Saturday, May 21, 2022

 Anne Brontë is now being vindicated as an amateur geologist. From The Guardian:
Sally Jaspars says novelist’s rock collection shows youngest Brontë sister ‘was in tune with the scientific inquiry of the time’
A student has helped reveal that one of Britain’s most famous authors was not only a talented writer but also a skilled rock collector with an active interest in geology.
Anne Brontë, the youngest of the three Brontë sisters, built up a collection of attractive specimens before her death at 29 in 1849.
It was previously thought the author of Agnes Grey collected items because of their aesthetic value, but researchers have revealed she was an informed and skilled geologist during the science’s golden age.
Sally Jaspars, who is studying Brontë as part of her PhD at the University of Aberdeen, said: “Her interest in geology is mentioned in her literary works – indeed in The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall she references the science and a book by Sir Humphry Davy directly.”
She called on the help of Stephen Bowden, from the university’s school of geosciences, to analyse the collection, housed at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Howarth, West Yorkshire.
Along with experts from the University of Leeds and a specialist spectroscopy company, they found that as well as the carnelians and agates Brontë collected in Scarborough, where she worked as a governess, the collection contains flowstone and a rare kind of red obsidian that originated outside of the UK.
It is also likely that Brontë would have visited the Rotunda Museum, close to where she stayed in Scarborough, researchers said, which contained exhibits featuring the area’s geology.
Jaspars said: “This is the first time that Anne’s collection has been systematically described and fully identified, and in doing so we add to the body of knowledge on Anne and show her to be scientifically minded and engaging with geology. She was an intelligent and progressive individual who was in tune with the scientific inquiry of the time.”
The research has now been published in the journal Brontë Studies.
Bowden added: “Our Raman spectroscopy analysis which we undertook at the Brontë Parsonage Museum shows that Anne Brontë did not just collect pretty stones at random but skilfully accumulated a meaningful collection of semi-precious stones and geological curiosities.
“Anne’s collection comprises stones that are sufficiently unusual and scarce to show that they were collected deliberately for their geological value, and it’s clear that her collection took skill to recognise and collect.”

The Guardian reports that several actors have been paying tribute to Kay Mellor, including Samantha Morton:
“I was lucky enough to play Jane Eyre when Kay wrote an adaptation of it and I was so honoured,” she said. “I was very working-class and normally the actresses that play that role are certainly not from a children’s home in Nottingham. Up until that point I’d auditioned for costume dramas and they always said ‘she just isn’t the right class’. But Kay believed in me. She changed my life.” (Nadia Khomami)
The Guardian also puts the spotlight on Yorkshire cinema.
But Yorkshire cinema is so much more than angry men and kitchen sinks: the regions rolling moors and misty atmospherics also lend themselves to a unique brand of British romanticism. [...] Andrea Arnold’s radical reimagining of Wuthering Heights (Netflix), meanwhile, is as febrile with the county’s natural wildness – its changeable weather and surging wildflowers – as it is with Heathcliff and Cathy’s own unruly passion. (Guy Lodge)
Edinburgh Live looks at the acting careers of several actors from the Harry Potter films, including Ralph Fiennes, who played Lord Voldemort in the saga.
Can you even believe that Mr Voldemort got his filming beginnings playing Heathcliff in Emily Brontë's 1992 Wuthering Heights? A heartthrob before his time as scaly character, He Who Must Not Be Named. (Abbie Meehan)
CBR looks into the 'Superhero Orphan Cliché'.
The orphan trope is a very old one, going back to European folktales of the 18th Century at least. Depriving a child of parents gave them agency in the story -- allowing Hansel and Gretel to outsmart the wicked witch, for instance – while enhancing the sense of danger. The 19th Century saw an explosion of orphaned characters in literature -- from Oliver Twist to Jane Eyre to Peter Pan – based largely on the same premise. (Robert Vaux)
La Razón (Spain) interviews Argentinian writer Florencia Bonelli, who recommends Jane Eyre.
Bonelli recomienda la lectura «Jane Eyre», la obra que consagró a Charlotte Brontë.
¿Cómo descubrió este libro?
Me lo compró mi padre cuando era pequeña, tendría unos diez años. Él fue mi «proveedor» de literatura durante muchos años y quien me inculcó la pasión por la lectura.
¿Por qué lo elige?
Supongo que mi padre me lo compró porque era un clásico de la literatura, como ya había hecho con tantos otros, de Mark Twain, Julio Verne, Louisa May Alcott, etc. Lo cierto es que este libro de Charlotte Brontë me provocó una sensación distinta, unas ganas de leer que superaban la de libros anteriores. Creo que en mi mente inocente de niña acababa de descubrir que mi género favorito era el romántico, al cual pertenece Jane Eyre.
¿Qué destaca de él?
Que la historia de la institutriz Jane Eyre refleja las vivencias de la autora, quien, a mediados del siglo XIX, debía trabajar para mantenerse ejerciendo este oficio. Una vez Charlotte dijo que era muy dura la vida de las gobernantas porque se sentían muy solas: el resto de la servidumbre las consideraba por encima y, por lo tanto, las ignoraban, y la familia de los pupilos lo hacían por debajo y, por lo tanto, también las ignoraban.
¿Se siente identificada de alguna manera?
Jane Eyre está muy por encima de mí. Su nobleza, su bondad y su incapacidad para sentir rencor la convierten en uno de mis personajes favoritos, sin duda para imitar. El personaje masculino, Edward Rochester, a pesar de mostrar una fachada dura y cínica, es un gran hombre, con sentimientos que hablan de una nobleza de espíritu que los reveses de la vida no consiguieron mancillar. (Juan Beltrán) (Translation)
The Telegraph and Argus reports that Bradford appeared in a special City of Culture segment on The One Show.
There were shoutouts for our famous names, Zayn Malik, David Hockney, and the Brontë Sisters, whilst others suggested Bradford is the curry capital. (Rowan Newman)
Still locally, The Yorkshire Post features Haworth 1940s Weekend 2022.


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