Friday, September 11, 2020

Friday, September 11, 2020 11:49 am by M. in , , , , , , , ,    No comments
(The selling of) Ponden Hall is again in the news. BBC News reports:
A house thought to be the inspiration for Emily Brontë when writing 19th century classic Wuthering Heights is on sale for more than £1m.
Ponden Hall, in Stanbury, West Yorkshire, dates back to 1541 and played host to Brontë and her family during their childhood.
Several features of the property are said to have inspired her work.
In 2014, it was converted into a bed and breakfast which is currently run by owners Steve Brown and Julie Akhurst.
Sisters Emily and Anne, who began writing as children along with their sibling Charlotte, first came across Ponden Hall during the Crow Hill Bog Burst, a mudslide that occurred following heavy rainfall in September 1824.
While this was the girls' first encounter with Ponden, they continued to visit, with the house providing inspiration for both Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
The library at Ponden, considered one of the finest in West Yorkshire and which boasted a Shakespeare first portfolio, was particularly appealing to the Brontës, who would often stop by to use it.
Mr Brown said it was a request from a Brontë enthusiast to stay over in the old library that prompted the couple to turn Ponden into a bed and breakfast.
The couple moved into the property in 1998 and undertook extensive restoration work.
The main guest bedroom features a small, single-paned window within a wooden, panelled box bed which bears similarities to the window that appears in Wuthering Heights.
Ms Akhurst said: "This is the room in the old end of the house which has a tiny window in it which inspired Emily to write the story of Cathy's ghost.
"There is the scene in which Mr Lockwood is asleep in the bed and he has a nightmare where he believes the ghost of Cathy is coming through the window to get him."
Also on BBC Culture we find this interesting article on Daphne du Maurier:
An article in the Spectator in the same year of the TLS reappraisal, 1962, made what I think is the first connection between Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece and du Maurier’s own, describing Rebecca as “a Cornish Gothic resetting of Jane Eyre.” It’s a comparison that, in more recent years, has seen Rebecca finally claimed by the literary establishment, thus metamorphosing a novel once blurbed as the “world-famous bestseller of love and suspense” into a key 20th-Century feminist gothic text: Brontë’s madwoman in the attic transformed into Rebecca’s ghostly presence, each woman a dirty little secret their husbands have to take care of, one way or another. (Lucy Scholes
Commonweal Magazine reviews both Isabelle Greenberg's Glass Town and Douglas A. Martin's Branwell: A Novel of the Brontë Brother:
Isabel Greenberg’s graphic novel Glass Town: The Imaginary World of the Brontës (Abrams ComicArts, $24.99) and Douglas A. Martin’s newly reissued Branwell: A Novel of the Brontë Brother (Soft Skull Press, $16.95). Both works take something solid from Brontë history (childhood imaginings in the case of Greenberg; addiction to drink and drugs in the case of Martin) and turn it strange and otherworldly.
While living at Haworth Parsonage in the 1820s, the Brontë siblings—Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, all celebrated novelists, as well as brother Branwell, the family’s great disappointment—created an imaginary world called Glass Town. Through text and image, Greenberg recreates both the lives of the young Brontës and the realm they imagined. Glass Town was a world of soldiers and romance, hard facts and wild fancy; it offered the isolated siblings an opportunity to think about other worlds, and it gives Greenberg the chance to blend literary biography with fantastical speculation. (...)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that all good prose must be described as poetic. But Martin’s writing really does display the compressed lyricism and rhythms of poetry.
By one light, Douglas A. Martin’s Branwell takes the airy Brontë myth and brings it back down to earth. Reissued with an excellent introduction by the novelist Darcey Steinke, Branwell serves as an imaginative biography of the ne’er-do-well Brontë brother: a talented, desirous would-be artist/poet (he sent letters to William Wordsworth, Thomas De Quincey, and Hartley Coleridge) who became a has-been drunk before dying at the age of thirty-one. (...)
Though Branwell is an excellent novel of deromanticizing, it can be as otherworldly as Glass Town. Martin’s hero “doesn’t know how to contain all he doesn’t know what to do with,” and his mind, when under the influence of opium or erotic desire, becomes hallucinatory, beautiful and terrifying in the way of dreams. (Anthony Domestico)
Church Times reviews the book Converting Britannia: Evangelicals and British public life, 1770-1840, by Gareth Atkins
A modest example was a poverty-stricken young Irishman, Patrick Brunty, who, arriving at St John’s College, Cambridge, in 1802, was taken up by Charles Simeon’s curate, Henry Martyn, who introduced him to the Evangelical great and good. Through their influence, he progressed via several Evangelical curacies to be perpetual curate of Howarth (sic) in Yorkshire, and father of the Brontë sisters. Evangelicals could also be ruthless in removing or silencing anyone who dissented from or challenged their vision. (William Jacob)
Yorkshire Life has a list of Yorkshire falls which includes our very own
Brontë Waterfall
Follow in the footsteps of the famous sisters, take the Brontë Trail starting from Haworth and running over the moors to the waterfall and Top Withens. 
The Hamilton County Times presents a curious series of talks organised by the CEArts’ annual Noblesville Interdisciplinary Creativity Expo (NICE) project:

Does Jane Eyre’s role in society always adhere to social convention?
Are Edward Rochester and Rhett Butler just a “bad boys,” or is there more to them than that?
Does Scarlett O’Hara’s sexuality help her or hurt her as a survival mechanism?
How would you describe Jo March in terms of gender roles and norms?
Is Dracula the ultimate abuser?
We’ll discuss these questions and more in the three sessions on September 12!
To register, simply email us at, and we'll send you invitation information for September 12’s three Zoom sessions.All Workshops Are Free; donations welcome! 
State of Mind (Italy) reviews the essay Questo matrimonio non s’ha da fare  di M. Morretta:
Un paio di anni fa visitai Haworth, villaggio inglese dove vissero le sorelle Brontë. Un tuffo emotivo nel mio passato adolescenziale in cui cercavo di capire cosa significasse amare. Per anni ho creduto che quello fosse il vero amore: gli sguardi rubati tra Mr. Rochester e Jane Eyre, i tormenti interiori, l’unica forza in grado di cambiare le persone, l’unico motore per raggiungere la felicità. Se avessi continuato a ricercare tra quelle righe il senso della vita forse avrei vissuto a metà, in angosce profonde e frustrazione, alla ricerca di un ideale impossibile. (Eleonora Natalini) (Translation)
Tonight, at the Teatro Comunale di Cagli (Italy) a concert in remembrance of the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks will contain an unexpected Brontë-related piece:
Venerdì 11 settembre alle 21.00 al Teatro Comunale di Cagli va in scena il recital I want magic , in prima esecuzione assoluta, con la soprano Laura Muncaciu e la pianista Yasue Hokimoto. Un progetto musicale che vuole ricordare attraverso la musica uno degli eventi più sconvolgenti della nostra epoca: la tragedia della Torri Gemelle di New York, avvenuta l’11 settembre di 19 anni fa. (...)
Il programma si muove dalle sonorità inglesi (R.V. Williams) dell’ultimo recital (sempre con Yasue pianista) alle atmosfere americane del ’900, i “Suoni americani” (che sono differenti da altri suoni), le parole di Emily Brontë e Tennesse Williams nel Teatro di Cagli. (Source) (Translation)
The piece is I have dreamt from Bernard Herrmann's Wuthering Heights opera.

Information (Denmark) reviews the novel Sortsyge by Cecilie Bødkers:
August er en god gammeldags narcissist, der det ene øjeblik overstrømmer Freja med kærlighed og straks truer med at tage den fra hende. Freja kaster sig forudsigeligt i hans arme, og den slags usunde dynamikker har da også givet stof til god litteratur fra Romeo og Julie til Heathcliff og Catherine i Wuthering Heights. (Bodil Skovgaard Nielsen) (Translation)
El Quindiano (Colombia) talks about pseudonyms in literature and mentions the Brontës. Books & Livres reviews the graphic novel Jane by Aline Brosh McKenna and Ramón K. Pérez.


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