Miss Pym and a Friend

Miss Pym and a Friend

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Charlotte, Anne and Emily B Super Source

This is part of the Bronteana Blog which I love to browse for research; it was started by a grad student. The pictures won't copy well here, but the rest is very interesting. Home Resources Livejournal Feed Wordpress 'Brontëana' is a weblog devoted to the studies of the Brontë sisters, their family, works, lives, and times; discussing everything from their novels, to modern day criticism and adaptations. Brontëana The editor of Bronteana is currently a graduate student in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has a combined BA in English Language and Literature and Classical Civilization. She is currently working on a master's thesis on adaptations of Jane Eyre. 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The saga continues. A Brontë scholarling, in a moderate sized Canadian city... trying to find a copy of Agnes Grey. I had to acknowledge that the chain stores will never stock the book, that the same goes for the university store- unless it is ordered for a class. Yes, the easy thing would be to order a copy myself but there's a point to be made here... Why is this so difficult? Today I went to B_______, the most respected rare and used bookstore in town. It is almost an institution among readers. It is located in the old city, and so I had to wind my way there on foot, through a small lane. I stepped into the lovely little shop absolutely stuffed with old books- antique books too. This is what is called book-lust, by the way. But I was on a mission. I had heard the owner speak to us about his passion for books, and heard his complaints of people stopping in only for some book Oprah had recomended- and then leaving. I had to smile to myself, and couldn't help but wonder exactly what he would make of me, then. "I'm looking for a book by Anne Brontë." "Which one?" (a good sign!) "Agnes Grey." He got up and disappeared behind a bookcase. "Anne Brontë...?" "Agnes Grey." "We have Tenant of Wildfell Hall..." "Yes, everyone does..." I smiled to a gentleman there who nodded politely but probably didn't really care that everyone has copies of Tenant of Wildfell Hall- or he didn't believe me. "We don't have that one." And so, I bid him good day and left him to shake his head and probably wonder what that was all about and why I didn't want to buy a copy of Dr.Aitkin's newest book or something. And my poor mom, who picked me up, had to hear my ranting all the way home. Looks like I must admit defeat and order one online. I can't feel bad for the bookseller. How often will he have someone run in from the cold demanding a copy of Agnes Grey? Posted by Brontëana at 11:54 PM 8 comments Jane Eyre 1952 Images continued... One more post after this ought to do it. Once more, these are the only screencaps of Westinghouse One's summer theater production of Jane Eyre from 1952 starring Katherine Bard as Jane Eyre and Kevin McCarthy as Mr Rochester. Posted by Brontëana at 11:12 PM 0 comments Labels: jane eyre 2006 Brontëana Index Firstly, long-time readers will notice a slight change to the Brontëana layout. I have been trying to find an efficient way to organise the archives for some time and have finally met with some limited success. This is only a start, but now for the first time you can search the archives from the bottom of the sidebar under 'Brontëana Index'. So far I have only indexed the primary works of the Brontës and the immediate family members themselves- although the archives contain information about the extended family as well. All of that and more will be more readily available in time. But it is a step in the right direction! Check back soon, I intend to keep working on it over the week. Secondly, I have been following the progression of a musical 'Emma' by Paul Gordon, the composer of the Broadway musical Jane Eyre, for Austenblog. I am not entirely sure what to make of this comment, however: How plays are born: Central Works' collaborative method is only one of many script development models in use in the Bay Area. TheatreWorks has been attracting increasing national attention in the new musicals field following a more traditional scheme. Its Spring Festival of New Works, expanded to two weeks (April 25 to May 7), features first-time staged readings of four new musicals: "Emma," adapted from Jane Austen by Paul Gordon (moving up the literary ladder from "Jane Eyre")... Humph! Not that I mean to demean Miss Austen and her works... But humph! all the same! And thirdly, I don't know what to make of the Mystery of Irma Vep either! The Mystery of Irma Vep finds two actors performing eight sizable roles in a tale that's a wildly improbable mix of melodramatic literature and film, from Wuthering Heights to The Wolf Man, The Mummy and vampire legends. Posted by Brontëana at 1:26 PM 5 comments Labels: articles, jane eyre 2006, jane eyre the musical, paul gordon, wuthering heights The Literary Misfits on BBC Radio 4 From BBC Northern Ireland, a week long radio program called The Literary Misfits will be airing in April. If you like Jasper Fforde, I think you'll like this. A week of literary chaos as some of our favourite fictional charactersstumble into the pages of the wrong book!Our favourite books are like old friends: comforting, reassuring, and familiar. We reread them time and time again safe in the knowledge that Elizabeth Bennett will end up with her Mr Darcy and that Sherlock Holmes will, after a pipe or two, solve the baffling mystery and unmask the villain. But what if there was some huge literary mix up? What if, in a bizarre game of literary musical chairs, some of our favourite characters crept out of the pages of their own book and stumbled into the foreign and anachronistic world of a different book? Would Lizzy still marry Darcy? Would Holmes retain his powers of deduction? [...] Will a title be enough to impress Oscar Wilde’s most famous matriarch, Lady Bracknell, when she comes face to face with a certain Count Dracula? When the great Victorian detective and Dr. Watson meet the unassuming Jane Eyre will they be able to solve a most puzzling literary mystery? If Gulliver made one final journey, where would his travels take him? What would Middlemarch’s earnest Dorothea make of the life of the irreverent drunkard Riley? And, when the notorious ‘Butcher Boy’ Francie Brady leaves behind the pigs of Cavan to tend those of a certain Bennett family in Longbourn, will Lizzy and Darcy live happily ever after? Monday 17- 21 April 2006 at 3.30pm on Radio 4 (10 episode Book at Bedtime) Writers : Elizabeth Kostova, Barry Devlin, Anne Haverty, Eilis Ni Dhuibhne and John Morrison Producers:Heather Brennon, Heather Larmour, Oonagh McMullan The episodes: A Vampire Vaudeville by Kerry Lee CrabbeProduced by Oonagh McMullan Pride and Homicide by Barry DevlinProduced by Heather Larmour Title tbc by Anne HavertyProduced by Heather Larmour The Case of the Scream in the Night by Eilis Ni DhuibhneProduced by Heather Brennon The Last Voyage of Gulliver by John Morrison Produced by Heather Brennon Thanks to Mr Croquet and Thisbeciel for the news. Posted by Brontëana at 10:06 AM 2 comments Labels: BBC, jane eyre 2006, jane eyre the musical Monday, February 27, 2006 Jane Eyre: The Musical Downloads and Mr Christi Now that we've all recovered from the news about the casting for JE 2006, we can move on. Several readers notified me today that the links posted last week or so, of video clips from Jane Eyre The Musical, had expired. Lady Branwen has been kind enough to upload them all yet again! She has also thrown in the entire Original demo CD (cast list to be provided once I dig it out of my personal archives). As always these links will be active for one week or 30 downloads, whichever comes first. An Icy Lane:http://s58.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=32BCBNVQNWPKL2WNTS53U1TGKI You Examine Me, Miss Eyre:http://s58.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=1KKL0GM3GV0O720C2ULN2LAOVG Waking Rochester:http://s55.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=0E08927F8BKO32ID1UCPOB96TN Saying Goodnight:http://s64.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=0MRQUREBQD63S2YT304D8755RRI Know Who Heals My Lifet:http://s64.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=0KF9PI05C6BNG0P0R2BK12DWZ4 The Gypsy:http://s64.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=0VJSU774PSR7X2L2SILY8HD6GT The Proposal:http://s64.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=16RKW2LU909OK22IGZZWMILZ1U Wild Boy/Sirens (reprise)/Farewell, Good Angel:http://s64.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=20QVCZ1LW197J3SDEBJ971087K Secret Soul, in the studio:http://s64.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=3T6YLXIOV7NIH21I81JRMWYMPJ Broadway on Broadway - Secret Soul clips:http://s64.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=2K8AZME5NPDK62PZM3JBTTDNQM Jane Eyre Promo Clips:http://s64.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=30KXEGL0DB05F0NIPAMDTI9O9L Jane Eyre Original Demo CD:http://s62.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=0NCK8Y0XY59UA0PGGBXQK244BX Also, a little bit of Canadiana to go with this post... I am currently editing and annotating an unpublished novel by a Canadian author from the early 20th century. I have only read a few chapters so far, but I am exceedingly diverted as they say! It is called There Was a Mr Christi. Mrs. Christi runs a boarding house in Toronto. One day a small sort of young lady comes to look at a room. She has just taken a post as governess at a place called Rosedale across a ravine from the house. She is shown a large room which is too expensive so she is led up to the third floor. There's a nice, small room there but the governess thinks she should take one last look at the larger one. They entered the hall and began to descend the stairs, and the hush which had embraced the house was suddenly rent by a howl from the room next to the one they had been examining. Though it seemed an involuntary half-laughing screech, the girl looked around nervously. Mrs. Christi chattered gaily and jolted briskly down the stairs. I wonder where Mr Christi is...! Posted by Brontëana at 9:54 PM 11 comments Labels: jane eyre 2006, jane eyre the musical Cast for BBC Jane Eyre 2006 Hot off of the wire, we have our cast! EXCLUSIVE: BIG ROLE IN EYRE FOR FRAN By Nicola Methven FRANCESCA Annis is getting over her split from partner Ralph Fiennes with a major new TV role. The 62-year-old has landed a starring part in the BBC's production of Jane Eyre. She will play Lady Ingram in the £4million adaptation of the classic Charlotte Bronte novel. Other stars include Toby Stephens, who plays Mr Rochester, Tara Fitzgerald as Mrs Reed and Pam Ferris playing Grace Poole. A BBC insider said: "We hope to bring the novel alive for a whole new generation." Francesca and Fiennes, 43, split this month over his two-year affair with 31-year-old Romanian Cornelia Crisan. My goodness! Helen Graham is Mrs. Reed and Gilbert Markham is Mr Rochester?!! (Both starred in the BBC's 1996 production of Tenant of Wildfell Hall, set for DVD release this April). ETA: Image above is Toby Stephens and Tara Fitzgerald as Gilbert Markham and Helen Graham. The article shockingly neglects Ruth Wilson, who will be playing Jane Eyre (remember her?). Luckily she has her own Brontëana post here. ETA: Speaking of Brontëana posts, here is the original post about the DVD release. There's good news. I forgot the date (have I mentioned that I'm terrible with numbers?). The release is not in April... it's in March! In fact, it's March 13th! Posted by Brontëana at 9:47 AM 35 comments Labels: adaptation, articles, BBC, charlotte bronte, jane eyre 2006 Jane Eyre 1952 Images Continued... This is the third post in a series of 4 or 5 which contain the only screencaps available of this production from Westinghouse Studio One's Summer Theater production of Jane Eyre with Katherine Bard as Jane Eyre and Kevin McCarthy as Mr Rochester. Posted by Brontëana at 12:03 AM 0 comments Labels: jane eyre 2006 Sunday, February 26, 2006 The Brontës and Language- a brief rant. I don't usually bother with Brontë references such as this, but I felt comment was necessary in this case, if only to relieve a little frustration. The Editrix at AustenBlog- a lovelyblog for all things Jane Austen- knows my pain well only, unlike herself I do not have anything equivalent to her 'Cluebat of Janeite Righteousness.' Here lies the ever torturing pain: that the Brontës are criticised for writing in 'old English' or at least a more difficult kind of archaic English. From what appears to be either a tongue in cheek list of satistical favourites or a account executive's list of favourites: What book should everyone read? "Wuthering Heights" -- just so they understand that the English language is much easier today. I am very confused by this one. Has she actually read Wuthering Heights? At least with Jane Eyre I might point to words such as 'anathematized' and acknowledge that some readers of today not inclined to get a dictionary might find the book 'difficult' (not that you have to know what 'anathematized' means to get through or enjoy it...), I cannot find an equivalent in Wuthering Heights. This is by no means the first time I've heard the sentiment expressed but it is usually referring to Jane Eyre. In fact, I came across a certain review on amazon.com for yet another Brontë spin-off novel. This one was, in fact, a retelling of Jane Eyre- not a prequel or sequel. It was Jane Eyre as a science fiction novel, set in outer space. It is called Jenna Starborn and I mean to read it someday, really I do. And I've heard that it is rather good for being Jane Eyre in outer space... I don't remember all of the details at the moment but the basic plot is the same only Jane- I mean Jenna is some sort of reactor technician who goes out on a call to repair one at the complex of some incredibly wealthy person with a very silly name... Even fans of the author's work say the prose is not very good at least, and that at best it is an entertaining way to pass the time. However, there was a review declaring it is better than Jane Eyre because the language is simpler and easy to understand. It hurt my soul to hear such things... It is also ridiculous because I know people who speak this 'old English' on a regular basis and in casual company. In fact, I have a friend who so admires Samuel Jonson (going back a bit further than the Brontës now...) that he strives to perfect his speech and prose to what he feels is the richest means of expression (I once remarked the use of 'locupletate' in a book I was reading and he replied that it is in Jonson's dictionary- from which he can quote). And I was quoting Jane Eyre in casual company when I was 14. They should all be reading Chaucer, that's what I say. Or better still, Caedmon. See how they like that. /endbitterness. Posted by Brontëana at 10:13 AM 12 comments Labels: jane eyre 2006, wuthering heights Saturday, February 25, 2006 Jane Eyre 1952 Images Continued.. This post is a post of pictures and snark (teasing, witty commentary), just to keep things lively. Hopefully I will actually see this version and be able to report in full. See, Miss Mix- a 19th century parody of Jane Eyre, Brontëana, Monday January 30th, 2006. Wait, wasn't he favoring his left leg before? ... Looks shifty to me! Jane's not concerned. His strange ways are rather piquant. To be continued... Posted by Brontëana at 10:54 PM 8 comments Labels: jane eyre 2006 Jane Eyre 1952 (with Katharine Bard and Kevin McCarthy) This is the only one of the films known to be extant which I have not yet seen, but thanks (again!) to Thisbeciel, this will soon no longer be the case. In fact, I come bearing gifts of very rare screencaps (as far as I know, these are the only screencaps). I came to know of the existence of this version through 'The Pleasure of Intertextuality: Reading television and film adaptations of Jane Eyre' by Donna Marie Nudd, an article specially written for the Norton edition of Jane Eyre. Here is an excerpt from her brief discussion of the production: Structural norms change for commercial television, where the director, adapter, and editors also have to contemplate exactly where the corporate sponsors' ads will appear. Westinghouse Studio One: Summer Theater produced Jane Eyre in 1952. This production appears to be primarily one or two cameras capturing a live theater production, a production with very limited sets. During intermissions, an actress comes out and informs us of the glories of Westinghouse's self-defrosting refrigerator and later of the technical wonder of the "electronic clarifier" that stops the flutters on its all-new twenty-one inch, television. The structure of this adaptation is definately informed by the need to stop the action at the appropriate moment for Westinghouse commercials. Another strong, nonliterary influence on this particular Westinghouse adaptation was undeniably the budget. Early in this production, for example, jane is situated in one of the five or so standard, theatrical stage sets--a garden. The audience and Jane hear the neighing of a horse and then a crash. Then, with fake blood on his chin, Rochester limps into the garden and tells the new governess stationed there that his confounded horse has thrown him and run off. More images will be posted later (I am having trouble getting them all to post at the moment). Posted by Brontëana at 12:47 AM 0 comments Labels: adaptation, articles, films, jane eyre 2006 Thursday, February 23, 2006 'Wuthering Heights for Children: Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden' Today I came across this interesting article, hosted by the Universität Tübingen seeking to draw comparisons between The Secret Garden and Wuthering Heights. When I read The Secret Garden for a course on Children's Literature, I did not pick up on most of its resonances with Wuthering Heights, possibly because the influence of Jane Eyre seemed to be closer to the surface, and it seems that other readers have been similarly inclined: As they had on other impressionable young girls, the romances of the sisters Brontë had a tremendous impact on Burnett. As one of her biographers noted: “Principal themes in the fiction of Frances Hodgson Burnett were forecast in seven books published within two years of her birth . . . (and) the authors of these works would be among the most important in shaping her fiction—[these included] Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847), Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1847), and Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield (1849-50) . . . .” Born during Charlotte Brontë’s lifetime to parents keenly aware of the contemporary literary scene, daughter of father who may have been related to one of Patrick Brontë’s curates, young Frances spent the first fifteen years of her life less than thirty miles from Haworth reading romances. More than one scholar has identified and described “the echoes of Jane Eyre in The Secret Garden” but the contribution of Wuthering Heights has been less recognized. Susan E. James draws comparisons here between Wuthering Heights and The Secret Garden. Since I will not get another opportunity to point this out, The Secret Garden (from 1991) happens to be one of the two musicals constantly compared with Jane Eyre: The Musical (the other musical is Les Miserables). Two recordings are available on amazon.com- such as the Broadway Cast, and the Royal Shakespeare CompanyRevival/London recordings. Posted by Brontëana at 2:05 PM 0 comments Labels: articles, charlotte bronte, haworth, jane eyre 2006, jane eyre the musical, wuthering heights Update on UK Release for Jane Eyre (BBC 1973) Thanks to Thisbeciel, we have another link to websites where our friends in the UK will be able to order their copies of Jane Eyre with Sorcha Cusack and Michael Jayston. From this site we have the exact release date of June 5th. The synopsis is a little quirky... Starring Sorcha Cusack and Michael Jayston, this 1973 BBC television adaptation of the classic novel follows the fortunes of the heroine Jane Eyre who begins her life as an orphan without a penny to her name. After a dreadful childhood Jane Eyre acquires the post of Governess at Thornfield Hall. Once there she finds herself falling in love with the mysterious owner of Thornfield, Mr Rochester. Jane watches Rochester flirt with the beautiful and eligible Blanche Ingram and unable to bear their romance any longer, Jane resigns. Only then does Rochester admit that he loves Jane and asks her to marry him. But Jane's happiness proves to be shortlived... Pardon? I don't remember the scene when she resigns! ETA: I am still unable to read British dates, obviously. We put the month first in Canada... the release date is June 5th, not May 6th. I'm also too eager to see this, and a little bit of wishful thinking might have contributed to the error. Posted by Brontëana at 1:15 AM 3 comments Labels: adaptation, BBC, jane eyre 1973, jane eyre 2006 Tuesday, February 21, 2006 Face to Face with Charlotte Bronte at the Parsonage The Bronte Parsonage E-Magazine Blog has posted this great article by Diane Benn about a current exhibit at the Parsonage Museum called Face to Face with Charlotte Bronte. Among other things, there is this image of Charlotte only recently acquired by the museum. I remember when it was purchased among other items of the Brontes. If I remember correctly, it was supposedly drawn while Charlotte was in Belgium, but I cannot say for certain. It is wonderful to see what restorers are able to do with such material. I saved an image of the portrait from when it was posted on the auction website (where it was shown next to other portraits of Charlotte): Other news from the Parsonage Blog, the Bronte Society is organising their spring walk (route and contact information here), DNA tests may soon be performed on hair samples from the Brontes (more on this here). A film about Charlotte at Hathersage may also be in the works, and there's a new Bronte Society fanzine for children- 'Genius!' Posted by Brontëana at 8:13 PM 0 comments Labels: articles, blogs, bronte society, charlotte bronte, etexts Monday, February 20, 2006 Jane Eyre The Musical Video Clips Encore Back by popular demand, here are a few clips generated by Thisbeciel and this time brought to you by the lady Branwen- our royal patroness. Her magesty has managed to find more clips than I remember posting here, or perhaps this site has grown so large even I don't know what is hiding in the archives anymore. The first series are from a production on Broadway in April of 2001 (I believe), very near to the show's closing (which was in June if I remember correctly). The rest are from assorted publicity material- I have not actually had the time to view all of them. An Icy Lane: http://s65.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=3IHTI0VT38HPA1OUG7OY7GX988 You Examine Me, Miss Eyre: http://s65.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=2TN9T5VXR7LMV3585TADXUOUZ8 Waking Rochester: http://s65.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=1P3QUWFTRSQUB0JE465AJ6W6QO Saying Goodbye: http://s62.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=2GBORQF0B1WYJ1A1WXT7DLCC5J I Know Who Heals My Life: http://s64.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=2PL4A8O3K3QZQ0RQ8NF7095RTA The Gypsy: http://s62.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=20OS9TXILLVYI0GSTKAKHLFHQR The Proposal: http://s62.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=07UN01ML5FESA37T3M2RQ4TKJ5 Wild Boy/Sirens reprise/Farewell, Good Angel: http://s62.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=37P0PAGAE5TQR0FJ7XJG83ZDQG Secret Soul in the studio: http://s57.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=2I14DF3SRYFOW1A10BJ68BPUXL Jane Promo Clips: http://s57.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=3JQPH283MZS4F07S9KLE5KKT56 Broadway on Broadway Secret Soul Clips: http://s57.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=3MTTI7SVJBCGH2MZHYXAQDRFIS ETA: These will be available for the next week, or for 30 downloads whichever comes first. Also, I may not be posting often between now and Friday. We are in the middle of midterm season which means I have exams of my own, as well as teaching assistant duties to attend to, and on top of this I have some seminars to write! Posted by Brontëana at 7:12 PM 10 comments Labels: jane eyre 2006, jane eyre the musical Saturday, February 18, 2006 Livejournal Brontëana Feed and Some Notes Ladyshrew has kindly created an LJ feed for Brontëana so now any Livejournal user can simply add the feed to their friends list and view Brontëana posts with greater ease. I have no idea how to set these up- I'm trying to make one for the Brontë Parsonage E-Magazine Blog but so far I have had no success whatsoever. To add the Brontëana LJ feed simply sign into your account, then visit this link. The feed has not yet become active at the time of this posting but apparently this usually takes some time. Mythosidhe also created one for BrontëBlog. Users can add this feed from this link. Now for the notes section of this post. I am still trying to catch up on mail and other work from this week. I ask that anyone awaiting a reply be patient. Also, when blogger emails comments to me they do not specify which post they come from and since I've been blogging for nearly a year now I have no idea which post the comment is referring to. If Heather is reading this, I recieved your comment that some of the links had expired. Reposting most links isn't a problem, but it would be helpful to email me at bronteana.blog@gmail.com . I try to read through and respond to all of the comments although I do miss them sometimes. Recent posts are not a problem but replies to earlier posts can become disconnected. ETA: Thanks to Mythosidhe we now have a link for the Brontë Parsonage Blog too. Also, it didn't take long for the feed to kick in- the Brontëana feed is now active. ETA: I'm now working on ways to include a 'cut' for LJ. I don't think this is possible, but I'm going to experiment with this. Posted by Brontëana at 2:54 PM 4 comments Labels: blogs Thursday, February 16, 2006 Jane Eyre(Erie Playhouse) 1998 Book by David Matthews, music by Michael Malthaner, lyrics by Charles Corritore. (The picture to the right is from Voices in which Jane hears Rochester calling to her). Interesting doesn't quite cover this ...4th... 5th? Jane Eyre Musical. I listened to it for the first time yesterday. I had been eager waiting to hear this one because it is actually based on the Gordon/Caird musical. According to Lillie who shared it with me someone- the composer?- saw the musical in Toronto during its very early, very brief run and felt he could do better. I am not disappointed. There are several points where the work is clearly influenced by the Gordon/Caird show. The show as a whole, however, fails to be entertaining or on key... I can tell that the lyricist, at least, had read the novel because one of the songs includes two more details not found in the Gordon/Caird version but otherwise it feels like the creators used a study guide instead. It sounds like a musicalised study guide which doesn't actually include many of the themes, characters, or plot elements from the novel. But it is interesting, and tolerable in places. Some of the tunes are not all that objectionable either. The full cast list and other information is available here. If you are interested in producing the work, the main page including information on obtaining a perusal script is here. Plot synopsis and pictures here. I have noted a few of the interesting points, to share for the moment. This work has a series of songs called Soliloques. These correspond to the songs As I Retired For The Night, and Secret Soul from the early G/C show. I cannot make out all of the words on the recording I have from the Royal Alexandra in Toronto which would correspond to Soliloques I, so I have chosen to compare Soliloques II with Secret Soul: Secret Soul (Royal Alexandra JE) Jane: What can I do now, my precious Lord? His dark love would be my best reward. I know I should not dare to go deeper in his madness But it's like a field I must run through No one's words will make me love him less. How much can I stand? I dare not guess. The secret voice that speaks to me Tells me he's in danger looking to the dust for tenderness. Deep in my secret soul I stand alone The purpose of why I'm here is still unknown. In the darkness of his day he's nearly blind but I keep looking for his goodness afraid of what I'll find. My heart moves through his unquiet sea. I pray a wave will come and carry me Closer to his troubled tide, waters of his fury, But how can I swim this great divide? Jane: Deep in my secret soul Rochester: My secret soul I cry his tears. Cries out loud! I weather his angry voice This angry voice I feel his fears. Cries out! Both: His/her life has infected every wound and every pore I feel this mystery possess me and I pray that mercy's hand will bless me! Jane: Deep in his secret soul... Rochester: Deep in my secret soul... Jane: His heart is cursed. Rochester: My heart is cursed! Jane: I summon my deepest will to still his thirst! Rochester: And I pray that God- Both: God give me the strength to go deep within his/my secret soul! Soliloques II (Erie Playhouse JE) Possibly after the fire scene. Rochester: Just when I thought my life was changing just as she rescued my soul. Giving me hope of one day finding happiness lost long ago. Now must I once again bury these thoughts again, helplessly watching her leave? When will she know how much I need her? How can I make her believe? Jane: What does it mean? Why did he kiss me? Why did he speak that way? Did I imagine hearing the things I heard him say? How can I know the answers if now my duty lies far far away from Thornfield and the kindness in his eyes. Both: No matter what's there for me where this road my bend I face it now willingly- this long journey's end. No matter how long it takes I'll wait for his/her song. Once more to have a life, once more to live my life, once more to share my life! Jane: And finally belong! Rochester: Once more to have a life, once more to share my life! Both: And finally belong! Posted by Brontëana at 1:22 PM 0 comments Labels: jane eyre 2006, jane eyre the musical, john caird, paul gordon Tuesday, February 14, 2006 Valentine's Day -When the thoughts writers turn to the Brontës I am still unwell, and read Joyce last night before bed which isn't good either (often when I read before going to bed I have very interesting dreams related to the material. When I studied Suetonius there were a lot of very strange dreams. This time I dreamt about language). Today is St. Valentine's Day, and the internet is buzzing with references to the Brontës. Novels are being recomended as gifts for the beloved, the stories are turned over for various reasons- sometimes to question whether such relationships exist in 'the real world', and sometimes to wonder what makes these stories so moving. For example, from The Hindu, Radha Nair, a retired English professor mentions Wuthering Heights: "Heathcliff and Catherine are the opposites and such strong individuals. They had to give each other up and that there was no fulfilment adds to the aura." But there are some articles which take a more unique approach to the day. This one discusses literary love, comparing Latin and 'American' writings (which apparently include Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë): For latin writers, the language of love comes naturally- The best lines, says Lynne Barrett of FIU, "are often of rejection or renunciation ... Often when one is declarative, there is a larger problem. In Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy says to Elizabeth: `My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.' He then blurts out his struggle against loving her because of her `low connections,' vulgar sisters and silly mother, so by the end of his proposal she furiously rejects him." Or Jane Eyre's Mr. Rochester: `Come to me -- come to me entirely now,' said he. `Make my happiness -- I will make yours.'" But he's a man with a wife locked up in the attic. Perhaps I'm still not clear headed but does this actually make sense to anyone? Declarative sentences reveal what sort of larger problem? A lot of characters use declarative sentences but don't have wives locked in their attics! I cannot help but think that the Latin authors probably use declaratives as well, and that I can think of more expressive lines in Jane Eyre that would stand on equal footing with those of the Latins (sadly, when I read the title of the article, I thought about Ovid...). Posted by Brontëana at 9:28 AM 0 comments Labels: articles, charlotte bronte, jane eyre 2006, wuthering heights Monday, February 13, 2006 From 'Vision, Flame, and Flight: Adapting Jane Eyre for the Stage' - By John Caird I have been rather quiet. I was bedridden yesterday and still feel unwell. But I have a new reason to keep my faculties together- Harlene has sent me several fascinating items on the Jane Eyre Musical, one of these is 'Vision, Flame, and Flight: Adapting Jane Eyre for the Stage' written by John Caird, the lyricist for the show. Here are a few excerpts: An attic is a potent metaphor. If a house is a metaphor for a human life, then the attic is the mind where all the secrets reside. In this respect Thornfield is the ultimate example of such a metaphor, representing as it does the life and status and history of Rochester and all the centuries of Rochesters before him. Hidden in the attic is the awful reality of a tragic life but also a metaphor for the lies and deceit that haunt Rochester’s mind, making him incapable of honouring his love for Jane without perjuring himself into the bargain. Jane too has her secrets and her terrors – lies she has told herself about her unworthiness, her plainness and her lack of grace – all of which must be overcome before she is able to live for Rochester as she would live for herself, with absolute openness and integrity. One of the most evocative moments in our adaptation is when the secrets and lies in Rochester’s life collide with the secrets and lies in Jane’s, as the two brides stare at each other across the darkened attic and across the years with a mutual mixture of the most painful reproach and the deepest understanding. Another major difference in story-telling technique between the novel and our adaptation is the way that Rochester is treated. Because Bronte chose to write using an autobiographical narrative device, the reader must never know more than Jane herself knows. So Rochester and his motives must remain obscure until the novel is half over. The reader may suspect that all is not right but not so much that Jane would seem to be stupid not to suspect anything herself. In a sense the reader becomes Jane, and Rochester’s actions are every bit as obscured both reader and heroine. In the theatre this trick is all but impossible to pull off, and in any case not really desirable. A director or book-writer cannot instruct the actor playing Rochester that he must play everything as a mystery to Jane. Playing the part of an enigma would soon become tedious for the actor and audience alike. The actor needs to know what Rochester is to himself to his audience with whom he has as strong a relationship as the actress playing the part of Jane. For their part the audience is not looking at Rochester through Jane’s eyes – it is looking at the man himself without the aid of an interpreter. Paul and I decided therefore that we had to reveal Rochester’s deep feelings for Jane, at least before the intermission falls, or he would risk losing so much sympathy with the audience that they would never forgive their heroine for wanting to marry him! Achieving this dramatic end without giving away the central secret of the story was perhaps the most delicate task of the whole adaptation. This stripping away of the mystery around Rochester also allowed us to examine more closely one of the story’s most elusive themes – that of vision. At the beginning of the story, Jane has nothing. As we have Miss Scatcherd saying just before she leaves the school – she is ‘a girl with no money, no talents, no beauty and no class’. But without material possessions or prospects of any sort, she still has one significant talent, in spite of Miss Scatcherd’s mean portrait. Jane has her insight or moral vision, strong in her from childhood but greatly strengthened by her friendship with Helen Burns. So a young woman with nothing but insight travels across the moors to her first job and there she meets and falls in love with a man who has everything – everything that is except insight. His class, his status, his family and his history are all powerfully represented by the chestnut tree, growing proudly in the gardens of the house. But Rochester, materially rich and astonishingly enlightened about so much, is morally blind. Of course the greatest irony in the story is that he has to become actually blind before he is worthy of Jane’s love for him. The agency of his blindness is the fire – the first that in other parts of the story has illuminated and warmed and now returns to destroy and purge. Thus at the end of the story all the metaphors are powerfully linked together – blindness, the house and the fire – to provide a single potent dramatic image, the young woman of vision becoming the eyes and hands for her blind lover as they sit together under the stricken chestnut tree in the shadow of the burnt out house that was their home. As Paul’s lyrics put it ‘the secret of the flame is that there is no more to hide. It cures our blindness and our pride’. Posted by Brontëana at 6:53 PM 5 comments Labels: adaptation, jane eyre 2006, jane eyre the musical, john caird, music theatre Saturday, February 11, 2006 Brontëana Mail: Sezione Italiana I would like to thank Raffaella from Milano, Italy for writing in the other day. I had forgotten to include the link to the Italian chapter of the Brontë Society. I first heard of their webpage through The Brontë Parsonage E-Magazine Blog, but somehow didn't make a proper post about it. Here is my belated tribute to Brontë Society- Sezione Italiana! Unfortunately I cannot read Italian well enough to make full use of the site, but having learned Latin is proving helpful. This page is especially interesting for me. It is about film adaptations of the Brontë novels and includes several I had never come across before. I did not know, for instance that the Frank Hall Crane productions of Jane Eyre from the 1920s were two parts of the same production, or that there was an Italian production made in 1957. The link for the Italian Brontë Society is now available on the links list to the left. Reader comments, and questions are always welcome either as comments to the posts themselves or as emails addressed to: bronteana.blog@gmail.com Posted by Brontëana at 10:00 PM 0 comments Labels: blogs, jane eyre 2006 Friday, February 10, 2006 We Have Our New Jane! And it isn't Kiera Knightley or Angelina Jolie! Huzzah! In fact, she's just graduated from drama school. All the better! This just in over the wire (scroll to the bottom of the article): A young actress, barely out of drama school, has just landed the title role in a major new BBC TV production of Jane Eyre. The Bronte classic will star Ruth Wilson, a graduate of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Miss Wilson has a small part in Five's forthcoming comedy series Suburban Housewives, but it's Jane Eyre that will propel her to stardom. Shooting begins at the end of the month on the South Yorkshire Moors and London. But director Susanna White has yet to find an actor to play the dark, brooding Mr Rochester, the secretive landowner whom Jane loves. This is a little amusing to me because one of the songs I was listening to was called 'Miss Wilson' from the York/Williams Jane Eyre musical- in which the guests at Thornfield 'quiz' Jane and call her 'Miss Wilson'! ETA: Photo and CV of Miss Wilson courtesy of Thisbeciel. And we have a request from several Bronteans that this man, Richar Armitage, play Mr Rochester. Posted by Brontëana at 7:15 PM 6 comments Labels: articles, BBC, jane eyre 2006, jane eyre the musical Thursday, February 09, 2006 The Latest on JE 1973 (All the pictures in this post come from scenes that were cut from the American broadcast of Jane Eyre (BBC 1973) The director of programing has sent word via Thisbeciel that the US release for the DVD of the BBC's 1973 Jane Eyre with Sorcha Cusack and Michael Jayston will indeed be June 2006. However, UK fans will also have to wait until June- instead of May. I can only hope that this means we'll be getting some extras ;) Probably not, but I'll hope for them anyway. Obviously some parts which did not air in America will be on the DVD, and that's something to look forward to, considering that this includes all of Jane Eyre up to the point when Jane leaves Lowood (episode One in the American broadcast begins with Jane's voiceover: 'Hitherto I have narrated...' which was a natural point to chop off nearly an hour of footage). The Canadian broadcast was more complete although I maintain that some pieces were cut... I'm an artist, and have a good eye for changes. It seems that the individual frames where sliced out of the American broadcast, as well as little bits of dialogue. The most obvious instance of this editing is the Hay Lane scene. In the Canadian broadcast there is a part in the middle which had been cut for American television. When Jane approaches Mr Rochester (just before the commercial break), he looks up at her and says: "Who the deuce sent you?" (this version follows the novel very closely, but this addition brings it to precisely one more 'the deuce?' than the novel). There are also several seconds more footage showing the results of the accident. I'm convinced that something was cut from the scene of the day after the proposal. In both versions the dialogue is: Jane: ...I have observed in books written by men that period assigned as the furthest to which any husband's ardour extends. Rochester: Humph! Distasteful! And like you again! The words are directly out of the novel but there's something missing- Rochester's lines don't make sense without Jane's musing that she hopes she will never be distasteful to him and that he may learn to like her- not love her- after the passion wears off (it is not particularly 'like her' to say these things). Posted by Brontëana at 5:23 PM 2 comments Labels: BBC, jane eyre 1973, jane eyre 2006 'Devotion' This film, a loosely termed 'biopic' of the lives of the Brontës was filmed in 1946 and starred Ida Lupino as Emily Brontë, Paul Henreid as AB Nicholls, and Olivia de Havilland as Charlotte Brontë. Thisbeciel calls it: 'A universe where everybody loves Charlotte and everybody loves that sexy man AB Nicholls.' Here is a synopsis of the film: In the early 1800s, sisters Charlotte and Anne Brontë prepare to leave their sister Emily, their brother Branwell and their aunt and vicar father to work as governesses. Charlotte and Anne want to experience life outside their home as preparation for their careers as writers. Branwell is a talented, temperamental painter who is coddled by his sister Emily, and Charlotte and Anne plan to give the money they earn as governesses to him, so that he can go to London to study art. One night while Bran is getting drunk at a local tavern, Arthur Nicholls, his father's new curate, arrives. Bran insists that Arthur accompany him to the vicarage. At first Arthur refuses, believing that it is too late in the evening, but then, seeing how drunk Bran is, accompanies him. Emily answers the door and mistakes Arthur for one of Bran's drunken friends. The following day, after Bran leaves for London, Arthur reappears. After he is greeted by the unwelcoming Mr. Brontë, Emily's mistake is cleared up and she and Arthur become friends. One day, Emily shows Arthur a lonely house, which has inspired her novel, Wuthering Heights. After some time passes, disillusioned Bran returns home, blaming his sisters for his failure as an artist. Charlotte and Anne also return home. At a dance at the neighbouring Thornton house, Arthur is struck by Charlotte's beauty. When Charlotte realizes that Emily is interested in Arthur, she becomes interested as well... Thanks to Biedroneczka, I bring you a Lux Radio Theater radio adaptation of 'Devotion' starring Virginia Bruce (the platinum blond starlet who played Jane Eyre in the first talkie of the 1930s) as Charlotte Brontë and Vincent Price as AB Nicholls! Devotion The production will be available for download for a week. Posted by Brontëana at 11:42 AM 1 comments Labels: adaptation, charlotte bronte, jane eyre 2006, wuthering heights US Release Date for Jane Eyre 1973 We now have a US release date for Jane Eyre 1973 with Sorcha Cusack and Michael Jayston. The latest news is that the release date for the US will be June 2006, while in the UK the DVD will be available in May. The date is currently being verified with the director of programing at Acorn, and I will relay the latest as it comes in. Posted by Brontëana at 11:34 AM 0 comments Labels: jane eyre 1973, jane eyre 2006 Tuesday, February 07, 2006 Comparison Chart This is my best attempt to reproduce part of a chart made by Rinabeana- one of Brontëana's faithful readers. This chart points out major points at which the lyrics of the Jane Eyre Musical appropriate or allude to the text of the novel. I have been puzzled over how to post it here. It seems best to simply quote the text of the novel and use font changes to show what had been used- unless someone knows how to post charts on Blogger? This chart also only covers those songs available on the official Broadway CD, and doesn't include those on the Toronto CD etc, etc... Words in bold were appropriated verbatim, those in italics were alluded to. I also must apologise because after all of the research I have done, I notice far more allusions than are in the chart- so I'm tempted to include things that ended up being cut later on. So, this won't exactly reflect the final draft of the show- I am sure to slip in things from earlier versions. There are also far too many to list, so I have chosen the most interesting? Or perhaps there is no real method to my choices... One last note, I see that there are only two clips left to listen to at amazon.com, so where possible I've linked to the older Toronto version of each song instead. The best thing about this is that you get to hear the entire song rather than a clip (and I like this version best so there's that as well), but on the other hand the lyrics are different from the Broadway version this comparison is based on, but it is very close. "We are, and must be, one and all, burdened with faults in this world: but the time will soon come when, I trust, we shall put them off in putting off our corruptible bodies; when debasement and sin will fall from us with this cumbrous frame of flesh, and only the spark of the spirit will remain,—the impalpable principle of light and thought, pure as when it left the Creator to inspire the creature: whence it came it will return; perhaps again to be communicated to some being higher than man—perhaps to pass through gradations of glory, from the pale human soul to brighten to the seraph!"—Chapter VI Forgiveness I tired of the routine of eight years in one afternoon. I desired liberty; for liberty I gasped; for liberty I uttered a prayer; it seemed scattered on the wind then faintly blowing. I abandoned it and framed a humbler supplication; for change, stimulus: that petition, too, seemed swept off into vague space: "Then," I cried, half desperate, "grant me at least a new servitude!"—Chapter X Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.—Chapter XII Sweet Liberty (not in the Toronto version- replaced 'Silent Rebellion') "I have a past existence, a series of deeds, a colour of life to contemplate within my own breast, which might well call my sneers and censures from my neighbours to myself. I started, or rather (for like other defaulters, I like to lay half the blame on ill fortune and adverse circumstances) was thrust on to a wrong tack at the age of one-and-twenty, and have never recovered the right course since: but I might have been very different; I might have been as good as you—wiser—almost as stainless. I envy you your peace of mind, your clean conscience, your unpolluted memory. Little girl, a memory without blot or contamination must be an exquisite treasure—an inexhaustible source of pure refreshment: is it not?"—Chapter XIV As Good As You He was proud, sardonic, harsh to inferiority of every description: in my secret soul I knew that his great kindness to me was balanced by unjust severity to many others. He was moody, too; unaccountably so; I more than once, when sent for to read to him, found him sitting in his library alone, with his head bent on his folded arms; and, when he looked up, a morose, almost a malignant, scowl blackened his features. But I believed that his moodiness, his harshness, and his former faults of morality (I say former, for now he seemed corrected of them) had their source in some cruel cross of fate. I believed he was naturally a man of better tendencies, higher principles, and purer tastes than such as circumstances had developed, education instilled, or destiny encouraged. I thought there were excellent materials in him; though for the present they hung together somewhat spoiled and tangled. I cannot deny that I grieved for his grief, whatever that was, and would have given much to assuage it.—Chapter XV Secret Soul "You," I said, "a favourite with Mr. Rochester? You gifted with the power of pleasing him? You of importance to him in any way? Go! your folly sickens me. And you have derived pleasure from occasional tokens of preference—equivocal tokens shown by a gentleman of family and a man of the world to a dependent and a novice. How dared you? Poor stupid dupe!—Could not even self-interest make you wiser? You repeated to yourself this morning the brief scene of last night?—Cover your face and be ashamed! He said something in praise of your eyes, did he? Blind puppy! Open their bleared lids and look on your own accursed senselessness! It does good to no woman to be flattered by her superior, who cannot possibly intend to marry her; and it is madness in all women to let a secret love kindle within them, which, if unreturned and unknown, must devour the life that feeds it; and, if discovered and responded to, must lead, ignis-fatuus-like, into miry wilds whence there is no extrication. "Listen, then, Jane Eyre, to your sentence: tomorrow, place the glass before you, and draw in chalk your own picture, faithfully, without softening one defect; omit no harsh line, smooth away no displeasing irregularity; write under it, 'Portrait of a Governess, disconnected, poor, and plain.' "Afterwards, take a piece of smooth ivory—you have one prepared in your drawing-box: take your palette, mix your freshest, finest, clearest tints; choose your most delicate camel-hair pencils; delineate carefully the loveliest face you can imagine; paint it in your softest shades and sweetest lines, according to the description given by Mrs. Fairfax of Blanche Ingram; remember the raven ringlets, the oriental eye;—What! you revert to Mr. Rochester as a model! Order! No snivel!—no sentiment!—no regret! I will endure only sense and resolution. Recall the august yet harmonious lineaments, the Grecian neck and bust; let the round and dazzling arm be visible, and the delicate hand; omit neither diamond ring nor gold bracelet; portray faithfully the attire, aerial lace and glistening satin, graceful scarf and golden rose; call it 'Blanche, an accomplished lady of rank.'—Chapter XVI Painting Her Portrait Posted by Brontëana at 11:21 PM 0 comments Labels: jane eyre 2006, jane eyre the musical Sunday, February 05, 2006 Icons by Brontëana and Thisbeciel It looks like most if not all of Blogger was down for most of the day. I posted one of Thisbeciel's wonderful icons as a means of getting Brontëana back online. I am not sure yet if it worked or not. But it does give me an excuse to showcase some of these works of digital art! These all happen to be from Jane Eyre... Hm... I really like using text, especially the Edwardian font. The images are from: Jane Eyre 1973, ", Jane Eyre: The Musical, Jane Eyre 1996, ", ", an illustration I have- date unknown, Jane Eyre 1996, ", Jane Eyre: The Musical. Thanks to Arliamay for the illustration, and Metalkatt for coming up with the caption: 'Did he hit you hard? ...Some "man of God!" ETA: Now let's try Thisbeciel's animations...(all from Jane Eyre 1973) Posted by Brontëana at 12:51 AM 14 comments Labels: illustrations, jane eyre 1973, jane eyre 2006, jane eyre the musical Saturday, February 04, 2006 Posted by Brontëana at 8:05 PM 4 comments Labels: blogs Friday, February 03, 2006 Villette on BBC7 BBC 7 will begin broadcasting Villette next week which can be heard via http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbc7. Info as follows:Drama www.bbc.co.uk/bbc7/drama/index.shtml Catherine McCormack, Joseph Fiennes and Keira Knightly star in a Sony Award winning dramatisation of Charlotte Brontë's lesser known novel Villette. Lucy Snowe flees from an unhappy past in England and begins a new life as a teacher at a French boarding school... Brontë's strikingly modern heroine must decide if there is any man in her society with whom she can live and still be free. The three part drama is beautifully directed by Catherine Bailey and James Friel. Originally broadcast on Radio 4 in 1999.Wednesday to Friday 10 am 9 pm and 2 am Thanks to Aidan, my Cornish correspondent. ...Kiera Knightley? Posted by Brontëana at 5:14 PM 2 comments Labels: BBC, charlotte bronte, villette Thursday, February 02, 2006 Jane Eyre's Chutes and Ladders I know we were all wondering what was missing from out lives. And here it is! Jane Eyre's very own board game: A Game For The Whole Family! At last, the game that takes you to the great mansions and deserted moors of Charlotte Bronte's literary masterpiece! Jane Eyre's Chutes And Ladders is a wonderful game for all ages, a game that will teach youngsters all about loneliness, depression and the dangers of religious hypocrisy. Will you be the first to solve the mystery of Thornfield? Can you escape the horrors of Lowood and the claustrophobic memories of the Red Room? Excitement, romance and angst all await you in this exciting game! Game includes board, spinner, four player markers, the Reed household, Lowood, the Thornfield mansion, the village of Morton, chestnut tree, deck of 20 Red Room cards, and deck of 20 Psychic Revelation cards. Edward Rochester's horse sold seperately. Go to Gateshead, do not pass Millcote, do not collect 50 pounds from Mr Rochester... Pity this isn't a real game! Posted by Brontëana at 7:27 PM 5 comments Labels: charlotte bronte, jane eyre 2006 Wednesday, February 01, 2006 Literature Recomended for Children: Jane Eyre This is actually a very interesting article. In it Andrew Motion lists ten books children should read. The list is as follows: The Odyssey by Homer Don Quixote by Cervantes Hamlet by Shakespeare Paradise Lost by Milton Lyrical Ballads by Coleridge and Wordsworth Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte Great Expectations by Charles Dickens Portrait of a Lady by Henry James Ulysses by James Joyce The Waste Land by TS Eliot But at the end of this article there are some interesting comments that are well worth reading as well! Last year I took a Children's Literature course at the university I currently attend. We were invited each week to present some of the books we read when we were children. Most people brought out standard nursery rhyme books, and assorted stories of bunnies, children left on their own, and several children's classics. I felt a little odd because there were only two books I still had that I could present- one was My Biggest Bedtime Book Ever (which is still dear to my heart and reminds me of Pilgrim's Progress for reasons that I'll keep to myself) and the other was Jane Eyre. I felt very strange presenting Jane Eyre as my treasured childhood classic, especially since, as many of you loyal readers will know, the Brontes are next to unknown where I'm from. There is a vague idea that there is a Bronte- possibly several Brontes- and they wrote... stuff. The university does acknowledge their existence but they were never mentioned in my grade school or high school. So, I held up my gorgeous first copy of Jane Eyre, it's stitches looking like they were sown by someone using their teeth, the cover a fetching dark green duct tape (it was, I believe, the victim of a library rebinding gone horrifically awry). The professor came to my aid after my talk by describing Jane Eyre's long history as a classic of children's literature. I had presented it once before, when I was 16 or 17 years old. I was always very shy. We had a class assignment where we had to express what we show the world and what we keep to ourselves- in the form of a brown paper bag which we decorated. Inside the bag went whatever we feel deeply about, that somehow defines us but that we keep to ourselves. Inside my bag was the beat up copy of Jane Eyre. When we were asked to show what was inside, if we felt alright with it, I was the only one who volunteered. I took out the book and said something about how it was a lot like my life- then I thrust it back into the bag, feeling strangely exposed. A deep sense that I had already said far too much. Obviously, I've grown to be less timid. Now, as for Ulysses, all I can say is that it reminds me of when one of my teachers in high school discovered that I had been reading Joyce for fun. He said to my mother: "Your daughter is surprisingly literate!" But that was Portrait of the Artist- not Ulysses... I tried that when I was 16 and only made it four pages in but that wasn't counting 25 pages of endnotes! Even though I read JE at the age of 14 or 15, I didn't read any other Bronte novels until I was 23, with the exception of Wuthering Heights. As soon as I finished Jane Eyre I snapped up WH but I'm sorry to say that I was completely disappointed with it. My memory of the first reading is distinct in my mind- I did it all in one or two days, while lying on the living room couch. I reached the end, let my hand drop to the floor and I put down the book thinking what a waste of time that was. I can't say why this was the case, but I think, as one of my professor puts it, reading has much to do with the culture inside. I have a very angry family. I saw in WH a book about my family. And I wondered why anyone would want to read something like this. When I read it again I was 23 and living away from my angry family members. Now, this was a very different book. Now if it a powerful book, it is a disturbing book. It is not 'a waste of time'. As a shy little girl I was irresistably drawn to Jane but as a shy little girl with coping daily with tension, anger, and violence I completely rejected Wuthering Heights. Maybe I've said too much... Posted by Brontëana at 10:53 PM 7 comments Labels: articles, charlotte bronte, jane eyre 2006, wuthering heights March 2006 January 2006 Home Subscribe to: Posts (Atom) Create your own visitor map!

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