Thursday, July 24, 2014

Emily by Candlelight

A new chance to catch Rita Parisi's Gothic Tales by Candlelight at the Bristol Public Library (CT):

Gothic Romance Tales by Candlelight w/ Rita Parisi
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Rita Parisi from Waterfall Productions will present “Gothic Romance Tales by Candlelight” at the Bristol Public Library on Thursday, July 24, at 6:30 pm. This theatrical storytelling presentation will feature mysterious stories of love and betrayal by Louisa May Alcott, Emily Brontë and Kate Chopin. No charge. Please Register.
(Via The Bristol Press)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Agnes in the Library

Rebecca Onion publishes on Slate's The Vault about the Brontës at Cowan Bridge School:

In 1900, noting that fans had lately picked over the history of the Brontë family so “diligently” that “there can be but little left for gleaners,” the British Journal of Education republished these reports on four Brontë sisters’ unhappy year at the Clergy Daughters’ School at Cowan Bridge. The reports, which assess the sisters’ preparation and work during the year they were at the school, are drawn from the school’s register. (Read more)
The Huffington Post on the importance of a public library:
As I got older, drifting into my teens, the library wasn’t quite as essential as it had been to me in the past. My parents, both prolific readers, had accumulated bookshelves full of classic novels that lined our den, and I was able to sustain myself for days on the Brontës and Dickens and Austen. But the library was still there, right downtown, waiting for the day I’d feel the itch for a new fantasy novel, a giant stack of Agatha Christie mysteries, or a clutch of P.G. Wodehouse romps to while away a lazy summer weekend. Whenever I needed risk-free, cost-free, judgment-free reading -- a chance to guiltily try a Nicholas Sparks novel or to blow through 10 light mysteries in three days -- the library welcomed me back with its familiar quiet murmur and secluded shelves. When my parents’ shelves inexplicably failed to yield Anne Brontë’s Agnes Grey, the library was reassuringly replete with copies. (Claire Fallon)
Pittsburgh Historical Fiction Examiner interviews the writer Amy Belding Brown:
What year in history would you have liked to live in?
That’s a hard question to answer because there are so many unpleasant aspects of living in an historical time period. But I’d probably choose the ante-bellum period in New England, say l847, when the anti-slavery movement was gaining momentum, and people were enthusiastically embracing new ideas and ways of relating to each other. It was also the year that one of my favorite books – Charlotte Brontë’s "Jane Eyre" – was published. (Kayla Posney)
Nicky Peacock-Author interviews another writer J K Coi:
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
I think maybe Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights because he’s so brooding and intense and I would love to be able to delve into his character. But I’m pretty sure I’d be too excited to eat anything. Maybe I’d just drink. Lots. :)
The Value of Sparrows publishes the article Wuthering Heights, by Peter Milward, included in the 2005 book A Poetic Approach to Ecology. Ramblings of a Texas Housewife reviews Solsbury Hill. Behold the Stars posts about Jane Eyre.

The Return of the Women of Literary Instinct

Cambridge University Press has reprinted Marjorie A. Bald's Women-Writers of the Nineteenth Century:

Women-Writers of the Nineteenth Century
Marjorie A. Bald
Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107418073 / July 2014

Originally published in 1923, this book contains short biographies of the lives and works of several nineteenth-century female writers: Jane Austen, the Brontës, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Christina Rossetti. Bald focuses on the humanity of each woman, and seeks to clarify the characteristics of 'women of literary instinct'. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in female authors and their motivations.
Includes a whole section devoted to the Brontës:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Now, I understand

The writer Peter Mandel visits Haworth and Brontë country and writes about it in The Huffington Post:

Are Yorkshire's villages where you want to be? Hamlets like Haworth, where the Brontë sisters lived and worked on their famous novels. Or are you about walking on moors? Because of its wild dales, its green and purple views, Yorkshire can make you strangely wistful even when you are looking at stone walls or at a farm. 'God's Own County' it has been called.
Both its town and country landscapes got a fresh life a few years back with the latest movie version of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. Since the film was full of big names like Mia Wasikowska and Dame Judi Dench, it trained a spotlight on this still pleasantly drowsy realm. Still, I'm determined to poke around and check things out that didn't show up on screen. (...)
I'm standing on the doorstep of the 300-year-old Old White Lion Inn, trying to decide what to walk to first. Straight in front of me is Haworth's cobbled Main Street which snakes down a steep hill. Off to my right is the Brontë Parsonage Museum which was home to the world's most famous family of writers from 1820 to 1861. And just behind me is the start of a country hike called "Walk to Wuthering Heights." (...)
In fact, after about two hours of charging up small rises, and slipping back, we're gasping and complaining. Is that Top Withins in the distance? It is. Was it once a house? It was. When we make it, we collapse for a rest next to walls without roofs and collections of old stones.
Just when I'm wondering how this made Brontë think of romance, there is a blast of wind. A fat cloud retreats and we get a sword-thrust of sun. The moors we've stumbled over light up in sections as if in a play. Over here is luminescent green. Here is violet. And there is the brown and white of a stream. Deep in the distance are the steeples and houses of Haworth.
Now, I understand. I pull out my pen and some paper to see if I can do some writing myself. Or maybe a sketch.
The Christian Science Monitor reviews the novel We Were Liars by E. Lockhart:
Lockhart has a choppy, poetic style in which the crags are offset by luxurious turns of phrase. I love the moment when Gat likens himself to Heathcliff in "Wuthering Heights" to show Cadence that Harris will never accept him. Gat is bitter: “There’s nothing Heathcliff can ever do to make these Earnshaws think he’s good enough. And he tries. He goes away, educates himself, becomes a gentleman. Still, they think he’s an animal.... Heathcliff becomes what they think of him, you know? He becomes a brute. The evil in him comes out.” (Katie Ward Beim-Esche)
The Federalist attacks the censorship of works of art which can be considered politically incorrect for today's standards:
The Brontë sisters may have been 19th-Century proto-feminists, but their ideas about the proper role of women would be well out of place in today’s society. (David Marcus)
The Sydney Morning Herald discusses the ABC1 show Jennifer Byrne Presents: The Seven Deadly Sins:
Wrath, naturally, is a fertile topic for discussion with regard to literature. The discussion skips from The Iliad, where Achilles' rage led him to fight and kill Hector, to the murderous rage of Jimmie Blacksmith, Fay Weldon's she-devil and the romantic fury at the heart of Wuthering Heights. (Ben Pobjie)
Librópatas (Spain) talks about scandalous writers. Among them, Jean Rhys:
Jean Rhys es algo más que la autora de Ancho mar de los Sargazos, la precuela de Jane Eyre que todo fan de Charlotte Brontë debería leer (y que cualquier lector literario debería incluir también en su lista de lecturas), sino también una autora de biografía con todos los mimbres para ser incluida en la lista de escritoras escandalosas. (Raquel C. Pino) (Translation)
EDIT: The article reappears on ABC.

Precisely The Writer's Block talks about Showing Through Telling in Wide Sargasso Sea:
Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea is a novel about a Creole woman in early 19th century Jamaica who slowly, maybe, goes mad. It's also a prequel to Jane Eyre, but that seems secondary to the real story in the Caribbean.
I'd like to look at the spiraling emotions of Rochester (unnamed by Rhys), as they are shown to us, through histelling about his wife.
The brief passage I'm concerned with occurs after Rochester has married a woman he barely knows, loved her, and then been told horrible things about her. Rochester narrates the passage, but in it, the action has passed and he is just thinking.
In a technical sense, nothing is happening. It's only a man pacing a room (at least, that's how I picture it—even that action is uncertain) and stewing. For this reason, I believe most experts would consider it an example of telling. It's not the scene in which two characters love each other or the scene in which he learns of her past or the scene in which he locks her away—it's only him telling about those things. (Allison Wyss) (Read more)
Dagens Nyheter (Sweden) advocates for reading classics:
Ja, då är det ju en annan sak. Jag ska inte tjata om Charlotte Brontës ”Jane Eyre” igen, inte heller om Cora Sandels Albertetrilogi, Tove Janssons Muminböcker eller Väinö Linnas Under Polstjärnan-trilogi. Men har man inte läst dem så har man upplevelser framför sig. (Lotta Olsson) (Translation)
Banbridge Leader and the Dromore Leader post about the upcoming local performances of the ChapterHouse Theatre production of Wuthering Heights. Francis Kwarteng includes Charlotte Brontë among the great writers of all time on GhanaWeb. Careann's Musings reviews the K.M. Weiland annotated edition of Jane Eyre. Memorias del Cine Club (Spain) uploads a debate on Jane Eyre 1944 (aired on TeleToledo).

Sexing the Male and more

More recent Brontë-related scholar papers or theses:
Sexing The Male: Manifestations Of Masculinity In Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, And Villette
Emma Foye Quinn
Bucknell University
Date of Thesis: 5-8-2014

This project considers Emily and Charlotte Brontë's constructions of masculinity in Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Villette. There is a vast proliferation of scholarship focusing on gender in the Victorian Era, but as much of this criticism focuses on women, the analysis of heterosexual masculinity in these novels provides a unique perspective on the complexities involved in gender constructions during this period. Masculine identity was in a transitory state in the early nineteenth century, as Romantic values were replaced by Victorian conceptions of masculinity, largely influencing the expectations of men. This paper argues that based on an understanding of femininity and masculinity as defined in relation to each other, the Brontë heroes look to the female characters as a source of stability to define themselves against, constructing a stagnant feminine role to frame an understanding of how masculinity was changing. The female characters resist this categorization, however, never allowing the men to fully classify them into stable feminine roles, which leads both shifting gender roles to intertwine and collapse in the novels, undermining any conceptualization of a stable or universal understanding of gender. The paper considers the role of masculinity based in class, relationships with women, and the understanding of sexual passion, to argue that the Brontës' portrayal of men emulates the anxieties surrounding the shift from Romantic to Victorian values of manliness, ultimately rejecting any stable definition of the nineteenth-century man.
An Analysis of the Humanity of Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights from the Perspective of Natural and Social Space4
Ben Hua Wan
Applied Mechanics and Materials (Volumes 556 - 562)

This paper intends to explore the humanity of Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights from the perspective of natural and social space, analyzing the transformation of Heathcliff’s human nature and its causes. Through the carrier of space Wuthering Heights rationally ponders over the fate and survival state of characters, discloses the complexity, the goodness, the wickedness and the recovery of Heathcliff’s human nature.
Defining Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights in Psychological Terms
Mosir Khan
Goa University
March 23, 2014

The paper discusses Heathcliff in terms of modern Psychology and proposes that the character of Heathcliff is suffereing from psychological disorders.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ballads over Brontë

The Toronto Star reviews The Informed Air by Muriel Spark:

For example, in one of the earlier essays she mentions the Scottish Border Ballads — anonymous songs and poems from ancient times. She was influenced by them, growing up as a child; she notes in another essay that Scottish poet Robbie Burns was influenced by them, as well. And in her essay on Emily Brontë she suggests that Brontë was, too — that somehow she assimilated them into the very fibre of her intellect and being, so that they informed her poetry. The point here is: that a country’s literature can build up, be influenced by what came before, and knowing it gives you a deeper understanding of what you’re reading now.
Here’s another example: She takes a look in another essay at Heathcliff (from Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights) as the most perfect villain in literature. It’s one of many essays on the Brontës included in the collection and each takes a slightly different look at how the sisters (and brother) interacted, created. By looking at each of them, you can see how one influenced the other, how they each interpreted their surroundings and upbringing. (Deborah Dundas)
Il Manifesto (Italy) reviews a new edition of Annie Vivanti's Naja Tripudians (1921):
Ciò potrebbe dirsi anche del libro più suo che ancora nel com­plesso resi­ste agli oltre novant’anni, un romanzo edito da Bem­po­rad nel ’21, ristam­pato tre volte da Mon­da­dori (nel ’30, nel ’46, poi negli «Oscar», 1970, con una coper­tina hip­pie di Ferenc Pin­ter e la sma­gliante pre­fa­zione di un gio­vane Cesare Gar­boli), oggi final­mente ripro­po­sto, Naja tri­pu­dians (intro­du­zione di Ric­cardo Reim, Otto/Novecento, pp. 148, euro 14.00), un titolo che allude al più vene­fico fra i ser­penti che infe­stano l’India colo­niz­zata dagli inglesi. E pro­prio uno spe­cia­li­sta di malat­tie colo­niali è il padre, vedovo, delle due ado­le­scenti, Myo­so­tis e Leslie, pro­ta­go­ni­ste del romanzo di for­ma­zione nella cui atmo­sfera, uno York­shire cali­gi­noso e mesta­mente autun­nale, resta qual­cosa del modello peral­tro dichia­rato, e insieme inar­ri­va­bile, che è Jane Eyre di Char­lotte Brontë. (Massimo Raffaeli) (Translation)
Lettera 43 (Italy) is concerned about the Fifty Shades of Grey effects on young people:
Robaccia para erotica che ha sostituito i romanzetti d'amore di un tempo (siamo onesti, poche si sono formate su Proust, le sorelle Brontë e Virginia Woolf, per lo più hanno letto Liala) in cui non si percepisce mai, mai si comprende la gioia, l'ansia, l'attesa, la bellezza di un rapporto vero, profondo, fra due corpi che si uniscono, anche a dispetto o non ostante l'eventuale mancato coinvolgimento dell'anima. (Fabiana Giacomotti) (Translation)
Antonella Iuliano (author of Charlotte) posts about the Maddalena De Leo's Italian translations of Charlotte Brontë's juvenilia: Henry Hastings and The Secret. Daeandwrite reviews Wide Sargasso Sea. The Brontë Parsonage tweets a 1833 sketch by Branwell Brontë. Darrell Bryan performs As Good As You from Jane Eyre. The Musical. Elizabeth E and letterbworld (in Czech)  review Jane Eyre.

Brontës in a Desert Island

Let's revisit one of those eternal clichés: What books would you take with you to a desert island? Markus Gasser has written a book with those books and  has been published in Germany. Both Charlotte and Emily are on it:

Das Buch der Bücher für die Insel
Markus Gasser
Publishing Date: 24.02.2014
ISBN 978-3-446-24495-5
Hanser Verlag

Welches Buch nehme ich mit auf die sprichwörtliche einsame Insel? Markus Gasser stellt uns in 50 Kapiteln Romane und Erzählungen aus unterschiedlichen Ländern und Epochen vor. Mit dem Blick fürs Wesentliche porträtiert er Bücher und Autoren samt ihren überraschenden, manchmal bizarren Hintergründen. Sie bringen einen Reichtum an Geschichten und Erfahrungen ins Leben, den uns der Alltag gewöhnlich nicht zu bieten hat. Bei Gasser finden sich Klassiker von Homer bis Thomas Mann, aber auch Erfolgsautoren wie Tolkien und Roald Dahl. Mit diesem besonders schön ausgestattetem Buch hilft er Anfängern, sich in der Weltliteratur zu orientieren, erfahrenen Lesern gibt er Empfehlungen, die bisweilen auch Kenner überraschen werden.
The titles of the Brontë chapters are: Die Königin von Angria. Charlotte Brontë and Was is vorigen verschwiegen worden ist. Emily Brontë.

The reviewer of Die Welt is not very happy with the Emily Brontë bit:
Emily Brontës "Sturmhöhe" mitzunehmen leuchtet unmittelbar ein; nur wäre es schöner gewesen, wenn Markus Gasser uns das Sterben der Autorin nicht genau so ausführlich wie den von ihm quasi als bekannt vorausgesetzten Inhalt dieses singulären Romans beschrieben hätte. (Rainer Moritz) (Translation)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Spooky Jane

Ian Hamilton talks about his book Walking the Literary Landscape (co-written with Diane Roberts) in The Yorkshire Post:
The novels of the Brontë sisters are of course famously soaked in the moorland landscape around Haworth. Our walk to Top Withens takes the admirer to the heart of the sisters’ fascination with place (and may expose the unwary to the realities of a “wuthering” climate).
The Huddersfield Daily Examiner continues giving options to visit the region this summer. This time--the best museums in West Yorkshire:
Red House Museum, Gomersal
Take a step back in time to the 1830s and discover the Spen Valley's Bronte connections at the Red House Museum.
The former cloth merchant's home has been decked out to give a taste of life in yesteryear, complete with an elegant parlour and a stone-flagged kitchen with a Yorkshire range.
Charlotte Brontë visited often and featured Red House in her novel Shirley - visitors can learn more about her connections to the area in the museum's 'Secret's Out' exhibition.
There's also a period garden with scented old roses, old fashioned blooms and a Serpentine Walk through tree-shaded lawns.
The museum's summer opening times are Tuesday to Thursday, 11am-5pm and weekends noon-5pm. The museum is closed on Mondays and Fridays. (Samantha Robinson)  
Batley & Birstall News announces the Chapterhouse Theatre performances of Wuthering Heights in Oakwell Hall next August 13:
Script writer Lana Turner said: “It’s a challenging story to adapt, spanning two generations, but I hope that I have managed to instill all the passion and wildness of Emily Brontë’s masterpiece and that people fall for Catherine and Heathcliff just as I have.”
Director Rebecca Gadsby said she hoped to bring the visceral thrill of Brontë’s novel to the stage with this production.
She said: “It’s gritty, captivating and all the drama happens on stage. Your heart will be in your mouth for two hours.”
What's on North Ireland also talks about this touring production here.

Wales Online interviews the director Axelle Carolyn about her film Soulmate:
“It sounds very punk rock, doesn’t it, to say that my film in its current form is banned in Britain,” said Soulmate’s Hollywood-based, Belgium-born director Axelle Carolyn.
“It’s so absurd, because it really wasn’t the kind of film I ever imagined would cause a problem.
“The scares in it are pretty mild and there’s very little blood on show – it’s really just a spooky Jane Eyre, a gothic romance.
“Instead, it seems I’ve made a video nasty without even trying.” (Nathan Bevan)
The SandPaper interviews the author Harper A. Brooks:
She said her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Charlotte and Emily Brontë and Anne Rice. (Eric Englund)
The Forty-Seven Words of the Broken Girl interviews K.M. Weiland, editor of the upcoming Annotated Jane Eyre:
Jane Eyre is a massive text: 190,000 words! What did Writer’s Digest want from you in terms of annotations? Did they have a list of topics they wanted covered? You had 40,000 words to work with in the annotations: did they have to be distributed fairly evenly throughout the text?
They were actually pretty hands-off. They gave me the word limit for the annotations, and then I came up with what I felt would be the best workable format and tossed a few ideas around with my editor. What I ended up doing was dividing the word count among the fifty or so chapters in the book, then further dividing that word count amongst the number of notes I’d come up with for that chapter. So some of the chapters have many short notes and some have only a few longer notes.
Heed The Hedonist reviews the Taproot Theatre (Seattle) performances of Jane Eyre. The Musical;  ...In Flames We Trust... interviews the Portuguese writer Carla M. Soares which picks Jane Eyre as one of her favourite novels; Patrice Sarath thinks that Jane Eyre is the first Mary Sue. 

The Poetic World of Emily Brontë.

A new book on Emily Brontë has just been published:

The Poetic World of Emily Brontë.
Poems from the Author of Wuthering Heights
Laura Inman
Sussex Academic Press
ISBN: 978-1-84519-645-5
July/August 2014

  Emily Brontë is known as a novelist, but she was first and equally a poet. Before during and after writing Wuthering Heights, she wrote poetry. Indeed, she wrote virtually nothing else for us to read – no other work of fiction or correspondence. Her poems, however, fill this void. They are varied, lyrical, intriguing, and innovative, yet they are not well known. The Poetic World of Emily Brontë brings an unjustifiably marginalized poet out of the shadows and presents her poetry in a way that enables readers, even those who shy away from poetry, to appreciate her work.
… Unlike any other collection of Brontë’s poetry, this volume arranges selected poems by thematic topic: nature, mutability, love, death, captivity and freedom, hope and despair, imagination, and spirituality. It provides literary and biographical information on each topic and interpretations, explanations, and insights into each poem. Fans of Wuthering Heights wanting more from Emily Brontë will discover that her poetry is as memorable and powerful as her novel. This book is for all who appreciate poetry, especially from the golden age of 19th century verse. The exploration of Emily Brontë’s poetic world allows a greater and different understanding of Wuthering Heights and insights into Brontë’s fascinating mind. 
Rye Daily Voice interviews the author:
The Poetic World of Emily Brontë explores the Victorian-era author’s poetry, which Inman didn’t even know existed until she researched Brontë for a graduate school English literature paper on the classic Wuthering Heights.The paper later was published by The Victorian Journal of Culture and Literature.
“I thought there must be a lot of other people who don’t know that as well since she’s only written one novel,” Inman said.
“And if you like her, you need something else. So I wanted to bring her poetry out of the shadows and make it more accessible to people.”
Inman, who moved to Rye in 1999, groups selected poems by theme and offers insights into each piece in her new book, which is already available on the Kindle.
“Once I knew more about her and had read a lot of her poems and could put it all into context I thought that they were fascinating and that there was a lot to be gotten from them and she was equally a poet as much as a novelist,” she said.
The mother of two boys – one just graduated Boden University and the other is a senior at Rye High School – previously wrote an unpublished novel about the last six years of Brontë’s life, Ellis Bell.
Inman said little is known about those years other than Brontë wrote Wuthering Heights, contracted tuberculosis and died.
“I thought it was ripe for some fictionalization because my take on it from an imaginary standpoint is probably as good as theirs from a biographical one,” she said.
“I just think they’re a fascinating family, those three brilliant sisters, the alcoholic brother about to ruin everything, the long suffering father in this remote parsonage in the cold.” (Brian Donnelly)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Jolien Janzing's The Master Film Rights Have Been Sold

The film rights of Jolien Janzing's De Meester (The Master), a fictional account of the Brontës in Brussels have been sold according to this press release:

I am very pleased to announce you that the Film Rights of The Master/De Meester, a beautiful historical novel about the secret love of Charlotte Brontë written by Jolien Janzing have been sold to DAVID P. KELLY FILMS LIMITED. This is absolutely wonderful news and sometimes two excellent things happen around the same time. The Turkish rights have also been sold and this to Güldünya Yayınları. (...)
An integral English translation is now available.
(via Brontë Parsonage Blog / Brontë Society)

The Independent asks several literary figures about their favourite fictional character:
Jane Eyre
Chosen by China Miéville (King Rat) Charlotte Brontë's heroine towers over those around her, morally, intellectually and aesthetically; she's completely admirable and compelling. Never camp, despite her Gothic surrounds, she takes a scalpel to the skin of the every day. (Jess Denham)
Houston Chronicle lists famous authors with just one novel:
Emily Brontë: First published under the pseudonym Ellis Bell, "Wuthering Heights" is a devastating love story that takes place on the Yorkshire moors. Heathcliff runs away when the young woman he loves, Cathy, decides to marry someone else. He returns years later to avenge the families who caused his unhappiness. Emily Jane Brontë, sister of Charlotte, published "Wuthering Heights," in 1847. The following year, Emily Brontë died of tuberculosis at age 30. (Maggie Galehouse)
The Huddersfield Daily Examiner publishes a top ten of Yorkshire parks:
Tucked away in Birstall, Oakwell Hall is a sprawling country park boasting woodland trails, pretty picnic areas and lots of wide open fields for football, rounders and cricket (all three of which you'll probably see being played in summer).
There's also an adventure playground and two educational visitor centres where youngsters can learn about the different wildlife that live in the park's woodlands and ponds.
The historic hall - popular with Brontë fans, as it was the inspiration for Fieldhead in Charlotte Brontë's Shirley - recreates life in the Elizabethan era, while the nearby barn hosts craft sessions and other fun activities.
An onsite cafe serves hot and cold food, drinks, cakes and ice creams - but there's plenty of space to enjoy a picnic too.  (Samantha Robinson)
The Guardian reviews Hidden Knowledge by Bernardine Bishop:
The trio of siblings of which Roger is the youngest provide a parallel narrative of hidden knowledge and difficult choices. He was excluded from the Brontë-like world of make-believe and storytelling that Romola and her brother Hereward indulged in. (Gerard Woodward)
Mackenzie Broderick talks about... her hair in The Huffinton Post:
When I let my hair down, I envision Jane Eyre wandering through the moors, Lady Godiva riding through Coventry, a Pre-Raphaelite painting. But the epitaph that gets thrown my way the most is dirty hippie.
The image is more likely to be Catherine Earnshaw than Jane Eyre but anyway.

This Slate article by Molly Pohlig about dating when you have mental issues is quite interesting and contains a Brontë reference in passing:
It's been years since I've been faced with the question of when to tell someone promising, Hey, there’s maybe a few things you should know. My M.O. has long been to fess up immediately. This can come off as sort of romantic, in a Wuthering Heights, Lykke Li ballad kind of a way. But quickly guys realize that what might be absorbing on the page or on Spotify is both tiresome and scary in real life.
The Globe and Mail reviews A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn:
More about character and coming of age than the high-fantasy elements reveal, it is a perfect read for those who enjoyed both Seraphina as well as Wuthering Heights. (Lauren Bride)
The Brontë Liqueur news reach new heights, even in Sweden. Svenska Dagbladet says:
Kanske kommer dess smak att påminna om hederna kring Thrushcross Grange i ”Svindlande höjder”, eller det mörka huset Thornfield från "Jane Eyre" - åtminstone kan det vara vad som eftersträvas när Sir James Aykroyd, en brittisk sprittillverkare, nu lanserar en likör baserad på systrana Emily, Charlotte och Anne Brontës författarskap, vari toner av vildhonung, jasmin, björnbär och slånbär utlovas. Denna dryck ska heller inte behöva förtäras i onödan; en del av inkomsterna från försäljningen kommer att gå direkt till Brontë-sällskapet, för att bidra till de tre författarnas minne. Sir James Aykroyd, som köpte rättigheterna till likören för över fyrtio år sedan, har via sin familj kopplingar till Brontë-museet i Yorkshire och säger att han planerar lansera likören bland annat i Skandinavien, skriver The Drinks Report. (Henrik Sahl Johansson) (Translation)
The SubClub Books interviews the author Emma Chase:
Favourite Book – Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë & Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey
What characters would you want with you…
Hiking in the woods – Hareton Earnshaw from Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
The Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News talks about the Halton Ramblers visit to Haworth;  Go Fug Yourself recommends the Acorn Classic Collection which includes Jane Eyre 1997; Des Lires Des Toiles (in French) reviews Jane Eyre; Literatur (in German) posts about Agnes Grey;  Renaissance Now publishes a Google+ story with images from the rehearsal of their piece Wuthering Heights Remembered, part of Wing to the Rooky Wood which will be presented at the upcoming FringeNYC2014. Elokuvia ajassa, tilassa ja listalla (in Finnish) reviews Wuthering Heights 1939.

Both Powerful and Favourite

Bookriot posts the results of their most recent poll: The Most Powerful Book You Have Read: Jane Eyre is number 13 (shared with Crime and Punishment by Dostoievsky) with 19 votes. Wuthering Heights appears in the 66th position with 7 votes. Both Villette and Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea have a vote (Source).

When the results are compared with a previous Bookriot poll on the readers' favourite novels, an interesting thing is revealed. Just a few novels happen to be in both lists at the same time. One of them is Jane Eyre:

Graphic by Rioter Minh Le

Friday, July 18, 2014

Asking Charlotte All About Jane

Chicago Tribune interviews the writer Christy Childers:

Author I'd like to meet
I'd like to sit down at a pub with John Green and Nick Hornby for a nice long chat about writing, depression, humor, books and British football. If I had a time machine, I'd head to the 19th century and ask Charlotte Brontë all about writing "Jane Eyre."
Where Traveler reviews the Seattle production of the Gordon & Caird's Jane Eyre musical:
The show is a drama, yes, but it's punctuated by humor, in particular Simon Pringle's performance as Robert and April Poland's Blanche Ingram. While the running time is 2 hours, 30 minutes (with an intermission), it didn't feel too long. (...)
If you're in town and want to see some local Seattle talent, a Taproot production is a good option. Ticket prices are resonable, and you'll experience a well-produced, intimate show. (Stacy Booth)
The Telegraph & Argus salutes the new summer Brontë Country tour open-topped vintage bus:
The Bronte Country Bus Tour is aimed at attracting tourists and highlighting to local people places of interest on their doorstep. The tour-hour tour covers Keighley, Haworth and surrounding villages, and passengers can hop on and off along the way. (...)
Sarah Howsen, the Council's senior tourism development officer, added: "People go to Haworth but there are places they may not normally think of visiting, such as the Police Museum. We want to show how much there is in Keighley and surrounding areas. For £4 you can use the bus to get to specific places, or just enjoy the sightseeing tour as a whole.
The Huffington Post talks about reading YA literature:
I recently read a YA book published by Rao and Albertine titled Carly Keene, Literary Detective: Braving the Brontës, by Katherine Rue, about a girl who time travels back to 1846 when Charlotte Brontë was trying to write Jane Eyre. It is marvelous historical fiction and there was not a moment I felt embarrassed to be reading it--to the contrary! This book is "good" YA lit, and a page-turner for anyone who loves Jane Eyre or just a darn good mystery. (Lori Day)
MarieClaire celebrates #ThrowbackThursday with Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights:
Is this the most iconic music video ever? It’s 1978 and a 19-year-old Kate Bush writhes around in a dark studio in a bohemian white dress, her wild eccentric mane and expressive eyes capturing the soul of Emily Brontë’s infamous gothic protagonist Cathy in Wuthering Heights. (Hayley Camis)
HitFix interviews Guillermo Del Toro who is shooting Crimson Peak:
"You know 'Rebecca,' 'Jane Eyre,' I mean they're all cousins. 'Rebecca' is 'Jane Eyre.' 'Jane Eyre' is 'Dragonwyck' is 'Jane Eyre.' You can mix and match gothic romance, and you're always going to find the innocent heroine going to a crumbling mansion where a dark, brooding, mysterious guy turns or not turns out to be the holder of a secret, blah, blah, blah," de Toro says.
He continues, "When I tackle things like 'Pac Rim' or Mecha or when I tackle a vampire movie, I'm very, very aware of the tenets of the genre. And then it's up to me to both hit them and try to do them in a way that is not the normal way. But it is related to all that gothic romance du Maurier, Bronte, all those... That lineage that extends pretty, pretty deep, all the way to at the end of the 1700s. You know? So, it's a pretty deep lineage. Ann Radcliffe, 'The Castle of Otranto,' you can keep going really well into... 'Uncle Silas,' by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. That's my favorite gothic romance." (Daniel Fienberg)
Boston Magazine publishes an excerpt from Life After Charlotte by Sukey Forbes:
My gothic nightmare of derangement was coming true—only it wasn’t happening to me. It was Michael who was headed down the Charlotte Brontë path, and there wasn’t room for both of us. Rather than turning me into the mad wife in the attic from Jane Eyre, grief was turning Michael into the brooding Rochester.
Redding's Hamlethub interviews the author Dulcie Schwartz
What book have you read in school that you did not fully appreciate until later?
I'm afraid I still don't fully appreciate the Brontës or Melville, which I had to read, so I'm not sure. I think I enjoyed Henry James more once he was no longer required. (Sally Allen)

Twitch remembers the Filipino 1991 version of Wuthering Heights:
Carlos Siguion-Reyna's Hihintayin Kita sa Langit (I Will Wait For You in Heaven, 1991), the quintessential Filipino film adaptation of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights starring Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta as lovers doomed by both man and fate's cruelty, represented what could probably be the last hurrah for mature romantic tearjerkers, paving the way for stories of teenagers and their first romances.
Bernardinai (Lithuania) lists not well-known books by well-known authors:
Charlotte Brontë „Vijetė“. Deja, „Džeinės Eir“ užgožtas romanas, nors daugelio – taip pat ir Virginios Woolf – laikomas geriausia rašytojos knyga. Pavadinime – ne moters vardas, o mažas miestelis, į kurį atvyksta nei šeimos, nei draugų neturinti Lucy Snowe dirbti mergaičių internate. Tai autobiografiškiausias XIX a. pirmos pusės romanistės kūrinys. (Translation)
in2life (Greece) makes a list of books you should read:
Ανεμοδαρμένα Ύψη, Emily Brontë: Ο απόλυτος (και πιο πολυδιασκευασμένος) έρωτας δεν είναι ρομαντικός, ούτε τρυφερός, ούτε αγνός. Είναι άγριος, εγωιστικός και καταστροφικός. Κάποιος έπρεπε να το πει επιτέλους αυτό. Το είπε, εξαιρετικά, η Έμιλυ Μπροντέ.  (Ηρώς Κουνάδη) (Translation)
The Times has an article on the architecture of the old British rectories with a reference to the Brontë Parsonage; Getting Oriented: A Novel about Japan reviews Minae Mizumura's A Real Novel; There and Their reviews the webseries The Autobiography of Jane Eyre; Bookriot compiles ten pieces of Jane Eyre 'swag' to be found mainly on etsy shops.

Finally, a tweet from the Brontë Parsonage Museum tells us that the Brontë piano was tuned yesterday and they share a couple of pictures.


The latest issue of the Australian themed literary journal Materiality contains a story with a nice Jane Eyre reference:

Materiality #3: Precious
Edited by Alice Cannon
64 pages
Published by Pinknantucket Press

Materiality is a themed journal that includes fiction, essay, images and poetry, focusing on the physical and the material. This issue of Materiality examines the relationship between precious things and our identity—cultural and personal. Read about gold mining and selling, the lost thylacine, love letters, illuminated manuscripts, a broken doll, Japanese lacquer, saffron, trash vs treasure and interviews with a jeweller, a luthier and a gemmologist.

How has the world been changed in our thirst for gold, for jewels, for fur and spice and feathers? Mike Pottenger and Kate Haycock address our relationship with gold in When everything gold was new again and Three grams per tonne. Em Hart charts the progress of our most valuable spice, saffron, in The golden thread. Other objects embody our memories of places, times and loved ones. Susan Long writes about the power of the photograph in Memory objects; Tom Dullemond reflects on lovers past in Fragments. The loss of precious things is central to short stories by Kate Whitfield (Endling), Mike Lynch (The Faithful Alchemist) and Anna Ryan-Punch (Delivery Day).
ArtsHub clarifies the Brontë connection:
Kelly Gardiner recounts how Jane Eyre was the ‘book to represent all books’ which she chose to take with her when she evacuated her bushfire-threatened house. (Sonia Nair)
It's not the first time that Kelly Gardiner recounts this story. A few years ago she published Billabong Bill’s Bushfire Christmas, an illustrated children book. On her blog she remembers the experience:
I made decisions about what few things I would save, packed them into a few bags and loaded up the little car, drove it to the other side of Bundeena and left it there, in the hope that the flames wouldn’t reach it. I chose one book out of my thousands (Jane Eyre, my first grown-up book, with gilt-edged pages), a few paintings, photos. It’s amazing how ruthless you become.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Quintessential Classic

The Age talks about the recent talk by professor Deirdre Coleman at the University of Melbourne about Wuthering Heights:

Professor Deirdre Coleman, a specialist in 18th and 19th-century literature at the University of Melbourne, considers Wuthering Heights a quintessential classic.
“It’s one of the greatest novels ever written. It’s incredibly gothic and thrilling to read,” she says.
“There’s so much sadism and cruelty amongst the characters. It makes the reader wonder what kind of woman Emily Brontë was to have dreamed up this very unladylike story.”
Indeed, Wuthering Heights is about a thwarted romance that sits unsettlingly close to incest, where an adoptive brother and sister fall wildly and darkly in love. The implications of this taboo love ripple through subsequent generations.
There are vampiric elements as well, a nod towards necrophilia, and all the darkest recesses of the human mind emerge. This is Gothic literature at its most graphic.
“It’s an extraordinarily violent novel for a woman to write. The earliest reviews were full of complaints about how coarse and shocking the novel was to read,” Professor Coleman says.
However, the novel has been embraced by the academy and is now seen as something of a teenage girl’s rite of passage. It’s an educational and literary milestone.
There is a lonely and fierce quality to the writing that fits the spirit and ardent sensibility of youthful romance. This vision can forgive and even adore Heathcliff’s brutish and vicious tendencies.
“If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger,” are among the more memorable words of the book’s heroine.
Her love for Heathcliff, and his for her, has something primal and savage about it.
“Heathcliff exerts an unending fascination for the reader, precisely because he has no origins. He’s an orphan boy, rescued from the slums of Liverpool. He’s starving, he has no identity, no one owns him. Given the many references to his dark complexion, and the novel’s preoccupation with slavery, it is possible that he’s a West-Indian mulatto,” Professor Coleman says.
Although adopted by the wealthy Earnshaw family and thus catapaulted into a different life, he remains an interloper and outsider. His dark presence represents the threat of the stranger, and it is his aim to revenge himself on all those who have injured him. As a hero he is a very ambiguous figure, and this ambiguity makes Wuthering Heights a difficult novel to fathom. There’s nothing black or white, or straightforward in this fictional world.
Why does this dark and complex novel exert such a powerful hold over its readers? Why has the story been re-told and re-imagined in so many different ways, from television, plays, film and opera to Kate Bush’s ethereal song Wuthering Heights?
Professor Coleman suggests the enduring power of Wuthering Heights stems from its mythic qualities. It is an epic story of a divided kingdom, and the pain these divisions inflict across the generations. In the end the two warring houses are reconciled, but the resolution still feels uneasy, unsettling. (Laura Soderlind)
Hazlitt interviews the writer David Adams Richards:
My early reviews, and I hold this up to the badge of honor, were as bad as Emily Brontë’s reviews. And sometimes the same things were said. These people are so brutal and live in such a backward area, why should we bother with them? Well that was the same said about Catherine and Heathcliff. Those reviews had nothing to do with the book, it had to do with the naiveté of the reviewer. And at the time, the naiveté of the reviewer allowed for a good deal of misinformation about what I was doing as the writer. (Craig Davison
Los Angeles Times reviews the documentary Stravinsky in Hollywood:
Stravinsky's first encounters with Hollywood weren't promising. Like so many other  artists, he fled Europe with an eye toward the pictures. He took meetings. He wrote some trial music for a few films, including the 1943 "Jane Eyre," staring Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine and with a screenplay by Stravinsky's friend Aldous Huxley.
But unwilling to relinquish an iota of musical control, Stravinsky never ultimately worked in Hollywood, eventually recycling his film efforts into other scores. Capalbo revealingly splices the bits that became a symphonic "Ode" into the scene where Jane meets Rochester, showing Stravinsky's music doing the seemingly impossible — upstaging Welles. (Mark Swed)
Military Times reviews American Spartan: The Promise, the Mission, and the Betrayal of Special Forces Major Jim Gant by Ann Scott Tyson and William Morrow
Because this is Tyson’s story, too, you might not think the author is an objective observer of Af-Gant-istan. She lives with Gant in Mangwel village. Takes a “direct hit” in a Humvee. Becomes figure “X in his operational plans.” Wonders if she is “too close to the craziness.” And borrowing a line from “Jane Eyre”: Reader, she marries him. (J. Ford Huffman)
The Brontë Bell Chapel has been nominated to a Yorkshire Rose Place of Worship Award. On the Facebook Wall we read:
The Judges were impressed with our efforts and we have been nominated for a special award for Places of worship. Really pleased we have worked so hard over the years.
A letter on The Barbados Advocate quotes Charlotte Brontë; Cabine Cultural talks about  the Cinemateca de São Paulo schedule for July and August which includes screenings of Wuthering Heights 1939 (July 18, July 26, August 3). Honolulu Media & Culture Examiner reviews Jane Eyre 1944 and on skidoo we found this new one of Jane Eyre 2006. Niebiańskie Pióro (in Polish) reviews Wuthering Heights. Mary Rizza explores how Jane Eyre is the original domestic noir novel. Kate Shrewsday has found a Jane Eyre tomb in Salisbury.

Brontë Liqueur

Several news outlets carry the story of the revival of the so-called Brontë Liqueur by an entrepeneur who happens to be the great grandson of no other than James Roberts, the philantropist and Brontë enthusiast who bought the Brontë Parsonage in 1927 and gave it to the Brontë Society.


North Yorkshire businessman, Sir James Aykroyd, has revived Brontë Liqueur, a tipple he first discovered some 40 years ago during a business trip to Paraguay, South America. [You can read the story here]
Now four decades on, he has managed to fulfil his dreams of bringing the liqueur to the UK, transforming both its look and its taste for a more discerning consumer.
Sir James, who worked in senior roles with Buchanan’s whisky and Martini and Rossi and more recently stepped down as a shareholder and chairman of Speyside Distillers, said: “Back in 1928 my great grandfather - Sir James Roberts – bought the Haworth village parsonage and gifted it to the Brontë Society.
“Today that building is the Brontë Parsonage Museum and this is something our family is immensely proud of - I still hold the key to the parsonage’s front door.”
While the original Brontë Liqueur was honey-based and presented in a ceramic jug, the new-tasting drink celebrates God’s Own County with blackberry and sloe and a hint of jasmine. (Clare Burnett)
The Drinks Report:
A percentage of all sales of Brontë liqueur will be donated to the Brontë Society to ensure that the legacy of the Brontë family endures.
The original Brontë liqueur was packaged in a ceramic jug. The liqueur is now presented in a glass 70cl bottle inside a metallic dark blue box with gold highlights. UK RRP £27 per 70cl bottle. (Felicity Murray)

New York Magazine's Grub Street:
The producer of the new booze attributes the line to Emily Brontë, but it's actually a lovely bit from a Ralph Waldo Emerson essay published in 1844, the year before Emily started on Wuthering Heights. Other than that, this liqueur is faultless and is destined, eventually, to come to the U.S., where it will inevitably wend its way into an untold number of doomed affairs. It's just the thing to sip while wandering the moors, in the drizzle, to shake off a nightmare. You know, the one in which Heathcliff turns into a Bukowski beer bro. (Hugh Merwin)
More on The Spirits Business, FoodBev, The Star (Malaysia), The York Press...