Saturday, May 05, 2018

The good economic health of the Brontë Society is discussed in Keighley News:
The Brontë Parsonage Museum saw visitor numbers increase by 10 per cent, from just under 80,000 in 2016 to almost 88,000 in 2017.
And the Brontë Society, which administers the museum, saw its admissions income grow by over20 per cent during 2017. This follows an increase of over 15 per cent in 2016 over 2015.
Analysis of visitor data revealed that a quarter of visitors to the museum were from overseas and a quarter from Yorkshire, with the rest from across the UK. (...)
The Rev Peter Mayo-Smith, the Brontë Society treasurer, said the ongoing bicentennial festival continued to have a positive impact both in numbers visiting and spending.
He said: “Our ambitions for the organisation, coupled with good governance, sound financial management and carefully managed investment of reserves, saw us accepted into the Arts Council’s National Portfolio.
“ACE’s investment in the Society of almost £1million over the next four years will also help the organisation to attract further funding and opportunities for growth.” (Jim Seton)
The Emily Brontë 200th birthday weekend at the Brontë Parsonage is shaping up. Keighley News reports:
Well-known names in literature and contemporary culture will descend on Haworth for a special four-day festival in and around the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
Visiting between July 27 and 30 will be acclaimed poet Patience Agbabi, activist and actor Lily Cole, bestselling author Kate Mosse, and award-winning musicians The Unthanks.
There will be a series of performances, film, walks and new commissions from in the-days leading up to Emily’s actual birthday, Monday, July 30.
Kitty Wright, executive director of the Brontë Society, said: “It’s impossible to say exactly what it is about Emily Brontë that captures the imagination and heart of so many people so long after she lived and died.
“Emily is perhaps the Brontë sibling most associated with the dramatic, bleak and beautiful moorland surrounding their home.
“As such her birthday will be marked by guided walks and outdoor sketching workshops as well as poetry performances, literary discussions and free activities for all the family.
“We look forward to sharing Emily’s executive director of the Brontë Society, legacy with international audiences old and new.” (Jim Seton)
Also in The Telegraph & Argus it is mentioned how the pillar portrait will be back at the Parsonage in June.

Artnet has something to say about Lily Cole's film contribution to the anniversary:
The film will explore two intertwined stories of abandoned children: The real lives of desperate women who gave up their babies to the Foundling Hospital in London in the 19th century and the fictional story of Heathcliff, the hero of Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights—who, the story goes, was found abandoned as a child in Liverpool. (Cole’s film, titled Balls, takes its name from the colored balls mothers drew to determine whether or not their child would have a place at Foundling, a home for children that operated from 1739 to the 1950s.)
The film will be shown simultaneously at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, England, and the Foundling Museum in London from July 31 to December 2. Cole drew from the Foundling’s extensive archives to identify wrenching stories of those who gave up their children at a time when British society offered little support to pregnant women (and even less to women who got pregnant out of wedlock). Alongside the film, the two museums will present objects from one another’s collection.
“Behind the emotionally compelling story of the Foundling Hospital and Heathcliff are women,” Caro Howell, the director of the Foundling Museum, said in a statement. “Yet their narratives are either absent, inferred or only partially sketched. In Balls, Cole shines a light on these known and unknown 19th-century women whose lives were so circumscribed by society, and considers the extent to which progress has been made.” (Julia Halperin)
The Guardian interviews the writer Imogen Hermes Gowar:
The book that changed my mind
Jean Rhys’s Jane Eyre prequel, Wide Sargasso Sea, was the first book that made me interrogate an existing text (I was a huge Jane Eyre fan), to seek interpretations besides the one presented by the author. I hadn’t realised that books could be in dialogue with one another.
Speaking of Brontës, reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall changed my mind about Anne, who I’d always accepted as the pious, dull one. I find her clear-eyed feminism incredibly relevant.
The Times reviews Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker:
 “A ruffled mind makes for a restless pillow,” wrote Charlotte Brontë. She was right, says Matthew Walker, as was Macbeth when he called sleep “chief nourisher in life’s feast”. Walker, who has spent half a lifetime researching sleep, comes up with so much arresting information on its importance (more vital than diet and exercise) that after listening to this for a while, I ordered it as a paperback, determined to force it on friends and family. (Christina Hardyment)
JOE describes the Whitby Goth Weekend:
It is otherworldly, Whitby, and not in a dramatic, illusory sense. It doesn’t feel like anywhere else. During the drive I had my neck craned firmly in the direction of the passenger window to analyse the moors themselves, an area of fascination due to a favourite English teacher and Emily Brontë. The gorse bushes turn a beautiful colour in the summer, the man in the front seat told me, shades of violet and pinky-purple rolling over the hills, an afterthought dabbed onto the murky hillsides by Monet’s paintbrush. Today they were brown, and I couldn’t imagine that they could be any other colour than brown. (Kyle Picknell)
The New Republic explores the work of the writer Gerald Murnane:
To read Murnane at great length—to read, say, nearly 550 pages of his collected short fiction—is to feel as though you are reading some variation of the same story over and over again. Personages mull the ideal combination of colors for horse-racing silks. They stare at books on the shelves and try to recall the sentences within them. They dream of the prairies of America and Hungary, which look like the grasslands of Australia. They fall in love with women—“image-women,” to be accurate—who may all stem from an ur-woman inspired by the characters Tess Durbeyfield and Catherine Earnshaw. It goes without saying that they read a lot of Proust and Emily Brontë and Thomas Hardy. (Ryu Spaeth)
Great literature gives us hope and the aspiration to be a better version of ourselves, writes English leader Andrew Otty in TES:
Last week I remembered the box of Penguin Classics and brought it up to the vocational faculty I was working in that day. I started to pick through it, cataloguing the titles, and suddenly felt a presence around me. It wasn’t the books. It was a growing crowd of healthcare, childcare and public services teachers, gathering around the box. I gladly invited them to browse through the books with me and soon the faculty staffroom was buzzing with talk of stories.
As ever, Wuthering Heights created a marmite divide between those attracted to its gloomy romance and those who, like me, don’t see the attraction at all. The two Janes, Eyre and Austen, were touched reverently, old favourites of many. 
The New Yorker talks about the film Beast by Michael Pearce:
The movie begins at her birthday party, but nobody mentions her age, and she walks away in a snit, spending the evening getting drunk and dancing. Somebody says, “Moll’s a wild one,” and the longer the story continues the more you wonder how deep the wildness goes. She and Cathy, from “Wuthering Heights,” would get on like a house on fire. (Anthony Lane)
Gifs for Mother's Day on Elite Daily:
 A Literary Infinite Scarf
Is your mom always reading something new, or does she belong to a book club? If so, she will live for this literary scarf. There are a few great options to choose from, like Jane Eyre and Alice in Wonderland. Even if the writing on the scarf doesn't include her favorite passage, she'll love that you incorporated one of her hobbies into her gift. (Jasmine Vaughn-Hall)
People cover the wedding of Nicolas Cage's son, Weston, with Hila Aronian:
 “Marrying each other is home to us,” Aronian shared of the couple’s relationship. “It’s simple. Home was never a place for us. We are home when we are together, wherever we are. Our wedding reflected this sentiment and the love we have for all those who have loved us, to come together and celebrate as one.”
“He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same,” added Aronian, quoting Emily Brontë’s classic novel, Wuthering Heights.
The Brontës' novels à la amish? It could happen, according to the Gainesville Sun:
She’s interested in rewriting the Brontë sisters’ books into Amish settings, but she worries they’re too dark.  (Deborah Strange)
The Chic Site is already recommending beach reads:
The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey – This is a retelling of Jane Eyre set in 1950’s Scotland. It’s so well done and such a refreshing take on one of my favorite classics. Also, even though it was a totally different adaptation, feel free to imagine Michael Fassbender in the role of Mr. Sinclair. (Rachel Hollis)
Ara (in Catalan) reviews La literatura admirable by Jordi Llovet:
Charlotte Brontë, amb Villette, és l’única escriptora escollida de tot el segle XIX. (Jordi Nopca) (Translation)
Joaquín Leguina in El Economista (in Spanish):
Comprender las transformaciones históricas -escribió Raymond Williams por Cumbres Borrascosas- no significa ponerse a buscar hechos públicos directos y reacciones a ellos. Cuando existe una ruptura histórica real no tiene por qué buscarse en una huelga o en una revuelta. Puede surgir, radical y auténtica, en todo aquello que, aparentemente, alude sólo a experiencias personales y familiares. (Translation)
Les Echos (in French) discusses Guillaume Musso:
D'abord connu pour ses romances à tendance surnaturelle, cet amoureux des Hauts de Hurlevent d'Emily Brontë et du Grand Meaulnes d'Alain-Fournier s'est reconverti dans un type de thriller plus classique avec L'Appel de l'ange en 2011. (Isabelle Lesniak) (Translation)
Il Foglio (in Italian) reviews Spifferi by Letizia Muratori:
L’ispirazione è sempre carnale, nella scrittura di Letizia Muratori, e lo sguardo va di sbieco e percorre strade che non ci si aspetta. I fantasmi non sono soltanto i veri fantasmi, quelli di Edgar Allan Poe e quelli che fanno spalancare le finestre in Cime tempestose: i fantasmi siamo noi, quando nessuno ci guarda, i fantasmi sono questi personaggi estraniati ma con addosso una specie di allegria, a volte stranieri a volte semplicemente strambi. (Annalena) (Translation)
Prima Pagina (in Italian) talks about Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland:
Perché è attraverso le loro pagine che la giovane libraia riesce a comunicare le emozioni e i sentimenti più profondi: la solitudine di Anna Karenina; la gioia di vivere di La fiera della vanità; le passioni travolgenti di Cime tempestose. (Translation)
The Evening Standard reports the September premiere of the Christopher Ash musical, Wasted. Nexo Jornal (Brazil) explores the relationship between Kate Bush and Emily Brontë. FoxLife (Italy) lists quotes from the Brontës. Infobae (Argentina) recommends Wuthering Heights (the wrong Brontë is shown in the video, though). Chicago Tribune mentions that Jane Eyre is on The Great American Read list. LitHub posts quite absurd (but delightful) pulp covers of classic books, including this Pocket Books Cardinal Edition, 1952, of Wuthering Heights. Concrete Playground announces this year's Most Wuthering Heights Ever Day in Sydney. Reading Rumpus Book Reviews posts about Wuthering Heights. Literary Hub quotes an excerpt from How to Suppress Women's Writing by Joanna Russ (1983, republished 2018), concerning the Brontës. Alexa Donne is in the middle of her Brightly Burning blog tour, now in Novel Notice with contest and all.

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