referring to faes, to inspiration from the Brontës novels and particularly to Jane Eyre: just like St. John Rivers dreams of becoming a missionary, Laon is one; just like Jane met Mr. Rochester, Catherine will meet a man falling from his horse.
The risk of so many references is always that they would lead to a sterile game of spot the references, but I strongly suspect Ng to have taken a fiendish delight in getting the Brontës fans elaborating theories based on what they knew, just so she could take the rug from under their feet a couple of times. (C.)
The Times publishes the obituary of the actress Belle Emberg (1937-2018) and mentions a curious anecdote:
Her stage debut was in repertory in Ryde on the Isle of Wight in 1962. Although she spent her 28th birthday in a closed coffin while filming Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, her 40th was happier occasion. “Paris . . . and yes, life does begin at 40,” she said with glee.
La Voz de Galicia (Spain) mentions Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights in an article about women singers' songs about ghosts.
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The new Faber & Faber Poetry Diary includes poetry by Emily Brontë:
Faber & Faber Poetry Diary 2018
Various Poets
Faber & Faber
ISBN 9780571334360
Published 07/09/2017

The Faber poetry list, originally founded in the 1920s, was shaped by the taste of T. S. Eliot who was its guiding light for nearly forty years. Since the sixties, each passing decade has seen the list grow with the addition of poets who were arguably the finest of their generation. In recent years the creation of the Poet to Poet series has further broadened the scope of Faber poetry by including the work of great poets from the past selected and introduced by the contemporary poets they have inspired.

Samuel Beckett * Emily Berry * William Blake * Emily Brontë * Rupert Brooke * Lord Byron * John Clare * Julia Copus * Walter de la Mare * Carol Ann Duffy *Douglas Dunn * T.S. Eliot * Seamus Heaney * Thomas Hood * Gerard Manley Hopkins *A.E. Housman *Ted Hughes * Ben Jonson * John Keats * Philip Larkin * Lachlan Mackinnon * Louis MacNeice * Dorothy Molloy * Bernard O’Donoghue * Sylvia Plath * Maurice Riordan *Sam Riviere * William Shakespeare * Percy Bysshe Shelley * Stevie Smith * Stephen Spender * Wislawa Szymborska * Alfred, Lord Tennyson * Edward Thomas * Jack Underwood * Hugo Williams * William Wordsworth * W.B. Yeats

Monday, January 15, 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018 10:47 am by Cristina in , ,    No comments
A Venezuelan expert in economy quotes from Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights in an article on Finanzas Digital.
¿Eres capaz de concentrarte en el foco del problema y diferenciar entre lo importante y lo accesorio? Al respecto  Emily Brontë dijo una frase genial: Un hombre sensato debe tener bastante compañía consigo mismo. (Víctor Maldonado C.) (Translation)
'A sensible man ought to find sufficient company in himself.' The words, uttered by Lockwood, come from chapter III.

El colombiano (Colombia) interviews children's book writer Janny van der Molen.
¿Quiénes son sus mayores influencias?
“Siempre me ha encantado leer, desde muy pequeña. Cuando era joven amaba a las Brontë, Dickens y Austen. Me inspiró mucho el diario de Etty Hillesum, una mujer judía que escribió en la II Guerra Mundial como Ana. Sin embargo, en mi campo de la novela testimonio trato de encontrar mi propio camino”. (María Antonia Giraldo Rojas) (Translation)
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Today, January 15, a chance to see a reading of Stephen Kaplan's Branwell (and the Other Brontës) in New Jersey:
Branwell (and the other Brontës): an autobiography edited by Charlotte Brontë - Reading
by Stephen Kaplan
Writer's Theatre of New Jersey
Soundings Series
Dreyfuss Theatre | Fairleigh Dickinson University | Madison NJ 07940
January 15, 7:00 PM

The Brontë siblings (Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne) had incredibly vivid imaginations that allowed them to create such masterpieces as Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. However, it is in their own private fantasy worlds, first invented when they were children, that they find their most inspired outlets. With a clear set of rules, they escape to these worlds whenever fancy pleases them. But when reality threatens to crash in, the siblings start changing the rules in order to avoid the inevitable and fight to keep their cherished worlds alive. Though set in the past, Branwell (and the other Brontës): an autobiography edited by Charlotte Brontë is about how, throughout time, we tell stories that can unite us all together in our humanity. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday, January 14, 2018 11:02 am by M. in , , , ,    No comments
Brinkwire makes a summary of the Lily Cole affair which The Guardian mentions in an article about self-doubt:
After all, we still live in a world in which Lily Cole is sneered at for being “a supermodel”, when she was invited this month to be a creative partner in the Brontë Society, even though she got a double first from Cambridge. By contrast, no one has ever complained about the various opportunities thrown at Stephen Fry, from being invited to deliver the 2015 Oscar Wilde lecture to receiving various honorary doctorates, even though, for the record, Fry got a 2:1 from Cambridge. (Hadley Freeman)
A letter to The Times also insists on this topic.

The Irish Independent interviews the writer Alice Taylor:
Were you a great reader as a girl, and who encouraged you to write? (Kim Bielenberg)
My brother Tim encouraged me. He had us signed up to the local library. I liked the Biggles stories about a flying ace in the world wars by Captain WE Johns. When we went to Cork city, it was like going to New York. I went to Woolworths and got some of the classics, like the books of the Brontë sisters. 
Tonight on Sky Arts, a recommendation of  The Sunday Times:
The South Bank Show 40th Anniversary (Sky Arts, 9pm)
From the first show with Paul McCartney — staking out its interest in popular culture — there has been a remarkable procession of subjects: William Golding, Stephen Sondheim, Toni Morrison. “We were onto grime very early,” says Bragg, but there is also Laurence Olivier, describing himself as a “pompous little twat” on the set of Wuthering Heights; Morrissey, declaring the end of pop music; and George Michael, discussing his drug use. There they are, all made real, all captured on film — the show’s enduring legacy. (Victoria Segal)
The Daily Times (Pakistan) talks about the recent  OUP’s Contribution to Children’s Literature in Pakistan panel in Lahore.
Shedding light on the contributions by writers such as Kamla Shamsi, Mohammed Hanif and Bina Shah, Managing director OUP Pakistan Ameena Saiyid stressed that along with these Pakistani English writers, English classics like Shakespeare, Jane Austin (sic) and the Brontë Sisters amongst many others must also be simplified to the younger audience in a simplified and “abridged form”. (Eeshah Omer)
This praise to Peach by Emma Glass maybe goes too far. In The Sunday Herald:
Kamila Shamsie advises: “Choose wisely the moment when you pick up Peach; because once you do you’ll be unable to put it down until the very last sentence,” while Lucy Ellmann regards Peach as “a work of genius. So lonesome and moving, so gruesome, wry, tender and plaintive. It is the new Jane Eyre, and one wild, thrilling ride. Swallow it in one gulp, and carry a spare copy in your pocket. Always.” (Jackie Brogan)
Steven A. McKay reviews the Jane Eyre audiobook read by Thandie Newton. Catherine Reads posts on the written Jane Eyre. Project Myopia reviews Wide Sargasso Sea.

Finally, Library Card traces intriguing parallelisms between Eleven in Stranger Things and Jane Eyre.
Spanish and Portuguese editions of Brontë classics. Alianza Editorial has just published a novel by the three sisters:
Agnes Grey
Anne Brontë
Translator Elizabeth Power
I.S.B.N.: 978-84-9104-895-4
October 2017

Decidida a lograr su independencia económica y a ayudar en su casa, Agnes Grey, la hija menor de una familia venida a pique, se coloca como institutriz en la casa de la familia Bloomfield. Su juventud e inexperiencia, así como la crueldad de los niños con quienes le toca lidiar y la frialdad de sus padres, son una difícil piedra de toque. Pero su perseverancia la llevará a cambiar de casa en busca de mejores perspectivas. Con sus nuevos empleadores, los Murray, las condiciones tampoco son fáciles, pero Agnes, poco a poco, se abrirá camino...

Cumbres Borrascosas
Emily Brontë
Translator: Rosa Castillo
I.S.B.N.: 978-84-9104-897-8
October 2017

La poderosa y hosca figura del atormentado Heathcliff domina "Cumbres Borrascosas", novela apasionada y tempestuosa cuya sensibilidad se adelantó a su tiempo. Los brumosos y sombríos páramos de Yorkshire son el singular escenario donde se desarrolla con fuerza arrebatadora esta historia de venganza y odio, de pasiones desatadas y amores desesperados que van más allá de la muerte y que hacen de ella una de las obras más singulares y atractivas de todos los tiempos.

Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontë
Translator: Elizabeth Power
I.S.B.N.: 978-84-9104-896-1
October 2017

Dueña de un singular temperamento desde su complicada infancia de huérfana, primero a cargo de una tía poco cariñosa y después en la escuela Lowood, Jane Eyre logra el puesto de institutriz en Thornfield Hall para educar a la hija de su atrabiliario y peculiar dueño, el señor Rochester. Poco a poco, el amor irá tejiendo su red entre ellos, pero la casa y la vida de Rochester guardan un estremecedor y terrible misterio.

O Morro dos Ventos Uivantes
Emily Brontë
Folha de S.Paulo. Coleção Folha Mulheres Na Literatura (Vol. 21)

Vivendo um casamento adequado com um rapaz de boa família, Catherine não irá se libertar de sua grande paixão de infância pelo tempestuoso e vingativo Heathcliff -um dos personagens mais marcantes de toda a literatura romântica europeia. "Meu amor por Linton (esse o nome do marido) é como a folhagem da mata", diz Catherine. "O tempo há de mudá-lo, como o inverno muda as árvores. Meu amor por Heathcliff é como as rochas eternas que ficam debaixo do chão; uma fonte de felicidade quase invisível, mas necessária". Catherine resume tudo à sua confidente: "Nelly, eu sou Heathcliff". Publicado em 1847, em boa medida este romance de Emily Brontë também "é" Heathcliff. Reforçada, provavelmente,  pelo título em português, sua fama de história sobrenatural não corresponde ao que a história tem de realmente aterrorizante: a transformação, pela injustiça e pelas convenções sociais, de um amor natural, intenso e livre numa tormenta de rancor e de vingança. A alma de Heathcliff varre o livro com a violência das piores tempestades; a literatura inglesa não seria a mesma depois de sua aparição. (Marcelo Coelho)

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Saturday, January 13, 2018 11:42 am by M. in , , , , , ,    No comments
Jessica Baglow and Michael Peavoy take the lead roles in Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece which opens at the theatre in just under two weeks.
The cast completed their first run through of the play on Tuesday with Michael, who plays the Byronic Rochester, and Jessica, who takes the part of Jane, the revolutionary 19th century heroine, saying audiences will enjoy an epic adaptation of the ‘rich and stunning’ novel.
Jessica said: “They will see an epic tale distilled into a theatre production.
"There is a lot of passion and she is a passionate Jane Eyre, as she is in the book and it is a wonderful ensemble and everybody is amazing in our company."
Michael, who audiences saw take the role of Gilbert Markham in another Brontë classic, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, said: "Rehearsals have gone really well. It is always exciting doing your first run through.
"I think it is really hard to distil a novel that is as rich and epic as it is and its stunning, but what you can’t do is every single page on stage because that’s an audio book, but you really have to condense everything into the principal drama of the story.
"We’ve read the novel so they don’t have to. People should read the book but you don’t have to know the book or have the read the book.
"What we have managed to do and what I think Jess does amazingly is to distil two or three lines of conversation which we have on the script and behind all of that is a chapter’s worth of text and that’s the challenge."
For Jessica playing the part of a great literary heroine was something she could not turn down.
In fact in 2015, director Elizabeth Newman gave her a copy of the book for her birthday, which she has brought to rehearsals.
She said: "It is exciting bit of pressure I suppose. I thought you have to do it because it is Jane Eyre.
"Elizabeth Newman bought me a copy of the book
"I didn’t know then I would play Jane Eyre."
Michael said: "I knew that Jess was playing Jane Eyre we had just done the monologues. I remember watching Jess and just being like on my good god this woman is incredible. The opportunity to work with Elizabeth who I think is the most exceptional director I have worked with and Jess, who was just this incredible fierce performer, I was completely just blown away and I was like put those two together and to give me the opportunity to play someone like Rochester how would you say no. It is what Brontë would have wanted two amazingly strong powerful women fighting the good fight against structure." (Saiqa Chaudhary)
Vogue loves Lily Cole, no doubt about it:
Recently tapped by the Brontë Parsonage Museum and the Brontë Society to help commemorate the author of Wuthering Heights on her 200th birthday, Cole became the center of a minor scandal when one scholar objected to having a model-actress on the committee. Responding with the pluck of one of Brontë’s heroines, Cole penned an essay on the treatment of women in 18th- and 19th-century Britain, silencing her critics in the most elegant manner possible. (Janelle Okwodu)
We love that 'minor scandal' bit.

The Guardian explores disabilities in literature:
Likewise, Bertha Mason, Charlotte Brontë’s “madwoman in the attic” in Jane Eyre, has been read as expressing the outrage of gender- and race-based oppressions, while Rochester, who loses a hand and is blinded at the end of the novel, allows for the exploration of questions of romance and care. (Clare Barker and Stuart Murray)
Denton Record-Chronicle reviews a DVD release of Wuthering Heights 1970:
 There has been so many adaptations of Emily Brontë’s classic tale about unfortunate lovers (Are you noticing a theme in these releases?) that there are bound to be dull versions. The 1970 Robert Fuest-directed film is one such rendering.
Starring 007’s Timothy Dalton and Anna Calder-Marshall as the doomed lovers, Heathcliff and Cathy, this adaptation  plays like those movies you would catch some z’s during in grade school. The cast and crew don’t quite have a firm handle on the material, but there are some shining moments (especially one haunting scene at a graveyard near the film’s end) that give it somewhat of a pulse. (Preston Barta)
Jaume Collet Serra's new film, The Commuter, has some Brontë references:
 As indicated by the reason behind MacCauley’s desperation, there’s a little class commentary at work in The Commuter. It never quite manages to coalesce — none of the overt morals of the film do — in part because the movie is ultimately so singularly about Neeson kicking ass and taking names (and briefly being schooled on the Brontë sisters by an understated Jonathan Banks) that there’s no space for anything else. And that’s just fine. (Karen Han in /Film)
The put-Wuthering-Heights-on-your-pillow initiative is commented on The Irish Times:
In celebration of Emily Brontë’s 200th birthday, the Hand Picked Hotels group is offering guests a special literary-inspired stay. Cosy up in one of their 13 properties across England and enjoy B&B, a seasonal three-course dinner and a copy of Wuthering Heights from €168. Book from now until March 29th at (Jo Linehan)
The actress and writer Hannah Bryan pens an article in support of the #timesup movement in the Jackson Free Press. She played Jane Eyre as played by Jan Brooks in a recreation of the 1957 performances of The Master of Thornfield (a 1954 Huntington Hartford adaptation) in the Errol Flynn biopic The Last of the Robin Hood 2013:
He broke my heart, and I broke his, but we also helped each other break ground and accomplish big things together. I helped him get into a place where he could finally direct his first feature film, and he helped me with some tough love so that I was finally cast as Jane Eyre. At the time, I hardly believed in myself enough to even get out of the bed to do that audition. But at his insistence, I did so. He made sure my homemade costume and style looked just right. He had me practice my English accent over and over to make sure it sounded accurate.
The Guardian celebrates Mary Shelley on Frankenstein's 200th anniversary:
Notorious in literary circles because of her relationship with Percy, she never enjoyed the freedoms of her slightly younger contemporaries, the Brontës and George Eliot. After Frankenstein, she was not read purely as a writer, but always judged as a woman. (Fiona Sampson)
We wonder what Brontës' freedoms the writer is talking about.

The Imaginative Conservative talks about the TV Series The Crown and recalls an anecdote about the Duke of Windsor:
Meanwhile the Duke of Windsor is revealed for the snobbish, spoiled, conniving, and pusillanimous creep he must have been. He returns to England under the pretense of writing a book. (He was famously boorish, not bookish—remarking to a friend when given Wuthering Heights—“Who are these Brontës? They seem terribly dull.”) In fact, the Duke was not about a book but a hook. He was trying to snare a job as a diplomat and a return to England, convinced that the people would welcome him with open arms. (Dwight Longenecker)
Medium explores the RPF (Real-Person-Fiction) fan fiction world:
Both fanfiction and RPF have always existed in some form. Nearly all of Shakespeare’s historical dramas could be considered fanfiction; the Brontë sisters were thought to have written an elaborate role-playing game based on living soldiers in the Napoleonic Wars. And even before the first internet chat rooms and listservs, fanfiction existed in notebooks and between friends. (Tonya Riley)
Le Devoir (in French) talks about the new Quebec theatre season:
Les oeuvres littéraires ont beaucoup inspiré, contemporaines comme classiques. Avec Hurlevents, Fanny Britt a puisé librement chez Emily Brontë pour créer une comédie dramatique sondant les millénariaux et mise au monde par le directeur du Théâtre Denise-Pelletier, Claude Poissant. (Marie Labrecque) (Translation)
East Journal (in Italian) vindicates the works of Jack London:
Su tutti, c’è un libro porta sulla cattiva strada, ed è il Richiamo della foresta il cui titolo originale, The Call of the Wild, restituisce tutta la potenza di quella chiamata verso un mondo selvaggio che è metafora di libertà. Si tratta di uno dei più importanti romanzi di formazione mai scritti, al pari del Wilhelm Meister di Goethe, del Tom Jones di Fielding, di Jane Eyre della Brontë. (Matteo Zola) (Translation)
A book a day keeps the doctor away (in Spanish) reviews Shirley. Jane Eyre's Library (in Spanish) posts about Elizabeth Gaskell's Life of Charlotte Brontë.
12:30 am by M. in , ,    No comments
An alert in Sausalito for today, January 13:
Katherine Bolger Hyde - Bloodstains with Brontë (Sausalito)
Saturday, January 13, 2018 - 1:00pm
Book Passage
100 Bay Street
Sausalito, CA 94965

Classic novels and crime solving intertwine in Katherine Bolger Hyde's charming series. Bloodstains with Brontë is the second in a series that will puzzle and please fans of mystery and masterpieces alike.
Windy Corner is being remodeled into a writers' retreat. Two of the young workers, Jake and Roman, are showing too much of the wrong kind of interest in Katie, Emily's young single-mother housekeeper.
It's a stormy autumn and Emily is reading Wuthering Heights. Roman, a dark and brooding type, reminds her of Heathcliff. At a Halloween murder mystery fundraiser at Windy Corner, someone is found stabbed to death. Windy Corner's very own detective, Luke, is reluctantly forced to investigate Katie.
Luke digs into the background of the contractor, Jeremiah Edwards, and Emily, now reading Jane Eyre, realizes Jeremiah resembles St. John Rivers in his obsessive, tormented piety. Will Luke figure out who the murderer is before Katie ends up in jail or someone else is killed?
Katherine Bolger Hyde has lived her life surrounded by books, from teaching herself to read at age four to majoring in Russian literature to making her career as an editor. She lives in California with her husband. She is the author of Arsenic and Austen.

Friday, January 12, 2018

We thought we had heard everything about the Lily Cole controversy. But The Federalist manages to make the whole thing even more absurd by missing the point in order to keep to its own agenda. What saddens (and maddens) us even more is that the person twisting the point to try to fit the square peg in the round hole is a woman. Read at your own risk:
It’s Sexist To Tell Men They Can’t Argue About Lily Cole Representing The Brontë Society
Modern feminists say women should be judged on merits, yet resort to easily-applied labels like 'sexism' and 'patriarchy' to refute even legitimate criticism from men. How can we call this progress?
The Bronte Society has chosen a supermodel to work with them on a film about the romantic hero of Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights” for an upcoming celebration of the author, and one man’s decision to criticize their choice has feminists up in arms, crying sexist. Their fury raises the question: is it ever okay to criticize a woman in this political climate? [...]
Her movie credits include playing the party girl Lovey in “The Last Jedi.” None of her roles are critically acclaimed. She also directed two short documentary films, including one on volunteers who work with refugees on the Greek island of Samos. It’s fair to say that Cole is accomplished, but she is certainly no Brontë expert, and her directing experience is still pretty raw. [...]
But when Nick Holland, a long-time Brontë society member, author, and well known literary critic who specializes in the works of the Brontë sisters, announced he is leaving the society because of Cole’s appointment, feminists pounced. He explained in a blog post he disagrees with the choice because he feels it’s a result of nepotism more than talent, and because Cole is not a writer. He also describes a one-time encounter with Cole’s acting in a theater.
It’s apparent to me Holland wrote his blog out of passion and frustration, but he didn’t come off as a misogynist. However, feminists and progressives in the U.K. are deeply offended. Holland was widely criticized. Some people argue that Cole is well qualified to be the chief artist for the Brontë society because she has a major in art history from Cambridge and she once led a campaign to save a book store. But most comments focused on criticizing Holland. [...]
Holland may be old fashioned or a literature purist. But throughout his blog, he didn’t say anything nor make any judgment about Ms. Cole’s mind, her looks or her gender, aside from mentioning she’s a supermodel. Let’s not forget Holland has devoted his professional career to studying female writers and their works.
All he did in his blog was to question Cole’s qualifications, or rather lack of qualifications, for the particular assignment she was asked to do. Yes, Cole is a bright and accomplished young woman. But she is neither a known Brontë scholar nor a critically claimed film director. Is she the right choice as the chief artist to lead the Brontë society’s commemorating events? Does she have what it takes to produce a memorable film on Heathcliff?
Had she been a man, these would obviously be legitimate questions. Yet, in this post-Weinstein, #metoo world we live in, if a man dares to ask such questions about a woman, he will immediately be chastised as a sexist and misogynist. Are modern-day women really this fragile that we can’t possibly survive any criticism from men and we have to hide behind our gender?
Women have been fighting for equality for centuries and have made tremendous progress along the way. However, it seems modern feminists have gotten lost along their journey. They say women should be judged on their merits and yet, they deny women’s agency and encourage women to embrace victim hood. Labels like “sexism” or “patriarchy” have become the easiest way to shut down even constructive criticism from a man. How can we call this progress?
More than 100 years ago, the Brontë sisters contributed to world literature with strong heroines. They didn’t do so by creating wimpy male characters. From Jane Eyre to Catherine Earnshaw, they fell in love with their equally strong-headed male characters and these ladies presented themselves as equal and dignified partners in these relationships, none shrank from any challenges their male counterpart put forward. I imagine none of these heroines and their creators would consider silencing a man from speaking his mind as a sign of gender equality and not all criticism from a man to a woman are about sexual control.
Brontë wrote, “It was not the thorn bending to the honeysuckles, but the honeysuckles embracing the thorn.” She was talking about love, but her words also speak to a fearless attitude that can apply in other contexts. As we commemorate Emily Brontë’s bicentennial birthday this year, I’d like to see more women live like honeysuckles who are not afraid to embrace the thorn. (Helen Raleigh)
So, to sum up Ms Raleigh's rant: it's okay to criticise a woman with some qualifications which will be brushed aside for what she hasn't done yet (in this case, Lily Cole's film for the Brontë Society) but it's not okay to criticise a man with some qualifications which will be made to seem more important than they really are for what he has actually written for the public to read (and thus comment on). Oh, and forget about those Brontë heroines, what the Brontës really did care about was their heroes' freedom of speech. Brilliant.

And now the Daily Mail has embarked on a free-for-all, let's-disparage-Lily-Cole campaign (which according to the above-mentioned article is an okay thing to do, remember). #StopFundingHate comes to mind now more than ever. This is seriously getting out of hand now.

Anyway, let's move on to real, actually interesting things now. 2018 also marks the bicentenary of the publication of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, as The Seattle Times reminds us:
The great horror filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, in an introduction to the annotated version, draws a comparison between Mary Shelley and the Brontë sisters (one of whom, Emily, was born 200 years ago this year). “I would love to travel back to contemplate life with these remarkable women,” he writes, “to hear them speak, to walk by their side on cold beaches or moors and under impossibly steely skies.” (Moira Macdonald)
We would love that too.

Barnes & Noble Teen blog has compiled a list of the most anticipated books for teens in 2018, including
My Plain Jane, by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (June 26)
In 2016 I laughed my head off at the Lady Janies’ My Lady Jane, a quirky faux-history about Miss Lady Jane Grey, a young woman whose life and claim to power were both short-lived: she held the British throne for a total of nine days before her execution by the beheading-happy Queen Mary. The novel included patriarchy smashing, flirtation-technique making, and a man who spent half his days as a horse—so needless to say I was ecstatic when I heard this trio was bequeathing us another funny masterpiece. My Plain Jane follows not-so-little orphan Jane Eyre through her adventures at Thornfield Hall and, as usual, our Lady Janies don’t have just any old retelling in store for us. No, this take on the classic boasts of ghosts and Jane Eyre author Charlotte Brontë as a main character, and, if it’s anything like its predecessor, I know the storytelling will be wonderfully wacky and as charming. This book will be anything but Plain, and I can’t wait to read it in 2018.
–Maddie M.
Aragón Digital (Spain) interviews an actress, writer, Itziar Miranda, who will be publishing a book on Emily Brontë in the spring as part of a series of children's books about women.
P.- ¿Qué mujeres históricas aparecen en tus cuentos?
R.- De momento, está Frida Kahlo, Marie Curie, Juana “la Loca”, Coco Chanel, Billie Holiday, Amelia Earhart, Indira Gandhi, Jane Goodall y Cleopatra. Y ahora los siguientes que sacamos en primavera son Emily Brontë y Hedy Lamarr. (Adrián Luis Rúa) (Translation)
And at long last, Argentinian writer Laura Ramos will see her Brontë family biography in print this year too, as reported by Télam (whose writer will hopefully read in order to find out that the Brontës lived in the 19th century and not the 20th).
En el bicentenario del nacimiento de Emily Brontë, saldrá por Taurus una biografía de Laura Ramos sobre la familia literaria inglesa del siglo XX [SIC] (Milena Heinrich) (Translation)
This columnist from Daily Maverick (South Africa) writes about reading Outsiders. Five Women Writers Who Changed the World by Lyndall Gordon.
This year fate threw me a copy of Lyndall Gordon’s Outsiders, Five Women Writers Who Changed the World. It’s a beautiful book, evocatively bringing to life one female line in literature (of course there are many others), running between Mary Shelly, Emily Brontë, George Eliot, Olive Schreiner and Virginia Woolf. Society owes a great deal to the art of literary biography and Lyndall Gordon’s contribution in her latest book is to show that below the male dominated canons of literature there has always been a female underbelly; suppressed but more sensitive, often more questioning and penetrating of our societies. [...]
Back to reading. There are approximately 100 years between the writings of Mary Shelley and Virginia Woolf. I’m an internationalist and a lover of many nation’s literatures, including our own. Yet Outsiders drew me once more back to an eclectic line of English writers (novelist, poets, playwrights and essayists), whose works were published between the mid-eighteenth and mid-nineteenth century. This group encompasses Tom Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, Coleridge, Keats, Mary and Percy Shelly, Wordsworth, Emily, Anne and Charlotte Brontë.
In each of these writers the tragedy in their tales often parallels their own lives’ tragedy – for theirs was a time of disease, persecution, rigid silencing – a time long before hygiene and the notion of fundamental human rights had started to lengthen lives. [...]
If, as Anne Brontë is reputed to have said, our poets ought to be our legislators, theirs was a Parliament par excellence. (Mark Heywood)
Not to downplay our Anne, but we actually think that it was Shelley who said something like that.

Birth. Movies. Death reviews the new film Phantom Thread and is reminded of Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca.
Both tales echo sentiments of old gothic romance novels, fitting in nicely amongst Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre or Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. Just like the hidden messages or little locks of hair Reynolds stitches into the canvas of his coats, both Phantom Thread and Rebecca are filled to the brim with dark twists and spilling over with heinous secrets. Just as the timeless tales of love and loss in their literary predecessors, like the sickly secret first wife hidden in the attic who won’t stop lighting fires in the night, or the jilted dreamer cursed with a broken heart at the altar, so, too, do Hitchock and Anderson’s pictures appear in the guise of a comely romance and slowly lose their dreamy nature to reveal reality waiting just underneath the surface. (Kalyn Corrigan)
While Slate reviews the film The Commuter:
It’s strewn with literary references—if you’ve ever longed for a movie in which Jonathan Banks corrects Liam Neeson on which Brontë sister wrote Wuthering Heights, you’re in luck—but they’re like the hardcover books interior designers buy in bulk to make moneyed homeowners look literate, thrown about without reason or care. (Sam Adams)
And finally, time to scout around for some coins as Fine Books & Collections reports that  Branwell’s own copy of The Odyssey (Pope’s translation, c. 1840) is going under the hammer at Forum Auctions on January 25th.
Brontë (Patrick Branwell).- Homer. The Odyssey, Branwell Brontë's copy with ink inscription "To P.B.B. from his dear friend J.B.L. to head of title, engraved frontispiece and title, ink notations and sketches to front endpapers, and verso of final f. in a contemporary hand, engraved illustration loosely inserted, upper hinge tender, original pictorial cloth, gilt, spine rubbed and faded, spine ends and corners bumped, 12mo, [c.1840].
⁂ An interesting association copy with an original pen and black ink portrait study to front pastedown, and a further small portrait sketch to rear pastedown, possibly by an artist in the Circle of Branwell Brontë with the first portrait bearing some physiognomic similarities to Branwell's portrait of his friend James Fletcher held in the Brontë Parsonage Museum,
J.B.L. is likely Joseph Bentley Leyland (1811-51), sculptor and friend of Branwell.
It is expected to fetch £600 - 800.
An alert for tomorrow, January 13 in Haworth:
A Winter Warden
Storytelling walk
January 13, 11:00 AM; 02:00 PM

Join our Museum Guides as they uncover the stories and secrets of the village the Brontës would have known. This special storytelling adventure takes place on the streets of Haworth and includes encounters with local characters John Brown and Tabitha Ratcliffe, who knew the Brontë family well. This insightful and fun-filled walk lasts approximately 45 minutes and will begin and end outside the Old School Room, Church Street. Sensible footwear recommended.

Tickets £6/£4 Brontë Society members and concessions*, and includes a discount on a hot drink at Cobbles & Clay on Main Street. Please book in advance at or on 01535 640192.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Thursday, January 11, 2018 7:57 am by Cristina in , , , , , , ,    No comments
In Australia they are as baffled as we are by the whole Lily Cole 'controversy'. An article on ABC News ends by compiling several tweets defending her appointment. And there's one letter to The Guardian attesting to her being an able writer:
Apparently Nick Holland thinks Lily Cole should not be creative partner at the Brontë Society because she is not a writer (Report, 5 January). Well, in fact she is. She wrote an excellent piece of several thousand words for a book I edited, A Book of King’s, about King’s College, Cambridge. And that while working for her degree in history of art. She got a first, by the way.
Karl Sabbagh
Bloxham, Oxfordshire
A local librarian writes about reading The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowel in the Agassiz-Harrison Observer.
Over these cold days, I have on my reading-side table a great recommend – The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell.
It’s the story of a young student named Samantha,who is the last relative and about eight generations away from the famous literary Brontës.
Samantha was homeschooled by an eccentric father, and the characters and plot unfold in a way that keeps you from going to bed at a decent time.
There are lots of name-drops and references to the Brontës and their contemporaries, which makes it a delightful blast from the past.
Keeping it interesting, too, is the intrigue as the bad guy tries to uncover Brontë treasures that the world thinks she has secreted away, and the darkly, interesting professor that Samantha is tutored by. I am savouring it! (Terrill Scott)
While singer/songwriter Unwoman has released a new album, War Stories, and Vents Magazine quotes her as saying,
This is an extremely personal album for me, but in ways that I know will resonate with a lot of other people. [...] “Bad Man” was my opportunity to drag Mr Rochester from Jane Eyre (if you’ve read the book you know he’s the worst!) (RJ Frometa)
Is he though? At any rate, lyrics and track can be found here.

The Irish Times reviews the film Une Vie (distributed in English-speaking countries as A Woman's Life), directed by Stéphane Brizé.
A Woman’s Life shares rather more DNA with such gritty English period cinema as Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights and William Oldroyd’s Lady Macbeth. Instead of a grand establishing shot of a hedge maze, the gardens are muddy and covered in useful glass cloches. (Tara Brady)
BookMarx Books imagines an alternative ending for Jane Eyre.
A webseries project in need of crowdfunding:
Project Name: The Bride of Murdery Heights
Asking For: $2,500 through Indiegogo

Description: Women of the Victorian Era had to navigate strict social conventions in order to snag their men, and one would think their courtship rituals would have been even tougher in environments that were especially…stabby. The Bride of Murdery Heights is an ominously-named series about three single ladies looking for love against a gothic backdrop.

The three creators of Murdery Heights, Erin Fenton, Aimée Lutkin, and Jaime Lutz, are fans of 19th-century literature who wish to update the satire of Emily Brontë for modern-day audiences. Their show is not a straight adaptation of Wuthering Heights but rather a multi-faceted project that combines several genres into one package. “This web series isn’t just a series of sketches: it’s a mystery, a romance, and a 19th century horror story,” reads the campaign page. “AND IT’S A COMEDY!”
More details are available in Fenton, Lutkin, and Lutz’s pitch video:

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Yorkshire Post offers a glimpse into the Brontë Parsonage Museum closed period at the beginning of Emily Brontë's bicentenary and can't help but mention the one-man controversy surrounding Lily Cole's appointment as creative partner.
The leaden skies over Haworth could not have been more atmospheric as they set to work yesterday dusting off the first editions of Emily Brontë at the beginning of her bicentenary year. The museum which now occupies the West Riding parsonage that was home to Emily, Charlotte and Anne Brontë, closes each January to allow its collection of some 7,000 of their volumes, including several hundred first editions, to be professionally cleaned. A task force of 50 has been put to work on the exercise, though the parsonage can only accommodate 10 at a time. “Each book has to be inspected and cleaned,” said Ann Dinsdale, principal curator at the Parsonage Museum. “It will all be done in time for our reopening on February 1.” [...]
The Brontë Society, which looks after the parsonage, will celebrate Emily’s 200th anniversary in July with a four-day festival organised with the actress and model Lily Cole as “creative partner”. The appointment of Miss Cole, a 30-year-old Cambridge graduate and honorary doctor of letters, received a mixed reaction, with the literary scholar Nick Holland, author of books on the Brontë sisters, resigning from the Society, which, he said, should have given the role to a writer. But other critics have defended the appointment of Miss Cole, who is making a short film for the museum about Emily Brontë’s signature work, Wuthering Heights. The film will also address women’s rights in a year that marks the centenary of women getting the vote.
Lily Cole herself posts on Medium about the whole affair:
When I was asked by the Brontë Parsonage Museum to work on a piece to commemorate Emily’s birth I immediately thought of her androgynous pseudonym, Ellis Bell, and what that gesture represented. Since reading and re-reading ‘Wuthering Heights’ I have long been fascinated by Emily’s choice, or need, to hide behind Ellis Bell. In fact I have used ellisbell as an email address in the past. (...)
In developing this short film for the Brontë Parsonage and Foundling Museums, I wanted to acknowledge the struggles of women in the past and celebrate how far we have come as a society in our treatment of women. It is now very possible for a woman to author a successful book, to have the right to vote, and to hold the father of her child accountable for it.
Quartzy features - a bit late in the day - the Lily Cole 'controversy'.
Beyond the spat’s bookish-yet-scandalous headlines, there’s also a bigger question at stake: What’s wrong with giving some glamour to the stuffy, elitist literary world—especially if the glamorous addition is Oxbridge-educated? [...]
While it’s hard to know what exactly would appease Holland,  Cole is busy keeping the focus squarely on the Brontës.  “I would not be so presumptuous as to guess Emily’s reaction to my appointment as a creative partner at the museum, were she alive today,” Cole said in a statement. “Yet I respect her intellect and integrity enough to believe that she would not judge any piece of work on name alone.”
The Brontë sisters could relate: in fear of sexist reactions to their books, they originally published under male pseudonyms. (Noël Duan)

The Brontë Society Young Ambassador Lucy Powrie has also tweeted about it:
— Lucy Powrie (@LucyTheReader) January 9, 2018

More articles: The Irish Times makes an interesting point:
Celebrities taking an interest in promoting more worthy causes is nothing new. I fail to recall any scientists mopping up their bitter tears with litmus paper when Dara Ó’Briain decided to put his degree to good use and began promoting all things maths and science on the BBC. He would be the first to admit that he is not an expert, yet no one cried “What would Einstein make of a comedian explaining the theory of relativity?” (Evie Gaughan)
Caroline O'Donoghue in The Pool is, let's put it midly, quite angry about this affair.
Because, fucking hell, what would happen if a young woman read Wuthering Heights and – I don’t know – liked it? What would happen if selfie sticks and Urban Decay eyeshadow started turning up at the Parsonage? What if – God, no, absolutely anything but this – what if the Brontës were as commercially popular as Jane Austen, and I Heart Mr Darcy T-shirts were being sold alongside I Heart Heathcliff ones? Would that be so terrible, Nick? Would it ruin Emily Brontë for you that much?
I’ve got some bad news for you, mate – the Brontë sisters are already loved by young women. They always have been and it’s because they were young women. I have personally been doing the Kate Bush Wuthering Heights dance in my bedroom since puberty. Building a man-cage for three of the most beloved literary geniuses in history is going to be a long, unrewarding process, so do yourself a favour: stop trying.
Yes, she is definitely not happy. Let's call it a day and go for something else.

Also in The Yorkshire Post, a look at the county's literary year ahead:
The Brontë200 bicentenary commemorations continue at the Brontë Parsonage Museum after two successful years – with the 200th anniversary of Charlotte’s birth celebrated in 2016 and Branwell’s in 2017. This year it is Emily’s turn in the spotlight. Actor and social entrepreneur Lily Cole has been confirmed as the museum’s creative partner; she will be exploring the connections between the origins of Emily’s anti-hero Heathcliff and the real foundlings of 1840s London in partnership with the Foundling Museum. Joining Cole are poet and performer Patience Agbabi as the museum’s writer in residence, land artist Kate Whiteford who will explore Emily’s connection to the Yorkshire landscape and award-winning band The Unthanks who will be creating – and performing – a song cycle based on Emily’s poems. (Yvette Huddleston)
OperaWire features the premiere of Emily Brontë: Through Life and Death, A Chainless Soul, composed by Akemi Naito.
Picture Credit: Cutting Bird Media
Naito’s work was presented within the “Healing” exhibition of visual artist Toshihiro Sakuma, which gave a minimal but deeply-meaningful surrounding for the performance to unfold. With a background projection of tumultuous rain at the beginning, which gave way to the serenity of rising lights, Sakuma’s exhibition accentuated the theme of pain and recovery that was to be felt that evening.
While her selection of Brontë’s poetry ranged from works written between her 19th and 27th years, and presented in non-chronological order, Naito’s composition served to unite them into a cohesive narrative. She accomplished this through elegant use of dissonance which led to ponderous silences, as well as the light, ethereal tones of the piano’s upper register; at one moment highlighting the beauty of Brontë’s words while at another becoming the font of passion that laid beneath them, ready to erupt in an instant. It should be noted that rather than a composition which takes inspiration from composers who were contemporary with Brontë, such as Chopin, Naito’s work carried a modern feeling that made a surprisingly-fitting combination with the classical text. [...]
Of the process, Akemi Naito says: “I wanted to express Emily Brontë herself in this work, using her poetry as the text. Because of the extraordinarily powerful inner voice that resonates in her poetry and the root of her creativity… I chose seven poems, including three iconic poems – ‘To the Imagination,’ ‘Anticipation,’ and ‘No Coward Soul Is Mine,’ which to me clearly express her unique creativity. In an instant, using very simple words, her inner spirit soars freely, far from the boundaries of her everyday life. It is a most remarkable phenomenon wherein I sensed a certain timelessness that embraces the past, but reflects her life and feelings, filtered through her imagination. It is this spirit I aim to encompass in this project.”
To better familiarize the audience with the poems of Brontë, chiefly famous for her novel “Wuthering Heights,” the performance was preceded with a reading of the selected poems by baritone Robert Ian Mackenzie. While I personally enjoyed his crystal-clear delivery, which made for an excellent introduction, the almost-regal timbre of his voice gave to the text a feeling that would be impossible to receive from a woman who did not live past her thirtieth year. [...]
In the role of Emily Brontë, mezzo-soprano Jessica Bowers was in full control of her talents as her dignified lyricism soared into full-blown jubilance, all the while with a superb diction that removed any need for me to glance down at the libretto. At her feet was a large ring of gentle light bulbs, which I saw as coming to represent the world; as she sang “To Imagination,” which deals with how oppressive life can be, she delivered the lines at the very center of the formation; the next poem, “Anticipation,” saw Bowers outside the ring, gazing down upon the world with a distant, nostalgic tenderness as she sang of the power of hope to enliven a weary existence.
Ultimately, Naito’s work excelled in giving a loving tribute to Brontë’s poetry, no easy feat as the English language has proved a tricky matter for operatic compositions. It is my hope that “Emily Brontë: Through Life and Death, A Chainless Soul” will receive future productions, as I believe it to be a wonderful example of the beauty that can be found when words mingle with music, each giving the other new life and meaning. (Logan Martell)
Il Sole 24 Ore (Italy) thinks that Google may create a doodle to mark Emily's bicentenary.
Una cosa è però certa: quest’anno ci aspettiamo il doodle per ricordare non solo i compleanni di Etta James o Emily Brontë, ma anche i novant’anni dalla conquista del diritto di voto da parte dalle suffragette inglesi e perché no, pure una celebrazione del ‘68, gli albori del movimento femminista italiano. (Federica Ginesu) (Translation)
Espectador (Uruguay) has a short article on Emily's life while El tiempo (Colombia) reflects on the lives of classic women writers:
Pensemos un minuto en la vida de Camille Claudel, a la sombra del ‘gran’ Rodin, o del talento casi desconocido de Clara Schumann, esposa del célebre Robert Schumann.
Es interesante señalar que Virginia Woolf no tuvo hijos y que, y como nos lo recuerda Esther Tusquets en un escrito titulado 'Las mujeres, la literatura y la peligrosidad', “no debe ser casual que ninguna de las cuatro grandes novelistas inglesas del siglo XIX, George Eliot, Jane Austen y las hermanas Emily y Charlotte Brontë, tuviera hijos o que santa Teresa fuera una religiosa”. (Florence Thomas) (Translation)
This columnist on Storypick thinks that 'classic novels are overrated' and that not even Jane Eyre could 'escape the clutches of patriarchy'. We don't agree with this:
A few examples of this male-oriented perspective would be novels like ‘Mayor of Casterbridge’ (because why should we let Elizabeth-Jane tell her own story?), ‘Hard Times’ (Mind you, Louisa is taught to suppress her feelings) and even Jane Eyre.
Yes, Jane Eyre even after having a female protagonist could not escape the clutches of patriarchy. Jane was the perfect daughter who forgave everyone after everything they did to her. She even proceeded to marry Rochester after he explicitly deceived her.
The book underlined Bertha Mason as a doppelganger for Jane who defied norms like Jane wanted to, but of course, she was mad. Because that’s the only way classics could introduce strong women characters. (*Considers citing ‘Bell Jar’. Decides against it.*)
Now, I realise that I am being a little hard on classics. After all, they were the outcome of the society in those times, right? A time when men had the full right to a woman’s physical and mental space, and she was treated nothing short of an object. Hmm… a lot has changed since then for sure. (Neha Tanwar)
Jane was not the perfect daughter (to whom?) who forgave everyone and there's even a conversation about this with Helen Burns at the beginning. We believe that Jane did escape the clutches of patriarchy as she married Rochester on her own terms (i.e. with her own money and because she truly wanted to). Not escaping and conforming to the rules would have been marrying St John and going to India with him, regardless of her own feelings.

BookPage has compiled a list of its 'most anticipated children's and teen books', including:
Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne
HMH • May 1
Brontë lovers and sci-fi fans rejoice! Donne is set to publish her romantic, futuristic and (literally) spaced-out take on Jane Eyre just in time for the summer reading season.
Big Shiny Robot mentions the film Crimson Peak in passing:
Like, Crimson Peak is a bit melodramatic and stilted in parts, but you know what? So is Jane Eyre, so are many other Gothic novels, but they’re still fun to read, and del Toro finds a good way of making an original story that captures the same blend of sexual repression mutating into unspeakable taboo and otherworldly horror. (Dagobot)
Indycar makes the following (random) point:
Reality television is an odd beast, contrived competitions that we watch in lieu of bettering ourselves. Instead of reading “Wuthering Heights” and discussing Brontë’s unusual development of characters, we waste time wondering if Puck will get voted out of the house on “Real World: San Francisco.” (It’s been 24 years, folks, yet we still remember that tool.) (Jeff Olson)
James Fox has written for The Guardian an obituary on author Francis Wyndham.
He found that Rhys, whom he had thought long dead, was alive and writing what became, under Francis’s guidance, Wide Sargasso Sea. I remember her, frail and vulnerable, drinking, with Francis, the lethal combination of whisky and champagne.
Master of Malt is selling a remotely-Brontë-related item:
Brontë Original - 1970s Bottling Note
A ceramic jug of Brontë Original Unique Yorkshire Liqueur, produced all the way back in the 1970s. Yes, named after that particularly talented Brontë family, those ones behind all those classic novels.
This bottle was part of a private collection[.]
Barnes and Noble shares an excerpt from the new novel Bloodstains with Brontë by Katherine Bolger Hyde. TV Serial (Italy) features the Italian adaptation of Wuthering Heights 2004. Both Varietats and Rhoda Baxter post about Juliet Bell's The Heights.
A new exhibition opens today in Roma containing a picture inspiredy by Wuthering Heights:
Raccontamenti 2 
by Chiara Montenero
Galleria SpazioCima, Rome, Italy
January 10-February 2,

Da Moby Dick di Melville al Canto di Natale di Dickens, dall’Odissea di Omero agli Ossi di Seppia di Montale, proseguendo tra Cime Tempestose e Notti Bianche. I grandi classici della letteratura reinterpretati dall’artista e scrittrice
Libri come opere d’arte, parole che diventano pennellate, allegorie che diventano virgole di colore. La carta prende vita nelle opere della poetessa e scrittrice Chiara Montenero, prima artista italiana ad aver esposto al Museo del Bardo di Tunisi, il cui stile si presenta unico al mondo. L’artista plasma i grandi classici della letteratura reinterpretandoli alla luce della pittura, con un’arte visiva che diventa nuova esperienza di sintassi e di contenuti, di emozioni e di linguaggi. Da Moby Dick di Melville al Canto di Natale di Dickens, dall’Odissea di Omero agli Ossi di Seppia di Montale, proseguendo tra Cime Tempestose e Notti Bianche: la letteratura si fa arte e si mostra attraverso gli occhi e il cuore dell’artista.
 “Raccontamenti 2” è il nome della nuova mostra di Galleria SpazioCima, sita in via Ombrone 9, Roma, che inaugurerà mercoledì 10 gennaio e proseguirà sino a venerdì 2 febbraio. La mostra, curata da Irene Niosi e organizzata da Roberta Cima, è a ingresso libero. Circa venticinque le opere in esposizione, prevalentemente acrilici su tela, di vari formati. Una parte del ricavato ottenuto dalla vendita delle opere sarà devoluto alla onlus Kenya. Insiemeperdonare.