Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Larne Times presents the first novel by Finola Austin, Brontë's Mistress:
Finola Austin, who grew up in the Co Antrim village, will release her debut novel Brontë's Mistress next month.
A work of historical fiction, it tells the story of Branwell Brontë, the only brother of celebrated novelists Emily, Charlotte and Anne Brontë, and his employer, Mrs Lydia Robinson. (...)
"I read a lot of Charles Dickens even before I was 10, and Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre was the first Brontë novel I read, also at a very early age. In my teens, I read a lot of Thomas Hardy and I studied Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights at Methody.
"It was during this period that also I read Anne Brontë's two novels and Charlotte's other novels. I remember reading a Brontë biography (The Dark Quartet), which is when I first started to learn about the family and their history, including the sad life of Branwell, the only Brontë brother."
Finola moved back to England to take up a place at University of Oxford, where she completed a BA in Classics & English and Master's degree in English Literature (1800-1914).
"At Oxford, my interest became more academic. My Master's dissertation was focused on Victorian sensation novelists, Mary Elizabeth Braddon and Wilkie Collins, but I also wrote a paper on student/teacher relationships in Charlotte Brontë's novels," said the author, who currently lives in New York City.
"What inspired me to write Brontë's Mistress was reading Elizabeth Gaskell's The Life of Charlotte Brontë in 2016.
"Mrs Gaskell calls Lydia Robinson a 'profligate' and 'wretched' woman. She accuses her of 'tempting' Branwell into sin and blames her for the demise of the entire Brontë family. Who could resist such a story?"
Published by Atria Books (Simon & Schuster), Brontë's Mistress will be launched on Facebook Live at midnight on August 4 in the UK, coinciding with its NYC launch at 7pm on August 3. (Helena McManus)
Empire reviews the film How To Build a Girl:
It’s not hard to make the connection between Feldstein’s two characters; like Molly in Olivia Wilde’s modern teen movie, Johanna draws on the wisdom of pioneering women (her wall is plastered with photos of Elizabeth Taylor and the Brontë sisters) and daydreams about kissing unattainable boys (in this case Alfie Allen, commendably playing the rock star who really listens). (Beth Webb)
Hidden Britain's day trips in The Times:
Hathersage, Derbyshire
The Peak District has its share of honeypots, but you wouldn’t consider Hathersage one of them — unless, perhaps, you were a committed Charlotte Brontë fan. Never mind Haworth, if you really want to understand Jane Eyre, your answers are in this pretty limestone village in sheep-speckled countryside, where Brontë stayed in the summer of 1845 — and which gave her plenty of inspiration.
Follow in her footsteps around St Michael and All Angels’ church and you’ll find multiple memorials to the real-life Eyre family. Their one-time residence, North Lees Hall, is just outside town and matches the description of Mr Rochester’s imposing country pile brick for brick. Even more convincingly, an early mistress of North Lees, Agnes Ashurst, is said to have gone mad, only to die in a fire locked in the tower. North Lees is closed to the public, but the George Hotel isn’t — Brontë stayed at this Hathersage coaching inn and it appears in the novel. (Tristan Kennedy)
Coming Soon unveils the new August additions to Acorn TV streaming:
The Brilliant Brontë Sisters
The Brontës’ works emerged out of the brutal Yorkshire moors to change English Literature forever. Today, their groundbreaking masterpieces remain a compulsive feature of school curriculums the world over. Actress Sheila Hancock, CBE paints vivid portraits of these exceptional women writers and examines the impact of their legacy. Sheila’s journey starts in the Yorkshire village of Haworth and the brutal moors that inspired Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, moves on to Brussels, where Charlotte Brontë developed the writing style that made Jane Eyre an enduring masterpiece, and ends in Scarborough, the last resting place of Anne Brontë. Sheila meets leading authorities on the Brontës, as well as modern artists who have been inspired by their work. Delving through priceless artifacts and manuscripts, Sheila sheds new light on these remarkable and world-famous women. (1 EP, 2013) (Kylie Hemmert)
ScreenRant has a crush on Outlander's Jamie Fraser:
Jamie Fraser is full of swoon-worthy quotes. One could find a quote worthy of a Charlotte Brontë novel, coming from his mouth in each episode of the series. How about 'Don't be afraid. There's the two of us now...', or the line Jamie uses explaining to Claire how he wanted her from the first time he saw her. Such quotes make female hearts leap - but are cringeworthy at the same time. (Heather Djunga)
The Spinoff (New Zealand) and the problems of middle children:
Who are we, us middle children? We’re Dick from Famous Five, Titty from Swallows and Amazons, Jo from Little Women. We’re Elizabeth Bennett, we’re Jane Austen herself. We’re Pippa Middleton, Kim Kardashian. And at the risk of sounding too big for our boots, we’re the two famous Brontës, Princess Diana, JFK, Charles Darwin, and Martin. Luther. King. (Linda Burgess)
The Yorkshire Evening Post talks about the Big Ideas by the Sea 2021 Festival:
Scarborough has famously drawn a host of prolific thinkers and creators to its shores, from William Morris, to Anne Brontë, so you are sure to be within good company for this unique and inspiring cultural event! (Sue Wilkinson)
Alta Online talks about the young days of Robert Frost:
The change in William [Frost. his father] was the shock of Belle’s life. Overnight, he had become a “Heathcliff,” she wrote to a friend. He was a bully when drunk, kicking the furniture around, and many times, she later told Robert, she had to snatch him out of his cradle and run to the neighbors’ to protect him from her rampaging husband. (Robert Roper)
Libreriamo (Italy) loves Anne with an E:
Ispirata al romanzo “Anna dai capelli rossi” di Lucy Maud Montogmery, “Chiamatemi Anna” è la serie tv perfetta per gli amanti dei libri. Ambientata sull’Isola del Principe Edoardo in Canada, fra campi fioriti, boschi e distese ghiacciate, la storia di Anna dai capelli rossi ci trasporta in un mondo pieno di avventura, libri e romanticismo. Da “Jane Eyre” di Charlotte Bronte a “Orgoglio e Pregiudizio” di Jane Austen, quello di “Chiamatemi Anna” è un viaggio denso di citazioni e riferimenti ai nostri romanzi del cuore. (Translation)
Alevinet (Turkey) vindicates literature made by women, including the Brontës. A religious article in The Manila Bulletin begins by quoting Anne Brontë.


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