Saturday, July 29, 2017

The real buildings behind fictional houses in The Guardian:
From Charlotte Brontë’s Norton Conyers to Alan Hollinghurst’s Canford Court – the little known locations that inspired the most famous homes in literature. (...)
Norton Conyers, Yorkshire:
Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre first describes Mr Rochester’s home, Thornfield Hall, as a “gentleman’s manor-house”. Its contradictory nature – it has both “a picturesque look” and “a chill and vaultlike air” – grew from the mixture of awe and social awkwardness of her visits to various real houses. North Lees Hall in the Peak District has the three floors she gives Thornfield, and came with a fittingly grim tale of a madwoman confined to the upper storey. But the house most likely to have inspired the look and atmosphere of Thornfield is Norton Conyers, near Ripon, which Brontë is said to have visited in 1839. A Jacobean manor house with a great hall dating to the 14th century, Norton Conyers had belonged to the Graham family since 1624. At the time of Brontë’s visit, the house had come down to Sir Bellingham Graham, the seventh baronet, who gambled, fathered several illegitimate children and ultimately lost his ancestral home. It is unlikely that Brontë would have met Bellingham himself, but his troubled, Byronic character may have been partly responsible for the scandalous past and proud bearing of Mr Rochester. There are a number of similarities between Norton Conyers and Thornfield, the most tantalising being the stairway concealed behind the panelling of the first floor gallery, uncovered in 2004, which would have allowed Mr Rochester to slip upstairs surreptitiously and deal with his raving wife. (Phyllis Richardson)
The New York Times reviews John Pfordresher's The Secret History of Jane Eyre:
Pfordresher matches the events of Brontë’s life with those of her heroine step by step, showing where they overlap and where they meaningfully diverge. According to him, Brontë’s “painful and devastating” yearlong experience at Clergy Daughters School at Cowan Bridge served as the inspiration for her portrayal of Lowood Institution, the school for orphans in the novel. But since Jane had a rougher early childhood than Brontë, the author’s experience at school would have been even “more terrifying, more overwhelming, more meaningless” than Jane’s.
Pfordresher goes on to analyze how Brontë drew upon her emotional ties with five men (two of them fictional) to conjure the passionate connection between Jane and Mr. Rochester. These ties included her “early adolescent love for and rivalry with” her brother Barnwell (sic), which led to a “short, nearsighted, skinny, red-haired kid” being part of the inspiration for Jane’s formidable love interest. (John Williams)
The Austin Statesman recommends checking out Jen Silverman's The Moors before it's gone:
The Moors.” Not sure what to expect with this Hyde Park Theatre production of Jen Silverman’s dark comedy depicting the bleak and savage moors and two sisters who live there? “The Moors” is a riff on the lives and works of 19th-century novel-writing siblings the Brontë sisters, examining love, power and our longing to be noticed. 8 p.m. 
Publishers Weekly has a list of the 'most anticipated' books for next fall. Including:
A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf by Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney (HMH, Oct.) – Midorikawa and Sweeney, two authors who are also longtime friends, uncover little-known stories of friendship from the lives of famous authors.
The book is already available in the UK, but it will be published in October in the US.

Humanities reviews the 1960 book The Lifetime Reading Plan by Clifton Fadiman:
Stacking Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Emma and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights as consecutive entries allowed Fadiman to make some useful comparisons; he also cheated a bit by treating a pair of Austen’s novels as one entry, a device that makes his ostensible list of a hundred titles a bit longer. Here’s how he juxtaposes the two writers:
It is unsettling to pass from Jane Austen to Emily Brontë. They do not belong to the same world. They do not even seem to belong to the same sex. All they have in common is that they were both parson’s daughters. One is a master of perfectly controlled domestic comedy. The other is a wild demiurge of undomesticated tragedy. One excludes passion, the other is all passion. Jane Austen knew her limited, highly civilized world thoroughly; her novels grew out of needle-sharp observation as well as native power of mind. Emily Brontë knew the Yorkshire moors, her own family, and little else, and we can hardly say what her one novel grew out of.  
(Danny Heitman)
Jezebel has an article about the Dickenisation of Trump's America:
I am well-versed in the pitiful deaths of saintly children in 19th century novels—from Helen Burns in Jane Eyre to someone in almost every Dickens novel (Little Nell, Little Jo, Jenny’s baby in Bleak House). These stories are so powerful that the image of the malnourished Victorian street urchin is embedded into the culture, a symbol of a time when people really didn’t care about kids. (Sarah Seltzer)
Vernon Morning Star reviews the latest album by Lana Del Rey, Lust for Life:
The mist of the past permeates her music: 13 Beaches, Groupie Love, Coachella – Woodstock In My Mind and When The World Was At War We Kept Dancing reference times that Del Rey translates in a blissed-out delivery. It’s an inspirational thing for her: Wuthering Heights meets Malibu. (Dean Gordon-Smith)
Le Devoir reviews the film Lady Macbeth with a bit of a blunder:
Soyons fous et imaginons un instant ce qui aurait pu se passer si Emily Brontë, Anton Tchekhov, Ingmar Bergman et Alfred Hitchcock avaient pu se rencontrer afin de nous offrir une version tordue de Lady Chaterley de D. H. Lawrence… Sans doute que le résultat aurait ressemblé à ce puissant premier long métrage du metteur en scène de théâtre William Oldroyd. (...)
D’une mise en scène à la fois élégante et austère, Lady Macbeth évoque Les soeurs Brontë de Jean-Charles Tacchella (???) par son utilisation judicieuse des bruits de la nature et Les hauts de Hurlevent d’Andrea Arnold pour la fulgurance des sentiments. (Manon Dumais) (Translation)
Of course, Les Soeurs Brontë 1979 was directed by André Téchiné.

The film director William Oldroyd is interviewed in The Gate:
I think the period dramas that appeal to me most and that I thought about while making this were, for example, Patrice Chéreau’s La Reine Margot, which was so bloody, visceral, and exciting. I love the energy that can be found in that film. I thought it was important to have that. Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights had that same kind of energy, too. It was very dirty and real. It felt like you were watching real people. These are films that clash with the formality that people have come to expect from British period drama settings. (Andrew Parker)
Boca Magazine has something to say too:
Lady Macbeth” is haunted by the spirits of female gothic literature, of the Brontës and Du Maurier and Shelley, but also by the cunning femmes fatales of film noir. The corroded air of pulp-fiction classics like “The Postman Always Rings Twice” grows more toxic as the narrative spirals into ever-more-destructive directions, leading to an excruciating long take that can’t be unviewed. You’ll know it when you see it. (John Thomason)
RogerEbert.com reviews the film Mal de Pierres:
Gabrielle is in late schooldays, mooning over a teacher who gives her a copy of Wuthering Heights and practically propositioning him days later. Willful Gabrielle seems, later, to be shaping her life according to the parameters limned by a Brontë sister, or perhaps by Flaubert. (Glenn Kenny)
The new Arab publishes an obituary of the Jordan professor and academic Rula Quawas:
An avid reader, Rula found herself in literature: In Shakespeare, Charlotte Brontë and in Jane Austen. (Amal Awad)
Vanity Fair reviews the new TV series The Last Tycoon:
But the most fascinating character may be Margo Taft, an actress played by Jennifer Beals who’s concealing an explosive secret. The character is based on Merle Oberon, a golden-age movie star who was known for her great beauty—and the similar secret she took with her to the grave.
The raven-haired, brown-eyed stunner, probably best known for playing Cathy opposite Laurence Olivier’s Heathcliff in the 1939 classic Wuthering Heights, spent her life hiding her biracial identity, “passing” for white. (Lisa Liebman)
iNews lists luxury escapes from Leeds. Including Haworth's Ashmount Country House:
Surrounded by cobbled streets, quaint country pubs and shops, and the rolling moors that inspired the literary classic Wuthering Heights, Ashmount Country House offers an idyllic base for exploring all the pretty town of Haworth has to offer. (Claire Schofield)
La Información (Spain) recommends books for this summer:
 ´Cumbres borrascosas´ - Emily Brontë ( Thomas Cautley Newby) (!!!)
Considerada como una de los clásicos de la literatura inglesa, 'Cumbres borrascosas' sumerge al lector en una historia de odio y venganza, pasiones desatadas y amores desesperados.
Apasionada y adelantada a su tiempo, la novela de Emily Brontë ha sido adaptada al cine, al teatro y a la televisión en numerosas ocasiones. (Amaia Díez) (Translation)
If you have to read Wuthering Heights in the original Newby edition.... that could be a bit more expensive than the usual paperback.

Le Temps (Switzerland) talks about the new edition of the Locarno Festival. Its retrospective is devoted to the film director Jacques Tourneur:
Sur la trentaine de films qu’il a réalisés, Jacques Tourneur en avait deux préférés: un western, Stars in my Crown, et Vaudou (1943), son chef-d’œuvre, qui sera montré sur la Piazza Grande à Locarno, le 10 août. Dans cette tragédie très librement inspirée du Jane Eyre de Charlotte Brontë, une infirmière canadienne, Betsy, est engagée pour aller s’occuper en Haïti de Jessica Holland, une femme catatonique. (Antoine Duplan) (Translation)
Vaudou is the French title of I walked with a zombie.

The Displaced Nation interviews the writer Jacqueline Yallop:
Last but not least, which writers do you admire for the way they use location? 
This is an impossible question! I admire all sorts. Lots of the “classic” novels use location to great effect: Dickens’s London, Hardy’s Wessex, Joyce’s Dublin, Emily Brontë’s moorland… 

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