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Monday, February 12, 2024

The Yorkshire Post interviews Ann Dinsdale, principal curator at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, about the new exhibition at the Parsonage, The Brontës’ Web of Childhood ;
"It is a long time since we have really focussed on the Brontës’ childhood,” says Ann Dinsdale, principal curator at the Brontë Parsonage Museum. “Last year we were involved in an exhibition at the Brotherton Library at the University of Leeds, co-curated with the university and the British Library. It revolved around items we had acquired including seven little books by Charlotte Brontë and because we also acquired quite a few manuscripts as part of our collection, it felt like a good time to showcase some of those in an exhibition here at the museum.”
The Brontës’ formative years were blighted by tragedy. While they were still very young, the children lost their mother and two older sisters so it is understandable that they sought a way of escaping from the brutal realities of the real world into a fantasy realm where they had control over what happened. “Initially it was sparked by a gift of a box of toy soldiers given to Branwell,” says Dinsdale. “The four siblings each selected a soldier and then created this imaginary world and characters, and began writing stories about them. I think that the Brontës are quite unusual in that what we refer to as juvenilia, work that is produced in childhood, is usually left behind at that stage but with them it continues right up to the time when they were writing their novels in adulthood.”
The exhibition showcases items connected to the themes of family and home, education and grief. They include diaries, portraits, schoolbooks and toys belonging to and created by the siblings when they were children as well as Branwell and Charlotte’s famous ‘little books’, tiny handmade publications smaller than a matchbox made for their toy soldiers, drawings and paintings of their imaginary worlds and some of Emily’s early poetry manuscripts. On display for the first time at the museum are family letters previously held in the Blavatnik Honresfield Library including some conveying Charlotte’s intimate thoughts on death and mortality and her christening cap, on loan from a private collection. (...) (Yvette Huddleston)
Abstract Af! list "5 Women-led Novels To Read from the 19th Century":
"The Tenant of Wildfell Hall” by Anne Brontë (1848) – Helen Huntingdon, a mysterious and independent woman, is at the center of this novel, which deals with themes of marriage, alcoholism, and societal expectations. Through her resilience and determination, Helen challenges the conventions of her time, striving for personal autonomy and moral integrity amidst societal pressures.
“Agnes Grey” by Anne Brontë (1847) – The eponymous protagonist of this novel, Agnes Grey, works as a governess and faces the challenges of mistreatment and social inequality. As she navigates the complexities of her position, Agnes confronts the harsh realities of class division and human nature, seeking dignity and respect in a world fraught with injustice.
“Villette” by Charlotte Brontë (1853) – Lucy Snowe, a young Englishwoman, travels to the fictional town of Villette to teach at a girls’ school, where she grapples with loneliness, romance, and identity. Amidst the atmospheric setting of Villette, Lucy wrestles with her own desires and ambitions, navigating the tumultuous landscape of love and self-discovery in a foreign land.
Dread Central quotes Guillermo Del Toro's talking about I Walked with a Zombie 1943: 
Del Toro had nothing but praise for the film, even drawing comparisons to Jane Eyre. “I Walked With a Zombie is the second collaboration between Jacques Tourneur and Val Lewton,” says del Toro. “They had the common goal to deliver ‘A’ movies in genre, for a ‘B’ budget. Lewton was in charge of the unit at RKO to create horror movies that were proving to be very profitable. His collaborations with Tourneur would exist now as paradigms of what a beautiful, classy, deep, poetic, and powerful movie can be made, even under the restraints of a tight budget. I Walked With A Zombie is basically their Jane Eyre. Their most magnificent Gothic romance. It has the attraction, the velvety beauty of shadow and light that a perfect Gothic romance has to have. I hope you enjoy it.” (Tyler Doupe)
TVInsider recommends the hottest costume romances around:
Wuthering Heights (Peacock)
The year 1939 is often remembered for The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind, but it also featured this heartwrenching gothic drama adapted from Emily Brontë’s 1847 classic. As star-crossed lovers Cathy and Heathcliff, Merle Oberon and Laurence Olivier face tragedy after tragedy. Despite the gloom, the near-end scene where Cathy finally professes her love, and she and Heathcliff look out on the moors together, is still sob-inducing like no other romance. 
An anti-drug police operation in Oakwell Hall in The Telegraph & Argus:
Formed from a mix of old woodland, farmland and a reclaimed colliery, over 110 acres of country park surrounds Grade I listed Oakwell Hall, which was visited by Charlotte Brontë in the 1830s and was immortalised as 'Fieldhead' in her 1849 novel 'Shirley'. (Will Kilner)
Star Tribune reviews A.J. Finn's new thriller End of Story:
 If you're up for being kept in the dark, one of the early pleasures of "End of Story" is not knowing precisely what sort of book it is. It's set in the present but if Charlotte Brontë had a laptop and access to social media, you could imagine her crafting "End of Story," which begins in the Gothic territory of her "Jane Eyre." (Chris Hewitt)
Times Now recommends romantic books to gift:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
The book is about an orphan girl named Jane Eyre who chooses to stay determined no matter the odds stacked against her. She grows up in poor conditions, being lonely and mistreated most of the time. She becomes a governess and gets a job working under Mr Rochester, whom she falls in love with. However, theirs is not a love story from the fables as it follows a crooked path filled with countless hoops and hurdles riddled with her employer's secrets. The book beautifully shows how she stays true to her morals and values and fights for her independence and self-respect.
According to Metro, the isle of Skye looks a bit like Wuthering Heights:
 Located on the Scottish western coast, every stargazer worth their salt knows that the Isle of Skye is an ideal spot for the Northern Lights.
The rugged landscape will make you feel like you’re in your Wuthering Heights era, and because it has minimal light pollution, it’s one of the best places to capture the aurora. (Charlotte Colombo)´
A top ten of romantic female characters on Gobookmart:
Jane Eyre from “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë
A heroine of resilience and integrity, Jane Eyre’s journey to love is marked by trials and triumphs. As an orphaned governess, Jane faces hardship and injustice but remains steadfast in her pursuit of independence and love. Her relationship with Mr. Rochester is fraught with challenges, yet Jane’s unwavering principles and moral compass guide her through tumultuous waters.
Their love transcends societal norms and social status, reflecting the enduring power of a deep emotional connection. Jane’s unwavering strength and unwavering commitment to her principles make her a timeless symbol of love’s transformative and redemptive power. (...)
Catherine Earnshaw from “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë
A haunting figure in romantic literature, Catherine Earnshaw’s tumultuous love affair with Heathcliff leaves an indelible mark on readers. Her passionate nature and rebellious spirit drive her towards forbidden love, defying societal norms and expectations.
Catherine’s complex character embodies the destructive power of unrequited love and the enduring pain of lost opportunities. Her tragic fate serves as a cautionary tale about the consequences of allowing pride and stubbornness to dictate matters of the heart, reminding readers of the importance of honesty and vulnerability in romantic relationships. (Neha Bharti)
AARP also recommends great romance books:
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Recommended by Kristan Higgins, novelist

“I’ll have to go with Wuthering Heights,” says Higgins, a big name in the world of romantic fiction whose next book, Look on the Bright Side, comes out on May 28. Brontë’s 19th century classic is a passionate love story between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff set on the windswept Yorkshire moors. It’s been adapted for film numerous times, including the 1939 version starring Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon. “We see the power of love between soul mates, both redemptive and destructive,” Higgins notes. “Has anyone in fiction ever loved as deeply as Cathy and Heathcliff? I first read it when I was 12, and all these years later, it still squeezes my heart.” (Nicholas DeRenzo)
Style Magazine (Italy) and Valentine books:
Cime Tempestose 
 L’attrazione inevitabile tra due spiriti affini e il peso sinistro delle convenzioni. Il male che intreccia il bene in un turbine oscuro. Un amore così autentico e primitivo da sfuggire a ogni controllo. Catherine e Heathcliff hanno cambiato la storia della letteratura e trasformato Emily Brontë in una divinità. (Giorgio Mirandolina ) (Translation)

BuzzFeed has a Valentine's Trivia which includes a Wuthering Heights question. The Times of India celebrates Kiss Day (apparently it happens) with a Wuthering Heights quote. Anne Brontë.org posts about a letter from Charlotte to Ellen Nussey made 'out of nothing'.


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