Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Writing (Ireland) Pauline Clooney discusses her forthcoming novel Charlotte & Arthur, inspired bu Charlotte Brontë's marriage to Arthur Bell Nicholls.
The story of Charlotte & Arthur began on a summer’s day in Haworth in 1979. My granny had brought me on holidays to relatives in Yorkshire. I want to say something grand, and Rebecca-esque like I was accompanying my Grandmama on a tour of England, but I’m rather fond of being a Clooney from St Brigid’s Place in Portlaoise and want to be able to still show my face in the town post-publication…I was proudly raised on a diet of ‘no notions and honesty’. The relatives lived in a town called Brighouse, which is nearer to Haworth than the then untravelled me realised, and my aunt brought us on a day trip to visit the Brontë parsonage museum and walk on the moors. [...] I was fifteen that year, the age when you are on the cusp of everything, and anything is possible, and from that parsonage visit, and that walk on the moors, one of my everything’s became the Brontës and my anything was to be a writer just like them.
This obsession with the Brontës, and with Charlotte in particular, wasn’t exactly a constant over the subsequent years, I lived a normal life involving education, career, marriages (just two!) and two daughters, and from time to time I dabbled in writing, where something always brought me back to Haworth. In the early 2000s I headed back to college in Maynooth on a part-time basis, and I did an MLitt on the life and works of Charlotte Brontë. [...]
So, back to my Brontë fixation, as I said I couldn’t let Charlotte go, I have visited Haworth six times since 1979, I have amassed quite the collection of Brontë related books, and no doubt I have bored anybody who cared to listen with Brontë trivia. About halfway through a UCD Masters I did in creative writing, I recall one of the other students, who will probably recognise herself here, sighing during a workshop and saying, ‘Christ, are you still going on about them, you’d want to be moving on to something new.’ I’m glad I didn’t! The Brontë Irish connection always intrigued me, their father, Patrick Brontë was from County Down, and Charlotte’s husband, Arthur Bell Nichols was also an Irish man. But the most intriguing fact, and I am discovering the least known one, is that most of Charlotte Brontë’s honeymoon was spent in Ireland, something that has not been documented much and never fictionalised. This presented as a compelling challenge to me. And now as Charlotte & Arthur makes its way into the world, I know that I will continue to keep part of Charlotte Brontë and her family very close, and as soon as it is safe to do so again, I will be heading back to Haworth, to walk on the moors and whisper my thanks to the invisible air, where I have no doubt she and her siblings continue to wander.
About Charlotte & Arthur by Pauline Clooney
It is the morning of June 29th, 1854, here is the groom coming up the cobbles in Haworth, for his nuptial appointment with Charlotte Brontë. Only a handful of guests have been invited, and you, dear Reader, are one of them …
Charlotte Brontë, the celebrated author of Jane Eyre, has married her papa’s Curate, Irishman, Arthur Bell Nicholls. At thirty-eight years of age, and the unlikelihood of there ever being further proposals, Charlotte’s dread of the lonely life of the spinster has convinced her that this is a calculated risk she must take.
For the month of July, the couple’s itinerary brings them from the castles of Wales to the most popular tourist attractions in Victorian Ireland, spending some time along the way with Arthur’s family in Banagher, on the banks of the River Shannon. Set against the backdrop of the recent famine, their tour exposes the contrasting lives of the poor and the privileged of Irish society.
Charlotte & Arthur, invites the reader into the heart and mind of the revered author, and it allows that reader to walk beside her as she realises that to have Arthur as her husband was in her own words ‘…better than to earn either Wealth or Fame or Power.’
Times of India shares some 'Unforgettable trees from literature', including
03/7 ​Horse-Chestnut Tree in 'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Brontë
One of the most powerful images in 'Jane Eyre' is that of the shattered chestnut tree. It is initially a symbol of life where Rochester proposes to Jane under its boughs. However, split in two by a violent storm that very night, it indicates the disaster to come i.e. the failed wedding day and Mr. Rochester's injury. It finally reappears at the end of the novel when Rochester proposes for the second time, and says, "I am no better than the old lightning-struck chestnut-tree in Thornfield orchard." In other words, the tree, initially a simple object in the novel, is transformed by events into a complex image and powerful symbol of Jane and Rochester's relationship.
On Tor, writer Lauren Blackwood recommends 'Five African-inspired YA Fantasy Novels' after mentioning her retelling of Jane Eyre.
In my Jane Eyre retelling Within These Wicked Walls, a young, unlicensed debtera named Andromeda is hired to cleanse the Evil Eye from a cursed castle in a secluded desert. She gets in over her head, however, when she discovers that the castle’s eccentric and difficult owner was not being completely honest about the severity of the curse. Now Andromeda has to decide if she’ll risk her life and earn the money she needs or if she’ll do the wise thing a run…her decision made all the more difficult when she realizes she’s falling for her troubled host. This book is Ethiopian inspired—which is located on the horn of Africa—building from the culture of the country and its folklore of the evil eye.
Grough reports that Sally Wainwright has been appointed South Pennines Park ambassador.
Acclaimed writer and director Sally Wainwright said she is flattered to become the first ambassador of the newly formed South Pennines Park.
Many of her productions have been based in the area and she spent much of her life in West Yorkshire, which is at the centre of the ‘alternative national park’. [...]
Wainwright also wrote and directed To Walk Invisible, the story of the Brontë sisters of Haworth, which is also in the park’s area. She agreed to be an ambassador for the park and help protect its legacy for the future.
The recently launched South Pennines Park covers 460 square miles of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester.
The park aims to champion the landscape, its people, and businesses, and in the process ensure residents and visitors enjoy the positive benefits of being closer to nature. (Bob Smith)
According to Prospect,
In Britain, the history of slavery hides in plain sight, not merely in gilt frames on dark oak walls, but in the works of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë and Charles Dickens—as well as in the faces of black Britons, many of whose slave ancestors laboured to make the nation’s gracious houses and fine gardens and art collections possible. But when the National Trust, which with more than five million members is one of the country’s most beloved institutions, last year issued its “Interim Report on the Connections between Colonialism and Properties now in the Care of the National Trust, Including Links with Historic Slavery,” Middle England had a hissy fit. (Diane Roberts)
Anime UK News takes issue with the titles of episodes in Yu Yu Hakusho Season 2.
However, the worst issue is the titles given to some of the episodes. I will remove the most offending part myself, but I will say that Episode 52 in the collection is called: “The Death of [SPOILER]”. That’s like giving Jane Eyre the title The First Mrs. Rochester is in the Attic. (Ian Wolf)
The New York Times and Le Monde (France) publish obituaries about Carlisle Floyd. Clappr has articles on Jane Eyre 1944 and Jane Eyre 2011.

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