Planet Century 19

April 18, 2015

Lewis Carroll Society of North America

New Science Exhibit in Australia with Alice Theme

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

by Matt at April 18, 2015 04:00 PM


Symbolic Conduit

Lucasta Miller reviews in The Guardian Caryl Phillips's The Lost Child. 
Wuthering Heights is the inspiration for a novel that explores darkness and dislocation in a 20th-century family.
Wuthering Heights has inspired countless sublime and ridiculous spin-offs, ranging from poetry by Ted Hughes to the Cliff Richard vehicle Heathcliff: The Musical. Caryl Phillips’s new novel takes its cue from Emily Brontë’s original, but only at a slant. For him, it functions as a symbolic conduit for ideas of alienation, orphanhood and family dislocation.
The Lost Child is bookended by two scenes that feature the seven-year-old Heathcliff. Left purposefully mysterious by Emily Brontë, his origins are here fleshed out by Phillips, who makes him the illegitimate son of Mr Earnshaw by an African former slave. In the early scene, the boy’s mother is dying of disease in Liverpool; the novel ends with her son being led over the moors by Mr Earnshaw to Wuthering Heights. A central section imagines Brontë on her deathbed, a woman alienated from quotidian reality. Charlotte described her sister being “torn panting out of a happy life”; but this is the Emily of myth, who “lives in two worlds” and yearns for “the bosom of eternity”. If the idea of a black Heathcliff appears to have been inspired by Andrea Arnold’s film of 2011 starring James Howson, Emily’s mystical death-dreams recall her portrayal in the 1946 biopic Devotion. (Read more)
Radio Times lists the films on (British) TV today:
Jane Eyre ★★★
8.30-10.20pm BBC2

Charlotte Brontë's classic gets another screen makeover with Michael Fassbender and winsome Mia Wasikowska. Swoon... (Rose Thompson)
Herts & Essex Observer gives more details:
Is It Any Good? Charlotte Brontë's novel is brought to Gothic life by Cary Fukunaga, a second-choice director after Lynne Ramsay turned the film down.
Mia Wasikowska, fresh from her breakout turn in Alice in Wonderland, is excellent in the title role, with Michael Fassbender and Jamie Bell also performing well.
Anything Else? The location of Jane's cottage was so remote there was no mobile phone signal. The crew stationed someone at a nearby phone box and equipped him with a walkie-talkie just in case anyone needed anything.
Locals took pity on the man and brought him tea and biscuits throughout the day.
Star Rating: **** (2011)
The Sydney Morning Herald reviews Motherhood & Creativity: The Divided Heart by various authors:
Novelist and columnist Nikki Gemmell observed that as a young woman she realised that none of her favourite female writers such as Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters had children. "I thought that was the path I would choose for myself." However once she had her babies Gemmell also realised that motherhood imposed its own discipline on the writer. "I wasn't faffing around making endless cups of tea." (Rachel Power)
Also in the same newspaper an article about the Bausch brothers (Richard and Robert):
Discovering that a beloved author has a sibling writer prompts a similar thrill of pleasure. We race through the houses of Brontë or Mitford, gathering clues that will tell us more about the individual writers and also about the entire family. (Kevin Rabalais)
An Emily Brontë poem will be recited in the Poetry in Voice national finals (Canada)
Jeremy Mallette's skills with prose have earned him a trip to Montreal on April 20 to compete in a national championship.
Mallete, a Grade 12 student at St. Joseph's Catholic Secondary School, is one of 12 students from across Canada who've qualified for the Poetry in Voice National Finals in the bilingual stream. (...)
The two poems that Mallette will be reciting are, "Shall earth no more inspire thee" by Emily Bronte and "L'Automne" by Alphonse de Lamartine. (Sarra Lalonde in Cornwall Standard-Freeholder)
More poetry at The Fort Morgan Times:
Last Friday night's Open Mic Poetry Night with the River City Nomads was full of laughter and large doses of quiet profundity and raucously irreverent wisdom. Over 35 people filled Bloedorn as 13 poets and readers from Morgan Community College, both faculty and students, and the larger community shared fine, original work — some in free verse, some in formal rhyme — as well as the work of greats like Emily Brontë, Dr. Seuss, and Seamus Heaney. (Rachel Kellum)
The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel interviews a local teacher:
I grew up reading 'Little Women' and 'The Secret Garden' and 'The Little Princess.' Then came 'Jane Eyre' and 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and anything by Laura Ingalls Wilder. (Betty E. Stein)
Kwasi Kwarteng remember when he was on University Challenge some years ago in The London Evening Standard:
Then we got a starter for ten right, and then another. We answered the bonus questions quite well, and then pulled level. I think we won the round on the last question, when one of our team buzzed and just said, “Wuthering Heights”. I can’t even remember the exact details of the question but the answer is seared into my memory.
Huddersfield heritage is celebrated in The Huddersfield Daily Examiner:
Dewsbury, Batley and the Spen Valley are not the most fashionable places today but they are steeped in the rich history of the Brontës, Luddites and Chartists, while the Spen Valley’s woollen industry heritage is evident in the towns of Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike and Gomersal. (Robert Sutcliffe)
and here
[Joanne Harris] said: “Yorkshire is amazingly diverse, rich in heritage and culture.
“My neighbours, among many, are the Brontës; Sylvia Plath; David Hockney; Ted Hughes; Alan Bennett; Bruce Chatwin; W.H. Auden; Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. (Chloe Glover)
Marcus Berkman in The Australian is categorical here:
Every song, of course, sounds a little like another song, except possibly for Wuthering Heights.
This comment on Le Temps (Switzerland) about economic bubbles is quite exaggerated when says that two of the Brontës (why not the other ones?) were impoverished by the railway shares madness of 1840s:
Ainsi, l’émerveillement de la bonne société victorienne devant le chemin de fer et sa mobilité décuplée n’est pas étranger à l’envolée extraordinaire que les titres de ce secteur connaissent dans les années 1840, sans doute la plus grande bulle financière n’ayant jamais existé et dont l’éclatement fin 1845 appauvrira deux des sœurs Brontë avant d’ébranler l’Europe deux ans plus tard. (Jean-Pierre Béguelin) (Translation)
Los Tiempos (México) lists the 17 books to read before you turn... 17:
Cumbres borrascosas
¿Te encanta el drama amoroso? ¡”Cumbres Borrascosas” de Emily Brontë es para ti! En este libro encontrarás el drama más auténtico y telenovelesco de amor que jamás habías imaginado. (Translation)
The Hampshire Chronicle is eager to see the Northern Ballet's performances of Wuthering Heights in Southampton next week.  RTCG (Montenegro) announces a screening of Wuthering Heighs 1992 next April 22 in the context of the "Svjetska književnost na filmu" festival. Cai tlin Moran complains about the austerity measures in libraries in The Times Magazine. The Sleepless Reader lists a series of Brontë-related favourite books. The Brussels Brontë Blog reviews a new edition of Path to the Silent Country by Lynne Reid Banks (originally published in 1977).

by M. ( at April 18, 2015 02:26 PM

Wuthering Opera in Haworth

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

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

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

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

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

The Little Professor

This Week's Acquisitions

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

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


Collecting Wuthering Heights

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

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

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

April 17, 2015

The Little Professor

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

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

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

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April 17, 2015 07:59 AM

Victorian History

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

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


William Atkins at the Haworth's Moors

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

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

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

The ‘heather-clad world' of Emily Brontë

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

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

April 16, 2015

Lewis Carroll Society of North America

Alice Gamejolt Jam for Alice150

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

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

Go for it!

by Matt at April 16, 2015 04:00 PM

Regency Ramble

Lullworth Castle 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time.....

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


Brontë Parsonage needs to pack a “harder punch”

The Yorkshire Post resumes the story of the Brontë Society's inner debate.
A film-maker and a retired deputy headteacher are planning to help “modernise” a Yorkshire literary society by taking on unpaid leadership roles - just six months after they were branded “agitators”.
John Thirlwell, a film producer/director, and Janice Lee, a former deputy head, are seeking election to the ruling council of the Brontë Society.
The pair, who both live in Yorkshire, hit the headlines last year when they and 50 disgruntled members forced an extraordinary general meeting of the Society after claiming it had “lost its way”
In September they called on the ruling council to step aside “to bring greater levels of professionalism and experience to the Society.”
They said the Society needed fresh, modernising leadership to replace those who were “micro-managing” the Brontë Parsonage Museum, owned by the Society.
In October they were criticised by outgoing chairman Christine Went as “agitators” who were “behaving irresponsibly” in seeking power for themselves.
Six months later Mr Thirlwell and Mrs Lee are seeking election to the ruling council.
It is understood that at least five of the 12 council members are due to stand down at the annual meeting in June.
And it now emerged that the Brontë Society was so worried about a lack of Council nominees that it took legal advice on relaxing the rules to allow people to stand after being members for less than two years. (Read more)
 (Andrew Robinson)
The Telegraph finds Cathy knowledgeable on the subject of sex not being 'key to a happy marriage'.
However, to pretend all marriages continue to blaze on a high flame for several decades is to wilfully ignore everything we’ve learned about human life from evidence and literature. Surely most people are aware that libido (or hydraulics) can fail, and there can be other – often more profound – levels of connection than sex?
This is surely what Cathy expresses is Wuthering Heights when she says: “Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He’s always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.” Many a married person will recognise that sense of always carrying the other with you. Just as a few, rather more unconventional ones will feel their level of connectedness makes possessiveness irrelevant. (Rowan Pelling) recalled that yesterday marked the anniversary of the premiere of Wuthering Heights in 1939. Andalucía Información (Spain) finds a Brontëite in young writer Silvia Ibáñez Cambra. Little Echoez posts about Anne Brontë. The Indiependent reviews Jane Eyre.

by Cristina ( at April 16, 2015 01:16 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

Pavel Fedotov, portraits of the Zhdanovich family

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Elizaveta Zhdanovich

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Nadezhda as a child

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Nadezhda at the piano

April 16, 2015 08:25 AM

The Little Professor

Rage against the machine

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

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

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

[pause to admire the brilliance]

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

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

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

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

[insert emoticon of your choice here]

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

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

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

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

[insert sound effects: fingers drumming loudly on desk]

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

[insert pom-poms here]

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

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

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

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

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

[insert agog face here]

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

April 17-18 & 24-25

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

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

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

April 15, 2015


The Brontë Asteroids

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

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

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

Anne Brontë's crime

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

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

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

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

April 14, 2015

Lewis Carroll Society of North America

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

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

From the Las Vegas Sun:

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

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

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

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

by Matt at April 14, 2015 04:00 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

Penry Williams, watercolours of Wales

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Merthyr from the mountains

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Cwm Taf

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The bridge at Taff's Well

April 14, 2015 09:21 AM


Jane Eyre in New Jersey

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

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

The Little Professor

Some random observations about Wolf Hall (so far)

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

April 13, 2015


Plain Jane, Fearless Jane in Louisville

An alert for tomorrow, April 14, in Louisville, KY:
Plain Jane, Fearless Jane: The Enduring Legacy of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre
Main Library, Tuesday, April 14, 6 p.m.

This class, instructed by Dr. Patty Payette, will examine Charlotte Brontë’s 1847 novel Jane Eyre through the lens of the Victorian age in which it was written, discuss aspects of Charlotte’s uncommon life, and explore why this particular novel and its characters live on in readers’ hearts and minds over 150 years after its debut.
Call (502) 574-1635 to register.

by M. ( at April 13, 2015 01:30 AM

April 12, 2015

Lewis Carroll Society of North America

Victorian Toy Theatre Production of Snark

On April 24th the Pontine Theatre will premiere its new Victorian-style toy theatre production of The Hunting of the Snark and Other Nonsense.  Shows run through May 20th.  The production is performed by Co-Artistic Directors, Greg Gathers and Marguerite Mathews.  The figures, set, projected images and costumes are designed and created by Mr. Gathers, examples of which are below.  Looks like fun, wish New Hampshire was slightly closer for us.

Fit the First: The Landing - Image Credit:  Greg Gathers

The Landing – Image Credit: Greg Gathers

Fit the Third: The Baker's Tale - Image Credit:  Greg Gathers

The Baker’s Tale – Image Credit: Greg Gathers

Fit the Fifth: The Beaver's Lesson - Image Credit:  Greg Gathers

The Beaver’s Lesson – Image Credit: Greg Gathers

Fit the Sixth: The Barrister's Dream - Image Credit:  Greg Gathers

The Barrister’s Dream – Image Credit: Greg Gathers

Fit the Eighth:  The Vanishing - Image Credit:  Greg Gathers

The Vanishing – Image Credit: Greg Gathers


by Matt at April 12, 2015 04:00 PM


You Just Want More

The Independent follows the work of the Not Shut Up charity. The work of the painter and writer, Chris Wilson catches our interest:
My first book, Horse Latitudes, is based on my prison years and is illustrated with 16 paintings. It was inspired by Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea, which I read when I was in California Rehabilitation Center 18 years ago. My aim was to show what it's like for 200 men in this huge tank, triple-bunks, people kipping on the floor.
The Irish Independent reviews the new novel by Maria Murphy, For the Love of Martha:
Fans of Charlotte Brontë and Daphne du Maurier are in for a treat with this novel by new Irish author, Maria Murphy. It's got all the necessary ingredients of a period piece: a penniless governess, a manor house, a passionate romance and a perhaps a restless ghost. However, there is also a contemporary love story tangled up with the older one. Atmospheric and beautifully written, it is sure to establish Murphy as one to watch amongst our panoply of Irish writers. (Ann Dunne
BlogHer vindicates Wuthering Heights:
Whenever I start feeling bitter, there is one book (and it is a movie) that makes me believe in the magic and drama of love.
Some people read it in high school, some as an adult and some not at all. I actually had to read it in college for a class. One assignment was to write down the family line as we read it. If you haven't read it then let me just say that the names can get confusing due to the married and maiden names, along with nicknames, siblings, children, etc.
Even though I had to do writing assignments while reading this book, it quickly became an all time favorite book of mine. You get trapped in the drama, the love, the loss and when it is just want more. (J. Warren)
The BBC's A Point of View analyses selfies both culturally and historically:
It's undoubtedly one of the pleasures of reading, when we are young, to come across characters who feel as we do. Oliver Twist hungry and having to ask for more - why, that was exactly what I wanted to do after every school lunch. Jane Eyre orphaned and demeaned, blamed for crimes she hasn't committed - who ever went through childhood without suffering in that way. 
The Edmonton Sun interviews Amy Shostak, artistic director of Rapid Fire Theatre:
What’s your weirdest habit?
I am newly obsessed with all things Jane Eyre. Bonnets, grey dresses, falling down in muddy fields... I also lick the flavouring off chips before eating them.
Lake Tahoe News and pulp fiction:
Cheap paperback books are like sex: They claim attention, elicit memories good and bad, and get talked about endlessly. The mid-20th century was the era of pulp, which landed in America in 1939.
You could pick up these paper-bound books at the corner drugstore or bus station for a quarter. They had juicy covers featuring original (and sometimes provocative) art, blurring the lines between canonical literature (Emily Brontë and Honoré de Balzac) and the low genres of crime, romance, and Westerns.
The illustrator Diglee complains on her blog about the absence of women writers in the French baccalauréat. Among the quoted female authors we found the Brontë sisters.

Touring Italy from bookstore to bookstore, Giulia Lagioia recounts her experiences on Internazionale (Italy). In a library in Calabria:
Arrivato l’orario di chiusura, mise la saracinesca a mezz’asta. Stappò una bottiglia di vino, ci offrì da bere. Continuò senza stancarsi, fino all’una del mattino. “Conoscete Curzio Malaparte?”. “Conoscete Emily Brontë?”. “Diceria dell’untore di Gesualdo Bufalino?”. Sono quasi venticinque anni che cerco di capire chi fosse quel signore. (Translation)
ExcentriKs (in Spanish) is reading Gaskell's Life of Charlotte BrontëThe California Journal of Women Writers reviews Wuthering Heights. Sharon Booth posts about Jane Eyre.

by M. ( at April 12, 2015 12:30 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

Daumier, looking for the comet

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This would have been Donati's comet in 1858, see the paintings above. It assuredly wouldn't have been very hard to find.

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April 12, 2015 08:20 AM


A Vacancy in the Parsonage

The Brontë Society is looking for an Arts Officer:
Arts Officer (Maternity cover)
Position: Arts Officer (maternity cover)
Organisation: Brontë Society
Location: Haworth, West Yorkshire
Closing date: Friday 24 April 2015
Salary: £22,179
Type of Contract: 12 months
Hours: 35 hours per week, to include some evenings and weekends

The Brontë Society is one of the world’s oldest literary societies, and manages and maintains the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, West Yorkshire. The Society hosts an innovative contemporary arts programme, funded by Arts Council England, which showcases and celebrates the remarkable influence of the Brontë family on contemporary culture through a series of commissions, exhibitions, events and projects with some of the UK’s major artists and writers.

The Brontë Society is currently seeking an experienced individual to deliver the programme for twelve months (maternity cover) as we approach the bicentenary celebrations of Charlotte Brontë in 2016. The post holder will be responsible for the management, facilitation, administration, delivery and reporting of events, exhibitions and projects at the Museum.

As part of a small team and leading on high profile events, the post holder must be a highly motivated individual and team player, with experience of delivering, and reporting on, successful cultural projects and exhibitions. The individual will be willing to work flexible hours, be capable of multi-tasking in a busy environment and work closely with the Collections and Learning departments to respond to permanent collection, as well as with the Marketing Officer to promote the programme. The candidate will need to manage their own workload, budget, and keep to strict deadlines.

Closing date for applications is Friday 24 April 2015.
Interviews will take place Wednesday 29 April 2015.

by M. ( at April 12, 2015 01:50 AM

April 11, 2015


Spellbound by the trail

Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
The News Tribune talks about the Olympic National Park in Clallam County, Washington and its Poetry Walks:
The North Olympic Library System is teaming up with Olympic National Park this spring to offer a second season of poetry walks. This year’s program will run through June 14, featuring poetry placed along four trails in the park.
During Poetry Walks, poems will be placed on signs along the Living Forest Trail, the Madison Creek Falls Trails, the Peabody Creek Trail and Spruce Railroad Trail. (...)
Poets featured along the trails include Emily Brontë, Carlos Castaneda, Ogden Nash, Shel Silverstein and Gary Snyder. (Jeffrey P. Mayor)
BookBrunch and The Bookseller inform of a new novel that the literary agents United Artists consider one of them hot deals of the year:
Mick Jackson's Yukichan in Brontë country is the story of a young Japanese girl's journey to Haworth in search of her lost mother (Faber UK).
Both Luton on Sunday and the Southern Daily Echo reminds us of the upcoming performances of Northern Ballet's Wuthering Heights:
First performed in 2002, this was Nixon's first creation for the Northern Ballet and his first collaboration with Schonberg.
While it initially opened to mixed reviews in its earlier performances, the ballet has grown in reputation since opening. This has undoubtedly been helped by the company itself growing, allowing them to tap into a greater talent pool and create a greater depth of cast members.
It has gone from strength to strength ever since.
David [Nixon]said: “Wuthering Heights is not a novel that you read and put back on the shelf. It is a story that absorbs you, creating powerful imagery that stays with you long after you turn the last page.
“In my adaptation of this timeless tale, I have brought to life the key elements of the narrative, focusing on the intensity and devastation of the relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff.”
Cambridge News presents the book How to Skin a Lion: a Treasury of Outmoded Advice by Claire Cock-Starkey:
A passion for miscellaneous-style books ignited, after seven years (and three children) Claire decided to branch out on her own. "I always wanted to be Charlotte Brontë, but unfortunately someone had already beaten me to it," Claire smiles. "To write my own book had always been a big ambition of mine, so when I started to find my niche, it was a case of trying to find something that would work for me." (Lydia Fallon)
The Washington Post thinks that English as a major is in decline:
Mary Garhart fell in love with reading in middle school, devouring Christopher Paolini’s fantasy novel “Eragon” and the “Hunger Games” trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Then she moved to classics from Charles Dickens, “A Tale of Two Cities,” and Charlotte Brontë, “Jane Eyre.” She had a yen for writing. What’s more, there were literary influences in her family: a grandmother with a master’s degree in English, a grandfather who taught English. (...)
But for many, English is not so obvious anymore. (Nick Anderson
The Vancouver Sun reviews Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese:
I’ve previously compared Eldon to Huck Finn’s dad; it does seem to me that this is the story Twain left out. (Someone, sometime, has to write a prequel to Huckleberry Finn. Everybody else’s novels are getting prequels and sequels, from Jane Eyre to Pride and Prejudice.) (Melanie Jackson)
Balletto (Italy) searchs for the inspiration sources of the new production of the ballet Giselle which will be performed tomorrow, April 12, t the Teatro Verdi in Pisa:
Ma per comprendere la scelta drammaturgica di Eugenio Scigliano per lo JBdT, che offre una inesauribile fonte di rimandi tematici e quindi suggerimenti espressivi- come ben analizza la stessa Poletti nelle note del programma di sala- ci si confronterà inoltre con film intensi e misteriosi quali Cime Tempestose, del quale vedremo l’invocazione di Heathcliff, interpretato da Ralph Fiennes nel 1992, sul cadavere di Catherine, quale implacabile tormento di un amore oltre la morte; La Sposa Cadavere, magnifico film d’animazione del 2005 diretto da Tim Burton, e The Innocents, tratto nel 1961 dal più celebre tra i romanzi brevi di Henry James, Il giro di vite, protagonisti due bambini perseguitati dai fantasmi di un'istitutrice e di un maggiordomo, e intrappolati in una tirannica e suggestiva atmosfera. (Translation)
Il Corriere della Sera talks about Une questione privata by Beppe Fenoglio (published posthumously in 1963):
Per farsene un’idea bisognerà allora guardare lontano, lì dove Fenoglio aveva appunto guardato: alla letteratura inglese, dunque, e così all’intensità senza ritorno di certi drammi shakespeariani o dei romanzi di Thomas Hardy, come Tess dei D’Urbervilles e Juda l’oscuro, ma anche, più di tutto, del primo dei suoi riferimenti, Cime tempestose di Emily Brontë. (Roberto Galaverni) (Translation)
Oggi (Italy) is also taken by the Poldark-Heathcliff conspiracy theory:
Questa volta, nei panni dell’affascinante Ross Poldark, bello e cupo come tutti gli amanti maledetti, scuro come l’Heathcliff di Cime tempestose, troviamo Aidan Turner, già vampiro in “Being Human” (la parte del bel tenebroso è proprio nelle sue corde), e come l’improbabilmente fascinoso nano Kili ne Lo Hobbit. (Translation)
A Backwards Story interviews the writer Julie Reece:
What went into building a world that had a gothic, historical feel and the whimsy of a fairy tale (Seamstresses!) twisted up into the present day?
Growing up, I fell in love with Mother Goose, Andersen, and Grimm fairy tales. Later, I devoured the classics. Got ridiculously swoony over Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Precious Bane, anything from Dickens or Austen …
Sábado (Portugal) features a Lisbon production of The Mystery of Irma VepDivagaciones de una Poulain (in Spanish) reviews Wuthering Heights; the Brontë Parsonage Facebook Wall uploads a very nice set of pictures:
Pictures taken very early this morning on a photo-shoot to celebrate 'British Flowers Week' in June, Flowers from the Farm are a group of flower growers and florists raising the profile of British grown flowers to encourage us all to buy seasonal, locally grown flowers.

by M. ( at April 11, 2015 03:14 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

The Little Professor

Fun with obscure authors

So, Anna Carolina Eugenia, Contessa di Tergolina, subject of my Sketches post.  Thanks to the wizardry of, we now have the following data:

1) Her marriage certificate reveals that her birth name is Caroline Crickmore.  ("Anna Carolina Eugenia" no doubt sounded much more snazzy.)  Anna's/Caroline's father, Thomas, was an engineer.

2) She married Vincenzo di Tergolina in 1859.  

3) Intriguingly, according to the death index, Anna/Caroline and Vincenzo died within a couple of months of each other, both in 1889.  Coincidence? Grief? Carriage accident? (That last is not snarky, by the way--severe injuries would explain why they might have died relatively close together.)  Unfortunately, I can't see their death certificates online.    

4) I trekked over to the British Newspaper Archive.  A newspaper report in the Morning Post (23 December 1875) suggests that Vincenzo was part of a "Palestine Society" designed to encourage Jews to return...where else? Given his evangelical leanings, that's not surprising.  

5) The Count served on the London Committee of the Italian Exhibition in 1888, alongside such luminaries as Lord Tennyson (Pall Mall Gazette [28 April 1888]).  In general, he appears to have rebounded nicely from going bankrupt in 1864.  


by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at April 11, 2015 01:12 AM


Herrmann's Wuthering Heights in Brunswick

A new production of Bernard Herrmann's Wuthering Heights opera is opening today, April 11, in Braunschweig (Brunswick), Germany:
Sturmhöhe (Wuthering Heights)
Oper von Bernard Herrmann
Text von Lucille Fletcher nach dem gleichnamigen Roman von Emily Brontë
in englischer Sprache mit deutschen Übertiteln
Staatstheater Braunschweig
April 11, 19, 23, 24; May 15, 26; June 5, 20. 19:30 h.

Auf einer Anhöhe im Hochmoor liegt das Gut Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff – Pflegekind der Familie Earnshaw und von seinem Stiefbruder Hindley misshandelt – und seine Stiefschwester Cathy lieben sich abgöttisch. Und doch heiratet sie den reichen Pächter Edgar Linton, um einen gesellschaftlichen Niedergang zu vermeiden. An ihrer Liebe zu Heathcliff, so glaubt sie, würde sich nichts ändern. Doch Heathcliff fühlt sich tief verletzt. Er flieht und kehrt erst Jahre später nach Wuthering Heights zurück, um Rache zu üben – an Hindley, an Edgar und auch an Cathy.

Musikalische Leitung ...  Enrico Delamboye
Inszenierung ... Philipp Kochheim
Bühne ... Thomas Gruber
Kostüme ...  Gabriele Jaenecke
Kinderchor ... Tadeusz Nowakowski
Dramaturgie ... Christian Steinbock

Catherine Earnshaw ... Solen Mainguené
Heathcliff ... Orhan Yildiz
Hindley Ernshaw ... Oleksandr Pushniak
Nelly Dean ... Anne Schuldt
Edgar Linton ... Matthias Stier
Isabella Linton ... Milda Tubelytė
Joseph ... Rossen Krastev
If you are curious, Deutschlandradio Kultur will broadcast the premiere, today at 19:05.

by M. ( at April 11, 2015 01:15 AM

Queen Victoria, writer

Salon has writer Karen Russell interview her brother Kent Russell:
OK, back to the questions I can ask and answer…oh my Jesus, Kent, I can relate to everything you said about taking evasive action, doing some fancy footwork around the Cruel Puritanical You-Must-Be-Working-At-All-Hours Brain, in order to get yourself into the dream time. When we went to that Dixie Highway Borders, I would get a “fun” book, the ones with the badass embossing, and a monster on the spine, and a “literary” book: a Brontë sister, say, or “The Count of Monte Cristo.” It took years for me to undo that binary view of fiction as either “genre” or “literature.” Although I must have been aware, even then, that there were ghosts in Jane Eyre and gorgeous language in “Dune” and Octavia Butler.
Figaro (France) reviews The Adventures of Alice Laselles by Alexandrina Victoria aged 10 3/4 [Queen Victoria] and unsurprisingly,
nous ne sommes pas dans Jane Eyre, l'établissement scolaire traite bien ses élèves. (Constance Jamet) (Translation)
More on the Poldark-is-Heathcliff saga. From Glamour Magazine:
Wonderful news this morning for anyone with eyes and a penchant for men who look like a swarthy pirate crossed with Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights: Poldark has been recommissioned for a second series, following the popularity of its debut outing. (Ella Alexander)
Keighley News features the book Yorkshire Walks in which
There are also walks to Top Withens, the reputed application for Wuthering Heights above Stanbury, and Bingley’s five rise locks. (David Knights)
The Hearabouts has a photoshot apparently inspired by Wuthering Heights. The Bossy Reader posts about Jane Eyre.

by Cristina ( at April 11, 2015 12:58 AM

April 10, 2015

The Little Professor

This Week's Acquisitions

  • Hilary Mantel, The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher (Holt, 2014).  Short-story collection emphasizing various unpleasant encounters (and untoward deaths).  (Lift Bridge)
  • Lily King, Euphoria (Grove, 2014).  A group of anthropologists in New Guinea during the 1930s find their passions beginning to get in the way.  Based on the experiences of Margaret Mead.  (Lift Bridge)

by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at April 10, 2015 10:43 PM

Lewis Carroll Society of North America

Heart Castle – New 3D ARPG Based on Alice in Wonderland

Currently in Beta, there is a new game being developed by PlayparkSEA for both Android and iOS platforms based on Alice.  From what we can see in this video, looks like it might be fun :-)  Not sure if you can still get in on the beta, but follow on Facebook to see.

by Matt at April 10, 2015 04:00 PM


Seeking co-editor of Nineteenth Century Studies.

WANTED: Co-editor to join the editorial team of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association’s journal, Nineteenth Century Studies. Duties may include soliciting and corresponding with readers (from the NCSA and NCS boards as well as from the broader scholarly community) for vetting submissions to the journal; editing accepted submissions for substance and fact-checking as needed (not copyediting); and participating in other decisions about journal business with the editorial team. The position is unpaid and voluntary but will enable the right candidate to gain further editorial experience and expertise along with the pleasure of seeing exceptional scholarship into print. Applicants should be established scholars in their field of nineteenth-century studies; all disciplines considered, but interdisciplinary commitment necessary. Editorial experience preferred but not essential.

Please submit a letter of interest and vita to by 1 May 2015.

All applications will be acknowledged.

by Unknown ( at April 10, 2015 01:16 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

The Little Professor

Sketches and Stories of Life in Italy

Risorgimento-era evangelical fiction is fascinating precisely because the novelists completely fail to grasp the possibility that Italian nationalism did not herald a new Reformation in the offing.  In general, evangelicals (and other Protestants, for that matter) didn't quite know what to do with Italy, given that the Italians so stubbornly resisted the supposedly irresistible call of the Bible alone &c.  Although, as Dennis Mack Smith points out, anti-Catholicism definitely underpinned some aspects of Risorgimento propaganda (and some Jesuits insisted that nationalism was a Protestant project), the results failed to meet expectations, to say the least.1  

Anna Carolina Eugenia, Contessa di Tergolina's Sketches and Stories of Life in Italy (1871), although fairly conventional in terms of its evangelical tropes, nevertheless usefully exemplifies what such novels (or, in this case, novellas) set out to do.  The Contessa herself is a bit of a mystery, aside from being an Englishwoman born in 1831 or 1834 (I haven't been able to locate her maiden name yet).  Her husband, Vincenzo di Tergolina, Conte di Tergolina (b. 1815) was a professor of law at the University of Padua and a Venetian politician.  Anna was his second wife; according to his autobiography, he had eight children with his first wife, Marie di Gislanzoni.2  After emigrating to England, he tried his hand at business, only to fail spectacularly.  He makes the English newspapers in July 1864 as a "late dealer in fancy French goods" after being arrested for debt.3  When not going bankrupt, Vincenzo wrote a number of miscellaneous books in Italian; granting the possibility that Anna had previously published anonymously or under her maiden name, she appears to have made her publishing debut in 1865 as the English translator of his anti-Catholic Words of Truth to the Roman Catholics.  She began writing religious fiction, albeit not very prolifically, a couple of years later, quite possibly in order to bring in extra cash (see "when not going bankrupt").   Some of the novellas collected in Sketches and Stories had already appeared in the Religious Tract Society's magazine The Sunday at Home.  Of the eight novellas, only one, "The Student of Padua," is a historical novel, set during the failed attempt to expand the Reformation to Italy.  The others are set in the present.  Two of them, "The Italian Volunteer" and "The Wounded Soldier," taking place during the Second Italian War of Independence (1859) and First Italian War of Independence (1848), respectively, while "The Brothers of Olmeta" is set after Garibaldi captures Naples (1861) .

Although the protagonists of these stories are Italian, the subtle importance of Englishness regularly wends its way through the narratives.  Three of them ("The Wounded Soldier," "Bettina Ravelli," "The School in the Forest") are told entirely from a first person POV that we are invited to identify with A. C. E., while the longest story, "Fenella," begins with the (same?) first person POV and then transitions to third person.  This narrative voice is English, but she's not the only English Protestant in the text: Fenella's (deceased) mother is English; Fenella's eventual husband, a soldier named Gasparini, is struck by the sight of an Englishwoman reading the Bible to sailors (50); Luigi, a young man out for vengeance in "The Brothers of Olmeta," finds himself residing with an Englishwoman and her Italian husband, an obvious stand-in for the author (134); another evangelical Englishwoman is in the background of "Bettina Ravelli"; and an Englishman, for a change, proselytizes his Italian companion-in-arms in "The Wounded Soldier."  Far from being incidental or merely autobiographical, the presence of evangelical Englishmen and Englishwomen is actually a relatively common motif in Risorgimento fiction.  The English Protestant brings the forbidden Bible, along with literacy, into a country in the throes of political change.   While the soldiers succeed or fail, the English Protestants work upon the minds of all classes, producing a "modern" religious mindset to accompany an equally "modern" sense of nationhood.  (Out with the Pope, in with God...)  Moreover, the emphasis on women reading the Bible stands in stark contrast to the controlling figure of the Catholic priest, who denies his congregation firsthand knowledge of the Scriptures.  Finally, several of the novellas associate an explicitly Protestant English femininity with a kind of homeliness otherwise absent from the Italian countryside; for example, the unnamed narrator of "Fenella" observes that "some one with English notions of comfort" (15) has arranged the domestic interior, and when she appears again in "The School in the Forest," she insists that the children she plans to teach must arrive "clean and neat" (264)--not filthy as their parents normally leave them.  As in other Risorgimento novels, the Italians may be able to take care of the politics and the soldiering, but they need the English to supply the necessary moral fiber, administered via the Bible.   

1 Dennis Mack Smith, Victor Emanuel, Cavour, and the Risorgimento (London: Oxford UP, 1971), 20; see also C. T. McIntire, England against the Papacy, 1858-1861 (1983; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 224. 

2 [Vincenzo di Tergolina], "Four Years in the Prisons of Rome," The Leisure Hour 13 (1864): 12.  Di Tergolina was jailed in 1850 after the Austrians invaded Venice.  

3 "Bankrupts," The Morning Post 20 July 1864: 7; "Court of Bankruptcy--August 11," The Daily News 12 August 1864: 6.  

by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at April 10, 2015 02:02 AM


Race, Symbols and Inhumanity

New Brontë-related published research:
Race Discourse in Wuthering HeightsTurki S. Althubaiti
European Scientific Journal, Vol 11, No 8 (2015)

This article explores how Emily Brontë, in Wuthering Heights, uses the discourse of race and slavery, or emancipation from slavery, to further a political project of freeing the underprivileged, Heathcliff, the excluded, demonised, and homeless slave, from the grip of the rich. He tries all the time to reconstruct his own position and the social ranks as a whole, to identify his own social position within a class hierarchy. Heathcliff begins his life at the very bottom of this hierarchy but he concludes it with a great shift, situating himself at the top of it. It reveals how an outsider, a faceless, homeless, placeless, and accursed slave of a goblin is excluded as someone who has no social or biological place in the existing social structure, and which makes him determined to carve his own place as equal, and renders himself free in a world of exploitation and inequality. This study explains that Wuthering Heights is among the nineteenth-century novels that contributed to a shift of cultural authority in Britain from the upper to the middle class, even to lower-middle-class. It focuses on how Catherine's authoritative white and middle-class subject is defeated by the lower-class Heathcliff. Heathcliff becomes a capitalist himself, an expropriator, thereby turning the ruling class's weapons of property accumulation and acquisitive marriage against them, by turning them into a yeoman class, as represented, for example, by Hareton. Indeed Heathcliff has succeeded in his attempts, all the time, to break down a cultural myth, the superiority of the white, and build from it a whole new construct of new relationships which he sees more racially fair and fit.
The Roles of Symbols in Wuthering Heights
孙贻红 (Sun Yi-hong)
Overseas English (2), 2015

In Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë portrays the love story between Catherine and Heathcliff whose sincere love is killed for their different social status and only prevails beyond the real world. The roles of symbols in revealing this theme will be traced in this article.
An Analysis on Heathcliff’s Inhumanity in the Wuthering Heights符欣(Fu Xin)
Overseas English (2), 2015

In Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff is a main and controversial figure. Different critics comment on him from many different aspects. Nevertheless, this thesis focuses on the inhumanity of Heathcliff. Through a detailed analysis of the process and the cruel way of Heathcliff’s revenge which bring serious sufferings to the two big families of the Earnshaws and the Lintons and their descendants, readers will come to understand that Heathcliff is a man without humanity. Readers will also realize that Heath?cliff is as savage as a ghost. Moreover, Heathcliff symbolizes a Hell; wherever he goes, there is darkness and unhappiness because of his inhumanity.

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

'Worthless as withered weeds'

Countercurrents has a conversation between poets Gary Corseri and Charles Orloski.
CO: Hunter S. Thompson used all kinds of drugs, drank effusively, wrote highly literate & wild books & articles, shot himself to get away from... I'm unsure what….
GC: I didn't know Thompson had killed himself.... (My friend, Joe Bageant, hung out with him for a while....)
CO: Maybe Hunter just wanted to get out of the physical stress & strain "here," but I believe we move on… to a better place where once-brainwashed brains operate at optimal function, with clear understanding of what "I" WAS-- no kidney stones, bad tickers, shot lungs, just YOU and whatever is….
GC: I like to believe that, too; that spirit continues…, and we have learned from this life's experience. I hardly see the point if we're not learning! Kind of like "Pascal's Gamble"-- if it's not so, you lose this little life and that's that; if it's so, you gain Eternity. (Emily Brontë explored that theme in her poem, "No Coward Soul.")
And that's the most highbrow reference to Emily Brontë you can expect in today's newsround. It's downhill from there.

WEEI's Thornography reports that American football player  Rob Gronkowski is publishing his autobiography with
 More pages dedicated to stories about grown men spiking stuff than any book since “Wuthering Heights.” (Jerry Thornton
Jezebel looks at the tabloids. Here's drama:
Kanye and Kim had a huge fight after he told her to dye her hair blonde. An insider told inTouch that Kim’s hair “was strawlike and unsalvageable...She was crying and enraged and accused him of destroying her looks...It led to one of their worst fights ever.” It’s the classic tale of a husband being like, “Bleach your hair and then dye it something very unnatural for you personally!” and the wife going, “Ugh this is a pain!” and the husband responding all, “Well guess what I’m going to be in Paris BY MYSELF on our first anniversary because you are HEREBY DUMPED!” I mean it’s basically the plot of Emily Brontë’s forgotten novel I Was Once A Brunette. Who could forget the struggles of poor Fay and her demanding husband Aldous! We’ve all been there, Kim! (Bobby Finger)
A tidbit from the Nottingham Post:
American actor George Chakiris, best known as Sharks gang leader Bernardo in West Side Story, came to Nottingham towards the end of his acting career to play Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre.
ABC (Spain) looks at the growing trend of reading books in English rather than the Spanish translations.
La FNAC, también en Callao, es otra referencia del género. Desde su Departamento de Comunicación relatan que «los clientes son diversos: el estudiante de inglés, la persona que no quiere perder el idioma, el extranjero afincado en España. El turista en las grandes ciudades y en la costa. Cada vez más los niños, un  público creciente». Citan entre sus autores de más éxito a Paul Auster, Ken Follett, E.L. James… Y clásicos de siempre como Fitzgerald, Brontë, Salinger, Dickens, Stocker, Orwell, que en ediciones baratas tienen su público, también recomendados en las escuelas y academias». Los precios tienden a ser similares siempre que el cliente quiera, porque depende de la elección de del tipo de edición que se busque en cuanto formato y precio». (M. De la Fuente) (Translation)

by Cristina ( at April 10, 2015 12:06 AM

April 09, 2015

Lewis Carroll Society of North America

Alice Peep Diorama

Who doesn’t love Peeps?  When not eating them, or jousting with them, what can they be used for?  Why, for constructing elaborate dioramas depicting scenes from Alice in Wonderland of course!  The Washington Post’s annual Peep Diorama contest this year had an Alice entry as one of the best, and I must say it does look yummy!

by Matt at April 09, 2015 04:00 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii


Physical Jane in Swansea

Tomorrow, April 10, in Swansea, UK:
A contemporary piece inspired by Jane Eyre
by Pain in the Arts Contemporary Theatre Company
Physical Performance inspired by Jane Eyre.
Creative Bubble on the 10 - 11 April, At 7.30pm

Pain in the Arts is a duo consisting of graduates from University of graduates from University of Wales Trinity Saint David Swansea.
Pain in the Arts was inspired by a previous graduate´s event about creating a performance with no budget.
The piece focuses on the two lead characters and the relationship that grows between them to become a co dependency, using the human body and voice the performers aim to explore new aspects of the well loved British classic literature Jane Eyre.

by M. ( at April 09, 2015 01:30 AM

Read it again

Bustle goes through the '11 Emotional Stages Of Reading 'Jane Eyre', Which Reveals More And More Each Time You Read It'.
If you were forced to read Jane Eyre in high school or in a lit comp class in college and you hated it, then I’m here to tell you that you MUST read it again. Seriously. It’s one of those classics that stick with you because (like most classics you read and reread) it exposes new layers to you every time you read it. It’s happened to me each time without fail. It’s also incredibly groundbreaking — Charlotte Brontë, who wrote the novel under the pen name “Currer Bell,” has been called “the first historian of the private consciousness.”
Private consciousness is right. Brontë was one of the first women to write a first-person narrative novel about a woman. And the story of her character and narrator, Jane Eyre, is one of the most complex and heartbreaking you’ll find today. It’s also spawned some of the most well-known TV tropes, the so-called madwoman in the attic.
A classic that (hopefully!) will never go away, Jane Eyre is still a total emotional ride, and one that never leaves me dry-eyed. I always get a pounding in my heart, especially now when I’m older and begin to realize quite how horrible some of the things Jane goes through are. Reading the book start to finish… well, yes, it’s long, but deal with it, because you’re going to feel a whole bunch of things.  (Read more(Ilana Masad)
If you are in Plainview, Texas, this might be a good chance to reread the novel:
The next meeting of the Literary Lunch Bunch is at noon Tuesday, May 5, in Van Howeling, Room 104 on the Wayland campus. A light lunch will be provided. Books to be discussed are “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë, “The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion, “Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence,” by Karen Armstrong, “Pioneer Girl: the Annotated Autobiography” by Laura Ingalls Wilder, ed. by Pamela Smith Hill and “The Fierce Urgency of Now” by Julian Zelizer. Also to be discussed is “Daphne du Maurier: Writing, Identity and the Gothic Imagination” by Avril Horner and Sue Zlosnik. Discussions are led by Micheal Summers, assistant professor of religion.
We are not leaving Texas just yet, as The Houston Chronicle has an article on pulp fiction, which they describe as
 juicy covers featuring original (and sometimes provocative) art, blurring the lines between canonical literature (Emily Brontë and Honoré de Balzac) and the low genres of crime, romance, and Westerns. (Paula Rabinowitz)
Paste Magazine interviews Aislinn Hunter about her novel The World Before Us.
Paste: Jane is a strong yet shaken protagonist. Did you draw any inspiration from any other literary characters when creating her? Hunter: At the same time as I was writing The World Before Us I was working on a PhD on Victorian writers’ houses and museums, so I was reading a lot of the Brontës when I was working on the book—Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights and also Charlotte’s letters. The juxtaposition was useful, because I was interested in the way the sisters handled their genre—that crafty supernaturalism they write so wonderfully. So, there is probably an ounce or two of Charlotte’s governess Jane (from Jane Eyre) in my Jane. Both of them have come through difficult events in their childhood. Both are, I think, a bit untrusting but still hopeful. (Mack Hayden)
Daily Xtra discusses the 'undeniable branding of straight living' and apparently
the market proceeded the brand. Consider that Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, taught in my high school as the epitome of romanticism — a book about crazy, incestuous heteros — preceded the term “heterosexual” by more than 20 years. (Michael Lyons)
Writersbrew reviews Wuthering Heights; Jane Eyre 2011 was screened today at the Kerry Film Festival.

by Cristina ( at April 09, 2015 12:19 AM

April 08, 2015

Victorian Poetry Network

Lewis Carroll Society of North America

Rackham iPad App

There is a new Alice iPad app, featuring beautifully rendered Arthur Rackham illustrations!  At $2.99 it is a bargain.  Get yours now!  From the iTunes page:

• Complete set of Interactive illustrated boards beautifully adapted for iPad and iPad Mini with animations, physical objects, and interactive sounds.
• Complete set of original boards presented in the Historical Notes section.
• Amazing environmental soundtracks inside the Interactive Boards.
• Help Guide to the Interactive Boards for the youngest readers.
• “Invisible ink objects” to play with on every text page, just touch the letters!
• Camera function to mix your portraits inside these wonderful compositions and save on your iPad or share with family and friends.
• Detailed navigation menus.
• Full texts in the original version and from the earliest translations: English (1856), French (1869), Italian (1871) and Spanish (1922).
• In addition, find rich and interesting historical notes about Arthur Rackham, his work, the world he worked in, and the context of Carroll’s fantastic book (English only).
• Retina Ready

-App designed for iPad™ (2nd, 3rd, 4th generation) iPad air™ and iPad mini™ all generations-

by Matt at April 08, 2015 04:00 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

Albert Goodwin (1845-1932)

 photo albertgoodwinclovelly.jpg


 photo Albertgoodwinbasle.jpg


 photo albertgoodwincorfecastle.jpg

Corfe Castle, Dorset

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Whitby Abbey

 photo albertgoodwinthe rain from heaven all souls oxford.jpg

Rain from Heavem, All Souls, Oxford

April 08, 2015 08:04 AM

The Cat's Meat Shop

Resorts of Musical Entertainment

Canterbury Hall, Lambeth, is widely cited as the original of the 'music hall' in London. Here's an early description. I was surprised to see opera featuring so heavily (confirmed by many contemporary adverts for the Hall):

Canterbury Hall ... is one of those many resorts of musical entertainment which have of late spring up in such numbers in the metropolis, combining the attractions of the tavern with those of the concert-room. For the moderate entrance money of one sixpence, a spacious and brilliantly lighted saloon, a very interesting gallery of pictures, and four or five hours unceasing ‘entertainment’ is at the disposal of any one ‘out for the night’. The ‘entertainment’ originally consisted of the usual sestett of principal singers, and a very efficient chorus, who performed the principal music from favourite operas, such as ‘Norma’, ‘Lucrezia’, ‘Trovatore’, and others, in a most creditable manner. This ‘high art’ was also varied by the addition of comic songs of all nations, from the old established countryman in an ante-diluvian flowered waistcoat, and Paddy with half a coat and a shillelagh down to (and no lower depth could be sounded) “Sally, come up”, and “Sister to the Cure.” All this while the pleasure-seeker can comfort his inner man with almost any variety of eating and drinking which he is likely to fancy and pay for. Even the mysterious delights of tobacco are not denied him; and though pipes are prohibited in the ‘reserved seats’, and only the lordly cigar permitted in those aristocratic precincts, yet in any other part of the spacious building a twist of bird’s-eye and a yard of clay may be seen in the mouths of three quarters of the assemblage. It is but fair to add that nothing can exceed the good order with which everything is conducted at this establishment, and it is almost needless to say that the attractions which this and other such places of resort present to the humbler classes of society have interfered most seriously with the profits of the legitimate, or perhaps we should rather say the licensed theatres.

Morning Post 7 March 1861

by Lee Jackson ( at April 08, 2015 04:13 AM


Faith and the Brontës

This is a new scholar book with Brontë-related content:
“Perplext in Faith”
Essays on Victorian Beliefs and Doubts
Editor(s): Alisa Clapp-Itnyre, Julie Melnyk
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-6814-3

In the last twenty years, there has been a growing recognition of the centrality of religious beliefs to an understanding of Victorian literature and society. This interdisciplinary collection makes a significant contribution to post-secularist scholarship on Victorian culture, reflecting the great diversity of religious beliefs and doubts in Victorian Britain, with essays on Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Unitarian, and spiritualist topics. Writing from a variety of disciplinary perspectives for an interdisciplinary audience, the essayists investigate religious belief using diverse historical and literary sources, including journalism, hymns, paintings, travel-writings, scientific papers, novels, and poetry.
Includes  Faith in the writings of the Brontë sisters by Christine Colón.

by M. ( at April 08, 2015 01:30 AM

A seance with Emily Brontë

According to The Signpost, Heathcliff is one of '5 misinterpreted fictional men'.
Heathcliff from “Wuthering Heights
Every time someone calls this novel a great love story, I think Emily Brontë rolls over in her grave. This is a Gothic novel, not a romance, and all of the characters are terrible people, but none are more terrible than the principle male character Heathcliff. Heathcliff has been confused as a brooding hero for decades, when really he just a psychotic beast. He physically abuses animals as a child, and as an adult he physically abuses humans. Readers often feel sorry for Heathcliff and blame his actions on the fact that he is miserably pining for the love of Catherine Earnshaw. If you’re looking for a romantic male hero who is actually a decent human being, stay clear of the Brontë sisters. (Jennifer Perry)
Or read more by them than just Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre.

Bustle puts ten literary couples to the 'Happily-Ever-After Test'. One of them is
Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester, Jane Eyre
Can we decipher this one? We lit majors sure love to try. Despite their tumultuous beginning, Jane and Rochester’s love does indeed last a lifetime. They both have their own demons to contend with, but even so, they are capable of loving one another deeply and completely. Why? They understand and respect each other. It takes a lot of pain and heartbreak for them to get there but in the ashes of Thornfield, Jane and Rochester finally began to understand how to be each other’s soulmate and companion. (Mariana Zepeda)
Also on the list are Mr Maximilian de Winter and Mrs de Winter from Rebecca, whose
story mirrors Jane and Rochester’s, but Max de Winter and his dove-eyed bride don’t share the same unearthly connection as Brontë’s illustrious couple. (Mariana Zepeda)
Entertainment Weekly shares an excerpt from Jo Nesbø's Blood on Snow.
 ‘Just something I read, Sir.’
            Okay, we don’t usually call people ‘Sir’ in Norway, no matter how superior they are. With the exception of the royal family, of course, who are addressed as Your Royal Highness. Daniel Hoffmann would probably have preferred that. The title of ‘Sir’ was something Hoffmann had imported from England, together with his leather furniture, red mahogany bookcases and leather-bound books full of the old, yellowing, unread pages of what were presumably English classics. But how should I know, I only recognised the usual names: Dickens, Brontë, Austen. Either way, the dead authors made the air in his office so dry that I always end up coughing up a fine spray of lung cells long after my visits. I don’t know what it was about England that fascinated Hoffmann, but I knew he’d spent a short time there as a student, and came home with his case stuffed full of tweed suits, ambition and an affected Oxford English with a Norwegian twang. 
Stereogum reviews Billie Marten's album Heavy Weather which apparently
sounds like Billie Marten is holding a seance with Emily Brontë. It seems impossible that a teenager can summon towering, windswept emotions of a Wuthering Heights scale, but here we are. Using just an acoustic guitar and her voice, Marten pronounces each word with the precision of a single raindrop falling. (Caitlin White)

by Cristina ( at April 08, 2015 12:55 AM

April 07, 2015

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

Donati's Comet, 1858

 photo James Poole Donati-s comet.jpg

Painting by James Poole

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This was the firts comet to be photographed; this is a stereoscope of it over the dome of St Paul's in London.

 photo WilliamturneroxfordArtist unknown. Donatis Comet.jpg

Over Balliol chapel and Trinity College, Oxford.

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By William Turner of Oxford

April 07, 2015 08:03 AM


Castration, Moral Management and Self-Discovery

New scholar Brontë-related papers:
Pre- Oedipal Lucy Snowe: Isis Unbound Over Castrated Male Body
Onur Ekler
Electronic International Journal of Education, Arts, and Science,  Vol 1, No 1,  77-84 (2015)

Villette written by Charlotte Brontë is a journey of a woman called Lucy who absolves her ‘self’ of the representation of the Victorian ideals, which patriarchal authority always wished to impose on the woman in 19th century. This paper attempts to show the reader how Charlotte Brontë achieves to create pre- Oedipal female identity and the necessity of the physical or metaphorical death of the patriarch for the revolutionary change in woman’s social, economical standing in Victorian period. I will attempt to prove my argument in this paper basing a mythical analogy to Isis- Osiris myth and Nina Baym’s famous article The Madwoman and Her Languages.
Illegible Minds: Charlotte Brontë’s Early Writings and the Psychology of Moral Management in Jane Eyre and Villette
Beth Tressler
Studies in the Novel, Volume 47, Number 1, Spring 2015, pp. 1-19

This essay situates Charlotte Brontë’s novels Jane Eyre and Villette, along with her letters and unpublished poetry, within the nineteenth-century discourse of phrenology and moral management, exposing her ultimate critique of these popular theories as devices of power. Deriving from faculty psychology, both hinged upon self-regulation as a moral necessity, determined by the decipherability of the self. Brontë resisted this established relation between legibility and self-regulation, preferring a theory predicated upon her own developing concept of illegibility—a potentially limitless imaginative space. The majority of psychologists commonly associated any state of imaginative withdrawal with a lack of inner regulation and moral weakness leading to immorality and insanity. Brontë’s work shows how it is the unrelenting regulation of the imagination through incessant self-control that creates various forms of insanity and becomes ultimately devastating to the self, advocating instead the moral basis of a complex dialectic between self-control and ecstatic self-loss.
Lucy’s Quest for Self-discoveryKevser Ates
Electronic International Journal of Education, Arts, and Science,  Vol 1, No 1,  55-61 (2015)
This article aims to show the female narrator, Lucy Snowe’s self-discovery through her experiences in a patriarchal society from a feminist point of view. Through this courageous and unconventional female narrator, Charlotte Brontë questions her society’s expectations from women while also criticizing women’s willingness to obey the rules defined by men. The traditional characterizations of women and men consequently result in binary oppositions which give “reasonable” and “strong” men the right to control “emotional” and “weak” women. Lucy has to face a lot of difficulties as she does not accept to be guarded by any men. In this novel called Villette, refusing her traditionally assigned social, passive role, Lucy tries to create her own identity as an independent individual.

by M. ( at April 07, 2015 01:30 AM

"Emily Brontë’s book seeped into my blood, my bones, into my upbringing"

The writer Sally Green chooses Wuthering Heights as her main inspiration, not only for her book Half Bad but for her whole life. In The Guardian:
When I was a 14 year old back in 1975 my life was dull and quiet; I didn’t even own many books. But then I won Wuthering Heights and fell in love with it. I realise now that Emily Brontë’s book seeped into my blood, my bones, into my upbringing. It is the basis on which I build my world – and it’s the inspiration for Half Bad. (...)
I won the Upper 4 Progress Prize at school that year and was awarded the book of my choice: Wuthering Heights. I fell in love with Heathcliff and with the moors and that one without the other would be impossibly empty and pointless. But then I put the book on my bookshelf and got on with my GCSEs and Margaret Thatcher came to power and I lived in London for a while then came back up north, became an accountant, travelled the world, and worked hard to pay off the mortgage. I got married and I had a child, turned earth mother and kept chickens. I hardly had time to read. (...)
In Half Bad I referenced Wuthering Heights but never gave much thought to if or how I’d been influenced by it, though I always knew that Heathcliff was my ultimate hero. I’ve only been to Haworth once, and was shocked at how bleak and cold it was and this added to my awe for Emily Brontë, who lived a short, quiet life and yet who could write with such passion. I realise now that Wuthering Heights has seeped into my blood, my bones, into my upbringing. It is the basis on which I build my world and Heathcliff’s spirit roams through it all.
Le Télégramme (France) has another writer and Brontëite, Gaëlle Nohant:
Lorsqu'elle commence à se plonger dans les livres, la jeune GaëlleNohant dévore littéralement Jane Eyre, des soeurs Brontë. (Éliane Faucon-Dumont) (Translation)
The Telegraph & Argus reports of the return of Tabby to the Parsonage this weekend:
The Bronte sisters’ servant Tabby Aykroyd has returned to Haworth this weekend.
She is at the Brontë Parsonage Museum to tell visitors stories about the four famous siblings and 19th-century village life.
Tabby, played by Volunteer Education Assistant, Jan Lee, was at the museum on Good Friday and will return on Monday from 1pm to 3pm with more facts, fiction and folklore.
Oakworth Morris Men will dance at the museum on Monday at 3.15pm, then on Tuesday and Friday from 1pm to 3pm there will be an appearance by Charlotte Brontë’s friend Ellen Nussey.
The visits by actresses in period costume are among Easter holiday activities to keep families busy as they visit the Brontë shrine.
There will be ‘hands-on history’ on Wednesday and Thursday from 1pm to 3pm, allowing children to handle artefacts while a guide explains domestic details of life that the Parsonage in the 1800s.
Every day throughout the Easter holidays there will be the Parsonage’s latest exhibition, The Brontës: War and Waterloo, which explores the family’s fascination with war.
Also on display will be a dining table, bought recently by the Brontë Society, which the Bronte sisters used when they wrote novels like Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. (David Knights)
Brigid Schulte wonders in the Washington Post whether you are a rebel or an obliger:
Want to develop better habits? Figure out your habit tendency, she says. Are you, like Rubin, an “Upholder,” who can meet internal and external expectations? Or are you a “Questioner,” like Jane Eyre, who’ll only do something if they think it’s justified? An “Obliger,” like Andre Agassi, who is motivated to meet the expectations of others? Or a “Rebel,” who resists both internal and external expectations?
The Independent reviews Poldark:
Verity is filled with the boredom, longing and ruddy-cheeked decency of a Brontë heroine and her (probably doomed) relationship with the iffy Captain Blamey (Richard Harrington, keeping us guessing nicely) is a palette-cleansing subplot that takes our attention away from the ‘beautiful people’ for a moment or two. (Chris Bennion)
Grand Forks Herald posts about Mallory Ortberg's Texts from Jane Eyre:
Mallory Ortberg, the co-creator of the cult-favorite website The Toast, presents this whimsical collection of hysterical text conversations from your favorite literary characters. Based on the popular web-feature, "Texts from Jane Eyre" is a witty, irreverent mashup that brings the characters from your favorite books into the 21st century.
Same as The Joplin Globe:
It’s not a graphic novel, but I can’t help but tack on a brief mention of a new nonfiction book we recently added. If you need a laugh, check out “Texts from Jane Eyre.” The entire book — which I think I read in 20 minutes — is chapter after chapter of imagined texts sent to and by well-known writers as well as characters ranging from Hamlet to the twins in the “Sweet Valley High” series. (Lisa E. Brown)
An alert from Omaha:
Book group: The I Should Have Read That in School classics group will discuss “Villette” by Charlotte Brontë, 6:30 p.m. Monday, The Bookworm, 90th Street and West Center Road. (Micah Mertes)
La Jornada (México) comments on the controversial video by some alumni of the Mexican Cumbres Institute:
Doña Emily Brontë trinaría de envidia al comprobar que los comportamientos prevalecientes en la Inglaterra del siglo XIX eran jugarretas infantiles frente a la cotidianeidad de estos legendarios territorios legionarios. (Ortiz Tejeda) (Translation)
Better Living Through Beowulf and Cat's Shelf post about Jane Eyre. The Brontë Bell Chapel group posts some nice pictures of the sunrise as seen from the St James Church.

by M. ( at April 07, 2015 12:35 AM

April 06, 2015

The Little Professor

Some thoughts that do not amount to a manifesto

(See here.)  

1.  In 1996, Robert Griffin published Wordsworth's Pope, which analyzed the relationship between Wordsworth's theoretical manifestos against neo-classical poetics (as embodied by Alexander Pope) and his own practice.  Griffin suggests that while Wordsworth certainly throws down all available gauntlets against Pope, his actual work engages with, and frequently resorts to, the same neo-classical poetic forms, tropes, diction, &c. as his predecessor.  The poets are different, to be sure, and Wordsworth is hardly imitating Pope--but he's also a lot less different than he wants the reader to think.  This monograph came to mind.

2.  When I was in graduate school, Romanticists deconstructed and New Historicized; early modernists New Historicized; eighteenth-century scholars "old" historicized, but also did a lot of formalism/genre theory; and medievalists still had a whole lot of philology going on.  Victorianists, far from having no theory, tended to have strong affections for Foucault, gender theory, and the burgeoning fields of postcolonial and queer theory.  Nevertheless, it's true that Victorian studies were never associated so clearly with specific theoretical projects as early modern and Romantic studies.  It strikes me that that was and is a good thing.

3.  My general experience (as student and professional) has been that those invested in theory are frequently small-c conservative in their actual attention to literary works.  Rather a lot of high theory emerges from and, in turn, privileges "the canon," which means that it erases as much as it reveals.    

4.  In Book One, my ability to write about early histories of women emerged from the questions that feminists and poststructural theorists were then posing about historiography.  But in working through the archives, I discovered that the questions did not result in the expected answers (in this case, I found that early women's history was rarely feminist [even by 19th-c. standards] and could not be appropriated as the literary "grandmothers" of contemporary women's history, nor did one find a woman's "voice" in these frequently-plagiarized texts).  Similarly, Book Two developed from my interest in the theory of historical fiction, but once again, the archive highlighted the theory's limitations (most theories of historical fiction rest on assumptions about the nature of both history and the genre that make it impossible to "read" large swathes of material).  Book Three and One Half will do something similar with current theoretical approaches to "religion and literature" (however you are defining that).  

by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at April 06, 2015 03:49 PM

Regency Ramble

Regency Fashion April 1815

What does the Spring of 1815 have in store for us. We know that Napoleon having left Elba has established himself in Paris, but what were the ladies wearing in London

Evening Dress Ackermann's for April 1815

WHITE satin petticoat, richly ornamented at the feet with white satin trimming; a deep flounce of blond lace, gathered full into a narrow heading of corresponding trimming, and tastefully laid on in festoons above the lower border;
a body of white satin; plain fronts open to a point in the centre of the waist; the back to correspond, very narrow on the shoulder, and the neck exposed; the body trimmed entirely round the top with a full plaiting of blond lace; short full sleeves, ornamented with satin trimming, corresponding with the bottom of the dress; the waist very short. 
Hat composed of white satin; narrow turban front, ornamented with a full plume of ostrich feathers. 
Necklace and cross of satin bead or pearl; ear-drops and armlets to correspond. 
Grecian scarf, or shawl, a pale buff colour, embroidered with shaded morone silk, in Grecian characters, and fancifully disposed on the figure. 
Plain silk stockings, with laced clocks. Slippers of buff satin or kid, trimmed with silver. White gloves of French kid, drawn over the elbow. Fan of carved ivory or sandal wood.

This is quite the lovely outfit and very much in what we think of Regency style I think.  This is one of the few times I recall the mention of stockings with clocks, so I thought that was very interesting.

Until next time…..

by Ann Lethbridge ( at April 06, 2015 04:18 PM


And more Wuthering Paintings

More recent Wuthering Heights-inspired artwork:
Wuthering Heights
by Mo Tuncay, Netherlands, 2015
Painting, Acrylic, Unframed
Size 70 x 70 cm

Wuthering Heights
by Kero, Italy based illustrator and visual artist Acrylics, Cardboard and Cerulean Blues in the Svmmer ov Hate, 2014 

Wuthering Heights
by Sheryl Daane Chesnut,
United States
Size: 40 H x 30 W x 2 in, 2014

by M. ( at April 06, 2015 01:32 AM

April 05, 2015


Seething, brooding and smouldering passion

The Gainesville Sun has an article about women in technology:
Did you know that Ada Lovelace, a 19th century Victorian-era woman (yes, dressed like something out of Wuthering Heights) is credited with writing the “first algorithm to be carried out by a machine” and is therefore regarded as the first computer programmer? I didn’t. (Eva Del Rio)
Tanya Gold mentions Charlotte Brontë in her analysis of the new Poldark series for The Sunday Times.

Radio Times reviewed the Wuthering Heights 1939 film recently screened on BBC Two:
Laurence Olivier's Heathcliff is even more handsome than the Yorkshire moors across which he howls his doomed love for Cathy (Merle Oberon) in this stirring melodrama of seething, brooding and smouldering passion set in England in the 19th century. Produced by Sam Goldwyn, directed by William Wyler, and also starring David Niven, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Flora Robson, this is still the best by some way of the many big-screen versions of Emily Brontë's novel (including Spanish and Egyptian productions). It garnered eight Oscar nominations, including best picture, but only won one, for Gregg Toland's stunning black-and-white cinematography. Had there also been an Oscar for best smouldering, Olivier would have walked it. (Peter Freedman)
Finanzas (Spain) talks about Daphne du Maurier:
Daphne du Maurier era así: por fuera, una dama culta y refinada -fue dos veces Lady, por matrimonio y por sus méritos literarios- y, por dentro, una inventora de criaturas trastornadas, de obsesiones, de relatos salpicados de sospechas paranormales, sustos, angustias, tensión sexual, tinieblas... y con muy escasos finales felices, un mundo que la conecta con sus adoradas hermanas Brontë (Du Maurier escribió una biografía de Branwell Brontë, el hermano barón de Charlotte, Emily y Anne), con las que comparte universo brumoso e inquietante. A ellas le une su pasión por Cornualles y las evidentes coincidencias en sus atmósferas: los fantasmas de mujeres del pasado, las protagonistas cándidas que se enfrentan a misteriosas tinieblas y se enamoran de hombres maduros... (Fátima Uribarri) (Translation)
Perfil (Argentina) and the authors of just one book:
Del mismo modo, la muerte temprana de Emily Brontë a los 30 años, en diciembre de 1848, enferma de tuberculosis, le impidió conocer la suerte de su única novela, Cumbres borrascosas (1847), al principio recibida con frialdad, pero hoy considerada un clásico de la literatura inglesa y adaptada innumerables veces para el cine, el teatro y la televisión. (Rubén H. Ríos) (Translation)
Bill's Movie News & Reviews posts about Wuthering Heights 2011.

by M. ( at April 05, 2015 06:24 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii


A couple of Wuthering paintings

Sue Nichol  'is a painter of coastal and moorland scenes in a painterly style':
My paintings are of places I know very well and visit over and over again, both literally and imaginatively. I am attracted to the ‘edges of the land’ including our fabulous and varied coastline as well as the rocky edges to be found in the UK.
One of those places is Yorkshire and particularly, the Haworth moors:

Wuthering Heights (Top Withens) 2
Glenn Marshall is a Yorkshire artist who defines himself as
Professional artist now semi retired and enjoying being eccentric!
Cathy Come Home. Original watercolour by Glenn Marshall
My painting had a few surprises for me too. It sort of took on a life of its own. It started life as a simple study of an abandoned farmhouse in the remote fells of the High Northern Pennines. I brought it back to life, set it in twilight, lit up the windows and there it was...Wuthering Heights. I could feel the presence of Heathcliff waiting at the window for the return of the ghost of his one true love and his plaintive cry. Will she ever "come home"? Incidentally 'wuthering' is a Yorkshire word meaning wild, exposed, storm-blown which summed up the real place perfectly.

by M. ( at April 05, 2015 02:37 AM

April 04, 2015


Emily Brontë had it right

The Hindu on old friends:
Emily Brontë had it right. It is the holly-tree that leaves, “thy garland green,” even, “when December blights thy brow.” Friendship is an ever-green thing when treated right. Childhood friends are somewhat exalted in all of this. They have seen us at our most un- self-conscious and know us before we were even aware of who we are. There can be no pretensions with old friends. If there is, you’re bound to end up feeling more than a little foolish. (Dr. Srividya Sivakumar)
The students of the CSPU in Pomona, California had the chance to see some really exceptional... blunder:
At the library, they viewed some of the most exceptional books in the Huntington’s collection, including a first edition of Charlotte Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights,” William Blake’s hand-colored print of “The Tyger” and a folio of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “In Memoriam” in his own handwriting. (Zoe Lance in PolyCentric)
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review mentions the Heathcliff roses:
'Heathcliffe'(sic)  - There are few roses as popular as those of deep crimson coloring – and none so difficult to breed. ‘Heathcliff’ is a beautiful addition to English Roses of this color. It has large, fully double flowers of deep rosette shape. The color is a deep crimson, with a certain softness that is reminiscent of some of the old red Gallica Roses. It is a healthy variety, with shiny, deep green leaves and upright growth. Its fragrance is most pleasing and rather unusual – basically Tea Rose with a mixture of Old Rose and just a hint of cedar wood. It is named for the character in Emily Brontë’s classic novel, Wuthering Heights. Grows to 3? x 3 feet.
The Oregonian reviews the film Effie Gray:
It's "Wuthering Heights" crossed with Harry Potter, and the appearance of Robbie Coltrane as a doctor who affirms her virginity closes the circle. (Jeff Baker)
Radio Times recommends the screening of Wuthering Heights 1939 today at BBC2 (2:20 PM):
Ooh there's nothing like a good brood, and Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon really turn it on in the definitive version of Emily Brontë's classic tale of doomed love. (Rose Thompson)
Myrtle Beach Online talks about the Miss Julie saga (not to be confused with Miss Julie by Strindberg):
Miss Julia is one of those fictional characters like Jane Eyre and Scarlett O’Hara who confronts complex situations and marches ahead to bring an equitable solution to them. Anyone not familiar with Miss Julia has a chance to become acquainted with this gritty, elderly woman in the 17th book in the series, “Miss Julia Lays Down the Law,” by North Carolina writer Ann B. Ross. (Jo Ann Mathews)
The Jewish Journal talks about love stories and it really gets on top:
If I asked you to name the greatest love story ever told, you would likely mention Wuthering Heights, Anna Karenina, even Romeo and Juliet. But, no!
Those pale in comparison to ours. A good story needs a damsel in distress, a knight in shining armor, and a theatrical ride into the sunset. Our story is better. (Dr. Afshine Emrani)
Milenio (México) wants to know what would happen if:
También me puse a pensar en un experimento. En el mundo de los clásicos hay una buena cantidad de novelas en cuya columna vertebral está la relación entre una mujer y un hombre, o sea, novelas de amor. ¿Qué pasaría si el editor de Harlequin decidiera meter en su colección, de manera casi anónima y hasta cambiando el título, alguna novela de Jane Austen o de las Brontë? (...)
Me pregunto si las ñoras se sentirían decepcionadas con esos Harlequines o si ocurriría todo lo contrario. (Translation)
Naoise Dolan posts a succint illustrated Wuthering Heights study guide.

by M. ( at April 04, 2015 07:14 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

Thomas Hornor, The Spririt of the Vale of Neath

 photo Hornor Spirit of the Vale of Neath.jpg

 photo 22746_2.jpg

These belong to an album of watercolours, you lift the first to see the second. Further information here:

April 04, 2015 08:16 AM


The World Within

A new novel based on Emily Brontë's biography:
The World Within
Written by Jane Eagland
Arthur A. Levine Books (31 Mar. 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0545492959

The most mysterious Brontë sister steps into the light in this must-read novel for fans of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre.
Emily Brontë loves her sisters, responsible Charlotte and quiet Anne, and her brother, tempestuous Branwell. She loves the moors that stretch all around the little village of Haworth, and wandering over them in the worst of weather. And she loves most of all the writing that brings all these things together, as she and her siblings create vast kingdoms and vivid adventures that take them deep into their imaginations.
But change is coming to Haworth, as their father falls ill and the girls must learn how to support themselves. How can Emily preserve both what she loves, and herself, and find her way into the future?
From the award-winning author of Wildthorn, the story of a young writer finding her voice, and a window into the mind of the beloved but mysterious Emily Brontë.

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

The Little Professor

This Week's Acquisitions

  • Chris Cander, Whisper Hollow (Other, 2015).  Novel of desire, secrets, and religious fanaticism at the turn of the twentieth century.  (Lift Bridge)
  • Lorri G. Nandrea, Misfit Forms: Paths Not Taken by the British Novel (Fordham, 2015).  Analyzes "dead ends" in novelistic form from the eighteenth century onward, suggesting how they might help us re-evaluate the history of the genre.  I'm reviewing this for Choice.  (Review copy)
  • James A. Secord, Visions of Science: Books and Readers at the Dawn of the Victorian Age (Chicago, 2015).  Analyzes the rhetoric and reception history of a number of significant scientific texts and texts about science: Humphry Davy, Charles Babbage, John Herschel, Mary Somerville, Charles Lyell, George Combe, and Thomas Carlyle.  (Amazon)
  • The Clifton Tracts, vol. III (Dunigan, 1853).  US reprint of a UK series of tracts by the Vincentians, on such topics as the Mass, the Reformation, sacraments, etc.  Includes one tract with a decent pun in the title ("Know Popery").  (eBay)
  • Alexandra Walsham, Charitable Hatred: Tolerance and Intolerance in England, 1500-1700 (Manchester, 2006).  History of the theory and practice (or not) of religious toleration during the early modern period, noting the back-and-forthing between Protestants and Catholics on the subject.  (eBay)
  • Lionel Kochan, The Making of Western Jewry, 1600-1819 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004).  Jews re-establishing old or putting down new roots during the early modern period.  (eBay)
  • Josef L. Altholz, The Religious Press in Britain, 1760-1900 (Greenwood, 1989).  Important survey of the emergence of religious papers and periodicals of all denominations.  (Amazon [secondhand])

by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at April 04, 2015 12:19 AM

April 03, 2015


A Brontë Letter Live

BBC News celebrates the London Letters Live season with a Charlotte Brontë letter:
In celebration of London's Letters Live season, BBC Newsnight invited actress Louise Brealey to read a letter written by Charlotte Brontë following the loss of her sister Emily.
It was composed on Christmas day 1848, six days after the Wuthering Heights author's death, in response to a letter from publisher W S Williams.
The Daily Mail briefly reviews The Lost Child by Caryl Phillips:
It's the late 1950s when Monica Johnson abandons her undergraduate career at Oxford to marry Julius Wilson. He’s from the Caribbean, so her father is horrified and cuts her off.
Julius, for his part evidently eager to confirm Mr Johnson’s worst fears and prejudices, leaves Monica and their two young sons for a life back home.
Monica also returns home, to Leeds, where she struggles to bring up her boys. Cut to a terrific recreation of a bedridden Emily Brontë dying in the parsonage at Haworth, then back to the main narrative, picked up by Monica’s son, Ben, whose account includes some masterfully crafted updates in passing.
Moving between England and the Caribbean, from one storyline to another, including a cameo appearance by Wuthering Heights’ Mr Earnshaw, this novel weaves together a series of stories featuring a cast of outsiders and orphans preoccupied by the idea of home.
Expertly written and artfully crafted. (Harry Ritchie)
The Craven Herald & Pioneer describes a walk through Brontë country:
Straddling the Pennines, this invigorating walk sweeps through the wild moorland and heather which was an inspiration for the Brontë sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne.
THIS week's walk takes us into Brontë country.
It starts at Penistone Hill Country Park, just a stone's throw away from the village of Haworth, where the Brontë sisters made their home after their father, Patrick, was appointed curate.
The paths and tracks on this route provide views up to Top Withens ruins, connected locally to Emily's famous novel Wuthering Heights and the surrounding moors. Sections can be quite wet and muddy and suitable footwear is advisable. The walk has been provided by Yorkshire Water and other walks in the area can be found at (Lindsey Moore)
Fusion talks about the history of the Leeds United football club:
It could be that Leeds’ penchant for getting into trouble comes from the club’s hometown, the biggest in the rugged county of Yorkshire. From the Celts to the Vikings to the Norman Conquest, The Black Death to the War of the Roses, Yorkshire’s history is bloodier than the average episode of Game of Thrones. To dip into cliché, this is a county where men — standing atop the Brontë Sisters’ wind-blasted moors, cocking a snook at southern softies down in London or even (philosophically rather than geographically speaking) Manchester — are real men. (James Young)
NPR Books reviews Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan:
In particular, Isabella's love affair with dragon naturalism and her distance from the years she relates can make any romantic sentiment feel rather perfunctory, and scenes of imminent danger and portents of doom often interrupt themselves with narrative asides. But her account of her childhood in A Natural History of Dragons has the comforting echo of a slightly more bloodthirsty Jane Eyre, and her hard-won friendship with the prickly working-class naturalist Tom Wilker in The Tropic of Serpents is somehow heartwarming even in the midst of danger. (Genevieve Valentine)
The Huffington Post has an article about the origins and evolution of the Southern Gothic genre:
"Southern Gothic" spread from the Gothic literary movement of the 19th century, when romance novels were dressed up in dreary ambience and set in spooky castles and decrepit manors, shot through with excess, fear, and madness. The best of the lot -- classics like Frankenstein, Dracula, Wuthering Heights, and the stories of Edgar Allen Poe -- used fantastical devices and aberrant behavior to get at the ugly truth all trussed up in pomp and formality. (Jamie Kornegay)
The New York Daily News reviews the film Effie Gray:
[Greg] Wise embodies that, with his pungent portrait of a severe jerk. His aristocratic sideburns bookend a perpetually long, judgmental face. Wise’s Ruskin is like a man in a Brontë novel, only without a core decency. Next to him, Fanning feels wafer-thin and out of her element. She’s appropriately wan, but as we never know Effie’s potential, her loss of identity has minimal punch. (Joe Neumaier)
Kate Beaton's comics have been translated into German. n-tv talks about it:
Haben die schreibenden Brontë-Schwestern eigentlich über Männer gelästert? Was, wenn es Charlies Schokoladenfabrik gar nicht gäbe, wohl aber eine fabelhafte Rübenfabrik? Was haben die Suffragetten mit "Sex and the City" am Hut? Und waren die Tudors wirklich so sexy, wie uns das Fernsehen suggeriert? (Markus Lippold) (Translation)
Romance Reader interviews the writer Kate Walker:
I grew up in a house full of books so I read anything and everything I could get my hands on. One of the major discoveries I found on my mother’s bookshelves were the novels of the Brontë sisters. specially Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. I’ve read that book over and over again and wrote my MA thesis on it . I’ve even written a Mills & Boon Modern/Harlequin Presents version of the story in The Return of The Stranger which came out in 2011.
Keighley News recommends Haworth History Tour by Steven Wood & Ian Palmer.  According to The Seattle Times, Charlotte Gainsbourg was 'the perfect Jane Eyre' in Jane Eyre 1996; Clothes in Books reviews Daphne du Maurier's The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë.

by M. ( at April 03, 2015 05:09 PM


CFP: Literature and Tourisms of the Long Nineteenth Century

The following Call for Papers for an upcoming special issue of LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory came across the NINES desk. We hope many members of the NINES community will consider submitting!

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 Theory publishes 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 Brandon Walsh at April 03, 2015 12:38 PM


Reading on the Contrary

Another recent scholar book with Brontë-related content:
Queer Victorian Families
Curious Relations in Literature
Edited by Duc Dau, Shale Preston
Routledge – 2015 – 220 pages
Series: Routledge Studies in Nineteenth Century Literature
ISBN: 978-1-13-879245-6

The Victorians elevated the home and heteronormative family life to an almost secular religion. Yet alongside the middle-class domestic ideal were other families, many of which existed in the literature of the time. Queer Victorian Families: Curious Relations in Literature is chiefly concerned with these atypical or "queer" families. This collection serves as a corrective against limited definitions of family and is The Woman in White, to male kinship within and across Alfred Tennyson’s In Memoriam and Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, and the nexus between disability and loving relationships in the fiction of Dinah Mulock Craik and Charlotte M. Yonge. Queer Victorian Families is a wide-ranging and theoretically adventurous exposé of the curious relations in the literary family tree.
a timely addition to Victorian studies. Interdisciplinary in nature, the collection opens up new possibilities for uncovering submerged, marginalized, and alternative stories in Victorian literature. Broad in scope, subjects range from Count Fosco and his animal "children" in Wilkie Collins’s
It contains: 8. Reading on the Contrary: Cousin Marriage, Mansfield Park, and Wuthering Heights by Talia Schaffer

by M. ( at April 03, 2015 01:43 AM

William Morris Unbound

William Morris on the Syllabus

As an undergraduate in English Literature at Bristol University between 1975 and 1978, I never encountered any William Morris at all on my degree scheme. We did plenty of Victorian poetry, including Browning, Tennyson, Arnold and Hardy, but Morris’s Defence of Guenevere poems, which certainly had all the qualities of edge, concretion and irony to appeal to the Empsonian predilections of my tutor Moira Megaw, never got a look in. And though the Department as whole did have a culturally militant stance towards ‘technologico-Benthamite civilisation’ (Leavisite codeword for capitalism), since it was staffed by second-generation Scrutineers like Roy Littlewood, that certainly did not extend to having a socialist utopia like News from Nowhere on the syllabus.

Do undergraduates today, in either English or Politics departments, get any better exposure to Morris? There is certainly more interest in Gothic than in literary realism these days, which might make a space for him; but on the other hand, a whole series of new areas has come into focus – literary theory, science fiction, African literature, women’s writing, and so on – which now take up a good deal of the undergraduate’s time in English studies. I think the honest answer is that we simply do not know how much attention Morris’s work gets on the university syllabus in the early twenty-first century. So we need a national and international survey of Victorianist colleagues in literature departments and Left-leaning colleagues in Politics or Sociology to see which Morris texts are getting taught, and, in the longer-term, to encourage more of them on to the syllabus.

by Tony Pinkney ( at April 03, 2015 12:39 AM

April 02, 2015


The quintessential weird kid

International Business Times interviews the writer Robin Stevens:
Which literary character do you most identify with?
"I love characters like Jane Eyre – I like that she was different and a bit awkward and a bit weird," Stevens says. "When I first read it, I completely was like: 'oh yeah, that's me, I understand that' – like the quintessential weird kid." (Lydia Smith)
The Telegraph and The Hindu interview Matthew Weiner, creator of Mad Men:
His personal literary heroes, and influences in the creation of Mad Men, include Charles Dickens, JD Salinger, F Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Emily Brontë, Emily Dickinson and the American short story writer John Cheever. “During the show itself, I was reading all kinds of things: Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, Helen Gurley Brown’s book [Sex and the Single Girl, published in 1962].” (Jane Mulkerrins)
“I’m a product of a very expensive education. My father is a professor and my mother was a teacher. Writers were heroes in our house. I definitely was influenced by the writers that I love and there are a lot of them. I love J.D. Salinger and I’ve spoken at great length about the relationship of John Cheever and the show. I love F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Charles Dickens, Emily Brontë, Emily Dickinson….” (Mini Anthikad Chhibber
Elle talks with the production designer of the series, Janie Bryant:
Yes, I wanted to play a businesswoman on TV, not actually be one. Anyway, I found my way into graduating from the American College for the Applied Arts in fashion design. So my background is in fashion design. But when I was a kid I was obsessed, obsessed with old movies because my mother was really into old movies. It was a family requirement to watch Gone With the Wind and The Sound of Music and The Wizard of Oz when they came on TV. My mother would take me to the Tivoli Theater in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which was a revival theatre. They would play Wuthering Heights and all the old movies you could possibly see and I was always in love with the costume design in those films. (Jessica Grose)
The Weekender posts a 'contemporary' review of Jane Eyre:
Much like my own father, Currer Bell, a novelist of Thornton, has been touched by similar proclivities. Bell’s recently published “Jane Eyre: An Autobiography,” portrays a young feminine narrator, Miss Jane Eyre, who is described as “poor, obscure, plain and little.” Naturally, a reader cannot help but feel an instant and deep affinity for her character. Both affected as we are bewitched by her presence, the reader, who Bell often speaks to, follows her from the beginning of her journey until the harrowing end. Be it what it would, there is love even among the most destitute of situations. (Read more) (K. E. Muir)
New York Magazine discusses Stina Marie Claire Tweeddale's inspirations:
"Nearly half the songs I’ve written are after I've sat with my friends and just had a little joke with them and gone and written a song from them," she says. The songs do have an intimate, conversational urgency, even at their most literary. "Choker," inspired by Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber, is about an implied relationship with the Marquis de Sade. Stina also cites Wide Sargasso Sea, Leonard Cohen’s novels, and sensitive chats with friends. (Maggie Lange)
This columnist from The Michigan Daily explains her literary tastes:
I love Jane Austen. People who dismiss her work as vapid chick-lit completely miss her unique and biting critique of class and upper-class mores — which is unrivaled to this day. Yes, you can expect a happy ending, but so what? I’m not of the school of thought that everything worth reading has to end in doom and gloom. Perhaps most importantly, Austen led me to other great female authors like the Brontë Sisters, Elizabeth Gaskell and even Edith Wharton. And of course, her works provided hours of quality miniseries material, complete with attractive British men in cravats. Is there any greater legacy? (Grace Prosniewski)
Laura Cantrell's song Emanuel (a reply to The Charlatans's Emilie) is discussed in Q Magazine. The songwriter says:
“Then I heard the Charlatans instrumental track with its gorgeous string arrangement. The lushness of the strings is very poignant and dreamy. I thought Emilie should seem a bit ethereal, but the more I meditated on her, the more interesting it seemed to me that she have some resilience, some inner toughness of her own, even with an overlay of romance and melodrama. The idea came about that perhaps she’d been denied the ability to speak for herself and that perhaps the romance/relationship she was experiencing had emboldened her, helped bring out her own voice. Certain images, like characters from Jane Eyre whose mysteries are revealed dramatically, or old films like Light In The Piazza with its young American woman thought to be simple minded as she marries into an Italian family, were steeping themselves into the mix.”
Alyssa Rosenberg shares in The Washington Post her favourite books written by women:
Love Trouble Is My Business,” by Veronica Geng and “Texts from Jane Eyre,” by Mallory Ortberg: I wanted to end this list with two female humor writers I adore. Geng was a brilliant New Yorker staffer who wrote bizarre genre mash-ups and seemed to be constructing all of her pieces as elaborate games that reaped huge rewards if you were smart enough to understand them. And Ortberg feels like one of Geng’s descendents, someone who rereads and remashes existing material to hilarious results.
The Sacramento Bee begins an article about a local trail like this:
Blithedale Ridge sounds like something out of the Brontë sisters, all wind-swept heaths and brooding hedgerows fraught with romance and intrigue. It’s not, of course. But work with me, people, I’m trying to make this trail sound appealing to those Sacramento flatlanders who really can’t be bothered to drive all the way deep into Marin County just for a hilly jaunt. (Sam McManis)
Ballard News-Tribune looks at dating through time:
In upper class families, young people were supposed to link up with families with as high a status as could be arranged. Families cemented their power alliances by supervising their offspring’s marital plans. It is no wonder that couples in arranged marriages often found other ways to find sexual partners more to their liking. Upper classes who removed to the countryside in the summer months played bedroom tag. In a world of secret alliances, such goings-on were kept out of public scrutiny. The novel Wuthering Heights centered on this story theme. The author was true to the morality of her time and so the reader had to wait until near the end of the book to get closure. The star crossed lovers waited throughout many years for an opportunity to be reunited. (Georgie Bright Krunkel)
ScreenDaily reviews Thomas Vinterberg's  Far From the Madding Crowd:
Vinterberg, Oscar-nominated for The Hunt, has previously made two small, indifferently-received English language films in Dear Wendy and It’s All About Love, and Far From The Madding Crowd is a step up in scale, although its commercial appeal will have more in common with Cary Fukunaga’s reserved Jane Eyre than with Ang Lee coming to the UK to make a boisterous Sense & Sensibility. (Fionnula Flanigan)
Dan Viêt (Vietnam) takes lessons for life from books:
Từ cuốn tiểu thuyết “Pride and Prejudice” (Kiêu hãnh và định kiến) nổi tiếng của nhà văn Anh Jane Austen và tác phẩm “Jane Eyre” của nhà văn nữ Charlotte Brontë, bài học đáng giá được nêu ra là: Đừng sợ hãi vì bạn không tìm ra được ngay câu trả lời. Kinh nghiệm sẽ là bài học quý giá dành cho bạn và bạn có thể tự mình tìm được hạnh phúc. Đừng dựa dẫm vào bất kỳ điều gì để tìm kiếm hạnh phúc hay một cuộc sống tốt đẹp, hãy lắng nghe lời trái tim mách bảo và tìm kiếm hạnh phúc. (...)
Hãy lắng nghe lương tâm của chính mình và hành động đúng đắn, cho dù bạn có phải trả bất cứ giá nào. Hãy lắng nghe lời trái tim mách bảo bạn. Mọi việc không phải luôn diễn ra đúng như ý muốn của chúng ta, nhưng hãy sống đúng với nguyên tắc đạo đực, mọi việc sẽ suôn sẻ - bài học trong tác phẩm "Jane Eyre" của Charlotte Brontë. (Minh Khánh) (Translation)
Celestial; has a nice tumblr collage with Brontë inspiration.

by M. ( at April 02, 2015 05:27 PM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

Penry Williams (Welsh, 1802-1885)

 photo PenryWilliamsCyfarthaCastlemerthyr.jpg

Williams was the son of a house-painter in Merthyr Tydfil who showed early artistic talent, prompting the local ironmasters to pay for him to study at the Royal Academy; before settling in Rome in 1827, where he lived for the rest of his life, he painted some impressive pictures for his patrons in Wales. This watercolour shows Cyfartha Castle, the mansion of the ironmaster William Crawshay, who owned the Cyfartha ironworks in the valley below. It was built in 1824 at a cost of £30,000; the Merthyr ironworks, which would have lit up the skies at night, could be seen from it in the distance. The Castle and its park now owned by the local council.

 photo PenryWilliams.jpg

The Ynysfach ironworks in Mertyr Tydfil, the first to have steam-powered blast-furnaces, built for Richard Crawshay in 1801.

 photo Penry WilliamsCyfarthfa_Ironworks_Interior_at_Night1825.jpg

Inside the Cyfartha ironworks at night, 1825.

April 02, 2015 09:03 AM

The Little Professor

The Fifth Heart

I imagine that somewhere, Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper are battering and bruising each other in hopes of winning the title of "Most Overexposed Victorian Character."   Holmes, I believe, is currently winning, although I've got at least three Ripper novels scheduled to arrive on my Kindle over the next few months.  In the current crop of Holmes pastiches, Dan Simmons' The Fifth Heart certainly stands out for sheer heft: at over 600 pages long, it's the length of several ACD collections stitched together.  One can only imagine what Henry James, one of our protagonists, might have said about it.  Fortunately, The Fifth Heart is also on my Kindle, although lugging it around the village might have added a bit more oomph to my cardiovascular exercise.  

At this point in the canon's afterlife, one of the major (if not fatal) problems facing anyone who decides to channel Holmes is that virtually every plot point, every potentially "subversive" twist, has already been done.  In The Fifth Heart, two big revelations about Irene Adler and Professor Moriarty sound awfully familiar.   Holmes' identity crisis--he cannot figure out if he is real or a fictional character--is potentially the most interesting thing about the book, and I'll discuss it a bit more below, but even this aspect of Simmons' project has already been pursued with far more literary acumen by Michael Dibdin, Mitch Cullin, Michael Chabon, and, to some extent, Charles Marowitz.  Meanwhile, the political conspiracy plot, in which evil German anarchists ("Socialists!") are trying to Take over the World by Assassinating Lots of World Leaders, is perhaps best described as "clumsy," when it isn't simply being cranky.  (One suspects allegory at work.)  

Before one can even get to the point of rolling one's eyes at the conspiracy plot, though, one has to wade through the badly-edited prose.  As an academic with a penchant for pedantry, I sympathize with Simmons' desire to use up all of his 3x5 cards, but much of the historical detail (the height of the Brooklyn bridge! The construction of the White City! Dinner menus!) serves no narrative purpose: it is too colorless to provide historical color; it does nothing to advance plot or characterization; it is too obviously researched to function as a Barthesian reality effect.  When Holmes gives Henry James a spiel about the size of each building in the White City ("thirteen acres of surface to paint"! [loc. 7042]), the reader winds up feeling trapped by a particularly tedious lecturer who confuses a succession of facts with visual description (or, in this case, with historical narrative).  I've complained before about Simmons' habit of including entire kitchens (never mind the sink) in his historical novels, and The Fifth Heart goes one step further by dropping in a full restaurant, as it were.  Moreover, while the metafiction (again, see below) could, I suppose, excuse some of the novel's self-contradictions and repetitions--an entire run of puns gets repeated twice; Holmes seems unaware of whether or not he actually likes Watson;  in the space of a page, Adlai Stevenson had to "think a minute" and "think about that for a minute" (loc. 6768,   loc. 6771); etc.--nothing in either the rest of the novel or Simmons' previous oeuvre makes me particularly inclined to think this is anything other than inattentive writing and equally inattentive proofreading.

Which is rather unfortunate, because Henry James is rather hard on Watson/Doyle.  Doyle, of course, incorporates his own metafictional reflections on Watson's prose: Holmes complains in "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches" that Watson has "degraded what should have been a course of lectures into a series of tales" and in The Sign of Four that he injects too much "romanticism" into the plots.  Watson, of course, successfully gets his own back in "The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier," as Holmes ruefully admits that "the matter must be presented in such a way as may interest the reader."  Simmons' Henry James, alas,  is hard put to find redeeming features in Watson's literary skills.  The prose is "less than mediocre and the plot ridiculous" (loc. 1677); the author has no interest in the "minds or motivations of any of the characters" (loc. 1709); and "[p]roofreading errors were errant" (loc. 1709).  ("Um," says the reader.)  Hence my suggestion that the charitably-minded could read this novel's infelicities as Simmons'  own homage to ACD's notorious disinterest in keeping his facts straight.  Later, James dismisses Watson/Doyle as a "mediocre mind" (loc. 7577).  If we are tempted to write this off as James being snooty--this is, after all, Henry James--Holmes agrees with him that the tales are "absurd" (loc. 1936) and describes "Copper Beeches" as a good case of "literary failure" (loc. 1968).  Watson, it seems, has a habit of "try[ing] to arrange things into simpler stories of right and wrong" (loc. 2067); for Holmes, the tales falter not just at the level of factuality, but also as aesthetic objects.   There is no nuance or moral sophistication--merely the equivalent of fictional McDonald's to chew on.*   ("Um," says the reader once more, contemplating this novel's narrative flabbiness.)    Once the protagonists have whacked Watson/Doyle, however, and consistently rendered W/D's admirers as silly fanboys and fangirls, we're left with a serious problem: why continue to read the Sherlock Holmes stories? 

That's a problem that the novel, having raised it multiple times, fails to solve, or even appears to realize that it needs to solve.   Instead, it detours into a different kind of self-reflexivity, anchored by Holmes' aforementioned existential crisis: "I am," Holmes portentously informs James, "the evidence has proven to me most conclusively, a literary construct.  Some ink-stained scribbler's creation.  A mere fictional character" (loc. 216).  This "literary construct," one should note, is not Watson's literary construct--Holmes hypothesizes that Watson is also a character, not the author of Holmes' own reality--but rather the product of some unknown narrator.  Which, in this novel, is true at the most basic and literal level, as neither Doyle nor Watson authors The Fifth Heart, but an unnamed narrator whom we may or may not identify with Simmons.  We first meet this narrator explicitly in chapter nine, when he or she points out to the reader that "we have shifted point-of-view in the narrative" (loc. 992) from James to Holmes, even though the narrator finds this skill "both presumptuous and unrealistic" (loc. 992).  In this era of literature as "mere entertainment," writers, the narrator informs us haughtily, "have begun leaping around between and into their characters' minds for no other reason than they can" (loc. 992).  This is not just metafiction, but parodic metafiction, since it's highly unlikely that any reader would have cared about the shift in POV without the narrator's interruption--the reader is more likely to be exasperated by the narrator showing up for such a silly reason--and if this is a sign of literature's debasement, well, George Eliot would like a word.  So, yes, Holmes is in a novel, written using familiar narrative conventions by a slightly pompous narrator, just as Henry James keeps refusing to play Holmes' "Boswell" (but winds up repeatedly tracked into Watsonian behavior anyway) and whines about acting like "a poorly drawn character in a sensationalist Wilkie Collins or H. Rider Haggard novel" (loc. 6116-48).  (Simmons, of course, has already done Collins.)  He certainly isn't acting much like anybody's idea of Henry James.  Then again, that may be the point.    

At a certain point, it's hard not to conclude that the novel is a more heavy-handed Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (OK, Sherlock Holmes and Henry James are in a Novel).  "The world works this way because the author makes it so" is, after all, one of that play's core points, even if it remains just beyond the characters' grasp.  Samuel Clemens, also in the novel, points out to James that if Holmes is correct, "we are fictional characters in this instance as well," with Clemens functioning as "occasional comedy relief" (loc. 7577).  Far from being particularly postmodern, such metafictional ruminations go back to Golden Age detective fiction (John Dickson Carr being particularly fond of such moves).    The "God-writer," as Clemens calls him, can do whatever he pleases, whether that be making James play wannabe action hero or having Holmes refer to a wildly anachronistic "red delete button" (loc. 7836).   Even a pudding of a historical novel, overegged with facts, is still a built universe that runs according to its own set of rules.   Within that world, characters are "real" insofar as they go on being embodied in narrative.  Unfortunately, the solution to Holmes' crisis comes via a stereotypical Magical Native American, who informs Holmes that the "six Grandfathers" enter reality by "telling their stories.  By telling their own stories.  But mostly by having others tell their stories [...] Telling them and believing them!" (loc. 8573-8603).  The fictional Holmes, mourned by real people after his fake death, thus comes to life via the mutual belief of the God-writer and the audience, just as the narrator's own act of telling a (really too long) story about Holmes participates in this communal creative work.  As long as pastichers, fanfic authors, and so on keep writing about Holmes, then he will continue to be, fiction or no.  (Given how badly the novel tramples poor ACD, though, we still don't know why we should bother.  At least Clemens has the grace to suggest that our narrator is not ACD's equal, which raises...other problems.)  If only it did not take us over six hundred pages to reach this epiphany.  

*--One of the difficulties is that Simmons and his characters alike are not particularly attentive to ACD's tales, which don't always point an easy moral (and while Watson, pace Henry James, always admires Holmes' skills, he's hardly an uncritical worshipper of Holmes' personality otherwise).  

by Miriam Elizabeth Burstein at April 02, 2015 01:09 AM

April 01, 2015

Regency Ramble

Lullworth Castle 4

We continue our tour.
 To give you a feel for the house in its grandeur, here is the door out to the park

This picture shows the grand cantilevered staircase rising to the first floor, built in 1780's and in use during our period of the Regency.
And here it is today.  Gosh, I did so want to explore that arched corridor. Alas, no stairs.

During the Regency, the following events took place at Lullworth.  The owner, Thomas Weld died and his son, also names Thomas, inherited the castle.  He did not live here.

From 1816 to 1826 the castle was let to some illustrious tenants.  The Barings, Robert Peel (of policeforce fame) and the Duke of Gloucester.

During this time Nelson won the battle of Trafalgar and Wellington defeated Napoleon.

There is a gem on this estate that I am keeping as a little secret, until next time.....

by Ann Lethbridge ( at April 01, 2015 02:27 PM


More about class than place

The Yorkshire Post talks about new books published about the Pennine Way (which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary):
A new guidebook published on April 24th, the PW’s birthday, addresses this deficiency. Heart of the Pennine Way (Skyware Press, £9.99) includes all the best features from Hebden Bridge northwards to Top Withens aka Wuthering Heights, Malham Cove and Penyghent through Wensleydale and Swaledale to Tan Hill, the dramatic spectacles of High Force and High Cup, and triumphant climax at Hadrian’s Wall. And at 165 miles it’s easily doable in a fortnight’s holiday. (Roger Ratcliffe)
New Statesman interviews Sally Wainwright:
 Wainwright, originally from Huddersfield, is frequently pegged as a writer of something called “northern comedy”, mentioned alongside writers such as Alan Bennett and Beryl Bainbridge.(...)
“I get a bit bewildered when people pigeonhole it like that,” Wainwright says. She points out that her 2002 drama Sparkhouse – a modern retelling of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights set in West Yorkshire – was more about class than anything else. “I write what’s in my head, my heart. It could be set anywhere.” She continues: “As a northerner, I feel like I have a chip on my shoulder about so many things. But that’s about class, not geography.” (Caroline Crampton)
Columbia Metropolitan's Ex Libris is devoted to Wuthering Heights:
 The first time I read Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, I was both captivated and confused by the strange tale and its intermingling of the supernatural, and I think much of it went right over my head. I returned to it again in college and by its conclusion was utterly repulsed by the dark macabre of the narrative; heartily glad when I had finished with it, I set it aside. This, my third return to the text, left me in much greater awe of the book’s timeless appeal as a favorite among book-lovers. After all, it is the wild, isolated, other-worldliness of Wuthering Heights that captivates readers and which makes the quintessential Byronic hero’s twisted romance with the classic Gothic woman somehow enchanting. In this chaotic sphere, the neat line of inheritance is replaced by usurpation, with characters constantly caught up in the flux of exile and homelessness, seemingly adrift between the two houses on the moor. It is, in fact, the reader’s comfortable position peering in as the “Other,” in juxtaposition to the tumultuous world of Wuthering Heights, that gives the novel its springboard. (Margaret Clay) (Read more)
The Miami Hurricane reviews All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven:
It is clear that Niven is a book lover herself, because she constantly quotes famous writers like the Brontë sisters, Dr. Seuss, Virginia Woolf, Shakespeare and many others, giving literature junkies something to like, if not adore. (Donatella Vacca)
Radio Nuevitas (Cuba) describes this common passion of ours--books:
 Fue así como conocí al Capitán Tormenta -¡qué coraje el de esa mujer!- y a Jane Eyre, la dulce muchacha escondida detrás de un velo de soledad que cautivó el corazón del señor Rochester. (Neilyn Hernández Peña) (Translation)
Patheos gives a different perspective:
 In college, I had friends who seemed a lot more “literary” than I was, and I felt like I had to “catch up,” so I picked up all manner of classics (think Wuthering Heights) at the used bookstore, though nothing really clicked.  And now I tend to stick with politics, history, and biography.(Jane the Actuary)
Jessica Zafra recommends books in TV5:
 Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë. M (the BBC version stars Tom Hardy), N. The definition of insane passion: Cathy loves Heathcliff, an urchin adopted by her family, but marries someone else. Heathcliff leaves, comes back rich, and wreaks vengeance. For starters he seduces Cathy’s sister-in-law.
Abby Wilder posts a retro-review of Wuthering Heights.

by M. ( at April 01, 2015 11:22 AM

The Persistence of Beauty

A new scholar book with Brontë-related contents:
The Persistence of Beauty
Victorians to Moderns
Editors: Michael O'Neill, Mark Sandy and Sarah Wootton
Pickering & Chatto
April 2015

This significant collection of essays examines the cultural, literary, philosophical and historical representation of beauty in British, Irish and American literature. Contributors use the works of Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, Walt Whitman, T S Eliot, W H Auden and Stephen Spender among others to explore the role of beauty and its wider implications in art and society. They build on current scholarly research into the synthesis of literary and visual culture.
Includes "Female Beauty and Portraits of Self-Effacement in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre" by Sarah Wootton

by M. ( at April 01, 2015 10:05 AM

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii

March 31, 2015

Pinacotheca Petri Plancii


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

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