What we were afraid of, it's happening. This almost congenital tendency of Brontëites of shooting themselves in the foot at the very first opportunity. The sanctimonious obsession of the guardians of the essences to transform any creative discussion in a war between the righteous, real Brontë followers and the rest of the misguided mass. Pointless and rather childish. We, at BrontëBlog, have criticised this self-destructive passion of the Brontë Society members and we don't share it. Did we like the appointment of Lily Cole as creative consultant for next year's Emily Brontë anniversary? Not particularly. If we were able to choose names at will, would we have chosen her? Probably not, largely because we hardly know anything about her. Do we bitterly criticise Brontë Society's decision because we don't share it? No. Will we make this discussion big news at a national level, prejudging her contribution? Definitely not. We don't need the publicity. And, by the way, if you don't like what we think, it's fine. We publish all the comments.
The Times quotes Nick Holland, on the not-in-my-name side, and Juliet Barker, Bonnie Greer and Claire O’Callaghan on the do-not-hyperventilate-and-think-twice side:
The appointment of a top model to a prominent role in the bicentenary celebrations for Emily Brontë has been criticised by literary experts as an insult to the author’s memory.The Westmoreland Gazette gives more details of the visit of MP Tim Farron to the Casterton School exhibition at The Archive and Heritage Centre, Back Lane, Sedbergh:
Lily Cole, who first graced the cover of Vogue at 16 and starred in a Hollywood film opposite Johnny Depp, was chosen this week to be a creative partner to the Brontë Society in a move criticised as “putting celebrity over the Brontë sisters themselves”.
Some members of the Brontë Society are threatening to quit in a row that has once again opened up a rift between traditionalist and modernising fans.
Nick Holland, 46, has written three books on Emily, Charlotte and Anne Brontë, as well as their brother Branwell. In a blog article this week entitled Emily Brontë, Lily Cole and the Shame of the Brontë Society, he wrote: “The central question should be, What would Emily Brontë think if she found that the role of chief ‘artist’ and organiser in her celebratory year was a supermodel? We all know the answer to that, and anyone who doesn’t isn’t fit to make the decision or have any role in the governance of the Brontë Society. The very basic rule should have been that the person chosen for such an important role as creative partner is a writer.”
He told The Times that despite being a member of the Brontë Society since he was 18, he would not renew his membership. He had “nothing personal” against Cole as a creative partner, “except I don’t think she’s at all suitable. Increasingly over the last couple of years, they [the society] are putting celebrity over the Brontë sisters themselves.” (...)
[Bonnie] Greer insisted that creative partners like Cole would help to make the society more diverse. “I don’t know what Lily Cole has to do with the Brontës but what did I have to do with them, other than love Wuthering Heights,” she said. “There has to be a balance and a mix. So if Lily Cole can open the museum, Emily Brontë etc to a new generation who can keep the whole show on the road, what’s wrong with that?” (Gabriella Swerling)
The collection includes original documents recording the education of the Bronte sisters who were educated at the school in 1824 as well more recent items donated by former staff and pupils.The Guardian's Christmas quiz includes:
"It was fascinating to see the history of this school, whose forward-looking approach gave girls, including the Brontë sisters, a greater opportunity to reach their potential at a time when they would be treated as second-class citizens," said Mr Farron. "This exhibition plays an important role in keeping the school’s history alive and I’d encourage local people to pay a visit to explore how the school transformed the lives of young women in our area.” (Mike Addison)
In Jane Eyre, what is the breed of Mr Rochester’s dog, Pilot?Owlcation talks about Jane Eyre as feminist canon:
- Irish wolfhound
- Yorkshire terrier (Questions set by Kathryn Hughes, Lynne Truss, Robert Macfarlane, Philip Hensher, Jonathan Jones, Linda Grant, Lucy Mangan, DJ Taylor and Charlotte Higgins)
Jane Eyre’s message of gender equality, individuality, and female empowerment is the foundation of why the text is considered central to the feminist canon. Charlotte Bronte broke conventional stereotypes to create a work that empowers women. The characterisation of Eyre rejects the contextual norms of women being subservient and dependent on male control.The New York Times spent 36 hours in Manchester and recommends a visit to Elizabeth Gaskell's House:
Eyre’s characterisation highlighted the value of independent thinking and equality while challenging the subordinate depiction of women within literature. Thus, the values of equality, female empowerment, and independent identities that the text embraces demonstrate why it is central to the feminist canon. (Asteriaa)
A 10-minute walk from the Whitworth is Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. Mrs. Gaskell was a Victorian-era author whose books formed the basis for the BBC television mini-series “Cranford” in 2007, starring Judi Dench and Imelda Staunton; and “North and South” in 2004, featuring Richard Armitage. Visitors are guided by volunteers who describe life in the years that fellow writers Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë and Harriet Beecher Stowe were dropping by to visit Mrs. Gaskell and her Unitarian minister husband, William. End your tour of the restored Regency-style home with a slice of homemade cake and a pot of steaming tea in the downstairs gift shop where Mrs. Gaskell’s works are sold at bargain prices. (Susanne Fowler)We laugh at this piece of research as published on PR Newswire:
New research out today from Deezer, the world's most personal music streaming service, reveals that 'drunken passengers singing out of tune' is the biggest woe for over a fifth of designated drivers this festive season.The Casper StarTribune publishes the obituary of Lucy Ann Liddle Woodward:
In an attempt to provide peace to all men and women who take one for the team and turn taxi driver for their party-going pals, Deezer have created the anti-singalong playlist, featuring songs that the UK has voted the hardest to singalong to.
The top five most difficult songs to singalong to, according to Brits are:
Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody (19%)
Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights (18%)
Adele - Hello (11%)
The Darkness - Christmas Time (10%)
Motorhead - Ace of Spades (9%)
A lifelong writer, Lucy wrote and published poems, articles, short stories, plays and books. She loved to research and write about the lives of people from history. One of her favorite plays was one she wrote about the Brontë sisters, well-known authors of the classics, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.El Día (Argentina) discusses the influences of Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak:
El relato es una expresión de las influencias que el decimonónico género gótico ha tenido en Del Toro, obras como “Rebecca” de Daphne du Maurier, “Cumbres Borrascosas” de Emily Brontë y “Jane Eyre” de Charlotte Brontë, entre otras.Télam (Argentina) reviews the novel Los mejores días by Magalí Etchebarne:
Del Toro comentó además que “Rebecca” de Hitchcock, producida por David O. Selznick, o “Jane Eyre” de Robert Stevenson son ejemplos de “ese cine de romance gótico que hace casi cuarenta años que no se hace y la última vez que se trató en el cine fue como serie B”. El director de “Hellboy” añade que de aquellas películas clásicas le atraía su “manera opulenta y lujosa” y ahora ha tratado de “recuperar ese mismo tono, pero actualizado en cuanto a sensualidad y violencia”. (Translation)
¿Libro de amor? Sin duda, a condición de entender amor como lo entendía la hermana Brontë de "Cumbres borrascosas": como una forma fuerte, combustible, de articulación entre el deseo y lo social. (La forma más acabada de esa articulación, la más Brontë, por supuesto, es el incesto, como queda claro en el relato “Como animales”). (Alan Pauls) (Translation)
Siempre (México) has an article on the 200th anniversary of Emily Brontë's birth. Both El Mundo and Te Interesa (Spain) recommend Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo. on:yorkshire magazine reviews the Wuthering Heights production performed by the John Godber Company in Beverly. The Writerly Review and Bookneeders post about Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre respectively. Finally, Nick Holland publishes '10 things you didn’t know about Emily Brontë' on The History Press.