Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Charlotte read in Baghdad or in Kuala Lumpur

Sophia Jones explains how life is like today in Baghdad. In The Huffington Post:
On Baghdad’s famous Mutanabbi Street, where merchants sell books -- from religious texts to Charlotte Brontë -- as far as the eye can see, hundreds of men, women and children pass their Friday afternoon in leisure. For a moment, however brief, fear seemingly subsides.
The Star (Malaysia) interviews the author Zen Cho:
 Your writing leans towards speculative fiction, or SFF (science fiction and fantasy). What first sparked your interest in the genre?
I’ve always read SFF, along with non-speculative books. But I think I like writing it in part because I spent so much of my childhood reading 19th century novels – I got a lot of reading material from the Penguin Popular Classics series, the ones with the beige covers, because they were so cheap and substantial. Jane Eyre is a lot of reading for RM5.80! I feel like those really developed my taste for alternate realities in fiction, because the world you find in those novels is so different from contemporary Malaysian life. (Sharmilla Ganesan
The Bainbridge Island Review talks about a local nature spot: Bloedel Reserve:
Poetry at Bloedel is a natural fit and has long been woven into its history — the Bloedel grandchildren often recited poetry to Mr. and Mrs. Bloedel by the fireside — and Pulitzer Prize-winning­ poet and close family friend Theodore Roethke spent weekends at the Bloedels’ guesthouse.
Lines from Emily Brontë’s poem “Sympathy” are engraved at the Bloedels’ grave site near the reflection pool.
Rochdale Online recalls what happens in the first episode of the upcoming BBC series The Pennine Way,
In the first episode, Mr Rose travels from Edale to Calderdale. He tells the story of Tom Stephenson, the man who fought landowners and governments to win public access to the full length of the route. Stephenson’s friend Sylvia Franks talks about his battle.
Mr Rose also meets author and director Barrie Rutter who recalls some of the literary greats who have lived near the route including Ted Hughes and the Brontës. And Mr Rose visits Heptonstall to ask why the South Pennines have never had the full recognition they deserve. (Amy Westlake)
The Writer's Digest Poetic Asides publishes the winner of the erasure poetic form challenge:
The winning entry is “a chatter of tongues,” by Tracy Davidson, which used Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights as a source. (Robert Lee Brewer)
Lit and Life reviews Jane Eyre. Brian Bracken publishes a post on the Brussels Brontë Blog about Rue Ducale 13 in Brussels, the house where Zoë Parent died. Le rêve du renard (in French) posts about Agnes Grey. Style al fresco has a Wuthering Heights-inspired fashion photoshoot. Unomásuno (México), nrc (Netherlands), Pozri! (Slovakia), e-politic (Romania) remember the 160th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë's death.

160 years ago

*This post was first published in 2011*

Not that Charlotte Brontë's afterlife has been a quiet one. Much to her husband's distress when it came to personal matters (not when it came to 'professional' matters, though), her popularity started even before she died on March 31st, 1855. And it has only got bigger and bigger ever since. These days, she and her Jane Eyre are quite the buzz words, bringing new people to her world every day.

We know that Charlotte once wished 'to be for ever known' ('careful what you wish for', would have surely been Arthur Bell Nicholls's advice) but we do think her current popularity - and not just for the Jane Eyre film, but for the rest of smaller-scale projects too - would surpass even her wildest dreams. Shy as she undoubtedly was, we do think that she'd be quite unable to hide a smile and a blush at all this. But oh would she be proud!

The picture is from the manuscript of the preface to the second edition of Jane Eyre (27 December 1847) which is located at the Rosenbach Museum and Library (Pennsylvania). Rosen-blog contains a few more pictures of the manuscript and a comment about the Thackeray-mad-woman-in-the-attic-controversy.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Brontë à la Led Zeppelin

The Sydney Morning Herald publishes the annual list of Dymocks's best books:

Australian readers have again voted Markus Zusak's smash-hit The Book Thief the best book of all time.
More than 15,000 votes were cast to  determine book retailer Dymocks' annual list of the best 101 books. (Melanie Kembrey)
Jane Eyre is number 9 and Wuthering Heights number 26.

The New York Times traces a profile of the new Laura Marling:
Laura Marling’s childhood was like a Brontë novel crossed with a Led Zeppelin song: She grew up with two older sisters on the blustery moors of Wokingham, England, where her family lived in a converted barn that also doubled as a crash pad for rock stars. (Rachel Syme)
 This comment in the wordplay section of The New York Times is a bit cryptic:
In nontheme GNUS, there’s no real Clue of the Day today, but I did like the Jane EYRE quote, “No net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will.” (Deb Amlen)
The Advocate talks about some local authors:
 Mrs Oliver said she was "always a sucker for a fat book" and said she enjoyed long-form dramas such as Jane Eyre, which were interests she brought to the table during the writing phase of The Painted Sky. (Caitlin Jarvis)
The Nelson Mail (New Zealand) describes a local event:
The streets will come alive with heroes, villains, inspirational figures and childhood sidekicks through the Masked Parade's 2015 theme, 'The World of Books'.
Christ Church Cathedral administrator Debbie Williams' theme was chosen from the 83 submitted to Nelson City Council by a range of groups, schools and individuals.
Williams said she chose the theme because of its endless opportunities.
"There is children's fiction and literature such as Alice in Wonderland, fairy tales from the Grimm Brothers, Winnie the Pooh, Hairy Maclary or The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Then there is adult literature like the classics such as Jane Eyre or The Great Gatsby, or the works of the great poets and Shakespeare." (Anna Bradley-Smith)
This story of mormon folklore published in The Daily Herald is quite... something:
Women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may never read Jane Austen's “Pride and Prejudice," or Elizabeth Barrett Browning's, Sonnet 43: “How Do I Love Thee," or Charlotte Brontë's "Jane Eyre," the same way ever again.
These women, and as many as 67 other eminent women in history, appeared to then-temple president Wilford Woodruff in 1877 in the St. George Temple seeking their temple blessings, according to Woodruff's journal. (Genelle Pugmire)
Writer's Little Helper interviews the author Hannah Fielding:
 If you could run only one author event who would you have? You can pick a living or dead writer. What sort of event would they run?
A reading from Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. To hear Cathy and Heathcliff’s story from her own lips – I can imagine how silent the events space would be as the guests hung on her every word.
 MetaFilter vindicates Anne Brontë. Il Quotidiano in Classe (in Italian) posts about Jane Eyre.

Wuthering High DVD

There is some confusion about the release dates of the Wuthering High DVD (Region 1):

The Asylum:

2015 Drama/Thriller 90 min
A modern adaptation of the Emily Bronte classic. When the wealthy Earnshaw family of Malibu adopts Heath, a troubled teenager, daughter Cathy falls madly in love with him, embittering her rich boyfriend Eddie and the rest of their exclusive community. Wrapped up in her exciting fling, Cathy is blind to the dangerous side of Heath--until it’s too late.
Home Entertainment

Street Date: June 9, 2015
Prebook Date: April 7, 2015
Catalog #:
UPC Code: RevShare 686340-313236; Retail 686340-313347
But Amazon puts the release a bit earlier:
Studio: Asylum - Gaiam
DVD Release Date: May 19, 2015

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Forget damsel in distress

The Press and Journal looks for the ingredients of a period drama hit:

No period yarn is complete without a strong heroine, whether they’re quietly stoic like Brontë’s Jane Eyre, or more demonstrative like Graham’s Demelza. Forget damsel in distress, the women need to display passion and guts to rival that of the romantic heroes. (Cheryl Livingstone)
The Independent (Ireland) looks inside the enduring appeal of the Cinderella story:
At a story-telling level, Cinderella always works, because we love the idea of the person who has been ignored and humiliated overcoming adversity and winning her rightful place in the world - and in love. Writers have plundered the Cinderella theme from Jane Eyre to Pretty Woman. (Mary Kenny)
Cuba Ahora (Cuba) has an article about Elisabeth Félix, Mademoiselle Rachel... Vashti in Villette:
Charlotte Brontë se inspiró en ella para un personaje de novela, y hasta un color de polvo facial llevaba su nombre. (Argelio Santiesteban) (Translation)

From Turner to Wuthering Heights (and some Trees)

Obsession with Trees is an exhibition by Julia Entwistle which opened yesterday, March 28, at the Colne art gallery, Arteology:

Julia’s work is often based around the landscape, but more recently she has been looking at cities around the region….especially Manchester and its surrounding areas. Her cityscapes have a timeless quality, capturing both the beauty and domineering aspects of the city’s fascinating architecture. It’s the sublime aspect of this particular subject that she tries to evoke in her paintings.
‘Within my work I try to capture the mood of the place rather than simply producing a topographical study. I hope to achieve this effect by the overlaying of different materials, using acrylics and varnishes. Working with mixed media gives you the ability to respond to chance and accident, creating unique results.
There have been various influences on my work, especially within the Gothic/Romantic genre, films such as Wuthering Heights, Rebecca and Jane Eyre. Other related links include literature by Thomas Hardy, the Brontë sisters and Byron, all of whom have helped me to get in touch with my own emotions.’
From Turner to Wuthering Heights is a previous series of five acryllic canvas with obvious Brontë links:

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Sound of Jane in Tamil

The Yorkshire Evening Post on polls, romance and books:
If you can’t find romance, it seems that losing yourself in the pages of a book is the next best thing.
A poll by libarary readers to mark Valentine’s Day revealed some quite predictable results.
Usually Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice tops every poll, but on this occasion Edward Rochester from Jane Eyre joined him as a joint and worthy winner. And not a Christian Grey in sight.
In a nationwide poll, Mr Darcy again came top, but with surprising contenders in the list. In second place came Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables and my teenage self would not have argued with that. (...)
One of my own special favourites has to be Heathcliff from Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and I’ve rarely been disappointed by any portrayal of him, forgetting the time Cliff Richard played him. The stage show Heathcliff in 1996 was well received by legions of devoted Cliff fans and broke all box office records, even though one critic did describe it as Living Dull.  (Monica Dyson)
According to Randor Guy in The Hindu:
Shanthi Nilayam [சாந்தி நிலையம்] was produced and directed by G.S. Mani, S.S. Vasan’s son-in-law. The script, screenplay and dialogue were by ‘Chitralaya’ Gopu.
Though it is believed that this movie is an adaptation of the mega hit The Sound of Music (1965), it is actually an adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel Jane Eyre, with some elements of the movie thrown in.
Girl Power at the Net News Ledger:
In Thunder Bay, on a more down to earth level, the Regional Multicultural Youth Council offer “Girl Power” for teenage women – a program that empowers those young people toward making better and stronger choices for themselves.
Rebecca Borah, a University of Cincinnati associate professor of English and comparative literature, will present examples from two popular TV programs, at the 46th annual conference of the College English Association, which takes place March 26-28, in Indianapolis. (...)
Borah adds that outside the superhero genre, there have long been strong heroines in fiction who have embraced both passion and integrity, such as writer Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, or Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” character, Elizabeth Bennett. (James Murray)
McLeods talks about the new webseries The March Family Letters and remembers other classics turned contemporary vlogs (mainly made in Canada):
Virtually anybody with an Internet connection, a camera and a person willing to sit in front of it can become a big player. That has led to a flowering of distinctly Canadian literary content. In The Autobiography of Jane Eyre, an adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s classic, a shy twentysomething vlogs about her adventures as a live-in nanny; the streets of Vancouver stand in for the misty English moor. (Genna Buck)
Joanne Harris talks about new and quite stupid censorhip artifacts, like Clean Reader in The Independent:
The world still reels from the impact of Shakespeare; the Brontës; Nabokov; Joyce – words written by people long dead, but whose voices ring true, even today.
The Sentinel interviews the erotica writer Mollie Blake:
While Mollie is widely read – she cites Pride And Prejudice and Jane Eyre as two of her favourites – when it came to putting pen to paper herself, she felt it was erotica to which she was best suited. (woodhouse67)
GraphoMania (Italy) lists impossible love stories:
Amore struggente, rancore, umiliazione e vendetta sono gli ingredienti principali del bellissimo Cime Tempestose (Emily Brontë, 1847), un libro che attraverso la vicenda tormentata di Heatcliff e Catherine insegna quanto le passioni travolgenti possano essere distruttive. «Io gli ho dato il mio cuore, e lui lo ha preso e lo ha stretto crudelmente fino a ucciderlo» (Eleanora Cocola) (Translation)
El Mundo de Córdoba (México) quotes Emily Brontë as the writer of Jane Eyre (!);  Mediapart (France) recommends visiting Yorkshire;  Journal of a Bookworm reviews Wuthering Heights.

New Men, Masculinity and Marriage

Another new scholar book with Brontë content:
The New Man, Masculinity and Marriage in the Victorian Novel
Tara MacDonald
Pickering & Chatto Publishers
ISBN: 9781848934917
Gender and Genre: 14 - March 2015

Though the term ‘New Man’ was not coined until 1894, this study locates earlier examples throughout the Victorian era. In the novels of Charles Dickens, Anne Brontë, George Eliot and George Gissing, characters are identified who could be classed as prototypes of the New Man. By tracing the rise of the New Man alongside novelistic changes in the representations of marriage, MacDonald shows how this figure encouraged Victorian writers to reassess masculine behaviour and to re-imagine the marriage plot in light of wider social changes.

Friday, March 27, 2015


Readers planning Easter activities may be interested to know that, as Keighley News reports, Heathcliff is still adrift at the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

The contemporary arts programme at the Brontë Parsonage incorporates an exhibition currently running at the museum.
Heathcliff Adrift, which ends on June 8, showcases a series of narrative poems by writer Benjamin Myers, conceived while walking the moors of the West Riding.
Myers explores what happened to Heathcliff in his ‘missing’ three years in Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights.
The work runs alongside stunning landscape photographs taken by Nick Small, on the South Pennine moorland between Calderdale and Haworth.
The exhibition is free with admission to the museum.
The arts programme will also include the fifth Brontë Festival of Women’s Writing, running from September 4 to 6.
The festival will showcase contemporary women’s writing, and includes creative writing workshops, family events, and visits by both emerging and high-profile writers. (David Knights)
Another local activity includes The Black Bull, which is the starting point of this 'idiot-proof guide to an epic British pub crawl' in the New York Post.
I decided to start my pub crawl in Haworth, home of the Brontë sisters in the mid-19th century. Charlotte, Emily and Anne, the three daughters of the village parson, were immensely talented writers, best known for Wuthering Heights (Emily), Jane Eyre (Charlotte), and Emma (Charlotte).
They originally wrote under male pen names, as Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, but won such fame that they were finally able to publish under their own names. Their unfortunate brother, Branwell, was also said to be a talented artist, but he was much overshadowed by his sisters’ fame.
He resorted to drinking and drugging his way through life before dying of (severe) alcoholism at the ripe old age of 31.
So, after visiting the Brontë house, strolling across the moors that inspired the sisters’ books, make your first stop:
The Black Bull, Haworth
119 Main St., Haworth, Keighley, West Yorkshire, BD22 8DP, United Kingdom
This is the pub where Branwell drank himself to death. In a lovely macabre English twist, they have kept his favorite stool in perfect condition. The pub is conveniently located across the street from the village apothecary, where Branwel would get his opium before stumbling back across to the bar.
Haworth Old Hall
Sun Street, Haworth, Keighley, West Yorkshire, BD22 8BP, United Kingdom
Located in one of the oldest buildings in the village, Haworth Old Hall has been standing since the 16th century. These days it’s not just a pub, it’s a gastro pub, with locally sourced farm-to-table food.
It also has a ghost that wanders around after dark. Not kidding. Just ask Alan, the manager — he’s seen her. (Paula Froelich)
The introduction to the Brontës and their work (Charlotte is famous because of her hardly-even-begun novel Emma? Really? And no novel by Anne, yet their three pseudonyms are there) does seem to have written at the end of the pub crawl.

York Press features clarinet player Emma Johnson and highlights the fact that
She lives in London with her double bass-playing husband, Chris West, and their daughter Georgina, but travels regularly to Yorkshire, particularly to Haworth. Chris's family is from Halifax and his ancestors were christened by Patrick Brontë at Haworth and buried in the graveyard there. (Charles Hutchinson)
The Independent reviews Caryl Phillips's The Lost Child.
Caryl Phillips's new novel continues his preoccupation with themes of origins, belonging and exclusion, by setting up a dialogue with one of the classics of English Literature – Wuthering Heights. The Lost Child tells the story of Monica Johnson, a promising student who drops out of Oxford in the 1950s to marry Julius Wilson, an overseas research student. It parallels the story of Heathcliff – the "dark-skinned gypsy" of Emily Brontë's novel, here imagined as the orphan of a freed slave – and also that of his creator.
What results is an intricately layered novel that opens up the notion of Englishness, taking the off-stage colonial element of Wuthering Heights and using it to test the resilience of relationships in a much more recent age, that of post-war, post-austerity Britain. (Gerard Woodward) (Read more)
Diss Express reviews Blue Orange's stage production of Jane Eyre.
Pre-feminist and post-Gothic, Charlotte Brontë’s novel has elements of both.
A young woman rises to independence from an unhappy childhood. The man she loves ends up damaged and married to her.
The Gothic shows in elemental names, Eyre, Rivers, Burns and Pilot the dog, with Mr Rochester as a fire figure.
There is much fire imagery and many instances of ‘wandering’. Feminism is more easily shown, especially with a quality actress like Lorna Rose Harris.
Her Jane is still, decent, passionate, quirky and bold when roused. Her eyes swim with tears at one point.
The adaptation, by Eric Gracey, only begins with Jane leaving Lowood. So you miss her sad childhood and ten chapters of the novel. The set design by Mark Webster suggests a B&Q garden fence. Thus the Gothic elements suffer somewhat in Rebecca Gadsby’s production.
But there are moments between Jane and Rochester (Graham Hill) when you are aware of “infinite passion and the pain of finite hearts that yearn”. (Basil Abbott)
More on Kazuo Ishiguro's admiration for the novel and Charlotte Brontë in Michigan Daily.
When asked to name authors and works that have been most influential to him, Ishiguro noted Charlotte Brontë and Marcel Proust. Brontë’s narration style in particular, Ishiguro said, has influenced his own writing to the point when he mimicked a scene from her novel, “Jane Eyre,” in one of his works.
“I do love (her) and I hadn’t realized how much she had influenced me in my writing,” Ishiguro said. “I read ‘Jane Eyre’ a few years ago and there are all these things I’ve ripped off from it. There’s a particular way her narrator appears to confide in the reader.” (Tanya Madhani)
Business Standard reports that according to a recent study, 'women are gaining equality in superhero fiction' but doesn't forget that
outside the superhero genre, there have long been strong heroines in fiction who have embraced both passion and integrity, such as writer Charlotte Brontë's 'Jane Eyre' or Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice' character, Elizabeth Bennett.
Washington University in St. Louis announces a forthcoming discussion on the 'Legacy of pioneering A.I.R. Gallery':
In 1972, a group of 20 New York artists founded the A.I.R. Gallery — the first nonprofit cooperative exhibition space for women artists in the United States. (The name was a punning reference to the phrase “artist in residence” and the book “Jane Eyre.”)

Devils, Belongings and Pure Love

Some scholar works from very different places of the world:

Heathcliff in Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights: Devil or a Wronged HeroRishav Jamwal,  Department of CSE, Baddi University Baddi, Himachal Pradesh, India
International Journal of English Language, Literature and Translation Studies, Vol.2.Issue.1.,2015

Heathcliff has been a point of debate and discussion since its oeuvre, however, none has come forward with a satisfactory explanation of his persona. The question of Heathcliff being a wronged hero or a character with sinister and sadistic overtones remains unanswered till today. The present paper portrays the character of Heathcliff as a symbolic representation of society corrupting the natural goodness in humans . His character is a manifestation of a staunch portrayal of love, a cut- throat criticism of society and a perceptive and trenchant exploration of humanity.
Jane Eyre searching for belongingGalal Suliman
International Journal of English and Literature, Vol.6(2), pp. 23-30 , February 2015

This paper tackles Jane Eyre's journey to get belonging. This journey passes five phases. The paper is not going to focus on these chronological phases in details or highlight on them. The major task of the researcher is to discuss two major points: Jane's consistent endeavors to have belonging and the moral stance of Jane to achieve this purpose. These two points will give the researcher a convenient chance to manipulate such characters as Rochester and Bertha. The researcher will try to expose Charlotte Brontë's conventionality, which is so obvious in tacking many crucial situations, particularly among Jane, Bertha and Rochester. The researcher’s interest is to show which goal Jane dreams to achieve: love or autonomy? That is why he is not going to defend Bronte as a feminist. Yes, she tried to expose the social diseases in her nineteenth- century British society. But the problem is with Brontë herself, for she has no rebellious character. It is left for the reader to decide which character is Charlotte Brontë: a feminist or a traditional writer?
The Depiction of True and Pure Love in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane EyreAli Albashir Mohammed Al-Haj
English Language and Literature Studies, Vol 5, No 1 (2015)

The current study aims at studying true and pure love in Jane Eyre. Charlotte never underestimates the power of love. In all her novels, it overcomes formidable barriers of wealth and rank, and endures through hopelessness and pain. In this story, the writer’s idea about true and pure love expressed as an independent woman who needs to be loved by a companionate couple, with some kind of’ equality between the ideal couples. Love in Charlotte’s concept is pure, perfect and true and cannot be measured by jewels, riches, wealth, or position. Also, in this story the writer attempts a more ideal scheme of marriage which without love is lifeless, hence Jane rebuffs and rejects any proposal except that of her beloved lover, Mr. Rochester.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The power of Emily Brontë's whisper

AnOther interviews fashion designer Véronique Branquinho and asks her about her Emily Brontë sweaters.

Veronique Branquinho's long-standing career has often flown under the radar of mainstream fashion press, leaving the Belgian designer with an aura of mystery that was elegantly mirrored in her A/W15 collection. Emily Brontë's poetry was subtly incorporated into knitted sweaters while leather was paired with tweeds for a modern romanticism expressing "the power of a whisper," the epithet that has come to define her woman. [...]
On Emily Brontë…
"The A/W15 invitation was a poem by Emily Brontë… in fact, all of the poetry in the collection was. I took it from a really beautiful book I have called Poems of Solitude. I think that is part of my women; they’re independent and strong, but at the same time they’re fragile and I can imagine they get lost in romantic fantasies of solitude. I think that the hair and makeup was the most dark-romantic part, very Emily Brontë. It’s a little bit like an image of a haunted woman in the forest, running away from something. I can imagine that the hair gets loose like that, tree branches getting the hair and making it messy; they were like little birds escaping and dreaming away." (Olivia Singer)
Buzzfeed shares the lessons its community members have learned from books.
4. From Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë:
“Don’t be scared because you don’t have all the answers right away. You will learn through your experiences and find your own way to happiness. Don’t rely on others to tell you how to be happy or what makes a good life. It’s up to you to follow your heart and find happiness from there.”
Suggested by Caitlin R., via Facebook [...]
22. From Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë:
“Listen to your conscience and do the right thing, no matter the cost. You can’t put a price on self-respect. Follow your heart. Things may not always work out the way you’d like, but if you live according to your principles, they will work out.”
Suggested by Lynn M., via Facebook [...]
39. From Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë:
“Love not in spite of, but BECAUSE of flaws (which applies both to loving yourself and others).”
Suggested by Samantha P., via Facebook (Jarry Lee)
A London Review of Books columnist says that,
I’ve always longed to be behind those deep red velvet curtains where Jane Eyre sits on the window seat, leafing through Bewick’s History of British Birds. (Jenny Diski)
BBC's  Ariel celebrates BBC Films' 25th birthday and recalls that.
Moira Buffini also did an incredible job with Jane Eyre. She was a playwright who hadn't done an enormous amount at that time, but the structural approach she took to Charlotte Brontë's novel got that script to the attention of several of the biggest players in the business. She's now one of the most sought after screenwriters working in the UK. (Claire Barrett)
The Millions discusses fanfiction in the classroom.
To some extent, fanfiction has always had a place in the English classroom. The history of literature is one of reworking and retelling stories, especially prior to our modern conception of authorship. Popular media narratives often portray fan fiction — using someone else’s books, TV shows, films, or real-life personas, among other things, as the starting point for original fiction — as cringe-worthy scenes of sentimentality and/or sex between superheroes or vampires or all five members of a certain floppy-haired boy band. I and plenty of others have worked to ground the historically marginalized practice in “literary” precedent — favorite examples of authors explicitly refashioning others’ works include Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea and Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, both of which I first studied in a classroom.
covercoverBut fanfiction as we conceive of it today isn’t quite the same as Rhys tilting the focus of Jane Eyre to the “madwoman in the attic.” Modern fanfic practices are communal, with roots in mid-20th century sci-fi magazines. They’ve grown up through paper zines and collating parties to message boards and digital archives, fanfiction.net and LiveJournal, Archive of Our Own (AO3) and Tumblr and Wattpad. (Elizabeth Minkel)

Free Jane in Greenville

In Greenville,South Carolina:

The Film House Greenville
Jane Eyre (1944)
Free Screening

March 26, 2015 @ 6:00 PM
Greenville County Library- Hughes Branch
25 Heritage Green Place, Greenville, SC 29601

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The scribbling Brontë sisters

The Huddersfield Daily Examiner reports that a first edition of Anne Brontë's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is going under the hammer today at Bonham's as part of The Library of the late Hugh Selbourne, MD.

A rare first edition copy of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by former Mirfield governess, Anne Bronte is set to fetch around £7,000 when it comes up for auction.
The book, originally published in three volumes in June 1848 under Anne Bronte’s pseudonym Acton Bell, is expected to sell for between £6,000 and £8,000 at Bonhams in London on Wednesday.
It is part of a £1m library lovingly assembled over a lifetime by the late Hugh Selbourne, a Manchester physician. (Neil Atkinson)
EDIT: Sold for £9,375 (€12,729) inc. premium.

The Houston Chronicle highlights the Brontëite in writer Kazuo Ishiguro.
Although born in Japan, and influenced by samurai culture in interesting ways, Ishiguro has lived in England since 1960, when he was five, and comes across as thoroughly English. Even before he spoke English, he enjoyed Westerns on television, and later, was hugely influenced by the novels of Charlotte Brontë, particularly Jane Eyre and Villette. (Doni M. Wilson)
Playbill has a 'Cue & A' with musical theatre actress Ciara Renée:
Last book you read: Jane Eyre.” I've got like 5 other books I've just started or I'm half-way through. (Matthew Blank)
Bustle recommends 'The 14 Best Books To Read On Spring Break' and one of them is
Wildalone by Krassi Zourkova
In a statement juxtaposing some of the most different works of literature in existence, Wildalone has been called a “bewitching blend of Twilight, The Secret History, Jane Eyre, and A Discovery of Witches.” Which is to say there is romance, mystery, and of course some magic, along with both Greek and Bulgarian mythology all wrapped up in this novel. Thea Slavin traveled from Eastern Europe to attend college at Princeton, and once there she falls into a love triangle with two brothers and discovers a family secret. (Caitlin White)
IndieWire looks at '7 Clips That Define 'Mad Men,' And What the Cast Has to Say About Them'.
What happens in the clip: Considered three seasons in the making, Betty finally confronts Don about his deeply-buried secrets -- all while his mistress, Suzanne Farrell (Abigail Spencer), is waiting outside for him. It's a tense, revelatory scene that marks the end of the Draper marriage and the first of many wake-up calls for Don. [...]
Weiner, meanwhile, explained how the scene exemplifies the series' core concern with class: [...]
Why did he want to be Don Draper? Because he got to put on that suit of armor. Why did she marry a man that she knew nothing about? Because he was that guy. Here, you strip it all away and you're from rural poverty. You're beneath me. You will never marry me and get into my class. Her aspirations are that, she feels incredibly duped. It's like 'Wuthering Heights' to me. We don’t have a lot of this in America, or we deny it. January knew right away that Betty was a snob, and that she was aspirational and a daddy’s girl, a little bit of a brat, and had been valued for her beauty. She brings that to it. (David Canfield)
PBS Newshour has an article on tuberculosis and defines it as
 the disease that carried away the poet John Keats and the scribbling Brontë sisters. (Dr Howard Markel)
Well, probably not Charlotte.

Take a look at March in the Brontë Parsonage garden on the Brontë Society website. And look at local artist Kate Lycett's view of the Parsonage on the Society's Facebook page. Jo ReadsBooks reviews Jane Eyre.

An Eyre Journal

If you are trying to find a gift for your Jane Eyre-fan friend, this can be what you are looking for:
A Novel Journal: Jane Eyreby Charlotte Brontë
Publisher: Canterbury Classics; Jou edition (March 17, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1626863408

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë’s tale of an orphan-turned-governess who falls in love with her employer, is a classic work of literature that has been a favorite since its publication in 1847. Full of tragedy, passion, and even hints of the supernatural, Jane’s story is a captivating social commentary on gender and class in the Victorian era.

A Novel Journal: Jane Eyre will delight fans of this literary staple. With pages lined by tiny text containing the entire novel, new writers can draw inspiration from this classic work. Perfect for daily journaling or drafting the next classic, this homage to Brontë’s masterpiece adds an element of excitement to any writing project.

Packaged in a luxurious heat-burnished cover with illustrated endpapers and a colored elastic band to close pages tight, this book is a great gift or collectible for fans of Jane Eyre.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Meeting Ellen Nussey

If you'd like to meet Ellen Nussey or Tabby, then do visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum over the Easter holidays. As Keighley News reports,

Charlotte Brontë’s friend Ellen Nussey will meet visitors to a Haworth museum during the Easter holidays.
Ellen has decided to visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum because was dismayed to hear that Charlotte was about to get married.
The Brontës’ much-loved servant Tabby Aykroyd will also be at the museum to reminiscence about the famous siblings’ childhood days.
Ellen will be at the museum on March 30, April 7 and April 10 from 1pm to 3pm, while Tabby will be in residence on Good Friday, April 3 and Easter Monday.
Visitors can join a guided walk around Haworth on March 31 and hear a talk about the Brontës’ famous ‘little books’on April 1, both from 2pm.
Visitors can make a miniature garden with local artist Rachel Lee on April 2, and handle items from the museum’s collection of domestic artefacts on April 8 and 9, from 1pm to 3pm.
The museum is also hosting a new exhibition, The Brontës, War and Waterloo.
All events are free with admission to the museum. Visit bronte.org.uk for further information. (David Knights)
Bustle has an article on the #womeninfiction hashtag.
Jane Eyre. Kamala Khan. Jo March. Hermione Granger. These are just a handful of the incredible female characters celebrated in the trending #WomenInFiction hashtag. It started quite on accident, as many amazing things do, when Preeti Chhibber, a marketing manager for HarperCollins Children’s Books, started tweeting out the names of some female characters that have inspired her over the years. When her followers, and their followers followers started joining in, the idea exploded into one of the biggest trending hashtags of the weekend. (Caitlin White)
Cricket Country has an obituary on Bob Appleyard, whose autobiography is named after a poem by Emily Brontë.
However, then Appleyard thought of Emily Brontë, that sterling Yorkshirewoman, the author of Wuthering Heights. The lady who had created Heathcliff had contracted tuberculosis in the days when there was no cure. She had written these lines, because people of that era found their hope in religion:
“No coward soul is mine, No trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere; I see Heaven’s glories shine, And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.”
Hence, the book was called No Coward Soul. Appleyard had played much of his cricket with the undiagnosed tuberculosis infested in and gnawing away at his lung. For two years he had tussled with death and despair, at mercy of fate and physicians. And he had returned to conquer county cricket and taste success in Tests after losing half a lung. (Arunabha Sengupta)
While Thomson Reuters Foundations reminds us of some other famous people who died of TB, including Emily Brontë, of course.

The News doesn't think Portsmouth is the right city for the padlock-on-bridge tradition.
Young women then started to attach a padlock to the bridge where she used to meet her lover.
Ah, the romance of it. The story could be right out of a Brontë novel.
It conjures up visions of the cities of love such as Paris, Rome, Venice.
But not Portsmouth.
We don't think it's out of place in Portsmouth. It's actually just silly anywhere and everywhere and certainly not straight out of a Brontë novel.

Book Perfume's literary hunk of February was no other than Edward Rochester.