Monday, January 26, 2015

A Wuthering Heights in California

Kirsten Brandt's adaptation of Wuthering Heights was going to be premiered a few days ago at the San Jose Repertory Theatre. Regrettably the theatre closed its doors last June. Therefore, for the moment, the closest thing to a premiere is tomorrow's staged reading that will take place in Solana Beach, CA:
New Fortune Theatre is proudly committed to producing Original Classics.
So  to follow our  opening of Henry V, a Shakespearean history, alongside readings of an original adaptation of Dorian Gray, and a world premiere of Cellar Door; we are proud to continue true to course with a reading of

Wuthering Heights
Adapted to stage by Kirsten Brandt,
From the novel by Emily Brontë
Directed by Kirsten Brandt

One night only: January 26, 2015: 7:30pm

At North Coast Repertory Theatre
987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive
Solana Beach, CA 92075

Sunday, January 25, 2015

By Name Only

The Telegraph should revise the pictures they use because their "Emily Brontë" picture has been contested numerous times. The article is about women that 'became men' to go ahead:

Much like George Eliot, the Brontë sisters passed themselves off as men by name only. In the early years of their career, Charlotte, Emily and Anne went by the names of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. Their first work under these names, simply entitled Poems, was published in 1846. The following year, Charlotte had Jane Eyre published under the name Currer Bell, while Emily continued as Ellis Bell for the publication of Wuthering Heights. (Siân Ranscombe
The Fandom Post reviews issue 16 of the manga Tegami Bachi  (テガミバチwhich contains a Wuthering Heights reference:
Story: Hiroyuki Asada
Art: Hiroyuki Asada. (...)
While looking for the Gaichuu, Zazie stays at an inn called Wuthering Heights that is managed by a young girl named Emil Brontë, I know, that name is too on the nose but the story doesn’t suffer from it. (Chris Kirby)
The Denver Post reviews Ted & I: A Brother's Memoir by Gerald Hughes (the brother of Ted Hughes):
This is very much an older brother's memoir. The Ted Hughes of popular imagination, a combination of Bluebeard and Heathcliff, is nowhere to be found. Ted emerges as a vulnerable character: curious, guileless, generous, more comfortable in the outdoors than anywhere else. (John Broening)

Hoodline alerts us to an event in Hayes Valley next week:
Even if you don't need glasses, now there's no excuse not to visit the new Warby Parker at 357 Hayes Street. This Tuesday, the retailer will host an evening with Mallory Ortberg in celebration of her new publication, "Texts from Jane Eyre." If it's anything like the cheeky lifestyle space that Warby Parker set up for Hayes Valley residents, it's sure to be a good time. Check out the Facebook event page for more details.
Books Are Another Dimension posts about Wuthering Heights.  The Sunday Times Magazine interviews Juliette Binoche and Wuthering Heights 1992 gets a mention.

The Dissolution of Percy and Songs of Arcady

1. Today and tomorrow, January 25 and 26, there will be a couple of stage readings of the new play based on Branwell's last years, The Dissolution of Percy,  in Salford, Manchester:

The Dissolution of Percy
The Kings Arms, Salford, Manchester
Play-4-Free! Festival
January 25, 26 at 7.30pm

 Lydia has never been interested in searching for love, but, gnawed by loneliness and physical frustration, and immobilized by her station, companionship and release must be had, and soon. Branwell, a young tutor and amateur writer, is haunted by a history of creative and vocational failures. He struggles to fulfill his duties, pursue his ambitions and maintain a hold of his remaining good sense due to a growing attachment to alcohol and an intense, obsessive infatuation with his master’s wife: Lydia. Glowing ecstasy and violent sorrows, real and imagined, batter the mismatched individuals each in turn, but, all the while, something secretive and wonderful is happening back at Branwell’s family home. His three sisters have begun work of their own. But perhaps that’s of no importance.
      The Dissolution of Percy tackles a notorious series of historical events reflecting the surprising lack of evolution in gender politics between the nineteenth century and the modern day. The pressure and emotional toll of high expectations dropped on young male shoulders, and the crippling effect of their comfortless sense of entitlement on in this “man’s world”, are exposed. Can a woman’s worth be measured by her relationships? Can a man’s be measured by any demonstrative display of masculinity? What is the definition of “success” or “failure” for a male versus a female? The Dissolution of Percy plunges its audience into a world balanced in stark counterpoint between high, violent passions, steady, grim pragmatism and gallows humour, to explore matters still fiercely debated today.
2.  New compositions by Ronald Beckett will be performed in a concert today in La Salette, Ontario:
Songs of Arcady
The program includes solo and ensemble performance opportunities, mentorship with seasoned professionals and Arcady’s very own director Ronald Beckett, and the opportunity to premiere new music by Beckett composed specifically with each Young Artist in mind.
Songs of Arcady will feature the premiere of these personally designed songs and will be accompanied by the composer himself. Soprano, Kristen English from Lindsay will premiere “Time is Sleeping” which is set to an inspiring and unforgettable poem by Canadian poet/composer Nick Peros. English will also premiere “Three Short Poems by Emily Brontë.” Bronte is a poet many composers enjoy setting to music as her poetry is typically short fragments capturing a brief image and emotional impression well suited for music. The program also includes two more contrasting settings of Emily Brontë to be performed by baritone Kieran Kane from Guelph.  (Tammy Whetham in Woodstock Sentinel)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The table is back

Keighley News reports that an important piece of Brontëana has been acquired by the Brontë Society:
The society has bought the simple mahogany drop-leaf table with a grant of £580,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.
The society said the desk was one of the most evocative and significant literary artefacts of the 19th century.
The table at which the Brontë sisters wrote was the focus of domestic life in the Brontë household at Haworth Parsonage, and where the siblings gathered to write and discuss their stories, poems, and novels.
The table bears the marking of the family’s daily use with ink blots, a large candle burn in the centre, a small letter ‘E’ carved into the surface, and beneath the table are ownership markings, possibly in the hand of Charlotte Brontë’s husband, Arthur Bell Nicholls.
The table was also featured in an 1837 diary paper sketch by Emily, showing herself and Anne writing at the table with all their papers scattered before them.
The table was sold during the sale of the household effects of the Parsonage, which took place after the death of Patrick Brontë in 1861.
The table is listed as lot 154 in the hand-written sale catalogue, held at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, which shows that it was purchased by Mr Ogden for the sum of £1-11-0. The Ogdens sold it to another family, within which it has been handed down as an heirloom, before the museum was approached for ownership.
Ann Dinsdale, the Collections Manager at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, said: “We are extremely proud and excited to be bringing the Brontës’ table back to its original home.
“It is one of the most important literary artefacts of the 19th century and displaying it in the Parsonage dining room marks a wonderful commencement to our programme of activity marking the forthcoming bicentenaries of the births of the Brontë siblings.”
The table was loaned to the Brontë Parsonage Museum for a short period in 1997 to mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.
Carole Souter the chief executive of the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), said the Brontë sisters were internationally revered for their contribution to English literature.
She said: “Novels which have enthralled millions of readers were imagined and written at this table and seeing it brings to life the creative process behind the famous works.
“NHMF trustees felt it important that it should be saved for the nation so that it can be displayed to the public in its original setting.”
Heritage minister Ed Vaizey said: “The Brontës’ family dining table has a close connection with some of the most famous English literature written in the 19th century.
“The National Heritage Memorial Fund grant recognises the importance of keeping these literary artefacts on display and it’s wonderful that visitors to the Brontës’ former home in Yorkshire will now be able to enjoy it in its original setting."
The table will be displayed in its original position in the dining room at the Parsonage where it can be viewed by the public from the February 1, when the Brontë Parsonage reopens for the coming season. (David Knights)
The Daily Express asks the TV presenter Gaby Roslin for her favourite books:
Wuthering Heights.
When I was about 12 my mother was fed up with me reading “rubbish” and handed me this. It totally captivated me. You get the barren landscape and that heartrending love. I suddenly realised the depth and beauty of a book. (Caroline Rees)
Ham &  High talks with the writer Ben Markovits:
This relationship, Markovits continues, runs both ways. From an early age, he – like many American high school students – grew up on a literary diet of Dickens, Austen and the Brontë sisters. In particular, his love of Lord Byron shines through and has formed the backbone of his breakthrough in the industry, having penned three books loosely formed around the rambunctious Romantic poet.
Daily Mail list some of the locations of the new BBC series Wolf Hall:
Broughton Castle has had a large presence in period drama over the years, and was used in 2011 adaption of Jane Eyre, Shakespeare in Love in 1998 and The Madness of King George twenty years ago. (Simon Cable)
Indeed, Broughton Castle was Lowood School in the Cary Fukunaga's film. interviews the writer Joanna Rakoff:
[As a teenager] I didn't have a lot of friends, I was very, very shy, I was very unpopular ‒ I was chubby and my family was 'weird'. So my friends were the characters in the books that I read over and over, like Jane Eyre. (Shreya Ila Anasuya)
Gina Barreca discusses the 'realistic romance'  genre in the Savannah Morning News:
Is the new designation for books — “Realistic Romance” — a contradiction in terms? Or will “Realistic Romance” now forever (another lovely oxymoron) be known as the category designed for readers who seek plots focused on the wild, unstoppable and inevitable merging of two soulmates who, despite all odds, face the world more bravely because their love has made them strong and also really good-looking?
That sure sounds like romance. What it doesn’t sound is realistic.
I’m saying this not only as a happily married woman but also as a fan of impossibly unrealistic classics such as “Wuthering Heights,” “Gone with the Wind” and “The Princess Bride.”
This is a very doubtful statement by 9News:
How did Charlotte Brontë make it easier for everyone to breathe? She created Eyre.
If you laughed at that joke, then you should get excited. Friday marks National Reading Day. (Blair Shiff)
We have no words.

The Age discusses the VCE English text list:
Shakespeare has appeared on every single list for the last two decades, while works by Jane Austen, Emily Brontë and Charles Dickens, as well as more contemporary writers David Malouf and Tim Winton also crop up regularly. (Henrietta Cook)
Soester-Anzeiger reviews the Oberhausen performances of Wuthering Heights:
Wunderschöne Bilder für einen seelischen Vernichtungskrieg. Das Oberhausener Ensemble spielt wieder seine Stärken aus. Angela Falkenhan ist als Cathy eine grandiose Hysterikerin, die ihrem sanften und großzügigen Ehemann mit Betteln und Drohungen den Kontakt zu Heathcliff abringt. Mal liegt sie matt auf dem Sofa, dann entfesselt sie mit Schreien und Herumlaufen und Kissenzerfetzen einen Privatsturm. Dann wieder bestimmt sie Vögel nach den Federn, im Rückfall in das Kinderglück eine Wiedergängerin von Ophelia, unschuldig und wahnsinnig. Peter Waros gibt den undurchsichtigen und unberechenbaren bösen Liebhaber, der Unrecht erlitt und nun neues Unrecht begeht, manchmal ein gewandter Gesprächspartner, oft aber ein Wutbruder. Sergej Lubic spielt Edgar, anfangs als braven Bürger mit Machoanwandlungen, der mit einem Schenkelklopfen sein Frauchen zu sich auf den Schoß kommandiert. Bald aber spürt man seine Schmerzen, er ist überfordert von Leidenschaften, die er nie entwickeln wird. Und Henry Meyer gibt den Hindley erst als lebenslustigen Haustyrann, später als misanthropischen Alkoholiker.
Drei Stunden lang säuft hier eine Gesellschaft im englischen Hochmoor ab. Eine große Leistung. Aber man fragt sich schon, wo dieses so kunstvoll wie künstlich konstruierte Liebes- und Rachedrama unsere Gegenwart berührt. (Ralf Stiftel) (Translation)
Cinema Fanpage (Italy) reminds us of a curious piece of trivia of the 2003 film Cold Mountain:
C’ è una curiosità tutta “letteraria” nel film: i nomi dei figli di Sally Swanger (Kathy Baker) , Acton e Ellis, sono anche quelli che le celebri scrittrici Anne Brontë e Emily Brontë utilizzarono come pseudonimi per la commercializzazione dei proprio romanzi, precisamente Acton Campana e Ellis Campana, mentre la terza sorella, Charlotte, usò quello di Currer Campana. (Translation)
Cinefilos (Italy) interviews Toby Stephens about the second season of Black Sails:
CS: A proposito di letteratura, chi preferisci tra il Capitano Flint e Rochester in Jane Eyre?
T.B: Difficile a dirsi perché sono personaggi completamente diversi. Rochester è davvero un archetipo letterario. Ero nervoso all’idea di interpretarlo perché pensavo alle aspettative delle donne che sono davvero ossessionate da questo personaggio. Ma è un ruolo che mi ha dato tante soddisfazioni, ho adorato interpretare Rochester. Quanto a Flint, in un certo senso stiamo creando il personaggio, perché non è presente ne L’Isola del Tesoro. Viene menzionato, ma non sappiamo chi sia, quindi mi affido agli sceneggiatori. Creare il personaggio è una cosa bellissima. Non sto cercando di eludere la domanda, ma è difficile paragonare i due perché sono ruoli gratificanti in modo completamente diverso. Direi che sono appaganti nella stessa misura. (Raffaella Lippolis) (Translation)
El Litoral (Spain) talks about Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi:
¿Alguien podía concentrarse en sus tareas cuando lo que preocupaba a los profesores era cómo eliminar la palabra ‘vino' de una novela de Hemingway o si debía omitir a Emily Brontë del programa porque parecía excusar el adulterio”. (Enrique Butti) (Translation)
El Nacional (Venezuela) reviews Glennkill by Leonie Swann:
Eso sí, de contar relatos saben mucho y ellas no se cansarán jamás de escuchar a la nueva pastora, heredera del rebaño, leyendo la historia de Heathcliff al que tanto le gusta vagar por ahí. (Juan Carlos Chirinos) (Translation)
Sipse (México) discusses the works of Claudio Magris:
En el ensayo que dio pie a esta selección, titulado “Cuando la literatura golpea como un puño”, Magris resume que este sentido de lo terrible, como Cumbres borrascosas, radicalmente desagradable, representa una alta humanidad, porque mirar de frente a la Medusa es la única posibilidad de resistirse a ella. “El corazón”, decía Flaubert, “tiene sus letrinas, y sólo la pluma de un escritor verdadero es capaz de limpiar y pulir esa podredumbre”. (Alfredo C. Villeda) (Translation)
This interview in La Gazette du Sorcier (France) to Matthew Lewis is a bit vague about the present status of The Brontës biopic project:
La Gazette du Sorcier : Avez-vous de nouveaux tournages prévus prochainement ?
Il est toujours attaché au biopic The Brontës, mais il ne sait pas où en est le projet pour le moment. (Translation)
Vulpes Libris transcribes a Charlotte vs Emily debate;  Hic et Nunc reviews Wuthering Heights; herzenszeilen (in German) posts about Jane Eyre.

More Italian performances of Wuthering Heights

The Italian theatre company La Sarabanda reprises its Wuthering Heights performances today, January 24, in Lomagna:
Cime Tempestose
Adapted from Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
by Mara Gualandris and Loredana Riva

January 24, 21 h Teatro Oratorio Lomagna
February 14,  21 h centro Don V. Pedretti via molino Arese 15, Cesano Maderno
February 28, 21 h,   Madonna in campagna,  Gallarate
April 19, 15:30 h, Teatro Barbarigo via Bordighera 46, Milano

Friday, January 23, 2015

'Vacuuming Mr Brontë’s nightshirt'

Brontë Parsonage Museum intern Alana Clague writes about her experience in The Telegraph and Argus.

The Parsonage has not been a disappointment!
Every day has been a different challenge, which I have really enjoyed. The beginning of my time here was quite daunting, with much to learn about the museum and the Brontë family history, and I spent a part of my time reading as much as I could about the Brontës.
The next task I faced was helping to catalogue books and other donations into the museum’s collection databases. There was a great range of material to catalogue and I have some personal favourites.
Wuthering Bites’ by Sarah Gray, a reimagining of the classic tale with Heathcliff as the orphaned child of a vampire and vampire hunter at war with his inner nature, is a story I think would please Twilight fans everywhere and one I have catalogued into the Parsonage library.
I have catalogued a copy of The Brontës by Flora Masson, discovered abandoned in a World War One dugout in 1918, a book fascinating and poignant for more than story written on its pages.
There have been books about the Brontës, stories inspired by their works, foreign language versions and film adaptations including a samurai Wuthering Heights and a Mexican version with Heathcliff as Alejandro.
Along with this I have been involved with researching objects, answering research enquires, uploading articles to the website and many activities in between.
At the moment, however, it is the museum’s closed period and we are busier than ever. Everyone is helping to prepare the museum for the visitors return in February.
I have been helping to move objects from display and to clean them, from waxing chairs to vacuuming Mr Brontë’s nightshirt. I help with whatever is needed and at the moment that means something different every day.
Yesterday I was researching the German first edition of Wuthering Heights but who knows what challenges today will bring!
The Brontë Parsonage Facebook page tells about a lovely 'tradition':
Today, as in previous years, we've received flowers from an anonymous well-wisher in recognition of Anne Brontë's birthday, which was on Saturday. Thank you anonymous well-wisher! Come inside for a cup of tea and a sit-down next year.
There are a couple of Brontë-related projects in Dewsbury, as seen in the Dewsbury Reporter:
Young south Asian women with a love of literature are being invited to take part in a new project by Creative Scene.
Worlds Apart, inspired by the life and work of Charlotte Brontë, is part of the lead up to the 200th anniversary of the birth of the author.
The collaboration between Chol Theatre and Gomersal’s Red House Museum involves developing a theatre piece for the museum, which was once the home of Brontë’s best friend Mary Taylor.
Creative Scene is holding an open casting call to find a group of South Asian young women aged between 14 and 25 to work with Chol Theatre’s guest director Evie Manning and writer Aisha Zia.
Evie and Aisha recently made the critically acclaimed No Guts, No Heart, No Glory – a performance by young Muslim women.
A drop-in session in Dewsbury Town Hall takes place on Saturday, 10.30am-4pm.
Manchester is not all that far away from those places and, according to SuperBreak, it has been 'named top tourist destination for 2015'. The attractions of course now include
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House
Elizabeth Gaskell's novels including Mary Barton, Cranford, North and South, Ruth and Wives and Daughters have enjoyed an extended life in print form, on the radio and even on the small screen, with many admiring the charm of their period stories and strong female characters. Now, you can see where writer Gaskell crafted her storylines and developed her heroines, at the newly opened Elizabeth Gaskell's House on the edge of Manchester. The Grade II listed property is a rare example of the elegant Regency-style villas once popular in the city and it has just been restored thanks to a National Lottery fund of around £2.5 million. Few other places have such an incredible history - previous visitors include Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, John Ruskin, the American abolitionist and novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe and musician Charles Hallé.
The house is currently open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, from 11.00am to 4.30pm, although these opening hours are likely to be extended during the summer months. (Vikki Stathers)
The Chicago Tribune brings back from its archive a 1929 review of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own.
"A Room of One's Own" is one of the most stimulating books of the year to any one really interested in creative writing, whether as an eager reader or as a mute and inglorious Milton or Emily Brontë. In it Virginia Woolf bares her mind about why women have and have not written books, and the processes of that mind, quite as much as the conclusions which it draws, are fascinating; for, to most of us, Virginia Woolf has one of the most alluring minds in present day literature. [...]
That women wrote nothing remarkable under such circumstances she finds not at all startling. In a later period, the common sitting room as a retreat and a life devoted to mending and stewing and brewing did not offer women much leisure, or independence, or quiet for creative work. It did, however, offer them unlimited opportunities for the observation of human relationships, and it made inevitable their writing novels when they came to write anything. Once woman had proved — it was Aphra Behn who first in the English speaking world earned money by writing — that she could be economically independent through writing, women of all sorts and kinds began it. They were afraid at first to sign their own names. They signed men's names in tremulous fear of detection. Currer Bell, George Eliot, George Sand are only the well-known names which fame rescued from the thousands. (Fanny Butcher)
This columnist from the Courier-Post comments on the proposed opening of a hardware library:
I'd suggest they consider the emerging field of tool literature, like my favorite adaptation of a Charlotte Brontë classic.
Jane Eyre Compressor. (Jim Walsh)
The Liverpool Echo reports the death of actress Pauline Yates who
made her stage debut, aged 17, playing Grace Poole in Jane Eyre. (Paddy Shennan)

Charlotte's Poems in Japanese

The 1985 edition of the Charlotte Brontë poems by Victor A. Neufeldt has been translated into Japanese by Hiroshi Nakaoka ( 中岡  洋) (who has also translated previously other Brontë materials and has published several Brontë monographies):
シャーロット・ブロンテ全詩集 (The Poems of Charlotte Brontë)
Charlotte Brontë. Editor: Victor A. Neufeldt. Translator: 中岡 洋
Publisher: 彩流社 (2014/9/1)
ISBN978-4-7791-1982-8 C0098


Thursday, January 22, 2015


And so Valentine's Day season begins. Bustle wonders 'What These 12 Famous Historical Couples Would Be Wearing On Valentine's Day'.

For this gothic-romantic couple, Valentine’s Day would be spent by taking a lovely romp and chase through the Yorkshire moors where they spent most of their time growing up as children. Both would be dressed for the wuthering weather in wool peacoats. Cathy would wear a more feminine peacoat in a baby blue, a-lined and double breasted style, her hair loose and blowing wildly in the wind. Heathcliff would be dressed in a dark charcoal peacoat, his dark, long hair tied roughly back in a man-bun. (Courtney Mina)
That's not how we'd picture them but then again we don't see the as the Valentine's Day-celebrating kind of couple.

The Irish Times interviews writer Alison Weir:
Who is your favourite fictional character? Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre. (Martin Doyle)
The Conversation enlightens us on what ekphrasis is.
There is, too, the set of practices we might call literary ekphrasis: a process through which writers collaborate with pre-existing texts, often written by authors who have passed away. American poet Anne Carson’s Nox (2010) is, in this sense, a collaboration between Anne Carson, Catullus, and Carson’s brother, Michael.
A more familiar ekphrastic collaboration is Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea (a literary collaboration/conversation with Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre). (Dallas J Baker, Jen Webb and Nike Sulway)
The Telegraph looks at what's coming at the The National Theatre: Sally Cookson's acclaimed two-part Jane Eyre adaptation will be performed in September (the play will return to Bristol in January 2016):
The theatre will also stage Shakespeare’s As You Like It, an adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and Farquhar’s The Beaux’s Stratagem. (Hannah Furness)
While on the other side of the pond, Asbury Park Press reports that,
Point Pleasant native John Kurzynowski will be directing Theater Reconstruction Ensemble's off-Broadway play "You on the Moors Now" by Jaclyn Backhaus.
This 90-minute, world-premiere production — an examination of four well-known literary heroines of the 19th century and their shocking rejection of the men who so ardently loved them — runs Feb. 13 to 28 at HERE, 145 Sixth Ave. in New York City.
Gleaned from the pages of "Pride and Prejudice," "Jane Eyre," "Wuthering Heights" and "Little Women," "You on the Moors Now" takes everything you've ever learned about love "and puts it somewhere in the tall grasses, hidden from view, where only the truly brave will ever traverse to earn it," according to a news release. (Bill Canacci)
It looks as if last year's Tour de France's Grand Départ left Yorkshire wanting more. And so this year we will have a Tour de Yorkshire! Also from The Telegraph:
Organisers have announced details of the inaugural three-day Tour de Yorkshire event at the start of May. [...]
Stage 3, Sunday May 3: Wakefield - Leeds, 167 km
A return to some of the roads used during last summer’s Tour. Starting in Wakefield, riders will travel south to Barnsley before heading to Holmfirth where they pick up the Grand Départ route, albeit in reverse. Cragg Vale, for instance, becomes the “longest continuous descent in England” rather than the “longest continuous ascent” it was billed as last year. Haworth, home of the Brontës, is ridden in the same direction as it was last summer, meaning there is another opportunity for snappers to get the iconic shot of the peloton ascending its cobbled streets. The finish is in Roundhay Park in Leeds. (Tom Cary)
Just a few days ago we saw a picture of a sunny Brontë Parsonage. Well, today it's all covered in snow, as you can see on the Brontë Parsonage Facebook Page. Athlete at Heart has read Jane Eyre.

Brontës in Canterbury

A course beginning today at the Canterbury Christ Church University:
The Brontës: Novels by Three Sisters
Thursday 22 January 2015
Tutor: Geoff Doel
Length: 8 sessions
Time: 1.30pm - 3.30pm
Location: Canterbury Campus

Course description

The Brontë sisters were inspired by their bleak moorland environment, their passionate lineage and their love of Romantic literature inherited from their father Patrick (himself a poet of nature); their very isolation in Haworth bred a mutual intensity.

Despite their limited educational and social opportunities and their relative poverty, the sisters each produced a masterpiece - novels of great intensity, passion and power. We’ll study Emily’s Wuthering Heights , Charlotte’s Jane Eyre and Anne’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall , exploring their literary impact in the mid-nineteenth century and their profound influence since. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Jane Eyre 2011 leaving Netflix

Bustle selects 'eight Netflix gems expiring February 1 that you should catch while you still have the chance' and one of them is

Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is one of the best Victorian novels, and the 2011 adaptation featuring Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre and Michael Fassbender as the hard-hearted Mr. Rochester is fairly solid and true to the novel, although Jane is supposed to be homely and Rochester very severe looking. I guess Hollywood needed a beautiful Jane. (Maitri Mehta)
The film also makes it onto Slate's list of 'good watch' and is the object of a blunder on Fox 2 Now St. Louis.
Jane Eyre – When Jane is hired as governess for the ward of Mr. Rochester, a complex courtship begins in this miniseries adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s novel.
It looks as if the writer found the film a tad too long.

The Irish Times interviews writer Dacia Maraini:
Who is your favourite fictional character? First of all Antigone, whom I think is a beautiful character. But also Jane Eyre, Effie Brist and La Pisana (strong character of a girl in the novel Le Confessioni di un Italiano , by Ippolito Nievo, an author of the 19th century). (Martin Doyle)
Weekly Record has three people recommend a few books:
Laura O'Grady, Martin Library youth services librarian, recently read "We Were Liars" by E. Lockhart.
"It's a cool trend," O'Grady said, to see adults checking out books such as "The Fault in Our Stars" and "The Hunger Games."
But winter is also a great time to "revisit the classics," she said, like "Wuthering Heights" and "Great Expectations." [...]
O'Grady: "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Brontë — the dark setting makes it feel like winter the entire book. . . (Jess Krout)
We are not sure this reader from Planet Siol (Slovenia) would agree:
Prevajalec in stand up komik Boštjan Gorenc - Pižama se pri branju knjig drži navodila, ki jim ga je na fakulteti razodela profesorica Meta Grosman, in sicer da je osnovna pravica bralca, da lahko knjigo odloži neprebrano. "Dokaj ironično je, da sem se te krilatice držal ravno pri eni od knjig, ki smo jih morali prebrati pri njenem predmetu o viktorijanskem romanu."
"V obup me je spravljala Emily Brontë s svojim Viharnim vrhom (Wuthering Heights), pri katerem sem po treh poskusih vsakič ostal v baznem taboru na nadmorski višini okrog dvajsetega poglavja. Ker sem knjigo vseeno moral predelati in se je vse to dogajalo v internetni juri ali kredi, torej v času pred wikipedijo, sem se do vrha prebil v navezi s Spark's Notes. Zmagoslavne zastave osvajalca v to knjigo tako nisem zabodel." (Deja Crnović) (Translation)
Bernard Ingham on Winston Churchill in The Yorkshire Post:
I used to have this vision of Churchill, the guerrilla leader, directing us in the war against a Nazi occupation from Wuthering Heights.
Scatterbook posts about Feminism in Wuthering Heights.

EDIT: The A3TV (Spain) gameshow Boom featured a Brontë-related question today:

More Foreign Scholars

In  Turkey:
The struggle for woman’s place and voice in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and George Sand’s Indiana
Barbara Dell’Abate-Çelebi
International Journal of Literature and Arts. Vol. 2, No. 6, 2014, pp. 252-257

Abstract: The aim of my article is to uncover the deep semiotic relation existing between Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847) and George Sand’s Indiana (1832), highlighting the proto-feminist elements that characterize both novels and drawing a comparative analysis of the two plots centered on the difficult journey of initiation of two young women physically and emotionally imprisoned by the laws of patriarchal society. Both novels follow a track of self-discovery through a progressive and circular development that shows below the surface plot, affirming social conventions, a submerged plot encoding rebellion. Through a semiotic analysis of the deep structure of the two novels my article intends to reveal a three-stage development of the protagonists, strictly connected to their progressive awakening to romantic and physical love. Moreover an analysis of the isotopic structure of the two texts will show how the dichotomy Nature vs. Culture undermines the two plots, from the micro to the macro levels of the texts. The conflict between Nature and Culture is at the origin of other thematic and figurative isotopies: love vs. marriage, physical vs. spiritual love, freedom vs. slavery, faith vs. religion, Creole vs. English, dark vs. light etc. These isotopies underline and support in both novels a distortion of the formalized conventions of love, highlighting the thematic conflict between woman’s individual desire and the limits set to her within a patriarchal society. 
In Romania:
On the Representations of Parent-Child Relationships in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Alina Bujor (Pintilii)
Cultural Intertexts, Vol 1-2, 2014, p.30

The paper aims at analysing the parent-child relationships in Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre, with special emphasis on the relationship between Jane Eyre, the protagonist of the novel, and her aunt, Mrs. Reed. For this purpose, it begins by presenting the traits of the domestic Victorian ideal as well as those of the so-called “transnormative family”, to ultimately show that the Victorian domestic ideal was not valid for everyone, which had a great impact on both parents and children in the process of upbringing. Then, the paper considers the representations of Victorian domestic
relationships in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, which the author of the novel uses to demonstrate that a strong character and an iron will, like those of the protagonist, can make a difference and change destinies.
In Ucrania:
Female Images of the Juvenile Work by Ch. Brontë "Stancliffe's Hotel" in Their Contrast and Variation
O. Besarab
УДК 82.09/801.73/82-27/821.161.2/82'06
м. Київ

The article deals with early unknown Ch. Brontë's juvenile creative work «Stancliffe's Hotel» (1838), one of the components o f the circle o f imaginary country of Angria. The study of this work will assist us in enlarging the gallery o f female images of the writer, will help us to see new variants of Brontë's woman.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

If Heathcliff wore a pair of Puma trainers

The Argus reviews Withering Looks at Connaught Theatre in Worthing last Saturday.

This award winning insight into the lives and works of the Brontë sisters was 90 minutes of inspired lunacy written and performed hilariously by Sue Ryding and Maggie Fox.
Appearing in the persona of volunteers from the National Institute For Bringing History To Life Society, the two actors embarked on a lecture with enacted biographical scenes and literary extracts. None of which were remotely treated with seriousness. Arts funding cuts meant only Emily and Charlotte appeared – Anne’s absences always ingeniously explained.
The writing was full of wit and invention with performances that never ceased to hit the mark as the writers and their creations were mercilessly caricatured.
Ryding provided great comedy as she morphed into Emily, forever going over the top about the wildness of the moors. She also got plenty of laughs in the minor roles as the cook and the mysterious neighbour, Mr Moorcock – innuendoes abounded.
Leading the fun stakes was the contribution from Fox – a true droll who came over as an amalgam of Joyce Grenfell fused with Miranda Hart.
The finale was a wicked send up of MGM’s Wuthering Heights and its stars, Olivier and Merle Oberon. (Barrie Jerram)
Beware of spoilers in this recap of episode 3 of season 5 of Downton Abbey on Houston Chronicle's Gray Matters.
There is nothing better for punching up a plot line than adding exotic foreigners, and luckily, the Russians are coming, and by that I mean for tea at the big house. Rose, whom I have underestimated, has read the Brontës and taken the Russians to their home on the boring moors, and Isobel knows all about them and Tolstoy and Gogol to boot. This is Wuthering Heights foreshadowing for the two stories of romance that hover over this episode, their truths starting to unfold: Baxter's confession ("the missing element of her story") that she stole for the love of a cruel cad, and that she "embraced it," and Lady Violet's seeming connection to Igor Kuragin--another reminder that the Baxters of this world, at least so far, pay and pay and pay, and the Lady Marys of this world get a tepid lecture and room service. I know: Not. Fair. (Doni M. Wilson)
And beware of spoilers too this recap of the latest goings-on in Coronation Street in the Mirror.
There was a tortured Steve, roaming the moors like he was Heathcliff, if Heathcliff wore a pair of Puma trainers and got told off a lot by his mum. (Caroline Corcoran)
Culturamas (Spain) reviews the novel Donde no estás by Gustavo Martín Garzo.
Las casas de antes estaban llenas de grietas así. En ellas se sucedían las generaciones y sus habitaciones se poblaban de secretos; zonas como las galerías secretas de El fantasma de la ópera, como el cuarto cerrado de Barba Azul, como la habitación de la mujer loca de Jane Eyre… zonas hurtadas a la razón donde realidad y sueños, adoración y violencia se confundían. (Translation)
A peek behind the scenes at the Brontë Parsonage Museum on their Facebook page: Patrick Brontë's sheets about to be laundered and his books being checked. The Daily Geekette enters on his third week Jane Eyre readalong.

Jane Eyre: Creating an Imperial Commons

A new scholar book with Brontë-related content:

Ten Books That Shaped the British Empire: Creating an Imperial Commons
Editor(s): Antoinette Burton, Isabel Hofmeyr
Published: 2014
Duke University Press
ISBN: 978-0-8223-5827-5

Combining insights from imperial studies and transnational book history, this provocative collection opens new vistas on both fields through ten accessible essays, each devoted to a single book. Contributors revisit well-known works associated with the British Empire, including Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, Thomas Macaulay's History of England, Charles H. Pearson's National Life and Character, and Robert Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys. They explore anticolonial texts in which authors such as C. L. R. James and Mohandas K. Gandhi chipped away at the foundations of imperial authority, and they introduce books that may be less familiar to students of empire. Taken together, the essays reveal the dynamics of what the editors call an "imperial commons," a lively, empire-wide print culture. They show that neither empire nor book were stable, self-evident constructs; each helped to legitimize the other.

Contributors. Tony Ballantyne, Elleke Boehmer, Catherine Hall, Isabel Hofmeyr, Aaron Kamugisha, Marilyn Lake, Charlotte Macdonald, Derek Peterson, Mrinalini Sinha, Tridip Suhrud, André du Toit.
(Via The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Monday, January 19, 2015

'It would be great to get a copy of it'

The Huddersfield Daily Examiner reports that,

Oakwell Hall in Birstall will feature in the BBC’s new drama Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, due to be shown early this year. [...]
Eric Brown, heritage manager at Oakwell Hall, said: “The filming took place last year and they were here for over a month and I think people will be interested to see how they used Oakwell.
“There has been a history of filming at Oakwell for many years, the original silent version of Shirley was filmed here in the 1920s, and it would be great to get a copy of it.
“But since 2000 we have been a popular place for TV companies to film.
“We’ve taken images of how they’ve used the hall and we’re running tours to inform people about how Oakwell has been used for TV.” [...]
Being taken over by a film crew is nothing new for Oakwell Hall. A list of credits includes Wuthering Heights, The Secret Diaries of Anne Lister and Lost in Austen.
It was the location for the 1921 film of Charlotte Brontë’s Shirley and has also featured in Simon Schama’s History of Britain which was filmed by the BBC. (Joanne Douglas)
Of course, Oakwell Hall is said to have been the inspiration for Fieldhead in Shirley, so that would be the reason why they filmed the silent film there.

Speaking of houses, Radio Times has a 'Last Tango in Halifax travel guide' which includes
This elegant, ivy-clad, Grade II Jacobean manor on the edge of Brontë country features in a number of episodes in series two. (Jade Bremner)
RuhrNachrichten (Germany) reviews the Oberhausen stage adaptation of Wuthering Heights.
Gewalttätigkeit meist nur als Schattenspiele andeutend, gelingt Lily Sykes insgesamt eine sehr stimmungsvolle und einfühlsame Umsetzung, die durch die Kostüme von Ines Koehler eindeutig im viktorianischen England angesiedelt ist. Anja Schweitzer bringt als Erzählerin das Geschehen in Gang. Angela Falkenhan überzeugt als launisch-exzentrische, schließlich dem Wahnsinn verfallende Cathy. Peter Waros begegnet ihr als Heathcliff mit "Wild Child" von den Doors auf den Lippen, während Sergej Lubic als Edgar sie mit dem Vogelfänger-Lied aus der "Zauberflöte" umgarnt, natürlich auf Englisch. (Klaus Stübler) (Translation)
The Chronicle (Australia) features illustrator Sophie Blackhall-Cain and her exhibition Fanfiction at MARS on theGRID (Toowoomba).
Ms Blackhall-Cain has illustrated her life-long love affair with literature in her first solo exhibition Fanfiction, a reworking of her 20 favourite novels.
A few dead authors would probably be dancing in their graves at the digital artist's fresh and charming interpretation of their work.
Ms Blackhall-Cain moved to Toowoomba from Brisbane a year ago and always hoped for an exhibition at theGRID.
"It's such a unique space, there is nothing like it in Brisbane," she said.
Art and books are her two passions in life and Fanfiction gave her the opportunity to combine the two.
Her favourites, from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to Wuthering Heights, have stuck with her for different reasons.
"They were resonant and beautiful. I'm a stickler for poetry and for me the story doesn't have to be amazing if the language is," she said.
"When I have nothing to illustrate, I illustrate whatever I'm reading.
"I realised that I would never have a chance to dedicate a lot of my time to illustrating many of my favourite books, so this show was a chance to breathe life into the select books which have helped me along my way." (Bev Lacey)
Another Brontëite in Torquay Herald Express:
Memory Lane continued to provide close-ups of many activities that coloured my past.
During lane treks I've bumped into lots of literary ghosts. And here are some on the list: William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Hazlit, Belloc, and Borrow; Edward Thomas, William Crossing, Housman, and Emily Brontë; Kilvert, Dafydd ap Gwilyn, Thomas Hardy, and Henry Williamson. (Brian Carter)
And yet another in The Hindu who feels compelled to add this warning:
This list of favourites is by no means complete. It is difficult to fit them all in here. But we also love you Brontë sisters, R.K. Narayan, Gerald Durrel, P.G. Wodehouse, Georgette Heyer… (Pankaja Srinivasan)
Vulpes Libris announces that this Friday will see another Charlotte vs Emily Brontë 'battle'. Ethili Yazar posts about Wuthering Heights.

The Catalan Tenant

There are still languages in which the Brontë novels are first translated into. This is the first translation into Catalan of Anne Brontë's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall:

La Llogatera de Wildfell HallAnne Brontë
Translated by Joan Antoni Cerrato
El Gall Editor
Col·lecció: El Cabàs, 2014
ISBN: 978-84-92574-96-4

La llogatera de Wildfell Hall conté una ironia tràgica i un enginy agosarat. Ens conta veritats d’una manera apassionada, a voltes tot fent ús d’ecos bíblics. Aquesta obra mestra porta l’indiscutible distintiu de les germanes Brontë. El llibre sencer és narrat en primera persona, cosa que fa més versemblants els sentiments dels personatges, que són retratats amb acurada precisió. Responen a una simbologia ben concreta, especialment pel que fa a Arthur Huntingdon, el marit cruel i viciós.
The publisher's blog interviews the translator here.