Planet Century 19

May 07, 2015

Regency Ramble

Lady Sybil's Vampire

Coming Soon Book 5 in the Series, A Most Peculiar Season;

Lady Sybil's Vampire an e-book is on sale at e-tailers now:

In Regency London all is not it seems. Vampires live among humans, hiding their secret powers from their hosts in shadows.

Unbeknownst to Lady Sybil Lofstrom she is descended from a race of Fae who got caught in the middle of the Wars of the Races and were exterminated by all sides. Fearing she is losing her mind, she tells no one about the creatures of the night only she sees. Until one of them draws her into his Vampire world with his kisses. The Vampire King’s Shadow Blade, Anton Count Grazki cannot believe there is a human woman, one he finds irresistible to his lonely heart, who can see through the vampire cloak of shadows. Her unique ability means her death unless he can find some way to keep her safe.

Purchase Links
and other ebookstores around the world.
Coming soon to Barnes and Noble and Nook

by Ann Lethbridge ( at May 07, 2015 11:05 AM


Your favourite Brontë sister

Deborah Lutz, author of The Brontë Cabinet, tries to guess what your favourite Brontë sister says about you on Bustle.

Jane Eyre keeps you up late into the night, feverishly turning the pages so you can reach that romantic climax once again (how many times has it been? You’re not telling). Or, you have some tragic lines from Wuthering Heights tattooed on your body, say “He’s more myself than I am.” Then again, could you be that rare bird who eschews the dramatic love story and instead sits in a café reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, underlining the passages about the abuse of women men got away with because of backward Victorian laws?
You might do all three, but one of these novels — one of these writers — speaks to you about who you really are. You feel known when you read about Jane (or Catherine, or Helen). Your true passions bubble up to the surface when you pore over Charlotte’s — or Emily’s or Anne’s — prose.
The peculiarities of the Brontë sisters and their fans have been much on my mind lately. Conversations at parties take a predictable turn. Someone asks me what I’m writing, and I mention my book: The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects. Then the question about which novel or sister I favor comes up. When the discussion becomes general, a heated argument often follows. You’d be surprised at the seriousness of this topic for some; I’ve even heard of friendships faltering over it.
What I’ve found is that the Brontë you prefer exposes private corners of your personality, perhaps more than you would care for anyone to know. So, which Brontë do you love most… and what does it say about you? (Read more)

Another author with a Brontë-related book is Patricia Park with her novel Re Jane, an extract of which is published by WBUR's Here and Now. There's also an audio interview with the author.
Author Patricia Park first read Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre” as a 12-year-old child of Korean-Argentine parents. She was particularly struck by Jane’s status as an orphan in the novel, and how that status made Jane an outcast in her own family.
“Orphan” was something Park’s mother called her when “I was acting in a shameful way that disgraced her family,” she told Here & Now’s Robin Young. Years later, Patricia Park decided to write her own version of the “Jane Eyre” story, called “Re Jane.”
Set in modern times, her Jane, Jane Re, is a half-Korean, half-American girl raised in a Korean community in Queens, New York. Jane Re’s life becomes upended when she decides to become an au pair for a Brooklyn couple.
Newsday recommends the book.

Hawke's Bay Today (New Zealand) interviews writer Kate Riorden.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU? I've just begun edits on my next novel for Penguin. This one moves between 1878, 1910 and 1922 and follows the lives of a grandmother and granddaughter who are or have been governess to the same family. I love governesses - not only because there are some fantastic examples in literature, such as Jane Eyre, but because they occupied a unique position in the household - not one of the family, but not really one of the servants either. I've also done a detailed plan for the book after that, which ventures more towards crime and is set in Cornwall during World War II. I can't wait to start it. (Linda Hall)
Actress Louise Brealey speaks about her bookish childhood in an interview on WhatsOnStage.
2. What made you want to become an actor and subsequently a playwright?
No one else in my family is an actor, but both my parents are very funny and my dad's a salesman, which is basically the same thing. I always wanted to act when I was little but I wasn't a very confident child so I never did all that putting on shows for my parents stuff; we didn't have a dressing-up box. I actually think I first fell in love with acting because I was a bookish little thing and I'd always get completely lost in the story and imagine myself as the characters of everything I read. So I spent my childhood being Jo in Little Women, or Anne of Green Gables, or Jane Eyre, or Elizabeth Bennett. (Rosie Bannister)
IndieWire's Thompson on Hollywood celebrates the 50th anniversary of the film Alphaville by Jean-Luc Godard.
I especially admire Godard's essays on Hitchcock and Hawks. Godard brings into the discussion philosophy, Charlotte Bronte, Carl Dreyer, Abel Gance, Andre Malraux, Goethe, Luis Bunuel, Dostoevsky, and German Expressionism. He was the first to put Hitchcock in the same class with Fritz Lang and F.W. Murnau. His review of Hitchcock’s "Strangers on a Train" takes off beyond analyzing the film to a discourse on what film is, and how the filmmaker achieves his effects: “Certainly the camera defies reality, but does not evade it; if it enters the present, it is to give it the style it lacks.” (Anne Thompson)
Yesterday also marked what would have been Orson Welles's 100th birthday and many sites list Jane Eyre among his best films.

This is how Games Radar + describes Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell the novel by Susanna Clarke and recently also a miniseries.
If you're not familiar with the book, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell follows the only two actual magicians left in 19th century England, exploring why practical magic has fallen out of use and some of the consequences of trying to bring it back. Like if Wuthering Heights was about wizards instead of vague ghost metaphors. (Connor Sheridan)
Confessions of a sports writer in The Wall Street Journal:
I am embarrassed to admit, at this stage of my life, that I have not read all of the Great Books. Not even most of them. I have read “Moby Dick,” I am pretty sure, and “The Sun Also Rises” (that’s the one with the bulls, right?), but I confess I have not read “The Sound and the Fury,” “Wuthering Heights,” “The Iliad” and loads of other essential literature I was assigned but somehow found a way to blow off. (Jason Gay)
Columbus Alive has an article on the solo debut of singer Dorthia Cottrell.
“[Music] is all I ever wanted to do. I never really had any friends in high school, and never really went to any parties. Well, I went to no parties and I had no friends, more specifically,” Cottrell said. “I would sit in my room … and I would record myself playing all these weird songs I wrote about ‘Wuthering Heights’ and ‘Crime and Punishment’ and things I was reading in my English class. I don't know if I was good at the time, but it always felt like I could be good at it. It consumed me. It was all I ever thought about it.” (Andy Downing)
Princess Charlotte is still in the news and so is her name. There's a Brontëite in the Telegraph:
The feminine form of “Charles,” Charlotte means “petite,” and was therefore perhaps a fitting name for the slight of form Charlotte Bronte, the author and arguably the most famous Charlotte to date. (Gordon Rayner and Danny Boyle)

by Cristina ( at May 07, 2015 09:40 AM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii


Western Winds

The much awaited new approach by Edward Chitham, a well known Brontë scholar, to the Irish origins of the Brontë family is published this month:
Western Winds: The Brontës' Irish Heritage
By Edward Chitham
The History Press
Format: Paperback
Published: 2015-05-04
ISBN: 9781845888336

The Irish heritage of the Brontë family has long been overlooked, partly because both Charlotte and her father Patrick did their very best to ensure that this was the case and partly because there was a strong understanding at the end of the nineteenth century that the Brontës were Yorkshire regional novelists. Yet their ideas and attitudes, and perhaps even their storylines, can be traced to Ireland. This book, which develops ideas originally published in The Brontës’ Irish Heritage in 1986, sets the record straight. By re-evaluating the sources available, it traces Patrick’s Irish ancestry and shows how it prevented him from achieving his ambitions; it shows how that heritage influenced his children’s writings, particularly Emily; and it sheds further light on the genesis of Wuthering Heights. 

by M. ( at May 07, 2015 01:43 AM

Amazing namesakes

Of course, if a name is being examined these days, it is Charlotte. Several websites look at famous women named Charlotte: Five famous Charlottes in the Yorkshire Post, nine 'amazing' women named Charlotte in The Huffington Post, ten famous ladies who share Princess Charlotte's name on, and Marie Claire has also selected five namesakes for the little princess.

Flavorwire reviews Patricia Park's Re Jane.
Charlotte Brontë’s twisted tale of a governess who falls in love with her employer and discovers his mad wife in the attic is hardly as suited to an update as, say, Pride and Prejudice, which merely requires two socially stratified lovers and comedy, or Wuthering Heights, which requires the same plus tragedy. But how does one transpose to today the burning anti-patriarchal rage that permeates Jane Eyre, the deep symbolism of every single house Jane enters, and the social structures that enable the novel’s structure to work? Primogeniture, lack of divorce laws, and the inability for women to do useful work are all crucial to Jane Eyre’s struggle.
Yet Re Jane doesn’t really try to do smash any hierarchy— its ambition is different. Park cleverly uses the coming-of-age aspect of Jane Eyre and its heroine’s movement from insular world to insular world to illustrate the confusion of a young woman who is neither clearly one thing nor another, culturally speaking. [...]
Nineteenth-century Jane Eyre’s growth was about searching for equal love in an unequal world, but this millennial trajectory ends up leading towards self-love, or simply a solid sense of self. And although Jane Re’s anger is less palpable and scorching than her literary antecedent’s, and she lacks the righteous self-assurance of a Victorian heroine, her struggle still gestures towards something bigger. Jane’s tendency to vacillate, trying on different styles and cultures, and ultimately upsetting people around her when she changes lanes yet again, can be frustrating to encounter on the page — but it’s also honest, and emblematic of a true contemporary heroine’s journey.  [...]
I’m still waiting for a contemporary answer to Jane Eyre‘s white-hot proto-feminist rage (Claire Messud’s The Woman Upstairs, in its opening section at least, approached that), but until that future masterpiece arrives, it’s gratifying to see a talented writer like Park use Brontë’s parameters to explore modern questions of identity  — while continuing to solidify Jane Eyre‘s position as the godmother of feminist bildungsroman. (Sarah Seltzer)
WBUR interviews the author here and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle discusses the novel here. Moomblr publishes an extract.

Perhaps a contemporary take on Jane Eyre should include the word 'bitch'. Its power and usage is discussed by Slate's Lexicon Valley.
What exactly makes the prefatory bitch so satisfying and potent? Something about her matter-of-fact placement at the start of the sentence forecloses disagreement. The natural immediacy of address also lends her oomph, in the way that a 19th-century novel might suddenly snap you to attention by switching to the vocative. (As Charlotte Brontë wrote in Jane Eyre, “Bitch, I married him.”) (Katy Waldman)
We have a feeling that, if that were really the case, it would have at least required parental permission like others mentioned in this column from Tulsa World in praise of a former literature teacher.
A quarter century ago, I would not have dreamed of writing about Mrs. Breshears. She was a bit persnickety, demanding, old-fashioned and counted off for every little mistake. Tough is not a strong enough word for her classes.
I wish everyone could have been her pupil.
Her introduction to literature’s classics was for each student to choose a different book off a list, which I still have. That sense of freedom led me to the Brontë sisters, Ray Bradbury and Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.
A section of options required parental permission. (Ginnie Graham)
Southern Minn Scene discusses meeting/interviewing your idols.
Some people want to interview fictional characters. Sorry. That doesn't count. Really? You really want to talk to Heathcliff that badly? Knock it off. Here’s Emily Brontë. (Duane Allman)
And this is how Times Live (South Africa) describes the Alexander Theatre in Strand Street, Cape Town.
The interior says: "Good evening, my name is Emily Brontë, or Ellis Bell, whatever you prefer, here we deal in imagination, but do sit down in my lovely abode."
It certainly has that old-fashioned quality of Wuthering Heights, the famed moorland farmhouse. (Herman Lategan)
The Lancashire Telegraph has an article on the start of restoration of Gawthorpe Hall and while it says that 'the hall forms the last stop-off on the Brontë Way', it doesn't mention the fact that Charlotte was a guest there twice.

The Telegraph has a tongue-in-cheek article discussing why Kim Kardashian is 'the heir to the Brontës and Virginia Woolf'. Candice Raquel Lee: Wise-Woman-Writer posts about the myth of the monstrous man mentioning Jane Eyre's Rochester.

by Cristina ( at May 07, 2015 01:35 AM

May 06, 2015

William Morris Unbound

Scott’s 'Waverley' and the Joys of Insurrection

‘They besieged and took Carlisle, and soon afterwards prosecuted their daring march to the southward’. I don’t suppose that Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish National Party, however well they do in the imminent General Election, are planning a daring expedition into England of the kind narrated in Walter Scott’s 1814 novel Waverley, from which my quotation comes (vol. 3 chapter 10). But none the less, with so much reactionary drivel being spouted by the Tories about the supposed ‘threat’ that a post-election SNP-Labour Party deal might pose, this is certainly a topical and exciting moment to be re-reading Scott’s first novel.

I can see more clearly too, now, why Scott’s Waverley novels appealed so intensely to William Morris – not just because of the rugged Highland scenery, picturesque social customs and racy linguistic dialect they depict, but rather because of the sheer energy and intelligence of their engagement with politics and history. Waverley vividly dramatises a country in civil war as the 1745 Jacobite rebellion breaks out, as does Morris’s own News from Nowhere at the other end of the nineteenth century, with its gripping chapters on ‘How the Change Came’. The invocation by Scott’s Flora and Fergus MacIvor of ‘the cause’ must have deeply stirred Morris, even though his own chosen cause was socialist rather than royalist; as must the book’s searching explorations of how political loyalties are formed in the first place (Waverley himself famously ‘wavers’ from side to side), how far ethical considerations should or should not be subordinated to one’s chosen political commitment, and where fanaticism might be considered as beginning. I suspect too that, in the narrower sphere of literary characterisation, some of Flora MacIvor’s highminded militancy feeds through into Ellen in News from Nowhere.

Scott’s novels do not currently feature on our Romanticism course in the Lancaster University English Department, and that seems a real loss. At a time when Russian-backed separatists are fighting for independence in eastern Ukraine, and the jihadis of Islamic State are violently imposing their caliphate in Syria and Iraq, we can surely see more clearly that the historical novel as invented by Scott was an epoch-making generic innovation that rises to the level of such brutal transformative processes. It still has much to tell us about them, and about the process of building more humane revolutionary transformations too.

by Tony Pinkney ( at May 06, 2015 12:32 PM


Re Jane

And here it is, the new Jane Eyre retelling that everybody is talking about:
Re JaneA Novel
Patricia Park
Hardcover ISBN 9780525427407
5 May 2015
Pamela Dorman Books

Journeying from Queens to Brooklyn to Seoul, and back, this is a fresh, contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre and a poignant Korean American debut

For Jane Re, half-Korean, half-American orphan, Flushing, Queens, is the place she’s been trying to escape from her whole life. Sardonic yet vulnerable, Jane toils, unappreciated, in her strict uncle’s grocery store and politely observes the traditional principle of nunchi (a combination of good manners, hierarchy, and obligation). Desperate for a new life, she’s thrilled to become the au pair for the Mazer-Farleys, two Brooklyn English professors and their adopted Chinese daughter. Inducted into the world of organic food co-ops, and nineteenth–century novels, Jane is the recipient of Beth Mazer’s feminist lectures and Ed Farley’s very male attention. But when a family death interrupts Jane and Ed’s blossoming affair, she flies off to Seoul, leaving New York far behind.
Reconnecting with family, and struggling to learn the ways of modern-day Korea, Jane begins to wonder if Ed Farley is really the man for her. Jane returns to Queens, where she must find a balance between two cultures and accept who she really is. Re Jane is a bright, comic story of falling in love, finding strength, and living not just out of obligation to others, but for one’s self.

by M. ( at May 06, 2015 01:30 AM

A new Charlotte

Of course today many, many news sites mention the new princess's namesake Charlotte Brontë: The Yorkshire Evening Post, Manchester Evening News, Wales Online, Time, Belfast Telegraph, Today, Haaretz, Yorskshire Post, Daily Mail, WCNC, Stuff, People, Telegraph, etc.

Another Charlotte - a Sim created by this columnist from Motherboard.
I designed my Sim’s face and hair and clothes rapidly. I would say I made her in my image, but I didn’t. I made her in Charlotte Brontë’s image—probably because I was in college and I was supposed to be writing a paper on Villette but was instead in the spare room of my apartment, makin’ worlds. (Laura June)
The Washington Post discusses writers and having (or not having) children.
As a writer—a vocation that demands long hours of uninterrupted solitude—I have sometimes thought to myself that I’d be more accomplished had I chosen to be childless. In “The Most Important Thing,” Sigrid Nunez recalls having the same realization, which in her case upended the seeming inevitability of becoming a mother. “No young woman aspiring to literary career could ignore the fact that the women writers of the highest achievement, women like Jane Austen, the Brontës, George Eliot, and Virginia Wolf, did not have children,” she observes. (Randye Hoder)
And yet Charlotte Brontë's story is unfinished. She died while pregnant so we will never known what her writing life would have been like had she had a healthy pregnancy.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle features the book Re Jane by Patricia Park.
The book, “Re Jane” (Penguin Books), is for sale beginning May 5. Park will appear at BookCourt, 163 Court St., Cobble Hill, on May 6 at 7 p.m. and at WORD Brooklyn, 126 Franklin St., Greenpoint, on May 20 at 7 p.m.
Re Jane” takes the heroine on a journey from Queens to Brooklyn to Seoul — and back. For Jane Re, a half-Korean, half-American orphan, Flushing, Queens, is the place she’s been trying to escape from her whole life. Sardonic yet vulnerable, she toils, unappreciated, in her strict uncle’s grocery store and politely observes the traditional principle of nunchi (a combination of good manners, hierarchy, and obligation).
Desperate for a new life, she’s thrilled to become the au pair for the Mazer-Farleys, two Brooklyn English professors and their adopted Chinese daughter. Inducted into the world of organic food co-ops and 19th century novels, Re is the recipient of Beth Mazer’s feminist lectures and Ed Farley’s very male attention. But when a family death interrupts Jane and Ed’s blossoming affair, she flies off to Seoul, leaving New York far behind.
Reconnecting with family and struggling to learn the ways of modern-day Korea, Jane begins to wonder if Ed Farley is really the man for her. Jane returns to Queens, where she must find a balance between two cultures and accept who she really is.
Perfect for readers of Ruth Ozeki, Chang-rae Lee, Allegra Goodman, and — of course — Charlotte Brontë, “Re Jane” is a bright, comic story of falling in love, finding strength, and living not just out of obligation to others, but for one’s self. 
Dead Darlings interviews the author:
DD: In Ed Farley, you have playfully subverted the Byronic model of Rochester in Jane Eyre. Can you talk about the choices you made in rendering Ed’s character?
PP: Ed Farley is a half-Irish, half-Italian native Brooklynite. He gave up his own academic ambitions in favor of his wife’s career. I think Ed stays true to Rochester’s initial gruffness—he’s got outer-borough grit and a lack of polish. But he also says it like it is, which is hugely attractive to Jane and, hopefully, the reader as well.
DD: Exploring Jane Eyre parallels a little further, can you contrast Jane Re’s decision to leave Brooklyn following her romantic entanglement with Ed Farley with Jane Eyre’s sudden departure from Thornfield Hall?
PP: The moment where Jane Eyre flees Thornfield is such a powerful one. Incidentally, it was the same image on the cover of my first copy of Jane Eyre. If Jane had taken the easy way out, she would have stayed and lived the pampered life of a kept woman. But she had too much morality and a sense of self-respect to resort to that. I wanted my Jane to stay true to that—so she has to leave Brooklyn.
DD: As a crucible of personal development in childhood and adolescence, Jane Re has her uncle’s grocery in Queens. Jane Eyre has Lowood Institution. Did you have your own Food or Lowood growing up in New York?
PP: My parents own a grocery store in Brooklyn, so I grew up with the language of produce, HVAC, and invoices. “Lowood Capital Partners” didn’t really exist for me—I think that was the point. I’m a little younger than Jane, but when I started college I thought everyone got cushy offers like Lowood. By the time I graduated, the economy tanked and everyone was competing for unpaid internships. (Marc Foster)
Torontoist interviews Lynn Crosbie about her book Where Did You Sleep Last Night which 'imagines Kurt Cobain reincarnated into the body of a young amnesiac named Celine Black'.
This book is littered with pop-culture ghosts besides Nirvana, some dead and many alive: Céline Dion, Joy Division, Lou Reed, Lana Del Rey. It has an intimidating concordance at the end. But these references don’t come across as lists so much as tastes that are integral to who these people are. Do you think we cobble ourselves together out of the things we like? I thought of being that age and what my life was like, and I would have been soaked in whatever music was going on, in popular books, in popular figures, in the language of the time—simply from going out all the time. If they’re musicians, that’s going to be an even deeper concern: they are a part of what’s going on. There’s a lot of pop mentioned, but I mean it to be absolutely a part of their lives.
Céline is a little different, as are Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand. They’re definitely a bit campy, which has something to do with the drugs Evelyn and Celine are on: they get a little grandiose on heroin, and campy when they’re high. I was trying to explain this to someone who thought I was using Céline Dion as a joke, and I really wasn’t. There’s that song based on Wuthering Heights…
“It’s All Coming Back To Me Now”? Yes! I do mention Heathcliff in the book, but the book is not a translation in the Anne Carson sense. I wanted to do that sort of thing through a different filter: I’m covering Céline Dion covering Wuthering Heights. Not through the whole book, but there’s a certain extravagance to it that suits these characters, who are very decadent in the way that they live, the way that they desire, and the way that they love each other. And I thought, who better than the great diva Dion to express that? (Angelo Muredda)
Imogen Russell Williams mentions looking 'covetously' at the Folio Society's edition of Jane Eyre in The Guardian. Flavorwire considers Jane Eyre a 'ur-feminist novel heroine'.

InfoWorld is looking for 'the Holy Grail of audio and video editing'.
Laurian Gridinoc, a computational linguist, Knight-Mozilla OpenNews Fellow, and developer at, showed me some inspiring uses of technology his company has developed. Check out this BBC prototype. It divides the browser into two panes. On the left you play Elizabeth Klett's Librivox recording of Charlotte Brontë's "Jane Eyre" as audio with synchronized text. You can select phrases, sentences, or paragraphs; copy them into the right pane; play the newly remixed audio (with synchronized text); and export the remix. (Jon Udell)
The Brussels Brontë Blog has a detailed post on the recent Brontë weekend. Absolutely Gothic  posts about Cathy Earnshaw. Bookbub publishes 6 Powerful Lessons We Learned from ‘Jane Eyre’.

by Cristina ( at May 06, 2015 12:23 AM

May 05, 2015

The Little Professor

The Conference Blues

Where would we be without more complaints about conferences? I've moaned about conferences more than once on this blog, myself, so I fully understand the temptation. But I wonder to what extent the ongoing funding crash in higher ed will force changes to the conference scene.  Everyone gripes about the $1K costs involved in going to the MLA...yet, really, just about every conference costs $1K or more to attend, depending on location.  One can scrimp and pinch in order to lower the prices--eat at McD's, share a room, drive (yikes), etc.--but for many faculty, the cost in doesn't necessarily equal value out.  My campus, which is relatively generous with travel funding, nevertheless only gives us enough to support part of any given conference jaunt; moreover, as we can use that funding for research purposes as well, we have to make some hardnosed calculations.  (This year, I needed my funds to partly subsidize plane fare to the UK, so no conference travel at all.)  For adjuncts and t-t faculty at cash-strapped universities, the conference routine is even more difficult.  

by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at May 05, 2015 12:05 PM


Bernard J. Taylor's Wuthering Heights in Woking

The Bernard J. Taylor's Wuthering Heights musical gets a production in Woking, Surrey, UK:
Woking Amateur Operatic Society presents
Wuthering Heights
Book and music by Bernard J. Taylor

Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking
5th to 9th May, 2015
Evenings: 7.30pm
Saturday Matinée: 2.30pm

Based on Emily Brontë’s book, Bernard Taylor’s sweepingly romantic musical tells the story of Cathy and Heathcliff’s tempestuous but doomed love, which leads to obsession and revenge. Set in the sumptuous Regency period and beautiful Yorkshire Moors of the 1780s, this newly rearranged musical adaptation has the support of the Brontë Society. This is the latest production by WAOS follows it’s highly successful run of Oliver! in 2014.

by M. ( at May 05, 2015 01:30 AM

May 04, 2015

Regency Ramble

Regency Fashion May 1815

Walking Dress  May 1815
From Ackermann's Depository

This outfit really makes me think of spring, the casual pelisse over the gown, the parasol. What do you think?

Here is the official description;

HIGH dress, made in cambric muslin, with deep full flounces richly worked on French cambric; a deep falling frill round the neck, to correspond.

 Pelisse, open, with falling collar, composed of green sarsnet, lined throughout with sarsnet of straw colour; the bottom of the sleeve trimmed with a double frill of the same; a double border of corresponding coloured trimming laid on the cuff and round the pelisse. 

Bonnet of straw-coloured satin, edged and trimmed with green satin ribbon, and ornamented either with a cluster of flowers or a small plume of feathers.

 Sandals of green kid; gloves to correspond. Parasol of straw-coloured silk.

The sandals seem to be a bit of a risk, but they are not open toed fortunately.

Until Next Time

by Ann Lethbridge ( at May 04, 2015 03:00 PM


In a Twisted Way

More on the Tour de Yorkshire through Haworth:
A torrential morning downpour had threatened to wash out the Tour de Yorkshire’s visit to Brontë land but the flags were dry by the time the riders arrived in Haworth where hundreds of people lined Bridgehouse Lane and Main Street. (The Telegraph & Argus)
 Sunday's final stage took the riders on a 167km (104 mile) route from Wakefield in West Yorkshire to Barnsley in South Yorkshire and back through Brontë country in the Pennines before a finish in front of thousands of spectators in Roundhay Park, Leeds. (BBC News)
Backofthebook vindicates Anne of the Green Gables:
My mother, a high school English teacher, was slow to warm to Anne, too. But my aunt’s view had prevailed by the time she compiled her pioneering textbook in 1973 with the pulsating title, Canadian Literature, Two Centuries in Prose. Believe it or not, this was the first book designed to introduce high school and college students to our own country’s literature in one distinct volume. And she did not hesitate to include an excerpt from Anne of Green Gables, defending it as far more than a “children’s classic,” with its universal Cinderella theme (Jane Eyre, Pygmalion) and particularly Canadian motif of nostalgia for a world of peace and protection. (Rod Mickleburgh)
 The Stuff's Reading is Bliss wonders what makes a book sexy:
Wuthering Heights is both soul-destroying and intensely sexy in a twisted way, even though there was nothing physical in it. (Karen Tay)
A local North Jersey students film award on
Local students were recognized for their filmmaking talents at last weekend’s Passaic County Film Festival.
At the 2015 Passaic County Film Festival (PCFF), held at the Fabian 8 Theater in Center City Mall in Paterson on Saturday, April 25, students from Lakeland Regional High School and West Milford High School took home awards for their short films. (...)
Suburban Trends area students also ranked highly in the High School Music Video category,(...) and Max Straubinger of LRHS taking home another award, this time winning third place for his music video "Wuthering Heights." (Tara Kolton)
Malin's Blog of Books reviews Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg; Colin D Smith posts about Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights song.

by M. ( at May 04, 2015 11:01 AM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

An aesthetic education

 photo merrittchaseshinnecock-interior-studio.jpg

A pastel by William Merritt Chase showing his daughter looking at Japanese prints in his studio.

May 04, 2015 07:48 AM

George Dunlop Leslie, domestic scenes

 photo George Dunlop Leslie 865Afternoon tea.jpg

Afternoon Tea

 photo georgedunloplesslieConsidering-a-Reply-1162-89226.jpg

Considering a Reply

 photo georgedunlopleslielgeealice-in-wonderland.jpg

Alice in Wonderland

May 04, 2015 07:42 AM

Victorian History

Victorian Vision, London and Manchester at the End of the Era

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, who can decide the value of a moving picture?  In this blog, I want to look at some moving images from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.  Some of these are definitely Victorian (in the sense that they were made before the death of the Queen), while others are a few years later.  But, even those made before and immediately after the Great War are

by (Dr Bruce Rosen) at May 04, 2015 01:07 AM


Wuthering Quotes

A curious initiative by Rosie Maynard: Wuthering Quotes. Here is how the creator defines it:
Wuthering Quotes is a digital retelling of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, presenting the classic in visual quotations. These are displayed in narrative order and follow chapters 1-16 of the book, specifically focusing on the romance between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff.
The quotations can be read alone, however, they are best interpreted with the context of the novel. Quotations included have been carefully editorially selected due to their importance to the plot or their literary value. Designed to be stimulating for those who have read the text, readers will have the challenge of remembering the blanks that are left unfilled by the project.
The quotes are faithful to Brontë’s novel, however, please note that puncuation, grammar and pronouns have occasionally been altered to make the quotations clearer. Page numbers correspond to the HarperCollin’s 2010 edition.
Quotations can be sorted by prominent themes from the book. These include love, revenge, family, place and class. You can also use the search bar to find quotations that refer to specific characters or include certain words or phrases.

by M. ( at May 04, 2015 01:31 AM

The Little Professor

Metafictional medieval

I've been thinking about Bruce Holsinger's two medieval historical mysteries, A Burnable Book and The Invention of Fire, both featuring that absolutely obvious detective figure, the poet John Gower (aka That Other Fourteenth-Century Poet, Not Chaucer).  Ironically enough, this type of historical novel, which effectively functions as a mode of popular (albeit alternate) history, qualifies as neo-Victorian--it's a more ambitious and/or elevated version of the novels written by Elizabeth Rundle Charles, A. D. Crake, E. L. Cutts, Emily Sarah Holt et al.  In any event, to get things out of the way, while Holsinger shows promise as a novelist, there are some problems of craft that need further attention: the plots rely heavily on Gower being a blithering idiot; there's rather too much Jean Auel-ish infodumping, although the second novel shows signs of improvement on that score; and some dreaded detective novel cliches rear their heads (e.g., the villain explaining his motives just long enough for someone to kill him).  Moreover, after the events of the first novel, it's not at all clear why Gower is still talking to Chaucer, as opposed to breaking the fingers on his writing hand at every opportunity.  

Still, there's an interesting tension between Gower's, er, incompetence and the novels' deeply convoluted narrative forms (more convoluted in the first novel than in the second).  Both novels are about assassination plots of one sort or another--apparently linear plots that aim simultaneously for closure (regicide) and an opening up of the unknown (a new king on the throne, a foreign takeover, etc.).   The narratives themselves, however, rely on multiple points-of-view, ranging from Gower's first-person sections to a number of third-person focalizers; moreover, in A Burnable Book, one of the narratives, set off in italics, cannot be immediately assigned to a speaker.  While Gower may be our primary viewpoint character, he exists in a text that owes more to Chaucer's (in-progress) Canterbury Tales, with its polyphonic structure unified by the pilgrimage frame.  (In fact, The Invention of Fire partly involves a bunch of characters on pilgrimage, one of them an especially hardnosed take on the Wife of Bath.)  Despite his "job" as detective (or whatever we want to call him), Gower has a real penchant for seeing only what he wants to see; he perceives other people poorly, both literally and figuratively.  Although Gower associates himself in A Burnable Book with St. Thomas, "[t]he patron saint of doubt and suspicion, of verifiable information, in whatever form it comes" (422), his fixation on accumulating and exchanging disconnected, embarrassing objects of knowledge--in other words, he's a blackmailer--doesn't stand him in particularly good stead when it comes to constructing incriminating narratives.  Despite his affinity for St. Thomas, Gower is a terrible judge of people, repeatedly failing to poke his finger into relevant wounds; he is repeatedly misled by his son, by Chaucer, and by various other major and minor characters, all of whom find him relatively easy to hoodwink.  In The Invention of Fire, Gower reflects ruefully on his failure to identify the right plot, "hobbled over a stick, walking blindly along a trail of polished stones, his weakening eyes discerning only what had been arranged for them to see" (401).  It's telling that the spectacles he purchases only work for reading, as opposed to perceiving distances.  Tasked with identifying plots, Gower defers to other people's frames, subsiding into mental passivity whenever, like a jackdaw, he spots something especially shiny.  He is not, that is, particularly interested in telling a good story.  

Which is the problem.  At the end of the novel, Gower pastiches Chaucer writing up the story of Margery and Robert, the murderess who stands in for the Wife of Bath and the man with whom she falls in love, and then offers his own, much less happy version.  "A poet should not be some sweet-singing bird in a trap, feasting on the meat while blind to the net," complains Gower, "[t]he net is the meat, all those entanglements and snares and iron claws that hobble us and prevent our escape from the limits of our weak and fallen flesh" (450).   This assessment pits Chaucer the clear narrative craftsman against Gower's perception of a fragmentary, incoherent and perhaps mutually destructive world, in which poetic optimism fails to take into account human nature, red in tooth and claw.  The novel provides no ending at all for Margery and Robert, only Gower's two versions.  But Gower is in a genre that demands solutions, carefully-delineated motivations, clues, "fair play."  It's more Chaucer's genre than Gower's, in other words.  

by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at May 04, 2015 12:05 AM

May 03, 2015


Whispering Bells

Today, on ABC Melbourne radio:
Sunday with Libbi Gorr
10:00am - 12:00pm
Sunday School - Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Matthew Kenny Buckley Park College, Essendon, in the areas of English and Literature joined Libbi Gorr in the studio and discussed the text Wuthering Heights . (Desi Leary)
Holly Williams reviews The Lost Child in The Independent:
The Brontë sisters wrote fiction with an exceptionally vibrant afterlife: Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and their characters still loom large, thanks to endless adaptations from prestige films to pop songs, and umpteen fictional rewrites, updatings, prequels and sequels.
The Lost Child seems to be the latest addition; a modern narrative is bookended by a sort of Heathcliff origins story, and interrupted by one chapter with a dying Emily Brontë. But in truth, this novel will offer very little succour for bonnet-lovers.
The bulk of The Lost Child takes place in Leeds and London between the 1950s and 1980s. Like Wuthering Heights, it follows several generations of a troubled family. But if Wuthering Heights is memorable for its characters’ wild, anguished love and jealousy, the characters of Caryl Phillips’s book are repressed and depressed[.] (...)
Wuthering Heights may be overblown in its Gothic drama, but The Lost Child can be underwhelming, swirling down the plughole of its kitchen-sink realism.
Palatinate chooses Wuthering Heights as one of the 'worst' love stories ever told:
1. Heathcliff and Cathy: Wuthering Heights
To kick off, we have what is often referred to as one of the most romantic classics out there. Catherine and Heathcliff grow up together as brother and sister, and not to mention best friends, on the Wuthering Heights estate. However, the couple is basically incestuous in their eternally unfulfilled desires, they spend a great deal of time emotionally torturing each other, and to top it off they end up both unhappily married to other people. Their story ends with Catherine dead after childbirth and Heathcliff following closely after, starving himself from grief, flirting with necrophilia before he goes. In this perverse Romeo and Juliet-style ending, Heathcliff ends up appearing more creepy than romantic. Plus, they never even kiss. (Alice Diebel)
The stage three of Le Tour de Yorkshire has passed through Haworth today and on Twitter or in The Telegraph & Argus live blog you can find several images. Like this one by Eagle Intermedia:
The New York Post recommends:
Re Jane by Patricia Clark
Pamela Dorman/Viking
Jane Eyre in Brooklyn: Park’s debut novel features a half-Korean, half-American orphan named Jane Re who becomes an au pair for the adopted Chinese daughter of Brooklyn English professor Ed Farley. Similar to the Brontë classic, Ed and Jane begin an affair, but after a tragedy, Jane flees to her native Korea. When she returns, she tries to balance the cultures that have made her who she is. (Billy Heller)
This retelling is also reviewed on Literary R&R.

The Sunday Herald reviews Sophie and The Sybil by Patricia Duncker:
There are plenty of novels, award-winning and some less so, that feature much-loved 19th-century writers as characters.
But the same ones tend to crop up time after time: Jane Austen is a perennial favourite, as are the Brontës, Charles Dickens and Henry James. But few tackle the great George Eliot, in spite of her superb fictional possibilities. Is she just too tricky to get right, too tempting to caricature, with her "massive jaw", her "long, thin countenance", her great forehead? (Lesley McDowell)
This article of Los Andes (Perú) is ....a bit misinformed. Well, it's really an awful mess. Not even a  primary school boy with Wikipedia access could have done it worst:
De las seis hermanas (six?) Brontë, dos murieron de tuberculosis en 1825. Charlotte, Anne, Emily y Branwell, el único varón de la familia, se dedicaron a crear un mundo de fantasía en el que vivían singulares aventuras. Al crecer, las tres Brontë decidieron crear un libro de poesía en conjunto y, para evitar los prejuicios que existían en esa época sobre las mujeres, adoptaron nombres masculinos. Así, las hermanas Brontë se convirtieron en los hermanos Currer, Ellis y Acton Bell, y aunque los utilizaron indistintamente (!!!!!!!!!!), si publicaron varias de sus obras bajo estos seudónimos. La más reconocida es Emily, la autora de Jane Eyre (como Currer Bell) (!!!!!) y de Cumbres borrascosas (como Ellis Bell). (Translation)
A Brontë mention on this article in naiz (Euskadi, Spain):
Amor y dolor suelen ir unidos. Nos lo han dicho escritores, desde las hermanas Brontë hasta Jacinto Benavente pasando por Bernardo Atxaga. (Iñaki Bernaola) (Translation)
Oubliette Magazine (Italy) interviews Nicola Lagioia:
Irene Gianeselli: Stilisticamente in alcuni casi sembra di leggere un racconto quasi gaddiano, l’immagine è quella di vortici che si assorbono l’uno nell’altro. Come ha costruito la lingua del suo romanzo?
Nicola Lagioia: Non credo sia proprio gaddiana. È solo la mia opinione, ma mi pare segua un altro tipo di complessità. Credo debba più semmai a Fenoglio, a De Roberto, a Faulkner, a Proust, alla Woolf, a Emily Brontë, a certa nervosa e elettrica poesia di inizio Novecento. (Translation)
Anne Todd, a literary daughter of Emily Brontë? No, thanks... In Le Nouvel Observateur (France):
Merci Emily Brontë ?
Désormais, le destin d’«After» est comparé à celui de «Fifty shades of grey», une fanfic là encore, née du « Twilight » de Stephenie Meyer, laquelle on s’en souvient a conquis la terre entière et Hollywood avec une saga façon Belle et son vampire. Mais Anna Todd partage autre chose avec Stephenie Meyer: une admiration indéfectible pour les «Hauts de Hurlevent» d’Emily Brontë. Toutes deux en ont fait le livre de chevet de leur héroïne, Bella pour l’une, Tessa pour l’autre.
Anna Todd a raconté à Eric Loret, de «Libération», qu’elle s’inspire directement de «Whispering (sic) Heights», en utilisant «la même structure de relation amoureuse presque toxique». Au XXIème siècle, Heathcliff aurait donc quitté la lande et les ciels colériques d’Ecosse pour incarner la figure du bad boy contemporain.
En 2009, le succès de « Twilight » avait relancé les ventes des «Hauts de Hurlevent». Il est trop tôt à ce jour pour savoir si «After» aura cette même vertu, mais avec cet hommage au chef d’œuvre d’une recluse du XIXème siècle morte sans avoir vécue, Anna Todd est, quoi qu’on pense de ses bluettes 2.0 écrites avec les pouces, une petite fille naturelle et charmante d’Emily Brontë. (Anne Crignon) (Translation)
Whispering Heights sounds more like a Nicholas Evans exploit, though.

The Birmingham Mail discusses the chances that the new royal baby will be named Charlotte;  Movie Magg reviews Jane Eyre 1944.

by M. ( at May 03, 2015 07:45 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii


Female Sexuality

A new French scholar book with Brontë-related content:
Entre Affirmation et Répression
La Sexualité Féminine d'Aphra Behn aux Soeurs Brontë
Aleksandra Kowalska
Honoré Champion
Collection Dix Huitièmes Siècles (Les)
ISBN 9782745327260
Date 30/03/2015

Situé à la croisée de la littérature, de l’histoire des idées et desétudes sur les femmes, cet ouvrage analyse des représentations de la sexualité féminine – exprimée de façon individuelle mais aussi influencée par des facteurs sociaux et culturels – dans les romans féminins anglais de la fin du XVIIe au milieu du XIXe siècle. La destinée sexuelle de la femme (la séduction, l’amour, le mariage, le viol) constituait alors le sujet romanesque principal et le livre tente de démontrer la continuité des tendances littéraires, en indiquant les liens entre les oeuvres et les romancières des époques différentes.
La typologie des représentations employée ici (affirmation et répression) est naturellement nuancée ; dans chacune des oeuvres si diverses, l’une ou l’autre interviennent pour des raisons et sous formes différentes. L’affirmation ne signifie jamais une sexualité libre de toute contrainte, mais les allusions se multiplient dans les oeuvres dites les plus pudiques et la tension érotique peut y être très palpable… Ainsi tous les écrivains et romans étudiés oscillent, sans cesse, entre l’affirmation et la répression – dynamique intéressante que cet ouvrage se propose d’examiner.

by M. ( at May 03, 2015 01:30 AM

Bathsheba wanted to be Jane

Bustle discusses books to share with your mom, now that Mother's Day is coming. Among them, the upcoming Re Jane by Patricia Park:
Modern retellings of classic novels are a very special reading experience, but what makes the experience even better is if the update works as a standalone novel, regardless of its source text. Enter Re Jane, which loosely interprets Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. In this version, Jane Eyre is Jane Re, a young Korean American woman from Queens who’s recently graduated university with nary a “real” job on the horizon. Enter the Mazer-Farleys, a Clinton Hill-dwelling couple firmly rooted in neo-intelligentsia culture (they’re both women’s lit professors), who take Jane on as the au pair to their adopted Chinese daughter. I live in New York, so I’m a sucker for a culturally accurate representation of the city’s many cliques and cliches — which Re Jane, written by a Queens native, offers in spades — but everyone can appreciate this colorful and endearing story about a young woman navigating the early 2000s. (Caroline Goldstein)
It also discusses books to re-read with you mom:
A year later, I was allowed to write an essay on any book given to us on a very extensive list. Without knowing it, I chose one of the most complicated novels on it — Wuthering Heights. Anticipating that it’d be a literary feat for me, my mom decided to reread it with me, and I definitely appreciated having someone available to unload my feelings on Heathcliff and Catherine’s complicated relationship (not to mention to explain some of the Victorian language).  (Becky Schultz)
Broadway World reviews the Birmingham (Samford University) performances of Jane Eyre. The Musical:
The set is on a turntable and is used more effectively than I have ever seen. It helped to keep the many scene changes, which are actually choreographed beautifully into the show, moving swiftly. Between the movement of the set, the lovely props and the pieces flown over the set, the stage is constantly changing and shifting. It is quite spectacular.
Many times during the musical I had to remind myself that this is not a professional company. Between the outstanding cast, gorgeous set and a real 18 piece orchestra in a real orchestra pit, it is hard not to think of these college students as pros. (Marietta Lunceford)
We agree with some of the comments made by Rosemary Goring in The Herald:
It's a universal problem. Adaptations of Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre or Vanity Fair generally give the impression that road-sweepers worked night and day. The chocolate-box townscapes in Poldark, or Barchester Towers, or Mill On The Floss represent nostalgia for a past that never existed, a Hovis-view of our forebears' lives that for some reason we like to imagine was simpler, and more wholesome and perhaps even a little more enviable than our own.
Of course, novels of the period rarely linger on the squalor, misery or stench of their backdrop. This is understandable since, unless the story was about social justice, those issues were not their focus. But it is also because to Hardy or Eliot or the Brontës there was nothing noteworthy about their environment, which to them was as unremarkable as noxious traffic fumes and the flotsam of polystyrene and tin cans in the gutters are to us. Just because a novelist did not fill in a scene with slop buckets, middens and the disfigured or deformed, however, does not excuse filmmakers for failing to hint at the wider, truer, less attractive picture.
The discussion was, of course, triggered by the new film adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd. Elle interviews main actress Carey Mulligan:
Is there a book you're still hoping to do an adaptation of in the future?
It's funny because so many of the ones I love have been done so successfully. Jane Eyre was one of my favorite books. But I remember seeing Charlotte Gainsbourg's version and loving that, and then Mia [Wasikowska]'s version, which is brilliant with Michael Fassbender. So that's sort of untouchable now in a way. There's been great performances already immortalized. So there's no kind of great novel out there that I'm looking to be involved in. (Emily Zemler)
Beliefnet reviews the film:
It begins in 1870, when Everdene is at first a poor relative living on her aunt’s small farm. She had intended to take on the favorite profession of literary heroines: governess. But “she was far too wild,” nothing like the meek Jane Eyre. She rides straddling her horse, no sidesaddle. (Nell Minow)
The Telegraph & Argus interviews Gary Peacock, General Manager of the Midland Hotel in Bradford, host to some events of the Bradford Literary Festival:
For the festival, this has translated into the Midland becoming the festival hotel which acts not only as the hub for all our writers and artists but also as one of the venues. We are delighted to be holding quite a few events at the Midland this year, everything ranging from Will Self and Professor Akram Khan talking about particle physics to a series of Bronte-themed events culminating in a dinner and quiz hosted by Christa Ackroyd."For the festival, this has translated into the Midland becoming the festival hotel which acts not only as the hub for all our writers and artists but also as one of the venues. We are delighted to be holding quite a few events at the Midland this year, everything ranging from Will Self and Professor Akram Khan talking about particle physics to a series of Brontë-themed events culminating in a dinner and quiz hosted by Christa Ackroyd. (Emma Clayton)
A story of wild dogs in The New York Times' Rites of Passage:
Beth and I met at Hollins College, when she was a 19-year-old junior and I was a 24-year-old creative-writing grad student. We immediately fell in love, sorrowfully parting when she left for a semester abroad, but writing each other letters during our separation (this was 1991) with the avidity of Brontë characters. (Adam Ross)
Also in the New York Times we find this article about the actor Tom Hardy:
His lush-lipped bad-boy looks didn’t hurt him either: A smoldering performance as Heathcliff in ITV’s 2009 “Wuthering Heights” (opposite his future wife, Charlotte Riley, as Cathy) prompted one reviewer to write “The man is sex on fire.” (Cara Buckley)
The Bournemouth Daily Echo presents a new poetry trail at Kingston Lacy:
A POETRY trail has been launched in the gardens of the National Trust's Kingston Lacy mansion.
The trail features some well-known and loved verse, as well as some less well-known, but all on the theme of spring.
Kingston Lacy visitor experience officer Rob Greenhalgh said: "Kingston Lacy is at its best in the spring, starting with the spectacular snowdrop displays in February right through to the daffodils and now the bluebells which are just starting to come out.
"We also have cherry blossoms and displays of rhododendrons and camellias. Since, for centuries, we know that people have been inspired by spring to take up a pen and write, we thought we would bring the two together and maybe inspire another Wordsworth, Hardy or Bronte to create their own tribute to spring."
The Philadelphia Enquirer discusses the recent Baltimore incidents:
Who knew the quaint-sounding phrase - it sounds pulled from a Brontë novel - was an actual legal term? But Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby used it yesterday to describe the second-degree murder charge brought against one of the officers in the death of Freddie Gray.
Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. allegedly acted with a "depraved heart" when he recklessly drove the van that transported Gray, who was not secured with a seatbelt, to the police station after a bogus arrest. As the world now knows, Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury somewhere along the way. (Ronnie Polaneczky)
The Globe and Mail interviews the author Lynn Crosbie who makes a bizarre observation:
Celine Black/Kurt Cobain is both elevated and trapped by his fatal glamour. Is beauty liberation, or tyranny?
Celine (whose name is a genuine homage – I am singing, so to speak, Lead Belly’s song the way that Celine Dion sings [of] Wuthering Heights) is fairly oblivious, as is Evelyn, to their preternatural beauty.
Lindsay Choi of The Daily Californian cannot stand Holden Caulfield:
In fact, Holden Caulfield is so hated among casual readers that, in some ways, it’s kind of hard to understand how the hell “The Catcher in the Rye” became an American classic. After all, most canonized books are fairly well-liked by nonacademic readers, even “Moby Dick” and “Jane Eyre.”
Anna Todd's After in Die Welt (Germany):
Tessa, die, no kiddin', den Nachnamen Young trägt, lernt am ersten Tag im College Hardin Scott kennen, ein Mustermannsbild des Typs tätowierte Schale, weicher Kern. Was zunächst Ecken und Kanten sind, werden bald Lesezeichen, denn der schroffe und unverschämte Frauen- und Maulheld besitzt unwahrscheinlicherweise eine Bibliothek. Der Eingeborene kann lesen. Und dann liest er auch noch Frauenromane, vor allem Jane Austen und die Brontë-Schwestern. (Richard Kämmerlings) (Translation)
Deborah Wynne from the University of Chester posts about her visits to the Brontë Parsonage Museum on Placing the Author; Phonebox Magazine reviews the Northern Ballet's Wuthering Heights performances.

by M. ( at May 03, 2015 12:39 AM

May 02, 2015


Private Autobiography

A couple of new self-published fan-fiction sequels of Jane Eyre written by M. J. Harrison:
Jane Eyre: My Private Autobiography
W.J. Harrison

Jane Eyre at last tells the real story of her life, holding nothing back. From the sadistic torments she endured at Gateshead Hall to her sensual awakening at Lowood School, she reveals the truths that have heretofore been hidden from the world. Though the events of her life have been recounted before, in her "private autobiography" Jane at last reveals the unvarnished story of her life.

"A reimagining of Charlotte Brontë's classic tale, told from a more intimate point of view.
... Harrison mirrors the setting and first-person perspective of Brontë's original in what seems to be an attempt to explore Jane's thoughts and feelings even more deeply ("No lofty allusions to literature or theology will elevate my tale. I will not pause, or edit, or rework my words to seem more pleasing").... The author has certainly absorbed the diction and tone of the period ... Such elevated narration does make for diverting reading.... Well-written and often entertaining...." - Kirkus Reviews
And we have also a sort of spin-off of the aforementioned sequel:
Mary Anne
W.J. Harrison

Leaving behind her best friend Jane Eyre, Mary Anne Wilson runs away from the drab confines of Lowood School to the glittering world of the London stage. There are not many career options for a gently-reared female in early nineteenth century England, and Mary Anne must make her own way in the world after she is cast off by her mother.
But behind the scenes, she finds that life in the theater is not always as it seems. When one of the cast is found brutally murdered, Mary Anne begins to wonder if anyone is really as they appear. The company journeys to the ancient Cornwall mansion of Petroc Trevarron, the wealthy and aristocratic man who is the director of the production. But there Mary Anne finds no answers, only more questions: who is responsible for these ghastly crimes? Could it possibly be Petroc, the enigmatic man she is very much afraid she is falling in love with?

by M. ( at May 02, 2015 01:33 AM

May 01, 2015

The Little Professor

This Week's Acquisitions

  • Thomas Chatteron, The Works of Thomas Chatteron, 3 vols. (AMS, 1969).  Facsimile reprint of the 1806 edition of Chatterton's famous "Rowley" forgeries. (eBay)
  • Alisa Clapp-Itnyre and Julie Melnyk, eds., Perplext in Faith: Essays on Victorian Belief and Culture (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2015).  Collection of essays on literature, culture, and religion, including religion and science, hymnody, gender issues, ritual, etc.  (Amazon [secondhand])

by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at May 01, 2015 06:56 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

Lewis Carroll Society of North America

Alice150 Is Here!!!

Yes, our Alice150 site is LIVE! Everything you need to know about the SequicenTenniel (150th anniversary) celebrations! Conferences, performances, and exhibitions are taking place all over the globe throughout this year, but the key one will be in New York City in October, the last three days of which (Oct. 9-11) coincide with our fall meeting. Check out the amazing programs, and note that even though admission to the LCSNA meetings are free and open to the public, this time REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED due to what we hope will be a major turnout. Do it today!

For those interested in translation, be sure to see the Translation Conference (Oct. 7-8), for which there is a nominal charge. Agenda is here; register on the Alice150 page (Day 1 and 2).

by Mark Burstein at May 01, 2015 05:11 PM


Terrific Novel

Keighley News talks about the upcoming Brontë events at the Bradford Literature Festival (May 15-24):
A Brontë themed weekend will be a highlight of this year’s Bradford Literature Festival.
Boyd Tonkin, former literary editor of The Independent newspaper, will chair Brontë events as well as discussing freedom of speech.
Brontë Society president Bonnie Greer will also take part in the two discussions on May 23 at the Midland Hotel in Bradford.
The first event will explore race and gender in the novels of the Brontës, while the second will look at works that has been inspired by the sisters’ writing. (David Knights)
Also in Keighley News more details about the recent visit of Cerys Matthews to Haworth:
TV presenter Cerys Matthews visited Haworth last week while filming a report for the One Show.
Cerys, a roving cultural reporter for the BBC’s flagship news magazine, dropped into the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
The main subject of the short film will be Anne Brontë and her novel The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall.Museum spokesman Rebecca Yorke said the date of Cerys’s broadcast had not yet been announced.
She said: “Cerys also did some filming at Ponden Hall and she stayed at The Fleece in Main Street.
“It was a lovely coincidence for us that it was Charlotte Brontë’s 199th birthday - it added to the 'buzz' of the day.” (David Knights)
Entertainment Weekly reviews the upcoming novel Re Jane by Patricia Park:
The titular heroine of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre at one point describes herself as “poor, obscure, plain, and little.” In this modern retelling, Jane Re, a honhyol (mixed-race) orphan living in working-class Flushing, Queens, sees herself as those same things. (Except the “little” part—at 5 foot 7, she towers over the Korean-American women around her.) Jane finds an opportunity to jump into a different life when she becomes the au pair to the adopted Chinese child of Beth and Ed, a couple of Brooklyn intellectuals. As a stand-alone coming-of-age novel, Re Jane is snappy and memorable, with its clever narrator and insights on clashing cultures, but the nods to Jane Eyre mostly fall short. This Ed is no Edward Rochester. (Stephan Lee)
Romsey Advertiser reviews the Northern Ballet performances of Wuthering Heights:
Their classic and traditional moves allowed the dancers to depict the accurate time-frame of when the novel was set, but also introduced modern and somewhat more playful techniques to associate more directly with a modern audience. (Lauren Howard)
Laist reviews the Los Angeles performances of Entropy by Bill Robens:
As the only woman on board the Zeus 3, and the first "astronette" sent into space, Phelan's Samantha contends with the casual sexism of her colleagues, but establishes a meaningful bond with the unregenerate cad Scott, played by Williams, when their end seems near. It cracked us up, too, when the lights came up at one point on Samantha reading Wuthering Heights aloud to the surprisingly sensitive Sputnik robo-satellite. Throw all that in with super-slick set changes and you’ve got a very entertaining evening lined up.
Carey Mulligan is interviewed by Variety:
Far From the Madding Crowd” was required reading in many high schools; when did you first read it?
I didn’t read it at my school, but a lot of people I know did. We did “Wuthering Heights” and “Jane Eyre.” (Jenelle Riley)
The Daily Express recalls the (not very good) opinion that Orson Welles had of Joan Fontaine:
He also deeply disliked "mousey" Joan Fontaine, his British-born co-star in the film Jane Eyre. "She's just a plain old bad actor. She's got two expressions and that's it. (Robert Gore-Langton)
Female First lists several book to screen period novel adaptations:
Jane Eyre is one of my favourite books of all time and it has been adapted for big and small screen many times. Jane Eye is Charlotte Brontë's best-known novel and saw her create one of literature's greatest heroines.
In 2011, Jane Eyre was adapted for the big screen again with Cary Fukunaga, Moira Buffini on writing duties, and Mia Wasikowska & Michael Fassbender cast as Jane Eyre, and Edward Rochester.
First and foremost, it was just perfect casting - Wasikowska is closer to the age of Jane in the book and was able to capture the strength, innocence, and vulnerability of this character perfectly. Fassbender is my favourite depiction of Rochester so far - an intense and flawed man who dominates every scene that he is in.
While Jane Eyre is a story that has been told more times than I care to count, there is something bold, fresh and modern about this adaptation. The fast-paced script and the sweeping cinematography breaths new live into this great tale.
Fukunaga has also told this story in a non-linear manner, which not only makes this feel like a new story, but it also allows the director to put his own stamp on Jane Eyre and the characters. It is one of the best adaptations of this terrific novel that I have seen and is a must for all fans of the book. (Helen Earnshaw)
The New York Post has some wedding dress recommendations:
For the “Downton Abbey” leading lady, we suggest Luisa Beccaria’s prim long sleeves, delicate embroidery and “Wuthering Heights” hairdo. Her p.r. director fiancé, John Dineen — who we shall call Heathcliff — should be quite pleased. (Timothy Mitchell)
The Stir discusses the possible name of the new baby of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge:
Charlotte is definitely a beautiful name -- classy, old-fashioned, and yet has a modern edge. It's also the name of my favorite author, Charlotte Brontë, so you really can't go wrong. (Kiri Blakeley)
Tucson Weekly spend a day in Bisbee, AZ:
 The notorious Miners and Merchants Antique Center, also known as Floyd's store—in honor of the owner of more than 15 years, Floyd Lillard—is a three-story gem you're going to want to tackle. Be warned, it'll take at least a couple of hours to take it all in, but it's worth it. (...)
Lillard has also gathered a pretty decent collection of books—Oscar Wilde, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Charlotte Brontë, and my personal favorite, Gabriel García Márquez, are among some of the authors. (Maria Ines Taracena)
La Depeche (France) interviews the author Lydie Salvayre:
J'ai d'ailleurs écrit un texte là dessus, qui s'appelle «Sept femmes» (ndlr : Emily Brontë, Marina Tsvetaeva, Virginia Woolf, Colette, Sylvia Plath, Ingeborg Bachmann, Djuna Barnes) où je parle notamment de Virginia Woolf. Emily Brontë, elle, prenait le droit de lire le journal. A son époque, dans les années 1800, lire un journal pour une jeune fille était une grossièreté, quelque chose «d'inconvenant» ! Emily Brontë a écrit un livre très sulfureux, «Les Hauts de Hurlevent» (Dominique Delpiroux) (Translation)
Blogo Donna talks about dogs and women writers:
Emily Brontë (1818-1848), oltre al fido irish terrier Grasper, viveva con un meticcio dal cattivo carattere di nome Keeper. Che la scrittrice abbia preso ispirazione dal suo temperamento per i personaggi di Cime tempestose? (Roberto Russo) (Translation)
The Ilkley Gazette reports that the current Tour de Yorkshire will indeed pass  through Haworth (on May 3). Much Madness is Divinest Sense reviews the annotated Wuthering Heights as edited by Janet Gezari.

by M. ( at May 01, 2015 03:36 PM

Jane Eyre in Alabama

In Birmingham, Alabama:
Samford theatre department presents
Jane Eyre. The Musical
Paul Gordon & John Caird
April 30-May 2 in Harrison Theatre as part of the Michael J. and Mary Anne Freeman Theatre and Dance Series.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday
Samford University adds:
The production stars senior musical theatre major Carin Lagerberg as the titular lead and junior musical theatre major J.D. Myers as Edward Fairfax Rochester. The musical will also feature performances by Corey Wagoner, Abi Benke, Elise Leveille, Kyle Pierce and Elizabeth McGuire.
“This production not only meets some of the strengths of our program but was also one of suggestions made by last year’s student selection committee,” said theatre faculty member J. Clayton Winters, the director and choreographer of the production. “It is a newer work with pop stylings and a classical musical approach as well as having many strong female rolls and a solid academic appeal."
“The classic story and its ties to a great work of literature is a definite draw for many. For those unfamiliar with the story they will certainly be gripped by the great love story, the wonderful music and costuming, and the inventive staging utilized to tell the story.”  (Philip Poole)

by M. ( at May 01, 2015 01:35 AM

Heathcliff's decorum and charm

Keighley News has the latest news concerning the Brontë movie.
The producers of a major new film about the Bronte family say they soon hope to make further progress on casting actors for the key remaining roles.
The film, called The Brontës, is being made by Yorkshire-based Clothworkers Films, and is due to be released in April next year.
Actors’ roles are being chosen by casting director Sarah Leung.
One of the actors announced so far is Matthew Lewis, who will play Branwell Brontë. Mr Lewis is well known for playing the part of Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films.
Director David Anthony Thomas said he was expecting the rest of the selection process to be complete “within the next few months".
“A lot depends on the dynamics and interplay between the Brontës, both as family members and as chief protagonists, so that's where we've been focusing so far,” he said.
“The cast will be announced upon the completion of the casting process.
“The level of interest and anticipation has far surpassed our expectations, and it's unusual for a project at an early stage of development to achieve this level of excitement.
“It is very encouraging, and we look forward to building on this as we release more news over the coming months. We will be sharing our work with the thousands who've been following our progress so far.” (Miran Rahman)
We are certainly looking forward to it!

Jane Eyre 2011 makes it onto FemaleFirst's 'Top 5 Period Novel Adaptations'.
Jane Eyre is one of my favourite books of all time and it has been adapted for big and small screen many times. Jane Eyre is Charlotte Brontë's best-known novel and saw her create one of literature's greatest heroines.
In 2011, Jane Eyre was adapted for the big screen again with Cary Fukunaga, Moira Buffini on writing duties, and Mia Wasikowska & Michael Fassbender cast as Jane Eyre, and Edward Rochester.
First and foremost, it was just perfect casting - Wasikowska is closer to the age of Jane in the book and was able to capture the strength, innocence, and vulnerability of this character perfectly. Fassbender is my favourite depiction of Rochester so far - an intense and flawed man who dominates every scene that he is in.
While Jane Eyre is a story that has been told more times than I care to count, there is something bold, fresh and modern about this adaptation. The fast-paced script and the sweeping cinematography breaths new live into this great tale.
Fukunaga has also told this story in a non-linear manner, which not only makes this feel like a new story, but it also allows the director to put his own stamp on Jane Eyre and the characters. It is one of the best adaptations of this terrific novel that I have seen and is a must for all fans of the book. (Helen Earnshaw)
Flavorwire also brings up the film when discussing the screen adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd.
So why is Vinterberg’s Far From the Madding crowd frustratingly mediocre?
I think it’s because there’s a widespread misapprehension, both in Hollywood and among those of us who consume its products, that it’s nigh on impossible to make an exciting film adaptation of a classic novel. Apparently classic novels, particularly classic 19th-century novels, are boring to today’s audiences. The society they describe looks remarkably different from our own (if only at first glance), and even farther from contemporary pop culture. Everyone speaks formally and wears a corset, and sex is referred to in only the most elliptical fashion. This leaves screenwriters and directors with two options: they can expand inventively on what’s universally appealing in the book they’re adapting (as Cary Fukunaga recently did in his haunting Jane Eyre, or even as Amy Heckerling did with Clueless), or they can make a movie designed to please people who particularly enjoy corsets, chaste love stories, and stilted language. (Judy Berman)
The Advocate reviews the Louisiana State University production of The Book Club Play in which
Jen (Maggie McGurn) is another longtime club member, a bundle of aching loneliness who searches in vain for her Heathcliff, the romantic hero of “Wuthering Heights.(George Morris)
The Washington Times reviews the book American Vandal: Mark Twain Abroad by Roy Morris, Jr.
If there has ever been a writer whose works speak for themselves — and for him — it is Mark Twain, and nowhere in his oeuvre is that as apparent as in his prodigious travel writings. Critics and fans can dispute whether “Tom Sawyer” or “Huckleberry Finn” is his magnum opus, but his literary fame certainly rests with those twin giants of American fiction. Which of them one prefers in the end comes down to personal taste, as is the case with those twin pillars of the 19th century English novel, “Jane Eyre” and “Wuthering Heights.” Of course, they were written by sisters Charlotte and Emily Brontë, while Twain managed to produce both of his seminal works by himself. (Martin Rubin)

A Hartford Courant columnist writes about her 'allergic reaction' to modern buzzwords.
But when my students write, "Jane Eyre vocalized her inner emotions to Mr. Rochester" I underline "vocalized" as well as "inner emotions" and insist they write something more text-specific, precise and informative. "What do you mean and why is it important?" is what I usually ask.
By the third rewrite, they usually know what they mean and they know how to say it.
I've learned, after 28 years of teaching, that "vocalize," like "relatable," is a dodge: It is an intellectual sleight of hand. If a student defines a character as "relatable," I ask: Does that mean he's sympathetic, intriguing, recognizable, emotionally complex, cliched, seductive, likable, familiar, accessible or perspicuous? If my student says, "Yeah, that's right — relatable" I know she hasn't done any of the reading. (Gina Barreca)
Someone in the Daily Mail should pick up a copy of Wuthering Heights:
It's a stark contrast to the way children interact with their schoolyard friends today, but it's nothing compared to Robinson's advice on how top treat women in a system that produced men with the kind of decorum and charm that most of us thought only existed in a Brontë novel. (James Dunn)
Heathcliff--that paradigm of 'decorum and charm'.

Librópatas (Spain) has an extensive post on Charlotte Brontë's letters to Monsieur Heger. Quadrapheme posts about sex in Brontë and Faulkner. Pop! Goes the Reader posts a wallpaper inspired by a Jane Eyre quote. Parabola publishes the story The Fallen Angel by Betsy Cornwell which includes several Jane Eyre references.

by Cristina ( at May 01, 2015 01:27 AM

IBAR and Europeans

A couple of symposiums beginning today, April 30th, have Brontë connections:
Institute of Black Atlantic Research in association with the Brontë Parsonage Museum Haworth Present

Lost Children: The Black Atlantic and Northern Britain 

An Interdisciplinary Symposium April 30-May 1 (University of Central Lancashire, Preston)

IBAR is proud to announce that it will host a symposium to tie in with the launch of Caryl Phillips new novel The Lost Child, a prequel to Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1847). It will echo the historical context and themes of the work discussing black presences across generations in the North from the 1770s to the present. It will be an interdisciplinary symposium which will bring together historians, visual artists, cultural critics and writers. It will discuss The Lost Child in its widest Black Atlantic and Northern British context and highlight links and contexts that enable a variety of other writers and artists including the Brontës to be discussed. This will create dynamic new interpretations of British culture in this rarely heard context of the North and the Black Atlantic. It will include two readings from Caryl Phillips at UCLAN and at the Brontë Parsonage Museum Haworth. The symposium will spend the second afternoon in Haworth and there will be an opportunity to explore Brontë Country with a guided tour from our own Victorian expert Dr. Theresa Saxon.
Our two keynote presenters are Dr. Jessica Moody (University of Portsmouth) an expert on Liverpool and its memory of slavery and Dr. Fionnghuala Sweeney (Newcastle University) an expert on Ireland, Britain and the Black Atlantic.
Visual Artists presenting their work include IBAR’s own Professor Lubaina Himid,
Manchester-based Kooj (Kuljit) Chuhan and Scarborough-born Jade Montserrat.
New York film-maker Sikay Tang will present her film Toby’s Paradise about the sojourn from Liverpool to Shanghai of a Nigerian-born sailor.
Joe Williams (Heritage Corner, Leeds) will perform his solo play, The Fishes of Isis, an insightful portrait of Pablo Fanque, the British-born Victorian circus owner of African origin.  (!).

Other contributors include:
Professor Bénédicte Ledent (University of Liège)
Professor Evelyn O’Callaghan (University of the West Indies)
Professor John McLeod (University of Leeds)
Professor Brian Ward (University of Northumbria)
For the full programme click here 
The Brontë-related events will take place tomorrow, May 1st:
12.20 – 1.20 Visual Arts Panel
Lubaina Himid, UCLan: 'The Memory of Slavery in Northern England – A Visual Map.'
Jade Montserrat, Artist, Scarborough and London: 'Burial, the Brontës and Lost Children, a text and film performance.'
1.20– 2.10 Lunch
2.15 – 3.30 Coaches to Haworth
3.30 – 6.30 Tours in Haworth including sandwich supper
7.00 – 8.30 Reading from The Lost Child from Caryl Phillips, followed by Q & A with Professor Alan Rice (UCLan).
Additional information in The Telegraph & Argus.

And a bit far from Lancashire and Haworth we find another conference:
46th Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) 2015 Convention
Toronto, Canada
April 30-May 3, 2015
Includes the panel (Saturday May 2, 04:45-06:15)
Charlotte Brontë and Europe: Images of Europeans in Her Juvenilia and Novels
Chair: Judith Pike, Salisbury University
Location: Palliser Suite (Media Equipped)
British & Women's and Gender Studies

"Ireland in Charlotte Brontë’s Villette" Julie Donovan, George Washington University
"Frenchness, Irishness, and the Narrative Potential for Representing Female Desire in Charlotte Brontë" Elaine Andrews, Pennsylvania State University
"From French Silk to Moroccan Sandals: Rendering Costumes for Charlotte Brontë’s Early Writings" Leslie Yarmo, Salisbury University
"‘How English is Miss Snowe’? Pink Frocks and a French Clock in Jane Eyre and Villette" Judith Pike, Salisbury University (Source)

by M. ( at May 01, 2015 01:20 AM

April 30, 2015

Regency Ramble

Guest Author ~ Susana Ellis

For the very first time, Regency Ramble is welcoming a guest author, Susana Ellis. Since we are in the run up to the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, Susana has chosen to tell us about an anthology she is involved in celebrating that momentous battle.

Ann:  Welcome Susana, thank you for joining us today. Please tell us about the idea behind the anthology Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles: A Celebration of Waterloo.

Thank you, I am delighted to be here.  The anthology was born out of our love of all things Regency, and it is a rare occurrence to be able to celebrate such a landmark event as the Battle of Waterloo.  The bicentenary of the seemed like an excellent opportunity to use as a setting for a story, and before I knew it, I had eight other authors eager to join me, and to make a long story short, on April 1, 2015 our Waterloo-themed anthology was released to the world.

Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles:
A Celebration of Waterloo

June 18, 1815 was the day Napoleon Bonaparte's Grande Armée was definitively routed by the ragtag band of soldiers from the Duke of Wellington's Allied Army in a little Belgian town called Waterloo. The cost in men's lives was high—22,000 dead or wounded for the Allied Army and 24,000 for the French. But the war with Napoleon that had dragged on for a dozen years was over for good, and the British people once more felt secure on their island shores.

 As part of the celebration we are giving away one Beaux, Ballrooms,
and Battles mug to one random commenter on this blog

Ann: Wellington is a well-known figure in history. What did you learn about him as you and your fellow authors undertook your research for the Anthology

Wellington is a fascinating subject. Here are a few insights into the man:
  • Arthur Wellesley was the third of five surviving sons of the 1st Earl of Mornington and his wife Anne, eldest daughter of 1st Viscount Dungannon. He was born in Dublin and spent most of his early life in Ireland. An earlier form of the surname is Wesley.
  • He studied at Eton, but didn’t do well and hated it. His mother was concerned about his idleness and commented, "I don’t know what I shall do with my awkward son Arthur." Lack of funds after his father’s death prompted his mother to move to Brussels. A year later, Arthur enrolled in the French Royal Academy of Equitation, where he apparently found his niche, becoming an excellent horseman and proficient in French, which proved to be very useful in his later life.
  • Attracted by the "gaiety and charm" of the young Kitty Pakenham, daughter of the 2nd Baron Longford, he requested her hand in marriage, but as a younger son with no prospects, her brother refused to allow it. Wellesley was infuriated and burned his violins.
  • As a young man, Wellesley served in various military positions in Ireland, including aide-de-camp to two successive Lords Lieutenant of Ireland. He was also a Member of Parliament for two years in the House of Commons.
  • Prior to the Peninsular War, he served in The Netherlands, India and Denmark.
  • Returning from India as a wealthy major-general, Wellesley renewed his offer of marriage to Kitty Pakenham and was accepted. Unfortunately, the marriage was not a success. They had both changed greatly in thirteen years and were not well-suited to each other. It didn’t help that they spent most of their married life and had separate bedchambers even while living together.
  • Wellesley was not created a duke until after the Peninsular War. His titles were: Baron Douro of Wellesley, 26 August 1809, Viscount Wellington of Talavera, and of Wellington, 26 August 1809, Earl of Wellington, 28 February 1812, Marquess of Wellington, 28 February 1812, and Duke of Wellington, 18 August 1812.
  • His lean figure and meticulous appearance, as well as his military triumphs, made him a popular figure
    in Britain. Unfortunately, he was not so popular as Prime Minister. In April and October of 1831, his windows at Apsley House were smashed by a mob of demonstrators over his rejection of the Reform Bill. In 1832 he had iron shutters installed to prevent further damage, thus reinforcing the nickname "Iron Duke," which originated from his unwavering political resolve.
  • His officers called him "The Beau," referring to his reputation as a fine dresser, and "The Peer" following his elevation to Viscount.
  • Spanish troops called him "The Eagle" and the Portuguese troops called him "Douro" after the treacherous river crossing at Oporto in 1809.
  • A colonel of the Coldstream Guards called him "Beau Douro," which Wellesley found amusing.
  • Napoleon referred to him as "Sepoy General", a disparaging term referring to his service in India.
  • He always rose early and disparaged the creature comforts, sleeping in a camp bed for the rest of his life (on display at Walmer Castle).
  • While on campaign, he dined on cold meat and bread, although demanded only the best wine, of which he drank prodigiously.
  • He did enjoy attending balls and parties and hosted many in Brussels while assembling his troops for the final confrontation with Napoleon.
  • He rarely showed emotion and was often condescending to those beneath him in competence or status (which was pretty much everyone). But he cried in the aftermath of the siege of Badajoz at the loss of lives, and grieved privately at the loss of life following Waterloo. After hearing of Napoleon’s abdication following the Battle of Toulouse, Wellington reportedly broke into a flamenco dance, spinning around on his heels and clicking his fingers. After many broke ranks at Vitoria, he called his troops "the scum of the earth," but later he amended that
  • As quoted in A History of Warfare (1968) by Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein: "Sir Winston Churchill once told me of a reply made by the Duke of Wellington, in his last years, when a friend asked him: "If you had your life over again, is there any way in which you could have done better?" The old Duke replied: "Yes, I should have given more praise."
  • In 2002 he was placed as 15th out of 100 Greatest Britons in a BBC poll
Ann: Can you tell us more about the stories in the anthology, please.

I would be delighted. These are the titles and authors with a brief description.  At the end you will find an excerpt from my story with a link to our web and facebook pages for more information.

Jillian Chantal: Jeremiah’s Charge
Emmaline Rothesay has her eye on Jeremiah Denby as a potential suitor. When Captain Denby experiences a life-altering incident during the course of events surrounding the Battle of Waterloo, it throws a damper on Emmaline’s plans.

Téa Cooper: The Caper Merchant
The moon in Gemini is a fertile field of dreams, ideas and adventure and Pandora Wellingham is more than ready to spread her wings. When Monsieur Cagneaux, caper merchant to the rich and famous, introduces her to the handsome dragoon she believes her stars have aligned.

Susana Ellis: Lost and Found Lady
Catalina and Rupert fell in love in Spain in the aftermath of a battle, only to be separated by circumstances. Years later, they find each other again, just as another battle is brewing, but is it too late?

Aileen Fish: Captain Lumley’s Angel
Charged with the duty of keeping his friend’s widow safe, Captain Sam Lumley watches over Ellen Staverton as she recovers from her loss, growing fonder of her as each month passes. When Ellen takes a position as a companion, Sam must confront his feelings before she’s completely gone from his life.

Victoria Hinshaw: Folie Bleue
On the night of the 30th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, Aimée, Lady Prescott, reminisces about meeting her husband in Bruxelles on the eve of the fighting. She had avoided the dashing scarlet-clad British officers, but she could not resist the tempting smile and spellbinding charm of Captain Robert Prescott of the 16th Light Dragoons who— dangerously to Aimée— wore blue.

Heather King: Copenhagen’s Last Charge
When Meg Lacy finds herself riding through the streets of Brussels only hours after the Battle of Waterloo, romance is the last thing on her mind, especially with surly Lieutenant James Cooper. However, their bickering uncovers a strange empathy – until, that is, the lieutenant makes a grave error of judgment that jeopardizes their budding friendship...

Christa Paige: One Last Kiss
The moment Colin held Beatrice in his arms he wanted one last kiss to take with him into battle and an uncertain future. Despite the threat of a soldier’s death, he must survive, for he promises to return to her because one kiss from Beatrice would never be enough.

Sophia Strathmore: A Soldier Lay Dying
Amelia and Anne Evans find themselves orphaned when their father, General Evans, dies. With no other options available, Amelia accepts the deathbed proposal of Oliver Brighton, Earl of Montford, a long time family friend. When Lord Montford recovers from his battle wounds, can the two find lasting love?

David W. Wilkin: Not a Close Run Thing at All
Years, a decade. And now, Robert had come back into her life. Shortly before battle was to bring together more than three hundred thousand soldiers. They had but moments after all those years, and now, would they have any more after?

Ann, Would you be willing to tell us a bit more about your story, Susana?
Yes indeed.

Lost and Found Lady - Susana Ellis
On April 24, 1794, a girl child was born to an unknown Frenchwoman in a convent in Salamanca, Spain. Alas, her mother died in childbirth, and the little girl—Catalina—was given to a childless couple to raise.

Eighteen years later…the Peninsular War between the British and the French wages on, now perilously near Catalina’s home. After an afternoon yearning for adventure in her life, Catalina comes across a wounded British soldier in need of rescue. Voilà! An adventure! The sparks between them ignite, and before he returns to his post, Rupert promises to return for her.

But will he? Catalina’s grandmother warns her that some men make promises easily, but fail to carry them out. Catalina doesn’t believe Rupert is that sort, but what does she know? All she can do is wait…and pray.

But Fate has a few surprises in store for both Catalina and Rupert. When they meet again, it will be in another place where another battle is brewing, and their circumstances have been considerably altered. Will their love stand the test of time? And how will their lives be affected by the outcome of the conflict between the Iron Duke and the Emperor of the French?

Excerpt from Susana Ellis: Lost and Found Lady

September 14, 1793
A beach near Dieppe, France

"I don’t like the look of those clouds, monsieur," Tobias McIntosh said in fluent French to the gray-bearded old man in a sailor hat waiting impatiently near the rowboat that was beginning to bob more sharply with each swell of the waves. "Are you sure your vessel can make it safely all the way to Newhaven in these choppy seas?"
The old man waved a hand over the horizon. "La tempête, it is not a threat, if we leave immédiatement. Plus tard…" He shrugged. "Je ne sais pas."
"Please, mon amour," pleaded the small woman wrapped in a hooded gray cloak standing at his side. "Allow me to stay with you. I don’t want to go to England. I promise I will be prudent."
A strong gust of wind caught her hood and forced it down, revealing her mop of shiny dark locks. Tobias felt like seizing her hand and pulling her away from the ominous waves to a place of safety where she and their unborn child could stay until the senseless Terreur was over.
"Justine, ma chère, we have discussed this endlessly. There is no place in France safe enough for you if your identity as the daughter of the Comte d’Audet is discovered." He shivered. "I could not bear it if you were to suffer the same fate at the hands of the revolutionaries as your parents did when I failed to save them."
She threw her arms around him, the top of her head barely reaching his chin. "Non, mon amour, it was not your fault. You could not have saved them. It was miraculeux that you saved me. I should have died with them."
She looked up to catch his gaze, her face ashen. "Instead, we met and have had three merveilleux months together. If it is my time to die, I wish to die at your side."
Tobias felt like his heart was going to break. His very soul demanded that the two of them remain together and yet… there was a price on both their heads, and the family of the Vicomte Lefebre was waiting for him in Amiens, the revolutionaries expected to reach them before midday. It was a dangerous work he was involved in—rescuing imperiled French nobility from bloodthirsty, vengeful mobs—but he had pledged himself to the cause and honor demanded that he carry on. And besides, there was now someone else to consider.
"The child," he said with more firmness than he felt. "We have our child to consider, now, Justine ma chère. The next Earl of Dumfries. He must live to grow up and make his way in the world."
Not to mention the fact that Tobias was human enough to wish to leave a child to mark his legacy in the world—his and Justine’s. He felt a heaviness in his heart that he might not live long enough to know this child he and Justine had created together. He could not allow his personal wishes to undermine his conviction. Justine and the child must survive.
Justine’s blue eyes filled with tears. "But I cannot! I will die without you, mon cher mari. You cannot ask it of me!"
"Justine," he said, pushing away from her to clasp her shoulders and look her directly in the eye. "You are a brave woman, the strongest I have ever known. You have survived many hardships and you can survive this. Take this letter to my brother in London, and he will see to your safety until the time comes that I can join you. My comrades in Newhaven will see that you are properly escorted."
He handed over a letter and a bag of coins. "This should be enough to get you to London."
After she had reluctantly accepted and pocketed the items beneath her cloak, he squeezed her hands.
"Be sure to eat well, ma chère. You are so thin and my son must be born healthy."
She gave him a feigned smile. "Our daughter is the one responsible for my sickness in the mornings… I do not believe she wishes me to even look at food."
She looked apprehensively at the increasingly angry waves as they tossed the small boat moored rather loosely to a rock on the shore and her hands impulsively went to her stomach.
"Make haste, monsieur," the old sailor called as he peered anxiously at the darkening clouds. "We must depart now if we are to escape the storm. Bid your chère-amie adieu maintenant or wait for another day. I must return to the bateau."
"Tobias," she said, her voice shaking.
He wondered if he would ever again hear her say his name with that adorable French inflection that had drawn him from their first meeting.
"Go, Justine. Go to my family and keep our child safe. I promise I will join you soon."
He scooped her up in his arms and carried her toward the dinghy, trying to ignore her tears. The old sailor held the boat as still as he could while Tobias placed her on the seat and kissed her hard before striding back to the shore, each footstep heavier than the last.
He studied the darkening sky as the sailor climbed in the boat. "You are sure it is safe?"
"La Chasseresse, she is très robuste. A few waves will not topple her, monsieur."
"Je t’aime, mon amour," she said to him plaintively, her chin trembling.
"Au revoir, ma chère," he said, trying to smile, although his vision was blurring from tears.
Will I ever see her again?
He stood watching as the dinghy made its way slowly through the choppy sea to the larger ship anchored in the distance, grief-stricken and unable to concentrate on anything but his pain. When the ship finally sailed off into the horizon, he fell to his knees and prayed as he had never done before for the safety of his beloved. He remained in that position until drops of rain on his face reminded him of the Lefebre family waiting for him in Amiens.
With a deep breath, he rose and made his way to the nearby forest, where his horse waited, tied to a tree.
"Come, my friend. We have a long, wet journey ahead of us."
Setting foot in the stirrup, he swung his leg over the saddle and urged the horse to a gallop, feeling his heart rip into pieces with every step away from his beloved.
About the Author

Susana has always had stories in her head waiting to come out, especially when she learned to read and her imagination began to soar. Voracious reading led to a passion for writing, and her fascination with romance and people of the past landed her firmly in the field of historical romance.

A teacher in her former life, Susana lives in Toledo, Ohio in the summer and central Florida in the winter. She is a member of the Central Florida Romance Writers and the Beau Monde chapters of RWA and Maumee Valley Romance Inc.

You are all invited to visit our Website and Facebook Page

    by Ann Lethbridge ( at April 30, 2015 03:00 PM


    Jane Eyre, Anne Elliot and the Queen of Spain

    Writer Rebecca Kelley has penned an article on love stories for Bustle.
    Is a love story ever just a love story, though? Take Jane Eyre. After growing up in an orphanage, she sets off to work as a governess at Thornfield, run by the grim and mysterious Mr. Rochester. With an unwavering spirit, she endures hardships and heartaches. Like most great romantic heroines, she faces almost all of her troubles alone. Romantic happiness eludes her until the final pages. If Jane Eyre is not a tale of “solitary self-discovery,” I don’t know what is. It’s difficult to think of a love story that isn’t about self-discovery, or that doesn’t touch on other, wider-reaching issues that say a lot about the culture the character lives in at the time.
    I decided that Malcolm and Joanna did want to be more than FWB, but they didn’t want to admit it — to each other, or to themselves. Joanna saw her own parents’ marriage crumble, and she knows the statistics: half of marriages end in divorce. She knows she doesn’t want to lose Malcolm, and she knows how relationships work. Couples are happy for a while, commit to each other, maybe get married, and then they grow apart. They get divorced. Joanna won’t let that happen to her and Malcolm. But she still wants to sleep with him. Friends with benefits, she decides, is the obvious solution to all of these problems.
    I don’t remember Elizabeth Bennet or Jane Eyre having quite the same dilemmas, but that’s why I think love stories are so important. Love stories — the ones in which love is the central theme, the main plot line — are capable of saying things about who we are, the way we live today. 
    This columnist from Times Union is a fan of Jane Eyre:
    3. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë. Like any other mean-spirited gossip with a taste for brilliant sentences, I enjoy the hell out of Austen, but Brontë has my heart. There aren’t many books you can love at 14 and again at 25 and again at 40, and each time anew, not out of nostalgia. (Holly Loth)
    Jane Eyre is apparently one of the standard books used for 'bibliotherapy' in order to treat mild to moderatecases of depression, at least according to Body and Soul.

    Librópatas (Spain) lists 7 reasons why you should read Jane Austen's Persuasion and the main character of the book, Anne Elliot, is described as similar to Jane Eyre in looking plain. And also in Spain, El Mundo describes the Queen's new look as Jane Eyre-looking too.
    Pero mi gozo quedó en el proverbial pozo al ver las variaciones que hacía SM con su 'bob', sobre todo cuando se lo alisaba detrás de las orejas a lo Jane Eyre en su momento de mayor desesperación después de huir de Rochester. Peor aún, con la ayuda de lo que mi abuela llamaba un 'postiche' habían vuelto a fabricarse un nido de gorriones escandinavos a lo heroína de Strindberg. (Carlos García-Calvo) (Translation)
    A new literary family in the Lancashire Evening Post.
    Michael said: “There’s three of us that write in this house, and with my son’s degree in robotics and mechanics, it’s very likely that he’ll have to do some technical writing in the future.
    “We’ve joked that we’re the Brontës of Penwortham!”
    Booksblog (Italy) looks at writers' dogs, including the Brontës'. So Many Books, So  Little Time reviews Wuthering Heights.

    by Cristina ( at April 30, 2015 12:07 AM

    Women and Literature

    A workshop in Pamplona, Spain with some Brontës:
    Taller - Literatura y Mujeres - Civivox CondestableApril 29, May 13, May 27, June 24

    Civivox Condestable
    19:00 h. to 21:00 h.
    Organized by Área de Educación y Cultura - Cultura del Ayuntamiento de Pamplona

    Taller sobre literatura y mujeres que se centrará en conocer la tradición literaria femenina, sus temas y el diálogo que las escritoras establecieron con la cultura dominante en cada época.
    El programa incluye: "Frankenstein" de Mary Shelley, "Cumbres borrascosas" de Emily Brontë, "Jane Eyre" de Charlotte Brontë y "El Molino de Floss" de George Eliot.
    More information on Diario de Navarra.

    by M. ( at April 30, 2015 12:01 AM

    April 29, 2015


    Dressing as Jane

    First of all, an alert for later today, as seen in Todmorden News.
    On April 28, Steve Woods will speak on ‘The History of Wuthering Heights’. The meeting commences at 7.30pm and is held at Todmorden Town Hall. All are welcome.
    And the Ilkley Gazette looks at the many events that will make up Bradford’s first literature festival (May 15-24) such as
    The district’s literary heritage is explored in Brontë-themed events - including a discussion of race and gender in their writing and a Brontë quiz - and a panel examining the lasting impact of JB Priestley’s writing.
    Daily Xtra shares what's to be learned from Anne Lister's diary .
    And what if the conditions that made such life possible — a woman of independent means gets just the right kind of education and experience that allows for the articulation of the unashamed “fairer-sex” desire and its satisfaction — produced more than just one case? How many other diaries by other heiresses might have existed? This is the era when Jane Austen is publishing her books, and the Brontës are just round the corner — but just how much are we still in the dark about the love practises of the times? (Lydia Perovic)
    Finals are approaching and The Huffington Post lists 'Eleven Ways to Be a Bit Less Bad at Revision':
    I wore themed outfits to my A-level examinations: dressing as Jane Eyre for my English exam, and as a cowboy for American History. (Eve Delaney)
    HitFix has selected '10 awesome feminist comedy sketches'. the first of which is
    1. Carol Burnett is "movie star crazy"One of the enduring treats of "The Carol Burnett Show" is the feminist undertones in many of her sketches. The fact that she's so outlandish and having so much fun is a triumph in itself, but in this sketch, we watch as a tabloid-obsessed wife is chastised by her husband for caring too much about Warren Beatty, Rod Steiger, and other Hollywood icons. How does she handle such criticism? By announcing -- through her favorite movie quotes, including "Mr. Skeffington" and "Wuthering Heights" -- that her boorish husband is too weak to handle her. Very "Born Yesterday," this sketch. (Louis Virtel)
    The Brontë Parsonage website announces that they are looking for women named Charlotte born on April 21.
    Many visitors to the Museum tell us that they are named after one of the Brontë sisters, so we thought it would be fitting to celebrate Charlotte Brontë's bicentenary next year with women and girls who share her name and her birthday.
    Charlottes with a birthday on or around 21 April are invited to contact us at
    Not called Charlotte but want to stay in touch with the project? Follow @BronteParsonage #seekingcharlotte on twitter -we'll keep you posted.

    by Cristina ( at April 29, 2015 11:54 PM

    Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

    The Cat's Meat Shop

    More Teenage Nights

    The price of admission is twopence or fourpence ... we paid fourpence. On receiving our tickets we went into the lower part of the room, and the sight which then presented itself baffles description. The performance had commenced; and what with the "mouthings" of the performers, the vociferous shouts, the maledictions, and want of sufficient light, and the smoke from about one hundred tobacco pipes, the effect was quite bewildering for a few minutes. The room is of an oblong form, about 30 yards by 10, and capable of holding, with the galleries, from 800 to 1,000 persons. One end is fitted up as a stage. The bar, where the liquors are served out, is placed in the middle. The place between the bar and the stage is appropriated to juveniles, or boys and girls from ten to fourteen years of age. Of them there were not less than one hundred; they were by far the noisiest portion of the audience, and many of the boys were drinking and smoking. The compartment behind the bar appears to be fitted up for the "respectables", the seats being more commodious. Leaving this lower part of the room ,we had to proceed up a dark staircase (some parts being almost impassable owing to the crowd of boys and girls), to the lower gallery which extends round three parts of the room. This gallery was occupied by the young of both sexes, from fourteen years and upwards. To reach the top gallery, we have to mount some more crazy stairs. This gallery is composed of two short side sittings and four boxes in the front. The occupants of these boxes are totally secluded from the eyes of the audience. They were occupied by boys and girls. From this gallery we had a good view of all that was passing in the room. There could not be less than 700 individuals present, and about one seventh of them females. The pieces performed encourage resistance to parental control, and were full of gross innuendoes, "double entendres", heavy cursing, emphatic swearing, and incitement to illicit passion. Three fourths of the songs were wanton and immoral, and were accompanied by immodest gestures. 

    The last piece performed was the "Spare Bed" and we gathered from the conversation around that this was looked for with eager expectation. We will not attempt to describe the whole of this abominable piece; suffice it to say that the part which appeared most pleasing to the audience was when one of the male performers took off his coat and waistcoat, unbuttoned his braces, and commenced unbuttoning the waistband of his trowsers, casting mock-modest glances around him; finally he took his trowsers off and got into bed. Tremendous applause followed this act. As the many lay in bed the clothes were pulled off; he was then rolled out of bed and across the stage, his shirt being up to the middle of his back. After this he walked up and down the stage, and now the applause reached its climax - loud laughter, shouting, clapping of hands, by both males and females, testified the delight they took in this odious exhibition. This piece terminated about eleven o'clock and many then went away. It is necessary to state that the man had on a flesh-coloured pair of drawers, but they were put on so that the audience might be deceived, and some were deceived. It needs little stretch of the imagination to form an opinion what the conduct of these young people would be on leaving this place - excited by the drink which they had imbibed - their witnessing this vile performance - their uncontrolled conversation ... It is the manufactory and rendezvous of thieves and prostitutes ...

    Preston Guardian, 25 January 1851

    by Lee Jackson ( at April 29, 2015 04:12 AM

    Teenage Nights

    ‘I spoke to my sister, who is married, about going to these singing rooms. She said it was very wrong for married people to go, but there was no harm for single young chaps ... I told her if it was wrong for married people to go, it must be wrong for single people ... I’ve seen enough going to singing rooms .... Just before my father died, he went to live with some woman who had five children – that, you may say, was through singing rooms. My father used to say the “Effingham” was a very comfortable place; you could sit and have your pipe and your pint very comfortable. It was a noted place of mine to go. He used to let us go as we liked. .... These singing-rooms are generally at beershops – at some places you can go in if you are only 14. At most all the beershops the admission is free – some charge a penny, some a halfpenny. Some places they put a penny a pot on the beer; they charge 5d. for porter, and 6d. for ale, for which you pay 4d at the bar; they knows how to do it; don’t matter to them who drink as long as they get the money. I have seen a boy with a girl laying hold of his arm, go up enough to make you laugh to look at them. If you were to wait outside the ––––, you would see boys and girls coming out between 12 and 1 o’clock in the morning; their language is awful; bad in the extreme. There are more go to these places on Saturday and Monday nights. Saturday is pay night ... A great many go on Sunday night, but there is no singing then – the law won’t allow it. I could take you to almost every singing room in Bethnal-green-road; there are very few but what I have been to. If you notice, you will see put up “Select harmony this evening, admission free.” some have written up “Select concert – Monday, Wednesday and Saturday evenings.” The chairman sits at one end of the room and the deputy at the other. The Judge and Jury clubs are open on Sunday night: they are generally held at beer-shops, sometimes at public-houses. Boys and girls are admitted to these as well ... If either the complainant or the prisoner or any of them don’t speak the words right, they are fined ½d; the fines are kept on till they get to 1s. which is spent after it is over in liquor – sometimes the money is saved up for a supper once a quarter. If they see a stranger come into the room they will knock his hat over his eyes, and if he swears he is fined 2d. It is all done to pass the evening away. I was asked to belong to a Judge and Jury Club lately, by a man I know, the fines are to go to an excursion.'

    Daily News, 23 May 1850

    by Lee Jackson ( at April 29, 2015 03:43 AM

    April 28, 2015

    Pinacotheca Petri Plancii


    Wuthering Heights in Aberystwyth

    The Aberystwyth University 2nd Year Drama students present Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. Adapted and directed by Lucy Gough.
    Wuthering Heights
    Adapted and Directed by Lucy Gough
    Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Castle Theatre
    April 29th - 7pm
    April 30th - 2pm and 7 pm
    May 1st - 7 pm

    Our production of Wuthering Heights is about angels and demons, heaven and hell, the human and the beast. Despite the boundaries of walls, the outer world of the moor and the inner world of Wuthering Heights constantly break in on each other - just like the inner and outer world of the mind.

    by M. ( at April 28, 2015 01:30 AM

    Talking it up for the students

    A student teacher writes about her college education in The State Press.
    On the night before my first day of college, I lay awake in bed, my stomach twisting with anticipation and my eyes reading the popcorn constellations in my ceiling, looking for a sign of how the next day — and the next four years — would unfold.
    My outfit was picked out and laying on the chair. My brand-new Toshiba laptop, my first laptop (rest in peace, old friend) and my high school graduation gift, was powered off and carefully tucked into my bag. My class schedule was printed, and my books, all purchased from the ASU Bookstore (a rookie mistake — always buy them used online), were neatly stacked on my nightstand. One of them was a copy of Emily Brontë's "Wuthering Heights," a required reading for my English 200 class. I wanted to be an English teacher after I graduated, and I had started reading the novel mid-way through the summer, but my diligence had tapered off because I couldn't understand why there were so many characters named Catherine.
    It's been nearly four years since that night. I'm a student teacher at my alma mater high school, and I'm reading "Wuthering Heights," now a favorite of mine, with a senior Humanities class. The students might not have their Catherines straight yet, but they will.
    I will graduate with a bachelor's degree in secondary English education in less than a month. [...]
    My college experience has been invaluable. This is where I met my best friend. This is where I fell in love for the first time. This is where I had the chance to work with some of the most talented young journalists in my four-year tenure with The State Press. This is where I read the glorious masterpiece that is "Wuthering Heights" (I have to talk it up in case any of those senior Humanities students read this). This is where I learned how to be an educator, and I want to leave the door open for the students who will come after me. (Carly H. Blodgett)
    Hinde Pomeraniec looks for the heroine of her generation's sentimental education in La Nación (Argentina).
    Si sabe calcular la edad del otro con la mirada, posiblemente adivine que llegó a mi vida, a mis sueños y ambiciones femeninas en el final de mi escuela primaria, justo después de la historia de Jo y sus hermanas en Mujercitas o de Jane Eyre y Cumbres borrascosas.
    Solita siempre se permitió mostrar en público debilidades, sufrimientos y hasta problemas económicos
    Entre las novelas de Louise May Alcott o las de las hermanas Brontë y Rolando Rivas o Pobre diabla no hubo respiro para mi generación; pasábamos de la colección Robin Hood a los besos apasionados en primer plano como si la escuela de la vida y del amor estuviera signada por esas inevitables estaciones. (Translation)
    And a columnist from The Topeka Capital-Journal writes in praise of her book club.
    Witty, courageous, forgiving, generous, self-confident and inspirational, the 5:05 Book Club women embody the best qualities of powerful heroines in classic and modern day literature. Jane Eyre could learn a few tips from this ensemble. (Vicki Estes)
    Stylist devotes an article to Charlotte Brontë.

    by Cristina ( at April 28, 2015 12:16 AM

    April 27, 2015

    Regency Ramble

    Lulworth Castle 6

     As we finish up our tour of the castle, and I thought you might enjoy this view which seems to show it as it would have been before the fire, we descend into the basement where the kitchens, storage and servants working areas are located.
     I am always interested in these glimpses into the lives of those who lived below stairs.  My guess is that this would have been particularly uncomfortable located as it was in such medieval-looking surroundings with its small high windows for natural light..

     You can an example of how daylight was brought into the space.  On a cloudy day it would not be nearly so bright. I wonder if the odd scullery maid would have climbed up into that window to look out at the day.
     I loved this example of an oven beside the great hearth, which would have been even bigger than it is now in its heyday. 

    And another view of the entrance into the kitchen area.

    So medieval, yet in use up to 1925.

    Until next time.......

    by Ann Lethbridge ( at April 27, 2015 03:00 PM

    Lewis Carroll Society of North America

    Teefury Shirts

    Although the “one day only” shirts posted on April 27 are no longer available, you can shop Alice designs at Teefury by typing “Wonderland” in the search box.

    by Matt at April 27, 2015 12:41 PM

    Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

    Jean-Louis Forain, odds and ends

     photo Forain-_The-Secret-also-known-as-The-Confidence-_.jpg

    The Confidence

     photo forain young_woman_blue_hat_hi.jpg

     photo forainhuysmans.jpg

    J.K. Huysmans

     photo Forain_Rimbaud.jpg


    April 27, 2015 08:08 AM


    Violent Seizures and Lexic

     A recent thesis and a paper published in a recent conference:
    Privately deviant, publicly disciplined: the violent seizure of female narratives in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, The Woman in White, and Lady Audley’s Secret
    Amanda K. Hand, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 2015

    In Victorian England, women were subjects within their patriarchal society. What Anne Brontë, Wilkie Collins, Mary Elizabeth Braddon emphasize and “sensationalize” is the subjugated marriage relationship, violently portraying men forcing their wives into submission. Brontë’s Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Collin’s The Woman in White, and Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret provide examples of men attempting to control the women in their lives. These novels deploy moments of violent seizure to dramatize and critique the inequalities inherent in the strict Victorian marriage laws. However, despite this usurpation of the female narrative, the insurgent testimony of the female voice persists in the mind of the reader. This thesis will examine the Sensation genre, focusing on the female narratives within the three novels. It will argue that the female narrative cannot be shut out or stifled. Once it has been released into the world, it must evoke power and create a culture of change.
    The Lexical Characteristics of Jane EyreLiu Chunling
    Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research
    2015 International Conference on Social Science and Technology Education (ICCSTE 2015)
    Atlantis Press
    ISBN:  978-94-62520-60-8
      Jane Eyre is a famous masterpiece of Charlotte Brontë. The novel’s literary achievement is immortal, especially the brilliant language. The description not only brings readers aesthetic pleasure but also hint the fate and emotion of characters. Charlotte’s original description forming a colorful picture makes Jane’s image more perfect and vivid and drives readers to search more for the beauty of the novel and the life. Moreover, Charlotte endows words with indefinite sense and deep connotation. This thesis aims to explore the lexical characteristics on the theory of linguistics.

    by M. ( at April 27, 2015 01:30 AM

    April 26, 2015


    The Shoes and the Stuntman

    The Salisbury Post reviews the poetry book Watch Where You Walk by Mary Kratt:
    There is an extraordinary poem about the slave, Harriet Jacobs, hiding for seven years in order to escape her owner, and a delightful poem about Charlotte Brontë in the voice of her biographer, Elizabeth Gaskell. We meet Gerrude Stein and Virginia Woolf, and closer to home, Anna Huntington, whose powerful animal sculptures grace Brookgreen Garden. (Anthony S. Abbott)
    The writer, fashion analyst and Brontëite Justine Picardie talks about British politicians' shoes in The New Statesman . Virginia Woolf and Charlotte Brontë get mentions:
    Yet her commitment to women’s rights did not negate her interest in women’s shoes (and men’s, on occasion), including the ones that she saw while visiting the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth. “The natural fate of such things is to die before the body that wore them,” observed Woolf, who found herself curiously touched by the sight of Charlotte Brontë’s shoes, preserved in a glass case along with a thin muslin dress; relics that had “outlived her”.
    The Irish Post on York:
    York’s an old romantic at heart and that seems to have rubbed off along the way with many a royal wedding taking place in the city. It also boasts two Love Lanes, while just a short drive away is the Yorkshire Moors and the site where Emily Brontë wrote Wuthering Heights.
    Taking a leaf out of Kate’s book (‘Heathcliff, it’s me Cathy. Let me in-a-your window’ ) we took in the breath-taking York Minster, northern Europe’s largest Gothic cathedral and home of The Heart of Yorkshire that sits in the Great West Window, in all its stained-glass glory. (Siobhan Breatnach)
    The Sunday Times publishes a curious detail in the Poldark-Heathcliff connection:
    The exhilarating horse rides along the Cornish clifftops have combined with his muscular torso to make the Poldark star Aidan Turner a hot property.
    But while the famous chest belongs to Turner, many of the coastline gallops were actually performed by stuntman Ben Atkinson. (Sanya Burgess)
    And Ben Atkinson was indeed  a horse and cart driver in Wuthering Heights 2011. Small world.

    Wide Sargasso Sea is a new blog which is defined as  'an analytical examination of the Jean Rhys novel'. This is My Joystick thinks that the development arcs of Kaidan Alenko (from the Mass Effects video game saga) and Jane Eyre are quite similar. Old Hollywood Films reviews Wuthering Heights 1939.

    by M. ( at April 26, 2015 12:01 PM

    Bleak Spirit

    It seems that Morwenna J. Holman has channeled once again Emily Brontë (the third time in a few years... it seems that Emily is much more prolific dead than alive):
    Bleak Spirit
    Morwenna J. Holman
    Publisher: (January 29, 2015)
    ISBN-13: 978-1785105166

    Bleak Spirit is based on the story of the tragic Brontës with Emily taking centre stage in this novel. Although we enter her mysti
    cal world the sadness and futility of her brother's life reaches out to the reader and we alternately rejoice and despair as the family move through the years. Their original poetry has not been used in this book but the verses constructed still evoke those poignant feelings of the moors and the emotional tumult of their lives which transports the reader back to 19th century Yorkshire. For Emily it was always the moors and the hearth of home and in this novel the grimly austere Hawfield is portrayed as the Haworth we know and love. Emily comes out from the shadows in this novel and leaves behind something of the enigma she has been viewed with in other books but still that unique reserve of character and her desire for isolation seal her doom in her final illness. She desired to be as God made her and hence she returns to her mystical world as a free spirit, reunited with the brother she loved so much.

    by M. ( at April 26, 2015 01:14 AM

    April 25, 2015


    Heated Love

    The Telegraph & Argus highlights some of the Brontë-related events in the upcoming Bradford Literature Festival:
    Bradford Literature Festival pays tribute to the Brontës with a series of events, including a quiz, heritage trail and beginners’ guide. (...)
    Next month’s festival looks at how the Brontës’ lives and work continue to inspire writers, artists and film-makers today, with their spirit living on through themes of fairness and equality of class, race, gender that remain relevant.
    Playwright, author and critic Bonnie Greer, who is president of the Brontë Society, leads a discussion on race and gender in Brontë novels. (...)
    Also on the panel are Juliet Barker, former curator of the Brontë Parsonage Museum; John Bowen, a professor of 19th century literature; Rebecca Fraser, author of a feminist biography of Charlotte Brontë; and journalist Boyd Tonkin, who has judged the Booker Prize. The panel’s critical exploration of race and gender within Brontë novels looks at the context of the age they lived in and highlights the relevance of their work today.
    Bonnie Greer and Boyd Tonkin will also join Tamar Yellin, writer of Kafka in Brontëland, for a panel discussion called Inspired by the Brontës looking at the legacy of the sisters’ novels and how their memorable characters, landscapes and themes of passion, danger, and the redemptive power of love continue to inspire. (...)
    Ann Dinsdale, the museum’s collections manager, will discuss key objects from the Brontës' Haworth home and tell the fascinating story of the development of the Brontë Society’s collection over a special afternoon tea at Bradford’s Midland Hotel.
    If you’ve yet to discover the literary siblings’ work, Brontës for Beginners is a whistle-stop guide by Susan Newby, education officer at Brontë Parsonage Museum, offering an introduction to the family.
    Also, a heritage tour led by join Brontë enthusiast Christa Ackroyd covers significant sites on a vintage bus.  (Emma Clayton)
    The Lytham St Annes Express talks about the summer season of outdoor plays at Lytham Hall:
    Chapterhouse Theatre Company will launch the season and their own summer tour with Richard Main’s production of Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre, adapted for the stage by Laura Turner, at the Hall on Sunday, June 14, at 6pm. (...)
    Julian [Wilde]  says audiences can look forward to some first-class acting in this summer’s programme.
    Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester in Charlotte Brontë’s novel and Petruchio and Kate in The Taming of the Shrew are all very strong characters and I am very much looking forward to the tensions of their dialogue,” he said.
    It has been a long time since we knew nothing about the Rochester comic project illustrated by Ramon Perez. On io9:
    Boom Studios’ retelling of Jane Eyre from Rochester’s perspective still isn’t out, but that didn’t stop Fox 2000 from grabbing the rights to it in 2013. Heck, they actually got the rights from Archaia, before Boom even bought them. Crazy. (Rob Bricken)
    The new editorial team of The Oxford Student lists their favourite books:
    Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë As I stepped into the threshold of Wuthering Heights, into the depths of Emily Brontë’s tempestuous world, I found myself in the midst of a heated love relationship bordering on insanity. Charlotte’s Jane Eyre does indeed seem to be widely read, but this certainly puts up a fight. The settings are well-developed to reflect an ominous atmosphere that overshadows the entire novel, and Brontë’s language skillfully explores the psyche of her characters. This is certainly an essential for any erudite bookshelf. (Marcus Li)
    Hadley Freeman vindicates Gilbert Blythe, from Anne of the Green Gables, as a real literary hero in The Guardian:
    The Anne of Green Gables male lead is a unique feminist dreamboat whose boots Darcy, Heathcliff and all other rivals in classic novels are unfit to tie. (...)
    Gilbert is an unusual male character in a novel ostensibly aimed at women, in that he is not utterly ridiculous at best and completely hateful at worst. I read Anne of Green Gables around the same time I started reading the works of Jane Austen, the Brontës, Louisa May Alcott, Daphne du Maurier, Margaret Mitchell, George Eliot and all the classic novels adolescent girls who love reading eventually come to read. (...)
    It is often noted how little attention is given to female characters in pop culture aimed at men (which is to say, most pop culture). But the same can be said in reverse, including of literature that is largely read by girls and women. Austen never seemed very interested in her male characters beyond what financial security they could provide for her heroines, while the Brontës were incapable of writing male characters who were much more than overheated adolescent fantasies.
    Bustle lists (verbatim) 'Trees In Literature That We Wish We Could Read A Book Under For Arbor Day':
    Just after Rochester, Jane’s employer and the master of Thornfield, proposes to Jane underneath the horse-chestnut at the bottom of the orchard, the exact same tree gets hit by lightning in the middle of the night, splitting it directly in half. Coincidence? I think definitely, definitely not. However, I’m still not sure if the splitting represents both Jane and Rochester together or just Rochester. If it’s the two of them, Jane is surely the part that splits away (as she runs from Rochester’s temptation). However, Rochester later compares himself to the torn tree and Jane to a plant. I wish Charlotte Brontë could just tell us the truth. (Becky Schultz)
    Ipswich Star asks several local writers about their favourite novels. Nicci Gerrard chooses:
    Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë: I read this first as a teenager and was bowled over by it – not just because it was so romantic (like the first, great, Mills and Boon), or so Gothic, but because of the voice of Jane, this plain, small, stubborn, unseen and passionate woman carrying a volcano beneath her calm surface. (Steve Russell) 
    The Herald on sequels and revisitations:
    Countless novels have had memorable sequels, either by their own author or those who purloin their characters. But, with the exception of Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea, where she takes Charlotte Brontë's "madwoman in the attic" in Jane Eyre and creates a politically electrifying account of who this woman was, I can't think of many outstanding prequels.
    Even in New Zealand, on the Wanganui Chronicle, we can find a Poldark-is-Heathcliff reference:
    The captivating, swarthy and handsome Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) brought into play all the roiling passions that were a little reminiscent of Heathcliff in Emily Brontë's novel Wuthering Heights.
    Bath Chronicle reviews The Lost Child by Caryl Phillips:
    Identity, belonging and family are the focal themes as the Booker Prize-shortlisted author and screenwriter cleverly stitches together two separate narratives, imagining the early years of Emily Brontë's conflicted protagonist Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, which he interweaves with the Sixties-set story of Wakefield-born dreamer and social recluse Monica who drops out of Oxford and cuts all ties with her parents after falling for Caribbean graduate Julius. (Dan Biggane)
    Hackney Gazette reviews the performances of the play Bridlington by Peter Hamilton:
    We focus on the delicate Wuthering Heights-obsessed Ruth (Julia Tarnoky). Pacing the wards with a dog-eared copy of the Brontë classic in hand, she witters through an infectious logorrhoea; aided by good hearted, yet exaggerated, gesticulation. (Greg Wetherall)
    FFT recalls a curious event at the recent Cúirt International Festival of Literature:
    Food done well is as much of an art form as literature. The two made a happy marriage at Kai Café and Restaurant, Galway on Tuesday April 21st, as it hosted a Literary Supper on the opening night of the city’s Cuirt International Festival of Literature. (...)
    Each was to be accompanied by a relevant reading. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck inspired the prosecco with frozen grapes. Bubbles never fail to get people happy and they were smiling as they were presented with the oysters, pickled mussels and silver darlings called Wuthering Heights. The oysters were native. They’re more expensive, of course, but that ozone flavour is like none other. All they needed was ice and lemon, and that’s all they got.
    Jornal do Campus (Brazil) talks about gender equality:
    “Tem-se a crença de que as mulheres, em geral, são bastante calmas, mas as mulheres sentem a mesma coisa que os homens”, disse Jane Eyre, personagem-título do romance de Charlotte Brontë, publicado em 1847. Volto tanto no tempo, pois, perante os casos de violência contra mulheres, recentemente denunciados na USP, a fala ousada da heroína ainda se mostra fundamental. Infelizmente, os quase 170 anos que nos separam da obra de Brontë parecem míseros dias, e precisamos lembrar constantemente que mulheres possuem sentimentos e vontades, assim como homens. (Translation)
    Libération (France) is also concerned about the absence of female writers in French curriculum:
    «Des auteures féminines ne sont pas suffisamment étudiées, mais il ne faudrait pas essayer de chercher une parité qui ne peut pas exister, poursuit Romain Vignest. Si l’on va chercher des écrivains de second ordre[pour obtenir la parité, ndlr], on va atteindre le but inverse de celui que l’on cherche.» Difficile, cependant, de qualifier d’écrivains de second ordre des figures littéraires telles que Marguerite de Navarre, Mary Shelley, Edith Wharton ou les sœurs Brontë. (Elsa Maudet) (Translation)
    But the Washington Post thinks that the problem is the absence of non-white writers in the reading world:
    In 2014, I decided that for the entire year, I would not read books written by white authors. My goal was to address the reading practices I developed growing up in Australia, where white authors have dominated the literary world. My high school reading list was filled with the “classics” — Shakespeare, Austen, the Brontes, Euripides — and well-known modern writers such as Margaret Atwood and T.S. Eliot. (Sunili Govinnage)
    The Inquirer and Mirror talks about pen names:
    In 1846, the Brontë sisters, Charlotte, Anne and Emily published a collection of poetry under the pseudonyms Currer, Acton and Ellis Bell. Not only did the Brontës increase the likelihood of their work being published by writing under a male pseudonym, they also were protected from public scrutiny. “Authoresses are liable to be looked on with prejudice,” Charlotte Brontë noted in the posthumous editions of her sister’s work “Wuthering Heights” and “Agnes Grey”. The Brontë’s pen names preserved their initials and they also chose names that, at the time, were not considered overtly masculine. The sisters wanted their work to be taken seriously and not dismissed on the basis of gender.
    While their first foray into publishing their own works was unsuccessful (their collected book of poems sold only two copies) the sisters were undeterred and in 1847 their individual novels were published: “Wuthering Heights,” “Agnes Grey” and “Jane Eyre.” Charlotte’s debut and autobiographical novel, “Jane Eyre” was a great commercial and critical success and Currer Bell became the most celebrated author in England. This prompted rampant speculation about Currer; some critics believed that Currer was a woman due to the novels detailed passages about sewing while others believed the novel too good to have been written by a woman. In 1850, just five years before Charlotte’s death (Emily died in 1848 and Anne the following year), a local newspaper revealed her to be the author of the novel, “Jane Eyre”. (Adelaide Richards)
    Le Figaro (France) talks about Kate Bush:
    Elle possédait les armes pour connaître le même type de carrière, seulement elle a eu ce truc très anglais de s’effacer, de disparaître, sans chercher à capitaliser sur le succès. Il n’y avait pas de chanteuse comme elle, qui sache imposer sa féminité par la douceur et l’étrangeté, sans être uneriot grrrl. L’esthétique des sœurs Brontë, de l’Angleterre chevaleresque, les codes de la danse classique, du théâtre, du music-hall… Debbie Harry et Kate Bush sont mes premières idoles, l’Américaine délurée et l’Anglaise faussement sage qui n’a jamais sacrifié au mythe de la déglingue. (Hélène Guillaume quoting Olivier Nuc) (Translation)
    The Wharfedale Observer echoes the Brontë Society upcoming bicentenary celebrations press release; The Hereford Times presents the Blue Orange Theatre performances of Jane Eyre in Hereford; Women Writers, Women['s] Books has a great post on reading Wuthering Heights with Juvenile Offenders.

    by M. ( at April 25, 2015 05:32 PM

    The Innocent

    This is  a recent Jane Eyre retelling that was not under our rader until now:
    The Innocent: A paranormal retelling of "Jane Eyre"
    Candice Raquel Lee
    ReaderLee Books
    ISBN-13: 978-0991455706 (February 2, 2014)

    "I was eaten, plain and simple. It felt like being burned alive, like every cell in my body was exploding. Then everything stopped--my breathing, my heart, my pain. . ."

    In this retelling of Jane Eyre, Mr. Rochester is an incubus with a touch that can kill.

    Cristien LaRoche is terrifying, deceitful, beautiful and deadly. He is a medieval knight, a world-weary monster and a man cursed by his murderous past. He has come for Alexa Wyndham and nothing can sto
    p him, not even himself. He knows he should leave her in peace. Alexa is everything he believes he can no longer be, pure, good, and happy, but Cristien has been alone for so long, and she is the only thing he has ever loved.

    Alexa Wyndham is a college student out on her own for the first time. She is an innocent in every sense of the word, her views of the world formed from the romantic poetry and literary novels she reads. Alexa thinks love should be a perfect dream. Then an evening out in Manhattan lands her in a feverish nightmare full of deadly supernatural beings. Is Alexa brave enough to see the good man inside the monster and free Cristien from the ageless evil that haunts him? When all the veils are torn down and the truth is revealed, will Alexa rise from the ashes like a phoenix or will love destroy her utterly?

    The Innocent is a passionate, poetic, and at times humorous novel about the transformative power of love. It will take the reader on a literary adventure from suffering to redemption, from innocence to heroism. At its heart, The Innocent is an allegory about Love and the immortal Soul.

    by M. ( at April 25, 2015 03:46 PM

    Pinacotheca Petri Plancii


    Emily Brontë: torturing high schoolers since 1847

    Last night was World Book Night and Marie Claire chose a couple of Brontë novels as part of their '10 Books To Empower You In Celebration Of World Book Night'.
    1. Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
    Originally published under the pseudonym Currer Bell in 1847, it is hard to believe that Charlotte was only 31 when she finished her feminist masterpiece. Transforming personal experience into spellbinding art, Jane Eyre soars from the first sentence to her last. As Brontë writes, the novel's objective is clear: 'Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags.' Her words have lost none of their bite: Jane Eyre is a passionate rejection of patriarchal repression. Jane Eyre sings and she's still unforgettable. [...]
    6. Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
    Pre-Raphaelite poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti referred to it at the time as 'a fiend of a book – an incredible monster'. He wasn't the only one who thought so – the overriding response to Emily Brontë's first-and-only novel was one of outrage. Even now, Emily's portrayal of masochistic 'first love' on the wild and untamed moors still shocks and provokes. As ugly as it is beautiful, it is hard to believe this violent tale of sexual obsession was written in 1847. 'I wish I were out of doors. I wish I were a girl again, half savage and hardy, and free.' Emily's Cathy speaks and we are immediately by her side among the heather 'on those hills'. When Emily writes we still feel her frustrations and they become ours too. (Kat Lister)
    Yesterday was also St George's Day, patron saint of England. The Irish Times had an article in praise of the English.
    On this St George’s Day, while England goes about its business, too busy to demand a pubic [sic!] holiday, it would be a short-sighted individual indeed who would dismiss the English imagination. Look to Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, or to Auden or Larkin. JRR Tolkien celebrates the English imagination on an epic scale and draws on the Anglo-Saxon literary tradition. The novels of Thomas Hardy or better still his poetry such as his three-volume epic, The Dynasts (1904-1908). In many ways, perhaps through his use of the colloquial, folktale and ballads as well as his love of the Wessex landscape, Hardy is a bastion of melancholic and ultimately doomed Englishness. He is a defining English romantic. (Eileen Battersby)
    Saint George is Sant Jordi in Catalonia (Spain), a day for giving books and roses, and the local edition of El País sums up the day as follows:
    Però la festa és una festa d'amor, d'amor als llibres, i es dóna per bo tot sacrifici –les cues, l'estretor, la despesa, la dificultat de trobar el títol que es busca o de recordar-lo (“Teniu llibres de Jane Eyre?”)–. És també una festa d'amor a seques. (Jacinto Antón) (Translation)
    The National Student reviews Northern Ballet's take on Wuthering Heights giving it 4 stars out of 5.
    As the narrative driven piece moves on, we find ourselves watching the now grown up Cathy and Heathcliff (Martha Leebolt and Tobias Batley) dancing on the Yorkshire moors. Leebolt and Batley alike should be praised for their virtuosic ability to tell stories through pointed toes. It seems to serve as a trend with Northern Ballet recently, having also showcased 1984 and The Great Gatsby, both literature greats, in their repertoire. NB blur the boundaries between story and dance.
    Though moments of the first half seemed a little slow, they were made up for in an impeccable second half, with the wedding scene stealing the show and documenting just how well Northern Ballet do it. The few slips were forgiven for such a well-choreographed and emotive piece. We see Heathcliff overthrown with power, temptation, intimacy and the ability to seduce and, well, the rest is dance. Hannah Bateman (playing Isabella Linton) is a true centrepiece for the NB, having proved her capabilities as her casted character.
    Hironao Takahashi completes the set of soloists in his role of Edgar Linton. Though in the novel, we see a wash away, pathetic version of the character, Takahashi plays on the insecurities and forms a well-rounded and slightly comic character consistently, aided with the trembling hands of his Maids. (Dean Eastmond)
    On the Scene Magazine adds:
    At the end when all the dancers were taking their bows the room was electric. I clapped solidly for five minutes. My hands were left sore for ages afterward but it was such a stunning performance – I could not help it. (Lily Anderson)
    The Southern Daily Echo concludes
    From the start of the show’s two acts, we were captivated as sombre music and brooding scenery set the tone of Heathcliff’s anguish as he danced frenetically on the heath, recalling his youth when he and Cathy were once united in joy. By the time the ballet reached its conclusion it was difficult to imagine a more moving production.
    An 18-year-old describes the novel as 'heavy' in The Huffington Post and The New York Post would seem to agree with her:
    At 29, Emily Brontë published “Wuthering Heights,” which gave her immortality in the form of torturing high schoolers to this day. (Gregory E. Miller)
    According to Fucsia (Colombia), Jane Eyre is one of five great heroines of women's literature.
    4. Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre de Charlotte Brönte [sic].
    "Querido lector, espero que nunca padezcas lo que yo padecí entonces. Que nunca broten de tus ojos unas lágrimas tan tempestuosas, abrasadoras y dolorosas como las que brotaron de los míos. Que nunca clames al cielo con ruegos tan angustiosos y desesperanzados como los que salieron de mis labios. Que nunca temas ser la causa de la desgracia del que más amas"
    La huérfana Jane Eyre es la materialización del personaje destinado a romper con un destino incierto y miserable gracias a su entereza, fortaleza  e inteligencia, cualidades que generalmente se asociaban a los roles masculinos. Una mujer hecha a sí misma, se vale de su educación y coraje para romper con los estereotipos y limitaciones que arrastra la realidad de la pobreza. (Translation)
    Jane Eyre is also mentioned in an anecdote in The New Yorker:
    Kenji Yoshino, a professor of constitutional law at N.Y.U., writes in his new book, “Speak Now: Marriage Equality on Trial,” that when he and his husband, Ron Stoneham, were getting ready for their wedding, in 2009, they learned that, these days, most couples leave out “that tremulous moment where the officiant states, ‘If any of you can show just cause why these two may not be married, speak now, or else forever hold your peace.’ ” The phrase in its traditional form, from the Book of Common Prayer, is actually “why these two may not be lawfully married,” and it is meant to allow for the discovery of, say, a wife in another town, and not, outside of a romantic comedy, for the groom’s brother to announce that he thinks the groom really loves someone else—or, God forbid, for a filibuster by Ted Cruz. But Yoshino and Stoneham asked Judge Guido Calebresi, who officiated at their very lawful New York wedding, to keep the line in, as “a subtle reminder to ourselves and our guests that many of our fellow citizens felt they had just cause to object to our marriage.” Yoshino adds that he was quite sure no one would jump up, “though I did think wildly of that scene in Jane Eyre, when a stranger declares: ‘The marriage cannot go on.’ ” (Amy Davidson)
    The Journal Gazette reveals that soon we will see another stage adaptation of the novel.
    To end the season next year, Nichols says she will premiere her original adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre.
    “I was definitely motivated to get it finished once I knew we were going to be moving,” she says. “It gives us the opportunity to do some things like working with two-story sets and the ability to put the aisles where we want them. All of those things were important to me.” (Keiara Carr)
    The Pennine Way is 50 years old today and BMC celebrates it by sharing '50 things you (probably) didn't know about the Pennine Way' such as
    35. Top Withens, a ruined farmhouse visited by the Pennine Way, is said to have been the inspiration for the Earnshaw family house in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. (Hanna Lindon)
    The Times Literary Supplement interviews Caryll Phillips:
     The version of Brontë’s novel that the reader is impelled to recover is no great and doomed tale of love (has romantic love ever really offered an adequate way of accounting for Wuthering Heights?) but one of inheritance and generation, of origins and renewals, of family abuses and misunderstandings played out from father to daughter and mother to son. It is, as Monica Johnson’s miserably curtailed existence suggests, about the problems of growing up and entering an adult life.
    Where Brontë deliberately leaves Heathcliff’s racial origins uncertain (picked up from the streets of Liverpool, he is variously described as “a dark-skinned gypsy in aspect”, “a little Lascar [an East Indian sailor], or an American or Spanish castaway”), the legacy of a mixed white and Afro-Caribbean descent is central to Phillips’s reimagining.  (...)
    In Wuthering Heights the reader is coaxed from the beginning into reading signs and gathering details into patterns that might prove adequate to explain the mystery at the book’s heart. It is a novel about storytelling, about learning to read, about reading well, and reading as both diversion and salvation. Phillips has found a way to enlist the strange energy of Emily Brontë’s work and redirect it to powerful and surprising effect. (Katryn Sutherland)
    William Atkins has also written an article about it in The Guardian.
    My own memories of the Pennine Way, it must be said, are not exactly green: I think of the denuded black nightmare of Kinder Scout, eroded to a terrain that seems newly released from a flood; the ankle-turning, ash-toned plateau of Cross Fell, a sudden fog contracting visibility to a metre’s ambit; the bog flats of Brontë Land, tinged blood-red by the stalks of dying cotton grass.
    Librópatas (Spain) recommends a Wuthering Heights postcard among other literary ones. The Vivacious Reader posts about Emily Brontë's novel.

    by Cristina ( at April 25, 2015 01:42 AM

    April 24, 2015

    The Little Professor

    This Week's Acquisitions

    • Justin Go, The Steady Running of the Hour (Simon & Schuster, 2015).  In the early twenty-first century, the heir to a fortune tries to reconstruct the life of his mountain-climbing ancestor. (Lift Bridge)
    • Michael Mullett, ed., English Catholicism 1680-1830, 6 vols. (Pickering & Chatto, 2006).  Big facsimile collection of Catholic sermons, tracts, controversial works, devotional manuals, etc.  No, I didn't buy this at full price. (Amazon [secondhand])

    by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at April 24, 2015 10:57 PM


    Updates to 19 and BRANCH Holdings in NINES

    NINES is happy to announce that we have incorporated into our catalog updates for two of our holdings. We have recently added the Autumn 2014 volume of 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century as well as the most recently published essays from BRANCH: Britain, Representation, and Nineteenth-Century History. You can find a search for 19 here and a search for BRANCH here. Happy researching!

    by Brandon Walsh at April 24, 2015 08:19 PM

    Pinacotheca Petri Plancii


    Did Bertha have Huntington Disease?

    This is a poster presented at the 67th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology; April 18-25, 2015; Washington, DC.:
    Did the "Woman in the Attic" in Jane Eyre have Huntington Disease? 
    Elizabeth Coon and Anhar Hassan
    Neurology April 6, 2015 vol. 84 no. 14 Supplement S44.005

    To describe features of Huntington disease in Charlotte Brontё’s character, Bertha Mason, in Jane Eyre. 
    BACKGROUND: George Huntington’s essay “On Chorea” described adult-onset hereditary chorea in 1872. However, several decades preceding Huntington’s description, familial cases of chorea in children and adults with involuntary movements, speech disturbances, and progressive dementia were published. During this period of enhanced recognition of what is now termed Huntington disease, Charlotte Brontё published Jane Eyre in 1847.
    Comparison of Charlotte Brontё’s portrayal of Bertha Mason in Jane Eyre with George Huntington’s original description of Huntington disease.
    In Jane Eyre, Brontё features the enigmatic Bertha Mason, known as the “woman in the attic”. Mason had a progressive and familial neuropsychiatric disease with violent movements whose description mirrors the tenets in Huntington’s original essay. One tenet was the “tendency to insanity and suicide.” These behavioral features are prominently featured in Brontё’s text, with descriptions of Mason as a “maniac” with homicidal tendencies who later commits suicide. Mason’s cognitive decline is described as having a “cast of mind common, low, narrow and singularly incapable of being led to anything higher.” Brontё depicts Mason as having abnormal movements, described as wild and animal-like with “convulsive plunges.” Mason’s abnormal movements resemble the description in Huntington’s original essay which is of movements “which gradually increase in violence and variety.”
    Brontё’s character has a familial disorder with classic motor, cognitive and behavioral features of Huntington disease. This depiction has had implications for the treatment of patients with neuropsychiatric disease. Brontё’s unsympathetic portrayal of Mason’s neuropsychiatric illness has been deplored by literary critics who brought the issue of humane treatment of neuropsychiatric patients into broader view. This insight remains important today as patients with Huntington disease and their families continue to face stigmatization and prejudicial representation.
    Elizabeth Coon, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, expands on the theory that Bertha had Huntington’s disease in this video published on Rare Disease Report:

    by M. ( at April 24, 2015 01:01 AM

    Not as old as Emily Brontë

    Several writers tell The Guardian about the places that inspire them in the UK:
    William Atkins on Top Withens near Haworth, West Yorkshire
    I’m writing this in a farmhouse on the edge of the moors above Haworth, West Yorkshire. In the woodshed a pellet boiler’s being installed – there’s some concern that its droning will put off the swallows that normally nest there (we spotted the year’s first this afternoon). The lambs are blahing and gargling pitilessly from the adjacent field. “Give over,” I just told them. They arrive late up here, and are still rickety as botched stools.
    This morning we took a walk I know pretty well, and which I love as much as any: up the taxing hill behind the house, past the gamekeeper’s cottage and onto the moor. The heather-burning season is over, but in patches the ground is still cindered with its aftermath. Walk east a few miles and the crowns of two trees appear over the moor’s brow, the westernmost specimen beginning to bud. As you walk on, the roofless house they attend comes into view.
    These ruins are known to hundreds of thousands, despite their isolation. For they are what is left of Top Withens, the house associated with Wuthering Heights. Those twin trees beside them have always moved me: stalwart sycamores, holding out against the Ural winds – since Emily Brontë’s day, I like to think, though they are not that old. A caravan of tourists braves the hike uphill from the Brontë parsonage three miles away. If it’s “peace” you think you want, follow the Pennine Way south for a mile or so.
    Abandon the flagstones and soon you’re in a desert realm. All around is flat and silent bog tinged blood-red by the stalks of cotton grass. And then the wind dies, and stillness occurs, like the slowing of a wheel.
    At my feet, three hours later, the woodburner is ticking, and its radiance smarts where I’ve caught the sun.
    Keighley News comments on a recent event at the Brontë Parsonage:
    An enthusiastic audience of Brontë lovers watched the local premiere of an opera based on Wuthering Heights.
    Brontë Parsonage Museum worker Charissa Hutchins organised last Saturday’s performance of extracts from the little-known work.
    Bernard Hermann, the American composer of classic film soundtracks like Psycho and Citizen Kane, wrote the opera in the 1940s.
    arissa said the concert, performed by herself with several other singers, was very well attended.
    She said: “The first half, of operatic scenes, was greatly appreciated by the audience.
    “Although the cast had very few rehearsals together, the Wuthering Heights extracts came together very well and all the cast members put in strong performances, both well-acted and well-sung.
    “A few audience members made the comment after the show that this was the first opera that they had seen and they now look forward to going to another opera in the near future.”
    Half of the proceeds from the concert will be donated to the Brontë Society. (David Knights)
    The event warrants another article in the same newspaper:
    We had a one-off operatic treat at Haworth Parish Church Hall last Saturday, produced and directed by local soprano Charissa Hutchins.
    She pulled together a very talented group of five singers: herself, Louise Jacques, Leon Waksberg, Phil Wilcox and Yvonne Dean.
    Gordon Balmforth directed the music from the piano and some rather nice violin obligati were played by Pamela Dimbleby.
    In the first half of the evening we enjoyed operatic excerpts delivered with great gusto in a superb display of singing, superbly costumed.
    The second half was a rare performance of part of the only opera by Bernard Herrmann, Wuthering Heights from 1951.
    Although the music was much less familiar to what we heard in the first half it was performed with great passion and intensity.
    I have to congratulate the entire cast and accompanists on their very great effort.
    Charissa said afterwards that she hoped one day they would perform the entire opera. This was pure Brontë culture in the hall where Emily taught.
    The hall was almost full, perhaps 100 people, and it was good to see in the audience many local musicians, particularly a good number from the local Gilbert and Sullivan society. (Jens Hislop)
    Still locally, The Telegraph and Argus has an article on the goings-on within the ranks of the Brontë Society.
    Campaigners pushing for the modernisation of the Brontë Society are standing for election to the organisation’s ruling council.
    The controversial campaign’s two leaders are among those responding to the society’s call for new blood to fill a ‘skills gap’ on the council.
    Success for John Thirlwell and Janice Lee could help drive through far-reaching changes to the way that both the literary society and Brontë Parsonage Museum is run.
    Also standing for the ruling council is Haworth vicar, the Reverend Peter Mayo-Smith, who hopes the society will do more to attract tourists to the village.
    The Haworth-based Brontë Society, which runs the museum, recently relaxed its rules governing council membership to help fill a shortfall in nominations.
    It is understood that at least five of the 12 council members are due to stand down on the annual meeting in June.
    Mr Thirlwell this week warned that whoever was elected, it was vital the new-look council responded to concerns raised by the modernisers.
    He said key to this would be the findings of a review, currently being carried out, into the structure and governance of the Brontë Society.
    Mr Thirlwell said: “The agreement was that we would see the report before going to the annual general meeting in June, so we can have some sensible debate about how the Brontë Society should operate.
    “The museum should be a separate entity with a trust running it. We’re hoping the review will give us a way to put a new structure in place.
    “We’ve had a lot of support from the people of Haworth saying ‘let’s get the society to work with local people, so that Haworth gains from this literary history’.”
    Mr Mayo-Smith, priest in charge at Haworth Parish Church, hopes to bring his past business experience to the council if he is elected.
    He also believes Haworth is failing to the most of its tourism potential, and wants the Brontë Parsonage Museum to pack a “harder punch”.
    A spokesman for the Brontë Society said a sufficient number of members had put their names forward by April 11, the deadline for nominations, and the aim was to ensure the council had the “best possible skill set”.
    The spokesman said membership numbers had risen since the beginning of the year.
    Bonnie Greer, president of the Brontë Society: “It’s great that new members are coming forward to join council and we hope that any new members on the Brontë Society Council will continue the work and dedication of the present one.”
    “I’m working to help diversify membership and bring on younger members - local, regional, national and international - who are all crucial to the future of the Brontë Society.” (David Knights)
    We are not leaving Haworth yet as The Yorkshire Post mentions it in a short article on The Yorkshire part of the Pennine Way.

    io9 has selected the 'Top 10 Most Horribly Mistreated First Wives In Gothic Fiction'. Of course one of them is
    3. Bertha Antoinetta Mason Rochester from Jane Eyre
    Here’s the star of the list. Thanks to high school English class, almost everyone knows Charlotte Brontë‘s most famous book. But here’s a quick review, from the first wife’s point of view. Bertha is rich. Edward Fairfax Rochester needs money. He marries her. She goes insane, in part, Rochester claims, because she was “unchaste.” He locks her in a single room in his attic with a single alcoholic servant to mind her, and then works off his anguish by slutting his way around Europe in an extremely “unchaste” manner. Finally comes back to England with an illegitimate daughter he barely tolerates and keeps Bertha a secret so he can marry the teenage governess he likes to verbally abuse.
    The governess finds out about Bertha, and leaves. Eventually Bertha, who has a habit of being a firebug, sets fire to the entire house. Rochester escapes, and is reunited with Jane Eyre, the governess, but is blinded for many years and scarred for the rest of his life.
    Lesson: Arson is usually the answer. (Esther Inglis-Arkell)
    The Herald Scotland recommends 10 books to mark the anniversary of the publication of Robinson Crusoe on Saturday and one of them is book much mentioned on here when it was first published:
    Shutter Island
    Dennis Lehane
    Written as a gothic homage to the likes of the Brontë sisters, with many a nod to the same genre of films, Lehane's creepy mystery is set in the 1950s when the disappearance of a patient in a hospital for the criminally insane leads investigating officers to make unsettling discoveries. It was later filmed, as the author could have predicted. (Rosemary Goring)
    Emily Brontë as literary one-hit wonder in the CT Post.
    "Wuthering Heights," by Emily Brontë
    Brontë died just a year after "Wuthering Heights" was published, thus never living to see the success of her only novel. She was only 30 at the time of her death, and she believed the local climate and poor sanitary conditions led to her weakened health. "Heights" was her masterpiece and is considered an English classic. (Siobhan Schugmann)
    And as a library treasure for writer Anna Moner in the Catalan section of El País (Spain)
    els espectres de Catherine Earshaw i Heathcliff que Emily Brontë condemna a vagar pels ermassos de Yorkshire... Un recull de talismans que, en cada visita, a més de proporcionar-me un immens plaer, m’ajuden a bastir mons paral·lels, paradisos artificials, en els quals perdre’m. (Translation)
    Revista GQ (Spain) recommends a book for each year of your life.
    19 AÑOS: ‘Cumbres borrascosas’, de Emily Brontë
    Tú crees que has conocido el amor en su faceta más huracanada, pero aún no sabes nada. Deja que Catherine y Heathcliff te lo cuenten. [...]
    34 AÑOS: ‘Jane Eyre’, de Charlotte Brontë
    ¿Te acuerdas cuando conociste a su hermana en la postadolescente? Pues a ver que te parece la señorita Eyre. También puedes leer a: Anne, sobre todo su poesía. No hace falta que molestes por: Branwell. Aunque seguro que sus hermanas lo querían mucho. (Noel Ceballos) (Translation)
    Readers Lane lists and reviews eight modern retellings of Jane Eyre;.

    by Cristina ( at April 24, 2015 12:51 AM

    April 23, 2015

    The Little Professor

    "Minding the (Catholic) Gap": or, a very short outline of the very short talk I gave yesterday

    I gave a little (fifteen minutes) talk yesterday to an on-campus interdisciplinary forum.  This is a very, very brief outline of what was already a very, very brief talk, but it suggests some of the issues that I'm currently thinking about for Book 3 1/2.

    1.  Intro: The "the novel is a Protestant form" debate.  (Short version: all novels are Protestant, even when they're Catholic.)  What's at stake in making such a claim? What are the literary-historical conditions that have led us (for some value of "us") to arrive at that conclusion?

    2.  The literary, religious, cultural history of anti-Catholicism in Britain.  Quite the growth industry (to which I've contributed).  However, like the analysis of antisemitic texts, which requires no acquaintance with a) Jewish texts or b) Jews, the analysis of anti-Catholic texts requires no acquaintance with a) Catholic texts or b) Catholics.  In other words, the study of anti-Catholicism as currently practiced continues to foreground majority, "mainstream" writers, texts, and literary/religious/cultural positions.

    3.  Ignoring the majority hardly makes literary-historical sense.  And yet, I did begin to wonder a few  years ago where all the Catholic novelists were.  Surely there had to be some out there, somewhere.  (Hint: there are lots of them.)

    4.  Brief sketch of current attempts to study 19th-c. Catholic fiction.  Short version: almost nobody wants to write about 19th-c. Catholic fiction.  Catholics don't want to write about 19th-c. Catholic fiction.  (Yes, there are important exceptions to this generalization.)


    (I didn't YELL during the talk, but the NEWMAN NEWMAN EVERYWHERE thing is a rather massive distortion of the literary field.  Look, Newman's novels were pretty much non-starters, genre-wise [and have technical problems--as Loss and Gain indicates, Newman could never tell when his jokes were beginning to wear thin].  Only a tiny handful of authors imitated his polemical and formal strategies [some of E. H. Dering's work, for example].    Even authors who dedicated their fiction to him weren't really "doing" what Newman did.)

    6.  Some problems with studying Catholic fiction:

    a) I can haz Catholic publishers' archives, plz? Well, no, actually, you can't, as just about all of them have vanished mysteriously.

    b) Most Catholic authors were not reviewed outside the Catholic press. 

    c) A lot of Catholic fiction was translated/imported, in a way that is much more visible (because of sheer percentages) than it is with secular or Protestant fiction.  Makes it somewhat uncomfortable to discuss the literary field in national terms, no?

    d) If you're trying to recuperate "liberal/left/subversive" authors, then Victorian Catholic novelists are going to pose a problem for you, not least because a surprising number of them manage to be both marginal and "establishment" at the same time.  (Catholicism in general has never fit neatly into left/right boxes, something that still causes commentators on all sides no end of conniption fits.)  Moreover, when they do look "subversive" (their critique of the marriage plot, for example), their subversive doesn't equal ours.  

    e) There's some Protestant triumphalism still built into current literary-historical assumptions (especially about modernity).

    7.  Literary history as currently practiced cannot see 19th-c. Catholic realism, given that it operates according to considerably different assumptions about the nature of the "real" (as well as of the social).  Mentioned both the critique of the marriage plot and the presence of miracles/divine visitations/mystical experiences etc.  




    by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at April 23, 2015 03:58 PM

    The Cat's Meat Shop

    Attractions Offered in Liverpool

    This appeared in the Morning Chronicle 2 September 1850, from 'Our Special Correspondent' under 'LABOUR AND THE POOR'. It is the work of Henry Mayhew, better known for his descriptions of London poverty, and describes early music halls (though the term used in 1850 was 'concert rooms').

    The first I visited is one of the largest concert rooms in Liverpool. The advertised charge for admission was threepence, but on my tendering that sum to the money-taker at the door, he refused it, and informed me that the charge was sixpence. An explanation was asked and given, from which it appeared that the money-taker decided from the dress of the visitor whether he should pay the greater or the smaller sum. Threepence, he said, was the price to sailors and the working classes only; and sixpence was always charged to gentlemen. "But then," he added, "it comes to the same thing, as the full value of the ticket is returned in drink; and the 'gent' who pays his sixpence has a glass of spirits and water, or a bottle of porter for it; while the working man has no more than a glass of beer for his threepence."

    The room was large and handsomely decorated. It was fitted up with a stage at the further end and with moveable scenery as at a theatre. There were about 400 people present. The audience were arranged on benches, in front of small tables, or rather ledges, with just sufficient room before each person to place a bottle and a glass. Men, women and children were mingled together. A dense cloud of tobacco-smoke filled the room. The greater portion of the auditors were evidently mechanics and labourers, with their families; but there was a considerable number of sailors, British, American, and foreign. There was also a large number of young boys, of from fourteen to sixteen years of age, of whom there was scarcely one without a pipe or a cigar in his mouth. The presence of these boys was the most melancholy part of the whole exhibition. Their applause rang loudest throughout the room - their commands to the waiters for drink were more frequent, obstreperous, and rude, than those of other persons - and their whole behaviour was unbecoming and offensive.

    The performer in possession of the stage was a man dressed from chin to heel in flesh-colour cotton, fitting tight to the form, to represent nudity. He played the part of Lady Godiva riding through Coventry. In front of him projected the pasteboard figure of a pony's head, and behind were seen the posterior quarters of the animal. A long drapery concealed his legs, as he skipped about the stage, whilst a pair of stuffed legs, to represent the nude limbs of Lady Godiva, dangled over the saddle. He sang a comic song - a mixture of the old legend with modern allusions. The whole composition was not only vulgar and stupid, but indecent. He was greeted with loud applause, and called upon for an encore.

    To him succeeded a genteel-looking young woman who sang a sentimental song with considerable taste and feeling. The curtain then fell and allowed a pause for a few minutes, during which the waiters zealously plied the guests to give their orders for liquor. An elderly woman seated on the bench before me called for ginger beer. She was very meanly dressed and altogether unprepossessing; and when the waiter brought the liquor, in exchange for her threepenny ticket, he neglected to bring a glass for it. He was about to pour it into the glass of a previous visitor, in which were some remains of porter, when she held back his hand and insisted upon a clean glass. The man told her that she was rather too particular, and that if she could not drink without a clean glass she might let it alone. She insisted that, having paid her money, she was as much entitled to a clean glass as anyone else, although perhaps she was not quite so well dressed as some others in the room. The waiter insolently told her to "hold her jaw; glasses were scarce; and if she did not like the glass before her she could drink out of the bottle."

    The lowering of the gas-lights gave notice that the exhibition of the poses plastiques was about to commence. The room being reduced to semi-darkness, the curtain slowly rose, the whole blaze of the floodlights was thrown upon the stage, and a tableau vivant was exhibited. The performers were three females and one male. The tableau represented a classical subject; and the criticism of the spectators, though somewhat freely expressed, and not of the most delicate kind, as regarded the development of the female forms exposed to their gaze, was in the highest degree approbatory of the exhibition. As the curtain began to fall, there was a loud clapping of hands, and stamping of feet, a jingling of glasses and bottles, and a call for an encore. In the midst of the uproar of applause, and before the slowly descending curtain concealed the performers from sight, the elderly woman before mentioned directed my attention to the principal female figure in the group - a finely formed and handsome young woman. "The waiter treats me in this way," she said, "because I am old and badly dressed; but I'll ket him know that I am somebody, after all. That young woman, sir, is my daughter."

    I sympathised in her grievance respecting the waiter, upon which she became very communicative, and gave a detail of the professional life of her daughter. She was, she said, one of the first that ever exhibited in England, in the poses plastiques, and learned the art under Madame Warton. Her salary was a pound a week, for which she performed four or five times every night. She had to provide her own flesh-coloured silks out of her earnings, and these articles were very expensive. Though the salary was not high, her daughter would have been contented with it; but the master of the establishment having determined to cut it down to 18s. a week, she had given him notice to quit, and the present was the last night of her performance in Liverpool. She had received another engagement in Manchester at 21s. a week, and was to leave on the following Monday to make her first appearance. "It is very hard work," said the old woman, "and is not sufficiently paid, considering the expense of the dress."

    A comic song from a young man dressed as a sailor interrupted her further confidences, and she soon afterwards left her seat, but not before bestowing a parting malediction upon the waiter. At the conclusion of the song, I left the place, and visited another concert-room of the same kind. This establishment is divided into two separate rooms; the one entitled the "House of Commons," and the other the "House of Lords." The "House of Commons" is open to all comers, male and female; the "House of Lords," where the liquors are sold at a price somewhat in advance, is reserved exclusively for the male sex. The Hall of the "House of Commons" was a large room, in which about three hundred persons, sailors and their wives and sweethearts, mechanics with their wives and children, and a number of young lads and girls were assembled. The place was filled with tobacco smoke. The walls were adorned with gigantic full-length portraits of celebrated prizefighters, all in boxing attitude, and painted apparently in fresco. As at the previously visited establishment, there was a stage with moveable scenery at the extremity. A man in the traditional stage garb of  a sailor sang a nautical song and danced a hornpipe. He was followed by a female performer in the sentimental line, who was twice encored. She was succeeded by a couple, representing a cobbler and his termagent wife. They performed a comic duet, abounding in double entendres, which elicited roars of laughter. The performances in the "House of Lords" were of a similar character, the principal difference being the exclusion of women and the superior attire of the guests, who seemed to be composed of clerks, shopmen and tradesmen.

    I also visited other establishments of the kind. Their general characteristics were the same, except that the rooms were smaller, in some instances not being calculated for the accommodation of more than forty or fifty people. The performers were invariably on the best of terms with the company. The men smoked and drank with the auditory, and the woman drank with all who invited them, until they were summoned by a little bell to appear on the stage, and sing the songs set down for them in the programme in the evening. This done, they returned to the body of the room without the least ceremony, and again mingled with the guests, the whole performance and arrangements being of the simplest and most primitive kind.

    I took the opportunity of asking one of these young women, whom I had seen drinking brandy and water, gin and water, and beer, with at least half a dozen people, whether she did not find it prejudicial to her health, to drink so many mixtures, and whether she drank as much every night? She replied that it sometimes made her very ill. "Ours is a very disagreeable life," she added. "We are obliged to drink with all sorts of people who ask us. It brings company to the house, and if we did not drink with the sailors and others who invite us, we should lose our situations. We are not told this, but we know what would happen if we did not. Singing in such houses is hard work, and altogether our kind of life is very disagreeable. I should be glad to exchange it for any other. But what can I do? I do not know a note of music. I sing altogether by ear, and if I left my present situation, I should either have to take in needlework or go into the streets. At needlework I could not earn 5s. a week, and I gain 18s. a week at this. So you see if it is good pay, and though disagreeable for some reasons, it is better than needlework, and more respectable than the streets."

    Though no positive coarseness of language was used in the song and dialogues of the characters, the allusions were often broad and indecent enough, and we received with obstreperous merriment. The squabbles between husband and wife were frequently imitated, apparently to the immense delight of the company. The great majority of the auditors appeared in the garb of sailors, or mechanics; and as usual, the young boys, many of them prematurely old with dissipation, mustered in large numbers, and drank, smoked, and applauded with more vigour than the old portions of the company. It would be but a useless repetition to detail the various scenes of the kind of which I was a witness. The staple amusements were same, except that the nearer the concert-room was to the docks, the larger the proportion of sailors that attended. In one or two instances families of Irish emigrants were among the auditors. In some of the houses, dancing was a portion of the entertainment and included "nigger dances," the sailor's hornpipe, and the jig, and in one house a dance in pattens, by a women with her face blackened, to impersonate a negress, and in another an imitation of Boz's Juba. In no instance did I observe any quarrelling or disturbance.

    Such are the attractions offered in Liverpool to amuse the people in their houses of leisure.

    by Lee Jackson ( at April 23, 2015 03:52 PM

    Pinacotheca Petri Plancii


    Gaskell in Madrid

    Today, April 23 in Madrid, Spain:
    Elizabeth Gaskell, la Contadora de Historias
    Por Mª José Coperías, Profesora titular de Filología Inglesa de la Universitat de València.
    J23 de abril, 19.00 h.
    Auditorio del Museo del Romanticismo (acceso por c/ Beneficencia)

    Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) es, junto con las hermanas Brontë y George Eliot, una de las novelistas victorianas mejor consideradas. Su vida se caracterizó por contar historias, y Charles Dickens llegó a apodarla “Sherezade”. En su vida privada era una gran conversadora y escribió innumerables cartas llenas de anécdotas.  Publicó seis novelas, entre las que se encuentran Cranford y Norte y Sur (de la que acaba de publicarse una reciente edición en español), una biografía, multitud de relatos e incluso algún ensayo.
    Colabora: Editorial Cátedra.

    *Actividad dentro de la NOCHE DE LOS LIBROS.

    Actividad gratuita. No se requiere reserva previa. Acceso libre hasta completar aforo.  

    by M. ( at April 23, 2015 01:30 AM

    Do it for the Brontës!

    Keighley News has an article on Charlotte Brontë's birthday celebrations yesterday.
    A BBC crew is in Haworth today only hours before the launch of a major Brontë celebration.
    Plans for a five-year-long festival to mark the Bronte siblings' 200th birthdays will be launched tonight at the house in Thornton where most of them were born.
    Coincidentally, One Show presenter Cerys Matthews is making a short film about the youngest sister, Anne Brontë.
    The Brontë200 festival, masterminded by the Brontë Society and the Brontë Parsonage Museum, will last five years.
    It will begin next year with Charlotte’s 200th anniversary, followed by Branwell in 2017, Emily in 2018 and Anne in 2020.
    The Brontë Society also plans to commemorate the siblings' father Patrick Brontë in 2019, 200 years after he was invited to take up the parson’s role in Haworth.
    The launch party, being held on the same day as Charlotte Bronte's 199th birthday, is at Emily’s, in Thornton. It is hosted jointly by proprietor Marc de Luca and staff from the the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
    Guests at the party will hear how the Brontë Society intends to ‘bring the Brontës to the world and the world to Yorkshire’ through a series of events, exhibitions and partnership projects. [...]
    Matthew Withey, chairman of the Brontë Society Bicentenary Committee, said: “The bicentenaries of the Brontë siblings provide a tremendous opportunity for the Brontë Society to celebrate the legacy of the Brontës across the globe.”
    There will be a website,, which will serve as a hub for all events and activities connected to the Bicentennial programme. (David Knights)
    A few pictures of the BBC crew can be seen on Ponden Hall's Facebook page as well as on the Brontë Parsonage facebook page.

    ITV News lists the bicentenary events as well while Marie Claire celebrated by selecting '12 Inspiring Charlotte Brontë Quotes To Live By'. Also, The Bookseller gives us some of the background of the collection of short stories inspired by Charlotte Brontë to be edited by Tracy Chevalier.
    The Borough Press has acquired a collection of short stories inspired by Charlotte Brontë, edited by Tracy Chevalier.
    Authors contributing stories for the collection, Reader, I Married Him, include Helen Dunmore, Susan Hill and Emma Donoghue. Each will use Brontë's famous line from Jane Eyre as a starting point for an original story.
    Katie Espiner, publisher of The Borough Press, signed world rights in the anthology in a deal with Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown.
    The book will be published in spring 2016, marking Charlotte Brontë's bicentenary year. Chevalier is also curating an exhibition at The Brontë Society and Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, West Yorkshire, where Bronte and her siblings lived.
    She said: "Charlotte Brontë emerged from the most unlikely of places – a small parsonage in an isolated Yorkshire village – to become a celebrated author in an era when women were not encouraged to express themselves publicly or to be ambitious. Women writers owe her and her sisters a lot for kicking open that door. I want to celebrate her achievement by giving today’s writers an opportunity to riff on Charlotte’s most famous line. I expect the results to be startling and entertaining!"
    Espiner added: "When Tracy first started talking about the anthology, I knew it was something we wanted to publish. Jane Eyre’s words are arguably among the best-known ever spoken in English literature, and I am excited to see the 21st century interpretation these brilliant women will bring."
    Today (21st April) is the 199th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë's birth. (Joshua Farrington)
    And it looks like next year the celebrations will cross the Atlantic too. Deseret News reports that Hale Center Theater Orem has announced the 2016 season which will include
    Jane Eyre,” a musical adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s classic Gothic romance novel, will run from April 21 to June 4.
    The story of Jane, an orphan who grows up in a harsh boarding school and falls in love with her mysterious employer, is a beautiful, triumphant story about faith and forgiveness, Swenson said.
    “The play leaves you feeling uplifted and better than when you arrived,” she said, as it shows the beautiful transformations that occur in both Jane and Mr. Rochester’s lives accompanied by “haunting” music.
    “What sets this show apart from many musicals are the soaring, musical melodies that demand your attention,” Swenson said. (Ginny Romney)
    On to regular news now. Palo Alto Online finds a Brontëite in young writer Kathleen Xue who has just published her debut novel.
    Asked what her favorite books were, Xue named "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom, "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Brontë and "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. (Maev Lowe)
    While one of the tips given by The Telegraph on going through finals this year is
    5. Learn to love exams.
    ‘What?’, I hear you cry, ‘Surely not – exams are the devils of the academic world!’. On the contrary; our detestation of exams is the real criminal of academia. Exams taken as single entities are the gateways to a flourishing career and study abroad opportunities.
    Swan through those gateways, and the world is a more open place for us and our brains. Use exams to show off how excellent you are. Use exams as an opportunity to remember why you chose to study that subject. Fall back in love with the joy of solving equations or re-reading Wuthering Heights and you will perform so much better in the exam hall. (Hilary Bell)
    The Telegraph and Argus has an article on the activities that will take place during the Bradford Literature Festival.
    Topics to be explored this year will cover everything from ISIS to Islamophobia, Bollywood to the Brontës, comedy to crime, diabetes to doll making, horror to goth and poetry to politics. [...]
    Will Self will be offering philosophical insights on particle physics with leading scientist Professor Akram Khan. Former literary editor of The Independent, Boyd Tonkin, will be discussing freedom of speech as well as chairing a number of events as part of a special Brontë-themed weekend. (Kathie Griffiths)
    Detroit Theater Examiner includes The Heights by Kathe Koja and Nerve on a list of 'Five shows you don't want to miss' because 'you've not seen anything like it'.

    Exclaim reviews the video of the song Don't Take Yourself Away (Instant Nostalgia) by Hawksley Workman:
    Described as "one part Brontë, one part John Bender," the new clip brings together the unexpected worlds of Wuthering Heights and The Breakfast Club, with a rebellious-looking Workman delivering the tune against a backdrop of spooky moorlands.
    Tied together by the cultural references' shared "brooding gothic angst," the video was directed by Ken Cunningham and serves as an entertaining accompaniment to the theatrical, glam rock-inspired pop song. (Sarah Murphy)
    The Record features the Haworth Municipal Library... in New Jersey.
    Raising money to run and expand a library has been a daunting challenge since the recession struck, so for a library that serves just 1,100 households, as Haworth’s does, it pays to be creative. When the Friends of the Haworth Library learned in 2012 that a 2,900-square-foot expansion project was facing a budget shortfall of roughly $150,000, the goup  hatched an idea to trade on the borough’s connections to anyone with so much as a hint of fame, and the fact that the town shares a name with Haworth, England — a West Yorkshire village and the home of the Brontë sisters.
    “Haworth is such a small town that it felt like we had to go beyond our city limits,” said Beth Potter, president of the Friends organization and one of the architects of the fundraising campaign.
    Potter started writing letters to anyone with even a tenuous connection to Haworth or its history: authors who might be fans of the Brontë sisters; the Haworth Furniture Co., based in Holland, Mich.; and the actress Brooke Shields, perhaps Haworth’s most famous ex-resident, who responded by buying a brick.
    “I have a cockamamie idea,” one letter opened. “You’re going to change your email address because of me,” read another. “Do it for the Brontës!” concluded a third.
    Donations started pouring in. [...]
    But perhaps the most fitting donation came from the Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council in West Yorkshire, England, whose members voted unanimously to buy a brick. “From your friends in Haworth, UK,” the inscription will read when the patio is installed sometime in the next few months.
    Potter, who has an abiding interest in local history, and other Haworth residents had long assumed that the borough was named for the West Yorkshire home of the Brontë sisters. Their suspicions were confirmed by a line in a 1923 directory that Potter purchased off eBay a few years ago.
    John S. Sauzade, an Englewood-based lawyer and railroad financier, came to own much of the land around a railroad station in northern New Jersey in the years leading up to 1872, the directory said. Sauzade, the author of at least two novels, admired the work of Charlotte Brontë, the author of “Jane Eyre,” the directory noted, so he named his railroad station and the surrounding land “Haworth” in her memory.
    “I’m sure the Brontë sisters would have totally approved of our support for a library in the ‘new world” John Huxley, the chairman of the Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council, explained in an email. “You never know,” he added, “we might be asking them for help someday!” (Nicholas Pugliese)

    by Cristina ( at April 23, 2015 12:49 AM

    April 22, 2015


    The Smell of Jane Eyre

    A curious initiative in Oñati (Basque country, Spain). At the local library:
    Lurrinak eta Liburuak
    Kata Literarioa
    April 22, 19.00
    Udal Liburutegian

    Disfrutar de una experiencia emocionante, sensorial y diferente en torno al libro, ese es el objetivo de la cata literaria con la que la Biblioteca invitará a descubrir a qué huele una época, un personaje, un obra, un lugar ....a través de un perfume. Tratará de despertar el alma investigadora y los sentidos del lector, en el marco de las celebraciones del Día Internacional del Libro.
    «Tenemos muchas palabras para describir otros sentidos y sensaciones, pero el olor parece desafiar las palabras. El sentido del olfato humano no está desarrollado fuertemente y aún así, es rico y profundo, y puede mejorar la forma en la que te comunicas. La literatura se ha fijado muchas veces en los olores, así que pensamos que poner olor a los libros sería una propuesta original para animar a la gente a acercarse a la Biblioteca y la cata que asocia perfumes y libros, un buen formato» explica la responsable del servicio Arantzazu Ibarrondo.
    La cita será el miércoles, a las 19.00 horas, y permitirá descubrir los aromas de la novela negra, y degustar, entre otros, pasajes de «Twist» de Harkaitz Cano, «Seda» de Alessandro Baricco, «El amor en los tiempos del cólera» de Gabriel García Márquez, « Jane Eyre» de Charlote Brontë ... y por su puesto «El perfume» de Patrick Süskind.
    «Hemos intentado elegir libros que la gente conozca, que aunque no los tenga leídos, sepa cuál podría ser la atmósfera del libro y que evoquen olores diferentes entre ellos. Creemos que será una experiencia distinta y aprenderemos disfrutando» relata Ibarrondo. (Marian González in El Diario Vasco) (Translation)

    by M. ( at April 22, 2015 01:30 AM

    April 21, 2015

    The Little Professor

    A Catholic librarian on acceptable fiction, c. 1930

    The most complete bibliography of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Anglophone Catholic fiction is Stephen J. Brown, SJ's Catalogue of Novels and Tales by Catholic Writers, which went through multiple editions; I own the 4th, published in 1930.  It comes as no surprise that Brown's enthusiasm for modernist fiction was (ahem) somewhat limited (rather too much "moral poison" [x]).  But what did Brown think constituted a "fair nucleus" (xi) for a library's collections (xi-xii)?

    The "standard or classical fiction":

    • Walter Scott
    • Charles Dickens 
    • W. M. Thackeray
    • The Bronte sisters (not clear if Anne is included or not)
    • Anthony Trollope
    • Edward Bulwer Lytton
    • George Eliot
    • George Meredith
    • Wilkie Collins
    • Nathaniel Hawthorne

    The "contemporary, or almost contemporary, writers who have so far successfully withstood the tests of time and competition":

    • Bret Harte
    • R. L. Stevenson
    • Joseph Conrad
    • H. Rider Haggard
    • "Q" (i.e. Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch)
    • William Black
    • W. D. Blackmore
    • Arthur Conan Doyle
    • J. M. Barrie
    • Rudyard Kipling
    • George W. Cable
    • Henry James
    • James Lane Allen
    • W. D. Howells
    • Winston Churchill (the novelist, not the Prime Minister)
    • John Buchan
    • Kate Douglas Wiggin
    • Jack London
    • Booth Tarkington

    He also notes some comic writers:

    • Mark Twain
    • Stephen Leacock
    • W. W. Jacobs
    • Jerome K. Jerome
    • Barry Pain
    • P. G. Wodehouse
    • F. H. Anstey
    • D. B. Wyndham Lewis (not to be confused with the other Wyndham Lewis)

    These lists are always fascinating indicators of how Anglo-American fiction's canon continues to morph.  Some notes:

    1) Again, it's clear that by 1930 the nineteenth-century canon of "major" authors had pretty much settled down into its current form (but see below), albeit with Meredith and without Melville.  Bulwer Lytton had still not dropped off into the comic abyss of the Bulwer Lytton Prize and the Little Lyttons--the interwar period was really his last hurrah--while Scott remained an author whom everyone needed to read, although by this point he was also classed primarily as a children's novelist.   

    2) Jane Austen's absence is striking.  In general, there's an obvious shortage of women novelists here.  

    3) About half the late 19th/early 20th-c. contingent has disappeared.  James and Conrad are thoroughly "high culture"; Doyle, Stevenson, and, to a lesser extent, Barrie, Kipling and London are still popular (although those last three primarily as children's authors).  Harte continues to have some reputation for a few short stories, and both Haggard and Buchan have an audience amongst lovers of adventure and spy tales.  Howells and Blackmore are pretty much the province of academics at this point, and some of the others not even that.

    4) Of his comics, only Twain and Wodehouse are still read widely, although Victorianists probably know Jerome K. Jerome.  Oddly enough, readers who recognize Jacobs probably do so for the horror story "The Monkey's Paw," which is most assuredly not funny.   

    by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at April 21, 2015 11:55 PM

    April 22, 2015


    Bicentenary minus one

    The Western Courier reviews the Western Illinois University’s production of Jane Eyre the musical.
    Whitney Willard plays Jane Eyre and her voice is flawless. Throughout the production Willard plays a perfectly witty Jane. This musical has Jane Eyre being a bit more passionate than the books, and it works.
    Mr. Rochester, played by Grant Brown, is a comical character, with his stern moments. It is quite a different take on the traditional version.
    The play opens with Willard introducing her young life. Her parents pass away from infection and she is shipped off to live with her Aunt and Uncle Reed. Once her uncle passes away, she is left neglected and tormented by her family. Eventually, they send her away to Lowood School for Girls.
    Young Jane, played by Shannon Fields, is a passionate ball of fire. All she wants in life is fairness and love. However, her friend Helen teaches her the art of forgiveness.
    When Jane grows up, she becomes a governess at Thornfield Hall for a man named Mr. Rochester. That is when Jane’s life changes forever.
    The best part of the play by far, and perhaps the main reason I plan on seeing the play again this Wednesday, is when the gypsy comes to Thornfield and tells the fortunes of the residents at the hall. The singing and acting during that performance was spectacular.
    Also, Kellie Nolan’s character Bessie is hilarious. She plays such a wonderful comedic relief character, and she could not do a better job. [...]
    Western’s production of “Jane Eyre” is fantastic and definitely deserves to be watched over and over until it is gone. (Jessie Sheley)
    Chicago Now's Big Words and Little Birds looks into the 'birth of horror' and passes through the Gothic genre.
    [S.T.] Joshi states that while Walpole's work served as a basis or a framework for the gothic novel, many gothic writers "consciously departed" from his model, and thus the genre sees works that improve upon and better the elements present in Otranto, from minds such as Ann Radcliffe, Shelley, Poe, Henry James, and the Brontë sisters. (Melissa Baron)
    The Galloway Gazette features a forthcoming talk/tour, 'Discovering Crockett’s Galloway' on the novels by SR Crockett and the real-life backgrounds where they were set.
    Nowadays SR Crockett is best known for his novel “The Raiders” - his stirring tale of smugglers and gypsies which ranges from Heston Island on the Auchencairn coast to the fastnesses of the Galloway Hills, the Silver Flowe and Loch Neldricken. However Crockett wrote many adventure and romantic tales featuring the history, characters and folklore of Galloway , including sequel and prequel to “The Raiders” – “The Dark o’ the Moon” and “Silver Sand;’ and “Men of the Moss Hags” about the Covenanters and the Killing Times. All of these novels feature lovely, evocative descriptions of the countryside, sometimes using real place names but on other occasions tantalisingly masking the real places with fictional names. Cally has done the work to untangle this and will lead the audience into the world of Crockett’s Galloway from the 17th to 19th century with the aid of extracts from the novels and visual images.
    Joan Mitchell. Chair of the festival committee said: “Some novelists have the ability to make the landscape setting an integral part of their story, conjuring up vibrant images of the countryside so that some areas of the country are for ever associated with these writers. Thomas Hardy’s Wessex and the Yorkshire Moors of the Brontë sisters are good examples. SR Crockett, writing in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, did the same for Galloway but unfortunately his work, which was hugely popular in his time, has fallen out of favour, at least until now when thanks to Cally’s work it is beginning to enjoy a revival.
    Coincidentally, there's another Galloway in the news today as The Herald Scotland has George Galloway discuss 'the diverse and controversial Bradford West seat', described as
    a constituency where mosques stand alongside churches, derelict mills crumble next to modern apartment blocks, independent shops and businesses line the streets and the famous rugged countryside of the Brontë sisters lies just minutes away from the terraced houses of the city.
    Jezebel has an article on the 'doomed' relationship between Calvin Harris and Taylor Swift:
    Romeo and Juliet. Heathcliff and Cathy. Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris. Some relationships are doomed from the start.
    While most tragic romances are torn apart by feuding families, wars, or the untamable Yorkshire moors, Calvin and Taylor face a very different problem: Calvin is allergic to Taylor Swift’s beloved cats. (Madeleine Davies)
    And finally, today is of course Charlotte Brontë's 199 birthday. Her bicentenary minus one and both BBC News and the Yorkshire Post extract from the Brontë Society's press release what to expect next year. Frock Flicks posts about Jane Eyre costumes in films and series. BookRiot has a guest post from Patricia Park, the author of Re Jane: A Novel, a Korean-American retelling of Brontë’s Jane Eyre set in Queens, Brooklyn, and Seoul (forthcoming with Pamela Dorman Books/Viking, Penguin on May 5). Hard Book Habit revisits Jane Eyre.

    by Cristina ( at April 22, 2015 12:38 AM

    April 21, 2015

    The Little Professor

    RIP Victoria, 1999-2015

    2013-07-12 11.28.50

    I used to say that, unlike her late brother Disraeli, Victoria had been appropriately named.  Perhaps, though, I should have called her Maggie, because she turned out to be Iron Cat.  In 2013, Victoria was diagnosed with cancer, and I was told she wouldn't survive the year.  She did.  Then, a couple of months later, she went into chronic renal failure, but persisted in remaining alive (despite having to put up with a daily regimen of subcutaneous fluid injections).  Finally, if that wasn't enough, she developed inflammatory bowel syndrome, which is exactly what it sounds like, but  she managed to handle it for several months thanks to steroid therapy.  The vet was amazed.  But last week, shortly after reaching her sixteenth birthday, Vicki suddenly stopped eating, and it became clear yesterday that the cancer had expanded into her abdomen.

    Of the two cats, Vicki was far more outgoing and assertive; she was the kind of cat who insisted on supervising the contractors whenever work was going on in the house (which she would keep up for hours, I was told), and wanted to socialize with any and all visitors.  Not surprisingly, she was extremely chatty, usually trilling, chirping, and grunting instead of meowing.  Meows were generally reserved for informing me not that she wanted to be fed, but instead that "I am going downstairs to eat now."  (Obviously, it was important to announce the fact.)  She very much wanted to hang with her human, whether on my lap (the preferred spot), the back of my office chair, or on the top of my desk; if I neglected to pet her with the appropriate attention, she tapped my arm imperiously.  Late in life, she developed the habit of climbing on my stomach while I was sleeping--which led, on more than one occasion, to me petting her while still asleep.  She was, in other words, firmly in charge of the place.  

    by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at April 21, 2015 06:19 PM

    Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

    George Healey (American, 1813-1894), some portraits

     photo GeorgerHealymRs Charles Morey.jpg

    Mrs Charles Morey, who seems to have been something of a pianter herself.

     photo GeorgeHelayunkn.jpg

    Unknown woman

     photo GeorgeHealyEuphemia White Van Rensselear.jpg

    Euphemia White van Rensselaer

    April 21, 2015 07:58 AM


    Brontë 200

    An important press release by the Brontë Society. The first clues of what will be the 2016 Charlotte Brontë's bicentenary:

    by M. ( at April 21, 2015 01:16 AM

    Brontë 199

    Activities celebrating Charlotte Brontë's 199th birthday in Thornton, Haworth and London:

    In Haworth, at the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
    April 21st 2015 - April 22nd 2015

    To celebrate the 199th birthday of Charlotte Brontë, visitors to the Museum on Tuesday 21 April will have the opportunity to spend some time in the library with Ann Dinsdale, our Collections Manager, and see some of the treasures of our collection at close quarters.
    Library sessions will take place at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm.  Although included in the price of admission to the Museum, places are strictly limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.  
    In London, at The Trouble's Club:
    Bonnie Greer & Judith Watts: Fan Fiction Workshop
    April 21 @ 6:45 PM - 8:30 PM
    She was a square, looking to find place to settle. He was tall, handsome, educated but kind of lonely, and needed someone to tutor his kid. But all was not as it seemed. In the shady attic corners of the large house, events were taking place that young Adele would certainly not be allowed to see.
    Ok, not the greatest writing I admit but what you are reading is Trouble’s terrible attempt at doing fanfiction on Charlotte Brontë ’s Jane Eyre. We think you can probably do better, especially when guided by acclaimed critic and playwright Bonnie Greer and Judith Watts, author and publishing lecturer at Kingston University.

    The two will be leading a workshop of fanfiction as a “Gateway to Your Own Voice” They will talk a bit about this new genre – 50 Shades of Grey grew out of Twilight, which name checks another  Brontë great: Emily.  All you need to do is know the plot of Jane Eyre (if you haven’t read the novel, a wikipedia-style précis and a few pages of its dialogue will do) and prepare your pens.

    As Bonnie says: “This an empowering exercise. Everybody can write. You just need to begin to explore your own “line”. And you never stop learning. Fan fiction is a great way to begin… and could even become a lucrative career. I’m learning to do it  for pleasure. I think it can really expand the creative voice. I have a lot of respect for FF.”

    Bonnie is President of the  Brontë Society, and this is part of her BSide project – aiming to bring their works into the 21st Century… and by extension, all great classics. This is the beginning of the 200th birthday anniversaries – in succession – of Charlotte, (2016) Branwell, Emily and Anne.  “They’re more in our heads than we know. ”

    Judith loves the way Fan Fiction fires the imagination. A writer of erotic fiction, she enjoys the freedom it brings (Rochester beds Darcy), and how it brings reading and writing together. Judith is also working on a PhD in the Mills & Boon archives to become a Dr of Desire.

    by M. ( at April 21, 2015 01:06 AM

    107,945 words

    Detroit Theater Examiner reviews the 'theatre experience' The Heights giving it four stars out of five.
    “He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
    This is one of the many quotes from Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights” that is painted on the floor of the performance space inside Gallery 17. Wander around (or wonder around) and you’ll find headless manikins and faceless dolls set on pillars between trees made out of skewered books. Up the stairs, a steel bed is adorned with mementos and everything seems draped with a tangle of tarnished lockets. Audience members are free to move about the space along with the actors, who may interact with them as seems appropriate over the course of this tightly paced, one-hour experience.
    Choose your vantage point – upstairs or down – and enjoy being enveloped in “The Heights” – the latest immersive experience designed and performed by the nerve theatre company. It’s the classic story of Heathcliff and his beloved Cathy – a dark novel about the earthly vengeance that obsesses him and the immortal passion that binds them through eternity. It helps if one can remember the basic plot points from the complex novel studied in English Lit 101 – or even from the 1939 film – but it’s not mandatory. Brontë’s 107,945 words have been pared down to the emotional essentials in this captivating nerve production – and that’s what matters. [...]
    The Heights” does what nerve does best – it makes us reconsider something we thought we knew. Those who love “Wuthering Heights” will appreciate how the script is true to Brontë’s own words. Those who are intrigued by the phenomenon of immersive theatre will find that everything is calculated to engage on a sensory level. And those who simply want to try something new will not be disappointed – unless the simply fail to secure a reservation for the last two performances. (Patty Nolan)
    Theaternomadin reviews the Bernard Herrmann's Wuthering Heights performances in Brunswick:
    Der amerikanische Komponist Bernard Herrmann nahm kein Blatt vor den Mund. Wenn er einen Film miserabel fand, weigerte er sich schlichtweg dafür Musik zu schreiben. Umso bezeichnender ist es, dass ein so düsterer und eigenartiger Stoff wie Wuthering Heights von Emily Brontë seine Aufmerksamkeit und Faszination so sehr weckte, dass er ihn zum Thema seiner einzigen Oper machte. Mehr als sechzig Jahre nach Vollendung der Partitur dieses lyrischen Dramas fand nun am Staatstheater Braunschweig die europäische Erstaufführung in einer Inszenierung von Operndirektor Philipp Kochheim statt. Kann er damit an den Erfolg des ersten Beitrags der neuen Reihe “The American Way of Opera” (The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe von Dominick Argento) anschließen? (Read more) (Viktoria Knuth)
    Teen Ink has an article on 'Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre as Early Feminist Commentaries'.

    by Cristina ( at April 21, 2015 12:42 AM

    April 20, 2015

    Lewis Carroll Society of North America

    Diana Levin Art

    At the Big WOW! ComicFest in San Jose yesterday I (Mark B) met Diana Levin, an L. A. artist whose take on Alice is what she calls “Creepy Cute.” You can find her prints, pendants, pocketwatches, and the like here.

    by Mark Burstein at April 20, 2015 09:55 PM

    News from Anywhere

    The Kelmscott/Goudy Press Prints Again

    When the auctioneer’s hammer landed on our high bid, I ducked out into the lobby and did what was probably a very grotesque dance. I really couldn’t believe we were successful”

    -Steven Galbraith, Curator at the Cary Collection at RIT

    In December of 2013, the press used by William Morris at his famous Kelmscott Press—and later used at the Goudy Press—went under the hammer at Christie's. The winner was anonymous at first, but then it emerged that the press would be going to the respected Cary GraphicArts Collection at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Since settling into its new home at RIT, the Kelmscott/Goudy Press (K-G Press) has been restored by associate curator Amelia Hugill-Fontaneland put to use again.

    One of its first projects was our broadside, featuring an original portrait of Morris. This month we had short conversations with Steven Galbraith, the Curator of the Cary Collection; Amelia Hugill-Fontanel, the Associate Curator who restored the press; and Steven Lee-Davis, the artist who designed and printed our broadside on the press, about what it was like to obtain and work with this glorious historical press. Today we'll start with Steven Galbraith: watch this space as the story of the K-G press unfolds.

    Part I, Giving the Press a Home: Steven Galbraith, Curator of the Cary Collection, RIT

    What was it like to procure this famous press? Was the process difficult? Exciting?

    The Kelmscott/Goudy printing press had been on the Cary Collection’s wish list for some time, but we were taken by surprise to learn that it was going to be auctioned. Time was tight, but fortunately we found a donor to be our sponsor. Without his support we likely wouldn’t have had a chance.

    The auction was actually pretty stressful! The press was lot number 156. I arrived with our bidding agent, Phil Salmon, around lot 80. Although the Christie’s auctioneers keep things moving on a tight schedule, the pace of auctioning the next 75 items seemed unbelievable slow. It was like a build up of suspense. When it came time to bid on the Kelmscott/Goudy press, the pace seemed to pick up considerably. It was almost dizzying. When the auctioneer’s hammer landed on our high bid, I ducked out into the lobby and did what was probably a very grotesque dance. I really couldn’t believe we were successful.

    How does the press fit into the broader collection there?

    After our acquisition of the press was announced, we received so many messages of support and congratulations. It was wonderful. My colleagues and I felt strongly that RIT was the right home for the press, but to receive affirmation from printers, artists, and historians just confirmed it in the nicest way.

    I think the Cary Collection offers the perfect home for the Kelmscott/Goudy press. We are a special collections library with a focus on the history of printing. More specifically, we have strong collections relating to the former owners of the press, including Frederic Goudy, who is the topic of 2015 spring exhibition. We also maintain an active pressroom housing over fifteen historical printing presses. So the press is in good company.

    RIT more broadly has a long history of teaching printing and graphic design. Distinguished printers, designers, and book artists frequent our campus and the Cary Collection. Our university also offers a unique interdisciplinary environment for the press. For example, over the past year our Associate Curator Amelia Hugill-Fontanel restored the press with help from our Curator Emeritus David Pankow. During this process, they found a few parts that were damaged or, in one instance, missing. Amelia partnered with RIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering to recast new pieces. In this way, RIT and the Cary Collection have the resources to study, use, and even repair a nineteenth-century printing press.

    Finally, having the Kelmscott/Goudy press here at RIT is a homecoming of sorts. The press once belonged to our namesake, Melbert B. Cary Jr.

    What are your plans for the future of the press?

    The Kelmscott/Goudy press has already been included in several RIT classes, and that will continue to grow. Reaching off campus, we also hope to host master printing classes on the press, perhaps beginning this summer. The first broadside we printed on the press was a collaboration between Amelia Hugill-Fontanel and a wood engraver named Steven Lee-Davis, who prepared illustrations of five of the press’s former proprietors. We were very pleased with it. Steven printed a second broadside featuring just the Morris woodcut for the US branch of the William Morris Society.

    This coming October 23-24, the Cary Collection will host the 2015 conference of the American Printing History Association. Inspired by the Kelmscott/Goudy press, our theme will be “Printing on the HandPress and Beyond.”

    by Clara Finley ( at April 20, 2015 10:24 PM

    Lewis Carroll Society of North America

    Interesting Article on the Bangalore Alice

    Ever wondered about that copy of the 1865 Alice that turned up in an Indian bazaar?  This article has some interesting points, and sets a few things straight.  I’ll leave it up to the hard-core Carrollians to validate or vilify.

    by Matt at April 20, 2015 04:00 PM

    Regency Ramble

    Regency Fashion April 1815

    Morning Gown
    Ackermann's April 1815

    I loved the addition of the parrot to this picture. And the description contains a word that jumped out at me:

    A loose robe of fine cambric or worked jaconet muslin, over a petticoat of the same, flounced with French trimming; long full sleeve, confined at the wrist with treble drawings, and ornamented with corresponding trimming. 

    The robe, or negligée of demi-length, is confined at the top by a narrow collar, or gathered into a Vandyke ruff, and is worn with a coloured silk handkerchief, tied carelessly round the neck, and is fastened down the front with bows and tassels. 

    A mob cap, composed of net and Brussels lace, decorated with a cluster of flowers, and bows of satin ribbon. 

    Hair curled in the neck. 

    Slippers or sandals of pale tan-coloured kid. Gloves en suite.

    Negligée, translated as robe, to me means night attire, as in bedroom attire, so I was interested to see the use of it in this context.  I also really liked the demi-length of it and was interested to see that is described as being over a petticoat, rather than a gown. Definitely something I will want to use in a story.

    Talk about using fashion in stories my new release The Duke's Daring Debutante has several gowns inspired by this blog. I will give you a preview next time.

    Coming soon and available for preorder, The Duke's Daring Debutante

    Until next time .......

    by Ann Lethbridge ( at April 20, 2015 02:30 PM


    Creole Madness

    A new scholar Brontë-related book in French:
    Genèse d'une folie créole
    Jean Rhys et Jane Eyre
    Catherine Rovera-Amandolese
    Éditions Hermann
    ISBN 9782705690465
    April 13, 2015

    On se propose ici d'explorer les rapports pour le moins complexes qui, à un siècle d'intervalle, relient le dernier roman de Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea, à son hypotexte victorien, Jane Eyre. En revisitant le personnage de la Créole – alias Bertha Mason – dans Jane Eyre, Jean Rhys livre en effet sa version personnelle, rectificatrice, de la folie. Et surtout, son roman se donne comme le texte matriciel de celui qui l'a engendré, comme l'avant-Jane Eyre et, partant, comme la voix inaugurale de la folie. Il est donc fascinant de redécouvrir l'un des canons de la littérature victorienne à l'aune de Wide Sargasso Sea, en raison même de ce rapport de filiation inversée.

    Prendre pour objet la genèse de la folie implique par ailleurs de revenir aux sources mêmes du texte, autrement dit à l’avant-texte. On relira donc le dernier roman de Jean Rhys à la lumière des lettres et manuscrits issus des archives de l’université de Tulsa et de la British Library. Ces originaux se donnent comme un véritable journal de création. Ils nous permettent de voir comment la folie s’écrit, s’inscrit dans le texte, au fil d’une gestation lente et sinueuse. Et ils portent en eux la trace des multiples repentirs, tâtonnements et changements de cap qui ont permis d’aboutir au chef-d’œuvre que l’on connaît.

    by M. ( at April 20, 2015 02:20 AM

    April 19, 2015

    William Morris Unbound

    Images for Utopia

    We are all fond of the woodcut of Kelmscott Manor from C.M. Gere’s design which served as the frontispiece of the Kelmscott Press edition of News from Nowhere in 1893 and which now often graces modern paperback editions too. But is it really the best image to introduce Morris’s utopia? Does not the Manor, as a completed architectural artefact, imply that the effort of actually making utopia is over, that once we’ve rowed up the Thames to get there we can just lie back and enjoy it? Indeed, as a building that hugely predates the book’s own narrative present, does it not effectively take us outside the realm of utopia altogether?

    What might serve as a better image here then? Well, couldn’t we have a building from the utopian present in which William Guest finds himself? Why not a woodcut of the Hammersmith Guest House, say, or of that architecturally exuberant nearby Mote-House which embraces ‘the best qualities of the Gothic of northern Europe with those of the Saracenic and Byzantine’ (ch.IV)? Or better still, why not an image of a building in process rather than already completed, which might semiotically signal to us, as frontispiece of the book, that utopia is itself always in process and never complete, that it is constantly self-transformative or 'kinetic', in H.G. Wells’s term?

    And we do indeed have just such a scene available to us in the ‘Obstinate Refusers’ chapter later in the book, where Philippa and her building team are eagerly engaged on a new house on the upper Thames: ‘at work in the shed and on the scaffold about half a dozen men and two women, blouse-clad like the carles’ (ch.XXVI). A woodcut based on this episode would have had the further beneficial effect of reminding feminist critics of Morris’s utopia that women are not confined to the rather subservient roles they do indeed occupy in the earliest chapters. So do we have a woodcut artist out there venturesome enough to have a go at such an illustration?

    by Tony Pinkney ( at April 19, 2015 10:47 AM

    Pinacotheca Petri Plancii


    Ann Dinsdale in Ponden Hall

    An alert from Haworth for today, April 19:
    The Brontë Parsonage is home to one of the world’s most famous museums, and houses the world’s biggest collection of Brontë manuscripts, drawings, artefacts and other memorabilia, from locks of their hair, to the stockings they darned. Now Collections Manager and Brontë scholar Ann Dinsdale, who’s worked at the Museum for over 20 years, talks about the Museum’s astonishing recent acquisitions – including the famous dining table at which they wrote their novels – and offers a fascinating personal glimpse of life at the Museum from the other side of the cordon.

    Ann’s talk is here at Ponden Hall on Sunday April 19 at 2pm, and will be followed by a luxurious Ponden cream tea, complete with various kinds of sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, teatime cakes – and, of course, many pots of the statutory Yorkshire Tea! Afterwards visitors are also welcome to join in a tour of Ponden Hall.This special event will take place on Sunday 19 April at 2pm.  Tickets cost £20 and need to be booked in advance. For more information please contact 01535 648 608, email or see

    by M. ( at April 19, 2015 01:30 AM

    April 18, 2015

    Lewis Carroll Society of North America

    A Room Divided

    Bifurcate thy dwelling with these wood and canvas screens from


    by Mark Burstein at April 18, 2015 10:35 PM

    New Science Exhibit in Australia with Alice Theme

    Scienceworks museum in Spotswood Australia has opened a new interactive exhibit to introduce science and math concepts to children.  Running through October.

    by Matt at April 18, 2015 04:00 PM


    Wuthering Opera in Haworth

    More events happening in Haworth this weekend. Today, April 19, an amateur performance of the final act of Bernard Herrmann's Wuthering Heights opera is going to be performed at the Old School Rooms:

    An Evening of Opera
    An operatic concert featuring Bernard Herrmann's 'Wuthering Heights'
    April 18th 2015 07:30pm

    Join Museum Assistant Charissa Hutchens and fellow young professional opera singers for this fundraising concert.
    Charissa and other young professional opera singers will perform some light opera classics before giving a rare presentation of the final act of Bernard Herrmann’s Wuthering Heights.
    Half of the proceeds will be donated to the Bronte Society and tickets costing £7 (£5 concessions) can be ordered via
    More information in The Telegraph & Argus and Keighley News.

    by M. ( at April 18, 2015 11:53 AM

    Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

    The Little Professor

    This Week's Acquisitions

    • Patricia Duncker, Sophie and the Sibyl: A Victorian Romance (Bloomsbury, 2015).  A German ne'er-do-well is shipped off to hang out with the Sibyl (a.k.a. George Eliot).  Romantic complications ensue.  (Amazon UK)
    • The History of Andrew Dunn (RTS, n.d.).  Relatively long tract about an Irish Catholic converted to Protestantism (what else?).  (eBay)
    • Tod Jones, The Broad Church: A Biography of a Movement (Lexington, 2003).  Study of liberal Anglicanism at mid-century (Coleridge's legacy, the Arnolds, Cambridge theology, etc.).  (Amazon [secondhand])
    • Timothy George, ed., Mr. Moody and the Evangelical Tradition (T&T Clark, 2005).  Dwight L. Moody's theology, revivalism, biography, relationship to music, etc. (Amazon [secondhand])

    by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at April 18, 2015 12:11 AM


    Collecting Wuthering Heights

    According to an interview in the Daily Mail, this is what writer Rachel Joyce is currently working on.
    [What book] … are you reading now?
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë because I am adapting it for BBC Radio 4.
    Female First picks Cary Fukunaga's take on the novel as one of 'top 9 period film romances'.
    5. Jane Eyre
    Jane Eyre is one of my favourite books of all time - it is packed with romance, mystery, and two great central characters in Jane Eyre, and Edward Rochester. This is another novel that has been adapted many times, but Cary Fukunaga's version in 2011 is an absolute triumph. (...)
    While Wasikowska is great as Jane - she is also an actress who is more appropriate in age than some that have gone before - it is Fassbender that just shines.
    He delivers an intense performance and portrays this flawed man beautifully. Fassbender and Wasikowska sizzle as their relationship blossoms... before disaster.
    Jane Eyre is a sweeping romance and while we may have seen it many times before, Fukunaga has really given this story new life. (Helen Earnshaw)
    While The National (Scotland) sums up the same film while comparing it to the 1997 one. (Beware of spoilers of Game of Thrones too!)
    JANE EYRE, BBC2, 8.30pm
    Ciarán Hinds has been in the news recently, following his onscreen fiery death in Game Of Thrones and the news that he’s to join the second series of the BBC’s Shetland. Despite his impressive acting credits, Ciarán Hinds is best known to me for his role as Mr Rochester in a 1997 ITV production of Jane Eyre. He’s the only actor who has ever captured sulky, arrogant, proud Rochester to perfection.
    Unfortunately, this broadcast is a different version of Jane Eyre, with Michael Fassbender playing Mr Rochester, but it’s still worth watching.
    Based on Charlotte Brontë’s magnificent novel, it tells the story of Jane, an orphan who’s treated terribly by her aunt and even worse in the harsh religious school she’s sent to. When she reaches 18, she’s free to escape and make her own life, finding a job as governess to a little French girl in the bleak and isolated Thornfield Hall. The house is owned by the mysterious Mr Rochester who is never at home, so who is it that Jane hears wandering the corridors at night?
    What a magnificent story it is – though I still urge you to seek out the Ciarán Hinds performance. He’s the only Rochester for me! (Julie McDowall)
    Personally though, Ciáran Hinds is one of our least-liked Rochesters.

    And speaking of Game of Thrones (beware of spoilers again!), The Concourse recaps episodes 2, 3 and 4 of the current season. You have to be a fan to understand - and be spoiled by - the following:
    CUT RIGHT TO SANSA. HOLY SHIT IS THIS REAL??? This is very different from the books, where Roose gets a bootleg Arya (it's Jeyne Poole, I think, unless that's a character from an Emily Brontë novel and her name is something else) and Sansa is (per a nerd Wiki, because I skimmed A Dance With Dragons, which sucks) hahahaha still in the Vale. (Kyle Wagner)
    Relationship advice on Vice:
    6. Getting into a relationship with someone else who you don't even like and pretending that new person is the fantasy person while you are having sex with them
    Relationship experts say that fantasizing about one person while fucking another person is natural and normal. But it's one thing to fantasize about someone you've never had feelings for, and it's another to be re-enacting Wuthering Heights in your head with an old lover while fucking a totally new lover. For me this has only resulted in crying during sex. And not in a good way. (So Sad Today)
    This columnist from Rockwall County Herald Banner is apparently 'obsessed' with the book itself.
    In one of the bookstores, we found an interesting copy of “Wuthering Heights.” Neither of us had seen it before — which may become clearer when I explain my small obsession with the book.
    I first read it when I was a senior in high school. That copy is annotated and highlighted, bent and torn and thoroughly read. But like every good book I’ve read, the annotations slowly disappear the nearer to the end. I credit WH with my fascination with literature. That same year — but only after reading WH — I read “Jane Eyre,” “The Awakening” and “Persuasion.” [...]
    And soon I somehow ended up with another copy. This one was from a used bookstore. It’s older — published in 1959. The front cover features Heathcliff and Catherine in front of a frightening tree, the entire image framed in mustard yellow. The pages are also yellow, but the yellow is from age, not intentional ink.
    I’m not sure where or when I bought the next copy — only that I bought it after the 1959 issue and before the 2012 — which I didn’t buy in 2012. This copy is from 1989. It’s a hardback with a fraying paper cover I had to tape together on the spine. I’ve never written inside it.
    The 2012 copy is a “pocket” book. It’s strangely small, strangely stiff for a paperback and contains teeny tiny print. If I’m being honest, I haven’t actually read this edition. It just floats around my room, car or purse in case I need reading material.
    The most recent copy is also from 2012. It also has the most adorable cover art I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really fit the dark and gloomy character of the book, but I am giving the artist props for only using blue, the saddest of sad colors.
    So in total, I have five copies of WH.
    I didn’t realize I had so many copies — or such a hoarding problem — until I was checking out at the little bookstore in Santa Fe. The woman who owned the store was checking me out and she was obviously a book lover. She remarked on the cover art, too, but also asked if I’d read the book. I admitted that I had, and — somewhat reluctantly — that I already owned a few copies.
    I realized I might have too many when I couldn’t tell her if I had three copies or four.
    Did I mention that book was the first thing I bought in Santa Fe? No? [...]
    But back to my small collection of WH books. Three out of the five are used and two out of those three are the oldest, with yellowing, torn pages that have grown thick from memories lost between the pages. They were read before I found them and will continue to be read until — maybe — I continue the cycle and someone else picks those books up in a used bookstore — even more torn and yellow and thicker than when they came to me. (Anne Fox)
    In The Telegraph and Argus, local writer Robert Swindells encourages people not to keep their talents hidden away.
    “The ability to write creatively is a talent that many of those who possess it like to keep secret. It’s a hidden talent, and there is a long tradition of children sitting at home, scribbling stories or poems on bits of paper which they then squirrel away, reading them only to themselves,” he said.
    "Four of the Brontë children were secret scribblers. So were Jane Austen, Rosemary Sutcliffe and many more we’ll never know about because they lived and died without ever displaying their gift. to be able to express ourselves clearly in writing is a valuable accomplishment, one which will serve us well all our lives." posts about Jane Eyre. 

    by Cristina ( at April 18, 2015 01:03 AM

    April 17, 2015

    The Little Professor

    Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

    John Sell Cotman (1782-1842), Mousehold Heath, Norfolk, watercolours

     photo cotmanmousehold1.jpg

    Lying not far from Norwich, this was open heathland, grazed by freeholders' animals, until the end of the Victorian period, but much of it is now covered by scrub and trees.

     photo cotmanwindmillmousehold heath.jpg

     photo Cotmanlongvalley.jpg

     photo Cotmanmousehold2.jpg

    April 17, 2015 07:59 AM

    Victorian History

    Faster, Lower, Deeper - The First Trans-Atlantic Telegraph Cable

    <!--[if !mso]> v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} .shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);} <![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-AU X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

    by (Dr Bruce Rosen) at April 17, 2015 01:56 AM


    William Atkins at the Haworth's Moors

    An alert for today, April 17, in Haworth:
    William Atkins: The Moor
    Author reading in Haworth
    West Lane Baptist Centre, Haworth, on April 17 at 7.30pm.

    The Moor: Lives, Landscape, Literature follows a journey on foot through Britain's moorlands from the southwest tip to the Scottish borders. The account is both travelogue and natural history, and an exploration of moorland’s uniquely captivating position in our literature, history and psyche. In this event, William Atkins focuses on moorland literature, bringing in literary works such as Wuthering Heights, Hound of the Baskervilles and Lorna Doone.The Moor was described by The Guardian as ‘an ambitious mix of history, topography, literary criticism and nature writing, in the tradition of WG Sebald, Robert MacFarlane and Olivia Laing.’
    Jenna Holmes, arts officer at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, said she was delighted that William Atkins was returning to Haworth.
    She said: “He gives a wonderful account of the Haworth moors in his book, including the history of the three Withens farms and the families who once lived there, and anyone interested in local history as well as the landscape will find this a fascinating event.”
    The talk is part of the Brontë Society’s latest contemporary arts season, which is funded by Arts Council England. (David Knights)

    by M. ( at April 17, 2015 01:30 AM

    The ‘heather-clad world' of Emily Brontë

    Spectator reviews Caryl Phillips's The Lost Child in which
    Elsewhere, in a surprising but powerful section, Phillips transports us to the deathbed of Emily Brontë, picturing her in flight from reality and climbing ‘the short, steep staircase of her imagination’ into the ‘heather-clad world’ in which she discovered Heathcliff. (Alex Clark)
    Wuthering Heights is one of the ten famous love stories selected by GraphoMania (Italy):
    Cime tempestose di Emily Brontë ovvero come farsi del male reciprocamente pur amandosi tantissimo. Dopo averlo letto comprerete molte piantine di erica. (Mariantonietta Barbara) (Translation)
    A columnist at XOJane is a fan of the novel while this cricket recap from ESPN's The Cordon uses the following simile:
    When the time comes for Jimmy Anderson it's difficult to imagine a repeat, and not just because cricket trousers don't come with zips any more. Botham was England's Falstaff, Anderson has been its brooding Heathcliff. They seem to share little except for their positions at the head of the list of England's wicket-takers and a mastery of the spooky art of swing bowling. Even in that, they are separate. Botham was a tank, a wrecking ball, a force of nature with a golden arm. Anderson's artistry appears far more delicate. (Jon Hotten)
    El Diario Vasco (Spain) interviews Mertxe Tranche, professor and women studies scholar.
    -¿Quiénes son sus escritoras referentes?
    -En general, las escritoras inglesas del siglo XIX como Jane Austen, las hermanas Brontë, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, a las que añadiría Virginia Woolf, Doris Lessing y Jean Rhys. Y en castellano, Carmen Martín Gaite, Pardo Bazán o Laforet. (Elene Arandia) (Translation)
    Yesterday was the birthday of Maria Brontë, née Branwell, mother of the Brontës, and the Brontë Parsonage Facebook page celebrated it by showing us a now-fragile quilt sewn by her daughters Charlotte, Emily and Anne. Caroline Holden shares a photogallery with pictures of the 2015 production of Wuthering Heights by the Northern Ballet. Headspace Perspective excited by an old edition of Jane Eyre.

    by Cristina ( at April 17, 2015 12:04 AM

    April 16, 2015

    Lewis Carroll Society of North America

    Alice Gamejolt Jam for Alice150

    CaptureApparently it’s not just us Carrollians who’ve taken notice of the big 1-5-0, game designers have too.  Take this for instance, a Gamejolt Jam, which is apparently a challenge to come up with games based on a theme, has a new Alice jam scheduled for June 27 – July 3.  The rules are simple:

    1. Base your game on the Alice in Wonderland book or characters
    2. Include the mystery theme (this will be announced at the beginning of the jam)
    3. Create the game within the jam period, including any graphics and audio
    4. Entries can be from individuals or teams
    5. Upload your game to Game Jolt and tag it with #alicejam150

    Go for it!

    by Matt at April 16, 2015 04:00 PM

    Regency Ramble

    Lullworth Castle 5

    One of the interesting things about Lullworth is its connection to the Prince of Wales. A slight tenuous it is true.

    The Welds, the owners of Lullworth were staunch Roman Catholics and suffered much for their preferred religion, coming under suspicion whenever the issue of Catholicism or when the Stewarts were trying to reclaim the British throne. All Catholics were barred from holding public office.

    After a childless first marriage,  Edward Weld's second wife was the beautiful seventeen-year-old Maria Smythe. Regency buffs will know that he died from injuries suffered from fall from his horse one month after his marriage. So very sad.

    Maria, and was left destitute, because there was no will - how could her parents not have seen to this I ask myself? She married again - a Mr Fitzherbert.

    Yes, she is indeed Maria Fitzherbert, who later illegally married the Prince Regent. Her marriage was never recognized.

    And there we have the connection.  I think the Weld family were wrong not to support Edward's widow, don't you?

    Until next time.....

    by Ann Lethbridge ( at April 16, 2015 03:00 PM

    Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

    Pavel Fedotov, portraits of the Zhdanovich family

     photo fedotov-gdanovich-elizaveta.jpg

    Elizaveta Zhdanovich

     photo fedortovannazhdano.jpg


     photo fedotocpavelzhhdano.jpg


     photo fedotovportrait-of-n-p-zhdanovich-as-a-child-1847.jpg

    Nadezhda as a child

     photo Fedotovportrait.jpg

    Nadezhda at the piano

    April 16, 2015 08:25 AM

    The Little Professor

    Rage against the machine

    ...or, at least, the cell phone.

    1.  I have a slightly older phone.  It is slow, it has a lousy camera, and it can be grouchy about connecting to WiFi.  

    2.  I have a brilliant idea: I will replace this phone.

    [pause to admire the brilliance]

    3.  I order a replacement, which is keyed specifically to my provider.  Things are looking up.

    4.  The replacement (keyed specifically to my provider) arrives.  I do various things to make sure that it turns on, connects to WiFi, ports stuff over from the other phone...

    5.  ...and then I attempt to connect it to my provider.

    6.  I cannot connect it to my provider, because my provider does not believe in any of the IMEIs.  I am sad.

    [insert emoticon of your choice here]

    7.  I then do the logical thing and contact customer service.  

    8.  Customer service makes suggestions.  None of these suggestions work.  I point this out.

    9.  Customer service suggests that I do something that is impossible with this brand of phone (removing the battery to check the serial number).  I point this out also.  

    10.  We have more suggestions, including a repetition of #9.  I indicate that I am not impressed.

    [insert sound effects: fingers drumming loudly on desk]

    11.  Customer service makes a suggestion that works! I have IMEIs of the correct length! Hooray!

    [insert pom-poms here]

    12.  My provider does not believe in the existence of these IMEIs, either.  

    [insert image of pom-poms being tossed in nearest waste bin]

    13.  I send an email to the retailer, asking them if this is actually the phone they say it is.  

    14.  I contact my provider again, with a list of everything they have suggested to date, and asking if there is something else we can try.

    15.  Remember #9? And #10? Customer service makes this suggestion again.  I am agog.  

    [insert agog face here]

    16.  I contemplate responding to #15, then realize I can think of absolutely nothing to say that would not require bleeping, asterisks, dashes, etc.  I do not respond to #15.

    17.  I contact the retailer again and suggest that evidence begins to mount that, despite all claims to the contrary, this may not be a cell phone that works with this provider.  

    18.  I await a response.  I also contemplate removing my cell phone business from both the retailer and the provider.    

    by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at April 16, 2015 01:40 AM


    Immersive Heights in Detroit and Jane Eyre's Musical in Macomb

    In Detroit, MI, an immersive theatre experience by the Go Nerve performance group, after Wuthering Heights:
    The HeightsSteve Xander Carson, Marisa Dluge, and Rachael Harbert.
    Music: Matthew Deneka
    Adapted by Kathe Koja

    I felt her, I could almost see her . . .
    I know that ghosts have wandered on the earth.
    In the industrial grit and sweep of the urban moors, Gallery 17 hosts nerve's passionate recreation of Emily Brontë’s masterwork: Cathy and Heathcliff, lovers in life and beyond. The ends of the earth. The depths of desire. THE HEIGHTS.

    April 17-18 & 24-25

    Gallery 17
    Russell Industrial Center
    And in Macomb, IL, a student performance of Jane Eyre. The Musical:
    The Western Illinois University Department of Theatre and Dance presents
    Jane Eyre. The Musical
    Paul Gordon & John Caird
    7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, April 17-18 and Tuesday-Thursday, April 21-23
    Hainline Theatre.

    The dramatic musical interpretation of the famous novel by Charlotte Brontë is a tragic and romantic story. Directed by MFA directing graduate student Erik Wagner, the production features a cast of 19 WIU students.
    A special pre-reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 18, as a celebration of book clubs and book lovers in the area. 

    by M. ( at April 16, 2015 01:02 AM

    April 15, 2015


    The Brontë Asteroids

    Now that the New Horizons is nearer to Pluto than to Earth and the Dawn mission is orbiting Ceres in the asteroid belt, maybe is a good moment to remember that there are three tiny asteroids named after each one of the Brontë Sisters:

    The three were discovered on 29 September 1973 by Cornelis Johannes van Houten and Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld on photographic plates taken by Tom Gehrels at Palomar Observatory near Pauma Valley, California.
    39427 Charlottebronte Orbital period 7.95 years.
    39428 Emilybrontë. Orbital period 3.88 years.
    39429 Annebrontë. Orbital period 3.79 years.

    by M. ( at April 15, 2015 01:39 AM

    Anne Brontë's crime

    This week's walk at The Telegraph and Argus is in the footsteps of the Brontës.
    This week’s walk takes us into Brontë country.
    It starts at Penistone Hill Country Park, just a stone’s throw away from the village of Haworth, where the Bronte sisters made their home after their father, Patrick, was appointed curate.
    The paths and tracks on this route provide views up to Top Withens ruins, connected locally to Emily’s famous novel Wuthering Heights and the surrounding moors.
    Sections can be quite wet and muddy and suitable footwear is advisable.
    The walk has been provided by Yorkshire Water and other walks in the area can be found at (Read the step-by-step)
    In the meantime, Express suggests the top 10 places to follow in Jane Eyre's footsteps too.
    Love the novel Jane Eyre? Follow in Charlotte Brontë’s footsteps to explore stunning countryside that inspired her.
    1.    Explore Haworth, the Yorkshire village on the edge of the Pennine Moors where the Brontë sisters grew up. Charming Stone Cottage sleeps three people and has been recently refurbished and is just outside Haworth, down a country road in Oxenhope (1.7 miles from Haworth village). It’s the perfect base to explore Brontë land. Available from £51 a night.
    2.    Discover Hathersage, the place that inspired Charlotte’s novel, Jane Eyre when she visited the village in 1845. Traditional Barnfield Cottage sleeps five and this lovely stone cottage is right in the centre of the Hathersage. The cottage, has a 4* rating from Quality in Tourism, and is near the cafes, pubs, restaurant and shops. Features include wood burning stove, plus parking for 3/4 cars. Price from £483 a week.  (Read more)
    These two steps, however, sound like shameless advertising and are nothing to do with Jane Eyre.
    6.    Historic Rochester, in Kent is the famous setting for Jane Eyre. Nearby, Stables Cottages make an idea stay for a big family group, or two families wanting to go away together. There are two and four bedroom oak beamed cottages cottages sleeping up to 8 people, set in 20 acres of secluded farmland on the Hoo Peninsula with panoramic views of the Thames. Rochester can be reached in 15 minutes by car. On site there’s a heated indoor swimming pool, steam room and pool table for the exclusive use of cottage occupants. Prices from £114 a night.
    7.    Stay in a stylishly renovated holiday barn on the edge of a very pretty village on the River Medway. Church Barne La Grande in Aylesford is just a short train ride from Rochester. Set in a conservation area, the beamed barn was originally built in 1890 and sleeps seven. Price to stay here on April 24 is £662 (£15.76 pppn) for seven nights. There’s room too for room for two pets. Property Reference: PPPC Church Barne La Grande, Aylesford, Maidstone, Kent. (Anne Gorringe)
    There's an extra place to be visited according to another article by the same newspaper on film locations.
    10. Stay in a stunning holiday cottage that managed to make its way in the 2011 movie of Jane Eyre. White Edge Lodge, Derbyshire has breathtaking views in all directions and is surrounded by wide expanses of open heather moorland. This holiday cottage, which sleeps five, even has views of the moorland from the bathtub! Original interior features including a kitchen in the former game cellar. (Anne Gorringe)
    Several Swedish websites announce that an adaptation of Jane Eyre will go on stage in Malmö in February 2016. From Sydsvenskan:
    Malmö Stadsteater har tillkännagivit programmet till nästa säsong och hej! Jane Eyre!
    Att det görs en nydramatisering av Charlotte Brontës klassiker är ju ingenting annat är fantastiskt kul. Det är Anna Azcárate som både dramatiserar och regisserar och jag fantiserar redan om vilka som ska spela huvudrollerna. Premiär blir det inte förrän tidigt nästa år, så det finns inga övriga detaljer klara. (Maria G Francke) (Translation)
    Also reported by Expressen and Skånskan.

    Philippine Daily Inquirer on the pleasure of reading:
    Different books mesmerized me at different stages of my life: Books by Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, Thomas Hardy, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. These authors were my “classical friends” while James Michener, Boris Pasternak, Harper Lee, J.D. Salinger and Leon Uris were my “newer friends.” (Grace Shangkuan Koo)
    Western Morning News features Judy Finningan (of Richard and Judy fame),
    Then in 2012, Judy published her own first novel, Eloise, to critical acclaim. This book and her latest bestseller, I Do not Sleep, have drawn comparisons with Daphne du Maurier and it's easy to see why - Judy's evocation of the landscape is visceral.
    "Rebecca, Wuthering Heights, I want to write like that, where the landscapes mirror the emotion," she says. "I'm drawn to writing about very strong extremes of emotion and love that sort of gothic literature."
    ComicMix comments on reading 
    Infidel, an autobiography that chronicles the life and times of political activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali [...]
    Turning her back on the more relaxed version of Islam practiced in Somalia and Kenya, Ms. Ali became immersed in the religion, donning the hijab, sympathizing with the Muslim Brotherhood, and agreeing with the fatwa against Salmon Rushdie for his portrayal of the Prophet in his The Satanic Verses.
    At the same time, she was reading Nancy Drew stories, romance novels by Danielle Steele and Barbara Cartland, and Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls. She also read the great classics of Western literature, including Wuthering Heights, 1984, Huckleberry Finn, and Alan Paton’s Cry, The Beloved Country, the South African writers polemic about racism and apartheid in his country. (Mindy Newell)
    Daily KOS tries and dispel the theory that Shakespeare was someone else by pointing out the following:
    How many wonderful writers came from unlikely beginnings? The Gettysburg Address, widely regarded as one of the greatest speeches of all time, was written by a man born in a log cabin, who was mostly self-educated well into his teens. Charlotte Brontë, one of six children of a poor clergyman, only had a year of formal education, at an institution that inspired Lowood School in “Jane Eyre.” Joseph Conrad barely knew any English until he was an adult, but his command of the language in “The Heart of Darkness” and his other writing is superb.
    Die Deutsche Bühne (Germany) reviews the Brunswick performances of Bernard Herrmann's Wuthering Heights:
    Die Natur bleibt draußen. Für die deutsche Erstaufführung von Bernard Herrmanns Oper „Wuthering Heights" am Staatstheater Braunschweig hat Thomas Gruber einen edel-karg eingerichteten Betonbunker mit Ledersofa und Breitbildschirm geschaffen. Philipp Kochheims Interpretation des romantisch-mysteriösen Stoffs von Emily Brontë erinnert so eher an Godard als an naheliegende englische Gothic-Filme. Damit setzt er Herrmanns Musik mit ihren breit malenden Naturschilderungen und manchmal reichlich melodramatischem Pathos eine zeitgenössisch-coole Ästhetik entgegen. Und zwar perfekt durchgestylt. (Read more) (Translation) (Andreas Berger)
    Liberty Blog has a post one how 'Anne Brontë violated Nevada law by speaking without permission' and also how it is illegal in Nevada to write 'a biography of Anne Brontë [...] without having a PI license'.

    Opheliac Madness posts a Wuthering Heights essay: Heathcliff: Love, Hate and Revenge. Lost Beyond the Wall reviews Jane Eyre.

    by Cristina ( at April 15, 2015 12:58 AM

    April 14, 2015

    Lewis Carroll Society of North America

    ALICE, A Steampunk Concert Fantasy at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas

    Well, I guess it had to happen sooner or later, a Las Vegas Alice show.  Performed infrequently, check the show’s page on the official Hard Rock website for details.  Next performance appears to be May 20.

    From the Las Vegas Sun:

    Alice: A Steampunk Rock Opera at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel, and the eight-member cast all have their Strip show duties first before the 11 p.m. explosion of bizarre makeup, outrageous costumes, fierce dancing and even fiercer music. “Alice” is the map-cap, zany creation of current “Jubilee” at Bally’s lead vocalist Anne Martinez.

    I saw the production based on … Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” a month ago and was bowled over by the energy of the frenetic, sexy performers in their original and elaborate Steampunk costumes. The artistic tour de force really has dramatic singing and dancing.

    These are original arrangements of favorite pop/rock songs by Lady Gaga, Amy Winehouse andThe Rolling Stones with a nine-piece live band led by trumpet titan Dave Perrico. The Cheshire Cat and The White Rabbit are part of the theatrical experience choreographed by Ryan Kelsey (“Pin Up”at the Stratosphere) and Claudia Mitria, who perform in the show.

    Don’t be frightened or surprised when the cast leaves the stage to perform routines in the audience with flashlights to spotlight them. Don’t miss this offbeat, rowdy and raucous revelry. The only question remaining for tonight is who will be the guest star to play The Red Queen to scream, “Off with their heads!”

    by Matt at April 14, 2015 04:00 PM

    Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

    Penry Williams, watercolours of Wales

     photo Merthyrfrom the mountains.jpg

    Merthyr from the mountains

     photo Williams Chepstow.jpg


     photo williamsTintern.jpg


     photo WilliamsCwmtafabovecemetery.jpg

    Cwm Taf

     photo Williams Bridge at Taffs Well.jpg

    The bridge at Taff's Well

    April 14, 2015 09:21 AM


    Jane Eyre in New Jersey

    Tomorrow, April 15,an amateur production of Jane Eyre The Musical opens in Haddon Township, New Jersey:
    Jane Eyre. The Musical
    by Paul Gordon & Michael Caird
    April 15 and 16 at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. at the Ritz Theatre Company
    915 White Horse Pike, Haddon Township.
    The Courier-Post gives more information:
    It’s hard enough to be a teenage girl. Or the father of one.
    So imagine the potential minefield when a father is directing his own daughter in a major play. Meet Bruce Curless, producing artistic director of The Ritz Theatre Company, and his daughter, Roberta.
    Not only have they survived the challenge — they’ve actually thrived from the experience. (...)
    That knowledge comes from having directed Roberta many times, and seeing her tackle the work with zest and commitment. “She has always done the work, made smart decisions as an actress, and has always given her very best.”
    But in rehearsing “Jane Eyre,” he also is seeing a very disciplined cast member, “...more than prepared ...” when she comes to rehearsals. She is the first to have the work memorized,” her father reports, and she often sets the whole tone of the rehearsal.
    That may be because for as long as she can remember, Roberta has loved “Jane Eyre,” and also fell in love with the musical version. It is, in fact, serving a dual propose in her life: she is not only performing as Jane; she also has been working on everything from costumes and props to design as her home-school final project.
    “I see Jane as a wonderful role model for girls. She was a strong, disciplined and well-educated person at a time when being a woman was almost condemning.”
    Roberta sees her character as using her heart, her brain and her faith to rise above obstacles, and to manage to live a life that matters. “I like her — and I admire her,” says the 18-year-old leading lady who hopes to earn her BFA in musical theater when she’s off to college — which college yet to be determined — next year.
    Roberta also raves about the Rochester character from the novel, and her leading man. (Sally Friedman)

    by M. ( at April 14, 2015 01:30 AM

    The Little Professor

    Some random observations about Wolf Hall (so far)

    On this side of the pond, we've just finished the second episode of Wolf Hall (to accompany the Broadway opening of, well, Wolf Hall--we seem to be in Thomas Cromwell overload).  I had three interrelated thoughts about a) the Barry Lyndon-esque lighting, b) how Cromwell is shot vs. how Anne Boleyn is shot, and c) the status of this film as a prestige costume drama, of the sort we Yanks see anthologized by Masterpiece Theatre.  

    a) I'm not the only American who cracks jokes about how British detective dramas tend to be wildly underlit, as if the BBC and ITV left lighting out of their budget estimates.  Everything is gloomy, illuminated only by random beams of light filled with dust motes.  In Wolf Hall, by contrast, the overwhelming darkness is not so much heavy-handed symbolism (although there's symbolism there) as it is an act of historical imagination itself.  Many "Tudor" films and miniseries employ enough light, even in "dark" scenes, to enable viewers to gaze upon spectacular costumes and scenic designs--the aesthetic signs of historical authenticity, intended to atone for equally spectacular deviations from established historical facts and accepted historical narratives.  (Think of the Elizabeth films, for example.)  Wolf Hall, by contrast, asks us to see, not the characters themselves (who are sometimes barely visible), but as the characters.  This, I think, may be part of the miniseries' attempt to make up for the loss of Cromwell's unusual narrative voice--if our gaze cannot quite be filtered through Cromwell's, it can at least be filtered a bit like Cromwell's.  Not much is clear, literally or figuratively.

    b) The director frequently shoots Cromwell in medium shots to closeups that accentuate his face and upper body; just as frequently, Cromwell is looking at and listening to other people, as much or more than he speaks or is watched.  By contrast, Anne Boleyn is most often in medium or long shots that display her very costume-drama-ish costumes (of which more in just a second).  In the second episode, for example, when she converses with Cromwell, she is very carefully "framed" by the combination of her chair, her centering in the shot, her parallel ladies-in-waiting, and the window behind her.  Unlike the darkness which tends to accompany Cromwell, Anne is almost always brightly lit; moreover, the framing stages her as a person to be gazed at.  (Yes, this is getting rather Laura Mulvey-ish, I suppose.)  The viewer can see Anne quite clearly, even though so much else is obscure.    

    c) Anne Boleyn's costumes are the most stereotypically costume-drama style dresses in the miniseries so far: brighter coloring, embroidery, trim, textures, etc.  The other women are either glimpsed in the dark or are wearing plainer clothes (even Mary Boleyn, for example).   When we enter Anne Boleyn's space, that is, we also enter a more traditional form of costume drama, which caters to viewers interested in elaborate visual signifiers of the past (and has historically been associated with female audiences).    To what extent does this also reflect how Anne herself perceives her place at that particular moment in time? 

    by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at April 14, 2015 12:20 AM


    'Four weeks at No 1 for a debut single about a Victorian novel isn’t bad going'

    Bustle recommends Hillary Clinton 16 books that she should read during her 2016 presidential campaign. One of them is
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
    One strong woman deserves the company of another, which makes Jane Eyre the perfect bus book for the Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign. As a strong woman who stands her ground ahead of her time, Jane is not only a worthy companion for Clinton but also, quite possibly, a welcome role model. (Hannah Nelson-Teutsch)
    Swazi Observer (Swaziland) comments on reading Jane Eyre when young.
    It's undoubtedly one of the pleasures of reading, when we are young, to come across characters who feel as we do. Oliver Twist hungry and having to ask for more - why, that was exactly what I wanted to do after every school lunch. Jane Eyre orphaned and demeaned, blamed for crimes she hasn't committed - who ever went through childhood without suffering in that way.
    Everything But the Girl frontwoman Tracey Thorn has written a book on the art of singing, Naked at the Albert Hall, and The Guardian publishes an extract:
    In 1978, when Kate Bush released Wuthering Heights, I was too immersed in my punk records to like it. More than the fact that it featured piano – drippy – and referenced a novel – swotty – I struggled with the singing. That melodramatic, all-over-the-shop approach to vocal melody just screamed “hippy” at me, and seemed to be the aural equivalent of shawls, beads, headdresses and candles, all of which I suspected Kate Bush was wearing or surrounded by while she recorded the vocal. It was this very flamboyance that imprinted itself on people’s minds and made it so appealing to the amateur performer (still imprinted on my eardrums, eyeballs and indeed damaged psyche, is the memory of two friends’ moving rendition at a Christmas karaoke party), but singing in that way, in that voice, steered the song close to the ridiculous. You could contend that the novel itself is somewhat manic and hysterical, so Kate Bush’s vocal is true to the tone of her source material, and yet, what a gamble to take. It paid off, of course – four weeks at No 1 for a debut single about a Victorian novel isn’t bad going – and proved once again that with rock and pop singing it’s probably safe to say that you can never go too far in your quest to find a distinctive voice for yourself.
    The Economic Times reports that
    a Nasa scientist has decided to name an asteroid that she discovered between Mars and Jupiter after Malala Yousufzai, as the Pakistani Nobel laureate will then join a club that includes all four Beatles, Rafael Nadal, Lewis Carroll, Karl Marx and Charlotte Brontë, and some 15,000 others, famous and not-so.
    Balivernes (in French) reviews Wuthering Heights.

    by Cristina ( at April 14, 2015 12:43 AM