Planet Century 19

March 31, 2015


Charlotte read in Baghdad or in Kuala Lumpur

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

by M. ( at March 31, 2015 12:30 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

Is anyone unable to see the pictures here? I cannot detect any problem, but a someone - from Russia - tells me that thye are not coming through.

March 31, 2015 08:51 AM


160 years ago

*This post was first published in 2011*

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

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

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

by M. ( at March 31, 2015 01:30 AM

March 30, 2015

Lewis Carroll Society of North America

SesquicenTenniel Book List

Publishers are getting in on the Alice150 celebrations! Here is a list of books that have or will come out this year. A new, highly illustrated edition of The Annotated Alice! The first trade edition with the Dalí illustrations! A 3-volume work on translations! New illustrators! Many more!

Please feel free to email Mark if you know of others or have suggestions or corrections.

by Mark Burstein at March 30, 2015 04:47 PM

Wonderland in Emojis Poster for Sale

Artist Joe Hale has translated Alice into emoji – those cute little emoticons that populate Facebook and mobile phones.  And now you can buy a poster of this amazing undertaking.

by Matt at March 30, 2015 04:00 PM


Brontë à la Led Zeppelin

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

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

by M. ( at March 30, 2015 11:43 AM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii


Literature and Tourisms of the Long Nineteenth Century


                Call for Papers:
Literature and Tourisms of the
 Long Nineteenth Century
Guest Editor: Meghan Freeman, Manhattanville College

According to the OED, the word tourism enters the English lexicon at the dawn of the nineteenth century, thus institutionalizing the notion that travel is a necessary component of personal development. As crowds of earnest bourgeois travelers displaced the solitary young aristocrat on the Grand Tour a vast body of literature concerned with both mundane and exalted facets of foreign places cropped up to fulfill a new set of needs.  Owing to the diversity of places to which individuals traveled and the many different reasons for doing so, these needs were diverse and multiform.  So, rather than speak of a monolithic tourism culture, it might be better to contemplate the many different tourisms that emerged from and developed over the course of the long nineteenth century (defined here as approximately 1789-1914). For this special issue of LIT we are soliciting essays concerning experiences of and with tourism over the course of the long nineteenth century, as those experiences are documented, codified, and complicated in literatures devoted to travel.

Travel literature, of course, had long worked to kindle the imaginations of homebound readers with stories of people and places elsewhere, but as technological and economic forces made travel easier and more affordable, a new, heterogeneous population of tourists called for, consumed, and produced texts that directed and validated their experience of going abroad. And not only that: works of the eighteenth century and Romantic period took on new meanings for readers as tourists sought forms of authentic cultural experience that the tourism industry seemed to render impossible.  At the same time, new imaginative works – novels, plays, and poems – reflected on tourism as a distinct cultural practice and way of life, which demanded the performance of specific behaviors in such spaces as museums and architectural ruins, spas and sanitariums, theaters and opera houses, Alpine heights and tropical islands. Alongside these critical and meditative literatures on the nature of tourism blossomed specialist literatures designed for travelers with particular interests, including sport and safari, natural wonders and naturalist study, health and medicine, religious pilgrimage and worship, trade and imperial exploration, and many other things besides. Finally, with the growth of these many tourisms came as a well a vast promotional literature – print advertisements, pamphlets, posters, and other ephemeral texts – that tried to convince travelers to pay a visit. This special issue of LIT aims to explore how these various literatures reflected the growth of and helped to shape the diverse cultures of tourism in the long nineteenth century.

LIT: Literature Interpretation Theorypublishes critical essays that employ engaging, coherent theoretical perspectives and provide original, close readings of texts. Because LIT addresses a general literate audience, we encourage essays unburdened by excessive theoretical jargon. Submissions must use MLA citation style and should range in length from 5,000-10,000 words inclusive. Please email your essay, along with a 100-200 word abstract to

Deadline for submissions: June 3, 2015.

by Unknown ( at March 30, 2015 05:02 AM


Wuthering High DVD

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

The Asylum:

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

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

by M. ( at March 30, 2015 01:30 AM

March 29, 2015


Forget damsel in distress

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

by M. ( at March 29, 2015 12:00 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii


From Turner to Wuthering Heights (and some Trees)

Obsession with Trees is an exhibition by Julia Entwistle which opened yesterday, March 28, at the Colne art gallery, Arteology:
Julia’s work is often based around the landscape, but more recently she has been looking at cities around the region….especially Manchester and its surrounding areas. Her cityscapes have a timeless quality, capturing both the beauty and domineering aspects of the city’s fascinating architecture. It’s the sublime aspect of this particular subject that she tries to evoke in her paintings.
‘Within my work I try to capture the mood of the place rather than simply producing a topographical study. I hope to achieve this effect by the overlaying of different materials, using acrylics and varnishes. Working with mixed media gives you the ability to respond to chance and accident, creating unique results.
There have been various influences on my work, especially within the Gothic/Romantic genre, films such as Wuthering Heights, Rebecca and Jane Eyre. Other related links include literature by Thomas Hardy, the Brontë sisters and Byron, all of whom have helped me to get in touch with my own emotions.’
From Turner to Wuthering Heights is a previous series of five acryllic canvas with obvious Brontë links:

by M. ( at March 29, 2015 01:32 AM

March 28, 2015


The Sound of Jane in Tamil

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

by M. ( at March 28, 2015 07:22 PM

Cabaret and Jane's Sisters

The Scary Little Group theatre group is touring the UK with their literary cabaret show The Full Brontë:
The Full Brontë is a riotous, cabaret celebration of the lives and times of the Brontë sisters. Hosted by larger-than-life comedy comperes Monika and Nom de Plume, this is an intimate and hilarious homage to English literature's most famous sorority that will inform and entertain its audience in equal measure.
Mixing literature and laughter into one seamless comedy show, theatregoers will be led on a wild ride through the fascinating lives and classic works of the Brontë sisters, with literary readings, music, songs, stand-up, slapstick and audience participation at every turn.
Surprisingly, perhaps, it will also entail a heated and puzzling debate on why Cornwall can lay claim to the heritage of the much-loved literary sisters. Cornish audiences won't escape the duo's scathing wit, though – as Nom and Monika ensure plenty of local content to add to the merriment and mayhem. (The Cornish Guardian)
Liskeard, Liskerrett Comunity Centre, Fri 20th Mar 15, 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Falmouth, The Poly, Sat 21st Mar 15, 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Millbrook, Millbrook Village Hall, Sun 22nd Mar 15, 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Lelant, Lelant Village Hall, Fri 27th Mar 15, 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Lamorna, Lamorna Village Hall, Sat 28th Mar 15, 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Downderry, The Zone, Sun 29th Mar 15, 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
St Austell, The Old Press Gallery, 1st Apr 15, 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
And in Port Townsend, Washington:
Port Townsend author Jody Gentian Bower celebrates the publication of her book “Jane Eyre’s Sisters: How Women Live and Write the Heroine Story” with a book-launch party, 6-8 p.m., Friday, March 20 at Heartspace, 204 Woodland Way, just south of Port Townsend.
“I wrote this book because I wanted to read it,” said Bower, who first began noticing a recurring pattern in novels by women sometime in the 1980s. “All the books I read about the heroine’s journey were based primarily on Joseph Campbell’s heroic quest model, but the pattern I saw in heroine-centered stories written by women – and some men, including Shakespeare, Dickens, and J.R.R. Tolkien – was totally different.”  (Port Townsend Leader)

by Cristina ( at March 28, 2015 05:28 PM

Lewis Carroll Society of North America

Article Debunking Several Bad Photo Forgeries

These days its seems that everyone wants to make creative photographic alterations to any number of subjects,  however far too often these creations take on a life of their own and through the internet version of the game of telephone become ‘real’.

Alan Beechey has recently posted an article on his blog that debunks several of the more blatant Carroll forgeries.  Take a peek and don’t believe everything you see on the internets.

by Matt at March 28, 2015 04:00 PM


New Men, Masculinity and Marriage

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

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

by M. ( at March 28, 2015 03:12 AM


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

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

by Cristina ( at March 28, 2015 12:51 AM

March 27, 2015

The Little Professor

This Week's Acquisitions

(I have such doubts...)

  • Richard Whately, Historic Doubts Relative to Napoleon Buonaparte, 2nd US ed. (James Munroe, 1843).  Whately's famous satire of David Hume's theory of testimony in relation to miracles.  (eBay)

by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at March 27, 2015 10:10 PM

Lewis Carroll Society of North America

Review of new Alice/Carroll Book “The Story of Alice”

The book The Story of Alice:  Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland has just been published in the UK, and will be available here in the US on June 1st – how typical :-)  For those in the UK you can purchase it here now.

On March 22, the Guardian published an lengthy review of the book, posed several questions and posited several theories of its own.  I shall leave it to the reader to weigh the merits of any such comments in either the review or the book reviewed.  Needless to say, the reviewer calls it the best book on the subject.


by Matt at March 27, 2015 04:00 PM

The Little Professor

Did you hear the one about the Ivy League university crossing the road?

Like the rest of us who teach at campuses that are neither R1s nor elite SLACs nor draped elegantly in ivy, Corey Robin cannot help noticing a certain narrowness in mass media coverage of higher ed.  Well, yes.  Besides the reasons other commenters have pointed out--Harvard and Yale grads covering Harvard and Yale, etc.--I think that there's also some convenient homogeneity at the upper end of the scale.   Such campuses are generally competing nation-wide for the same kind of student; expecting similar research outcomes from their faculty; and, for that matter, hiring faculty from within their own particular network.  Smaller and/or less elite campuses, whether comprehensive colleges or directional states, of necessity tend to think locally (although financial pressures are changing that), may have different hiring priorities, have wildly varying expectations about research, and so forth.   (This is why I have come to look askance at the deluges of academic hiring advice that professional career counselors pour forth each season: much of it has to be ignored for any given college.)  Incorporating colleges like mine requires reporters to think about not only different campus cultures, but also regional issues (my little SUNY fits rather differently into its part of NY than Robin's CUNY), varying responses to financial questions, demographic vagaries, and the like.  


by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at March 27, 2015 02:25 AM


Devils, Belongings and Pure Love

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

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

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

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

by M. ( at March 27, 2015 01:55 AM

The power of Emily Brontë's whisper

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

by Cristina ( at March 27, 2015 12:52 AM

March 26, 2015

Lewis Carroll Society of North America

Lewis Carroll’s Dream-child and Victorian Child Psychopathology

A new paper has been published by Stephanie L. Schatz, a research fellow at Purdue, and she has graciously provided us with a link to the paper.  Abstract below:

This essay reads Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) alongside influential mid-century Victorian psychology studies—paying special attention to those that Carroll owned—in order to trace the divergence of Carroll’s literary representations of the “dream child” from its prevailing medical association with mental illness. The goals of this study are threefold: to trace the medico-historical links between dream-states and childhood, to investigate the medical reasons behind the pathologization of dream-states, and to understand how Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland contributed to Victorian interpretations of the child’s mind.

by Matt at March 26, 2015 04:00 PM


Free Jane in Greenville

In Greenville,South Carolina:
The Film House Greenville
Jane Eyre (1944)
Free Screening

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

by M. ( at March 26, 2015 01:30 AM

The scribbling Brontë sisters

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

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

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

by Cristina ( at March 26, 2015 12:43 AM

March 25, 2015

Lewis Carroll Society of North America

Forbes Article on Alice Meets Nabokov & Dali

Quite a nice article in Forbes that discusses Anya in Wonderland by Nabokov under pseudonym, Dali, Steadman, and more at the Harry Ransom Center at UT Austin now through July 6th.  For those attending the Spring meeting you’ll get to visit up close and personal as this is where the meeting takes place!

by Matt at March 25, 2015 04:00 PM


Talk on Juxta Editions at UVA

Next week the UVA Scholars’ Lab will be hosting Nick Laiacona at an event that will feature the next phase of Juxta software. If you are local, please come check out the talk to find out more about using Juxta Editions to create digital editions of your editing projects!

Scholars’ Lab Speaker Series: Nick Laiacona
Using Juxta Editions to Create Digital Scholarly Editions

Wednesday, April 1
10:00 am · Alderman Library, Room 421

Juxta Editions is a professional editing suite for the creation of digital scholarly editions. Scholarly editors, historians, archivists, and academic librarians are routinely using the Internet to share primary source material with one another and the public. However, the set of technologies required to deliver a state-of-the-art scholarly edition remains difficult to master. Using Juxta, you can transcribe, annotate, collate, and publish to the Internet a work or collection of related writings. The session includes a demonstration of Juxta Editions.

Nick Laiacona is the president of Performant Software Solutions LLC. Performant builds custom software and websites for digital humanities projects, including: Juxta, Collex, Typewright, BRANCH, TextLab, BigDIVA, Viral Texts, and Book Traces. Laiacona has acted as technical lead on digital projects funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.

by Brandon Walsh at March 25, 2015 01:46 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii


An Eyre Journal

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

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

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

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

by M. ( at March 25, 2015 01:46 AM

Meeting Ellen Nussey

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

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

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

by Cristina ( at March 25, 2015 01:22 AM

March 24, 2015

Lewis Carroll Society of North America

TADA Musical The Trials of Alice in Wonderland

tada aliceGuess this is theater week on the Carroll blog, but lots of good stuff happening.  Next month the Drama Desk Award winning TADA Youth Theater is performing a new musical called The Trials of Alice in Wonderland.  From their site:

Book by William Brooke Music by Eric Rockwell Lyrics by Joanne Bogart

Based on the classic books by Lewis Carrol, this original musical follows Alice and all the usual suspects in the topsy-turvy world of Wonderland, where Alice is on trial for growing and changing.

April 25- May 17, 2015
Saturdays and Sundays 2pm and 4pm

by Matt at March 24, 2015 04:00 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii


Erotic Delights in the Grey Sargasso Sea

We thought these erotic retellings à la Grey (with a Sargasso twist) were (thankfully) over... but we were wrong:
Vanessa de Sade
Published By: Andrews UK Ltd
Published: Mar 17, 2015
ISBN # 9781785381515

A feast of erotic delights awaits you in the balmy sugar fields of Thornfield Plantation in this bold reimagining of Charlotte Brontë's classic novel set in the Trinidad of 1847, as Jane journeys forth from Southampton to enter the employ of the brooding Mister Rochester, abolitionist ex-slave and now master of his own estate.

There are steamy bathhouse encounters with Mama Fairfax the voluptuous Cajun housekeeper; sadomasochistic assignations with an inky black Grace Poole; and deliciously hot tropical nights in the arms of the doll-like Blanche Pang – but all Jane hungers for as she stalks Thornfield's whispering halls of secrets is the dusky Rochester, detached and alone in his chamber at the end of the passage…

by M. ( at March 24, 2015 01:30 AM

Being miserable with Jane Eyre

The Gay UK reviews Northern Ballet's Wuthering Heights giving it 4 stars.
Wuthering Heights is perhaps best known as a story about love and passion, but it is also very much a story which has a sinister undertone about manipulation and revenge. David Nixon’s choreography reflects both aspects of the piece, and picks up on the key plot points of the book, focussing the ballet into an agreeable lighter version of the story which establishes the relevant narrative and characterisations, but neither spoon feeds nor over faces the audience.
Amongst the cast, two particular performances stood out. Kevin Poeung, fresh from his Emerging Artist nomination, was excellent as the young Heathcliff. But the commanding performance by Mlindi Kulashe as Hindley Earnshaw made the most impact and was performed with such conviction. I found myself utterly absorbed in the music, with the score by Claude-Michel Schὂnberg being a sweeping epic, reflective of the Yorkshire Moors themselves, and filled at different times with playfulness, passion and drama, but also harbouring a very dark undertone; which was most noticeable in the second act, as Heathcliff begins to take his revenge. The highlight of the choreography was the opening to the second act, as Emily and Linton are married, the piece being filled with joy and happiness, swishing gowns and a tightly timed ensemble which contrasted with the passion and dramatics of the final meeting of Heathcliff and Cathy on the moors. (Paul Szabo)
Aftenposten (Norway) reviews the play Fugletribunalet.
Fugletribunalet inneholder en subtil kritikk av den romantiske kjærligheten, som ikke fanges opp av dramatiseringen. For Agnes Ravatn har begått kunststykket å skrive en roman i et spenningsfelt mellom Jane Eyre, og en nærmest Priklopil og Kamputsch-aktig psykothriller. Den romantiske kjærlighetsmyten dreier seg jo ikke bare om idealiseringen av kjærligheten – paret skal også isolere seg og dyrke forholdet. På Det Norske forkleines karakterene. Men som kritikk av unge kvinners evne til å umyndiggjøre seg selv fungerer det som vellykket satire. (Therese Bjørneboe) (Translation)
The Guardian interviews children's literature writer Jenny McLachlan:
Do you have a favourite book? Of all time? I think, probably my favourite book of all time is Jane Eyre. I remember when I read it, it was a college night, and I stayed up all night reading it so I really shouldn’t have done that! I’ve always loved romances. (Scouting for Books)
Vivek Tejuja writes on Scroll (India) about how books saved his life.
I realised I was gay when I was ten. I did not know how to deal with it. There was nothing I could do.. The feeling that I might be taunted or worse ridiculed. I could not even tell anyone. I come from a Sindhi-Punjabi family, where the only exposure to “being gay” had come to my family through movies and that too at a very superficial or humorous level. I knew how my family would make fun of me, plus I was ten. I thought things would change. I turned thirteen. Things remained the same. I liked boys more than I liked girls. I could not tell anyone. I read.
Reading provided the much needed solace. Reading was a balm to all my aches. Books transported me, took me away from reality. I did not know want to face reality. Why should I? I thought to myself, when I could be lost in the lands of Oz and travel with Gulliver and be miserable with Jane Eyre. Nothing was of consequence, but the authors and the books I read.
Salon replies to David Brooks's recent article The Cost of Relativism.
Brooks starts his column by decrying what he sees as our banes — single motherhood, slack parenting, a fall in church attendance, what once was called “juvenile delinquency,” and even clubbing and sex, all of which lead, as he puts it, to an “anarchy of intimate life” and “family breakdown.” [...]
Such rectitudinous generalizations hardly warrant a response, but those familiar with Brooks’ work understand what the provenance of the aforementioned morality is likely to be, and that does deserve rebuttal.  He hints at it, reminding us of times of “moral revival” when “behavior was tightened and norms reasserted.”  He has in mind, he says, “England in the 1830s and . . . the U.S. amid economic stress in the 1930s.”  He suggests we engage in an “organic communal effort, with voices from everywhere saying gently: This we praise.  This we don’t.” [...]
But what of “England in the 1830s”?  The badass sensualist poet Lord Byron and his fellow atheist versifier Percy Bysshe Shelley had just tragically departed this world for the Eternal Void.  The novelists Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë were coming of age, and would produce such wonders as “Jane Eyre,” “Wuthering Heights” and “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.”  Samuel Butler, author of “The Way of All Flesh” (a moving, must-read semi-autobiographical account of a journey from religious belief to atheism), was born.
None of this sounds very Brooksian either. (Jeffrey Tayler)
Médiapart (France) has a piece of advice:
Une fois dans votre vie, poussez jusqu’au petit village de Haworth, celui des sœurs Brontë, à quelques encablures de Leeds, où le vent des Hauts de Hurlevent souffle directement depuis l’Oural et vient se fracasser sur la maison sinistre qui surplombe le cimetière du village où furent rédigés les chefs-d'œuvre que l'on sait. (Bernard Gensane) (Translation) 

by Cristina ( at March 24, 2015 12:08 AM

The Question of Belonging

The Seattle Times tries to find the Wuthering Heights in Caryl Phillips's The Lost Child:
The Lost Child” does indeed delve into the story of Brontë’s mysterious outsider Heathcliff before he was brought to Wuthering Heights (the isolated home of the Earnshaw family in the wilds of Yorkshire). But those chapters occupy only 30 pages in Phillips’ 260-page novel.
One short additional chapter envisages Brontë on her deathbed, and the rest of the book is devoted to the mid-20th-century story of Monica Johnson, a drab, abrupt, depression-prone young Yorkshire woman who, after a brief marriage to an aspiring Caribbean revolutionary-politician, returns with her two sons to Yorkshire and ekes out a living as a librarian.
Monica’s story unfolds in urban settings — dreary flats in London and Leeds — rather than the ravishing, windswept moorlands that play a central role in Brontë’s novel. And where Brontë’s prose and characters are served up with an almost macabre glee, Phillips’ smoothly written account of Monica’s troubles is unfailingly downbeat and dispirited.
Appalling things happen to Monica and her children, who are just as lost, in their way, as Heathcliff. But the perverse gothic gusto of “Wuthering Heights” finds no counterpart or echo here. Indeed, it’s difficult to see what Phillips is responding to in Brontë’s novel, since it’s not its setting, its atmosphere or, in any significant way, its headstrong, larger-than-life characters.
There’s not even a similarity in narrative strategies. “The Lost Child” is fragmented and collagelike in its storytelling, though never much varied in its tone. “Wuthering Heights,” by contrast, is a fluid marvel of intricately layered flashbacks, with outrageous incidents filtered through the eyes of oddly stoic, sardonic or accepting witnesses, allowing Brontë to strike droll and savage notes simultaneously. (...)
Still, all the characters in Monica’s story seem to abdicate their relationships rather than engage in open confrontation, and their actions are recounted with a staid, chilled detachment that, in contrast to Brontë’s approach, fails to pull you viscerally into their world. (Michael Upchurch)
NPR interviews the author:
Phillips was born on St. Kitts, an island in the West Indies. But he grew up in England, just few miles away from where the literary Brontë family lived. He says that his proximity to the Brontës influenced his latest novel,The Lost Child — which brings Emily Brontë's 19th-century Wuthering Heights into modern times. The Lost Child follows a young woman as she drops out of Oxford to marry a Caribbean man. She winds up as a single mother with two young boys.
"The question of parentage, the question of belonging, is very central to Wuthering Heights," Phillips says. "And some of those echoes in that novel obviously began to resonate with me when I was thinking about the more contemporary story."
The Times reviews the novel:
What do the following have in common: Cliff Richard, Laurence Olivier, a famous cartoon cat and Caryl Phillips’s tenth novel?
Cliff and Larry played the brute hero in stage and film versions of Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff the cat was the beloved comic-strip creation of George Gately. And The Lost Child has, at its core, a range of familiar Heathcliff mysteries.
How did a parson's daughter in remote Yorksire create Heathcliff? Emily Brontë wrote just the one novel before the family disease, TB, carried her off to a premature grave. She'd seen virtually nothing of the world beyond the parsonage. She died, we can be sure, a virgin. (...) (John Sutherland)
Check also The Guardian for an article about Kazuo Ishiguro and Caryl Phillips long friendship.

The Washington Post interviews Maureen Corrigan who is presenting her new book So We Read On. How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why it Endures:
Q: If you had to do a similar book about a different novel, which one would it be? Let’s just imagine you’re not the world’s biggest “Gatsby” fan. What other book deserves this kind of treatment? (Joel Achenbach)
Corrigan: Oh, that’s a tough question. I think “Moby Dick” deserves the kind of intense — some might say obsessive — attention I’ve given to “Gatsby”; also “Jane Eyre” and “Wuthering Heights” (although Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar in their classic critical work, “The Madwoman in the Attic” did a pretty fantastic job of close reading for those novels). Willa Cather’s “My Antonia” is a gorgeous American classic that deserves more attention.
The Public Reviews posts about the Sheffield performances of the Wuthering Heights ballet revival by the Northern Ballet:
All this is stunningly and evocatively realised by Northern Ballet in a production that does not fail to move and stir the emotions. Premier dancers Martha Leebolt and Tobias Batley as Cathy and Heathcliff bring everything you would expect to their roles – and more. Their many pas de deux are so passionate and intense, that even the hardest of hearts would be moved. From his first entrance as the tormented and raging Heathcliff out on the moors on a stormy night, haunted by thoughts of Cathy, Batley sets the tone as an animalistic and agile figure dominating the stage with long black flowing locks and brooding menace. This is contrasted with his final scene back on the moors again, now an old man desperate to embrace death and be reunited with Cathy.  He falls to his knees with his head to the heavens as snow begins to fall – a wonderful and still image. Leebolt has to portray all the conflicts  within Cathy as her love for Heathcliff competes with her attraction to the lifestyle offered by the Lintons and this she does with consummate skill. Extremely agile and expressive throughout, she is a joy to watch.
Lara Rutherford-Morrison lists 8 Things You'll Only Realize When You Read 'Jane Eyre' A Second Time in Bustle:
 “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will…” So asserts the titular heroine of Jane Eyre. Has there ever been a better declaration of female independence? When Charlotte Brontë published Jane Eyre in 1847, it was an instant, though controversial, bestseller. Some critics praised the work for its intensity and vigor, “a book to make the pulses gallop and the heart beat, and to fill the eyes with tears.” But even as the novel garnered huge popularity, it evoked controversy by bucking Victorian ideals of domesticity and delicacy; one critic described it as “one of the coarsest books which we ever perused,” while another dubbed it a wholly “anti-Christian composition.” People had a lot of feelings about this book, is the point.
More than 150 years later, Jane Eyre is still the object of intense readerly devotion (though few complain now about its “coarseness”). It is a work that deserves to be read a second time (and a third and a fourth…), and as you reread it, your perceptions of it will change: At times, you’ll read it as a romance novel, and then, as a coming-of-age story, and later still, as a gothic thriller—It is all of these things. It speaks to the power of Brontë’s writing that, to this day, the story remains immediate and addictive (and it certainly brings the drama—who needs soaps when you’ve got Jane Eyre?) Below, I’ve listed eight things you might notice as you delve into the novel again.  (Read more)
The Globe and Mail interviews the writer Beth Powning:
What’s the best romance in literature, and why?
Of course one of fiction’s great romances (and I love it) is that of Heathcliff and Cathy in Wuthering Heights. Recently, I found the relationship of Theo and Pippa in The Goldfinch [by Donna Tartt] to be a moving iteration of the same story – the power and purity of first love, and its tragic, perhaps inevitable, foundering. Both romances are based on the lovely child-companionship that occasionally precedes love, and (sometimes) survives it.
The Blackburn Citizen gives a few more details of the upcoming Pennine Way BBC documentary:
In the first episode Paul [Rose] will travel from Edale to Calderdale. He will tell the story of Tom Stephenson, the man who fought landowners and governments to win public access to the full length of the route. Stephenson’s friend Sylvia Franks talks about his battle.
Paul will also meet author and director Barrie Rutter who recalls some of the literary greats who have lived near the route including Ted Hughes and the Brontës. (...)
The series starts on April 10. (Jessica Cree)
Kent Online talks about the actress Charlie Brooks:
Best known as EastEnders’ scheming Janine Butcher, bringing drama to Albert Square with a medley of cocaine addition, murder and prostitution, in reality Charlie Brooks likes nothing more than curling up with a good book by one of the Brontë sisters. (Jo Roberts)
The Scotsman talks about pseudonyms as a backstory of the Grant Shapps/Michael Green affair:
A few authors want to conceal their gender, in fear of putting off prospective readers. While in the 1800s, female authors were forced to do this to have their work taken seriously – Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë published as Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell – the tide has now turned, with some male authors writing about women worried that their gender would deter female readers. They may use initials instead of a forename, while author biographies would probably be quite vague and without a photograph. Of course, a quick google would probably reveal the truth, but can the average reader be bothered? And should they know who is writing their books? Does it matter? (Jane Bradley)
Tiffany Murray is reading Jean Rhys and tells it to The Daily Star:
I'm reading Jean Rhys.
I discovered her thin blue-spined Penguin editions here in the labyrinth of stacks.
I've worked my way through the Paris novels (though my favourite is and always will be the more “London After Leaving Mr Mackenzie”).
Because it's not all 'Wide Saragasso Sea' with Jean. It's not all about her declaiming Charlotte Brontë's 'paper tiger lunatic' (Bertha Rochester). It's even more than the myth (or truth?) of Jean.
The Marion Star ends an article about spring and allergies with
Let me leave you with this quotation by Charlotte Brontë: “Spring drew on..and a greenness grew over those brown beds, which, freshening daily, suggested the thought that Hope traversed them at night, and left each morning brighter traces of her steps.” (Brenda Donegan)
According to the Belfast Telegraph, Colin Firth's wet shirt Pride and Prejudice moment has a successor:
Last Sunday night, when viewers caught a glimpse of Poldark's pert posterior as he skinny-dipped in the sea, Twitter almost exploded. The scene eclipsed that famous Darcy moment when Colin Firth emerged from the water in a wet shirt in a television adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.
And that's why women love Aidan Turner as Poldark. He's a ravishing mix of every Byronic hero in literature - Darcy, Heathcliff, Rochester. Even his flaws, like the scar on his face, are attractive.
The daughter of this columnist of The Grand Island Independent is a British fan:
It’s no surprise that Brenna is a fan of all things British. To describe her surroundings, she uses romantic terms such as “heather.”
Brenna discusses authors such as Thomas Hardy, George Eliot and Emily Brontë. She’s not, though, a huge fan of Jane Austen. (Jeff Bahr)
This other columnist in The Age has a problem with calm and small things:
But now, things are going to be different. I am going to be like Jane Bennett (not Elizabeth); like Edgar Linton (not Heathcliff) (even though I quite hate Edgar). I'm going to be methodical and deliberate, and I am going to keep track of my keys. Specifically, I am going to put them inside my bag each night. I'm even going to put them in the same section of my bag, so that they are easy to see. (Amanda Hooton)
Médéa Azouri's column in L'Orient Le Jour contains a Brontë mention:
Parce que nos épaules sont trop frêles, notre cœur pas assez solide, et la chair trop vulnérable.
Alors on a décidé d'avorter cette histoire embryonnaire avant de faire une fausse couche. On a fui. Nous ne sommes pas des héros ni des héroïnes de Pouchkine, d'Emily Brontë, de Stendhal ou de Walter Scott. Nous ne sommes pas enclins à se laisser aller, à braver les circonstances, nos statements, nos craintes. (Translation)
Il Quotidiano (Italy) has a curious story bringing together Justice and romanticism:
Di fatto, è stata presa di petto un’urgenza mondiale: tutti hanno problemi d’amore, tutti hanno un romanzo dentro al telefonino e la tentazione di leggerlo potrebbe portare alla guerra fra bande. Ma la cosa veramente sorprendente che ci regalano i giudici è la lettura romantica dell’articolo 2 della Costituzione: il principio più bello e profondo sul primato dell’individuo e il diritto a sviluppare la propria personalità viene spinto fino alle vette delle sorelle Brontë. (Viviana Ponchia) (Translation)
Le Devoir (France) is not a fan of Anna Todd:
Il semble un peu vain, en réalité, de discuter des mérites littéraires d’After. Sa seule qualité « littéraire » est peut-être indirecte : nourrir la probabilité que de jeunes lectrices ouvrent un jour Les hauts de Hurlevent (Livre de poche). Une question s’impose surtout, adressée aux lecteurs séduits ou excités par la hauteur des piles : pourquoi ? POURQUOI ? ! (Christian Desmeules) (Translation)
The Staffordshire Newsletter confirms that an extra performance has been added due to demand to see the Blue Orange Theatre Jane Eyre production in Lichfield.

by M. ( at March 24, 2015 12:03 AM

March 23, 2015

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

Joaquin Sorolla, odds and ends

 photo Sorollasnow.jpg
One doesn't expect snow from him!

 photo Sorollap.jpg

 photo sorollafieldinasturias.jpg

Landscape in Asturias

March 23, 2015 10:13 PM


Perceptual Experience, Character, Settings

New scholar Brontë-related papers:
Adapting with the Senses - Wuthering Heights as a Perceptual Experience
Luis Rocha Antunes
The Victorian,  Vol 3, No 1 (2015)

This essay examines the adaptation of Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights (1847) by film director Andrea Arnold (Wuthering Heights, 2011). My main goal is to characterize the film style of this adaptation within the frame of a tendency in contemporary cinema in which the haptic and phenomenal appeal of human bodies and the landscape provide a new configuration of the materiality of the story world through the senses and experiential immersion of film spectators.
Characters, Settings and Theme in Wuthering Heights
Jingrui Hui
Canadian Social Science, Vol 11, No 2 (2015)

This paper rereads Wuthering Heights and analyzes the characters, settings and the relation between these elements and the theme. The paper points out that the greatness of the novel lies in that Emily Brontë picks up a broader theme, that is, human nature to deal with.

by M. ( at March 23, 2015 03:05 PM

March 22, 2015

The Little Professor

Brief note: Harriet

In her afterword to the new Valancourt edition of Elizabeth Jenkins' Harriet (1934), based on the murder of Harriet Staunton in 1877, Catherine Pope notes that the novel is akin to Victorian "sensational novels" in turning the supposed haven of the domestic sphere into a site of terror (loc. 3320).  The novel also deconstructs, it seems to me, the sentimentalization of characters with developmental disabilities in Dickens' novels--Smike in Nicholas Nickleby, for example, or Maggy in Little Dorrit.  Harriet inspires no emotional response in her tormenters other than dread or disgust; her presence expands no hearts and her influence sheds no warming rays over anyone's soul.  Nor is she represented as an inspirational angel: when conscious that something is wrong, Harriet, who has no other way of articulating her objections, flies out into a "sudden start of rage" (loc. 494) or explodes in a destructive "outbreak of rage" (loc. 1330).  The novel's scathingly ironic point, however, is that despite Harriet's inability to engage in abstract reasoning or to understand cause and effect, virtually nothing separates her desires and pleasures from those of the people around her--all of whom, needless to say, have moral problems that far outweigh Harriet's intellectual difficulties.  Harriet's  "intelligence was perfectly normal" when matters of "food or dress" are involved (loc. 64), and it's hard to distinguish her elegant tastes in clothing from Alice Hoppner's agonized yearning for her ideal dress, a "delicate, heavenly creation" (loc. 133), or her appreciation of delicious meals from her future husband Lewis' decision to splurge on the wedding feast (loc. 1164).  Similarly, Harriet's anger may occasionally become destructive, but it is far less dangerous than her brother-in-law Patrick's emotionally and physically abusive treatment of his wife and children.   Her sister-in-law Elizabeth's single-minded fixation on Patrick, meanwhile, duplicates Harriet's own obsessive passion for Lewis (both men being equally unworthy objects into the bargain).  In fact, of all the characters other than Harriet's mother, the only one who finally grasps that something is wrong is the initially comical servant, Clara, a "bulging-eyed creature" who loves "penny-press novels and stories of crime" (loc. 378).  Despite her initial contempt, Clara,  not being "blinded by morbid love, by perverted passion, by avarice, selfishness, or lust" (loc. 2720), manifests one of the few glimmers of moral compunction in the text by trying to get help for Harriet's baby and testifying against Patrick, Elizabeth, and Alice at their trial.  Only Clara and Harriet's mother show themselves capable of grasping that Harriet is a human being deserving equal moral consideration--and the former is treated with contempt by her employers and the latter by the legal and medical system. Our final glimpse of the imprisoned Elizabeth, incapable of doing anything but awaiting the delivery of food to her cell, suggests an impervious moral obtuseness: the narrator notices the irony (Elizabeth, who gets fed in her prison, is still far better off than Harriet, starved to death in hers), but Elizabeth engages in no self-reflection at all, not even when notified of her husband's own death in prison.   Surface cleverness in this novel merely covers up for an (aspirationally) middle-class banality of evil.  

by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at March 22, 2015 11:41 PM


The Brontë home is a fantastic museum

The Yorkshire Post says something we, the readers of this blog, know for sure: that the Parsonage Museum is a fantastic place:
The Brontë home is a fantastic museum full of fascinating displays and insights into the lives of the three sisters, from their early life right up to when they were shaping the future of English literature.
Theparsonage is pretty much completely open to visitors, with each room kept true to how it would have looked in the nineteenth century.
Step into each room, and you get a sense of the story that the Brontë home has to tell. Tales of sisterhood, a troubled brother, and a father outliving his children, to name just three.
The Parsonage also hosts rolling exhibitions, including their new showing, The Brontës, War and Waterloo, which looks at how violence and brutality comes through in the work of the sisters. It may not be the most uplifting of subject matter, but it certainly is interesting!
An once you’ve digested the lives and times of three trailblazing female writers, the village of Haworth has everything else you need for a great day out, including the scene of one of the pictures of last year’s Grand Départ of the Tour de France, as the peloton made its way up the village’s cobbled high street. Plus, there are brilliant cafes and restaurants everywhere!
The Boston Globe reviews Caryl Phillips's The Lost Child:
Best known for meditations on the legacy of slavery and colonialism such as “Cambridge” and “A Distant Shore,” Caryl Phillips challenges our expectations by linking his latest novel to “Wuthering Heights,” a tale so intimately embedded in the Yorkshire moors it’s hard to imagine the characters having any relationship with the outside world. His riff on Emily Brontë’s masterpiece is like a jazz improvisation: Phillips plucks the themes that resonate most deeply with him and transposes them into a polyphonic narrative set mostly in mid-20th-century England.
His imagined prehistory of Heathcliff frames the modern story. A formerly enslaved woman from the Congo has fetched up in 18th-century Liverpool; destitute and dying, stigmatized as “Crazy Woman,” she remembers the liaison with a married white man that produced the 7-year-old boy who anxiously stands over her. Written in the elegant, faintly antiquated prose familiar to readers of Phillips’s historical fiction, this prologue takes as a given the speculation of “Wuthering Heights” scholars that Heathcliff is Mr. Earnshaw’s illegitimate son and refashions the black-haired gypsy boy described by Brontë into an interracial by-product of Liverpool’s bustling slave trade.
It’s a jolt when Phillips jumps ahead to the year 1957 in Oxford, where Ronald Johnson is disowning his 20-year-old daughter Monica for her relationship with Julius Wilson, a graduate student from the West Indies. Serious, rather stodgy Julius is no Heathcliff, nor does the couple’s rocky marriage bear any resemblance to the apocalyptic romance depicted by Brontë. Only after Monica leaves him and takes their two sons to Leeds do we begin to discern connections, not yet with “Wuthering Heights,” but with the drama of female desperation and madness sketched in the opening chapter. (Read more) (Wendy Smith)
WPSU interviews the author himself:
[Scott] SIMON: And what made you decide to weave scenes from "Wuthering Heights" or transpose "Wuthering Heights" into Monica Johnson's more contemporary story?
PHILLIPS: Well, the Brontë factor, I should say, came into view because I grew up in a city that is 10-15 miles away from where the Brontës were. You know, there's always been a mystery about the relationship of this fictional character Heathcliff to the family that eventually took him in. So the question of parentage, the question of belonging, is very central to "Wuthering Heights." And some of those echoes in that novel obviously began to resonate with me when I was thinking about the more contemporary story.
SIMON: And how did you come up Monica Johnson?
PHILLIPS: Well, I began to think about a young woman who perhaps felt somewhat disaffected with her belonging where she was. And, in many ways, her story echoed that of Emily Brontë, who was a young woman who felt very at odds with her upbringing and her background. So I was, in a sense, looking for a more contemporary version of an Emily Brontë figure.
Jeffrey Tayler in Salon replies to a very controversial article by David Brooks in the New York Times:
Such rectitudinous generalizations hardly warrant a response, but those familiar with Brooks’ work understand what the provenance of the aforementioned morality is likely to be, and that does deserve rebuttal. He hints at it, reminding us of times of “moral revival” when “behavior was tightened and norms reasserted.” He has in mind, he says, “England in the 1830s and . . . the U.S. amid economic stress in the 1930s.” He suggests we engage in an “organic communal effort, with voices from everywhere saying gently: This we praise. This we don’t.” (...)
But what of “England in the 1830s”? The badass sensualist poet Lord Byron and his fellow atheist versifier Percy Bysshe Shelley had just tragically departed this world for the Eternal Void. The novelists Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë were coming of age, and would produce such wonders as “Jane Eyre,” “Wuthering Heights” and “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.” Samuel Butler, author of “The Way of All Flesh” (a moving, must-read semi-autobiographical account of a journey from religious belief to atheism), was born.
#WomeninFiction on Mashable:
Superheroes, wizards, teachers, troublemakers and ordinary girls — book lovers honored them all on Saturday in a spontaneous celebration via the hashtag #WomenInFiction.
The hashtag appeared to originate Saturday afternoon when Preeti Chhibber, a marketing manager for HarperCollins Children's Books, began tweeting about strong women writers and beloved women characters. (Kate Sommers-Dawers)
Some of examples of Jane Eyre tweets here.

Vita di Coppia (Italy) vindicates the poetry of Emily Brontë:
Le poesie d'amore di Emily Brontë sono romantiche e struggenti, la scrittrice e poetessa inglese famosa per il suo unico romanzo “Cime tempestose” è una delle donne più amate e apprezzate della letteratura britannica. La produzione di Emily Bronte consiste in un romanzo e duecento poesie scritte in anonimi quadernetti. Emily rimasta orfana di madre da bambina ad appena due anni e, poco dopo, perse anche tre sorelle a causa della tisi, queste perdite hanno influenzato la sua vita donandole un carattere schivo e sensibile ed una predisposizione a mettere in versi quello che i suoi occhi ed il suo cuore riuscivano a cogliere. (Serena Vasta) (Translation)
bitlanders reviews Jane Eyre.

by M. ( at March 22, 2015 07:04 PM

Lewis Carroll Society of North America

Synetic Theater to Perform Alice in Wonderland

Everyone is jumping on the Alice bandwagon this year, and DC’s Synetic Theater is no exception.  They will be mounting their own adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland” this fall as part of DC’s Women’s Voices Festival.  From Broadway World:

The whimsical Alice tumbles down the rabbit hole soon finding herself in the mysterious world of Wonderland. Synetic’s darker take on Lewis Carroll’s tale will bring to life classic characters such as the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, and the murderous Queen of Hearts with Synetic’s signature style. Directed by Paata Tsikurishvili, chorographed by Irina Tsikurishvili and adapted by Lloyd Rose for the Women’s Voices Theatre Festival of Washington, D.C., this production will have dialogue.

by Matt at March 22, 2015 04:00 PM

William Morris Unbound

The Philip Webb Centenary

How does - or should - one honour the dead? The centenary of the death of architect Philip Webb is giving rise to a cluster of activities that all look appropriate enough at first glance. The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings is organising a tour of Red House in May and other related events; Tessa Wild will be speaking to the William Morris Gallery, again in May, about Webb’s work and ‘his deep friendship with Morris’; the V&A will have a Philip Webb display in November, which will encompass his furniture designs as well as his buildings. There are many other similar things going on elsewhere and they all look – and no doubt will be – genial, informative and entertaining (I might even go to one or two myself); but oh dear, how relentlessly historical and therefore ultimately low-key they all are into the bargain!

The pull of a personal name always draws us back to anecdote and history in this manner. To truly honour the dead – our dead, i.e. socialists and communists like Webb and Morris – we are well advised to move from names to themes, from the past to the present, from nostalgia to struggle. So to celebrate the Webb centenary let the William Morris Society organise for later this year (it is still not quite too late to do so) a series of high-profile speakers on the general topic of ‘Architecture and Society Today’, which might recapture for the present some of the centrality and excitement that architecture had in cultural and political debate in the postmodern 1980s (of which Fredric Jameson’s analysis of the Bonaventura Hotel in Los Angeles might stand as an exemplary instance). Sign up Owen Hatherley, Will Self, Jonathan Glancey and others, call these talks the ‘Philip Webb Centenary Lectures’, publish them subsequently as a book, and let us look boldly forward rather than back.

by Tony Pinkney ( at March 22, 2015 10:35 AM


Shifting Focus

A new scholar book with Brontë content:
Shifting Focus
Strangers and Strangeness in Literature and Education
Edited by Peter Roberts
February 25th 2015

There is a long history of interest in ‘strangers’ and ‘strangeness’ in the West. Literature lends itself particularly well to
an exploration of the strange in its richly varied forms, having often contained portraits of outsiders. These portraits depict people who are strange in their unusual appearance or demeanour, their out-of-the-ordinary actions or attitudes, their defiance of convention, their marginalisation from society, or their resistance to dominant structures and practices, as well as those who come from strange worlds.
Each contribution in this collection focuses on a novel, story or play. The essays engage works by Shelley, Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, Dostoevsky, Conrad, Grazia Deledda, Kafka, Beckett, and Camus, all of whom have much to offer the central theme of ‘strangers and strangeness’. This book demonstrates that there is considerable value in encountering, experiencing and reflecting upon that which is strange. Education is, amongst other things, a process of learning to see the world otherwise, and literature has the capacity to promote this form of human development. This book allows readers to re-experience the ordinary, and to learn that what at first seems strange is rather closer to us than we had previously imagined.
Includes:  Spectral Strangers: Charlotte Brontë’s teachers by Nesta Devine.

by M. ( at March 22, 2015 01:46 AM

March 21, 2015

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii


Cottage Poems

A new paperback edition of Patrick Bronté's Cottage Poems:
Cottage Poems
by Patrick Brontë
Paperback: 76 pages
Publisher: Leopold Classic Library (March 20, 2015)

Leopold Classic Library is delighted to publish this classic book as part of our extensive collection. As part of our on-going commitment to delivering value to the reader, we have also provided you with a link to a website, where you may download a digital version of this work for free. Many of the books in our collection have been out of print for decades, and therefore have not been accessible to the general public. Whilst the books in this collection have not been hand curated, an aim of our publishing program is to facilitate rapid access to this vast reservoir of literature. As a result of this book being first published many decades ago, it may have occasional imperfections. These imperfections may include poor picture quality, blurred or missing text. While some of these imperfections may have appeared in the original work, others may have resulted from the scanning process that has been applied. However, our view is that this is a significant literary work, which deserves to be brought back into print after many decades. While some publishers have applied optical character recognition (OCR), this approach has its own drawbacks, which include formatting errors, misspelt words, or the presence of inappropriate characters. Our philosophy has been guided by a desire to provide the reader with an experience that is as close as possible to ownership of the original work. We hope that you will enjoy this wonderful classic book, and that the occasional imperfection that it might contain will not detract from the experience.

by M. ( at March 21, 2015 03:13 AM

"Charlotte Brontë’s insane source material deserves some credit"

The Telegraph and Argus looks at what the first Literature Festival to be held at Bradford (May 15-24) will include.
The first Bradford Literature Festival, from May 15-24, features a range of events - including digital storyboarding, a Brontë-themed afternoon tea, Indian poetry and Jewish storytelling. [...]
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. (Emma Clayton)
Wales Online has three generations share their favourite books ahead of Cardiff Children's Literature Festival.
Sandra Whitfield is a 72-year-old retired English teacher: [...]
“My mum and wonderful Aunt Kath used to read to me and I’ve still got The Puppy That Lost Its Wag, which was one of my first books. My first ‘real’ book was Jane Eyre, which Aunt Kath bought me. As an English teacher, I love the classics – Jane Austen, Dickens and Hardy but I’m also a great Susan Hill fan and like Graham Greene, Hemingway and modern novelists Anita Shrieve and Maggie O’Farrell – I wait for their books to come out."
A.V. Club has a daily feature which
offers staff recommendations inspired by a new movie coming out that week. This week: With Jessica Hausner’s peculiar period piece Amour Fou coming to theaters, we extend our hand to other 19th-century romances.
Such as Jane Eyre 1944:
Beyond Welles, Charlotte Brontë’s insane source material deserves some credit for the greatness of this adaptation. Little Jane has a nightmarish childhood, with an unfeeling aunt and a miserable girls’ school (where a very young Elizabeth Taylor is her only friend). By the time Welles shows up about a half-hour in, the viewer is grateful for the surge of dynamism he provides, personifying Brontë’s magnetic beast. What could have been a traditional governess/benefactor romance is heightened by Brontë-inspired elements, including Nosferatu-worthy stairways, omnipresent shadows, a series of fires, and oh yes, what Rochester has hidden away in the attic. But Welles sells this torture so well, and Fontaine possesses a quiet strength. A scene of the two leads shaking hands is hotter than anything in Fifty Shades. (Gwen Ihnat)
Don't forget that the film is leaving Netflix this month. We think Harper's Bazaar has got it wrong when it lists Franco Zeffirelli's Jane Eyre among other films leaving Netflix too. Speaking of that film, though, this is what Tribune News Service has to say about Charlotte Gainsbourg:
Charlotte Gainsbourg has always had a flinch in her acting, a twitch that suggests she's bracing for that next blow - physical or psychological.
It made her the perfect Jane Eyre, perfect as Sean Penn's I-know-he'll-leave-me wife in "21 Grams," and well-suited to Sylvie, the morose, can't-get-a-break lover in "3 Hearts." (Roger Moore)
Hamburger Abendblatt interviews Sophie Rois, who reads for audiobooks.
Haben Sie durch diese Leseaufträge Literatur entdeckt?
Rois: Ja, "Jane Eyre" von Charlotte Brontë zum Beispiel. Das hätte ich nicht gelesen. Es hat mich vorher nie interessiert. Das las sich wie selbstverständlich, es hat einen tollen Rhythmus und Aufbau und bewegt sich dankbarerweise in Höhen und Tiefen. Oftmals ist es so, dass ich Bücher, die ich gut finde, den Verlagen anbiete. (Heinrich Oehmsen) (Translation)
Bustle lists '11 Kate Bush Songs That Will Either Get You Obsessed For The First Time, Or Remind You Why You've Always Loved Her'. First on the list is obviously
1. “Wuthering Heights” (1978)
Written when Bush was only a teenager, “Wuthering Heights” launched the musician’s career, becoming a #1 hit on the UK singles chart in 1978. Inspired by Emily Brontë’s novel of the same name, Bush’s song takes on the perspective of Catherine Earnshaw’s ghost, clamoring at Heathcliff’s window. Although Bush had apparently never read the book when she wrote the song, she perfectly captures the novel’s gothic creepiness: [...]
Also, this video. I love it so hard. Bush is famous for the over-the-top theatricality of her music videos. As you’ll see, her songs are usually accompanied by elaborate dance sequences. (Lara Rutherford-Morrison)
According to this interview from Vogue (Italy) is is also model Eliza Thomas's favourite song.

A.V Club also reviews the film Growing Up And Other Lies and concludes that,
nobody goes to indie films to hear a reference to Heathcliff and Cathy followed by “I was always more of a Garfield man, myself.” (Mike D'Angelo)
If you are looking for a remote (in all senses of the word) Brontë-related locations, you might be interested in this tidbit from GMA News:
Some places in the remote islands are already becoming known as tourist attractions.
Alapad Hills—which first caught the attention of the rest of the Philippines in the 90s film "Hihintayin Kita sa Langit," an adaptation of Emily Brontë's "Wuthering Heights" that starred Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta—is known for rock formations hewn by storms over millennia, and an unobstructed view of the sea from the top of its cliffs. (Trisha Macas)

by Cristina ( at March 21, 2015 01:25 AM

March 20, 2015

The Little Professor

This Week's Acquisitions

  • Emma Donoghue, Frog Music (Back Bay, 2014).  Murder mystery set during a very hot San Francisco summer in 1876.  (Lift Bridge)
  • Helen Oyeyemi, Boy, Snow, Bird (Riverhead, 2014).  Rewrite of "Snow White," updated to 1950s New York and addressing questions of racial identity.  (Lift Bridge)
  • Barbara Klein Moss, The Language of Paradise (Norton, 2015).  In nineteenth-century America, a young woman tries to deal with her husband's and his friend's obsession with reconstructing the original language of man spoken in the Garden of Eden.  (Amazon)
  • Miriam Moffitt, The Society for Irish Church Missions to the Roman Catholics, 1849-1950 (Manchester, 2010).  History of the Society's evangelizing efforts in the mid-19th century and their religious, social, and political ramifications.  (Amazon [secondhand])

by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at March 20, 2015 10:08 PM

Lewis Carroll Society of North America

Eat Me: Alice’s Adventures in the Working Class

This fall The Brass Tacks Ensemble will be performing the world premiere of a new Alice play called “Eat Me:  Alice’s Adventures in the Working Class.”  From Broadway World:

Rounding out the season will be the World Premiere of Eat Me: Alice’s Adventures in the Working Class, written and directed by Isaac Ellis. Alice is a disillusioned Office Manager stuck in the doldrums of corporate life. When a high profile exec suddenly starts acting like a rabbit and escapes from a board meeting, Alice’s work world begins to crumble into chaos. A building of employees who enjoy pushing the limits of policies and egotism collides with the whimsical personas of Wonderland to send Alice on an adventure that explores her place among them all. Based on the books by Lewis Carroll, the beloved characters come to life in this grown-up reimagining of the children’s classics. Performances will be Fridays – Sundays, November 6th – 22nd with Friday and Saturday performances at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at the Children’s Creative Center (1600 Pauline Blvd. in Ann Arbor).

by Matt at March 20, 2015 04:00 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

The Leonid meteor swarm in 1889


I have seen a fine display of the Leonids, but they didn't all appear at once as in this appealingly fanciful portrayal.

There has been a partial eclipse over England this morning, about 85% where I am. The rather thin cloud, with partial gaps, provided ideal conditions for viewing it, one could see it like a sickle moon through the cloud. No notable darkening overall, I wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't been looking for it; I saw a fuller eclipse a few years ago which was more eerie, with similar light to when the sunlight is smothered by thick dark stormclouds.

This is a picture from Northern Ireland, provided by the BBC, a slightly fuller eclipse than here:

81784997 kelters

March 20, 2015 11:21 AM


Bloody-minded Yorkshirewomen

A.V. Club asks its contributors about what they are reading this month. One of them is rereading Jane Eyre.
Caitlin PenzeyMoog
Going on vacation last week I reached for a tried-and-true favorite: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I read it four or five times through high school and college, so I hadn’t picked it up in at least four years. The story is interesting less for the plot itself than for how it can be seen in practically every romanic film I’ve ever seen. In broad strokes, Jane’s storyline is the storyline of most characters whose story is one of romance. It’s a cultural studies thesis just waiting to be written (maybe it has been already). But it isn’t actually the plot that makes Jane Eyre one of my favorite books that I continue to revisit. The real enjoyment is in Brontë’s rich, textured writing. She takes her time setting scenes, creating visually dense descriptions of Jane’s surroundings, be it the bleak girls school she attends or the bleak, lonely moors she finds a home in. (There’s a lot of bleakness in Jane’s life). Jane is a heroine so vivid and witty that seeing the world through her perspective is what carries the reader through the book. Written in 1847, it’s remarkable how enjoyable Brontë’s prose still is, full of pitch-perfect personal observations and stray analyses on the the world, and her place in it. Of course, some aspects are obviously dated, though what’s more baffling to me than Victorian era manners is Jane’s scarily steadfast adherence to religious rules. Still, it’s a proto-feminist book that’s fascinating in Jane’s attempts to navigate male-controlled society and the men who would try to control her, and how successful she is in asserting agency despite Victorian gender norms.
And this month too seems to be the last chance to catch Jane Eyre 1944 on Netflix as reported, among others, by The Huffington Post. Slate's Browbeat finds the film to be a 'good watch'.

Fashion Times (Italy) recommends Zeffirelli's take on the novel (although the article includes a picture from Cary Fukunaga's film) for a romantic evening.
Jane Eyre
Franco Zeffirelli dirigre una splendida Charlotte Gainsbourg nel riadattamento di uno dei capolavori di Charlotte Brontë. La protagonista è eroina romantica vista come una proto femminista che anticipa le rivoluzioni del ruolo della donna. Come non amare questa giovane ragazza e il suo coraggio di amare?? (Delia Berton) (Translation)
KUOW has an article on reading more books by men or by women.
Those men may produce work that resonates with me, but I’ve spoken to several women who just can’t relate.
“They’d throw you a lady like you’d throw a dog a bone,” said Jennifer Weiner, the New York Times bestselling author, referring to her own teachers in school.” You’d get your Jane Austen and a Brontë every now and then. But mostly genius wore pants.”
While Lifehacker (Australia) discusses creativity.
How often have you heard someone say that creativity is “something you’re born with?” Either you’ve got it or you don’t. But is there really any truth to these age old adages?
While most modern psychology textbooks often suggest there are some cognitive aspects associated with creativity that may be passed hereditarily, few would go so far as to suggest that there is some sort of creative caste you can be born into. But still the myth persists.
This might be in part due to famous artistic families like the Waugh family, who produced three of the greatest writers of the 20th century (Arthur, then Alec and Evelyn) or the Brontës. Nowadays, we’ve come to expect the children of celebrities and creatives to inherit their parents’ talents.
But studies will show you that creativity, while influenced by your family, is a skill we all inherently have, and one that can be fostered, grown and taught. (Jory MacKay)
The Independent has an obituary on cricketer Bob Appleyard, who died on March 17.
Yes, he was "a bloody-minded Yorkshireman", as his book was originally going to be called, but in the end it became No Coward Soul, from the last poem Yorkshire's own Emily Brontë wrote before she died of tuberculosis: "No coward soul is mine, No trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphere." That was perfect for Bob. (Stephen Chalke)
Finally, Den of Geek! reviews the 1980s film It Follows
The Universal horror movie aesthetic, which for decades inspired cinematic language from Britain’s Hammer studios to Rocky Horror Picture Show, and all the way to Scooby-Doo cartoons, continues to live on as an undying form. It isn’t really of a time or place, but of an amalgamation of anxieties that was first developed for audiences who also grew up reading Stoker, Shelley, and maybe a little bit of the Brontë sisters. (David Crow) 

by Cristina ( at March 20, 2015 12:53 AM

March 19, 2015

Lewis Carroll Society of North America

Discount on Puybaret Alice

The publisher of Alice in Wonderland: Down the Rabbit Hole with illustrations by Eric Puybaret has kindly offered LCSNA members a discount. Order from the Charlesbridge site and you will receive a 35% discount by using promo code AliceLC at checkout.

by Mark Burstein at March 19, 2015 04:09 PM

Alice Meets Cirque du Soleil

Well, not really, but that’s what this looks like.  “Lookingglass Alice” was recently mounted in Denver and Chicago, and seems to have been around for about 3 years…anyone have any idea where it will be next?

by Matt at March 19, 2015 04:00 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii


Cat ladies and tamed-beast creators

Bustle lists '8 Things You Didn't Notice About 'Wuthering Heights' The First Time You Read It'. This is how the article starts:
The first time I read Wuthering Heights, I hated it. Hated it. I was in high school, and I was just beginning what would be a life-long love affair with 19th-century literature. I had barreled through all of Austen’s novels and Jane Eyre, and I sat down with Wuthering Heights, expecting to be amazed, and instead, found myself feeling a weird combination of boredom and fury. It wasn’t until I got to graduate school that the novel “clicked” for me—I started reading it for a class, thinking, “Ugh, not this again,” and then somewhere around page 100 found myself engrossed and wondering where the hell this amazing, bizarre book had been all my life. My love has only grown upon subsequent re-readings: Wuthering Heights is one of the strangest, most beautiful, most ludicrous, and most narratively complex novels I’ve ever read, and I can’t get enough of it. Who are these insane characters and why do they feel the need to say every thought they have the second they have it? Why do they all insist on marrying each other? Why does Mr. Lockwood keep nosing about their lives? Why don’t they ever go anywhere??
If you’re a fan of Wuthering Heights—or, like me, you hated it at first and are now wondering whether you should try again—read on for some things you might not have known or noticed the first time through: (Lara Rutherford-Morrison)
A.V. Club recommends watching the 2011 adaptation of the novel by Andrea Arnold.
The Victorians had a case of “the morbs,” what with their melancholy portraits of the dead and their exquisite mourning jewelry, and Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights is a perfect example of the darkest aspects of the Victorian era. Literature fiends still debate whether Jane Austen or Brontë reigns supreme over the English canon, and it’s easy to see how the lines are drawn, between Austen’s manners and dreamy Mr. Darcy and Brontë’s grim, muddy moors and heartbreak. Even Emily’s sister Charlotte was a tad on the lighter side; although Mr. Rochester is no gem, in the end, Jane Eyre still confides to us, “Reader, I married him,” as if at a slumber party. [...]
As for the Brontës, the heroes have been played by such brutes as Orson Welles and Laurence Olivier; even putting Michael Fassbender in a Victorian nightie didn’t take the edge off of Cary Fukunaga’s exquisite adaptation of Jane Eyre, which coincidentally came out a few months before Andrea Arnold’s brutally beautiful Wuthering Heights premiered at Toronto in 2011.
Arnold’s adaptation is almost a three-dimensional experience, and purposefully unbalances the viewer with handheld cinematography that’s often nauseating in its intimacy. Director of photography and frequent Arnold collaborator Robbie Ryan plays with motion and space, sometimes peeping through keyholes and around doors secretively, or moving breathtakingly close to the characters’ faces. It’s not so much that we watch young Heathcliff (Solomon Glave) and Cathy (Shannon Beer) ride a horse together, but that we are Heathcliff, and we feel and see and hear Cathy’s hair blowing in our face. Arnold filters the story through Heathcliff’s watchful gaze, and its environment reflects the casual cruelty and violence that permeates his world. [...]
To the viewer, the moors where Heathcliff and Cathy grow up as are inhospitable, if not downright brutal, as the Essex estate of Fish Tank, where sudden bursts of violence and the uglier parts of desire are part of everyday life. Howson and Kaya Scodelario (as adult Cathy) make a formidable on-screen pair, although not an enviable one; their love affair is not just tortured but downright sadistic. By the end of the 128 minutes, it seems that they deserve each other, to the death. To Arnold’s credit, she somehow makes even their dreadfulness sublime. Like the best Goths (and goths), the filmmaker finds beauty in destructive love and despair. (Jenni Miller)
Bath Chronicle reviews the Brontë Season at The Rondo Theatre by Butterfly Psyche Theatre.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
This passionate and destructive relationship that transcends death is a true gothic success and makes for great theatre. The fine directing from Ian McGlynn captures the wit and fun of childhood antics, switching in a breath to the passionate love of two tortured souls. This is a fine piece of drama the casting is spot on, both performances complement each other well and talent is in abundance.
The sparse staging is well used, ensuring the focus is always on the story and the characters. The uncluttered production allows the text to flow sweeping the audience along to the inevitable tragic ending.
This is an excellent production and it is understandable how this tour has been so well received across the region. I cannot imagine it will be long before it's out on the road again, certainly one to look out for.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Adapted by Dougie Blaxland
Alison Campbell plays the title role with great style and control. The adaptation into a one act monologue gives the story a sharp focus. Switching in and out of the various characters allows for a change of pace and some comic moments in this otherwise intense script. Campbell achieves this with great ease, engaging the audience from the outset with great effect.
The simple staging enables a fluidity of time and space and as with so many productions of this nature, less is indeed more. This is a powerful tale, told with passion; the style of the novel is captured in the script allowing this classic love story to transcend time and inspire new generations. (Petra Schofield)
According to the ever-so-subtle Daily Mail, 'a tamed beast is the ultimate female fantasy' and apparently,
The Brontës were especially adept at producing them. Emily’s Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights was the classic Byronic fantasy — solitary, wild and mysterious.
His appeal lies in the reader’s knowledge that he has been cruelly treated, and that his love for Cathy is absolute. He’s a powerful, loyal man with a flaw, and we want to console his broken heart.
Charlotte Brontë’s Mr Rochester has the same dark, brooding countenance and dominant personality, but there’s decency in him, too.
He’s tormented by his sense of duty — he cares for his little French ward and the mad wife in the attic while falling in love with Jane Eyre.
He risks his life in the fire at Thornfield to save his servants and attempt to save his wife, who committed suicide by jumping from the roof.
He is damaged, too, when he loses his sight in the blaze, and the story ends where Jane tells us: ‘Reader, I married him.’ (Jenni Murray)
The Federalist has one of those recurring articles on how young people aren't reading the classics anymore and so on.
In 2013, a company called Renaissance Learning discovered, through a study of what kids were reading through their Accelerated Reader program, that most books kids chose to read were well below their grade level. Their educational research director, Eric Stickney, said, “The complexity of texts students are being assigned to read has declined by about three grade levels over the past 100 years. A century ago, students were being assigned books with the complexity of around the ninth- or 10th-grade level. But in 2012, the average was around the sixth-grade level.” Even in the 1980s, high-school students were reading Sophocles, Shakespeare, Dickens, George Bernard Shaw, Emily Brontë, and Edith Wharton. (Nicole Russell)
According to MSN's Lifestyle the Brontës were three of history's greatest cat ladies.
The famous Brontë sisters not only shared a love of writing, but also a love of cats. Felines are featured in many of the sisters’ writings, including Agnes Grey and Wuthering Heights, as well as in the personal diaries of Anne and Charlotte. Emily Bronte even wrote a French essay entitled “Le Chat” (“The Cat”), in which she defends cats against those who argue that they are selfish and cruel, asserting that the disposition of cats is quite similar to that of humans and even arguing that the self-reliance of cats is better than the hypocrisy of humanity. (Kalli Damschen)
El Mundo (Spain) tries to explain the basics of Reddit where, apparently, you can find out why Charlotte Brontë 'hated' Jane Austen. Dan Viêt (Vietnam) explains the basics of the Brontës. The Halifax Courier has an article on the new BBC series on the Pennine Way. Writespace, Writetime has a post with an intriguing title: What to Learn about Writing from Jane Eyre and The Hunger Games. The Book Wars compares Jane Eyre and April Lindner's Jane; mostarrdenly has a lovely gif collage with clips of Jane Eyre 2011. The OUP's blog has a quiz on Wuthering Heights.

by Cristina ( at March 19, 2015 01:36 AM

March 18, 2015

Victorian Poetry Network

Special Issue of Victorian Poetry on the Victorian Ballad

Call for Papers for Victorian Poetry Special Issue: Ballads (Winter 2016)

Edited by Letitia Henville, University of Toronto

This special issue investigates one of the most collected and categorized poetic genres of the Victorian period: the ballad. While ballad collecting dates back to Samuel Pepys in the seventeenth century and Bishop Percy in the eighteenth, nineteenth-century ballad scholars were the first to try to classify all ‘authentic’ folk verses, most famously with Francis James Child’s seven-volume The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-1898), which attempted to pin down every version of every popular ballad and to categorize all regional variants.
Yet as folklorists and other collectors sought to catalogue and fix the forms of the ballad, Victorian poets continued a literary tradition of mixing and blending the ballad with other forms. As with John Gay’s ballad opera, The Beggar’s Opera, or William Wordsworth and S.T. Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, the Victorians’ ballad-writing frequently manipulated ballad conventions at the same time as those conventions were being codified and stabilized by literary critics, essayists, prosodists and ballad scholars: witness William Maginn’s Homeric Ballads, John Davidson “A Ballad in Blank Verse,” Rudyard Kipling’s Barrack-Room Ballads, or Nora Hopper’s Ballads in Prose. Ballads were equally at home in Chartist newspapers, illustrated gift-books, popular magazines, and volumes of aestheticist poetry. Joseph Bristow has noted that the ballad is “a poetic form whose dimensions were explored by almost every nineteenth-century poet who gained attention in his or her own time,” and the ballad proved an ideal medium not only for nostalgic and ethnographic impulses in the period but also for formal and conceptual innovation.
How are we to understand these competing impulses: the desire to collect and classify on the one hand, and the fluidity of the form on the other? This special issue will welcome articles that investigate the Victorian ballad’s borders, looking across international boundaries at the origins of this nationally-inflected form, looking across chronological periods as a ‘primitive’ form spoke to modern concerns, and looking as well across generic boundaries to better understand Victorian conceptions of this highly popular genre. In the diversity of its production, the Victorian ballad affords an opportunity to reflect on the way poetic genres are constituted in both discourse and practice.

Central questions will include: What distinguishes Victorian practices of ballad writing, collecting, and editing within the longer history of balladry? How, for Victorians, did the ballad tradition fit into broader histories of literature? What relationships obtained between the Victorians’ endless collecting and taxonomizing of ballads and their own compositional practices? How do ballads travel across time, media, and national borders? How might further consideration of balladry help us to theorize categories of genre and form, as well as the boundaries of a national literature and a literary-historical period?

Some topics that a special issue on Victorian Ballads will address:

• Ballad forms, meters, rhythms, and hybrids
• Ballad collecting, editing, parodying, and translating
• Ballad imitation and appropriation
• Literary, broadside, and folk ballads (and their overlaps)
• Ballads of occasion: comic ballads, crime ballads, political ballads, etc.
• Ballad mediums: the broadside, the periodical, the anthology, the voice
• The ballad and its others: the lyric, the epic, the song, the dramatic monologue
• Transnational or European balladry; French, German, Scandinavian comparison, influence, or parallels
• Transatlantic or global approaches; the ballad as national song in America and Australia
• The narrative form of the ballad
• The gender of balladry
• Reading ballads and ballads in circulation
• Evolving criticism and theories of balladry

We invite the submission of essays of 20-25 manuscript pages by December 15, 2015, for publication in Victorian Poetry (Winter 2016). Please follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition. Early expressions of interest and proposals of topics are also welcome; please contact the editor:

by Alison Chapman at March 18, 2015 10:57 PM

Lewis Carroll Society of North America

Scottish Artist Celebrating 150

Scottish artist Jilly Henderson is celebrating 150 with a series of prints and other items featuring her Alice-themed art, which can be viewed on her Facebook page and purchased from her Etsy page.

by Matt at March 18, 2015 04:00 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

Victoria Dubourg Fantin-Latour (1840-1926)

 photo victoriafantin-latourdubourg - yellow roses650.jpg

Victoria Duborg, who married Fantin-Latour, was an accomplished flower-painter, painting in a style very similar of that of her husband.

 photo victoriadubourgvase_de_fleurs-large Victoria.jpg

 photo Victoria Fantin-Latour Vase of Roses 19.3 x 27.4 cm.jpg

 photo VictoriaDubourg fantin latourlge.jpg

A portrait of her by Fantin-Latour

 photo Victoriadubourgdegasdr.jpg

Drawing by Degas, a preparatory study for the well-known portrait below.

 photo Victoria_Dubourg_Degaslge-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

March 18, 2015 10:09 AM


The Northern Ballet Returns to Wuthering Heights

The Northern Ballet is bringing back its Wuthering Heights 2002 choreography to the stage:
Wuthering Heights
Choreography by David Nixon
Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg

Touring to
Sheffield, Lyceum Theatre
Wed 18 to Sat 21 Mar 2015
Southampton, The Mayflower
Wed 22 to Sat 25 Apr 2015
Milton Keynes Theatre
Tue 28 Apr to Sat 2 May 2015
Canterbury, Marlowe Theatre
Tue 6 to Sat 10 Oct 2015
Bradford, Alhambra Theatre
Tue 17 to Sat 21 Nov 2015

Immerse yourself in Cathy and Heathcliff’s turbulent love affair as the ‘best dance actors in the World’ capture the spirit of Wuthering Heights and the untamed beauty of the Yorkshire moors.
Passionate and obsessive, Cathy and Heathcliff’s love is as unruly and dangerous as the moors that surround them.
As children they are inseparable, but over time their childish affection deepens into an overwhelming and devastating love.
Emily Brontë’s romantic masterpiece is performed to live music by Golden Globe and Academy Award nominated Claude-Michel Schönberg (Les Misérables, Miss Saigon & Northern Ballet’s Cleopatra) with choreography by David Nixon OBE.
A treasured classic reimagined. A timeless ballet for a modern audience.

by M. ( at March 18, 2015 01:26 AM

'Even if you’ve never read Wuthering Heights, you sort of know who Heathcliff is'

Happy St Patrick's Day! And therefore, a happy birthday to Patrick Brontë, born on this day in 1777.

The Telegraph features Caryl Phillips and his novel The Lost Child.
We are here to talk about his 11th novel, The Lost Child, a richly allusive, elliptical book which, like its author, is difficult to label. It is presented as a recasting of Wuthering Heights focused on the young Heathcliff, in the tradition of Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea and J M Coetzee’s Foe, intertwined with a modern story about a single mother living on a Yorkshire estate. But the Heathcliff story is only a short framing device for the main narrative: the book's blurb can be seen as yet another attempt to categorise Phillips, as he acknowledges with a smile. “I think it’s a bit easier if you can say the book is in conversation with a book you’ve heard of. Even if you’ve never read Wuthering Heights, you sort of know who Heathcliff is, you sort of know who Kate Bush is.” In reality, Phillips’s literary dialogue with Wuthering Heights began with the rugged Yorkshire landscape.
“I grew up with the Yorkshire moors around the corner,” he says. “And the thing about the Yorkshire moors when I was growing up [in the Sixties] was that you associated them with the Moors murders, with Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. There was some understanding that it was a really sinister place. And another childhood in the North of England that was very much traumatised by the moors was Heathcliff’s. So I began in the more contemporary story; then I just kept thinking about that landscape and what it has meant historically. And when you’re there, it probably looks exactly, without the motorway, as it did 200 years ago. It’s bleak, it’s beautiful. So, in my mind, visually there’s a perfect connection across a couple of centuries. If you were to plonk those characters from the beginning of the 19th century in that landscape [now], they would recognise it.”
Aside from the Heathcliff sections, there’s a chapter in the middle intriguingly narrated by Emily Brontë, who is being cared for on her deathbed by Charlotte, both yearning for another lost child, their alcoholic brother Branwell. (Francesca Wade)
The Atlantic discusses Kenneth Branagh's take on Cinderella and considers it
akin to Wicked (Oz’s witch, backstoried!) and Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty’s “Mistress of Evil,” backstoried!) and Snow White and the Huntsman (the Evil Queen, backstoried!), and even Shrek (the terrifying ogre, backstoried!)—and also, in their way, to Wide Sargasso Sea and Orange Is the New Black and Breaking Bad and every other work that offers depth and story to characters we’d normally dismiss as emptily evil. These movies and shows, in emphasizing the perspective of the villains, don’t celebrate wickedness; they insist, instead, on something vaguely hopeful: that evil can be explainable. And that it can thus, just maybe, be preventable. As Branagh explained of the stepmother’s trailing justification of her own cruelty: “What you do feel is a great passionate woman who seems to have made a different choice when faced with these kinds of challenges, these moments of heartbreak which we saw Ella face. She makes a different choice in the face of those things."
He added: "It’s a great mirror.” (Megan Garber)
While The Mary Sue looks back on another retelling of Cinderella: Ever After and thinks it is 'better than the new one'.
And despite Ever After feeling like a cult film, at the time it was a moderately lucrative film and got excellent reviews. In fact, while the recent box-office hit Cinderella (with an over $70M opening weekend) has an 83% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, Ever After (which earned just $90M total) sits pretty at 90%. Critics praised the film for taking a realistic historical perspective, adding depth to the characters, and being unapologetic as a feminist work. Six years after Rebecca Walker coined the term “3rd Wave feminism,” ’90s pop-culture was a rich period of new creative voices reframing old stories. We had a reassessment of Jane Austin [sic], the Brontë Sisters, Shakespearean heroines, Little Women, and of course, Fairy Tales. This alternative look at such a familiar tale was a considerably more positive way of addressing the previous sexist takes on the stories. (Lesley Coffin)
This Huffington Post reviewer had high hopes for Taylor Lautner in the film Tracers.
I'm one of those "glass half-full "critics when it comes to Taylor Lautner. Film after film I hope he'll pull a Sally Field, who went from The Flying Nun and Gidget to Sybil and Norma Rae. Would Abduction or Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 reveal the young man's inner Laurence Olivier? No, sadly. The lumbering hunk remains just a lumbering hunk in those two. Prize-winning pecs and abs plus a cute smile were what the glamor boy's fans had to settle for.
"Well, maybe Tracers will be his Wuthering Heights," I was murmuring as I scooted onto the subway last night, heading for a midtown screening room. I should have known better. (Brandon Judell)
The New York Times features several 'museums of their' own, such as the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
In Haworth, a picturesque village in Yorkshire, England, the Brontë Parsonage Museum is tightly intertwined with its locale. The museum is the former home of the sisters Charlotte and Emily Brontë, whose 19th-century novels, among them “Jane Eyre” and “Wuthering Heights,” are “very much rooted in Haworth,” said Susan Newby, the education officer.
The museum leads a walking tour around Haworth, whose main street and surrounding moors have a distinctly Victorian-era look and feel. “We are lucky that as far as the built environment is concerned, the area has changed very little since the Brontës’ day,” Ms. Newby said. The challenge of the tour, she said, “is to bring to life how very different it would have been in other ways.”
Though Haworth is “a lively tourist destination full of nice tea shops and cafes,” it was, in the mid-1800s, an overcrowded working village with severe poverty and myriad health hazards, Ms. Newby said. The average life span was 25 years, and all the Brontë siblings who survived childhood — Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell — died before the age of 40.
“The Brontës saw conflict and social change at their doorstep, and that environment provided context for their novels,” Ms. Newby said. “Though the sisters were extremely well read and had diverse literary influences, there is a directness and lack of overrefinement about their writing. I think that has a lot to do with where they grew up.”
Ford W. Bell, the president of the American Alliance of Museums, observed: “Visitors are fascinated by authenticity. It is one thing to see the Brontë house and the museum collection and how they lived, but then to walk the same sidewalks and get a feel for what life was like then creates a totality of experience beyond the physical museum.” (Karen Jones)
Cheshire Today announces that the BBC is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Pennine Way with a four-part documentary and
In the first episode [Paul Rose] travels from Edale to Calderdale. He tells the story of Tom Stephenson, the man who fought landowners and governments to win public access to the full length of the route. Stephenson’s friend Sylvia Franks talks about his battle.
Paul also meets author and director Barrie Rutter who recalls some of the literary greats who have lived near the route including Ted Hughes and the Brontës. And Paul visits Heptonstall to ask why the South Pennines have never had the full recognition they deserve.
Still locally, Out and About Live warns owners of motorhomes travelling to Haworth:
If you fancy a trip to Brontë country this Easter then be extra careful when parking. As you enter the West Yorkshire village of Haworth, home of the Brontë Parsonage, there are numerous signs directing traffic to the official Parsonage car park. This is on three levels, with the lower level particularly suitable for coaches and motorhomes. Unfortunately it is also a crime hot-spot with a Community Officer Farooq Hussain of West Yorkshire Police, revealing that there are currently three to four vehicle break-ins every week in the local car parks.
A parked motorhome is a particularly attractive target, so either remove all valuable possessions and keys before leaving it, or ensure that you have an alarm that works in the habitation area. Many large motorhome windows are made from plastic, which are easy to bend without breaking, and have caravan-style fasteners holding them shut. These are easy to break by forcing the window, allowing entrance to the motorhome without the sound of breaking glass. The Brontë Parsonage car park is not visible from the road and has numerous footpath exits.
Bradford City Council, which operates the car parks, has not installed CCTV so both this and the other car park, in Haworth, are completely unprotected. If you arrive back at your motorhome and a crime is in progress call 999. If it has already been broken into and the thieves have vacated the scene, call 101.
The Guardian reports that the works of artist Grayson Perry at the National Portrait Gallery have attracted 'record crowds'.
About 250,000 visitors saw the Perry portraits. The gallery estimates 850,000 people saw at least one work by the artist. The 19th-century galleries, home to paintings of John Stuart Mill, Benjamin Disraeli and Emily Brontë, have never been so busy. (Mark Brown)
El Comercio (Peru) features the writer Julie de Trazegnies whose style
está más cerca del de Virginia Woolf o de las hermanas Brontë  que el de edulcoradas escritoras actuales, de gran éxito comercial pero de nulo aporte humano. (Fernando de Trazegnies) (Translation)
The Reno Gazette-Journal writes about a local finalist of the annual Poetry Out Loud competition who recited Often Rebuked, Yet Always Back Returning. Librópatas informs Spanish (and Portuguese)
Brontëites of the fact that the supermarket chain Dia is selling biscuit tins with illustrations of Jane Eyre.

by Cristina ( at March 18, 2015 01:02 AM

March 17, 2015


The Uses of ‘Religion’ in 19th Century Studies at Baylor University

The following CFP came across the NINES desk, and we thought it would be of interest to many of our users. “The Uses of ‘Religion’ in 19th Century Studies” takes place at the Armstrong Browning Library (ABL) at Baylor University Mar. 16-19, 2016.

The conference will engage questions being asked ever more frequently among scholars of the nineteenth-century in a variety of disciplines concerning the category, “religion.” Scholars have noted that the modern, Western category of “religion” is a unique historical construction, which has grown up alongside notions of “the secular,” and been deeply entangled with the formation of state power, imperial expansion, and unfavorable portrayals of non-Europeans. The conference invites presentations that seek to advance scholarship on nineteenth-century literature and culture by critically reflecting on the historical formations of “religion” and the uses to which the concept has been put. 15 proposals will be accepted for the conference.

More information about “The Uses of ‘Religion’ in 19th Century Studies,” including a CFP, can be found through the ABL’s web site:

by Brandon Walsh at March 17, 2015 07:56 PM


Tribute to Marie-France Pisier in Paris

An alert from Paris for today, March 17. A special screening of Les Soeurs Brontë 1979:
Le 123 Ciné Club rend hommage à Marie-France Pisier
Hôtel 123 Sébastopol
123, boulevard de Sébastopol - 75002 Paris
Mardi 17 mars à 20h

Pour sa troisième soirée, le 123Ciné Club rend hommage à la grande actrice Marie-France Pisier en projetant les Soeurs Brontë le 17 mars à partir de 20h. Avis aux amateurs...
Le 123 Ciné Club a été inauguré à l'Hôtel 123 Sebastopol a ouvert son ciné club l'année dernière et organise régulièrement des soirées pour les amoureux du 7ème art. Cet espace leur permet de se réunir dans les meilleures conditions, dans une salle confortable de seulement 28 places pour visionner un film et rencontrer ensuite des personnalités du cinéma avec lesquelles ils peuvent échanger.
Après la soirée consacrée à Alain Resnais et la carte blanche à Dominique Besnehard, le ciné club veut rendre hommage à la grande actrice Marie-France Pisier en projetant Les Soeurs Brontë d'André Techiné.  Benoit Gauthier, qui anime ces soirées, accueille pour l'occasion le costumier Christian Gasc, qui a obtenu 4 César avec les films Madame Butterfly de Frédéric Mitterrand, Ridicule de Patrice Leconte, Le Bossu de Philippe de Brocca, Les Adieux à la reine de Benoît Jacquot. Et qui connait bien l'actrice puisqu'il a collaboré pas moins de 8 fois avec elle.
La projection du film sera suivie par des cocktails et des tapas, servis dans le décor cinématographique de l'hôtel, sous la verrière. 

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

Easy to understand

This is how Crushable defines Wuthering High School: 'Angst Mixed With Angst With Angst On Top'.
Last night Lifetime premiered Wuthering High School, a modern retelling of Emily Brontë’s classic novel Wuthering Heights. How it took this long for a movie with that title to happen is beyond me. It was just sitting there for years staring pointedly at Lifetime like, “Whenever you guys are ready.” They finally grabbed it, and the result was even more angsty and horribly acted than I hoped it would be.
The film opens with our heroine (err, if you can call her that) Cathy Earnshaw lying in the middle of the hallway at her private school doing a very weak impression of Winona Ryder in the ’80s. This is where the voiceover narration starts. It’s like a dramatic reading of the angstiest Tumblr post on the Internet. Except it’s not all that dramatic, since Paloma Kwiatkowski is several points below Kristen Stewart on the acting scale. She talks about her mother’s death and seeing her everywhere she looks (something she will bring up approximately 53 more times for the rest of the movie). “Even though she was gone, I was the ghost,” she monotones as classmates step around her. Oh brother.
After some establishing shots of Malibu, we learn more about Cathy and her sad, pathetic rich girl life. She goes to a house party looking for her emo older brother Lee (Sean Flynn). She’s not welcome there because her former BFF Ellen (Francesca Eastwood of flaming handbag fame) hates her now for some reason I didn’t care enough to listen to. As retaliation for how mean everyone is to her (and most likely because she saw it in a movie and wanted to look cool), Cathy falls backwards into the pool. On her way out, her voiceover reminds us how different and weird she is. “Who wants to be basic?” she asks. This is real life, you guys. (Jill O’Rourke) (Read more)
The Public Reviews posts about the performances of Jane Eyre by the Butterfly Psyche and Livewire Theatre at The Rondo Theatre in Bath:
 In his adaptation, Dougie Blaxland has done a superb job of deciding what to omit, and how these areas can be referenced by Jane, as the narrator, to fill in the gaps.
Overall, the performance is fantastic, fluid and funny – a five star show in every sense. Ultimately, it is an absolute testament to Campbell’s talents – after all, how many actresses could successfully play out a convincing love scene with themselves?
The Wrap reviews the play Posterity.
Art rarely survives when it is delivered with a capital A. Make that several capital A’s in the case of Doug Wright’s new play about Henrik Ibsen
Posterity,” an earnest drama about Henrik Ibsen and his fellow countryman, a struggling Norwegian sculptor named Gustav Vigeland, is the kind of play that Louis B. Mayer and Jack Warner acquired during the golden age of Hollywood.
Biopics about revered artists and scientists gave class to MGM and Warner’s line-up of screwball comedies, mindless musicals, and gangster pictures, which of course, went on to outlive the movies about Chopin, Pasteur, and the Brontë sisters. Art rarely survives when it’s delivered with a capital A. (Robert Hofler)
The Independent reviews the book The Way Things Were by Aatish Taseer in which
The panorama of class and cast generates multiple vernaculars, ranging from the mock-archaic to street slang to remnants of Bloomsbury-speak with residual public school inflections. Literary puns and frills abound. Having dismissed “Lawrence of Belgravia”, writer Gayatri Mann recalls her schooling thus: “All they ever taught us in bloody Tara Hall, was Billy the Bard, the Brontë-Shrontes, ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’... They were so systematic, Les Angrez, in stamping out our culture”. (Amanda Hopkinson)
The Yorkshire Post features a gorgeous picture of the snow melting on the moors and concludes that,
When you see photographs like this it’s easy to understand why artists, poets and musicians find themselves inspired by the great British countryside.
Places like Top Withens and Haworth Moor have become synonymous with the Brontë sisters, while much of Ted Hughes’s poetry is infused with the landscapes of the Calder Valley that formed the powerful backdrop to his childhood.
Fantasy is more fun reviews Jane Eyre.

by Cristina ( at March 17, 2015 12:43 AM

March 16, 2015

The Little Professor

Fragmentary thoughts about why Victorian Catholic fiction is not Victorian Protestant fiction

Joseph Bottum's recent essay on Protestantism and the novel is similar to an earlier article by Valentine Cunningham, which argues, even more bluntly, that the modern novel form is indebted to the "God of the Protestant Reformers and the Protestant Bible translators."  Its plots, according to Cunningham, emerge from the very Christian "dialogic relation" between "melancholy" and  "possible ways of escape from it into its grand other, ecstasy."1  Cunningham takes this argument to its logical conclusion, which is that a  "novel" emerging outside this particular context is not a novel.  For Bottum (much less interested than Cunningham is in Robinson Crusoe), what makes the novel "Protestant" is its emphasis on "the individual's soul journey," or "self-consciousness as self-understanding."  In other words: "The self-investigation of the self, the attempt to discern the truth amidst the clash of feelings with perceptions of social and physical reality, emerges as the proper spiritual journey of individuals and the true rightwising of their souls:Pilgrim's Progress, rewritten in self-consciousness."   Both writers agree that, as Bottum puts it, even for Catholic authors, "the paths of the novel" all wind over "Protestant territory."  

Strictly speaking, I'm operating in the kind of space that neither Cunningham nor Bottum finds particularly interesting--novels that are first and foremost religious-=but still, the question of whether the Victorian religious novel can be said to be Protestant or Catholic in its form, not just in its subject matter, is of obvious interest to me.     In many ways, this kind of boundary-drawing feels like capturing sand--which, if all writers are in the same "territory," makes sense.  Still, that's not to say that nothing is distinctive about Victorian Catholic religious fiction.  

So.  What are the major differences?

  • Little to no wrestling with the Bible.  It's difficult to find a Protestant novel without a scene (or scenes) in which characters wrestle with Biblical interpretation, usually on their own.  Even when they have help, these characters still need to arrive at their conclusions using private judgment.  In a Catholic novel, not only do these scenes not happen, but also the Bible itself rarely gets a look-in, except in occasional quotations or, perhaps, larger structural allusions.  (If the Bible does crop up, it's frequently a priest doing the quoting.)  Instead...
  • ...characters struggle to acknowledge the eternal verity of the Church.  Subjective struggles emerge from a character's willingness or unwillingness to accept that the RCC is the one and only true Church.  Frequently...
  • ...the transformative moment is when the character participates in or observes Mass.  The Mass either sparks the character's first doubts about Protestantism or confirms his or her new faith.  In other words, the combined workings of the miracle of the Eucharist and participation in communal worship/adoration supplant the Protestant novel's emphasis on the individual alone with the Word (even though both conversion plots lead the character to a new-found community of believers).  Alternately or in addition...
  • ...conversion occurs because the character is exposed to an exemplary Catholic.  Witnessing good works and their effect stirs a new interest in the faith.  Again, the Catholic understanding of spiritual community sparks the character's inward transformation.  Moreover...
  • ...there is no assumption that suffering leads to a this-worldly reward, or that there is even such a thing as a "happy ending."  While Protestant fiction doesn't necessarily assume this either--witness all the novels about being persecuted and martyred for the faith--Catholic fiction tends to insist much more strictly on extreme suffering being rewarded only in Heaven, and that, moreover, even a relatively upbeat ending will still be leavened by significant experiences of pain.  (It's not that Catholic characters spend the rest of their lives in a state of gloom, but that they rarely get rewarded by money, social status, or any other worldly good for as a sign of God's good graces.)  Along those lines...
  • ...the marriage plot is not normative.  (This has been discussed by Maria La Monaca, among others.)  Now we're getting into more substantial questions of genre.  Unlike classic realist fiction (cf. Joseph Boone), Catholic fiction does not assume that women's subjectivities (or men's, for that matter) are necessarily bound up in an arc of love, marriage, and childbirth.   Instead, women come into full selfhood by embodying Catholic ideals of piety, charity, humility, &c. (using the saints and the Virgin as models), and there is no set pattern for this development: they may marry and have children (or, as the case may be, marry and not have children); they may lead a single secular life devoted to charitable works; or (ideally) they may take vows.  Novels may model all of these paths.   Marriage in and of itself does not take priority.  (It's worth noting that while the novels downgraded the marriage plot for women, Catholic commentators of the time did not always agree.)  Perhaps most seriously...
  • ...miracles happen.  That is to say, Catholic realism encompasses mystical visions, visitations from the saints, and miraculous transformations (e.g., the miracle of St. Januarius).  In Protestant fiction, God might have his say with a nasty thunderstorm, but he's not going to liquefy blood.  For a reader who approaches fiction from a Protestant or Protestant-by-default perspective, Victorian Catholic fiction cannot easily be classed with classical realist novels because the underlying narrative assumptions seem to point towards "Gothic" or "romance"--even though, in fact, the novels simply have a somewhat different understanding of the boundaries of "the real."  

 1 Valentine Cunningham, "The Novel and the Protestant Fix: Between Melancholy and Ecstasy," Biblical Religion and the Novel 1700-2000, ed. Mark Knight and Thomas Woodman (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), 40.  

by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at March 16, 2015 10:50 PM

Lewis Carroll Society of North America

When Alice Met Harry

When visiting Oxford in this 150th year,  as I’m sure everyone will <wink>, you might want to partake of the official Visit Oxfordshire city tour called “When Alice Met Harry”, which is a tour of all the significant Alice spots, and includes a dash of Harry Potter.  What could be better?

by Matt at March 16, 2015 04:00 PM

Regency Ramble

Regency Fashion ~ March 1815

 From Ackermann's for March 1815 we have this lovely gown and spencer described as follows:

    A petticoat of fine jaconet muslin, ornamented at the feet with a flounce laid on, appliqued with borders of needle-work.

 French spencer, of striped muslin; long loose sleeve, confined at the wrist with a bracelet; high military collar—collar and fronts trimmed with lace; short sash of lilac sarsnet tied in front. 

A melon cap, composed of lace and lilac ribbon, confined in bows upon the crown.

 Half-boots or sandals, lilac kid. Gloves, Limerick or French kid.

 For the fashions for this month we are again indebted to the tasteful and elegant designs of Mrs. Bean of Albemarle-street.

I enjoyed the description of the hat as a melon cap, but for a change I quite like it. I would have liked the colour lilac to have showed more in the picture, but I imagine that the lacy ruffles made the gown seem very light and airy and feminine. I had a blouse something like the spencer that I used to wear under a jacket. It was one of my favourites.

Until next time

by Ann Lethbridge ( at March 16, 2015 04:00 PM

Lullworth Castle 3

It is always fascinating to poke around in someone's home, even if those people are long gone.  This was the saloon in the Regency. Originally the Great Hall, a place where visitors would have processed through to reach the Great Chamber and the State Apartments on the first floor. (2nd floor in North America).

 This is how it looks now, but we are kindly given a picture of how it looked before the fire.

While not Regency, it is easy to imagine it looking like this in our period. If you have a character living in a house like this remember that this room was also the route to other rooms in the house.

As usual I am fascinated by the other nooks and crannies in these old places.  These stairs obviously originate back the the more castle-like structure of the house.  No doubt the servants route from one place to another.  The picture is grainy because without the use of a flash it was too dark to be seen, so I have brightened it.

And here we have a view of the house as it was in the time of Humphrey Weld who owned the house after the Howards.

Until next time.......

by Ann Lethbridge ( at March 16, 2015 11:39 AM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii


Jane Eyre on the German Stage

A new scholar book with Brontë content:
Anglo-German Theatrical Exchange“A sea-change into something rich and strange?”Edited by Rudolf Weiss, Universität Wien, Ludwig Schnauder, Universität Wien, and Dieter Fuchs Universität Wien
Rodopi Bv Editions
Series: Internationale Forschungen Zur Allgemeinen Und Vergleichenden Literaturwissenschaft
ISBN: 9789004292314
E-ISBN: 9789004292307
Publication Date:  February 2015

Through the great diversity of topics and methodologies the essays in this volume make a seminal contribution to an under-researched field at the intersection of literary and cultural criticism, comparative literature, and theatre as well as translation studies. The essays cover a wide range of texts from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century. From a broad variety of perspectives the exchange between drama and theatre of the Anglophone and the Germanophone worlds and their mutual influence are explored. While there is a focus on the successful or unsuccessful bridging of the cultural gaps, due consideration is given to the nexus between intercultural translation and mise en scène as well as the intricacies of intermedial reshaping. Always placing the analyses within the political and socio-historical contexts the essays make an innovative contribution to the aesthetics of Anglo-German theatrical exchange as well as to European cultural history.
Includes the essay Jane Eyre on the German Stage by Margarete Rubik.

by M. ( at March 16, 2015 01:30 AM

The Importance of Words

The Daily Express gives tips to help your children read and love 'quality' literature:
Like most girls her age, my daughter has devoured the exploits of Tracy Beaker, Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen and assorted teenage dystopian heroines dripping in vampire blood, but has so far proved completely resistant to the pull of the Brontë sisters, Jane Austen and Treasure Island.  We struggled through The Secret Garden together as bedtime reading (a beautifully illustrated edition helped with this), but abandoned Treasure Island and What Katy Did. (Rachel Carlyle)
Also in The Sunday Express we read an interview with Margaret O'Brien (who was Adèle in Jane Eyre 1944):
My favourite memories come from filming Meet Me [In Saint Louis] and Little Women. I also loved shooting the famous books: Jane Eyre and The Secret Garden. I was about six or seven when I learned to speak French for my role in Jane Eyre and it was the first time I worked with Elizabeth Taylor. Later, we did Little Women together. (Tiffany Rose)
The Lincoln Journal Star covers a local Poetry Out Loud competition:
Cristian Castro-Brizendine sat a few seats away, awaiting the performance of his final piece, “Shall Earth no more inspire thee” by Emily Brontë. This was his first year in the competition, though the senior from Omaha South has been on stage for years. He was trying to focus. To calm the shaking of his hands and to drown out the pulse of his heartbeat in his ears.
But once he was on stage, he stopped focusing on the judges, the audience members, the trophies behind him. He just felt the words and the emotion of the poem.
That’s the power of poetry to him. “It’s not about me,” Castro-Brizendine said. “It’s not about my performance; it’s about the voice and the importance of the words. That’s really what Poetry Out Loud teaches you -- to focus on the poem and value the voices of poets that might not otherwise get heard.”  (Mara Klecker)
Amber Rudd MP writes in Hastings & St. Leonard's Observer:
There are now more women in work than ever before – and they stand at the heart of this country’s economic growth.
Let me start with a quotation by Charlotte Brontë, given to me by my daughter:
“If men could see us as we really are, they would be a little amazed….”
The Star (Malaysia) reviews Jean Rhys's Good Morning, Midnight:
What’s more, Good Morning, Midnight has made me greatly anticipate a reading of her better-known Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), a story told from the point of view of the mad wife in Jane Eyre. (Sharmilla Ganesan)
Público (Portugal) interviews the actress, singer and writer Myriam Anissimov:
Myriam, a rapariga que “dormia com os homens sem sentir qualquer amor”, sonhava amar. “Queria amar como Mathilde de La Mole amava Julien Sorel. Como Catherine Earnshaw amava Heathcliff. Como Anna Karenina amava Vronsky.” Naquele comboio ainda não podia saber, mas seria cantora, actriz, jornalista, fotógrafa, escritora e biógrafa de Primo Levi, Romain Gary e Vasily Grossman. (Isabel Lucas) (Translation)
Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden) reviews a local production of Selma Lagerlöf's Gösta Berlings Saga:
Gösta Berling: en så märklig blandning av engelsk romantik och tysk Sturm-und-Drang. En Heathcliff, en Faust, en Don Juan och en Kristusgestalt. Selma Lagerlöf låter honom vara utan föräldrar och anor, en man som söker sitt spår medan han förför, lider och förilar sig. Det är en passionerad moralitet och ett klassdrama där människor stiger och faller. Ett verk skapat av en lesbisk, låghalt lärarinna som vuxit upp med en försupen far och en stark mor.  (Lars Ring) (Translation)
Tanya Gold mentions Bridget Christie's Brontës sketch in The Sunday Times. Finally, an alert for today on BBC Radio 3:
Words and Music. BBC Radio 3.  5:30 PM 
Look to the Skies

Music, poetry and prose which gaze at the sky and the objects in it. Readings by Emilia Fox and Anthony Calf
Producer Harry Parker.
The sky as place of escape, for bluebirds if not for us, is sung simply and effectively in the impromptu version of 'Over the Rainbow' by the late Hawaiian ukulele star Israel Kamakawiwo'ole while it is larks again that provide the soundtrack to Emily Bronte's description of heavenly happiness from 'Wuthering Heights'.

by M. ( at March 16, 2015 12:43 AM

March 15, 2015


Wuthering High School. Some additional reviews

While the classic novel has been adapted many times over the years, no retelling of it strays as far from the original as much as Lifetime's "Wuthering High School." (...)
Another major difference that changes almost the entire tone of the story is the fact that the tale is told through Cathy's (Paloma Kwiatkowski) eyes and not narrated by an outsider. This creates a bias version of events not anywhere near what the original communicated. Cathy's narration lacks the passion and mystery a third party creates. After all in Brontë's version, Catherine is introduced after her tragic death.
While Andrew Jacobs definitely nails the brooding nature of Heathcliff, his deportation storyline doesn't quite connect like Brontë's presumed, troubled orphan. The same goes for Heath's personality. Where Heathcliff is torturously sexy and vengeful, Jacobs doesn't come close to capturing that feeling. It is hard to feel the push and pull of forbidden love when the character is that nice boy one can bring home to mom.
What the Lifetime version does nail though is having the story take place among high school teens. The drama, the revenge and turmoil fits in perfectly with the he said, she said drama of the difficult adolescent years.  (Sarah Huggins)
This is a modernized version of Emily Brontë's classic "Wuthering Heights" (1847) with the setting changed to a Malibu, California high school. The performers don't look like they're in high school, but this is a "Lifetime" TV movie fantasy, after all. Almost everything about the story is wretched through most of the running time, and it positively reeks with ending scenes that make no sense. Events during the final 15 minutes are especially confusing; either adapting 1800s details proved too difficult, or director Anthony DiBlasi and the crew simply ran out of time. You didn't miss Mr. Caan's final expiration scene; apparently, it wasn't presented...
The camera is steady and the cast is attractive, but the execution is silly... (wes-connors)
Your Entertainment Corner:
When the movie isn’t forcing dialogue from Wuthering Heights for the actors to recite during awkward scenes, it loses ground with poorly set up story lines. I didn’t get a sense of passion behind the project; instead, I saw a cut and paste job where most of the context written for the script seems to come from a Cliff’s Notes version of the novel. Wuthering Heights is not cut and dry; it’s a story that spans generations and is extremely dark in tone. I wish I could say I love Wuthering High School because I want to love it, but there are some classics that should be left alone. (Connie Allen)
Bustle presents the production and compares it with other recent film adaptations:
You may remember Wuthering Heights as a book you read in high school, or maybe as the book that Bella Swan revealed she was obsessed with in New Moon when Jacob suddenly came into the picture. Now, Lifetime is giving us a new take on an old classic. Wuthering High School isn’t based on a true story, it just takes the Emily Brontë tale to Malibu for a modern adaptation. We’re used to Lifetime doing “ripped from the headlines” stories, so this is certainly something new. The television movie stars Paloma Kwiatkowski and Andrew Jacobs as Cathy and Heath. (Leah Thomas)
2paragraphs highlights the presence of Francesca Eastwood and James Caan as Ellen 'Nelly' Dean and Earnshaw respectively,  in the production.

by M. ( at March 15, 2015 04:49 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii


Styles in Fictional Structure

Princeton University Press recovers a 1971 book in its new series Princeton Legacy Library:
Styles in Fictional Structure: Studies in the Art of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot 
by Karl Kroeber  (Editor)
ISBN-13: 978-0691620589
Princeton Universty Press
(Princeton Legacy Library) Paperback – March 8, 2015

With the aid of new analytic techniques, including the computer, Karl Kroeber examines the fictional styles of three consecutive English novelists, presenting an objective and systematic comparison of the stylistic coherence of their work.

Originally published in 1971.

by M. ( at March 15, 2015 01:05 AM

March 14, 2015


Charlotte Brontë in a Pyramid Scheme

We are quite worried by these news coming from France. Financial Times talks about the accusations against Gérard Lhéritier, head of investment company Aristofil and the Musée des Lettres et Manuscrits:
is accused of “deceptive marketing practices”, money laundering, falsifying accounts, breach of trust and “gang fraud”. Aristofil’s accountant, two book specialists and Lhéritier’s daughter were also indicted. Gérard Lhéritier has been released after paying €2m bail, and his accountant after paying €1m bail. The allegations are contested.
For a decade Lhéritier had been a major and very public buyer, through Aristofil, of manuscripts and books, notably paying $9.6m for the original draft of the Marquis de Sade’s The 120 Days of Sodom and €437,500 for Napoleon’s wedding certificate. These and other items in the 130,000-strong collection — ranging from a Charlotte Brontë letter to Einstein’s notes for his Theory of Relativity — were sold in the form of shares to investors, who could sell them back after five years to Aristofil for an 8 per cent return. According to AFP, some 18,000 clients signed contracts worth €850m. The story started to unravel last year when Aristofil and the museum were raided by France’s anti-fraud brigade. The company was put into administration last month, and the museum is closed. (Georgina Adam)
Let's remember that a few years ago the Musée bought at Sotheby's a little book by Charlotte Brontë, part of the Young Men's Magazines series. We wonder about the future of all the treasures at the Museum and particularly Charlotte Brontë's manuscript.

Darlington & Stockton Times interviews the writer and biographer Juliet Barker:
It was her love of research that started her own writing career. Her first and only “proper” job after leaving Oxford where she studied History, was as librarian and curator at The Brontë Parsonage in Haworth. “I would see writers coming in and researching for their books, but most of them them just looked at what other people had written. They ignored all that mass of original material we had there just waiting to be looked at.”
In the end, she was driven to write her own – much acclaimed – biography of the Brontës, which turned previous accounts pretty much on their head. “We’ve all bought Mrs Gaskell’s version of this isolated family living miles from nowhere, but Haworth is just four miles from Keighley. By the time the Brontës were there, it was a busy industrial area with 15 mills.”
As part of her decade of research - as if it wasn’t enough that the Brontë family left a terrific amount of written material, much of it in tiny writing, very testing for the eyesight - Juliet spent read two years reading local newspapers of the time. “Addled my brain, but gave me so much information about the Brontës in the community that no one had ever bothered with before,” she says.
The Brontës ended up as a stonking great book, winning awards and establishing her as a writer who really knew her stuff. Despite its scholarship, it’s wonderfully readable. (...)
She has, she says, no great plans for another book ticking away at the back of her brain. “But there are a lot of anniversaries coming up in the next few years… Agincourt, various Brontës…”
In The Telegraph's weekly recap:
You cannot be a great novelist if you are under the age of 35
Or, so says, author Joanna Trollope. She seems to have forgotten that Emily Brontë wrote Wuthering Heights before she died at the age of 30. Or Sylvia Plath wrote The Bell Jar at age 29. Or DH Lawrence wrote Sons and Lovers at age 27.
Trollope said: " I think in order to write good fiction, I think you need to have got a lot o living under your belt."
The Argus Leader asks some of their readers about their favourite book:
Jane Thaden Lawson, planning editor
My favorite book: "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Brontë
Why I like it: This classic novel contains many of the elements I relish in fiction: mystery, love, anguish, redemption, a happy — if bittersweet — ending. And as a teen who always felt like a plain Jane, I found myself inspired by this other plain Jane who was, nevertheless, an interesting, intelligent person. I've read the book multiple times — always the same 1960s paperback with yellowed pages and waterstained back cover that belonged to my mom when she was a teen and has her maiden name inscribed inside. 
The Daily Star (Bangladesh) asks local (and non local) writers about their influences by women writers:
Joe Treasure
I came to Jane Eyre as an adult, too late for my reading to be distorted by a teenage crush. Instead I got the full force of Charlotte Brontë's brilliance.
Jane understands, as well as any character in nineteenth century fiction, that she has to earn a living or face destitution and beggary. She also recognises that life is a struggle for moral survival and that physical comfort can be bought at too great a cost.
More subtle than either of these, she must fight to assert her identity, to claim her right to exist as her own person in the face of indifference, hostility and abuse.
The Huffington Post lists several writers who were not fans of Jane Austen:
"I got the book and studied it. And what did I find? An accurate daguerreotyped portrait of a common-place face."
- Charlotte Brontë, in response to literary critic George Henry Lewes, who had drawn comparisons between the women novelists' work. She apparently took issue with Austen's treatment of romantic love, which, despite Austen's reputation as a realist, wasn't portrayed as honestly as the Brontë sisters preferred. (Sara Boboltz)
Kate Beaton's comics have been translated into German and Der Tagesspiegel is quite enthusiastic:
Immer wieder wirft Beaton dabei erfrischende Blicke auf viele historische und literarische Schicksale von Frauen (zum Beispiel der Mathematikerin Ada Lovelace, der Chemikerin Rosalind Franklin oder der Brontë-Schwestern) und rückt den Fokus auf von der Geschichte vergessene Persönlichkeiten (zum Beispiel den schwarzen Polarforscher Matthew Henson oder den kanadischen Politiker Lester Pearson). (Erik Wenk) (Translation)
El País (Uruguay) interviews the philosopher and cultural critic Slavoj Žižek:
Pero me gustan mucho sus películas mexicanas. ¿Cuál es el título que hizo Buñuel en México? Una versión excelente de Cumbres borrascosas de Emily Brontë, y le puso algo así como Torrente de pasiones.
— Se titula Abismos de pasión, de 1953.
—Es una excelente versión. Me gusta mucho el Buñuel mexicano, no todas sus películas pero sí la mayoría. (Juan Pablo Rendón González) (Translation)
24 Heures (Switzerland) talks with the writer Anna Todd:
Anna Todd vénère l’audace, celle qu’elle percevait déjà chez la Jane Austen d’Orgueil et préjugé, ou les sœurs Brontë des Hauts de Hurlevent, des souvenirs d’école. (Cécile Lecoultre) (Translation)
Keighley News recommends the book Haworth History Tour by Steven Wood & Ian Palmer;  Yahoo! Lifestyle Germany recommends visiting Yorkshire; the DCH Blog reviews the Blue Orange Theatre production of Jane Eyre now touring UK.

Finally, the Facebook wall of the Brontë Parsonage Museum has very good news:
A new item for the collection arrived at the Museum this week: Charlotte's sketch, 'Fisherman Sheltering Against a Tree', inspired by an illustration by Thomas Bewick. Charlotte produced the drawing in 1829, when she was just 13 years old. It will go on display next year as part of the exhibition to celebrate Charlotte's bicentenary. In the meantime, here's a sneak preview...

by M. ( at March 14, 2015 03:19 PM

Wuthering High School. Early Reviews

Wuthering High School will be broadcasted tonight on LifeTime TV (8:00 PM, ET) and several newspapers talk about it:
In this contemporary retelling of Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights,” Cathy Earnshaw (Paloma Kwiatkowski), a teenage outcast in Malibu, Calif., seeks solace after her mother’s death in the arms of Heath (Andrew Jacobs), the son of a woman employed by her father (James Caan). But when her friends mock her unconventional boyfriend choice, she dumps Heath for a more popular student, stirring up a whirlwind of jealousy, pride and passion. (Kathryn Shattuck in New York Times)
This new contemporary reinvention of Emily Bronte's brooding romance "Wuthering Heights" refashions headstrong Cathy Earnshaw (Paloma Kwiatkowski) as a Southern California teenager struggling to fit in with her wealthy Malibu classmates even as she grieves the death of her mother. She is instantly attracted to the troubled Heath (Andrew Jacobs), whom her father (James Caan) takes in after the boy's mother is deported. (North Jersey Record)
As you might have guessed, this movie is a contemporary take on Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. Catherine Earnshaw is now Cathy (Paloma Kwiatkowski), a SoCal teen, and her Heathcliff is the troubled bad boy Heath (Andrew Jacobs). Don't expect a happy ending. (Sharon Kennedy Wynn in Tampa Bay Times)
This new TV movie is a contemporary reinvention of Emily Brontë's brooding romance "Wuthering Heights" refashions headstrong Cathy (Paloma Kwiatkowski) as a Southern California teenager struggling to fit in with her wealthy classmates as she grieves the death of her mother and is attracted to the troubled Heath (Andrew Jacobs), whom her father (James Caan) takes in after the boy's mother is deported. Francesca Eastwood and Sean Flynn also star. (Ed Stockly in Los Angeles Times)
The film “Wuthering High School” (Lifetime at 8 p.m.) is a modern retelling of Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights,” in which a high school girl in Malibu struggles to cope with her mother’s death and becomes irresistibly drawn to a troubled boy. Stars Francesca Eastwood, James Caan and Sean Flynn. (Rachel Lubitz in Washington Post)
If The CW was adapting classic novels instead of comic books, I like to think that they would have come up with something like this: A soapy, sexy take on the beloved Emily Brontë tale about a young woman in love with the wrong man. Set in Malibu instead of the moors of England, the film stars Paloma Kwiatkowski (Bates Motel) as Cathy, the daughter of wealth whose grief over the death of her mother leads to alienation, ennui and some bad choices involving her bestie's boyfriend. Enter Heath, an undocumented kid taken in by Cathy's millionaire dad (James Caan), who brings out Cathy's reckless side. Soon, there are sparks, scandals, and proms to worry about and before you can say "we need a Cruel Intentions reboot," things get darker than most teen dramas dare to go these days. (Damian Holbrook in TVinsider)
Lifetime calls this “a modern retelling of Emily Brontë’s ‘Wuthering Heights.’” It’s about a teenager named Cathy (Paloma Kwiatkowski) who struggles to fit in at her wealthy Malibu high school, until her father (James Caan) brings home a young man (Andrew Jacobs), the son of a long-time employee who was suddenly deported. Heath and Cathy fall in love, but it’s a destructive relationship. Will Cathy cave to pressure to dump Heath? Will this end in tragedy?!?!? (Brooke Cain in News & Observer)
Emily Brontë’s 1847 novel, Wuthering Heights, is perfect for a classroom milieu: Much in the same way Romeo And Juliet appeals to the high school set, Wuthering Heights is all about high-strung emotion gussied up in pretty language. It’s part all-consuming love story, part revenge fantasy gone wrong, part unrequited amorous tragedy. What can be more high school than that? There’s a reason the novel makes for a killer Kate Bush song. It’s even surprising that it has taken so long for. (#fnews)
Flavorwire :
Featuring Cathy Earnshaw as a traumatized young girl who has lost her mother, wandering alone through her family’s mansion and being slut-shamed at school, and Heath as the son of an Earnshaw employee whose entire family has been deported by the US government, the potential for an excellent star-crossed romance is certainly there to be mined. She pouts almost exclusively, he does tricks on his skateboard, they hate authority and the world, and they love each other. It sounds delicious. Unfortunately, the whole production is so wooden that I actually found it boring, which is never something that could never be said about the source material, with its raw emotional power.
The reality is, Brontë‘s novel doesn’t have a ton of intricate plot points. It’s a mood and meaning piece, propelled forward by the strength of a wild and isolated setting that is symbolically rich — as well as by the almost unbearably intense love and hatred its characters experience. In this spirit, Wuthering High School offers moments of anarchic joy, such as when Heath and Cathy tear up the books in their overbearing health class and lead their schoolmates in a rampage, then run away and jump together into the ocean. Yet I kept thinking, I hope these are just abstinence-only sex-ed textbooks and not, you know, book books, because that would be horrible. Surely, fans of teenage melodrama will enjoy the drugs, the mean-girl scenes in the school bathroom, the parties, the loud montages with moody pop music. Paloma Kwiatkowski as Cathy projects unceasingly stylized, blank, Lana Del Rey-style rage, while Andrew Jacobs nails the brooding stares of Heath.
And yet for all Wuthering Heights‘ sweeping qualities, it has a good deal of subtlety: the different layers of power — class, race, gender, social charm, the acquisition of money — constantly switch back and forth, and our sympathies with them. This is not something the Lifetime film achieves. The nadir, for me, comes when Heath takes over the Earnshaw’s home. Arriving there, Cathy and her friends find it has been taken over by people of color, presumably Mexicans, gorgeous women in bikinis, tough-looking skater guys, loud music. “Get me out of this place!” cries Cathy. Associating Heathcliff’s angry, vengeful heel turn with his ethnicity is something that even the sheltered Emily Brontë didn’t explicitly do with her character in the 19th century. It’s gross, and undercuts the campy potential of the whole film. (Sarah Seltzer)
A.V. Club:
But Wuthering High School’s biggest sin is that it’s boring, something the novel, with its soap operatics adorned in gorgeous language, can’t claim. The pace languishes as Kwiatkowski lifelessly narrates what’s supposed to be a tale of passion. The final scene takes a turn for the macabre, which is impressive considering the source material does not end without its own dramatics. But it’s too little, too late, and too strange to help what came before it. (Molly Eichel)
Very Negative
Times Daily:
This 21st-century retelling of the Brontë classic is grimly earnest from the get-go. Worse, it seems to have no idea how pretentious it seems, or how funny it could become if it just let itself go.
No, like its heroine Cathy Earnshaw (Paloma Kwiatkowski) and her endless, drearily uninspired voiceovers, “Wuthering High School” is one long drag.
Makers of such adaptations are never content to place them in any old town or high school. It has to be located in Malibu, where only richest and the most spoiled can treat each other with mean-girl ferocity. The kids in “Clueless,” the 1995 adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Emma,” are naive and frolicsome innocents by comparison. Gee, can it really be 20 years since “Clueless”? (Kevin McDonough)

by M. ( at March 14, 2015 01:59 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii


Thirty Years of Print

Christie's is holding a virtual auction with litographs by Paula Rego. Including her series on Jane Eyre:
Paula Rego. Thirty Years of Print
Online Auction
10-19 March, 2015
14-17 March, 2015 (exhibition for general public)

Christie’s is delighted to present an online auction of one of the largest private collections of prints by the eminent contemporary artist and printmaker Paula Rego. Including all her most important graphic series, with many sold out editions and rarities from 1987-2007, the collection will also be on view at Christie’s King Street from 14-17 March.

Click here for our Deconstruction of Rego's Nursery Rhymes series with Christie's Print Specialist, Lucia Tro Santafe.

Discover more about Rego's work at the Curwen Studio in our interview with Stanley Jones, president of The Curwen Print Study Centre.

by M. ( at March 14, 2015 02:40 AM

The Little Professor

This Week's Acquisition

(It's singular, yet plural!)

  • The Monthly Packet (1879, 1886, 1888).  Three bound volumes of the High Church Anglican periodical edited by Charlotte Mary Yonge.  Features serial fiction, poetry, commentary on issues of the day, etc.  

by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at March 14, 2015 01:11 AM


Wuthering Heights on Craigslist

The ad is no longer there, but we hope a Wuthering Heights collector somewhere has had a stroke of luck. As reported by IndieWire:
If you're perusing Craigslist looking for an IKEA love seat, a vintage tea set or an "I Love Lucy" telephone, you might be surprised to see an ad for 35mm Film Prints of Indie Movies. The price is the unbelievably low cost of $1. In the age of 4K, apparently, 35mm is pretty much worthless.
If you click for more information, you'll find a listing from indie distributor Oscilloscope Laboratories. The ad reads: "Oscilloscope Laboratories is cleaning (ware)house. Own a piece of indie film history."
The company is selling almost a dozen 35mm feature film prints including Lynne Ramsay's "We Need to Talk About Kevin" (2011), Oren Moverman's "The Messenger" (2009) and Andrea Arnold's "Wuthering Heights" (2011).
There are some disclaimers and rules too: "Please note all films have been inspected, passed inspection, and been deemed playable, however these are used prints and will display faults. All prints are sold as-is. These prints are for personal use only. They become your property and you may do with them what you wish. Having said that, copyrights remain with rights holders and distribution rights remain with O-Scope. All customarily required screening rights will still need to be sought if displaying these films publicly."
But basically, if you somehow manage to be in possession of a 35mm projector and have a spare dollar, you're in luck.
When Indiewire reached out to Oscilloscope's Dan Berger to find out why they are selling these prints, he said, "We are making sure to maintain a small inventory to continue to use, but with so many fewer outlets that can play them, it didn't make sense to maintain the large stock and I figured this would be a cool way for some peeps to get something out of it." (Paula Bernstein)
Dorkshelf reviews Liv Ullmann's film adaptation of August Strindberg's Fröken Julie:
Ultimately, I simply have to question the relevance of it all. Why film Miss Julie? It’s been staged hundreds of times, filmed several times- what does the film have to say to a new audience? What statement is Ullmann trying to make? Themes of class, particularly of love and sex between the classes, are interesting, but are oh so Thomas Hardy and Jane Eyre, and not particularly relevant in 2015. The best relevance I can grasp are the feminist themes, with Julie as a free-spirited woman who does what she pleases and John as the man who resents her for it. (Cameron Bryant)
Cindy Fazzi tells Forbes how she became a writer:
On our fifth day in Tuscany, while we were hiking up to the hilltop city of Siena, I was still thinking about writing romance. No, not the E.L. James Fifty Shades of Grey type BDSM book, but something more traditional: boy meets girl, they fall in love, they face conflicts, but in the end, they live happily ever after, or at least happy for now. Why not? I had grown up devouring classic romances, from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice to E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View to Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and as an adult, I enjoyed Nora Roberts and Sylvia Day romance. (Janet Novack)
Well-known Brontëite Maureen Corrigan reviews the book H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald for NPR and apparently,
To read her memoir, H Is for Hawk, is to feel as though Emily Brontë just turned up at your door, trailing all the windy, feral outdoors into your living room. 
Les Echos (France) describes Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca as
Un genre de « Jane Eyre » aux accents de Patricia Highsmith et de Stephen King. (Philippe Chevilley) (Translation)
Norwegian cross-country skier Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen sounds like a Brontëite in this article from Bergens Tidende (Norway).
Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen har akkurat vært nest best på prologen i VM-sprinten. Fortsatt er hun uvitende om gullmedaljen hun skal få senere på dagen.
Hun finner frem boken om Jane Eyre og lever seg fullstendig inn i den sterke kjærlighetshistorien fra 1800-tallets Storbritannia. Konkurrenten ser på henne og smiler. «Der sitter hun og leser Charlotte Brontë». (Odd Inge Aas) (Translation)
Retro Magazine (Italy) has an article on the Italian state television, Rain and recalls that,
Proprio le fiction, in effetti, erano uno dei veicoli culturali più efficienti negli anni ’50 e ’60. Le settantenni di oggi, di cui la stragrande maggioranza ha un titolo di studio che non supera la licenza elementare, conosce perfettamente la trama di Jane Eyre, Delitto e Castigo, Cime Tempestose, non per aver letto la Brontë o Dostojevskij, ma grazie agli sceneggiati della Rai. (Lia Valetti) (Translation)
More of Poldark-is-Heathcliff, this time from North Devon Journal:
Because Poldark is back. This time it's a new version of the one aired 40 years ago, which I never saw, although I've grown up always being aware of its existence as legendary television. Tuning in this time to see what all the fuss was about, I could see the appeal. A tale of thwarted love in which a brooding hero with dark gypsy looks and long tousled locks gallops across wide landscapes, it's a recipe for success. The sea apart, this is Wuthering Heights with Aidan Turner as the Cornish Heathcliff, Ross Poldark.
Finally, one more for the Wuthering Heights fans. From the Brontë Parsonage Blog:
I am very impressed by what I have heard of a new musical adaptation of Wuthering Heights by Catherine McDonald. She is currently working with a UK producer to get the show into theatres, so good luck with that! What do readers of this blog think of the musical arrangement and a voice which I would describe as rich and forceful? I heard her singing in the Parsonage nearly five years ago (in June 2010) and was struck by her vocal skills. You can hear three sample songs on YouTube:
The theme song Wuthering Heights, sung by Nelly, Catherine Linton and Hareton (at the graves) and the entire company of ghosts.
A love ballad, Face to the Rain between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff.
And a big solo number Beyond the Garden Walll sung by the sixteen year old Catherine Linton.
Go to (Richard Wilcocks)
The adaptation was first performed last year in London.

Books, Baking and Blogging reviews Jane Eyre;  Millieboats Reads loves the Penguin Drop Caps Jane Eyre edition.

by Cristina ( at March 14, 2015 12:41 AM

March 13, 2015

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii


An exciting exhibition

Keighley News features the new temporary exhibition at the Brontë Parsonage Museum: The Brontës, War and Waterloo.
The Brontë Parsonage Museum will this weekend launch a new exhibition about the battle of Waterloo.
The Haworth museum is commemorating the 200th anniversary of the battle by focusing on its links with the Brontë family.
The Brontës, War and Waterloo explores the Brontë family’s fascination with war and how the bloody battles and heroic figureheads of the Napoleonic conflicts captivated and inspired the collective Brontë siblings.
Ann Dinsdale, the museum’s collections manager, accepted that the Napoleonic conflicts took place far away from the moors of Yorkshire but said the Brontës had access to military accounts in periodicals and newspapers.
She said: “Their imaginations were fuelled by what they read and they recreated events with toy soldiers, transforming the Napoleonic campaigns into exciting fantasy sagas.
“This is an exciting exhibition which shows how this fascination with war and warfare continued into adulthood and influenced their writing.”
The exhibition has been curated with the assistance of Brontë scholar Emma Butcher, who believes the exhibition brings new insight to the Brontë story.
She said: “The violent, masculine landscapes of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre can be traced back to the Brontës’ early engagement with militarism and warfare.
“This exhibition presents the work of the Brontë siblings in a new light and establishes them as significant post-war authors.”
Items displayed as part of the exhibition include a fragment of Napoleon’s coffin that was given to Charlotte Brontë while she was in Brussels, and a letter to Patrick Brontë from the Duke of Wellington.
There is also a fragment from Charlotte Brontë’s History of the Year 1829 which recounts the moment when Branwell showed his new toy soldiers to his sisters.
The Brontës, War and Waterloo opens in the Bonnell Room at the Bronte Parsonage Museum on Monday. (March 16). The current exhibition The Brontës and Animals finishes today.
Entrance to the new exhibition is free with the price of museum admission. (David Knights)
The Telegraph and Argus has a nice story related to the 1920s silent film version of Wuthering Heights.
Two Yorkshire sisters had a special treat when they visited the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth and took a trip back in time to their mother’s childhood stardom.
Jill Freeman and Anne Powell are the daughters of Florence ‘Twinks’ Hunter, the Yorkshire-born actress who played young Cathy in the 1920s silent film production of Wuthering Heights.
Last year, the Bronte Society acquired the full script of Albert Victor Bramble’s 1920s production which includes 22 pages of director’s notes including details of costumes and locations.
The script, together with original stills showing the film crew and members of the cast, are now on display to the public, but Mrs Freeman and Mrs Powell made an appointment to view it at close quarters in the Museum Library.
"It’s just wonderful to see these pages detailing what mum had to do. There is no surviving copy of the film, but this script gives us a glimpse of what it might have been like," said Mrs Powell.
Mrs Freeman added: "It’s very special to see this and imagine our mother as a six-year-old actress."Florence Hunter was one of the most successful child stars of the early British film industry.
She became known as Twinks after her screen billing of Baby Twinkles. She died in Ripon in January 2000.
Rebecca Yorke, communications officer at the Museum, said: "One of the central aims of the Brontë Society is to share its world class collection with people of all ages and from all over the world.”
Town Topics discusses Downton Abbey:
After speculating on who among the characters in Downton Abbey might actually be writing the story, my choice is Lord Grantham’s perennially embattled valet Bates. He’s the only person on the premises who seems capable of it. I like to imagine him doing a Frankenstein and turning on Fellowes, his sadistic creator. He has good reason to feel abused. It’s hard to think of two more ill-fated beings than Bates and Anna, and all Fellowes can say when asked about the sufferings he imposes on them is “I think in life there are people who are unlucky — the bread always falls with the butter side down.”
That Fellowes resorts to that dinner table phrase in defense of his plotting says something about what keeps Downton Abbey from true greatness. Imagine Charlotte Brontë descending to the Fellowes rationale to justify the plight of Jane Eyre and Rochester. (Stuart Mitchner)
The Manchester Evening News has an idea for the Coronation Street producers:
Kooky singer Kate Bush could play Gary's mum Anna rather well. We can imagine her trilling a haunting rendition of Wuthering Heights while making the brews and serving up bacon butties at Roy's Rolls. (Katie Fitzpatrick)
Rosie Amber reviews Luccia  Gray's All Hallows at Eyre Hall. 

by Cristina ( at March 13, 2015 12:37 AM

March 12, 2015

The Victorian Peeper

Scheherazade on the English Stage: The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments and the Georgian Repertoire

Playbill for the 1826 Drury Lane Aladdin
From the appearance of the first English translation of the Arabian Nights’ Entertainments at the beginning of the eighteenth century, the dazzling tales of Scheherazade have been mined for their dramatic potential. Indeed, it would be hard to imagine a playwright not intrigued by the obvious theatrical scope offered by fables that feature enchanted objects, titanic rivalries, and romantic passions assisted by the supernatural. 

In his catalogue of plays produced or printed in England between 1660 and 1900, Allardyce Nicoll lists more than a hundred based on the story of Aladdin, nearly sixty on the story of Sinbad, and about three dozen on the story of Ali Baba. Of course we know these characters today primarily in their pantomime incarnations, but during the late eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century, their adventures were also the subject of more or less straight melodrama and opera, spectacles combining breathtaking stage effects, a few favourite singers, and musical numbers that could be transferred easily to concert hall and home.

Most of these were derived from the first English version of the tales, the anonymous “Grub Street” edition that appeared between 1706 and 1721. This was a translation of a twelve-volume work by the French diplomat and classicist Antoine Galland, which was itself based on a fourteenth-century Syrian manuscript. Some of the most famous stories, including Aladdin, are thought to have been interpolated into the collection by Galland himself but have nevertheless come to be considered part of the Arabian Nights canon.

At their heart, these are stories about the power of stories, and certainly we can agree with G.K. Chesterton, who said that few other books can match their splendid tribute to the omnipotence of art. You are all familiar with the framing device used in the tales: in revenge for the infidelity of his first wife, a sultan has vowed to kill his future wives the day after he marries them. His latest wife, Scheherazade, avoids this fate by ensnaring the sultan in a web of story-telling that keeps him in suspense for a thousand and one nights. By that time, the sultan has become so enthralled with her that he spares her life. Scheherazade’s cunning stories save her. Drawn from Indian, Persian, and Arabic oral traditions, they include fables, fairy tales, proverbs, riddles, songs, love poems, and historical anecdotes. They are populated by genies, fairies, demons, and magicians and abound in passion, pathos, violence, bawdy humour, and fantasy.

To discover the appeal of these oriental tales to Georgian audiences, let's take a closer look at Aladdin – the “fairy opera” written by George Soane with music by Henry Rowley Bishop that was first produced in April 1826 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. The production was not successful; in fact, after a year in preparation and months of intense puffery, it failed miserably. As far as I can tell, it had only ten performances. I have chosen to focus on it because of the extraordinary cast of characters involved in its production – many of them among the most prominent figures of the Georgian theatre – and because it represents an important milestone in the popular reception of the Arabian Nights stories.

Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, c. 1826

In its review of this production, The Times stated that such was the popularity of the Arabian Nights tales in the Georgian era that none in the audience could possibly have been unfamiliar with them: “they are read with avidity in early life,” the reviewer noted, “and the memory, even in age, delights to dwell on the marvellous powers of Aladdin’s ring and lamp, on the narrow escapes of the enterprising Sinbad, on the wonders of the city of enchanters, and the various strange adventures with magicians and genies to which the heroes and heroines are so frequently exposed.” The same week that Aladdin opened at Drury Lane, The Times reviewed yet another new print edition of the tales.

The first English play based on the Aladdin story was written by John O’Keefe in 1788 for Covent Garden. This was followed by numerous other versions in London and the provinces over the next few decades, all of which were intended to capitalise on the Georgian fashion for stories set in enchanting and enchanted places.

In the autumn of 1825, Covent Garden produced a pantomime Aladdin, which was followed in the spring of 1826 by the fairy opera Oberon by the German composer Carl Maria von Weber, then at the height of his popularity in England. Oberon boasted a libretto by James Robinson Planché set in Baghdad that combined the brave deeds of a Christian knight, the cruelty of a Muslim caliph, the trial of true love, and a flock of Shakespearian fairies, including Oberon and Puck. With Weber conducting, the opera was an instant success.

Over in Catherine Street, things were not going as well. Robert Elliston, the proprietor of Drury Lane, had suffered a stroke the previous autumn and was drinking heavily as his theatre approached bankruptcy. He had already produced his own ersatz Oberon two weeks before the Covent Garden production opened, but to no avail. He needed desperately to have a hit, something that could serve as a rival attraction. The year before, he had successfully produced Weber’s early opera Abu Hassan, based on the Arabian Nights story “The Sleeper Awakened,” and so he decided to go to the Scheherazade well once again. 

Henry Bishop. composer of the 1826
Drury Lane Aladdin
This time the subject would be Aladdin. George Soane was asked to prepare a libretto and Henry Bishop was assigned to furnish the music. Bishop had been serving as composer and music director of Covent Garden for fifteen years when a disagreement over his salary prompted him to move to Drury Lane for three years beginning in 1825. Today he is perhaps most famous for the song “Home, Sweet Home,” but over the course of his long career he composed or arranged some 120 dramatic works, including 80 operas. His modern reputation is not high, probably because his role as music director required him to produce a great deal of forgettable hackwork. He was, however, very highly regarded in his day and was knighted in 1842.

Soane was the youngest son of the famous architect Sir John Soane and although he is all but forgotten today, he was among the Georgian theatre’s most prolific playwrights. In addition to writing libretti for Bishop, Soane wrote for other distinguished opera composers of the period, including Michael Balfe. Soane is a very interesting character. He was by all accounts brilliant and often charming, a graduate of Cambridge and fluent in several languages. Yet he married an unsuitable woman, in his parents’ estimation; he may have had a child with his sister-in-law; and he was often imprisoned for debt. In short, he continually dashed his family’s high hopes for him. Things came to a head when George published two defamatory articles criticising his father’s work and disproportionate influence on English architecture. These vicious diatribes have been blamed for hastening the death of his ailing mother; whatever the case, Sir John instantly disinherited him and eventually left his estate to the children of his other son and – as I’m sure you know – his magnificent home in Lincoln’s Inn Fields to the nation, where it can be visited to this day.

For Aladdin, which is in three acts, Soane closely followed the traditional storyline. An African sorcerer named Mourad arrives in Isfahan, Persia, in search of a magic lamp hidden in a cave in the desert. He encounters Aladdin and promises him great riches if he will descend into the cave and bring out the lamp. Mourad gives Aladdin a gold ring and Aladdin descends into the cave. In the middle of the cave, which sparkles with jewels, sits a giant figure clutching a rusty lamp. Aladdin takes it but as he tries to climb out of the cave he falls and the opening above closes over him. Angry at Mourad, who has left him to die, Aladdin rubs the lamp in an attempt to clean it and the three genies of the lamp appear, ready to do his bidding. They take him back to Isfahan and he falls in love at first sight with the princess Nourmahal, the sister of the shah. Aladdin asks the shah for permission to marry Nourmahal, which is granted after Aladdin conjures forty gold urns borne by forty black slaves and forty white slaves. 

In his joy, Aladdin has the genies of the lamp create a magical palace suitable for his bride. Mourad, meanwhile, learns that Aladdin did not die in the cave. He poses as a tradesman offering new lamps for old and tricks Nourmahal into giving him Aladdin’s enchanted lamp. Mourad summons the genies and makes them transport the new palace, with Nourmahal and himself inside, to Africa. Frantic at the loss of his sister, the shah sentences Aladdin to death but gives him seven days in which to find her. The seventh day arrives and Aladdin prepares to take poison to avoid the worse fate of impalement. He realszes that he is still wearing the gold ring given him by Mourad, and in his attempt to remove it summons the genie of the ring, who at his request takes him to Nourmahal. The scene shifts to the palace in Africa, where Mourad tells Nourmahal that she must marry him or die. Aladdin arrives, dressed as a minstrel, carrying the poison. He tells Nourmahal to pretend to accept Mourad’s overtures and then to slip the poison into his goblet. Mourad drinks from the goblet and Aladdin reveals himself. As he dies, Mourad has one last trick up his sleeve: he tells Aladdin that if he lights the enchanted lamp, he will gain the wisdom of Solomon. Nourmahal seizes the lamp, lights it, and the lamp disintegrates, freeing the genies. The final scene is a tableau of all the characters in the cave seen at the beginning of the opera.  

Although Soane’s libretto had been trimmed by James Winston, who was at this time the theatre’s acting manager, the opera was still unbearably long. Weber was present at the premiere and later described the experience in a letter to his wife. The performance, he wrote, lasted four-and-a-half hours – long enough to kill the audience as well as the work. Apparently, the first act alone took two hours; one London paper noted that when the drop fell, “the half price gentry were scrambling over the gallery benches.” Weber went on to say that the libretto was weak; the music rarely more than pretty; and some of the singing truly atrocious. The audience had cheered Weber as he entered the box that had been placed at his disposal, and when a hunting chorus of Bishop’s was sung they actually hissed and began whistling the hunting chorus from another of Weber’s operas, Der Freischütz.

Catherine ("Kitty") Stephens, star of the
1826 Drury Lane
The part of Aladdin was sung by the soprano Catherine, or “Kitty,” Stephens, one of the most popular English opera and concert singers of her generation. Stephens had joined Drury Lane in 1824 after falling out with the managers of Covent Garden, where she had made her debut eleven years earlier. Oxberry’s Dramatic Biography described Stephens as about medium height, with a pretty figure, dark hair and eyes, and a countenance that reflected the simplicity and sweetness of her nature. The prevailing narrative about Kitty Stephens, as evidenced in Oxberry’s and other popular works of Georgian biography, stressed her respectability and exemplary conduct. Ballads, especially pathetic ballads, were her specialty. Her singing made Kitty Stephens rich. In 1838, three years after she retired from the stage, she married the 80-year-old Earl of Essex and became even richer. In 1826, though, she was still at the height of her powers, captivating those who came to see her in Aladdin. In a review that was otherwise critical of the production, The Times praised her acting abilities, which had charmed the audience nearly as much as her expressive style of singing.

Songs such as “In My Bower a Lady Weeps,” “Sister, I Have Loved Thee Well,” and “Beautiful are the Fields” were published as sheet music within weeks of the production, but many critics noted that the music was not up to Bishop’s usual standard. The Musical Times thought that “in spite of all of Bishop’s earnestness, or perhaps because of it, Aladdin shows little of the vigour and brightness so conspicuous in many works which were merely dashed off as required. It is, indeed, a curiously disappointing work.”

Despite its shortcomings as music, the opera successfully evoked the popular Georgian conception of the East. Aladdin was calculated to provide maximum opportunity for scenic display and it was advertised to appear with entirely new scenery, machinery, dresses, and decorations. The production featured 15 different settings including the jewelled cave, raging storms, an elegant imperial palace and harem gardens, a flying palace that lifts off from Persia and lands in the African desert, bustling streetscapes, panoramic city views, and a mosque with a practicable minaret. Most of this was devised by the great Clarkson Stanfield, who was assisted by the Scottish artist David Roberts, a specialist in architectural subjects. Roberts had a longstanding interest in the Near East and today he is remembered primarily for a series of drawings and watercolours he made during a trip to Egypt at the urging of his friend JMW Turner. Soon after he finished work on Aladdin, Roberts left Drury Lane for Covent Garden, where his expertise in painting Eastern subjects was put to good use in the London premiere of Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio.

Lighting and machinery played a crucial role in Aladdin. Scenes go dark as storm clouds gather, vivid flashes of lightning illuminate acts of sorcery and magic; a bright flame guides the way to the mouth of the enchanted cave; clouds and mist rise and then vanish to reveal splendid scenes; characters sink through the stage floor as buildings rise from it; the genies of the lamp appear in clouds dripping fire; a mechanical dove swoops in occasionally; and the magic lamp glows and then shatters at the end of the opera.

The management of all the moving parts of this production proved tricky on opening night, with The Times calling attention to the fact that the actors were often obliged to stand still while the audience was regaled with the loud swearing of the carpenters.

Aladdin was one of three operas by Bishop written for Drury Lane that have Eastern settings. The Fall of Algiers, which was produced the year before Aladdin, is based on England’s 1816 battle with the pirates known as the Barbary Corsairs, who operated out of Tunisia and preyed on shipping in the western Mediterranean. Englishmen in India, produced the year after Aladdin, is a sentimental love story involving an Indian girl and her English guardian.

The cover of Henry Bishop's score for the 1826 Drury Lane Aladdin

These works, and many others like them, drew audiences interested in the picture they presented of life in the East. This was a picture generally derived from partial and faulty knowledge that produced a vision of the Orient as simultaneously mysterious, enticing, and threatening. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, travel to the East was still unusual and difficult and the theatre served to educate the public—at least that segment of it that attended plays—in a linguistic and pictorial vocabulary that organised and interpreted the regions east of Europe.

For the Georgian period, the oriental tale had a two-fold attraction: the exotic appeal of the setting, and the comfortable familiarity of its moralising themes. In the preface to an 1807 edition of the Arabian Nights, the universal human responses of the reader are appealed to as a way of overriding his or her ignorance of an alien culture. In fact, the English treatment of the stories, whether in books or on stage, was a constant oscillation between a domestication of them and an attempt to view them in their own context.

The audience of Bishop’s opera is never allowed to forget that the world of Aladdin is an Eastern – specifically a Muslim – world. The Prophet Muhammad’s name is invoked constantly and Allah’s protection is sought at every turn. Characters swear by Muhammad’s beard and by his sacred tomb. One character struggles to observe the Muslim prohibition against the drinking of alcohol. All the men wear turbans, all the women are veiled; all the Christians are called “dogs” and “pale infidels.” Aladdin’s marriage to Nourmahal is said to represent the will of Muhammad; when the shah later discovers that his sister is missing, he calls to Muhammad to forgive him for allowing his sister to marry a wizard. The second act ends with an extraordinary tableau: as night falls, the Muslim call to prayer is heard and all the characters kneel and pray.

But it’s a magic world, too. The plot, after all, revolves around a magic ring, a magic lamp, and magical beings who are enslaved to these objects. The villain, Mourad, is an African sorcerer whose use of magic to achieve his own nefarious ends marks him as corrupt, a recurring type in Georgian orientalist literature.

Despite its ravishing scenery, which critics without exception called “truly beautiful” and “very grand,” Aladdin did not attract. A mere six days after it opened, Elliston announced that it would be played just once a week, ostensibly because of the preparations required for a new production of Shakespeare's Henry the Fourth, Part One, with William Charles Macready as Hotspur. Elliston recovered enough of his health to create his last original role, Falstaff, in this production, and played it to great acclaim for several more years at the Surrey. On May 16 the imitation Oberon was put back on the Drury Lane schedule, alternating with Macready’s Othello, and on May 30 Aladdin was produced for the tenth and final time as a benefit for Kitty Stephens.

Although the work was written and billed as an opera, its similarities to the pantomime form are obvious: the free-spirited Aladdin, played by a female singer, is a principle-boy figure who shares many traits with Harlequin; Nourmahal, a young woman under the controlling thumb of her domineering brother, is related to Columbine; Aladdin loses his magic lamp, analogous in this way to Harlequin’s magic bat, and loses his power temporarily; the lovers are tested by adversity and threatened by a lecherous older man who embodies all of the so-called Oriental evils, including greed and trickery; a benevolent fairy in the shape of the genie of the ring intervenes to bring the lovers together in a final spectacular scene in the dwelling-place of the genies of the lamp. Six months after Bishop’s opera opened and then closed in London, a version of the Aladdin story squarely in the pantomime tradition opened at Christmas in Glasgow, complete with the magician Abanazar and featuring interpolated songs from Bishop’s opera.

A modern Aladdin, New Wimbledon Theatre, 2013

By the second half of the nineteenth century, theatrical adaptations of the Arabian Nights had veered once and for all into the land of pantomime and extravaganza, acquiring titles like Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp; or, Harlequin the Wicked Wizard and the Forty Thieves in 1884 and Aladdin; or, The Naughty Young Scamp Who Ran Off with the Lamp in 1897. These later versions continued to feed the public’s fascination with the East, sometimes combining several strands of interest, as in Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp or the Willow Pattern Plate and the Flying Crystal Palace” in 1884.

What did not change, and never will, I think, is the fact that the telling of tales and the desire to listen to the tales of others is a defining human characteristic, perhaps 
the defining human characteristic – one that is perfectly exemplified by The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments and its early stage adaptations.

by Kristan Tetens ( at March 12, 2015 08:08 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

Floris Arntzenius (1864-1925), townscapes in the low countries

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A house in Bruges

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Noordeinde in the Hague

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Haarlem on a sunny day

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A street in Hoorn

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Windy Day at Scheveningen

March 12, 2015 09:22 AM


Nurslings, Revenge and Gender diference

New scholar works published about the Brontës outside US and the UK:
Nurslings of Protestantism: The Questionable Privilege of Freedom in Charlotte Brontë's Villette
Monika Mazurek, Pedagogical University of Cracow
Studia Anglica Posnaniensia 49/4, 2014

In Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, a number of foreigners at various points express their amazement or admiration of the behaviour of Englishwomen, who, like the novel’s narrator Lucy Snowe, travel alone, visit public places unchaperoned and seem on the whole to lead much less constrained lives than their Continental counterparts. This notion was apparently quite widespread at this time, as the readings of various Victorian texts confirm – they often refer to the independence Englishwomen enjoyed, sometimes with a note of caution but often in a self-congratulatory manner. Villette, the novel which, similarly to its predecessor, The Professor, features a Protestant protagonist living in a Catholic country, makes a connection between Lucy’s Protestantism and her freedom, considered traditionally in English political discourse to be an essentially English and Protestant virtue. However, as the novel shows, in the case of women the notion of freedom is a complicated issue. While the pupils at Mme Beck’s pensionnat have to be kept in check by a sophisticated system of surveillance, whose main purpose is to keep them away from men and sex, Lucy can be trusted to behave according to the Victorian code of conduct, but only because her Protestant upbringing inculcated in her the need to control her desires. The Catholics have the
Church to play the role of the disciplinarian for them, while Lucy has to grapple with and stifle her own emotions with her own hands, even when the repression is clearly the cause of her psychosomatic illness. In the end, the expectations regarding the behaviour of women in England and Labassecour are not that much different; the difference is that while young Labassecourians are controlled by the combined systems of family, school and the Church, young Englishwomen are expected to exercise a similar control on their own. 
The Depiction of Thwarted Love and Revenge in Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights
By Ali Alhaj
Anchor Academic Publishing, 2014

The present study aims at examining the depiction of thwarted love and revenge in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. The study is divided into four chapters in addition to a conclusion.Chapter One: casts light on Emily Brontë's achievement as of an intrinsically different kind from that of any of her contemporizes . Chapter Two: traces Emily Brontë's Contribution, Reputation and Influence. Emily Brontë illustrates some aspects of human nature more fully than the other Victorians. Also, she is the most poetical of all English novelists. Chapter Three: explores Thwarted Love in Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. Chapter Four : examines revenge in Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. Emily Bronte in her fascinating ''Wuthering Heights", she proves that man is a creature who differs from all the other creatures. The main difference lies in the extremeness of the feelings of love, hate and revenge in every human being. In her metaphysics, love is the primary law of human nature and paramount principle of her universe. Adhere to, it is at once the source of joy and harmony; rejected or subverted, it becomes the fountainhead of enmity and revenge.
Gênero, identidade e diferença no romance Jane Eyre, de Charlotte Brontë
by Luana Câmpara Talasca
Universidade Federal Do Rio Grande Do Sul

Quando foi lançado, em 1847, o romance Jane Eyre teve muitas de suas características everamente condenadas pela crítica literária da época. O uso de prosa poética, a maneira como as emoções eram retratadas e o tipo e vocabulário utilizado foram considerados inapropriados pelos analistas vitorianos. Ainda durante muitas décadas acreditou-se que a obra não deixava transparecer o contexto histórico do qual derivava, ou que a autora não tinha noção do que estava acontecendo a sua volta. Foi apenas com uma mudança de perspectiva por parte da crítica literária, ocorrida nas últimas décadas do século XX, que muito do que até então parecia invisível começou a ser compreendido. Dessa forma, o objetivo do presente trabalho é apresentar uma leitura de Jane Eyre com vistas a desfazer essa impressão errônea sobre a acuidade histórica do romance. A metodologia utilizada consiste em aplicar conceitos propostos por Sandra Gilbert e Susan Gubar sobre estudos de gênero para analisar em que medida as ações e as visões de mundo de determinadas personagens ao mesmo tempo refletem e representam o momento histórico no qual a obra foi concebida.

by M. ( at March 12, 2015 01:23 AM

Cathy vs Jane

The Telegraph and Argus reports the latest plans to bring more visitors to Bradford.
As part of Growing Tourism Locally - a VisitEngland-led project funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund - Visit Bradford is joining 23 other English cities, promoting its industrial and creative heritage to visitors over the coming months, with special itineraries for the district including A Victorian Mill Worker, The Footsteps of a Brontë, and Footsteps of the Stars. [...]
As part of the campaign, Visit Bradford is promoting a number of itineraries including a trip to the Bradford Industrial Museum where visitors can find out what it was like to work in a textile mill in the 19th Century, a visit to Haworth to take in the dramatic moorland that inspired the Brontës, and a tour of the National Media Museum where visitors can go behind the scenes of TV and film production. (Emma Clayton)
Everyday Ebook has a Q&A with Samantha Ellis, who speaks about the origins of her book How To Be a Heroine.
EVERYDAY EBOOK: The book opens with a gentle argument between you and your best friend over whether you'd prefer to be Jane Eyre or Cathy Earnshaw. "My whole life, I'd been trying to be Cathy, when I should have been trying to be Jane." What draws you to each of these characters, and why the change?
SAMANTHA ELLIS: Well, originally I was very much a Cathy girl. I liked her wildness, her passion, her refusal of convention. When my best friend said she was selfish and a snob and ruined everyone's lives, I was angry at first. But it made me go back to Jane. I'd always thought Jane was stoic and dull, but she's full of fire, sticks to her guns and knows who she is. I still have a soft spot for Cathy, though; she can be petulant and violent and cruel, but as an awkward teenager, I needed a bit of her anger and even her selfishness to pull me out of myself and make me feel bolder. (Courtney Allison)
Aesthetica interviews the Northern Ballet dancer Kiara Flavin about the new revival of their Wuthering Heights production:
A: Wuthering Heights is a classic book but not a classic ballet, how did you find transforming it into dance?
KF: Wuthering Heights is one of my favourite novels. I read it for the first time last year knowing David Nixon had adapted it for ballet. I was curious to learn the story from Emily Brontë herself and I was gripped by her writing and vivid characters. I knew upon reading the book that it would translate very well to ballet. The transformation from written English language into dance vocabulary means bringing the characters from the pages into your heart and moving, acting and reacting as the characters would. Brontë’s characters have rich and distinctive relationships that can be interpreted through ballet with a conviction worthy of the classic novel.
Irish Examiner mentions the Brontës' use of pseudonyms.

by Cristina ( at March 12, 2015 01:06 AM

March 11, 2015

The Little Professor

Unaffiliated (as it were) job applications?

Given concerns raised about the influence of "pedigree" on one's future job prospects, the role of class in shaping interviewers' expectations, and so on, here's an idea: should we strip such information from job applications during the initial phase of the search? Completely? 

How this might work:

1) On the candidate's end: no institutional letterhead; no mention of institutions on the CV or in the letter.

2) Letters of recommendation: Entirely anonymous.  Letters are signed on an entirely separate sheet, not forwarded to the search committee; no institutional letterhead, no mention of institutions.  

3) At Human Resources: for record-keeping purposes, candidates may register their institutional affiliations in a separate document/online form that would not be viewable by search committees; similarly, a candidate's referees' names/institutions would be available to HR, but not the committee.  

It's not really possible to make the candidates anonymous, as it would take all of five seconds to Google their publications or conference presentations.


1) Would reduce, if not entirely eliminate, unjustified bias towards particular graduate (and perhaps even undergraduate) institutions.   

2) Would divert attention from the signature on the letter of reference to the letter itself.

3) Would level the playing field a bit for academics who, for whatever reason, found themselves restricted in their choice of graduate school by geography, family obligations, etc.


1) More files for HR to maintain (or lose...).

2) Some universities not in the overall top twenty may well have individual departments with high rankings (an obvious case is Illinois State University at Normal, which has one of the most important programs in children's literature in the country).   Students in those programs would lose an advantage.

3) In some cases, stripping affiliations might make it harder to diversify programs (for any sense of the word "diversify") than easier--while search committees might have fewer opportunities to be (un)consciously biased, they would also have fewer opportunities to conscientiously identify students who are not from the top ten (if that is understood to be a goal).

Other thoughts:

1) Depending on HR regulations, it may be necessary to contact referees at some point in the decision-making phase.  Presumably, HR could identify the referees at that point.

2) I don't think this makes forgery/other forms of misrepresentation easier.  

3) There may be unforeseen consequences for applicants who share referees, in the sense that it would become difficult to catch when a referee insists that all his students are the awesomest awesomes who ever awesomed, or whatever.  By the same token, it also makes it harder for a committee to figure out that Professor X just writes terrible letters, as opposed to writing a terrible letter for one student and amazing letters for all the others.  

4) I do wonder if this approach would have unforeseen consequences in regards to professionalization trends.  On the one hand, all those ABDs from Yale with no publications would lose any advantage they might have from the magic word "Yale"; on the other hand, graduate students might feel even more pressure to publish than they do, as that would probably take the place of University Name Here as a convenient sorting hat.  



by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at March 11, 2015 07:06 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

George Dunlop Leslie (1835-1921), Midsummer Morn, Bushy Park

 photo Georgedunlopleslie midsummermornbushypark1906.jpg

A magical painting, quite unexpected from this artist. Bushy Park is one of the London royal parks, Hampton Court Palace is set in a corner of it. The painting shows the Diana Fountain, a structure set in a pool there which dates back to the 17th Century. It has an interesting history, having originally been commissioned by Charles I for his wife; Inigo Jones drew up the original design, and it was originally at Somerset House, but was moved out to Hampton Court by Cromwell. This turned out well in the long run, because it formed an attractive feature - in a much bigger pool than at Somerset House - after the gardens and park were redeveloped under the supervision of Sir Christopher Wren at the end of the 17th Century. The gilded figure at the top is not really the goddess Diana (let alone the late princess of that name!) but the water-nymph Arethusa.

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Another landscape by the same artist, showing Wallingford Britdge in Oxfordshire.

March 11, 2015 09:26 AM


The Lost Child

Finally, you can read Caryl Phillips Wuthering Heights retelling:
The Lost Child
A Novel
Caryl Phillips
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
March 10, 2015
ISBN-13: 978-0374191375

Caryl Phillips's The Lost Child is a sweeping story of orphans and outcasts, haunted by the past and fighting to liberate themselves from it. At its center is Monica Johnson--cut off from her parents after falling in love with a foreigner--and her bitter struggle to raise her sons in the shadow of the wild moors of the north of England. Phillips intertwines her modern narrative with the childhood of one of literature's most enigmatic lost boys, as he deftly conjures young Heathcliff, the anti-hero of Wuthering Heights, and his ragged existence before Mr. Earnshaw brought him home to his family.
The Lost Child is a multifaceted, deeply original response to Emily Brontë's masterpiece, Wuthering Heights. A critically acclaimed and sublimely talented storyteller, Caryl Phillips is "in a league with Toni Morrison and V. S. Naipaul" (Booklist) and "his novels have a way of growing on you, staying with you long after you've closed the book." (The New York Times Book Review) A true literary feat, The Lost Child recovers the mysteries of the past to illuminate the predicaments of the present, getting at the heart of alienation, exile, and family by transforming a classic into a profound story that is singularly its own.

by M. ( at March 11, 2015 01:30 AM

Knitting Emily

For once we open our newsround with the fashion-related story. This is not a name-dropping journalist or a designer listing influences, this is about a fashion designer who has actually incorporated texts by Emily Brontë into a couple of her designs. From Women's Wear Daily:
Leave it to Véronique Branquinho to incorporate lines of Emily Brontë into a Fair Isle sweater. That item captured the brooding, yet romantic spirit of her fall collection, where sweet and demure shapes collided with acres of paper-thin black leather and nubby, thrift-shop tweeds. (Miles Socha)
Coincidentally, the Columbia Daily Tribune chose her poem The Old Stoic as yesterday's poem of the day.

Back to actual books, as PopMatters reviews Samantha Ellis's How To Be a Heroine and gives it a 7/10.
Ellis’ ability to be both unquestioningly loyal to what she loves while interrogating its message means her own book sits somewhere between literary criticism and book club reader’s guide. The latter description is by no means pejorative; if anything, it broadens the scope of Ellis’ book that she discusses characters as both literary vehicles and as if they were real people: she gushes that she “loves” Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet, whom she refers to exclusively as “Lizzy”. She admires Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre for being independent and self-respecting, but also wonders, “Can a woman not be equal to her husband unless he’s wounded?” She finds space for her enjoyment of Jane Eyre and Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea, along with Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar’s feminist reading of the former in their seminal work of criticism, The Madwoman in the Attic. Then she turns around and plays “Snog, Marry, Avoid” with Mr. Rochester, Emily Brontë’s Heathcliff, and Daphne DuMaurier’s Jem Merlyn. [...]
It’s in this connection between fiction and reality that How to Be a Heroine becomes truly meaningful. In closing her memoir with a chapter entitled “Scheherezade”, Ellis acknowledges that characters, especially female characters, only truly gain agency when they stop just being characters. They must become storytellers. Whether that means literally taking up the pen to write, as Jane Eyre did, or simply choosing to buck the standard narrative, like Thomas Hardy’s Tess boldly rising up to greet her captors after killing her husband, Ellis rejects the notion that life just happens to women. (Jennifer Vega)
This columnist from Terra (Colombia) mentions reading Jane Eyre as a little girl.
La madre que me regalaba las Barbies con todos sus vestidos rosas y zapatitos a juego, además me compraba libros interesantes sobre mujeres notables. La primera novela que leí fue Jane Eyre, considerada como un texto innovador y feminista adelantado a su época y escrito por una mujer, la inglesa Charlotte Brontë. Mi mamá me dio a leer ese libro cuando tenía 10 años de edad y fue más significativo para mí que la “Barbie pedicurista”, la “Barbie madre de familia” y la “Barbie bailarina”. (Guadalupe Flores) (Translation)
The Guardian discusses 'the tricky job of showing writers on TV'.
The Brontë sisters have rivaled Austen in inviting work-love-life speculation. A 1973 ITV five-parter The Brontës of Haworth – written by the verse dramatist Christopher Fry, although these scripts were in prose – was decorous about making connections. So it will be fascinating to see what Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax) does with the material in the ​biopic about Charlotte, Emily and Anne​ she is currently writing for the BBC. (Mark Lawson)
Hello! Magazine recommends the Folio Society's edition of Jane Eyre as a gift for Mother's Day. The Scriptorium Daily talks about adoption in Wuthering Heights in connection to Christ's atonement.

by Cristina ( at March 11, 2015 12:09 AM

March 10, 2015

Lewis Carroll Society of North America

Austin Meeting Agenda Now Available

The full agenda for our Spring meeting in Austin,  TX is now available!  Make plans now!

by Matt at March 10, 2015 07:52 PM

Alice in Vapeland

“Vaping” is the way young hipsters prefer to get their nicotine fixes these days, through electronic “e-cigarettes.” We do not approve of tobacco consumption in any form, but thought the Teeming Masses might like to see yet another exploitation of the Carrollian multiverse, this one involving fruit-flavored, nicotine-enhanced inhalable juices at Alice in Vapeland. Their closest historical relative is shisha, aka mu’assel or nargila, a flavored tobacco that is smoked in hookahs, mainly by caterpillars and folks throughout the Near East.

For the record, Edward Wakeling informs us, Dodgson was a nonsmoker, although when he was Curator of the Common Room at Christ Church, he set up a Smoking Room for his colleagues (now called the Bayne Room). He would receive free samples from the tobacco companies, and one notice that he pinned up in Common Room after receiving some tobacco stated that he had, with logic that can only be called Carrollian, “never tasted better.”

by Mark Burstein at March 10, 2015 06:51 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

The Universal Empire of Ugliness

"True Philistines are not people who are incapable of recognising beauty; they recognise it all too well; they detect its presence anywhere, immediately, and with a flair as infallible as that of the most sensitive aesthete – but for them, it is in order to be able better to pounce upon it at once and to destroy it before it can again gain a foothold in their universal empire of ugliness. Ignorance is not simply the absence of knowledge, obscurantism does not result from a dearth of light, bad taste is not merely a lack of good taste, stupidity is not simple want of intelligence; all these are fiercely active forces, that angrily assert themselves on every occasion; they tolerate no challenge to their omnipresent rule. In every department of human endeavour, inspired talent is an intolerable insult to mediocrity. If this is true in the realm of aesthetics, it is even more true in the world of ethics. More than artistic beauty, moral beauty seems to exasperate our sorry species. The need to bring down to our own wretched level, to deface, to deride and debunk any splendour that is towering above us, is probably the saddest urge of human nature."

(Simon Leys)

March 10, 2015 09:55 AM


The Lost Child at the University of Albany

An alert for today, March 10, at the University of Albany, New York:
Caryl Phillips, British-Caribbean fiction writer
March 10, 2015, 8 PM
Recital Hall
University at Albany Performing Arts Center
1400 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12222

Caryl Phillips, acclaimed British Caribbean writer, is the author of The Lost Child (2015), a new novel that interweaves a retelling of the life of Heathcliff-- the brooding, dark-skinned orphan of Emily Brontë’s classic Victorian novWuthering Heights--with a modern-day English tale of racism and interracial romance. Kirkus Reviews called it, "Gorgeously crafted and emotionally shattering." A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Phillips twice received the Commonwealth Writers' Prize.

by M. ( at March 10, 2015 01:30 AM

Gotta love Cathy

This columnist from Stuff (New Zealand) is rereading Wuthering Heights:
I'm re-reading the classics at the moment. (Yes, I am a nerd. *Adjusts glasses*.) The latest is Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë or, should I say, Mr Ellis Bell, because female authors weren't taken seriously at the time. The novel challenges the strict Victorian standards for women, exploring their egregious disempowerment, and I love the main character, Catherine, a "shape-shifting, Gothic demon", according to feminist author Ellen Moers. Gotta love a woman like that. (Tracey Spicer)
More Poldark-is-Heathcliff in the Blackmore Vale Magazine.
The Heathcliff comparisons are inevitable; Aidan Turner has just the right intense and swarthy look. He would be at home on the wild and windy moors of Yorkshire after treading the similar terrain of the West Penwith moors; he'd be perfect as Emily Brontë's troubled and angry anti-hero. Time for another version of Wuthering Heights I think. (TraceyR)
Deseret News reviews the novel Keeping Kate by Lauren Winder Farnsworth.
Utah writer Lauren Winder Farnsworth’s debut novel “Keeping Kate” takes the beloved classic “Jane Eyre” and spins it on its head. [...]
University of Utah graduate Farnsworth’s novel is a delightful, inventive retelling of the beloved classic "Jane Eyre." Farnsworth follows the original text quite closely, and yet at the same time adds creative twists and masterfully adapts it to a Latter-day Saints background. The novel follows themes from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and characters who are members of the church. There are no instances of violence, strong language or sexual content, making this a fun family read that also inspires meaningful discussions on how to deal with loss, disappointment and faith. (Danica Baird)
Elle UK publishes the results of a 20-life changing novels survey:
A couple of months ago, #ELLEBookClub partner Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction launched their #ThisBook campaign on Twitter - all as a means to discover the top novels written by women that have shaped our lives. (...)
3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

by Cristina ( at March 10, 2015 12:07 AM

March 09, 2015

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

William Walcot, watercolours of London, 1900s

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Walcot was an architect, as one might guess from some of these paintings. He was born in Odessa and worked in Moscow for a while at the beginning of his career, here are a couple of buildings that he designed there:

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This is elsewhere of course, in Cambridge.

March 09, 2015 07:50 PM