In The Spectator, Selina Mills argues that we should get rid of our Victorian 'notions of disability'.
Of course, it’s hardly surprising that Dickens — and many other 19th- and early 20th-century novelists — would use Tiny Tim in this way. At that time, any physical or mental impairment was seen as a burden — something that should be hidden and pitied — or a signal of retribution. Just think of Rochester going blind in Jane Eyre, or Louisa M. Alcott ensuring Beth dies of some unknown disease. Victorians defined disability as something that prevented you from participating in the new industrialised society or, more importantly, from working and contributing to society. Just think of workhouses. But this is exactly my point. We are not in the Victorian age, and it is time to update our notions of disability.The Independent also looks back on Victorian times in a review of the screen adaptation of Margaret Atwood's novel Alias Grace.
Alias Grace thus differs from the standard format of female-led and orientated costume drama in two significant ways. First, reflecting their basis in the novels of 19th century authors such as Jane Austen, George Eliot or the Brontës, mainstream costume dramas rarely feature women below the lower middle-class. By contrast, Alias Grace focuses throughout on the grim lives of domestic servants. Perhaps more significantly, it presents them as intelligent characters who resent their “betters” and perceive class and gender inequality as arbitrary and unfair. (Roberta Garrett)Seacoast Online recommends A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf, by Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney.
While male literary friendships are the stuff of legend, from Byron and Shelley to Hemingway and Fitzgerald, the collaborations of female authors have received much less attention. This book redresses that, shedding light on a range of creative friendships between Austen, Brontë, Eliot, and Woolf and other women writers such as Harriet Beecher Stowe and Katherine Mansfield. Woolf and Mansfield had a particularly complex relationship, exchanging brutal barbs and compliments in a prolonged literary cat and mouse game. Drawing on previously unpublished diaries and letters, this is a marvelous telling of the lost stories of these women writers. (Frank Dehler)WPSU has selected the '50 Best Albums Of 2017' and we are surprised to find this:
33. Estonian Philharmonic Chamber ChoirCity A.M. uses the hilarious sketch by Monty Pythons, Wuthering Heights in semaphore, to make a point:
Moorland Elegies (Kõrvits)
In this stunning album, a rising star among Estonian composers, Tõnu Kõrvits, transforms the poetry of English novelist Emily Brontë into cinematically vivid postcards for choir and strings from the windswept moors of the 19th century. Like her novel Wuthering Heights, these nine poems are haunted by restless moonlit nights, lost lovers and coiled emotions. Kõrvits' musical palette is uncommonly wide, pushing the Grammy-winning Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir into luminous murmurs, swooping cries and swirling colors. His nuanced treatment of Tallinn Chamber Orchestra strings amounts to creating an entirely separate dramatic character. And at times it's hard to tell the string choirs from the real choristers. Anyone who thinks choral music is a fusty relic of the church needs to hear this album. (Tom Huizenga)
A famous Monty Python sketch depicts the novel Wuthering Heights, not in words but in semaphore, a nineteenth century technology. Many senior managers seem to remain stuck at this level of communications technology. (Paul Ormerod)If you are interested in the subject, the Haworth public toilet saga continues in Keighley News. Also in Keighley News, we find a local young singer whose publicists have described as 'a modern Heathcliff'. She Reads Novels posts abour Sarah Shoemaker's Mr Rochester. Monologue Blogger discusses 'The Reincarnations of Jane Eyre Throughout Cinema History' while Marissa Danielsen focuses on the 1996 adaptation.