Saturday, April 21, 2018

Several newspapers and news outlets celebrate Charlotte Brontë's 202nd anniversary:
Bradenton Herald looks into some biographies and novels available at the Manatee County Public Libraries:
The famous Brontë sisters came by their artistic ability to describe natural settings through an unusual upbringing in remote West Yorkshire, England – the Brontë sisters were raised as “free-range children.” The Brontë Society maintains Brontë Parsonage Museum in Yorkshire, with wild moors intact so we may retrace the Brontë’s steps. Manatee County libraries can help search out the Brontë Parsonage.
Claire Harman’s “Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart,” an exciting biography, explores the life of the leading daughter, Charlotte, the eldest child. Author of “Jane Eyre,” she forged a path in publishing for her sisters following the cancer death of their mother. Two older sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, died as teenagers from recurring lung disease which suddenly struck both girls after they were sickened at a school for daughters of poor clergymen. Amazingly, three Brontë novels, “Jane Eyre” first, all came out in 1847, but Emily and Anne died soon afterwards. An earlier, self-published poetry book, initiated by Charlotte, is another legacy of the poetic Brontë sisters.(More) (Jeffery Austin)
Other places celebrating the anniversary are Devdiscourse, The Brontë BabeWritergurlny,,SoloLibri (in Italian) (the same website also lists several of the 'unmissable' Jane Eyre adaptations), (in Spanish)...

Mental Floss presents ten facts about Charlotte Brontë:
Charlotte Brontë was born in England to an Irish father and Cornish mother on April 21, 1816. And though much of her life was marked by tragedy, she wrote novels and poems that found great success in her lifetime and are still popular nearly 200 years later. But there’s a lot more to Brontë than Jane Eyre. (Read) (Suzanne Raga)
The National Student vindicates Villette:
Jane Eyre, as almost everybody knows, is the story of a girl whose horrific experiences at school help her to grow and become the strong, forthright woman who refuses to become her employer’s mistress. The infamous ‘mad woman in the attic’, the brooding darkness of Mr Rochester, and Jane’s own impassioned calls for female emancipation all combine to make a memorable and very adaptable book.
But I’m not going to tell you about Jane Eyre: what could be said that hasn’t been said before? I’m going to tell you about Brontë’s 1853 novel, Villette, a text which the majority of people have probably never heard of.
On the surface, it’s perhaps easy to see why people shy away from Brontë’s last completed work. Whilst it too follows a young girl’s growth into womanhood, there’s no simple trajectory here, no sympathetic narrator and not even a happy ending. There are fewer adaptations and fewer reworkings. It’s also, in the Penguin edition, over 600 pages long, with extensive notes including translations of the many paragraphs written in French. It’s not an easy text. (More) (Jo Bullen)
Keighley News reports some Museums at Night activities at the Parsonage:
Literature fans are being offered a rare chance to see the fabled Brontë Quilt.
The patchwork quilt, which was worked on by the Brontë sisters and their Aunt Branwell, is rarely displayed due to its size and fragility.
As part of the Museums at Night celebration. the quilt will be taken out of storage for visitors to the Brontë Parsonage Museum to see after-hours.
“Splendid shreds of silk and satin” is the title of the event on May 16 from 7.30pm at the Haworth museum.
Visitors will be joined by members of the Totley Brook Quilters from Sheffield, who produced a replica quilt for Charlotte’s bicentenary in 2016. This is being donated to the museum.
A look at museums spokesman said: “The special evening will provide an insight into the sisters’ needlework, particularly Emily’s, and the work involved in creating the replica.” (...)
Another Museums at Night event, Hands On History, will be held on Thursday, May 17 until 8pm.
Visitors will be given an insight into the day-to-day domestic life of the Brontës, including a look at intriguing domestic objects from the collection. (Jim Seton)
In The Spectator, Sam Leith discusses the dumbness behind a "Books By Women That Changed The World" list (as published by, for instance, The Bookseller):
If you strip out ‘personal experience’ and ‘like, feelings’ – the other thing women are good at, right? – in the form of fiction (Jane Eyre but no Middlemarch? And no Sappho?) and memoir, you’re left pretty much with Naomi Klein, Hannah Arendt, Susan Sontag and Rachel Carson as cheerleaders for the female contribution to intellectual history.
USA Today and yet another list:
On May 22, PBS launches The Great American Read series, inviting Americans to vote for their favorite book (or books) from the list of 100 finalists below.
Which includes Jane Eyre (number 59) and Wuthering Heights (number 100).

The Guardian lists national park beauty spots:
Peak District - Dovedale Charlotte Brontë found the inspiration to write Jane Eyre after her visit to the Peak District and she wasn’t the only one to be captivated by the area. Jane Austen based the setting of her novel Pride and Prejudice on Bakewell, where she stayed in 1811. Britain’s oldest national park offers many an inspiring view, but for a start, try Dovedale – a pretty river valley that will transport you to the time when these giants of fiction were still conjuring their stories on these very hills.
Halifax Courier interviews Robin Tuddenham, chief executive of Calderdale Council:
Who is your favourite Yorkshire author/artist/performer? It is hard to say just one, but I’m going for Emily Brontë. I read Wuthering Heights when I was 16, and it blew me away. You can feel, smell and sense the environment the Brontës grew up in so much that when I went to Haworth in my early 20s I thought I had already been there. (Ian Hirst)
Financial Times reviews The One Who Wrote Destiny by Nikesh Shukla:
It’s not only because my dad was from Keighley that I am attracted to this novel. It’s also that Keighley has never featured in any novel I have come across (apart from those of the Brontë sisters, who lived nearby), and especially not in conjunction with Kenya and Harrow. A low-set industrial town close to the Yorkshire Dales, this is where Mukesh Jani, an Indian Kenyan looking for the big time, ends up in 1966, instead of in London, where he had hoped to do a degree and link up with his juggler friend Sailesh. All he finds in Keighley, though, is loneliness, bad weather and racism; and yet in the midst of these, love. (Diana Evans)
Evening StandardRadio Times and The Mirror reviews the film The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society:
Tragic events ensue after that nocturnal encounter. Imperious book club matriarch Amelia Maugery (Penelope Wilton) lost her daughter and unborn grandchild to a bomb. Then her substitute daughter Elizabeth vanished, leaving her baby daughter behind with Dawsey, whom she calls Daddy. No one, not even permanently sozzled gin bootlegger and Brontë sisters superfan Isola Pribby (Katherine Parkinson, adding poignancy to the comic relief), wants to tell Juliet why. (Matthew Norman)
Shaffer’s novel might still be on her bedside table waiting to be read, but making Potato did inspire in Parkinson a fresh passion for literature. “It was while I was doing the film that I started to read for pleasure. My children [Dora and Gwendolyn with her husband, actor Harry Peacock] are five and three, and I’ve just started to get that slight sense of having a life back and not being exhausted every night.” Asked to name a favourite… book, not child… she plumps for Jane Eyre, which she only got around to recently. “I know I’m coming late to the party but I was so moved by it,” she says.
Making her way through the classics, just as they do in the film, was something Parkinson could finally share with her ex-English teacher mum. “My mum knew so much I thought I’m not going to even go there and now we’ve been able to chat about books, particularly Jane Eyre as she used to teach it.” (Claire Webb)
Very much a love letter to literature of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters, so true to form our romantically named heroine is caught between the attentions of Glen Powell's dashing American diplomat, and Michiel Huisman's hunky book-loving farmer, called Darcy, sorry, Dawsey. (Chris Huneysett)
And St. Albert Gazette reviews My Cousin Rachel 2017:
My Cousin Rachel follows in the same vein as Rebecca with a story set on the moors of England. It combines the unrequited love of Jane Austen’s stories with the psychological cruelties that manifested in the characters of Emily Brontë’s tragic novel Wuthering Heights but it combines them in a way that is less of a mix than it is a downright crush. (Scott Hayes)
Kate Mosse on Fishbourne in The Guardian:
In the 1960s, I explored with my parents, climbing into the branches of the stunted oak trees down by the water where a scuttled rowing boat rotted slowly. In the 70s, the teenage years, I wandered with a copy of Wuthering Heights in the hope that someone would admire such solitude.
Forbes reviews the VR film Arden's Wake: Tides Fall.
Meena, beautifully voiced by Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander, searches in vain for her father, a drunk who’s gone missing during a scrap dive. As “Arden’s Wake” ended, Meena is swallowed by a sea monster. In the sequel, “Tides Fall”, we learn the sea monster, which Chung named “Derie”, is actually saving Meena, not eating her. Meena awakens inside the magical beast, which seems to be telepathically emitting an Emily Brontë poem while Meena relives and comes to terms with her tragic life and troubled father. (Charlie Fink)
Reader's Digest lists quotes on education:
"Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones"
Brontë wrote these powerful words in her classic novel, Jane Eyre. Prejudice and ignorance wither if they're exposed to light and learning. Ignorance is the only thing that allows intolerance to flourish. (Molly Pennington)
Mental Floss talks about George Eliot:
However, she did allow that not every book written by a woman fell into this trap, praising writers like Currer Bell (Charlotte Brontë) and Elizabeth Gaskell. (Suzanne Raga
Gender vindications in Daily Times (Pakistan):
Women throughout history have performed roles specifically set aside for men. Cleopatra ruled the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt. Emily Brontë penned novels under the male name Ellis Bell. Marie Curie received two Nobel prizes for her work in physics and chemistry. Amelia Earhart flew solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Occupations and activities have no gender but are constructed as such to ensure the pillar stands tall, thereby compelling women to push against it. But why must a woman compete with a man to be equal? Why must a woman prove she can fix her own flat tyre? Is matching a man’s every step the only means of undoing gender inequality?
Kristian Wilson discusses on Bustle how she changed her mind on Jane Austen:
I should probably pause the story here to note that at no point did I ever consider Jane Austen to be a poor writer. I found her work to be as well written as any other novel of the time, but, with the exception of Jane Eyre, I had a rather low opinion of 19th-century literature in general.
Also on Bustle, books to read if you are depressed:
Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg. I'll be the first to admit that jokes aren't that fun during a depressive episode, so you might not enjoy Texts from Jane Eyre as much right now as you would on a good day, but the quick and easy-to-read format might be just what you need to feel accomplished today. (Kristian Wilson)
Sentinel Source reports the performances of Jane Eyre. The Musical in Peterborough. Spielfilm (in German) announces that Jane Eyre 2011 is on 3Sat and Sky Cinema Emotion tonight. This adaptation is mentioned by Libreriamo (Italy):
Uno dei personaggi più famosi creati dalla penna di Charlotte Brontë e protagonista dell’omonimo romanzo, Jane Eyre si è guadagnata un posto tra i grandi classici della letteratura inglese come una delle prime icone femministe dell’ottocento. Il personaggio di Jane, accolto favorevolmente già al momento della pubblicazione del romanzo, è ancora oggi molto attuale e ha dato spunto a numerosi adattamenti cinematografici e televisivi, tra cui una miniserie prodotta dalla BBC e un film che vede Mia Wasikowska e Michael Fassbender nel ruolo dei protagonisti. (Translation)
Le Figaro (in French) asks their readers about books that made you grow:
S'il est difficile de choisir un livre préféré, il est plus aisé de déterminer celui qui a changé notre vision du quotidien, de ce qui nous entoure, qui nous a fait avancer. Andrée M. est la première à se prêter au jeu et lance spontanément le titre des Hauts de Hurlevent (Emily Brontë, 1847). «Pour la sauvagerie réaliste, l'aridité des êtres», ajoute-t-elle. Une histoire d'amour et de vengeance dans un paysage sauvage qui donne une idée de la cruauté des hommes et des sentiments. (Julie Profizi) (Translation)
On ETB1 (in Basque), a literary programme recommends Jane Eyre:
Por otra parte, la lectora de esta semana, Maddalen Marzol, se acercará también al puerto de Donostia y recomendará Jane Eyre de Charlotte Brontë.
'Artefaktua' se emite hoy, a las 15:00 horas, en y ETB1. (Translation)
ViceVersa Magazine (in Spanish) reviews the novel Temporada de Huracanes by Fernanda Melchor:
La novela mexicana Temporada de huracanes (Random House, 2017) de Fernanda Melchor parece estar escrita con la misma relojería infernal de Sinclair, Cumbres borrascosas y, por supuesto, Comala. (Roberto Cambronero Gómez) (Translation)
Le Parisien (France) interviews Mayte Garcia and unveils an unlikely Brontëite: Prince !
Eric Bureau: Avait-il d’autres passions que la musique ?
Il adorait regarder des films, en particulier les vieux classiques, les films romantiques. On a dû voir des dizaines de fois « Les Hauts de Hurlevent », « Le Parrain »… Il adorait aussi jouer au bowling. Il louait le bowling pour la nuit et nous jouions tous les deux. C’était assez drôle. (Translation)
Best Movie (Italy) reviews the film Ghost Stories:
Un’architettura filmica quasi neoclassica che i due, che già hanno dimostrato di saper maneggiare l’orrore e il soprannaturale sia con la League of Gentlemen sia a teatro, si divertono ad abbattere a martellate nel terzo atto, dando vita a un’opera che riesce a essere lisergica e allucinante pur restando ancorata a un certo modo di fare paura del quale gli inglesi sono maestri già dai tempi delle Cime tempestose di Emily Brontë. (Gabriele Ferrari) (Translation)
Screenweek (Italy) talks about Crimson Peak:
Là era la straziante storia di una bambina costretta a sopravvivere agli orrori della Spagna del fresco dopoguerra, che si rifugiava in un mondo magico di creature fantastiche. Qui è una piccola, insipida storia d’amore in stile Cime tempestose con contorno di fantasmi, affogata in colori pre-raffaelliti. (Nanni Cobretti) (Translation)
Cinematographe (Italy) reviews the film Mal de Pierres:
La donna, innamorata delle storie dolorose e dolenti che ha letto nei libri, desidera gli uomini con lo stesso ardore di Cime tempestose – che le viene regalato dal suo professore di letteratura di cui si innamora perdutamente -, soffre come Anna Karenina, si contorce con tutto lo struggimento delle eroine dei grandi romanzi, perdendo così il legame con la realtà. (Eleanora Degrassi) (Translation)
ActuaBD (France) lists some of the nominees for the Mangawa Awards including the Manga Jane Eyre adaptation on the Shoju category. MustreadTV (a book in a minute) talks about Jane Eyre. TKM (México) puts Wuthering Heights in a books-that-break-your-heart category.


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