Saturday, May 23, 2015

Brontës at the Bradford Literature Festival (I)

The Bradford Literature Festival has several Brontë events today, May 23:
Susan Newby
Brontës for Beginners
Saturday 23 May, 10:30 am – 11:00 am
The Midland Hotel, Princes BallroomPrice

The Brontës are the world’s most famous literary family and authors of some of the best-loved books in the English language. Even though Emily, Charlotte and Anne Brontë’s novels are now more than 150 years old, their power still moves readers today.
This whistle-stop guide by Susan Newby, education officer at Brontë Parsonage Museum, offers a useful introduction to the life and work of this exceptional family.
Juliet Barker, John Bowen, Rebecca Fraser and Bonnie Greer, with Boyd Tonkin
Race and Gender in the Novels of the Brontës
Saturday 23 May, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
The Midland Hotel, Princes BallroomPrice

Women feel as men feel
So says Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, a novel which, given its honesty about female desire and views on independence, is viewed as a feminist manifesto. The Bronte’s views on race were equally free from the prevailing notions of their times and there is much critical debate about the origins of Heathcliff, the ‘dark-skinned gipsy’ found on the streets of Liverpool, in Wuthering Heights.
Join Bronte experts Juliet Barker, John Bowen, Rebecca Fraser and Bonnie Greer with Boyd Tonkin, for a critical exploration of the ground breaking views on race and gender within the novels of the Brontë sisters, not only in the context of the age in which they lived, but also in highlighting the relevance of their work today.
Afternoon Tea with Ann Dinsdale, hosted by Mary Dawson
Brontë Relics
Saturday 23 May, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
The Midland Hotel, French Ballroom

The Brontës are the world’s most famous literary family. Their Haworth home has become a destination for pilgrimage and the family’s letters, manuscripts and personal possessions – many of which have now returned to the Brontë Parsonage Museum – are revered and sought after as relics.
Join Ann Dinsdale from the Brontë Parsonage Museum for a delicious traditional afternoon tea at the historic Midland Hotel, as she discusses key objects and tells the fascinating story of the development of the Brontë Society’s collection.

Friday, May 22, 2015

30 years later

Style features Meghan Farrell of MF Jewelry whose collection

is a fusion of the medical sciences and love stories—and for a reason. Blame it on my parents. Both professionals in medicine, they also highly valued my interest in the creative arts. So while I naturally excelled in math and science, I also became a hopeless romantic. The idea of the epic romance in literature and history always left a huge impression on me: the stories of Cupid and Psyche, Daphne and Apollo, Romeo and Juliet, Heathcliff and Catherine, Elizabeth and Darcy, Daisy and Gatsby. Epic love. Romance. And then, the study of medicine was always around. So it is no wonder my jewelry started to take on this form.
My tagline “Romance Never Dies” fuses the idea of love and the lifeline.
The New York Times says the following about Mia Wasikowska:
Ms. Wasikowska, having already been Jane Eyre and Alice in Wonderland, is now something of a specialist in literary heroines and does a lot of acting here just with her eyes. “I think she could be in silent films,” Ms. Barthes said. (Charles McGrath)
The blunder of the day comes supposedly from a Brontëite, The National interviews writer Shahd Thani:
What’s your favourite book? Wuthering Heights. In an age when Jane Austen was writing very demure things, Emily Brontë came out with something so wild that people wondered how a woman could be writing it. (Mitya Underwood)
Actually, Emily Brontë hadn't even been born when Jane Austen died in 1817 (she would be born the following year). And Wuthering Heights was published in 1847, so 30 years after Jane Austen's death.

Wuthering in Dress

Writing Dresses on Rooby Lane. Via Glasgow STV:
Single mum Rooby Lane, 48, and a team of "mature seamstresses" have been sewing away over tea and biscuits to create items that encourage us to "wear our personality". 
Wuthering Heights, Party Dress, Prom Dress

These gorgeously geeky Dresses are specially designed for special occasions.. so that you don't have to arrive at your special event, basically looking similar to everyone else!

SPOLIER ALERT.. Don't read this dress if you don't know the ending!!

Beautiful geeky Prom Dresses, if you are looking for something a little bit Unique!
All of my dresses are limited Edition, and once they are gone they are gone! You will need to leave at least 28 days until your dress will be dispatched.

They have an outside zip down the back, and lined on top half.
This one is a gorgeous Wuthering Heights literature Special Occasion Dress.
And a scarf:
Wuthering Heights Infinity Scarf
Gorgeously Unique Wuthering Heights Infinity Scarves.
Printed with a portion of the scene where Katy Is knocking on Heathcliff's window.
Perfect as a romantic gift ;)
These scarves measure 57' x 9' Made in a lovely soft jersey.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Writing in spite/because of the Brontës

The Telegraph and Argus reports that

A video art installation celebrating a link between the industrial grandeur of Salts Mill with the literary magic of Haworth's Parsonage is being filmed in Saltaire.
Acclaimed contemporary artist Diane Howse, the Countess of Harewood, is re-making the connection between these two great places with The Silent Wild, an art work she is creating this week in the Mill's huge roof space.
The resulting work uses a detailed floor plan of the Parsonage dining room, has been produced with choreographer Carolyn Choa and dancer Daniel Hay-Gordon.
It will be shown at the Parsonage and at Salts Mill later this year, telling the unexpected connection between two of Yorkshire’s iconic buildings.
Sir James Roberts, the second owner of Salts and an entirely self made man, was born to a family of weavers in Oakworth near Haworth.
He attended the Sunday school of Reverend Patrick Bronte, and claimed to have met Charlotte Brontë in Haworth.
When the chance came up to purchase the Parsonage, Lady Roberts suggested that her husband do just that.
On August 4, 1928, Sir James and his wife presented the Parsonage to the Brontë Society, securing it for posterity. (Chris Tate)
The same newspaper also has an article on the BBC Brontë biopic project.

Another review of Patricia Park's Re Jane novel. On BookPage:
Re Jane is breezy and accessible, at its best when portraying Jane’s haplessness and frustration. “I traveled nearly seven thousand miles across the globe to escape societal censure only to end up in the second-largest Korean community in the Western World,” she says wryly of her childhood move to the U.S.
The Jane Eyre connection here is substantial (a key character even shares the pen name under which Brontë published her masterpiece), though not slavish, which makes sense given that Park’s interest in feminism goes beyond the Women’s Studies professor who plays an important role in the book. (...)
None of the conflicts here are resolved in particularly shocking ways, but Park’s portrait of Korean-American life feels authentic and is ultimately endearing. Charlotte Brontë would be proud. (Tom Deignan)
Describing the National Gallery's artist in residence, George Shaw, the Evening Standard says that,
Shaw is an infectiously passionate reader, a cinephile and music fan. His conversation teems with references to mavericks and geniuses of British and Irish culture, from Emily Brontë to Tony Hancock, Morrissey and Francis Bacon. (Ben Luke)
The Perth Courier features writer Cheryl Cooper:
Towards the end of high school, she encountered the inevitable question: what do you want to be after graduation?
“Well, I knew I wanted to be a writer,” she said simply.
She studied English and Education at Queen’s University in Kingston. She read the Brontë sisters, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, and “my desire to write fiction was so strong.” (Desmond Devoy)
Much like this columnist from Jezebel's Groupthink.

Vulture reviews Nell Zink’s Mislaid.
Here’s the way the story goes: a rugged childhood in rural Virginia; a mother who told the child she didn’t write as well as the Brontës did at that age; a bachelor’s degree in philosophy; a peripatetic early adulthood that included a phase of homelessness, a stint as a bricklayer, secretarial work in New York, editorship of a zine, a couple of impetuous marriages, an expatriation to Europe; a correspondence, struck up over their mutual concern for the plight of migratory birds, with Jonathan Franzen, whose report on the mass poaching of songbirds in Cyprus she’d seen in The New Yorker; Franzen’s curiosity about whether she wrote fiction; her creative flowering after her mother’s death that freed her in middle age (she’s 51) to write the way she writes, Brontës be damned. (Christian Lorentzen)
According to Alibi's review of the film adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd,
In the realm of 19th-century romantic literature, the works of Thomas Hardy have a bit more meat on the bone than your average English melodrama of love and marriage. In the more typical novels (let’s say, for the sake of argument, those of Jane Austen or the Brontë sisters), there’s an awful lot of sitting around, drinking tea and discussing of “whomever shall I marry?” It’s not that the characters in Hardy’s novels never broach the subject of marriage—but they rarely drink tea. And they’re just as likely to hurt each other, betray each other, kill each other and break one another’s hearts as they are to fall madly in love. (Devin D. O’Leary)
You know, Wuthering Heights--that peaceful, quiet novel where everyone just sits around drinking tea oh so civilly.

La libre (Belgium) reviews the film too and is not the first to mention Andrea Arnold's take on Wuthering Heights.
Fidèle à la trame d’Hardy, le cinéaste danois trouve un bel équilibre entre romantisme de l’histoire et une forme de naturalisme, notamment dans cette façon de filmer la nature, les animaux, les insectes… Un peu à la façon d’Andrea Arnold dans sa très forte adaptation des "Hauts de Hurlevent" d’Emily Brontë en 2012. (H. H.) (Translation)
On the other hand, Knack Focus, another Belgian site reviewing the film, doesn't see similarities, but differences.
In plaats van de woeste, modderige levendigheid van Andrea Arnolds Wuthering Heights (2011) krijgen we mooie plaatjes van bucolische taferelen. Maar verkijk je daar niet op. Gepolijst is hier niet synoniem met glad maar met verfijnd. (Niels Ruëll) (Translation)
Times Higher Education looks at Camille Paglia’s Sexual Personae 25 years after it was first published and wonders,
Who else would have argued that Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem Christabel (1797) offers readers a vision of the “lesbian vampire” before enacting one of the “greatest transsexual self-transformations in literature”? Or that in Wuthering Heights (1847), a regular fixture of secondary English curricula, Emily Brontë regards “the body as the basis of gender” as “an affront to imagination and emotion”, and so attempts to “treat her sexual identity as an abstraction dwelling apart in another dimension of space and time”? (Nathan Smith)
Bustle lists '7 Incredible Storytellers in Literature' such as
Nelly Dean from Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Nelly tells such a captivating story of Heathcliff and Catherine that readers get so wrapped up in it they sometimes even forget she existed in the book in the first place. Isn’t that the mark of an excellent storyteller: to put the story ahead of your own character? Mr. Lockwood is renting a space from aged Heathcliff, when Heathcliff starts to act totally bizarre about a ghost named Catherine. Lockwood is so confused, he finds the housekeeper Nelly and requests that she tell the entire tale about the family at Wuthering Heights, which she does. Never forget. (Caitlin White)
Bustle has also selected '8 Love Letters Written By Famous Women' including one from Charlotte Brontë to Constantin Heger.

The Polish Secret

Charlotte Brontë's juvenilia translated into Polish:

Charlotte Brontë
Translated by: Paulina Braiter
Publisher: Mg
ISBN: 978-83-7779-213-1 Paperback
ISBN: 978-83-7779-214-8 Ebook

Wyimaginowana, fantastyczna kraina Angrii, wymyślona w dzieciństwie przez rodzeństwo Brontë, to miejsce akcji opowiadań, stworzonych przez nastoletnią wówczas Charlotte. Choć niewątpliwie młodzieńcze, opowiadania te ukazują już przebłyski jej talentu, a także elementy i wątki, które później miała rozwinąć w pełni w swoich słynnych powieściach.
W Verdopolis młoda markiza musi poradzić sobie ze wstrząsającym sekretem, który zagraża jej szczęściu i małżeństwu. W wiejskiej rezydencji młoda mężatka nie może zrozumieć, dlaczego  mąż nie pozwala jej się kontaktować ze światem. Tajemnice, knowania, arystokracja, miłość, piękne młode panny, dumni młodzieńcy – wszystko to łączy się i splata w opowiadaniach, tworzących ten zbiór.
Via Wiadomości24 .

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Walking for Branwell

Remember this theatre pieceThe Westmoreland Gazette reports that,

A Cumbrian writer will be walking 130 miles next month to promote her groundbreaking new play about Branwell Brontë.
Caroline Lamb, originally from Sedbergh and a previous student of Settlebeck, Sedbergh, and Queen Elizabeth School, Kirkby Lonsdale, is now the artistic director and resident writer of theatre company Dangerous to Know.
The company will be bringing Caroline’s self-penned play The Dissolution of Percy to unique spaces in Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire this November.
The production has the backing of the Brontë Society, and will take place just before the start of the bicentenary celebrations in 2016.
To promote and fundraise for the production, Caroline will walk the equivalent of five marathons from June 20-27, including stops at Broughton-in-Furness, Kendal and Cowan Bridge.
At these venues she will deliver performed readings of work by the famous literary family, as well as pieces donated by friends, colleagues and audience members.
Caroline, now living in Manchester, said: “I decided to write a play with Branwell as the main character because when I started researching the family he just jumped out at me – why did he have no credits to his name when his sisters did so well?
“I wanted to take the opportunity to represent the Brontë family as "real" people - a real family who fight and joke and struggle together.”
For full details of Caroline’s performances go to (Katie Dickinson)
Interesting because Branwell was a great walker himself.

Both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights have been included on Marie Claire's list of books to read before you die.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Innocent, wide-eyed governess turns up in crotchety (but kinda sexy) man's house to look after his young ward. Can they? Will they? And what on earth is in that locked attic?
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Headstrong Cathy, brooding Heathcliff, violent weather, Yorkshire moors and a love affair you just know isn't going to end well. If you like your romance with a large helping of tragedy, this is for you. Tissues at the ready...
Ergo (Sweden) thinks that Jane Eyre makes a difficult read from a postcolonial point of view.
Jane Eyre – betraktad som en feministisk klassiker men ganska obekväm läsning ur ett postkolonialt perspektiv. (Karin Lundin) (Translation)
Bustle is 'all about' the BBC's Brontë biopic project and lists '7 fun facts about the Brontë sisters that hopefully come up in the two-hour television drama'. There is a Wuthering Heights Livetweet going on at the @covenbookclub (#WHeightsLT).

4th Literary Prize De Leo-Brontë

4th Literary Prize De Leo - Brontë 2015


For the fourth time a National Literary prize dedicated to the Brontës, their lives, works and places was organized in Italy by Prof. Maddalena De Leo, this year  with great success thanks to the Facebook page ‘La Sezione Italiana della Brontë Society’ . Many authors sent their literary contribution but only thirty have been chosen for nomination and publication in the 2015 anthology.

 1) Poems about the Brontës

 2) Short tales about the Brontës

Prof. Maddalena De Leo, the Italian representative of the  Brontë Society and other two Italian Brontë scholars (Ms Caterina Lerro and Ms Elisa Fierro) chose the first three winners of each section as follows:

 The three winning poetry 2015 entries are:

1) Amami by  Domenico  Napoli  from Cinquefondi  (RC)

(An involving prayer by Catherine to Heathcliff asking him to love her the same as she does)                                            
2) E Io Ero ... by  Annalisa Pasqualetto Brugin   from Mestre (VE)

( A visual poem full of the author’s personal mementoes of the Brontës )

3) Vento D'Inverno   by  Nunzio Industria from  Napoli

( an ode to the winter wind to get liberty )

The  three  winning  Short Tale 2015 are:

1)  Il Cimitero di Casa Brontë by   Maria Vittoria Fariselli from Cervia (RA)

(A very short tale full of the atmosphere around Haworth graveyard and the Brontë Parsonage)

2)  Charlotte by Veronica Mogildea  from Vicenza

(A tale full of Charlotte’s feelings and attitude towards life )

3) Il Profumo della Brughiera by Antonella Iuliano from  Bagnoli Irpino (AV)

(A moving tale descriptive of  Brontë moors  and heather as a way to come out of sorrow after a disgrace)

The six  winners will receive Brontë DVDs, books and bookmarks as prizes.
The anthology ‘Brontëana IV’ containing the works sent by the authors for the prize will be edited and published in a short time by Prof. De Leo.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Visible Brontës

Many, many websites echo the news of the BBC's plans to make a short biopic on the relationship of the Brontë siblings called To Walk Invisible and to be premiered next year: Digital Spy,  TV Wise, Warrington Guardian are just a few.

Jezebel's Pictorial is excited about it:

Yes please and thank you very much: The BBC is making a movie about the Brontë sisters and their sad-sack brother Bramwell (sic), too. Fuck yeah, let’s get some long, lingering shots of the moors going over here. (Kelly Faircloth)
And it looks as if Jeremy Clarkson's tweet is a good way of promoting it after all. The Mirror has an article about it as do Entertainment Wise and Express.

The Telegraph discusses female relationships:
At the moment, I’m obsessed with Broad City, a sitcom about the real life friendship between actors and writers Abbi Jacobsen and Ilana Glazer. Ilana is reluctant to commit to Lincoln, the dentist who is desperate for a relationship with her - because Abbi fulfils all of her emotional needs.
Lincoln is basically a background character who occasionally appears in their platonic love story. To call the women ‘best mates’ doesn’t come close to reflecting the tenderness and codependency of their relationship.
Of course these themes were being explored in literature long before they reached the small screen - intense female relationships are as interesting as the central ‘love story’ in everything from Jane Eyre to Anne of Green Gables. (Daisy Buchanan)
Wyoming News features local twins. One of them enjoys reading and will read Charlotte Brontë. Net News Ledger shares some thoughts on Queen Victoria and her authors, such as the Brontës. Les Soeurs Brontë (in French) shares a text by Alberto Manguel in which the Brontës are mentioned. Wolf in the City compares the Pre Fall 2015 Valentino collection with Wuthering Heights. CultNoise includes Jane Eyre on its 100 Books to Read Before You Die list. 

To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters

To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters120 minutes
Writer and Director: Sally Wainwright
Executive Producer: Faith Penhale, Head of BBC Drama Wales
Producer: Karen Lewis
BBC News gives details about their Brontë biopic film project:
A drama about the "tragedy and passion" of the difficult lives of the Brontë family is to appear on BBC One, written and directed by Last Tango In Halifax author Sally Wainwright.
It will explore the relationships between Charlotte, Emily and Anne and their brother Branwell, who was latterly an alcoholic and drug addict.
All three sisters managed to produce great literary works before their untimely deaths.
Wainwright said she was "thrilled".
The Bafta-winning writer, whose other credits include TV series Happy Valley, described the sisters as "fascinating, talented, ingenious Yorkshire women". (...)
To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters will be filmed in and around Yorkshire, where they lived. (...)
BBC One controller Charlotte Moore said: "It's an extraordinary tale of family tragedy and their passion and determination, against the odds, to have their genius recognised in a male 19th-Century world."
The programme will also explore how their self-educated father, who grew up in poor, rural Ireland, encouraged his children to become passionate about literature.
Casting has yet to be announced.
The Guardian and The Telegraph add:
The one-off, two-hour drama will follow Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë’s relationship with each other and their brother Branwell, who in the last three years of his life was plagued by alcoholism and drug addiction. (...)
BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore said: “The Brontë sisters have always been enigmatic but Sally Wainwright’s brilliantly authentic new BBC1 drama brings the women behind some of our greatest literary masterpieces to life.
“It’s an extraordinary tale of family tragedy and their passion and determination, against the odds, to have their genius recognised in a male 19th century world.” (...)
The drama explores the siblings’ relationship with each other and their self-educated father, who grew up in an impoverished home in rural Ireland and encouraged his children – irrespective of their gender – to become passionate about literature.
It also portrays their “increasingly difficult relationship with their brother Branwell, who in the last three years of his life – following a tragically misguided love affair – sank into alcoholism, drug addiction and appalling behaviour”.
Also in Entertainment Weekly, Belfast Telegraph, Prolific North, Daily Express, Broadcast, Radio Times...

Ann Dinsdale talks about the project and the Brontë Parsonage Museum's involvement in Radio Leeds Martin Kelner's programme (around 1 h 38 minutes into the programme).

Monday, May 18, 2015

Exciting news in spite of what Jeremy Clarkson thinks about it

Well, we guess Jeremy Clarkson is not a Brontëite then (oh, surprise!):

Daily Star comments on it.
The motormouth joked that a two-hour tribute to the Brontë sisters would be a massive hit.
He tweeted: “Finally, Britain has an answer to Breaking Bad, Game Of Thrones and so on,” after posting a newspaper cutting about the upcoming show.
The BBC are marking next year’s bicentenary of Jane Eyre author Charlotte Bronte’s birth with a drama about her and sister Emily, who wrote Wuthering Heights. (Helene Perkins)
The actual news item that interests us comes from The Sunday Times. And it is exciting for us, Mr Clarkson.

El País (Spain) features Matthew Weiner and, you see, he is a Brontëite.

Finally, you can catch a glimpse of Haworth in this article on its 1940s weekend in The Telegraph and Argus.

The Brontë Cabinet

This is, arguably, one of the Brontë "must" of the season:
The Brontë Cabinet
Three Lives in Nine Objects
Deborah Lutz (Author, Long Island University)
W.W. Norton & Company
May 2015
ISBN 978-0-393-24008-5

An intimate portrait of the lives and writings of the Brontë sisters, drawn from the objects they possessed.

In this unique and lovingly detailed biography of a literary family that has enthralled readers for nearly two centuries, Victorian literature scholar Deborah Lutz illuminates the complex and fascinating lives of the Brontës through the things they wore, stitched, wrote on, and inscribed. By unfolding the histories of the meaningful objects in their family home in Haworth, Lutz immerses readers in a nuanced re-creation of the sisters' daily lives while moving us chronologically forward through the major biographical events: the death of their mother and two sisters, the imaginary kingdoms of their childhood writing, their time as governesses, and their determined efforts to make a mark on the literary world.
From the miniature books they made as children to the blackthorn walking sticks they carried on solitary hikes on the moors, each personal possession opens a window onto the sisters' world, their beloved fiction, and the Victorian era. A description of the brass collar worn by Emily’s bull mastiff, Keeper, leads to a series of entertaining anecdotes about the influence of the family’s dogs on their writing and about the relationship of Victorians to their pets in general. The sisters' portable writing desks prove to have played a crucial role in their writing lives: it was Charlotte's snooping in Emily’s desk that led to the sisters' first publication in print, followed later by the publication of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.
Charlotte's letters provide insight into her relationships, both innocent and illicit, including her relationship with the older professor to whom she wrote passionately. And the bracelet Charlotte had made of Anne and Emily's intertwined hair bears witness to her profound grief after their deaths.
Lutz captivatingly shows the Brontës anew by bringing us deep inside the physical world in which they lived and from which their writings took inspiration.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

"Because They Love Jane"

The Daily Mail talks about family (or not) escapes:

Warner Leisure has 13 hotels and villages around the UK that offer an adult-only experience with an impressively grown up choice of entertainment. Nidd Hall, near Harrogate, like many Warner Leisure places, has a penchant for classical music. This summer, for example, it offers its own impressive take on the Last Night of the Proms. (...)
I was particularly keen to stay at Nidd Hall because for years I’ve wanted to visit the Brontë Parsonage at Haworth, home to the Brontë family, which is within easy reach.
How this small parsonage, set among steep cobbled streets on the wild Yorkshire moors produced such exceptional literary talent is a mystery, especially as so much of Reverend Brontë’s efforts were directed towards his disappointing and self-destructive son Branwell. In what is now the atmospheric Brontë Parsonage Museum Charlotte, Emily and Anne wrote Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, reading and discussing their work as they walked around the dining table. Reverend Brontë outlived his six children, Charlotte dying while pregnant, aged 38. (Frank Barrett)
The Guardian presents the upcoming Writers' Houses: Where Great Books Begin by Nick Channer:
The Brontë sisters:The Parsonage, West Yorkshire: ‘Haworth expresses the Brontës; the Brontës express Haworth,’ wrote Virginia Woolf after a visit to the home of the three sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne. ‘They fit like a snail to its shell.’ One of the first things visitors see is the dining room, which was also a parlour where family members gathered and where the Brontë sisters fleshed out their novels, endlessly circling the table and reading extracts aloud to each other. Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey were written here.
The Telegraph talks about British vs Spanish bluebells and mentions Anne Brontë's poem:
Picking our way through the bluebells, I was reminded of a poem by Anne Brontë called “The Bluebell”, which refers to the poignancy of the flower as a symbol of the long lost happiness of early childhood. Perhaps it’s their fleeting, seasonal nature, or the fairy magic that apparently surrounds them, but I had to agree with Brontë’s lines that “There is a silent eloquence/ In every wild bluebell/ That fills my softened heart with bliss”. Don’t miss them this weekend: go and find your bluebells now and revel in spring. (Clover Stroud)
It's not so clear that Anne Brontë really wanted to write about bluebells as we already pointed out in this old post.

The Sunday Express interviews the actress Ruth Wilson:
I’ve been recognised a lot in New York, which is the first time, really. In the UK people tend to relate me to Jane Eyre because they love Jane. (Lesley O'Toole)
The incomparable Ethan Siegel begins a post on his essential Starts with a Bang! blog with a Charlotte Brontë quote:
I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.” -Charlotte Brontë talks about female roles in contemporary Indian fiction:
The women – Uruvi, Urmila, Rati, Draupadi, Sita – register an acknowledgement of their roles and identities within the larger patriarchal and male-dominated order of the day. They ask relevant questions, demand pointed answers, and ensure their voices are listened to and not just heard. These contemporary characters from mythology are not like Jane Eyre or Bertha Mason or Maggi or Tess or Lolitha who struggle and sometimes lose their sanity or even their lives in the process of seeking their space. (Subhrastha)
vlt (Sweden) interviews the cyclist Katja Fedorova:
Senast lästa bok: ”’Svindlande höjder” av Emily Brontë. ”Den heter ’Wuthering Heights’ på engelska och det finns det en låt som heter också. Jag hörde låten och kom på att jag inte läst boken. Jag är en boktjej snarare än en filmtjej.” (Translation)
El Mundo (Spain) interviews the Mexican film director Guillermo Del Toro about his upcoming Crimson Peak:
Lo bueno es que con Mia Wasikowska y Jessica Chastain es difícil hacer algo convencional o de mal gusto. ¿Por qué ellas en particular?
Es que esto no es una película de horror sino un romance gótico. Y te hablo de "Rebeca", de "Cumbres borrascosas", de "Jane Austen", películas que tienen un pedigrí que ha contado con actores muy potentes. Normalmente son personajes dramáticamente muy interesantes, mujeres muy enfermizas, muy barrocas, y necesitas actores que puedan hacer frente a un reto así. (Pablo Scarpellini) (Translation)
The "Jane Austen" was a particularly interesting film. We wonder if the blunder comes from Del Toro or, most probably, from the journalist.

 Mental_Floss posts  ten things you might now know about Wuthering Heights; The System posts about love in Wuthering Heights.

Non-Diegetic Heights

A musical alert from Redlands, CA:
Redlands Community Orchestra
Sunday, May 17, 2015
3:00 pm
Redlands High School Clock Auditorium

Rodrigo - Fantasía para un Gentilhombre (Ian Rowe, solo guitar)
Tchaikovsky - Symphony No. 2Sandy Megas - Non-Diegetic Music (RCO Composition Project world premiere)
The concert is free of charge and family friendly.
According to Redlands Daily Facts:
Sandy Megas’ “Non-Diegetic Music” will be performed as part of the Redlands Community Orchestra Composition Project, an initiative to foster the creation of new orchestral music. In drama, non-diegetic music is music that accompanies the action for dramatic effect but is not part of the action.
Megas’ “Non-Diegetic Music” is meant to sound like a tongue-in-cheek melodrama movie score inspired in part by the novel “Wuthering Heights.”

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A tumultuous year for the Brontë Parsonage Museum

Bad news from the Brontë Parsonage Museum as reported by The Yorkshire Post:

Managers at the Bronte Society are confident of boosting visitor admissions to the Parsonage Museum after new figures revealed they dipped to under 70,000 last year.
The year saw a seven per cent drop in admissions from 73,830 in 2013 to 69,503 during a tumultuous 12 months which saw the departure of several key people including director Ann Sumner.
However, the Society claimed the drop in visitors was caused by the late reopening of the Museum following the relocation of the admissions area.
Russell Watson, honorary treasurer of the Society, who has written to members ahead of the annual meeting on June 6, said: “The operating income of the Society is heavily dependent on the number of visitors to the Parsonage Museum. In 2014 the Museum did not reopen until the third week in February due to the reconfiguration of the admissions area.
“Visitor admissions started slowly after this late opening, although they picked up later in the year.” [...]
Finance manager, Clare Dewhirst, is expecting visitors to increase as important bicentenaries approach.
She said: “Although the 2014 accounts show a small decline in visitor numbers, this is largely attributable to the fact that we opened later than usual in 2014 due to the improvement and relocation of the admissions area.
“Our general admissions income for the year exceeded budget, which was due in part to the increase in visitor participation in the Government Gift Aid scheme.
“We look forward to welcoming more visitors to the Museum in the coming months and years ahead as we prepare for the bicentenaries of each of the Brontë siblings.” (Andrew Robinson)
Star Tribune reviews The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects, by Deborah Lutz.
In “The Brontë Cabinet,” Deborah Lutz reads the lives of the Brontë sisters “through the ‘eyes’ of thread, paper, wood, jet, hair, bone, brass, frond, leather, velvet and ash,” revealing “new corners and even rooms of these Victorian women’s lives.”
Each of the nine chapters begins with a photograph of a specific object, among them a page in Charlotte’s handwriting from one of the tiny books the Brontës composed as children, a sampler stitched by Anne, a brass dog collar, a portable writing desk, a letter torn up, then carefully stitched back together by another hand. Some, like the letter, are particularly evocative in themselves; others, like the sampler, seem much more mundane. But as Lutz teases out “what the thing might have ‘witnessed,’ ” in the lives of the Brontës and in its larger cultural context, even the most ordinary objects become quite fascinating as emblems of an era. [...]
In most cases, the artifact drives the associations, although in the case of brother Branwell’s walking stick (which Emily may possibly have used, although it was not common for women to carry canes or sticks), Lutz seems to have chosen the topic — walking — first, then hunted for a suitable correlative. This is the one chapter in which the “material culture” focus seems a bit forced, although Lutz’s discussion of walking as a form of defiance for women makes me glad she included this chapter, pretextual or not.
As the virtual world becomes ever more pervasive, paying attention to tangible objects offers a valuable corrective. “The Brontë Cabinet” is an engaging read for fans of the Brontë sisters, of course, but also anyone interested in material culture, the Victorian era and the history of everyday lives — especially women’s lives. And if you want to know more about that torn-up-then-sewn-back-together letter, well, you’ll have to read the book. (Patricia Hagen
And The Christian Science Monitor focuses on Patricia Park's Re Jane.
Let’s start with the clever title, Re Jane, with its tri-fold interpretations: 1. An identification of our heroine; 2. A succinct statement that the narrative is “about Jane”; and 3. An homage to literature’s most famous Jane – as in Eyre. [...]
Park’s novel is so much more than a mere retelling of "Jane Eyre," that to label the book as such feels like a limiting disservice. Readers should feel free to take this "Jane" as is – an astute, resonating, humorous, discerning, original debut. (Terry Hong)
The Guardian looks at Everyman, an early-Tudor morality play whose influence really can't be measured. One of the first works to be influenced by it was
John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678)
Drama becomes allegorical fiction, and Everyman becomes Christian en route to the Celestial City, but Bunyan’s ampler version of the search for salvation is also tale of fruitful or frustrating encounters with characters personifying virtues, vices or temptations. Its influence was enormous in the 19th century, stretching from Charlotte Brontë, Dickens, Thackeray and Melville to Shaw – so arguably indirectly Everyman’s was, too, although the play itself went unperformed until 1901. (John Dugdale)
The Huddersfield Daily Examiner features the TV adaptation of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, partly filmed at Oakwell Hall, which 'was immortalised in literature by Charlotte Brontë in her novel Shirley'.

Leather Jane

This is a luxurious edition of Jane Eyre, an exclusive of Oxford Exchange:

OE Library Collection. Jane Eyre
Author: Charlotte Brontë
284 pages. Hardcover.
Size: 8.5" x 5" x 1.75"
Oxford Exchange Library Collection
Second print. First edition.
Green ribbon marker.
Genuine leather binding.

As part of the Oxford Exchange’s mission to celebrate the beauty of the physical book, we have created our own deluxe, leather bound collectible edition of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel, Jane Eyre. This edition has been designed by the Oxford Exchange to offer an authentic, heritage feel, and is the first of what will become the Oxford Exchange Library collection. Oxford Exchange Library editions bring luxurious books back into the home library.
Via West And Grant.