Brontë: A Biography of the Literary Family
by Paul Brody
Golgotha Press - LifeCaps (17 Dec 2013)
Paperback: 140 pages
From humble beginnings, the Brontë family of Haworth, England reached a degree of literary fame that has seldom been replicated. Specifically, Charlotte, Emily and, to a lesser extent, Anne all made significant contributions to world literature.
The great tragedy of the Brontë family is that all were taken away by illness before the prime of their lives. Anne died aged 28 year; Emily died at age 30; and Charlotte lived the longest, dying in 1855 at age 38.
Each of the sisters struggled to make their way in a world that was not built with female independence in mind. Thus, they had do work for a living as teachers and governesses before finding success as authors. Even then, they kept their identities secret, knowing that female authors were simply not taken seriously.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Saturday, December 21, 2013
A literary society – believed to be the earliest in the English-speaking world – is celebrating its 120th birthday.Sarah Browncross, the Brontë Society's communications officer, gives details in The Telegraph & Argus of the Brontë Parsonage Festive Season and some glimpses of what 2014 will bring:
A special cake marking the Brontë Society milestone was produced for visitors to the Parsonage museum in Haworth on Monday.
Professor Ann Sumner, the society’s executive director, said: “We wish all our members a very happy 120th birthday.
“It was wonderful to see so many visitors on Monday, who enjoyed our cake.
“We are delighted the society is flourishing, and are looking forward to a year of exciting activity to mark the special anniversary.
“We have a long and fascinating history, as well as great opportunities ahead – we celebrate the bicentenary of Charlotte Brontë in 2016.”
More than 50 people attended the first meeting in Bradford of the Brontë Society, which now has members across the world.
A national programme of special activities marking the anniversary – including lectures, panel discussions and pop-up activities – will be launched at an event in London on February 19.
So far, we have got grungy at the Steampunk Weekend, we added a bit of sparkle at the Fairy Weekend and we travelled back to Christmas past with the Victorian Weekend.Andrew Collins selects the best movies on UK TV this Christmas for Radio Times:
Charlotte Cory curated a Visitorian Christmas Eve and Visitorian Christmas Day event on December 6 and 7, in conjunction with her much-talked-about Capturing The Brontës exhibition.
And we also hosted our very first Brontë carol service at Haworth Parish Church, with lessons read by the High Sheriff of West Yorkshire, the chairman and executive director of the Brontë Society, and artist Charlotte Cory. And it wasn’t over then!
We had a fun decorations and stories weekend on Saturday and Sunday, where people could make up their own Christmas decorations and wreaths to deck their halls with.
Aside from all the yuletide festivities, we had something else to celebrate this winter.
The Brontë Society celebrated its 120th birthday on Monday with cake for the visitors.
A reminder to let you know the Heaven Is A Home and Capturing The Brontës exhibitions will be ending on December 31.
The museum will be closed throughout January, during which time we will be busy taking care of the collections and setting up our new exhibitions.
The museum will re-open in February 2014, with a brand new exhibition in the Bonnell Room – The Brontës And Animals.
The Parsonage and the exhibition room will also have some new objects on display, as well as the old favourites. We look forward to seeing you then!
We have in stock some lovely Brontë Christmas cards, and beautiful ceramic decorations created especially for us by artist Rachel Lee. In the meantime, remember our shop is open 10am to 4.50pm, and on Sundays from 11am to 4.50pm, to give you extra time to do your Christmas shopping.
Our star buys include Brontë-inspired jewellery designed by Altered Eras, and Charlotte Cory’s ‘snip-n-sew’ Visitorian dolls. Pop into our shop or take a look at our website to buy online.
The Brontë Parsonage Museum wishes you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We look forward to seeing you all again in February.
Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (Mon 23, BBC2) gets a suitably windswept rendition, complete with rolling moors, Mia Wasikowska as the demure heroine and Michael Fassbender as a lean, mean Rochester.The Gloucestershire Echo has some problems with the authorship of the novel:
Jane Eyre (2011). Big budget retelling of Jane Austen's novel.The Stoke Sentinel and The Times also mention the Monday broadcast. A film, by the way, loved by dreamofjeannie .
The same Jane that the writer Antonio Garrido lists in The Huffington Post as "a Woman in Classic Novels Who Rebelled Against Their Time Periods":
Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë): Jane seeks independence, something essentially unheard of for a Victorian woman. She doesn't consider marrying Rochester until after inheriting her own money, becoming financially independent. She also refuses to marry her cousin because of the way he treats her, again asserting her independence.The Sunday Book Review Editor's Choice of the New York Times includes
A True Novel, by Minae Mizumura. Translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter. (Other Press, $29.95.) Adapting “Wuthering Heights” to postwar Japan creates a study of cultural borrowing.According to The Telegraph & Argus:
The organisation responsible for promoting the South Pennines is encouraging people to step out using its walking routes.The writer Valerie Wood talks about how she became an author in the Yorkshire Post:
Pennine Prospects has devised a number of routes across the region, including several on the moors above Haworth, Oxenhope, Silsden, and Riddlesden.
The website walkridesouthpennines.co.uk also features many cycling and horse riding routes in the same wild landscapes of Lancashire and West Yorkshire.
In addition, Pennine Prospects is publicising special events over the Christmas and New Year period.
I read anything and everything, and then discovered Louisa M. Alcott’s Little Women. I didn’t know then that I was reading literature. I only knew that this was the best book I had ever read and I’m quite sure that I was highly influenced by it, not only in my own writing much later, but by moving on to reading other classics, not, I hasten to add, as in reading Classics at university; that wasn’t to be my metier, but to Dickens, Austen and the Brontës.Observation Deck on Samantha Shannon's The Bone Season:
But the more reviews I read online, including Annalee's take, the less of a sure thing it sounded, and once it became apparent that the novel was a sort of fanfic mashup of steampunk, Harry Potter, X-Men, and Jane Eyre, with a dash of Philip Pullman, the more ehhh it sounded.Female First interviews another author Anna Maria Athanasiou:
Who are your favourite authors?Politiken (Denmark) talks about fan fiction and mentions the Brontës as pioneers:
I have a list and all very diverse from Enid Blyton to the Brontës and Jane Austen, George Orwell to Paulo Coehlo, Dan Brown to Jeffrey Archer, Tolkin to Stephanie Meyer... the list goes on. (Interview by Lucy Walton)
Der findes også real person fiction, hvor fans skriver fiktion om eksisterende personer. Et af de tidligste eksempler på dette var Brontë-søstrene, der som børn øvede sig på at skrive ved at opdigte historier, hvor hertugen af Wellington og hans to sønner havde hovedrollerne. (Translation)Der Westen Waz (Germany) reviews the novel Erwin, Mord & Ente by Thomas Krüger:
Der Natur seines Titelhelden nach nimmt „Erwin, Mord & Ente“ sehr, sehr langsam Fahrt auf. Aber die Sache mit dem Dorftrottel erweist sich mehr und mehr als Tarnung eines Sonderlings. Trotzdem muss man schon ein gewisses Faible für die punktgenau getroffene Ostwestfalen-Atmosphäre, die „Wuthering Heights“ von Emily Brontë und detektivische Laufenten mitbringen, um hier nicht aus der Spur zu geraten. (Jens Dirksen) (Translation)Tribuna Hoje (Brazil) thinks that Leila (from the local soap opera Amor à vida) should read Wuthering Heights:
Another would have solved the problems would be Leila, as in "Wuthering Heights" learned as a woman with disputes in the world can resurface as a ghost and haunt your life (does Cathy also refused to cut his hair, causing a fury of Emily Brontë '). In fact, not have to go very far, it was only to see the Globo soap operas to know how high are the chances of a ghostly apparition of the deceased can come bother you. (Translation)The Huffington Post compiles some really bad Amazon reviews for classic books including Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights; Via the Brontë Sisters, pictures of the Haworth Torchlight parade (on Mark Davis Facebook wall); more pictures, now from the Brontë Bell Chapel Carols by Candlelight event.
News from the Clothworkers Films Brontë biopic project for 2016, written and directed by David Anthony Thomas. The Facebook and Twitter pages announce that the casting is underway. Anne Brontë will be played by Rachel Teate:
Anne Bronte will be played by @RachelTeate of CBBC and Disney Channel's Wolfblood @movieScope #Bronte #Movie #BAFTA http://t.co/ORwX6dwWqB
Friday, December 20, 2013
In order to commemorate the 165th anniversary of the death of Emily Brontë yesterday, the New Republic brought up a 1928 article on her and Wuthering Heights:
The Brontës have always been novelists’ novelists, perhaps because their history is novelistic material—the six children in their bleak setting of the Yorkshire moors, their struggle against fate, marked by recurrent death—Maria and Elizabeth dying in childhood—Branwell’s fantastic tragedy, the simultaneous illumination of three personalities in Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Agnes Grey, fame and then death once more—Emily, Anne, Charlotte. There was enough in this story in its purely external aspects to challenge a novelist. Mrs. Gaskell was the first biographer. Mrs. Humphry Ward introduced their works in the definitive edition. Then under the more penetrating methods of modern psychology their situation took on a new interest. Miss May Sinclair wrote her enthusiastic study of The Three Brontës. Now comes Miss Romer Wilson with her version of the sister whose fame, long overshadowed by Jane Eyre and Villette, is now in the ascendant with Wuthering Heights and the Poems alike revealing a personality so far beyond the usual limits of human nature as to seem miraculous. (Robert Morss Lovett) (Read more)El Siglo de Durango (Mexico) misspells her surname as Brönte when looking at the best-known screen adaptations of her novel as a tribute.
Emily Brönte, recordada a 165 años de su fallecimiento, es posiblemente la escritora más genuina, profunda y romántica de la literatura inglesa, tal como lo demuestra su novela “Cumbres Borrascosas”, considerada la obra maestra de la narrativa romántica victoriana.The Birmingham Mail includes Jane Eyre 2011 as one of its 'Five must-see movie premieres on TV this Christmas'.
La novela, publicada en 1847, narra la turbulenta historia de pasión que viven la joven Catherine Earnshaw y el huérfano Heathcliff, misma que los lleva a su destrucción y a la de sus herederos. La obra se centra en un amor imposible, desgarrador y salvaje, donde el resentimiento y la dependencia son los vértices que guían toda la existencia de los personajes, y está ambientada en el opresivo mundo rural de la Inglaterra victoriana. En El Siglo de Durango, te presentamos la visión de los diferentes directores que han llevado esta novela a la pantalla grande. (Translation) (Read more)
Jane Eyre (Monday 23, BBC2, 8.30pm)The Tri-City News has a few suggestions for middle school-age readers, including
Californian director Cary Fukunaga fearlessly plunges himself into the deep end with this relatively faithful bonnet bonanza shot on location in beautiful Derbyshire.
Based on Charlotte Brontë’s novel, Jane is a woman of low social standing offered the prize of marrying way above herself.
Australian-born Alice in Wonderland star Mia Wasikowska gives Jane enough mettle to want to determine her own future in the right way.
German-Irish star Michael Fassbender plays Thornfield Hall master Edward Rochester, with Jamie Bell as St John Rivers, who would also like Jane’s hand, and Sally Hawkins as Jane’s abusive aunt, Mrs Reed. (Graham Young)
Jane, the Fox and Me by Fanny Brit and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault is a moving graphic novel written for a middle school audience but it speaks to any age. Hélène has become an outcast, shunned and tormented by people who her once her friends. Ostracized, depressed and alone, Hélène feels she cannot turn to her already overworked mother; instead, she finds solace in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. The minimal, poetic text and muted illustrations highlight the bleakness with which Hélène sees her world. This is an emotional book to be read with eyes, and heart, wide open. (Reta Pyke)Dagsavisen (Norway) has renamed Jean Rhys's answer to Jane Eyre:
Et eksempel på vellykket viderebruk av andres ideer, kan være Jean Rhys «The wild Sargasso Sea», der hun skriver historien til Mr Rochesters gale kone fra «Jane Eyre» av Charlotte Bronte. Men det var over hundre år etter Brontës død. (Ingvar Ambjørnsen) (Translation)Den of Geek! picks The Place Beyond the Pines as one of the top films of 2013.
Like Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter, it captures the concerns and mood of a generation - in this instance, one indelibly affected by the 2007-08 financial crisis - and like the classic novel Wuthering Heights, tells a human story with detail and breadth. (Ryan Lambie)A few days ago we mentioned a puppet show which reenacted Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights. The Telegraph reviews it:
A classic double-act with bawdy banter to spare, they speak in husky honks and have enough character to overcome a distracted show. It’s best as music hall in miniature — Boris’s drag recreation of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights routine is a treat, as are meta-moments when Sergey is biting the hands that lead him — but that doesn’t last the hour. In comes the usual running, flying and Matrix-style slow-mos. It’s well-drilled, but bog-standard. (Matt Trueman)The Times of Malta has a short article on the music video of Airport Impressions' Hymns of June.
The music video was shot in Haworth, in the heart of the moors of the Brontë Country in West Yorkshire, which village is most famous for its authentic railway station which also features in the music video.Click here to watch the video.
The band's front man, Errol Sammut commented "We are honoured to have worked with such a professional production team and believe the ambience and landscapes have created a perfect set up for this type of song."
Michael Thomas Barry wrote about Emily Brontë on the anniversary of her death. Nut Press reviews the Brontë-inspired collection of short stories Red Room. The McScribble Salon posts about Charlotte Brontë's Thunder. The Broken Bullhorn reviews Robert Barnard's The Case of the Missing Brontë.
A new scholar paper about Shirley:
Networked Manufacture in Charlotte Brontë’s ShirleyPeter J. CapuanoAnd several reviews of Brontë-related books:
Volume 55, Number 2, Winter 2013
pp. 231-242 | 10.1353/vic.2013.0030
This paper confronts many years of displacement-based readings of Charlotte Brontë’s Shirley (1849) with a historicized “surface reading” that connects the manual labor of two very distinct constituencies in the novel: hardened Luddite machine breakers and dispossessed middle-class women. A surface-level line of inquiry into manufactured objects reveals an inverted network from the mill to the parlor; the redundancy of human hands caused by mechanization in the mill is concurrent with a surplus of female handiwork in the novel’s middle-class homes. I argue that this inversion makes sense if we situate the novel in its 1811–12 setting—the unique historical moment when the term “manufacture” began to accrue paradoxically opposed meanings. Brontë’s oscillation between mechanized and manual forms of manufacture in Shirley marks the early boundaries of what would eventually become the rigidly defined separate spheres of mid-century Victorian life.
Black Spring by Alison Croggon (review) by: Karen Coats
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Volume 67, Number 2, October 2013, p. 83
Translation, Authorship and the Victorian Professional Woman: Charlotte Brontë, Harriet Martineau and George Eliot by Lesa Scholl (review) by: Annmarie S. Drury
Victorian Studies, Volume 55, Number 3, Spring 2013, pp. 542-543
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Today marks the 165th anniversary of the death of Emily Brontë. This week she has had a storm named in her honour so any other tribute will undoubtedly look small in comparison. Still, we humbly declare our admiration for her on this day. The Diario Rotativo (México) looks briefly back on her life (misspelling her surname along the way) with special attention to her only novel. And we don't know whether it was done on purpose or not, but El Periodic (Spain) reports that Andrea Arnold's take on Wuthering Heights will be screened at 6 pm today at the Teatro Arniches in Alicante.
More on films as The Huffington Post takes a look at 'The 15 Best Films On TV This Christmas 2013' in the UK.
MONDAY 23 DEC:Apparently yesterday's article on romance novels in the International Business Times has proved to be quite controversial. So much so that its author has felt the need for an addendum.
Jane Eyre - 8.30pm, BBC2
Mia Wasikowska's career hit another high with her pale and interesting take on Charlotte Brontë's classic heroine. Add Michael Fassbender to the mix as the demonised but lusty Mr Rochester, and there's not much can go wrong with this.
Moreover, a great many of my all-time favorite novels and plays – including 'Wuthering Heights, 'Jane Eyre,' 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Streetcar Named Desire' – could all be described as part of the 'romance' genre since they are centered around a love story (although they tended not to have happy endings). (Palash Ghosh)WA Today discusses birth control:
Flower power expected that women could, would and wanted to make love with everyone, all the time. Like men. But in truth, although some women wanted this, most did not. Social pressure not to be ''square'' was intense, but you couldn't talk about it. Social pressure had been specifically jettisoned, so how could it even exist?The Christian Science Monitor reviews Havisham by Ronald Frame and refers to similar takes on classic novels:
This sounds absurd. It sounds like Tess of the d'Urbervilles or Jane Eyre - until you realise the situation now is astonishingly similar. (Elizabeth Farrelly)
From Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” to Jean Rhys’s “Wide Sargasso Sea,” literature offers a number of examples of authors who have taken minor characters from great works of literature and given them their own lasting settings. (Yvonne Zipp)2013 sees the 75th anniversary of the publication of Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca and, as Galleycat reports,
Little, Brown and Company is publishing 27 of the author’s titles digitally for the first time.The American Reader quotes from a letter from Charlotte Brontë to Ellen Nussey, written on the 18th December 1852. Still Striving For that Elusive Halo writes about Emily Brontë and quotes from No Coward Soul is Mine.
The new eBooks include the titles: My Cousin Rachel, The King’s General, The Birds and Other Stories, Frenchman’s Creek, The Scapegoat, The Loving Spirit, Hungry Hill, Jamaica Inn, The Parasites, The Glass-Blowers, Golden Lads: Sir Francis Bacon, Anthony Bacon, and Their Friends, Don’t Look Now and Other Stories, Gerald: A Portrait, The House on the Strand, The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë, Myself When Young, The du Mauriers, The Flight of the Falcon, The Breaking Point, I’ll Never Be Young Again, The Winding Stair: Francis Bacon, His Rise and Fall, Mary Anne, Julius, Rule Britannia, Castle Dor, The Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories.
“We are delighted that the publication of Daphne du Maurier’s novels, stories, memoirs, and biographies in e-book for the first time will allow a new generation of readers to discover and enjoy these timeless works,” stated Terry Adams, Digital and Paperback Publisher of Little, Brown and Company. (Dianna Dilworth)
Ce roman, hommage à l'oeuvre de Charlotte Brontë, fait vivre Jane Eyre et Edward Rochester à une autre époque, en d’autres lieux, les confronte à d’autres événements, d’autres mœurs. S’il reste fidèle à leur amour, il emprunte également des voies inédites et tente de nouvelles perspectives...
Format : Format Kindle
Taille du fichier : 662 KB
Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 195 pages
Utilisation simultanée de l'appareil : Illimité
Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
Langue : Français
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
The New York Post shares its DVD holiday gift guide which - now aptly-timed - includes the Blu-ray edition of Jane Eyre 1944.
“Jane Eyre” (1944)Coincidentally, The Plain Dealer reveals the Joan Fontaine tribute scheduled by TCM, which includes the film as well.
Boutique label Twilight Time, which specializes in limited editions of 3000, offers a sharp-looking Blu-ray upgrade for the late Joan Fontaine’s companion to “Rebecca,” which may actually be a better movie than the one she won the Best Picture actress one. Thank Orson Welles, a splendid Rochester in this rip-roaring Brontë adaptation, who is often credited with giving a directorial assist to the credited helmer Robert Stevenson (whose role in directing “Mary Poppins” goes sadly unmentioned in “Saving Mr. Banks”). Extraordinary child performances by Peggy Ann Garner, Margaret O’Brien and Elizabeth Taylor. (Twilight Time Blu-ray) (Lou Lumenick)
Fontaine's other memorable films include two with Orson Welles: a 1944 adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's "Jane Eyre" and a 1952 version of Shakespeare's "Othello." (Mark Dawidziak)In Stylist, Lucy Mangan jokes about what's not such a joking matter for many a journalist:
Now all I have to do is be able to remember whether Jane Eyre wrote Charlotte Brontë or the other way round and I should be fit for presentation at any civilised gathering.Publishers' Weekly has several 'Children's Publishers Choose Their 2013 Favorite'. One of which is the English translation of Jane, le renard et moi.
Erica Zappy Wainer, Houghton Mifflin HarcourtThe International Business Times offers a piece of advice to those who enjoy reading the Mills & Boon sort of books:
I rarely, and by rarely I mean almost never, buy a hardcover, full-price book strictly at the insistence of a bookseller, without even flipping it over and reading the back jacket or flap copy, but that’s what I did when I visited my former employer Terri Schmitz at the Children’s Book Shop in Brookline, Mass., over the summer. “What’s good?” I said. “You know me. What will make me cry?” Typically my crying comes from books about sad dogs and abandoned animals, but Terri pressed Jane, the Fox, and Me by Fanny Britt into my hands. What a special, marvelous book. The package is stunning, the illustrations wistful and moving; the gray palette speaks to the loneliness of the bullied Hélène, the main character, until a camping trip and a fateful encounter with a fox changes everything. This is not to mention the Jane Eyre thread woven throughout, as Hélène often loses herself in her favorite story, at times seeing a sympathetic equal in the oft-put upon young governess. This graphic novel is magical and unique, and certainly the most memorable book for children I read this year. I’m glad I took a chance on it!
Still, I would suggest that if someone is enamored with romantic novels, one should perhaps eschew the contemporary books and read the beautiful, deep and moving works of 19th century women authors like Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters – they combined romanticism with cold hard reality and profound insights in humanity. (Palash Ghosh)The Huffington Post lists some of films' great outsiders.
Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights (2011) Dir. Andrea ArnoldThe Blytheville Courier News reviews Wuthering Heights.
One of literature's most famous outcasts; brooding anti-hero Heathcliff, perfectly realised in Andrea Arnold’s understated adaptation (played by James Horson and Solomon Glave). A rugged, silent orphan child of indeterminate origin found wandering around the streets of Liverpool, he’s taken pity on by kind Mr Earnshaw, who returns with him to the wild Yorkshire moors. He is hated by his step-brother Hindley but shares a fierce and impossible love with his step-sister Cathy (played by Shannon Beer and Kaya Scodelario.) Earnshaw dies, Cathy denies her love and marries a sensible suitor, and Heathcliff becomes the product of his violent and neglectful upbringing; a bitter man filled with frustration and regret.
Finally, an account of the Brontë Society's 120th anniversary can be read on the Brontë Parsonage website while pictures of the celebrations can be seen on the Facebook page.
The Brontë Bell Chapel Action Group in Thornton organises its traditional Community Carols by Candlelight:
Thursday 19th december at 6.30pm
Community Carols in the Brontë Bell chapel by Candlelight, with the Silsden town brass band . Mulled wine and mince pies in the hall afterwards. All welcome come and sing your favourites in this unique location.
EDIT: Some pictures of the event here.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
We find it strange to call the Brontë Society the 'Brontës' fan club' - even if it is that - as the Yorkshire Post refers to it in the headline of an article about its 120th anniversary.
Members of one of the world’s oldest literary societies, established in West Yorkshire in 1893, are celebrating its 120th year with events at home and abroad.You can also read more about it on the Brontë Parsonage website. The Brontë Parsonage Facebook page also shares some pictures from last weekend's Victorian Christmas event.
The Brontë Society, believed to be the earliest literary society in the English speaking world, was established in Bradford on December 16, 1893, at a Town Hall meeting attended by more than 50 people. Its reach is now global, with members in America and Australia.
The society is devoted to the legacy of the literary sisters, whose work includes Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, and it also runs the Brontë Parsonage museum in Haworth, which attracts thousands of scholars and book lovers from across the world.
A series of events celebrating the 120th year will be launched in London on February 19.
The chairwoman of the Brontë Council, Sally McDonald, said: “Members of the Brontë Society are very proud to be celebrating their 120th anniversary this month and will be celebrating not only in Haworth but around the world.
“We see ourselves as having a unique role, being simultaneously a literary society and a charity that owns and runs a world-renowned museum – what an achievement, what a responsibility. From the start members have come together to promote interest in the lives and works of the Brontës but today activities are not limited to Haworth.”
She added: “The society is delighted that members in London, Northern Ireland, Europe, America, Canada and Australia each put together annual programmes of activities – the editor of our newsletter lives in New England and the editor of our academic journal is based in Calgary.”
The Brontë Society’s executive director, Ann Sumner, said: “We are delighted that the Society is flourishing and looking forward to a year of exciting activity to mark such a special anniversary.”
Jane Eyre was number 12 and now Wuthering Heights is number 13 on The Guardian's list of '100 best novels'.
The above image of Emily Brontë – endlessly reproduced – is less a portrait, more an icon. Intense, fierce, inward, solitary, elusive and unknowable: the young author of Wuthering Heights in profile is of a piece with her first, and only, novel.Speaking of the storm Emily, the Irish Independent summarises the novel in quite a different way.
Her elder sister's work – Jane Eyre (no 12 in this series) – hypnotises the reader through the calculated force of its tone, its "suspended revelations", and its hints of suppressed eroticism. It builds, slowly, to a poignant climax in which, finally, its protagonists are redeemed, though not in a way that's conventional. Wuthering Heights, by contrast, plunges impetuously into a wild and passionate exploration of love in all its destructive manifestations.
Brontë's narrative – fragmented, discordant and tortuous – revolves obsessively around a single, explosive transgression, and the theme of jealousy in the lives of Heathcliff and Catherine, before making a calmer return to the theme in the often neglected second half. (Robert McCrum) (Read more)
The storm is named after 'Wuthering Heights' author Emily Brontë, who died 165 years ago on Thursday, when the storm is set to touch down. Her most famous novel also features constantly bad weather.The bit about 'her most famous novel' is also quite hilarious.
So So Gay wonders,
What's more entertaining than an Eastern European puppet reenacting 'Wuthering Heights' by Kate Bush? Very little. Boris and Sergey's Vaudevillian Christmas Adventure by Flabbergast Theatre centres around the disastrous duo of Boris and Sergey, who delight the audience with various outlandish sketches and acts. (Charlotte Higgins)Perfect timing for this review of the Blu-ray edition of Jane Eyre 1944. From The Morton Report:
What’s immediately most striking about this Jane Eyre is the heavily gothic atmosphere, almost evoking the mood of early horror films. The North Yorkshire, England setting (all filmed on effectively-dressed sets) is a spooky landscape of shadows and fog. Controversy has persisted over the years regarding how much of the film was a result of director Stevenson’s vision and how much was possibly contributed by star Orson Welles. Whatever the case, it’s a visually arresting film. At Lowood, Jane is psychologically abused and harshly disciplined. She survives, which is more than can be said of her best friend, Helen (an uncredited Elizabeth Taylor). [...]In case you are interested, we have added several more comments to our post on the death of Joan Fontaine.
Originally beginning life as a David O. Selznick production, which some have cited—along with the presence of Fontaine—as an explanation for the film’s relatively superficial similarities to Rebecca, Jane Eyre moves along fairly briskly, packing a good deal of plot elements into 96 minutes. Full disclosure, I’ve neither read the original novel, nor seen any of the other filmed adaptations. Obviously I can’t comment on the nature of its faithfulness to the source, but I will say Eyre runs out of steam after we learn the primary secret of Thornfield. Jane’s comings and goings are a bit scattershot the way they’re presented, losing sight somewhat of what was a very hard-earned romantic relationship between she and Rochester. The wrap-up is naggingly pat, but not to the point where it keeps Jane Eyre from being an involving film. Both leads are in top form, with Fontaine (who passed away at age 96 on December 15, 2013) more than holding her own against the domineering Welles.
Twilight Time’s Blu-ray offers a passable high definition image. A message on the Screen Archives website reminds us that Jane Eyre has been brought to Blu-ray using the “best source material available.” While I don’t doubt that, the source print was apparently not in great shape. Imperfections abound and contrast is inconsistent. We never really get deep, solid black levels. It’s not a difficult presentation to watch, it just leaves something to be desired. The DTS-HD MA mono track is effective. Dialogue is clean and clear. Bernard Herrmann’s stirring score is also well served by the simple mix.
Speaking of Herrmann’s score, it’s presented as an isolated DTS-HD MA 2.0 track. (Chaz Lipp)
The Correspondence Between the Governess and the AtticTangent reviews the story:
by Siobhan Carroll (available on 12/17)
“The Correspondence Between the Governess and the Attic,” by Siobhan Carroll, is Jane Eyre told in short, succinct scenes with a fey twist. Jane, as she has taken to calling herself, is a changeling, a fey in human form, orphaned young, raised hard but eventually becoming governess at Thornfield to a wild child, Adèle. Jane senses the darkness in the attic at Thornfield and even exchanges a few notes with it trying to discover its purpose, but to no avail. Over time, she learns to love Adèle’s father, for, in his rough way, he has treated her kindly. Then he reveals his great secret—his fey wife, mad now, is imprisoned and raging in the attic. Jane flees to find refuge among three other changelings, who don’t know what they are—an impoverished brother, chained by his drive to seek God, and his two cowed sisters. But the attic calls her back to Thornfield, and Jane returns to find the estate burned to the ground. She also learns that she’s become “Jane, Heir” due to a sudden windfall from a relative in the West Indies. At this point she decides “it is time for a new kind of story” and finally realizes her own fey powers, choosing a life of her own making as an independent woman.Locutus Magazine publishes another review.
A unique telling of an old classic. Recommended. (Louis West)
Monday, December 16, 2013
Countless websites are reporting the death of Joan Fontaine (1917-2013) at 96. One of the key roles of her acting career was the title character in Jane Eyre 1944 as many of said websites recall.
The Guardian looks back on her career in clips.
Fontaine goes up against another cinematic titan, in this case Orson Welles, in wonderful voice as Mr Rochester in this adaptation of the Charlotte Brontë novel. Clearly by this stage Fontaine was making a speciality of playing timid – but resourceful – women way out of their depth.Variety remembers that,
During WWII, Fontaine worked for the Red Cross and did some of her best work, such as “The Constant Nymph” and “Jane Eyre.” (Richard Natale)USA Today says something along the same lines:
Fontaine scored a third best-actress Oscar nomination for her role in The Constant Nymph in 1943, and had notable turns as Charlotte Bronte's heroine in Jane Eyre in 1944 with Orson Welles, as well as roles in 1950's September Affair and in 1957's Island in the Sun. (Scott Bowles)The Hollywood Reporter also deems her role in Jane Eyre 'notable'.
When looking at her roles directed by Alfred Hitchcock, The Star-Ledger says,
Both Hitchcock films cast Fontaine as quiet, even mousy young women who eventually revealed an inner core of resilience, a quality she also brought to "Jane Eyre" in 1944. (Stephen Whitty)More obituaries: The Washington Post, Reuters, The New York Times, People, The Irish Independent, BBC News, The Independent, etc.
EDIT 17 December:
The Wrap highlights '4 of the Actress’ Essential Performances', one of which is Jane Eyre:
Fontaine personified the shy and unassuming governess in one of the most memorable adaptations of Charlotte Brontë’s novel. It’s a film that ably captures the mist and shadows of the book’s Gothic backdrop.El País (Spain) also highlights some of her most memorable roles, although the summary of the novel/film they provide is rather 'sketchy' (to put it mildly):
Orson Welles has the showier part as the tortured Rochester, but Fontaine gives a restrained and effective performance as the strong-willed orphan who falls in love. In many ways, her’s is the more impressive feat, as she remains naturalistic and steel-willed while Welles rages. (Brent Lang)
Joan Fontaine se puso en la piel de Jane Eyre (Alma rebelde), la celebérrima novela de Charlotte Brontë protagonizada por esta institutriz que deberá enfrentarse asimismo, como sucedía en Rebeca, a las sombras del pasado y de la enloquecida esposa del señor Rochester, que se oculta tras la identidad de una criada, Grace Poole. (Translation)More of her key roles on Digital Journal, though nothing is actually said about her performance as Jane:
Based on the renowned novel by Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre is a loveless orphan who is taken in by a lord of a strange house and hired to look after his younger daughter. The novel is described as legendary, ahead of its time and neoteric for the mid-19th century. (Andrew Moran)The Times thinks that,
As Jane Eyre, the second Mrs de Winter in Rebecca and the wife of the apparently murderous Cary Grant in Suspicion she honed her skills at looking terrified or bullied.The Telegraph follows the same train of thought:
Her signature roles cast her as a new kind of female character in Hollywood: a woman with low self-esteem, yet passionate and obsessive, a neurotic heroine in thrall to an homme fatale to an almost masochistic degree, yet very much at the centre of her own story. Thus she was ideally suited to play Jane Eyre opposite Orson Welles in Robert Stevenson's Gothic-styled 1944 version of the novel, albeit looking more glamorous than the self-described plain Jane of Charlotte Brontë's novel. (Anne Billson)The Guardian makes a selection of clips, including Jane Eyre 1944:
Fontaine goes up against another cinematic titan, in this case Orson Welles, in wonderful voice as Mr Rochester in this adaptation of the Charlotte Brontë novel. Clearly by this stage Fontaine was making a speciality of playing timid – but resourceful – women way out of their depth.RIP.
The Brontë Society is 120 years old today and though we can't thank those who first established it, we can and certainly would like to thank everyone who keeps it running today. Keeping the memory of the Brontë family alive as well as watching over their belongings and many other jobs is not as easy as one would suppose at first. The Telegraph and Argus has an article about the celebrations:
Haworth will today be the hub of worldwide celebrations marking 120 years of the Brontë Society – believed to be the world’s oldest literary society.It is of course a very Brontë week, as the storm Emily will be raging outside around the time of Emily Brontë's 165th death anniversary this coming Thursday. The Asian Age comments on it:
Established on December 16, 1893, the group has members across the world, and celebrations are being held as far as Australia and Canada.
The society now runs the Brontë Parsonage Museum – the former home of the family and which is now one of the area’s top tourist attractions. The anniversary will be marked by a number of worldwide events in 2014.
The first meeting in 1893 took place in Bradford Town Hall and was attended by more than 50 people. Presided over by the Reverend W H Keeling, headmaster of Bradford Grammar School, the group resolved to establish a museum to contain family relics, art and literary works, as well as any historic pieces related to the family.
That resolution lead to the opening of the first Brontë museum at the former Yorkshire Penny Bank in Main Street, Haworth, in 1895. When the Church of England put the family’s home up for sale in 1928, the museum was moved to where it remains to this day.
In the past year the Parsonage has undergone an extensive refurbishment, with experts painstakingly recreating the decor and features that would have filled the house when the sisters lived there.
In January, the ticket desk in the entrance hallway, will be moved to the rear shop area, allowing the hallway to be restored to its original state.
Sally McDonald, chairman of the Brontë Council, said: “Members of the Brontë Society are very proud to be celebrating their 120th anniversary this month and will be celebrating not only in Haworth but around the world.
“We see ourselves as having a unique role, being simultaneously a literary society and a charity that owns and runs a world-renowned museum. From the start members have come together to promote interest in the lives and works of the Brontës, but today activities are not limited to Haworth.
Ann Sumner, executive director of The Brontë Society, said: “We wish all our members a very happy 120th anniversary and hope that visitors to the Parsonage on the day will celebrate with us on this very special occasion.”
A full programme of events, including lectures and discussions all over the country will be announced at an event in London on February 19. (Chris Young)
Emily Brontë who died 165 years this coming Thursday will be immortalised by a storm that threatens to batter our little island at wind speeds predicted to be around 100 kmph. “Storm Emily” will perhaps create more havoc than any other thus far. So is this a befitting tribute for someone who wrote Wuthering Heights — a heartbreaking tale of unrequited love and obsession set in bleak surroundings? Some might disagree — preferring to commemorate the celebrated author in other, perhaps more traditional ways — rather than as a harbinger of destruction. Yet, it will certainly make everyone sit up and think of her in the run up to Christmas especially in the northern and western parts of the UK while the strong winds chill. It will be a good time to curl up with a Brontë book indoors (if hopefully your house is not blown away) while “Emily” rages outside. (Kishwar Desai)Dichtbij (Netherlands) interviews film director/producer Judith Vreriks who apparently would like to switch places with Emily Brontë.
5. Dagje ruilen met?The St.Louis Post-Dispatch features the BabyLit series of classic books adapted for babies and toddlers.
Ik zou wel willen ruilen met Emily Brontë, schrijfster van Wuthering Heights. Haar strijd om erkenning, haar vernieuwende stijl destijds haar pogingen te doen wat zij wilde - of moest - doen in plaats van zich te schikken naar haar rol en haar inventiviteit vind ik heel inspirerend. (Marion Kors) (Translation)
Both 1-year-olds and 4-year-olds got up from their seats and magnetically moved toward the “7 insects” page of “Jane Eyre: A Counting Primer.” [...]Metro looks at what's on TV tonight in the UK:
Their teacher helped me out and asked the 4-year-olds who hadn’t wandered away to blocks, a miniature kitchen or a drawing station to point at the book they’d liked best: “Jane Eyre” got three votes; “Wuthering Heights” and “Emma” each got a vote. But “War and Peace” was by far and away the winner. “Why?” Politte asked. Because of the horse. (Holly Silva)
Don’t Tell The Bride: Christmas On The Slopes, BBC3, 9pmDeath on the Road reviews Wuthering Heights while Dust has created a Wuthering Heights brooch. Ezra Won't Shut Up discusses Shirley. Inspirefly has summed up Jane Eyre in '166 characters or less'. Fiction Addict reviews the Cozy Classics adaptation of Jane Eyre for babies and toddlers. The Brontë Parsonage website has a short account of last weekend's High Victorian Christmas at the Parsonage.
Dashing through the snow, on a one-horse open sleigh? Well, no. Laughing all the way? That remains to be seen as brave young Darren plans to sweep Brontë, his bride-to-be, off to the Alps for this secretive wedding Christmas special. But as the adrenaline-junkie groom reveals his intentions for the big day, it looks as if this particular romance might end up as more of a Cathy and Heathcliff tragedy: Brontë is scared of flying and isn’t too keen on scaling mountains either…
Ever wanted your house to smell like Haworth? Apparently now you can. From Twisted Lily:
Tome 1-Collection Voyage
Country of Origin: France
Candle Set contains: NAIROBI, SAINT TROPEZ, NOHANT, HAWORTH
The Brontë Sisters : Charlotte (1816 – 1855), Emily (1818 – 1848), Anne (1820 – 1849)
The Brontës were from an English literary family, famous thanks to the three sisters who were poets and novelists. They lived together with their father in the parsonage in Haworth, Yorkshire where “Jane Eyre” and “Wuthering Heights” were written.
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Anne Billson talks about the best voices in film in The Telegraph:
The only time I ever fancied Mr Rochester was when he was played by Orson Welles in the noirish 1943 version of Jane Eyre. Hard to believe he was still only in his mid-twenties, but then that ripe, fruity voice was always older than the Boy Wonder himself, and no doubt helped him age convincingly in Citizen Kane, as well as run his own theatre company.The Yakima Herald carries an article about Inga Wiehl, a local retired English professor and author of the book Reclaiming Our Brains Without Losing Our Minds: Some Hows and Whys of a Reading Group:
From Edward Rochester to Shylock and Nora Helmer. (...)The Telegraph & Argus talks about a recent event taking place in Horsforth:
From there it’s been an eclectic, far-reaching and wonderful journey. They solved the mystery of Rochester in “Jane Eyre,” admired Shylock’s soliloquy in “The Merchant of Venice,” debated the dilemma faced by Helmer in “A Doll’s House.” They forged through references to French cakes in “In Search of Lost Time,” battles in “War and Peace” and match-making in “Emma.” (Jane Gargas)
The group enjoyed the last talk in the current programme on December 4 from Stuart Rawnsley, a trustee of The Leeds Library. Stuart gives talks to publicise the library and attract new members, a departure from the attitude of its founders which was exclusive and elitist, certainly not courting the interest of the general public. Many Leeds people would still see it this way but Stuart hopes to win their support. Now a charity, it should be attractive to visitors with its elegant period building and rich archive of rare books and first editions, a magnet for research students. He talked about the foundation of the library, its historic role, its three homes, members and librarians and its role in Leeds, illustrating his talk with wonderful material from the library. It is a genuine historical monument. The first proposal for a subscription library was made in 1768 at a time when scientists and entrepreneurs were meeting to exchange ideas and the local intelligentsia included Joseph Priestley, discoverer of oxygen, and Benjamin Franklin who visited at his invitation. Among its rare books is Mandeville’s Travels to the Holy Land printed in 1494. Arthur Ransome’s father, a professor at Leeds University, and Charlotte Brontë’s friend Mary Taylor were both shareholders, as members had to be and it is significant that women could be shareholders in their own right. There was so much fascinating material in Stuart Rawnsley’s talk.Dawn (Pakistan) gives tips to learn Excel:
While learning a new thing, don’t be impatient. For instance, those ambitious students who aspire to master their books the very first time later find themselves lost in its pages. So, no perfections please! I remember how I never finished Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë just because I tried to understand each and every word of it — though I was reading for fun! (Saanwal Karamat Barlaas)World Magazine recommends Tina Connolly's Ironskin (now that the sequel is already published, Copperhead):
This Nebula-award-nominated dark fantasy blends ancient Celtic myth with a plot loosely based on Jane Eyre. Scarred by the evil Fae during the Great War, Jane Eliot must wear an iron mask to keep others safe from the scar’s angry magic. Forced by her deformity to take a governess position at a remote estate, she soon finds herself falling in love with a mysterious nobleman/artist. The secrets of the estate may soon be Jane’s undoing: Debut author Tina Connolly cleverly undermines reader recollections of Brontës famed story in a moody, brooding gothic novel with unforeseeable twists. As Jane learns how to turn physical deformity into moral strength, she experiences self-discovery, triumph over tragedy, and victory over vanity. (John Ottinger III)The novel is also reviewed on Provo City Library Staff Reviews.
The Charlottetown Guardian (Canada) talks about the local photographer Louise Vessey who has been chosen Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) Wedding Photographer of the Year:
Vessey’s image titled Love on the Rocks received first place in the wedding portrait class. It was selected the best image from the PPOC competition to be entered into the World Photographic Cup, and was described in a release as “a wedding photo that conjures up a blend of East Coast and Wuthering Heights to dramatic effect.” (Mary MacKay)The Times-Union has an article about the Cozy Classics illustrated board books including Jane Eyre.
It has nothing to do with the Brontës but we found this extremely amusing: a news piece published on The Pioneer Press where a Charlotte Brontë-saurus appears in an article with the name "I couldn't believe that something so amazing was right up there in the attic."
Divineknits with Infiknit has read Jane Eyre; ifallelseperished tumblr has a beautiful Jane Eyre 2006 collage; Fellhunter on Flickr publishes a nice picture on his way to Top Withins.