Friday, October 09, 2015

Brontë in Bromley

On Friday, October 09, 2015 at 12:30 a.m. by M. in    No comments
A new production of Polly Teale's Brontë opens today, October 9, in Bromley, Kent, UK:
Brontëby Polly Teale
Directed by Andy Solts
Charlotte – Jane Lobb
Emily – Laura Ings Self
Anne – Holly Connell-Wallace
Mrs Rochester (Bertha)/Cathy – Alice Young
Branwell/Arthur Huntingdon/Heathcliff – Joseph Dominic
Patrick/Arthur Bell Nicholls/Rochester/Mr Heger – Richard Toynton

Bromley Little Theatre
Fri 9 – Sat 17 October 2015 at 7.45pm (no show Sunday 11)

It is 1845. Branwell returns home in disgrace. Plagued by alcohol and drug addiction, he has been dismissed from domestic service following an affair with the mistress of the house. As their brother descends into alcoholism and insanity, bringing chaos to the household, the sisters write.

How is it possible that three Victorian spinsters, living in isolation on the Yorkshire moors could have written some of the most powerful and passionate fiction of all time?

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Here's a challenge for our fellow Brontëites reading this. The Telegraph lists '11 things you didn't know about the Brontës' but we are pretty sure they are common knowledge for readers of this blog., aren't they? We think the most obscure item might be this one:
10. Branwell Brontë was burned in effigy
Branwell was burned in effigy during the 1837 elections in Haworth for his support of the Tory candidate. Enraged at hearing the politician howled down by the crowd, Branwell intervened. The local populace demonstrated their displeasure by burning an effigy of Branwell himself, shown holding a potato in one hand and a herring in the other in allusion to the Brontës' Irish heritage. (Amy Blumsom)
The list has been compiled because of the publication of Claire Harman's new biography of Charlotte Brontë which is reviewed by Samantha Ellis in Literary Review:
Why did the sheltered daughter of a Church of England minister, brought up to be deeply suspicious of Catholics, take the drastic step of walking into a Brussels church, finding a confessional and opening her heart? And what did she tell the priest? Claire Harman opens her biography, written in time for Charlotte Brontë’s bicentenary in 2016, with her protagonist in crisis. It’s not just that the 27-year-old student is in love with her married professor, Constantin Heger, but also that she is, Harman perceptively notes,
struggling with the larger issue of how she would ever accommodate her strong feelings – whether of love … or her intellectual passions, or her anger at circumstances and feelings of thwarted destiny – in the life that life seemed to have in store for her, one of patchy, unsatisfying employment, loneliness and hard work. What was someone like her, a plain, poor, clever, half-educated, dependent spinster daughter, to do with her own spiritual vitality and unfettered imagination? Harman suggests the relief of confessing ‘gave her an idea not just of how to survive or override her most powerful feelings, but of how to transmute them into art. Within a year she was writing her first novel.’ For Harman, Brontë’s novels are ‘revolutionary’ because they express feelings we usually suppress. In other words, she lets us all into the confessional. (Read more)
Northern Ballet's take on Wuthering Heights on stage at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury until Saturday October 10 is reviewed by Kent News.
The book translates perfectly into the dramatic art form of ballet, and Northern Ballet’s production, directed by David Nixon, is captivating. [...]
They are portrayed brilliantly during both stages of their lives - with Rachael Gillespie and Jeremy Curnier playing the young pair and Martha Leebolt and Tobias Batley playing their adult counterparts. (Molly Kersey)
Kent Online reviews it too.
So it’s all the more of an achievement then that by the end, it wouldn’t be an understatement to say we were completely enthralled.
It was hard to decide which couple’s dancing was the more captivating to watch: the young Cathy and Heathcliff (Rachael Gillespie and Jeremy Curnier) or the grown-up pair (Martha Leebolt and Tobias Batley).
The scene where the older Cathy and Heathcliff danced after her wedding was so emotionally-charged it felt like the audience was being carried along with them.
The calibre of the dancing was first rate with no-one putting a foot wrong, from particularly smiley Hironao Takahashi as Edgar Linton and Hannah Bateman as Isabella Linton to the other dancers who played maids with humorous moments, to wedding couples, perfectly in time with each other.
The setting was appropriately low-key, although atmospheric, and the production overall was an interesting mix of modern and period.
Its final scene, complete with incredibly lighting and beautiful but poignant choreography, was just breathtaking. (Angela Cole)
And The Huffington Post mentions the take on the novel by the National Youth Theatre, throwing in a blunder:
In other words, it's a valuable institution. How valuable, however, comes into question when this year's London season at Ambassadors Theatre includes an evisceration of Charlotte Bronte's (sic) great and gloomy Wuthering Heights. It's tempting to call this revision inexplicable, but, as it happens, there is an obvious explanation for Stephanie Street's obscenity-ridden reimagining of the ill-fated Catherine Earnshaw-Heathcliff love affair in windswept northern England.
The NYT's slogan -- or one of them -- being "We are classics reimagined," Street has gone about reimagining a modern-day version undoubtedly because she and director Emily Lim believe that getting young audiences interested in attending theater requires speaking to them in a contemporary vernacular. Hence, the woebegones Cathy and Heathcliff liberally salt-and-pepper their speeches with four- and seven-letter words. (There are no 12-letter words included, and thank heaven for small mercies.)
This means that at one point Cathy strikes out at her nanny Ellen by calling the vigilant woman "a f*****g drama queen." On the other hand, Street never mentions moors and leaves out Cathy's declaration, "I am Heathcliff." Shame on her for so cavalierly trashing one of literature's greatest novels.
Street's notion to have Cathy and Heathcliff each played in today's street clothes by five actors isn't a bad one and conveniently gives roles to that many more members of this year's good-looking and promising troupe. Cathy is Francene Turner, Megan Parkinson, Grace Surey, Paris Iris Campbell and Lauren Lyle. Heathcliff is Gavi Singh Chera, Conor Neaves, Luke Pierre, Oscar Porter-Brentford and Oliver West.
Were there such a thing as a literary police force, paddy wagons would be pulling up to the theater right now. (David Finkle)
More on Crimson Peak. A warning from Time magazine:
Though Guillermo del Toro’s new ghost film, Crimson Peak, may be inspired by Gothic Romances like Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights, don’t expect a brooding man to come to the heroine’s rescue. A hasty marriage is just the beginning of heroine Edith’s problems. (Eliana Dockterman)
Interesting as neither Jane Eyre nor Wuthering Heights feature 'a brooding man [who comes] to the heroine’s rescue'.

Revista Arcadia (Spain) focuses on Guillermo del Toro's intentions.
Las alusiones literarias son frecuentes en la película, como Jane Austen o Mary Shelley, que la joven Edith quiere emular, incluso Thomas pronuncia un monólogo de "Jane Eyre" de Charlotte Bronté [sic].
"En definitiva, la película tiene una impronta literaria de los libros que yo leía de pequeño y de joven. Yo descubrí a Shelley y Austen al mismo tiempo, y el romance gótico se quedó en mi cabeza desde que vi a los cuatro años en el cine 'Wuthering Heights' (1939) acompañado por mi madre", recuerda. (Translation)
A (completely different) film with a Brontë twist is Miss You Already, reviewed by Stuff (New Zealand).
However, underneath that patina of predictability and preachiness, lies an anarchic BFF tale, helped greatly by the casting of Collette (Mental, Lucky Them) and Barrymore (Whip It, Charlie's Angels). Their Wuthering Heights-obsessed duo spark well off one another, reminding one of the Collette-Rachel Griffiths pairing all those years ago in Muriel's Wedding. (James Croot)
And Hampton Roads reviews another film which includes a Brontë reference: Big Stone Gap, in which
[Ashley] Judd's poor character wants a man who will kiss her like Heathcliff or Rhett Butler. She is advised that there is a difference between lust and love: "true love energizes you; lust just exhausts you." (Mal Vincent)
The Huffington Post interviews writer Frederic Forsyth. We don't quite agree with this, though:
What's the most important lesson you've learned about writing?
Keep it simple.
We all write in different ways. Some writers use flowery language and have beautiful prose. I write like a journalist. There are no frills. Keep it understandable. The guy on the commuter train doesn't have time to admire beautiful Brontë-esque prose. He wants the story. If I were to divide a novel into parts, it would be like this: twenty percent would be characterization, descriptive passages, dialogue, and prose style. Eighty percent would be plot.
I'm basically a storyteller. (Mark Rubinstein)
The guy on the commuter train may or may not have the time to admire the prose. There are plenty who do.

The Telegraph and Argus reports that, 'Proposals to build a second wind turbine at a prominent site overlooking the Worth Valley have been rejected'. The Book Wars reviews Black Spring by Alison Croggon. Discover the Jane Eyre droplet on ThirsttpopOptiq reviews a couple of Val Lewton's productions, including I Walked with a Zombie 1944.
12:30 a.m. by M. in , , ,    No comments
Thanks to Ashgate for providing us with a review copy of this book.
The Art of Adapting Victorian Literature, 1848-1920
Dramatizing Jane Eyre, David Copperfield, and The Woman in White
Karen E. Laird
Illustrations: Includes 19 b&w illustrations
Published: August 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4724-2439-6
The Art of Adapting Victorian Literature 1848-1920 explores the dramatization of three milestones of Victorian literature which can be representative of three of the household names of the literature of the period: Charlotte Brontë with Jane Eyre, Charles Dickens with David Copperfield and Wilkie Collins with The Woman in White. Of course our review will focus on the Jane Eyre part of the book but not forgetting that Karin A. Laird's approach shares a common agenda both in the vindication of the long forgotten values of the adaptations as a genre and the adapter as a professional as well as the inclusion of the silent early movies adaptations not only as a side note to the Victorian melodramatic theatre adaptations but as a continuing epilogue and its unavoidable coda.

The concise, clear and illuminating introduction sets the main coordinates of Karen E. Laird's approach. Her work is not, and it doesn't want to be, a fully comprehensive exploration of the early adaptations of Jane Eyre (and neither of the novels by the other authors covered in the book). The aim is to explore some significant examples (sometimes chosen on purpose by the author as in the theatre pieces but other times forced by circumstances as with the silent movies (1)) in order to locate the common tropes, the defining elements which vertebrate the most popular adaptations of Charlotte Brontë's famous novel. Her modus operandi is interdisciplinary and even following the adaptation critical studies body of work it cannot be but exploratory as the regions in which she dares to go are mainly untraveled ones.

Karen E. Laird analyses the 1848 urgent adaptation by John Courtney, Jane Eyre, or The Secrets of Thornfield Manor (1848) and the first American dramatization, John Brougham's Jane Eyre (1849). Both pieces were included in Patsy Stoneman's essential Jane Eyre on Stage, 1848-1898 in 2007. The scope of the text, including also studies on David Copperfield and The Woman in White early adaptations, forbids more examples of the other Jane Eyre theatre adaptations of the period(2). Both adaptations are discussed (and their long forgotten authors vindicated) in terms of the way in which they shifted, highlighted and rewrote the original text to approach the very different audiences that they look for. John Courtney's surprisingly class-conscious adaptation where the text is almost a proto-Socialist vindication of the working classes (but following a kind of Marxism nearer to Groucho than Karl). Or Brougham's also upstairs/downstairs approach with an extra supernatural flair.

Both those adaptations also share a Melodramatic common ground very typical of the whole group of early (and not so early) adaptations of Victorian novels into theatre (which can also be explored in the other novels and authors studied in the book). The melodramatic context is also shared by the many silent film adaptations which are also Karen E. Laird's subject of study. Regrettably, no complete Jane Eyre adaptation of the period has survived(3) and this heavily constricts the kind of possible critical research that can be done. The author tries to somehow overcome the situation studying first-hand sources (like the script of the film, if it is available) or second-hand ones as reviews, press releases or plot summaries written for magazines. Needless to say these are, at best, partial glimpses of the real thing, but it is quite amazing and certainly the author of the book deserves credit for how many consistent, pertinent and fascinating information she is able to extract from such disperse sources.

Karen E. Laird's work on silent films is truly a seminal work. Not only her unearthing of deeply hidden information from long forgotten films but her transparent love for the material she is handling. She is not only documenting films but she firmly believes in what these adaptations tell us about the original novel and the moment where they were created. And she vindicates with conviction the value of the work of the vilified adapters that worked on them. Not an easy task in a world, the literary critics scholar world, which is sometimes a bit too self-absorbed and still under the highbrow/lowbrow obsolete categorizations.


(1) Let's not forget that 
only 14% of the 10,919 silent films released by major studios exist in their original 35mm or other format, according to the report, “The Survival of American Silent Feature Films: 1912-1929.” Another 11% survive in full-length foreign versions or on film formats of lesser image quality. (Variety)
(2) Some of them were included in the Patsy Stoneman book: Charlotte Birch-Pfeiffer's 1870 Jane Eyre, or The orphan of Lowood,  James Willing's 1878 Jane Eyre or T.H. Paul's 1879 Jane Eyre. It's a real pity as these adaptations (as was already pointed out by Stoneman) introduced complementary and contemporary readings of the novel. Once again, we have to regret the absence of any non English adaptation of the novel. It can be argued, of course, that this book only explores the English-spoken versions but the the discussion of the Italian film Le Memorie di una Istitutrice (1917) opens the path to an unexplored and we think fascinating path.
(3) The only partially remaining film is the Italian 1917 film, Le Memorie di una Istitutrice, directed by Riccardo Tolentino.The surviving copy of 38 minutes, held at the BFI, was exhibited at the Cinema Ritrovato Film Festival in Bologna (June-July 2015).

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Wednesday, October 07, 2015 10:27 a.m. by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
The Yorkshire Evening Post features Caryl Phillips and his novel The Lost Child.
The Lost Child begins with a traumatised Heathcliff, the offspring of a wealthy merchant and a former slave woman, struggling to support his ailing mother on the Liverpool docks. It examines Emily Brontë’s own dysfunctional relationship with her father, Patrick, but the juxtaposition of the story of Monica Johnson’s failed marriage to a Caribbean graduate student is a reminder that Yorkshire novelists also changed the literary landscape in the 20th century.
“At the age of 18, I realised that there were different types of England,” says Phillips, who was brought up on the Whinmoor estate in Leeds. “I started to think about how growing up in Yorkshire formed me.
“Emily and Charlotte Brontë always struck a chord because they wrote in dialect. I read the books as a teenager but I didn’t really take them in until I went to university. People like John Braine, Stan Barstow, Keith Waterhouse and David Storey were really important to me as a student because they were the types of writers teachers would not give you to read – unlike posh, southern contemporary authors like Iris Murdoch or Kingsley Amis. It was my way of reminding myself who I was.”
Repubblica (Italy) talks to author Erica Jong.
Ha liberato le donne, dice, ha aperto loro una strada. Paura di volare ha insegnato alle scrittrici a essere più sincere. Nel suo libro scrive che l'inferno degli scrittori è l'auto-censura e il Paradiso la libertà di dire la verità: "È così  -  precisa lei  -  non c'è niente di peggio che nascondersi o mentire, per uno scrittore. Che meraviglia quelle donne che hanno avuto coraggio, che libri belli e interessanti hanno scritto Colette, Charlotte Brontë, Simone de Beauvoir. E le vostre Natalia Ginzburg e Elsa Morante. Non è curioso che siano entrambe ebree?" (Elena Stancanelli) (Translation)
According to this columnist from The Millions,
There’s nothing like walking 270 miles and three weeks through squelching countryside, spending blister-plagued hours with your walking companion discussing the boggy landscapes of literature, to come to an understanding of Middle Earth and Prydain, of the Brontës, James Herriot, or any of the other books that had once teleported me to England from 1970s Michigan. (H.S. Cross)
Chicago Tribunes features Winifred Haun & Dancers' show Promise and announces that,
"Promise" will be preceded by "Come Months, Come Away," by Kanopy Dance Co. of Madison, Wis. The piece, created by Artistic Director Lisa Thurrell, is inspired by poets Brontë, Keats and Shelley. (Myrna Petlicki)
This is how Herald (Ireland) describes archaeologist Neil Oliver:
Neil, with his dark, flowing locks and casual scarf thrown around his neck, looks a lot like Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights might look if someone had taken him shopping in Topman or River Island. (Pat Stacey)
The Awl discusses murder ballads in general and Reba McEntire’s The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia in particular.
It’s one of the sappiest, soggiest things you’ll ever see: an elderly murderess confessing it all to a feckless journalist. The turtle-necked gumshoe is somewhere between Emily Brontë’s Mr. Lockwood and Anne Rice’s Daniel Molloy. (Casey N. Cep)
If you are near Nottingham you might be interested in helping towards this Brontë-related cause, as reported by Nottingham Post:
Students are hoping to bake their way to the theatre as part of a fundraising drive.
Year 10s from Carlton le Willows Academy have developed a taste for British literature – thanks to a themed cake sale at the school.
All this week they will be baking and selling cakes so all 60 GCSE students can go to see Jane Eyre at Nottingham's Theatre Royal in February.
So far literary classics have been given a culinary spin, with Artful Jammy Dodgers, Wuthering Slices and Lord of the Ring-Donuts just some of the themed cakes on sale during form, break and lunch times this week.
Student Becky Harris said seeing the performance of the classic will make all the difference.
The 14-year-old made a cake called Great Eggspectations.
She said: "We are really just trying to raise as much as possible because it would be really useful to go and see the story performed.
"It will obviously be more dramatic and we will see it in a different way.
"We have finished reading the book so it would be good to move it on."
The 14-year-old said: "I came up with idea but most people had other puns they thought up.
"At first I wasn't too keen on Jayne [sic] Eyre but now I understand it more. We have all seen the film which has another take on it so it will be interesting to see it on stage," added Isabelle.
Head of media Amy Armstrong-Holmes, who organised the event along with fellow English teacher Tony Tenniswood, said: "The students have really taken to raising as much as possible.
"Both of our Year 10 classes are studying Jane Eyre as part of the new GCSE curriculum's requirement for a 19th-century novel to be read and they're really enjoying it!
''It will be great for them to see it on stage." (Dan Russell)
The Telegraph recommends Manchester - with its Elizabeth Gaskell house once visited by Charlotte Brontë - as a family city break.
12:30 a.m. by M.   No comments
Hunter Davis as Jane Eyre, 
Kevin Aoussou as Mr. Rochester 
and Jasmine Gunter as Bertha. 
Source: The Herald - 

A student production of Polly Teale's Jane Eyre opens today, October 7 in Rock Hill, SC:
Winthrop University College of Visual and Performing Arts presents
Jane Eyre
by Polly Teale. Adapted from the novel by Charlotte Brontë
Directed by David Wohl

Wednesday, October 7 through Saturday October 10, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 11  at 2:00 p.m.
Johnson Theatre

A gripping version of this Charlotte Brontë classic novel, Jane Eyre is a psychological and visceral theatrical experience that suggests Jane's suppressed feelings are manifest in Rochester's first wife Bertha, the madwoman-in-the-attic.  Deftly adapted and conceived by Polly Teale, This production masterfully goes beyond the story we know and reveals the real Jane Eyre.  

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Tuesday, October 06, 2015 7:58 a.m. by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
The Telegraph has something which the Brontë Parsonage Facebook page says 'kept museum staff entertained this afternoon': a quiz to find out which Brontë sibling you are.
The bicentenary of the births of the Brontë siblings, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne, is due to be celebrated with a series of public events from 2016 onwards.
All four of the Brontës (well, except for Branwell, the often-forgotten brother) are noted for their enduring contributions to English literature, and between them they produced classic novels Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall among others.
But if you were lucky enough to have been born into this family of literary superstars, where would you fit? Would you be remembered forever as a literary genius, or die tragically young without fulfilling your true potential? Take this quiz to find out! (Spoiler: all of them died tragically young.) (Charlotte Runcie)
Go on, take it!

Matt Trueman reflects on WhatsOnStage:
I've noticed, this month, how much stock I place in feeling in the theatre. I want my theatre to shake me, to stir me, to move me. I want watching to involve more than watching, and the shows I've really loved in recent weeks are testimony to that. I've raved about those that got into my body, and not just my brain: Jane Eyre, with its rhythmic, runaway pulse; The Crucible, shrill and scratchy as fingernails down blackboards; Lela and Co, dragging us down into darkness, raising gasps with every galling interruption; the taboo-twisting queasiness of Harrogate.
Rachel Cooke tells in The Guardian:
At the Budleigh Salterton literary festival last month, I talked to Hilary Mantel about the books she holds most dear. On her list were Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, and Molly Keane’s Good Behaviour, a marvellous novel from 1981 about an aristocratic Anglo-Irish family in which nothing is as it seems. 
VilaWeb (Spain) has an article on Guillermo del Toro and his new film Crimson Peak:
Aquest nou film veu del romanç gòtic que mescla, com ha recordat Del Toro, de les històries romàntiques i del terror. En aquest sentit, ha assenyalat que el romanç gòtic “és un melodrama embogit amb elements sobrenaturals implícits o explícits, depèn de la novel·la, si és ‘Jane Eyre’ són naturals, a ‘Cumbres borrascoses’ és ambivalent o a ‘El monje’ és expressament sobrenatural”. (Translation)
La estrella (Panama) also has an article about the film:
En una entrevista concedida a Efe, Del Toro comenta que Rebecca de Hitchcock, producida por David O. Selznick, o Jane Eyre de Robert Stevenson son ejemplos de ‘ese cine de romance gótico que hace casi cuarenta años que no se hace y la última vez que se trató en el cine fue como serie B'. [...]
‘En definitiva, la película tiene una impronta literaria de los libros que yo leía de pequeño y de joven. El romance gótico se quedó en mi cabeza desde que vi a los cuatro años en el cine Wuthering Heights (1939) acompañado por mi madre', recuerda. (Translation)
The Mary Sue doesn't like feminists using the word 'slave':
For [Emmeline] Pankhurst or [Meryl] Streep to call themselves slaves is incredibly tone-deaf to this history. The feminist language of Pankhurst’s time had a troubling tendency to appropriate the language of slavery. As another example, look at Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, a narrative with themes of female empowerment that features a protagonist whose voice uses elements of the slave narrative. White women did not experience slavery, and their use of the word “slave” is incredibly offensive to those who were enslaved. (Charline Jao)
An article on Jane Austen on Objetivo Castilla-La Mancha (Spain) recalls Charlotte Brontë's opinion of her works. Pseudonyms are discussed in El comercio (Peru). AnneBrontë.org has a post on Branwell. Monique Snyman posts a Wuthering Heights-related wedding theme.  Lyndsey's Film Odyssey reviews Wuthering Heights 1939. Derbyshire Record Office posts about Jane Eyre and its Derbyshire connections.
12:30 a.m. by M. in ,    No comments
Some final chances to see the Northern Ballet's revival of Wuthering Heights (Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, choreographed by David Nixon OBE) just months before it opens the new Jane Eyre ballet:
Touring to
Canterbury, Marlowe Theatre
Tue 6 – Sat 10 Oct 2015

Bradford, Alhambra Theatre
Tue 17 – Sat 21 Nov 2015
01274 432 000

EDIT: Kent Online talks about the Canterbury performances.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Monday, October 05, 2015 10:19 a.m. by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
Both The Guardian and The Sunday Times mention Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre when reviewing the stage adaptation of Sarah Waters' Tipping the Velvet:
Yet it is hard not to compare this as an adaptation to Sally Cookson’s reimagining of Jane Eyre, now soaring at the National. (Laura Wade)
Sad to say, there are better page-to-stage reimaginings you could spend your time in a dark auditorium with. I kept two-timing Tipping the Velvet by thinking of Sally Cookson’s Jane Eyre, currently at the National: its charms are less on the slender side. (Maxie Szalwinska)
Jane Eyre is also one of the 'things to do in London' recommended by LondonistBouquets & Brickbats reviews positively the production.

Grand Forks Herald has a short review of Deborah Lutz's The Brontë Cabinet.
"The Bronte Cabinet" by Deborah Lutz. If your possessions could speak, what would they say about you? What story would they tell? Lutz takes a new approach at looking at the Brontë sisters. A Victorian literature scholar, she dives deep into the inner workings of this mysterious family through their favorite possessions and creates a new and fresh view of this creative family. A must read for any fan of the Brontë sisters.
Diário de Notícias (Portugal) has a column on André Téchiné and his film Les Soeurs Brontë is mentioned.
Em boa verdade, as lacunas na divulgação da obra de Téchiné são antigas. Um filme fulcral na sua dinâmica criativa - As Irmãs Brontë (1979) - nunca estreou no nosso país (tendo passado uma vez, há cerca de trinta anos, na RTP). Daí que a sua recente edição em DVD constitua um especialíssimo acontecimento, ajudando-nos a compreender como a sua visão do mundo é indissociável de um romanesco de raiz literária.
Ao encenar a vida íntima das irmãs que marcam o século XIX da literatura inglesa, Téchiné exprime--se muito para além da lógica determinista de muitos telefilmes, evitando reduzir a obra a uma consequência "automática" dos elementos biográficos. De modo porventura algo desconcertante, o filme confere especial evidência à figura de Branwell Brontë (Pascal Greggory) e, em particular, a um quadro por ele pintado, figurando--se junto às suas três irmãs. Algures na fronteira entre um desejo vital e a pulsão de morte, esse quadro (de que Branwell, a certa altura, irá rasurar a sua própria imagem) surge como sinal de uma memória trágica que Téchiné acompanha até 1852, numa altura em que Charlotte Brontë, já consagrada através do romance Jane Eyre, é a única sobrevivente.
Com Isabelle Huppert, Isabelle Adjani e Marie-France Pisier (como Anne, Emily e Charlotte, respetivamente), As Irmãs Brontë ilustra a energia de um cinema francês fortemente enraizado num duplo classicismo (literário e cinematográfico), ajudando a esclarecer as relações de Téchiné com um riquíssimo património a que pertencem as obras de cineastas como Jean Renoir ou Max Ophüls. Já na altura do seu lançamento, seria um objeto fora de moda - a sua marginalidade estética não mudou e o seu fascínio também não. (João Lopes) (Translation)
Front Row Reviews mentions Robbie Ryan's work on the film Catch Me Daddy and recalls that,
Cinematographer Robbie Ryan complements this take with a misty, gritty hue that evokes his past work on Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank and Wuthering Heights. (Greg Wetherall)
Also the film is set (at least partly) on the Yorkshire moors.

Gazzetta di Modena (Italy) reports that Italian writer Chiara Valerio has a Brontë-related tattoo:
Abbiamo molte cose in comune: tra i nostri libri prediletti c’è “Cime tempestose”. Quando ho visto Chiara per la prima volta aveva i capelli raccolti e dietro il collo tatuato il nome Heathcliff, protagonista maschile del romanzo di Emily Brontë. La scintilla è scattata subito». (s. a.) (Translation)
L'Hémicycle (France) features the writer Jean-Marie Rouart and comments on his literary influences not only coming from French authors.
Un autre attrait de ce choix est d’éviter une vision franco-française, défaut inhérent à un pays qui a compté tant de grands auteurs. Jean-Marie Rouart n’a pas oublié ces après-midi où sa mère tricotait, tandis qu’une comédienne, à la radio, lisait Somerset Maugham ou les sœurs Brontë. Il en a conservé ce goût du voyage qu’on peut faire chez soi en compagnie de Knut Hamsun, Hermann Hesse, Joseph Conrad ou Isabelle Eberhardt, une des dix femmes présentes dans ce livre auprès de Colette ou de Carson McCullers, cette « grande blessée de la solitude ». (Benoît Duteurtre) (Translation)
A football discussion with a Brontë twist in The Guardian:
Liverpool’s director of research Ian Graham has a PhD in theoretical physics, Arsenal bought Stat DNA to help with scouting, tactical insights and game preparation, and Aston Villa recently recruited Hendrik Almstadt from Arsenal as their first sporting director. But we do not know whether these analysts are an essential cog in the wheel – or modern day Bertha Antoinetta Masons in Jane Eyre, squirrelled away in the attic, far from prying eyes. (Sean Ingle)
Qreviewsbooks dislikes many of the characters of Wuthering Heights. .
12:30 a.m. by M. in ,    No comments
Two new Jane Eyre-related poems by Rita María Martínez have been published at the Autumn issue of the 2RiverView magazine:
Jane Eyre’s Denial

When Asked, Why Edward?, Jane Eyre Responds
Readers can read the poems online and also listen to a recording of the author reading the poems. A pdf version of the entire issue is also available as a free dowload. There is also a "Make the Mag" link for those who want to print out the issue.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Natasha Tripney in The Stage talks about recent theatre adaptations of novels. The recent Sally Cookson Jane Eyre adaptation is one of them:
Reader, I loved it. Sally Cookson’s adaptation of Jane Eyre for the National Theatre is a thing of riches.
First staged at Bristol Old Vic as an epic four-hour, two-part staging last year, it is now presented in London in an only relatively condensed version.
Unlike recent screen adaptations, including Cary Fukunaga’s elegant 2011 film, scripted by Moira Buffini, it grasps that Jane Eyre is so much more than just a love story, and that one of the chief pleasures of the novel is in seeing Jane grow up and grow into herself, in seeing her survive the terrors of the red room, her bleak treatment at Lowood, the death of her school friend, Helen Burns, and emerge stronger and more self-reliant as a result: a woman of will.
One of the reasons why Cookson’s adaptation works as well as it does is that the recreation of these scenes from Jane’s childhood never feels slavish. They are vital to the world the production is building and, crucially, they are suffused with a sense of the theatrical. Cookson manages to be faithful to the novel in so many ways, while making something which is, first and foremost, a piece of theatre.
She has made a playground of the stage, with Michael Vale’s set comprising a collection of platforms and ladders, suggesting rather than recreating Thornfield’s treacherous rooftops and dark attic spaces. And though her production does tread some of the same thematic ground as Polly Teale’s version for Shared Experience some years back, which twinned Jane with Rochester’s first wife, Bertha Mason, it’s arguably lighter on its feet and more playful in its approach, containing some truly audacious moments: most notably Melanie Marshall, as Bertha, bold in her red silk dress, singing Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy, her voice exuding power and emotional nuance.
The Guardian explores strong female leading roles on the London stage:
Liz Hoggard, journalist and author: I agree the West End is full of plum roles for women – but can’t help noticing how many are based on classic roles or storylines that audiences already feel comfortable with – in Gypsy, Medea, Jane Eyre,Nell Gwynn, Tipping the Velvet (although, refreshingly, many of these shows are adapted by, or devised by, women).
Kent Online announces the upcoming performances of the Northern Ballet's Wuthering Heights production in Canterbury (October 6-10):
“Wuthering Heights is not a novel that you read and put back on the shelf,” David Nixon said.
“It is a story that absorbs you, creating powerful imagery that stays with you long after you turn the last page.
"In my adaptation of this timeless tale, I have brought to life the key elements of the narrative, focusing on the intensity and devastation of the relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff.” (Angela Cole)
Ian McKellen explores Yorkshire writers in the Yorkshire Post:
So for people who gaze out onto moors and wild cloudscapes, the Brontë sisters are the ones; if you used to have the view of a mill-scape from your kitchen door then JB Priestley tells it how it is, but if you’re from South Yorkshire in general and Barnsley in particular then A Kestrel for a Knave is the book for you, as it is the book for me.
And... well, we have a Kardashian (Kourtney) quoting Anne Brontë on instagram. Via The Mirror:
The star did seem in a reflective mood on Thursday though, as she posting an Anne Bronte tweet on Instagram as she headed to bed alone.
She wrote: "I love the silent hour of night, For blissful dreams may then arise, Revealing to my charmed sight, What may not bless my waking eyes."
The poem quoted is Night (1845).

The Sunday Times reviews We British. An Epic in Poetry by Andrew Marr:
Ann Duffy on the beauties of Scottish independence; or mediocre verse by the Protestant martyr Anne Askew. Chidiock Tichborne’s Elegy is a far better memorial to Tudor state savagery. Yet while understandably wanting to find more female poets, Marr completely ignores Emily Brontë. (Christopher Hart)
After the New York and Paris Fashion Weeks, the Clarion-Ledger concludes:
I don’t know about parasols, cloaks or corsets, but if you want to be on trend these coming wintry months, take your cues from these fashion giants and “Jane Eyre.” (David Creel)
BT recommends a hurricane lamp for your garden:
Alternatively, an inexpensive hurricane lamp will give you a cheap portable light source whatever the weather is like – with the added bonus that you can pretend to be a character in Wuthering Heights. (Tim Guest)
The Huffington Post talks about a 1928 self-help book, Herbert N Carson's Getting Over Difficulties:
“Readers will always appreciate wise and insightful writing, no matter when it was written? The classics of literature bear this out. Many of us still dip into Tolstoy and the Brontes to unravel these pressing questions. I think the earliest personal development book was written by the Ancient Greek Hesiod. And many of the Greek philosophers, such as Socrates or the Stoics, could be also be classified today as self-help writers.” (Katerina Cosgrove quoted by Libby-Jane Charleston)
The Irish Independent describes Michael Fassbender's role in Jane Eyre 2011 as 'a thunderous Rochester'. Business Standard describes the Thursday Next universe, including The Eyre Affair. Another cover of Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights in a talent show, this time the Danish Voice Junior. Today (11:00 AM) on Sky Drama, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall 1996. The Gingerbread House reviews the upcoming The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay. The Sisters' Room (in Italian) interviews the Brontë scholar Maddalena De Leo.

Diário Catarinense (Brazil) reviews Henry Miller's The Books in My Life:
Quem escreve tudo isso é o Henry Miller de 60 anos, já autor de Trópico de Câncer,Trópico de Capricórnio, Sexus e outros. Miller leu muitos clássicos – não faltam referências tão conhecidas quanto Nietzsche, Proust, Conrad, Emily Brontë, Jonathan Swift – e confessadamente apelou a alguns deles para moldar a sua escrita. (Thiago Momm) (Translation)
1:45 a.m. by M. in , ,    No comments
An alert from Sacramento,CA for today, October 4 and next month:
Explore the story with Professor Dr. Jonas Cope in October and November

Join Dr. Jonas Cope, Assistant Professor of English at California State University, Sacramento, as he explores the historical and cultural world behind Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights — what has been called one of the most passionate — and one of the most horrifying — love stories ever written.

Sunday, Oct. 4, 3-4:30 pm
Central Library
Professor Cope will examine the “Brontë myth” by establishing a broad historical, geographical and literary context for Wuthering Heights — without spoilers. Then he will read one of Brontë’s best poems as a way of ushering readers into the world of the main characters, Catherine and Heathcliff. Copies of the poem will be provided and a discussion of the poem with the audience will follow.

Sunday, Nov. 8, 3-4:30 pm
Central Library
Professor Cope will begin by reading a series of excerpts from contemporary reviews of Wuthering Heights that range from ardent praise to disgust and horror. He will then examine of one of the greatest enigmas in all of English literature — Heathcliff — who is still the focus of passionate controversy. For the remainder of the session, participants will be invited to read and share their thoughts on favorite passages.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

First, a couple of unmissable articles in The Times Literary Supplement on the (in)famous T.J. Wise and Clement Shorter team (thanks to alert reader Elizabeth for pointing to it):
The unholy alliance of Clement Shorter and T. J. Wise, and how they profited from ‘the first family of English literature’ (...)
In the spring of 1914, one of the most famous images of authorship in English literary history went on public display for the first time. Branwell Brontë’s portrait of his sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, had been discovered in Ireland, on top of a ward-robe at Hill House, Banagher, formerly the home of Arthur Bell Nicholls, Charlotte Brontë’s widower, together with a portrait fragment of Emily Brontë from a lost work by Branwell, known as the “Gun Group” (Nicholls had cut the fragment from the painting and destroyed the rest).
Hurriedly purchased by the trustees of the National Portrait Gallery in London, at “a very moderate cost”, and relined but not restored, the heavily creased painting of the three sisters – folded at one time to an eighth of its original size – was hung next to a portrait of Robert Louis Stevenson. The portrait of Emily, purchased at the same time, was displayed directly beneath. As the public flocked to see the two paintings, articles in the press focused on “The Three Sisters” group, marvelling at its chance rediscovery, “negligible” status as a work of art, and compensating value as a historical relic. A few dissident voices attacked the late Mr Nicholls for his neglect of the painting and the consequent damage to it, as well as for his desecration of the “Gun Group”. “Oh, the barbarism of Charlotte’s husband”, lamented a reporter in the Daily Graphic. (Read more) (Mark Bostridge)
In the same TLS issue, Claire Harman  expresses her doubts that this photography which is believed to be of Charlotte Brontë is really her:
Not until 1985, at any rate, when it was rediscovered in the Seton-Gordon donation. No one seems to have recognized Ellen Nussey’s distinctive handwriting, or if they did, they willed “Within a year of CB’s death” to mean “CB within a year of her death”: two quite different things. But Ellen’s label makes it clear that the subject is not “CB”, and the existence of an identical carte de visite in the Brontë Parsonage Museum, inscribed in pencil in an unknown hand “Miss Ellen Nussey, friend of Charlotte Brontë , c.1860”, leaves little doubt as to the sitter. Ellen lived long into the age of photography and proved very keen on having her picture taken. Lined up next to later images, the Seton-Gordon carte certainly looks like a younger version of the same person: well fed, nice-looking, genteel. No massy brow, large nose or luminous eyes; no agitation, no charisma. The presence of the photograph in Smith’s archive can be accounted for by Ellen’s involvement in the preparation of The Life of Charlotte Brontë and her protracted efforts to get her own Brontë material published in the 1860s, 70s and 80s (see the article by Mark Bostridge).
The Yorkshire Post traces a profile of the writer Caryl Phillips, author of The Lost Child:
The two may seem worlds apart but Caryl Phillips’s latest novel takes Wuthering Heights as its starting point before charting the struggles of a single mother struggling to bring up her children on a bleak Sixties housing development. The result is a startling exploration of alienation and family breakdown that highlights the continuing relevance and originality of Emily Brontë’s work.
The Lost Child begins with a traumatised Heathcliff, the offspring of a wealthy merchant and a former slave woman, struggling to support his ailing mother on the Liverpool docks. It examines Emily Brontë’s own dysfunctional relationship with her father, Patrick, but the juxtaposition of the story of Monica Johnson’s failed marriage to a Caribbean graduate student is a reminder that Yorkshire novelists also changed the literary landscape in the 20th century.
The Frisky talks about the recent Reddit thread on favourite female literary characters:
It’s not until pretty far down on the list that you come across characters like Scout Finch from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Cathy Ames from Steinbeck’s East of Eden, or Charlotte Brontë’s titular Jane Eyre – that is, female characters who aren’t in genre fiction novels and graphic novels. (Rebecca Vipond Brink)
Financial Times reviews Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life by Jonathan Bate:
Bate draws, as closely as he is legally able, on Hughes’s dream journals to argue that he was haunted by her. The image that recurs — one that was played with by Ted and Sylvia in their early relationship — is Wuthering Heights. He is “Hughescliff”, she is Catherine, the ghost who will never let go. Bate also suggests, rather less credibly, that Hughes’s “infidelity in later relationships was partly a function of his fidelity to the memory of Sylvia”. Certainly in his years of fame, married to Carol, his infidelities went beyond flagrant into something resembling satyromania. It is not easy to see it as fidelity. (John Sutherland)
Den of Geek! lists Andrea Arnold as one of the 25 great directors outside mainstream:
Yet she kept her naturalistic style for her Wuthering Heights adaptation, a move that did alienate audiences expecting your normal middlebrow Austen film. (Will Jones)
The Northumberland Gazette publishes an account of a recent talk at the Glendale History Society on Thomas Bewick:
His natural history prints are well-known. He has been described as the David Attenborough of the 19th century and one of the top 100 Geordies. He was well known to authors and artists. Charlotte Brontë, who wrote Jane Eyre, said: “Each picture told a story ... with Bewick on my knee I was happy.”
The Telegraph reports the shooting of the new Cary Fukunaga film which seems to be a real (physical) challenge:
Fukunaga’s previous film was an adaptation of Jane Eyre, in which the biggest challenge had been leaving the requisite 90 minutes between takes for Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender to change costumes. From his sweltering sick-bed in Accra, Thornfield Hall seemed a very long way away. (Robbie Collin)
Daily Mail on haunted homes:
At this point, you're probably imagining the sort of dark, foreboding property that might loom from the pages of Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre or one of the classic English ghost stories by M. R. James. (Peter James) (Translation)
The Sydney Morning Herald reviews The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud:
Like Foe, like Wide Sargasso Sea, The Meursault Investigation is very much in the line of post-colonial narratives that recast classic metropolitan literature (if that is what The Outsider is) to reveal its blind spots and prejudices and let the subaltern speak. (Owen Richardson)
Irish Examiner and Scandinavian interior style:
I sank back against a sheepskin tossed over a 70s leather sling-chair feeling very Jane Eyre. (Kya deLongchamps)
The Australian publishes a fragment of a Charlotte Brontë letter included in the recent Letters of Note,  compiled by Shaun Usher.

El País (Spain) has an article promoting Ángeles Caso's Todo ese Fuego (the first chapter of the novel can be read, for instance) and summarises the Brontë story:
¿Quién dijo que las hermanas Brontë no se enamoraron?
La bruma sobre el milagro literario que protagonizaron Charlotte, Emily y Anne entre 1846 y 1847, en su casa rodeada del viento frío a orillas de los páramos y del cementerio de Haworth, se despeja cada vez más. Allí, en esa casa del condado inglés de West Yorkshire, vivieron y en ese breve lapso escribieron algunos de los clásicos universales del Romanticismo: Jane Eyre, Cumbres borrascosas y Agnes Grey.
Contrario a lo dicho, “sus novelas estarían basadas en sus experiencias amorosas y en la educación intelectual que recibieron con la complicidad del padre, el reverendo Patrick Brontë”. Lo recuerda Ángeles Caso, luego de investigar varios años el misterio de las Brontë y de tener en cuenta los últimos hallazgos e hipótesis de expertos. A partir de ahí, la escritora, expresentadora de televisión y licenciada en Historia del Arte, novela la vida de esa familia bajo el título de Todo ese fuego (Planeta). (Winston Manrique Sabogal) (Translation)
Gente Digital (Spain) interviews the author, Ángeles Caso:
Tres escritoras en un mundo de hombres, ¿por qué has rescatado ahora su historia?
Me impresiona mucho la vida tan dura y tan limitada que tuvieron y cómo, a pesar de eso, supieron alimentar desde niñas el talento que tenían. Además, todas las horas que dedicaron a sus novelas, las tres en la misma habitación, son como un milagro de la historia de la literatura y de la historia de las mujeres. (A.B.) (Translation)
artPapier (Poland) publishes an interview with Eryk Ostrowski, author of the controversial (but by no means original, the dubious honor of the Charlotte is the only author of everything idea should  go on John Malham-Dembleby) Charlotte Brontë i jej siostrach śpiących. He enriches his colourful hypothesis attributing Branwell Brontë the authorship of Wuthering Heights (been there, read that) and threatens to publish a new Branwell biography in the near future:
Michał Paweł Urbaniak: Twoja ostatnia książka – pierwsza polska biografia Charlotte Brontë – odniosła niewątpliwy medialny sukces. Życie i twórczość trzech uzdolnionych pisarsko, przekraczających swoje czasy córek pastora, wciąż fascynuje kolejne pokolenia czytelników, literaturoznawców i artystów. W „Charlotte Brontë i jej siostrach śpiących” niszczysz tę piękną opowieść, przeganiając z panteonu pisarzy Emily i Anne Brontë…
Eryk Ostrowski: Uważam, że historyk literatury powinien kierować się dokumentami, a nie wiarą, czy pragnieniem, by coś było takie, a nie inne – a tak jest z legendą Emily, a także Anne Brontë. Historia literatury to nie mitologia. Można, oczywiście, osnuwać legendami biografie pisarzy, ale w tym wypadku nie chodzi o życiorysy, lecz autorstwo dzieł i, w moim odczuciu, tu obowiązuje trzymanie się faktów, a nie mgły nad wrzosowiskami. (...)
M.P.U.: Dużo miejsca w swojej nowej książce poświęcasz „Wichrowym Wzgórzom”. Kontrowersje wokół autorstwa od zawsze towarzyszą tej powieści. Choć przypisano ją ostatecznie Emily, niektórzy współcześni rodzinie Brontë twierdzili, że autorem (lub współautorem) jest Branwell. Co tu jest legendą a co faktem?
E.O.: Legendę stworzyła Charlotte w „Szkicu biograficznym Ellisa i Actona Bellów” oraz swej przedmowie do „Wichrowych Wzgórz”. Są to bardzo poruszające i zarazem niezwykle enigmatyczne teksty, w których całkowicie przemilcza istnienie brata, z którym przez wiele lat była przecież najbliżej związana. Ich wspólne marzenia o literackiej sławie przypisała siostrom, które nigdy takowych nie miały. Po śmierci Branwella jego przyjaciele opublikowali wspomnienia, w których ogłosili, że to Branwell jest autorem „Wzgórz”. Teksty wywołały sensację i za wszelką cenę usiłowano podważyć ich wiarygodność (wówczas rozpoczął się już kult Emily Brontë). W związku z tym Francis A. Leyland, brat najbliższego przyjaciela Branwella Brontë, opublikował biografię Branwella. Poświęcił w niej osobny rozdział kwestii autorstwa „Wichrowych Wzgórz”, pokazując, że istnieje realna możliwość, iż kontrowersyjna hipoteza jest prawdziwa. Kilkadziesiąt lat później wątek ten rozwinęła Alice Law w pierwszej dwudziestowiecznej biografii Branwella. Oboje przedstawili przekonujące dowody powołując się na rozmaite dokumenty, w tym utwory literackie Branwella. (Translation)
Sicilia Journal interviews the Italian publisher Surya Amarù:
Ultima domanda, anzi è più una curiosità. Qual è il tuo libro preferito?
«Ci sono due libri in particolare a cui sono molto legata, che ho letto in gioventù, uno è “Cime Tempestose” di Emily Brontë e l’altro è “L’amore ai tempi del colera” di Gabriel Garcìa Màrquez. Ma in realtà sono un po’ snob nelle mie letture perché vado sempre a ricercare libri particolari e autori poco conosciuti; però questi due testi sono quelli che ho amato sin da subito e che mi porto dietro da sempre» (Agnese Maugeri) (Translation)
Lifeboxset (Spain) has no idea about who Heathcliff really is:
Heathcliff (Lawrence Olivier) en Wuthering Heights: en una historia de amor desgarradora este hombre es el ejemplo perfecto de lo que significa ser cool y clásico al mismo tiempo. (Translation)
The Ruination of Wycoller Hall on English Histroical Fiction Authors.
12:30 a.m. by M. in ,    No comments
Two Brontë alerts for today from Yorkshire and Australia:
1. At the Ilkley Literature Festival:
Charlotte Brontë's Villette (1853) and the Gothic: Patricia Duncker

Saturday 3rd October, 2:30 pm
Christchurch on The Grove

Writer and academic Patricia Duncker, Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of Manchester, explores Brontë’s Villette, a novel described as ‘too subversive to be popular’. And yet contemporary reader George Eliot saw Villette as ‘still more wonderful than Jane Eyre’, arguing that there was ‘something almost preternatural in its power.’ All the Brontës used the Gothic in their novels as a common literary currency of the times. But what is different about Villette? How does Charlotte electrify the tropes and motifs fashionable for 50 years and transform the novel into an unsettling, strange and passionate tirade on women’s consciousness and identity?
This event is part of our After Waterloo: the Brontës and their World Festival Strand.
2. In Sydney, Australia:
Australian Brontë Association
3 Oct  10:30am Dr Vasudha Chandra – Medical Mishaps and Maladies in the Brontës' Novels
Castlereagh Boutique Hotel

Friday, October 02, 2015

Lauren Livesey from the Brontë Parsonage Museum tells Keighley News all about the upcoming season:
October is now upon us and we are busy preparing for Linger, the next offering from our contemporary arts programme.
Linger is a new music installation by contemporary classical composer Ailís Ní Ríain written for and performed on the Brontë family piano.
It comprises six new pieces, each of which reflects the essence of a different room in the parsonage, and is sure to enrich any visitor’s experience of the museum. Linger opens on Saturday October 10 and is free with admission to the museum.
Later in the month, we will be delighted to welcome Sophie Hannah, the queen of psychological fiction, to Haworth.
Sophie will be talking about her latest book, A Game For All The Family, at West Lane Baptist Centre on Thursday 29 October at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £6. Sophie is a captivating speaker, so make sure you book soon via or by calling 01535 640188.
The following evening, Friday October 30, the museum will be participating in Museums At Night. We are holding a candlelit event with composer Ailís Ní Ríain, who will perform excerpts from Linger on the Brontë family piano.
The piano is usually associated with Emily Brontë and is a much-loved item in the museum’s collection, so this event will be really special. Tickets are limited to 30 and cost £15 including a glass of wine. You can book at or by calling 01535 640188.
And on Saturday October 31– Halloween – we are holding a Museums At Night event for all the family. Join us from 6.30pm and meet Tabitha Aykroyd, the Brontës’ housekeeper, in the candlelit parsonage.
Tabby will be sharing ghost stories, macabre happenings and village superstitions – you might not want to step back outside! Admission is free for residents of postcode areas BD20, BD21, BD22 and residents of Thornton (Brontë birthplace).
Even though it seems like term has only just started, half-term is just around the corner. The museum will be running a programme of art-based activities from October 26 to 30 as part of The Big Draw. Details are still being finalised, so keep an eye on for more information.
And The Telegraph and Argus reports that both Keighley and Haworth are mentioned in the new edition of Rough Guide to England.
Haworth and Keighley earn a mention in the latest Rough Guide to England.
With its Brontë connections, the Worth Valley village is given prominence.
The guide states "of the English literary shrines, probably only Stratford sees more visitors than the quarter of a million who swarm annually into the village".
One-time home of the literary sisters, the Parsonage Museum, is highlighted together with the Brontë waterfall and bridge.
The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway is also listed, but mainly as a possible means of transport to Haworth.
There is no mention of its fame as the location for filming of the classic 1970 movie version of The Railway Children. (Alistair Shand)
Coincidentally, The Spectrum tells about a trip there.
In West Yorkshire there is a quaint little village by the name of Haworth, and while the name may not turn on any lights of recognition in your brain, you may just recognize some of the rather famous past residents.
The Brontë sisters lived and wrote in the village of Haworth, which is evidenced by the proliferation of shops bearing names like “The Jane Eyre Café.”
You could spend your day wandering through the incredibly steep streets of Haworth, perusing the wares of every shop dedicated to the Brontë sisters (which is to say most of them) and visiting the Brontë Parsonage Museum. [...]
Besides the Moors themselves, there are two main sites that you will arrive at during your hike, the first being the Brontë Waterfall.
It isn’t what you would call grandiose, but it is picturesque, with its crumbled stones and a few windswept trees included in the background.
After crossing the falls, you can continue across the moors to reach Top Withens, which is said to be the inspiration for the setting of Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights.” While Top Withens was inhabited during the time of the Brontës, it is now simply the ruin of a farmhouse, thought to be built sometime in the latter half of the 16th century. [...]
he entire place seems to encourage contemplation, with the crumbling stonewalls of Top Withens bringing to mind the effort required to erect them in the first place. The walk takes you along a multitude of dry stone fences, built from uncounted years’ worth of work. Some of them still stand, but others have fallen into ruin — even our stonewalls display a distinct lack of permanence.
The walk back to Haworth seemed easier after the ascent to Top Withens, and soon we found ourselves back on the cobbled streets among the shops looking for a bus to take us to a train to take us back home.
It wasn’t until I was settled into my train seat that I was struck with a thought. Throughout my entire time spent walking on the moors of Haworth, maybe, just maybe, I placed my foot in the exact same place as one of the ancient footprints of a past literary great. (Rio Bergh)
The Spectator reviews Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre.
The Lyttelton has mounted a version of Jane Eyre in cahoots with Bristol Old Vic. It’s a weird blend of the postmodern and the traditional. Costumes and hair-dos belong to the right era but the set looks like a chimp enclosure designed by Richard Rogers. White lights glare down on a junkyard full of timber ramps, tree-house platforms and landscaped joists held together with DIY ladders. As a visual archive of Victorian Gothic this is less than a total triumph. Among the clutter looms a drum kit and a double bass which two jazzmen abuse with sadistic atonality.
Presumably this is an act of homage to Charlotte Brontë’s lost decade hanging out on the Left Bank with Sartre and Picasso. The company are effective enough but they indulge in too many rehearsal-room experiments. Mr Rochester’s dog, Pilot, is represented by an actor doing his Scooby-Doo party piece. Madeleine Worrall, in the title role, gives a solidly competent account of the 19th century’s Freddie Mercury (‘I want to break free-eee!’). Velvet-voiced Felix Hayes brings warmth and eccentricity to Mr Rochester and his oddball comic turn is the highlight of the evening. The show is utterly determined to follow every spit and cough of the original and I fear that it rather drags towards curtain-down. Revising students will find it an excellent resource. For a fun night out I’d look elsewhere. (Lloyd Evans)
Juliet Barker reviews Melvyn Bragg's book Now Is the Time for The Guardian and makes a very interesting point:
Where should history end and historical fiction begin? Some historians despise historical fiction as an aberration from the truth, but I’ve always been an admirer, not least because the novelist can go forward fearlessly and explore the gaps in our knowledge where professional historians have to stop and admit that we don’t know all the answers. Fiction writers can do this either by immersing themselves so deeply in their subject that the transitions are seamless, as Jude Morgan does in his novel about the Brontës The Taste of Sorrow, or, like CJ Sansom and Philippa Gregory, by using peripheral characters, real or imagined, to interpret what is happening on the greater stage. If they really know and understand their subjects, the best historical novelists can – and should – be both insightful and utterly convincing.
Another - albeit different - interesting point is made by children's literature author Jacqueline Wilson in The Northern Echo:
"They ask why many of my children don't have mums and dads. Some come from reasonably well-balanced families but I must admit I do go for the waifs and strays. This has always been my taste in literature. My two favourite classics are Jane Eyre and David Copperfield. I liked the childhood parts and lost interest when they grew up. When children read about another child going through rough times they sympathise with them and start imagining, 'How would I cope?' Children have told me that playing Hetty is their favourite game in the playground and working out how to defeat the nasty matron. I think it's quite cathartic for children," Wilson says. (Viv Hardwick)
Another Jane Eyre fan on My New Orleans: Susan Larson, host of WWNO’s programme The Reading Life.
Favorite book: “All time? Jane Eyre! Right now? Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels!” (Lauren Laborde)
SF Gate reviews Patti Smith's memoir M Train.
This loose relationship to time allows Smith to appreciate aspects of the contemporary world through an anachronistic lens; she writes of her beloved Detective Linden of “The Killing,” “What do we do with these people that can be accessed and dismissed by a channel changer? That we love no less than a 19th-century poet or an admired stranger or a character from the pen of Emily Brontë?” It’s as if Smith is enamored with the present moment insomuch as it allows her access to the past. (Sara Jaffe)
And so does Los Angeles Times.
The coffee house moment comes in the midst of a riff on the nature of masterpieces: "There are two kinds of masterpieces," Smith offers. "There are the classic works monstrous and divine like 'Moby-Dick' or 'Wuthering Heights' or 'Frankenstein: A Modern Prometheus.' And then there is the type wherein the writer seems to infuse living energy into words as the reader is spun, wrung, and hung out to dry." It's not hard to determine the side Smith occupies. (David L. Ulin)
Financial Chronicle lists 'little known [literary] gems' and Villette is one of them:
Vilette [sic] by Charlotte Brontë: Say Brontë and everyone will respond with Jane Eyre. Such was the popularity of Bronte’s book that Mr Rochester, the Byronian hero is still one of the most leading men in literature. And yet, few know about this other book of hers, also among her finest. Vilette (sic) is the little French village where Lucy Snow, the heroine, arrives (after a family tragedy) to teach at a boarding school, and subsequently falls into a tumultuous love. The book follows a deep psychological angle, dealing with not just Lucy’s love but also issues of her identity and autonomy. (Zehra Naqvi)
'10 Inspiring Women of Literature' in The Daily Star:
3) Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre- Jane Eyre is probably one of the earliest representations of an individualistic, passionate and complex female character. Though she suffers greatly, she always relies on herself to get back on her feet, never playing the damsel in distress. Jane Eyre taught us one of the first lessons of womanhood- we don't need men to survive. Full stop. (Naziba Basher)
The Irish Times has compiled 'a top 10 of literary ventriloquism' which includes
Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), Jean Rhys
Wide Sargasso Sea acts as a prequel to Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre, told from the perspective of the madwoman in the attic. An extension of a story as opposed to a continuation of a novel, Rhys nevertheless reimagines the voice of the beautiful and fragile Antoinette Cosway, years before she is shipped to England to start her new life as Bertha Rochester. Perhaps the best example of an author taking a classic work of literature and turning her response to it into another classic. (Sarah Gilmartin)
Guillermo del Toro speaks about his film Crimson Peak in El País (Spain).
Así se embarcaron en un filme que, por mucho que al director le gusten los fantasmas, por mucho que haya sentido un par de presencias paranormales, por mucho que el arranque de La cumbre escarlata esté inspirado en ese día en el que a su madre se le apareció su abuela fallecida, él considera como una historia de amor. "Hablo de un romanticismo gótico, como en la era dorada de Hollywood, cuando horror y melodrama se daban la mano en títulos como Luz que agoniza, Rebeca, Jane Eyre o Cumbres borrascosas. Un mundo complejo en el que se acepta lo mágico y lo extraño. Yo persigo la belleza, hago arte en un género donde Hollywood solo busca dinero". (Rocío Ayuso) (Translation)
Central Western Daily makes a list of 'things you SHOULD have in your home after 30'.
#10: A copy of the following books: Pride and Prejudice, To Kill a Mockingbird, Jane Eyre, Love in a Cold Climate, The Pursuit of Love, The Line of Beauty, The Dud Avocado, The Group and Infinite Jest (this final one you will never read, but best keep it there with the thought that you might one day). This is mostly because these are my favourite books and I think everybody should read them. But really, you just need to have books – because not having any is unforgivable. *Though best steer clear of, say, Ayn Rand, a biography of Mark Latham, Fifty Shades of Grey and any book that’s a riff on The Secret. (Annie Stevens)
You can now read about September in the Brontë Parsonage garden. Northern Ballet posts a video with the rehearsals of its current Wuthering Heights revival.
12:30 a.m. by M. in , ,    No comments
Tomorrow, October 3, is the annual Brontë Society Literary Lunch:
This year's event will be held in The Brontë Room at Hollins Hall Marriott Hotel and Country Club, Baildon.
The guest speaker is Jolien Janzing who will talk about her recently published historical novel 'Charlotte Brontë's Secret Love.'
Jolien is a Dutch author and journalist who grew up in Flanders.  'Charlotte Brontë's Secret Love' is a fictionalised account of Charlotte Brontë's time in Brussels and explores her feelings for her charismatic teacher, Constantin Heger.
The programme includes tea and coffee on arrival and a three-course luncheon.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Thursday, October 01, 2015 10:27 a.m. by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
Actor Tom Hiddleston speaks about his character in the film Crimson Peak and his background in The Wall Street Journal.
“We talked about Rochester in ‘Jane Eyre,’ we talked about Bluebeard, and this idea of the Byronic hero,” Mr. Hiddleston says of his conversations with the director about the varied models for Thomas. “There were archetypes we needed to present, to create expectations which we could subvert and confound,” he says. (Caryn James)
Broadway World interviews Gavi Singh Chera of The National Youth Theatre REP season, which currently has a Wuthering Heights adaptation on stage.
Tell us about the REP Season and the roles you're taking on. Do you have a favourite? We are alternating between three plays in REP, Consensual by Evan Placey, The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare and an adaptation of Wuthering Heights by Stephanie Street. I play schoolboy-bully Rhys in Consensual, charming Lorenzo in The Merchant of Venice and Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights.
I have a lot of fun in all of the shows so it's hard to pick a favourite but I studied Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights for my English A Level and it is the only "classic" of that era I enjoyed reading - I remember really connecting to the intensity of the love, jealousy and passion Cathy and Heathcliff had for each other - it is as if all their feelings for each other were so much more concentrated because of the tiny Yorkshire bubble they lived in, which reminded me a lot of my childhood and my first love.
Stephanie Street has also beautifully connected the Hindu belief of karma and reincarnation, with the cyclical foundations of the universe - in the sense that energy is neither created nor destroyed, but transferred. (I urge anyone reading this to google Hindu Cosmology - it will utterly blow your mind!). The chemicals in our earth, that make up our universe, are seen in a similar vein to our characters and their choices - for instance, the abuse Hindley inflicts on Heathcliff as a child leads Heathcliff to want to seek revenge later in his life - that is Heathcliff's slow-burning "chemical reaction" to Hindley.
Our rehearsals, with director Emily Lim, have been so freeing and fun - we experimented a lot with the materials such as the soil in our play, and created little moments of theatre for each of our characters and then shared them with the group - it was so amazing seeing people make little discoveries about their characters through this explorative rehearsal period.
It is a true privilege to play such an iconic, Byronic hero, shrouded in mystery and enigma. I really enjoyed "filling in the gaps" of Heathcliff's past with my fellow actors, and making discoveries about his journey, particularly his relationship with his mum - as the novel is very much about absent mother figures. My Heathcliff watches his past unfold before him with the spirit of Cathy, played by the wonder that is Francene Turner, and by the end of the play, I believe both Cathy and Heathcliff reach a state of enlightenment - and being able to go on that journey with Francene is a true pleasure. (Carrie Dunn)
Big Issue North has broadcaster Melvyn Bragg speak about his future projects.
Also in the pipeline is a ten-part BBC Radio 4 series Bragg is planning about the north of England. “I want to test the idea that the north has a special place in the history of this country,” he says. “There’s a lot to talk about, whether it’s mystery plays, Emily Brontë, The Beatles or Ted Hughes, because if we can think of anything called English culture, and I think we can, it started in the north.
“There’s also history, like the great battles, and we’ll go right back to look at the Romans, who settled the north in a completely different way from elsewhere. Then there’s the landscape, of course, and the industrial revolution. I mean, we were the workshop of the world in the north of England and it enriched the whole country.” (Roger Ratcliffe)
Speaking of the north, AOL UK is giving away a stay at a Bingley hotel, close enough of course for a quick trip to Haworth and the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

According to L'express (France) actress Virginie Ledoyen in a Brontëite.
Je reviens aussi souvent à Marguerite Duras et à la littérature anglo-saxonne du XIXe siècle. Je pense en particulier à Edith Wharton, qui est l'une de mes écrivaines préférées. Mais aussi à Henry James et aux soeurs Brontë. Et Charles Dickens, bien sûr! (Estelle Lenartowicz) (Translation)
The London Review of Books has an article on the Piers Gaveston Society:
A couple of years later, after my finals, I went to a Piers Gav rave again. [...] His party was excellent though, more Salammbô than Wuthering Heights, with hookah pipes and upholstery everywhere and a massive bowl of LSD-spiked punch. (Nick Richardson)
Dallas News reviews the play Fix Me, Jesus:
Annabell loves to read and a conflict is raised when the bulk of her books, all classic literature choices, meet with her grandmother’s disapproval. But what does Wuthering Heights have to do with the rest of the story? It’s all part of a jumble of thoughts, as twisted as the dresses Annabell discards on the floor. (Nancy Churnin)
The Brontë Sisters has a guest write about a recent trip to Banagher. ReReading Jane Eyre is giving away two copies of Luccia Gray's All Hallows at Eyre Hall.

The Brontë Society has just released the new contemporary arts programme for October 2015 - February 2016 - don't miss it!