In The Telegraph and Argus, Diane Fare from the Brontë Parsonage Museum writes about what's new and what's coming.
After a month of cleaning, painting, and rearranging, we opened the doors to our new exhibition, Making Thunder Roar: Emily Brontë on February 1.
Our new exhibition invites a number of well-known Emily admirers to share their own fascination with her life and work.
Admirers such as Lily Cole, Maxine Peake, Anita Rani and Sally Wainwright have selected possessions, writing and artwork, as well as some of the well-loved household objects Emily used daily, and responded in a very personal way.
Very little is known about Emily, and so it will be fascinating to spend 2018 exploring the fragments of information we have about her, whilst hopefully gaining fresh perspectives on her life and work.
Our new events programme for the first half of the year is out now, so look out for it if you’re out and about in Haworth, or look on our website bronte.org.uk/whats-on for full details. Young fans of Chris Riddell – author of the Goth Girl series, Ottoline books, and with Paul Stewart, the Muddle Earth books, the Scavenger series and the Blobheads series – and not-so-young fans who might know Chris as political cartoonist for The Observer -will be pleased to hear that Chris is coming to Haworth at half-term.
An illustration workshop for teens has already sold out, but tickets are still available for an evening event in Haworth Old School Room.
Chris will be chatting about his work whilst doing live illustration, and is happy to answer questions and sign books. The event takes place on Tuesday February 13 at 6.30pm. Tickets cost £7 for adults, and £5 for children/concessions.
As well as the opportunity to meet Chris Riddell, There will be plenty of half-term activities going on, including a mystery trail, hands-on history, costumed interpretation and free talks and walks. Our popular Wild Wednesday workshop returns, where children – and adults – can make mini origami cards. Very appropriate for St Valentine’s day – especially if you forgot to buy a card! Check the website for full details of half-term activities.
Free Tuesday talks (on the first Tuesday of the month) continue this year, with a particular focus on Emily. Our next talk on March 6 focuses on Emily’s poetry. Future topics include the mysteriously titled, ‘Who was Heathcliff?’ and the origins of Wuthering Heights.
And finally, if a Valley Mag lands on your doormat every month, look out for a voucher allowing free entry to the museum.
As well as celebrating the 200th anniversary of Emily Brontë’s birth this year, we’re also celebrating 90 years since the Brontë Parsonage Museum opened, and to mark the occasion we’re inviting local residents to join us.
The voucher is cheekily titled, ‘Let me in, I’m local’, and admits one person to the museum, so if you’ve never visited before, you now have a great excuse.
And now onto what's all over the news: classics such as Wuthering Heights adapted 'for 21st century readers' under the supervision of John Sutherland. They will be available to download this weekend. From The Scotsman:
But now novels by Jane Austen, Emily Brontë and Thomas Hardy have been given a rewrite to show how different the stories would be if modern technology had existed when they were created. Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Hardy have all been given a dramatic “digital makeover” to show the effects that internet-enabled devices are having on modern romance. The tales have been reworked to incorporate modern digital themes such as internet dating, social media addiction and wifi problems. Renowned professor John Sutherland from University College London has worked on the books with a team of writers, showing Austen’s Mr Darcy having his pick of potential “marriage matches” readily available via Tinder and Brontë’s character Nelly creating a Twitter poll to ask followers “Who should Catherine choose?” between Heathcliff and Edgar Linton. [...]
The ebooks also include bespoke cover artwork featuring the romantic heroes and heroines interacting as they may have done using digital devices, including Heathcliff using a selfie stick to take a picture of himself and Cathy. Prof Sutherland said: “Even though we’re certainly a nation that uses modern technology to communicate, by inserting these devices and methods of communication into a series of classic romances – believed to be some of the most romantic novels, according to the nation – it highlights just how much they can interrupt a romantic mood. “A Mr Darcy obsessed with digital media and a Heathcliff that spent his time hashtagging or checking his emails certainly wouldn’t identify them as the romantic heroes we still think of them as today.” The books were released alongside a poll which found that more than a quarter of Scots plan to say “I love you” via text, instant message or email this Valentine’s Day, while more than a third admit that they told their partner they loved them for the first time via instant messaging rather than in person. Meanwhile, 54 per cent of people in Scotland admit people are less romantic now than in the days of Austen and Brontë. (Jane Bradley)
From Daily Star:
Updated novels include a “Digital Darcy” and “Hashtagging Heathcliff”.
New covers and reworked passages imagine some of literature’s famous love stories set in the digital age.
Modern-day makeovers of novels like Wuthering Heights will include social media apps like Twitter and WhatsApp as swiping and tagging replace courting and long, lingering looks. [...]
Prof John Sutherland, from University College London, helped put together the passages with telly channel Drama. They will be available to download this weekend.
He said: “Inserting these devices and methods of communication in classic romances highlights how much they can interrupt a romantic mood.
“A Heathcliff that spent his time hash-tagging wouldn’t be identified as the romantic hero we think of today.” (Robin Cottle)
From The Sunday Post:
Wuthering Heights will see Heathcliff’s choice of ringtone putting doubts into Catherine Earnshaw’s mind as to her feelings for him, while she will later take to downloading a fitness app in a bid to get in shape. (Joe Nerssessian)
The story is also in The Times, Evening Express, The Sun, The Yorkshire Post and many, many others.
Similarly, The Spectator also imagines what would have become of classic couples in the 21st century:
The 21st century is full of second chances. The stakes aren’t very high for anything any more. Not when it comes to love. Think of all the romantic heroines of literature. There wouldn’t be a story, today. Anna Karenina would have divorced that dullard Karenin. Sued for custody. Rejoined society. Cathy and Heathcliff — a clear-cut case of antibiotics and social services. Romeo and Juliet witness protection. (Julie Burchill)
Yesterday was Charles Dickens' 206th birthday and The National Student had an article claiming that he's overrated.
Firstly, his celebrated wit has never once made me laugh & and I'm somebody who actually finds sections of Wuthering Heights genuinely amusing. Perhaps much of it is lost in translation, but what I find is that his characters are often 19th-century versions of a Little Britain stereotype. [...]
What Dickens has going for him is the sheer quantity of texts, yet even this is not unique. Trollope, Thackeray, Gaskell all published a similar amount and more, but these aren't the writers who get a BBC six-part adaptation every other Christmas. Dickens now seems to be popular simply because he's popular: an Oliver Twist mini-series will pull in more fans because we know it so well, and we like the familiar. In this respect, he's a little like Shakespeare, but he too has contemporaries who have been criminally overlooked. Where are the Hollywood adaptations of Christopher Marlowe's Edward II or Anne Brontë's Agnes Grey? Perhaps the biggest tragedy of overrating people like Dickens and Shakespeare is how it forces all of these equally valuable texts and authors into the shadows. In 2018, isn't it time we looked beyond these big-hitters and searched for those other voices? (Jo Bullen)