Sally Marmion. In Memoriam

We read in The Bookseller about the death of Sally Marmion (1964-2017), mostly known for her work as adaptor of many novels for BBC Radio. Among her many credits, a couple of Brontës, a fifteen-part (15 minutes each) Jane Eyre adaptation and a five-part adaptation of Lucasta Miller's The Brontë Myth:
Book of the Week: The Bronte Myth (2001)

Since 1857, when Elizabeth Gaskell published her life of Charlotte Bronte, hardly a year has gone by without material on the Brontës appearing. Lucasta Miller traces the route by which they ach ieved prominence and shows how history has become : myth. Abridged in five parts by Sally Marmion and read by Samantha Bond.

Book at Bedtime: Jane Eyre (2004)

Anne-Marie Duff reads Charlotte Brontë's bold and passionate story of a woman's search for independence and love on her own terms. Abridged by Sally Marmion. Producer, Pi Speirs.

A series which cannot be missed

Several news sites recommend this weekend's Heathcliff, It’s Me: Adapting Wuthering Heights series at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York. From The New York Times:
HEATHCLIFF, IT’S ME: ADAPTING ‘WUTHERING HEIGHTS’ at the Film Society of Lincoln Center (Feb. 24-27). Just because a movie is adapted from one of the most revisited works in English literature doesn’t mean that its director can’t find a fresh angle, as these five auteurist takes on Emily Brontë’s 1847 novel demonstrate. The approaches differ not only in structure — screenwriters generally ignore the book’s second half, as Luis Buñuel’s 1953 film (Friday and Sunday) does — but also in tone. For romantic delirium, none can match William Wyler’s ethereal 1939 Hollywood version (Sunday and Monday), starring Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon. But Jacques Rivette’s 1985 reworking (Friday) has a tinge of the playfulness of his “Céline and Julie Go Boating.” Yoshishige Yoshida’s 1988 adaptation (Saturday) substitutes cloudy Japanese mountains for cloudy English moors, while Andrea Arnold’s 2011 interpretation (Saturday and Monday), the first with a black Heathcliff, favors a claustrophobic, hand-held shooting style.
212-875-5601, (Ben Kenigsberg)
From Thirteen:
Staff Favorite: Heathcliff, It’s Me: Adapting Wuthering Heights
Film Society of Lincoln Center
February 24th—27th (various films and times)
It’s always interesting to see how a book is adapted to the screen, how the characters, settings, and themes are taken out of the pages and visually depicted through the medium of film. Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights is a powerful literary work that explores passion, identity, social class, nature, and the supernatural. It is a work that is worth reading not only once, but multiple times. And from February 24th—27th the Film Society of Lincoln Center is presenting a series of film adaptations of this memorable story. How did Luis Buñuel interpret it? William Wyler? Jacques Rivette? This series cannot be missed. (Meredith Coleman)
Film Comment has a lengthy post about it.
“Wuthering Heights must appear a rude and strange production,” Charlotte Brontë wrote, in apology for the untamed and harsh character of her sister Emily’s novel, published in 1847. “It is moorish, and wild, and knotty as a root of heath . . . In its storm-heated and electrical atmosphere, we seem at times to breathe lightning.” The description of Wuthering Heights as a crude outpouring of unconscious passions might fit the cultural legacy of the novel more than the book Emily wrote. Far from being simply elemental or atmospheric, Wuthering Heights has an intricate internal timeline, concealed by a compounding of unreliable narrators, impenetrable regional dialects, and arcane issues of inheritance law. Few novels are as precisely structured. And yet the story of Heathcliff’s pitiless love for Catherine Earnshaw, indistinguishable from the revenge he takes upon her for marrying Edgar Linton, has spawned a rough and dreadful cinematic brood of films from many different cultures. Filmmakers have been especially drawn to the horror elements in the novel: hanging of dogs, and grave-desecration in the source material, among other scattered threats of eye-gouging and blood-drinking. (Read more) (Ben Parker
The Film Stage recommends it too.

Still in the United States, Fansided suggests To Walk Invisible as a replacement for the Victoria series which is about to end.
Let’s go in chronological order, as per the Masterpiece schedule. First up is To Walk Invisible The Brontë Sisters, which surprisingly enough tells the story of the three Brontë sisters — Charlotte, Emily, and Anne — and how they put their writing talents to use. (Some spoilers: it has to do with the use of pseudonyms. Charlotte, for example, went by Currer Bell, as noted in the Encyclopedia Britannica.) You’ll be able to catch this on March 26. (Cheryl Wassenaar)
Aol interviews actress Francesca Reale.
Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
[...]  I would also work with Cary Fukunaga -- I loved his interpretation of "Jane Eyre." It is very depressing, but he knows how to tackle drama in a way that a lot of directors really don't understand. (Brittany Vanbibber)
Edmonton Journal tells about the life of writer Helen Forrester, who
 As a girl, she developed her storytelling skills with her grandmother, who fed her Dickens and Bronte and encouraged her to write letters. (Madeleine Cummings)
And the blunder of the day award goes to the news site India.
While nearly two centuries have passed since moody Mr Rochester gave Jane Eyre the run-around in Charlotte Bronte’s 17th century classic, it seems the tropes and narratives of romance have barely moved on.
While the silly theory award goes to La Voz de Galicia (Spain), which thinks creativity comes from damp weather conditions.
Es curioso cómo muchas mujeres, nacidas y criadas en lugares húmedos y recónditos, son capaces de conectar con las pulsiones humanas sin más armas que un papel y un tintero. Las Brontë, Jane Austen, Rosalía de Castro, Emilia Pardo Bazán, en eterna lucha contra una sociedad que las marginaba y consideraba inferiores, pero brillantes y plenas a través del tiempo. (Nieves Abarca) (Translation)
And bad news from Bradford Council budget meeting yesterday, as reported by The Telegraph and Argus:
The cuts proposed by the ruling Labour group at today’s budget meeting include: [...]
- Closing all but one of the district’s remaining public toilets. The seven to close, unless groups take them over, would be in Saltaire, Bingley, Baildon, both Brook Street and Riverside in Ilkley, and both in Central Park and by the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth. The public toilet at City Park would remain open;
A reader of MyRepublica discusses Jane Eyre. Big Screen, Small Words has a post on Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights.

Filming the Brontës and Adapting Wuthering Heights

An alert from the Brontë Parsonage Museum that nicely connects with another one in New York:
Parsonage Unwrapped: Filming the BrontësBrontë Parsonage Museum
Friday, February 24, 2017 7:30 PM

Delve into our drama archives with Principal Curator Ann Dinsdale for a fascinating insight into the varied adaptations of the Brontë novels and the siblings' unique story. Ann worked closely with the production team of the latest adaptation of the Brontë story, Sally Wainwright's To Walk Invisible, and will share some 'behind-the-scenes' secrets.
And at the Lincoln Center in New York, a series of screenings of adaptations of Wuthering Heights:
Film Society Lincoln Center
Series - February 24-27, 2017
Heathcliff, It’s Me: Adapting Wuthering Heights

In the 170 years since its publication, Emily Brontë’s only novel, Wuthering Heights, has been one of the most frequently adapted works of literature, fascinating, inspiring, and provoking some of cinema’s greatest directors to try to render its dark, romantic, politically charged majesty. Its timeless story—the impossible love of Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, and the far-reaching scars it leaves on their families—has been transposed to various historical periods and countries, has had the races and genders of its characters changed to striking effect, and has been incarnated through a diverse assortment of visual aesthetics and performance styles. Which is the definitive adaptation? Wyler’s classical Hollywood rendition? Buñuel’s surrealist reimagining? Rivette’s materialist ghost story? Yoshida’s stark expressionist take? Arnold’s kitchen-sink realist interpretation? Decide for yourself by joining the Film Society in revisiting five of the greatest attempts to put Wuthering Heights on the screen.
Organized by Dan Sullivan.
Special thanks to Institut Français and Cultural Services of the French Embassy, NY.
Wuthering Heights (1939)
William Wyler  1939 USA 35mm 103 minutes
Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon are ideally cast as the immortal lovers in William Wyler’s prestige production, considered by many the definitive screen version of Emily Brontë’s novel.
February 26, 6:00 PM ; February 27, 6:30 PM

Wuthering Heights (1953)
Luis Buñuel  1953 Mexico 35mm 91 minutes

Luis Buñuel’s typically gonzo take on Wuthering Heights relocates the story to 19th-century Mexico, where inflamed passions, psychosexual sadism, and necrophilia run wild to a throbbing Wagner score.
February 24, 9:30 PM ; February 26, 8:15 PM

Wuthering Heights (1985)
Jacques Rivette  1985 France 35mm 130 minutes

Jacques Rivette’s radical reinterpretation transforms this tale of white-hot love and fury into a coolly stylized, almost ritualistic chamber drama, foregoing blazing passion in favor of a mannered, Gallic moodiness.
February 24 7:00 PM

Wuthering Heights (1988)
Yoshishige Yoshida  1988 Japan 35mm 144 minutes

Expressionistic landscapes, spurting blood, and demonic spirits: Brontë’s Gothic romance is transposed to feudal Japan for a powerfully stark, elemental take on the story.
February 25 6:00 PM

Wuthering Heights (2011)
Andrea Arnold  2011 UK 129 minutes

The classic novel gets a strong shot of kitchen sink–style realism in Andrea Arnold’s refreshingly gritty, richly sensorial adaptation, which strips away all sentimentality to reveal the story’s wild, almost pagan heart.
February 25, 9:00 PM ; February 27, 8:45 PM

Highly intelligent and ambitious

The Telegraph and Argus has a long article on Mary Taylor since the bicentenary of her birth is in three days, on February 26th.
This month marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the renowned feminist and businesswoman Mary Taylor.
Highly intelligent and ambitious, Mary Taylor is defined as a woman who broke new ground at a time when a woman's place was deemed to be very much in the home.
While other women were content to keep a lovely home and look after their men folk, Mary had other ideas. Far from her wings being clipped, she yearned to travel - and did - to countries as part of her educational journey and sharing her experiences with one of her dearest friends - the famous literary sibling, Charlotte Brontë.
The pair would often meet at Mary's home - Red House. The imposing red-brick abode in Oxford Road, Gomersal, was latterly a museum, closed to the public in December - a victim of budget cuts.
While travelling they still kept in touch through written correspondence - a legacy many historians have no doubt poured over during painstaking research to find out more about these famous friends.
Born on February 26 1817, this year marks the 200th anniversary of Mary Taylor's birth. Last year a range of events were planned and celebrated the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë's birth.
Information from the Brontë Society gives an insight into the life and characteristics of Mary Taylor; the fact that she was an early feminist of her time, somewhat rebelling against the role women were supposed to fulfill. [...]
There is a lot to be learned about Mary Taylor; how in middle age she travelled to Europe, despite often encountering disapproval from groups of men who believed it was inappropriate for women to travel alone.
Around that time the women's movement was gaining momentum. Mary began contributing articles to the Victoria Magazine which put forward her suffragist values and attacked a culture that failed to allow women the independence to earn their own living.
Although Mary didn't attract the same global attention as her literary pal, she did publish a collection of articles, The First Duty of Women. 'Miss Miles' her self-published and only novel was published in 1890.
The talk about Mary Taylor at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, Haworth, on Sunday February 26, is free.
On the same day in Mary's home village of Gomersal, flowers will be laid on her grave at St Mary's Church in Spen Lane, following the 9.30am service. (Sally Clifford)
Tonight is opening night for the stage production of Jane Eyre in Barcelona, Spain. El Periódico has an article about it, although it's a shame that Brontë is spelt Brönte throughout the text.
Abel Folk, que define a su personaje, Rochester, como "un hombre víctima del pasado y las convenciones sociales", reivindica "el discurso radical a favor de la mujer de la obra en una época en la que ni existía el feminismo". El éxito de la novela ayudó a Charlotte Brönte a revelar su verdadero nombre y a ser respetada en la vida literaria londinense pese a que al principio el sector más conservador consideró el texto altamente inmoral y peligroso por su espíritu revolucionario. "La óptica, la forma de ver a las mujeres no ha cambiado. La igualdad representa un problema para quien ha tenido el trono toda la vida", afirma Portaceli.
Esta es la primera vez que la directora trabaja con Folk y Gil, y también con Clara Peya, a quien no deja de alabar. "Es un monstruo", dice. Portaceli califica de "espectacular" el trabajo de la pareja protagonista, y eso que su idea original era contar con Clara Segura y Ramon Madaula, que no pudieron asumir el proyecto por exceso de trabajo. "Hay muy buena química entre Ariadna y yo", confirma Folk, que hasta ahora solo había coincidido con la actriz en alguna producción televisiva, como la miniserie 'Arnau'.
La escenografía es, básicamente, un gran espacio blanco. "Hay muy pocos elementos porque lo importante es lo que sucede, como en las obras de Shakespeare", afirma Portaceli, muy satisfecha con la adaptación de Anna Maria Ricart, "que va a lo esencial de la novela para explicar el viaje de Jane Eyre hasta la culminación del amor de igual a igual". (Marta Cervera) (Translation)
El Punt Avui features it too and reports that the full run is now booked solid.
Des d'avui i fins al 26 de març, Ariadna Gil i Abel Folk representen aquesta història carregada de superació, dolor i llibertat en què l'autora, Charlotte Brontë, va exorcitzar part de les seves limitacions com a dona. Ja no queden entrades disponibles a la venda.
Portaceli es va atrevir a fer una adaptació d'aquesta novel·la (“que coneixem la majoria de les dones que consumim cultura”) després de veure l'èxit de la versió dels vuitanta estrenada a Chicago. L'obra relata “una recerca de llibertat, que vol dir un viatge cap a la felicitat”. Brontë, que com les seves germanes signava amb pseudònim masculí per poder publicar, descriu una òrfena amb un gran instint de superació i un elevat sentit d'igualtat entre home i dona. És una heroïna del segle XIX que pateix i supera les adversitats de l'època. Per a la directora, Brontë és una autora molt moderna per la seva radicalitat en la seva presa de posició. A més, Jean [SIC] Eyre és una gran història d'amor: “L'amor és un motor de la vida.” (J. Bordes) (Translation)
Flight Centre (Australia) tells about a road trip around Yorkshire.
Day 3-4: Leeds to Haworth
A pleasant 35-minute drive west of Leeds will take you to the pretty village of Haworth, which was where literary giants, the Bronte sisters, spent their short lives.
Their former home, the Brontë Parsonage Museum, is now a great visitors centre, but to get behind the minds of the three sisters – whose works included Jane Eyre, Agnes Grey and Wuthering Heights – walking around the village and its surrounding countryside is a must.
The local church holds the family vault, and the aptly named Brontë waterfalls was a regular stop on their walks. The adjacent moor to the parsonage is also said to have inspired Emily to write Wuthering Heights.
The famous sisters aside, the village itself offers plenty to while away a few hours, including antique shops, traditional Yorkshire tea rooms and souvenir shops. (Paul Ewart)
WWD discusses the fall collection of fashion designers Nicholas Alistair Walsh and David James Wise.
For fall, design duo Nicholas Alistair Walsh and David James Wise looked to the book-loving Brontë sisters — Charlotte, Emily and Anne.
“The Brontë sisters lived and worked in the village of Haworth, a short distance from Nicholas’ own home,” Walsh said. “This season, our girl is lovesick, consumed by her infatuation, coming apart at the seams.”
Walsh and Wise said their woman of the season is a spirited daydreamer and an escapist who wants a bit of fantasy in her life. [...]
Walsh and Wise wanted to fashion a wardrobe fit for Catherine Earnshaw — the female protagonist in Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights” — as a lovesick teenager in modern day.
Taking cue from the silhouette of the Thackeray Dress — worn in Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” — the designers revamped the 1850s style giving it an edgier tone with a black sheer floor-sweeping tulle gown with a soft polka-dot pattern.
They experimented with new embellishments such as soft velvet ribbons, seen neatly tied on the collar and affixed on the edges of sleeves of a long billowy white eyelet dress.
They added ruffle details to the sleeves to a full-length, floor-sweeping silk satin gown in a deep wine hue — in a bespoke print women in a garden. Ruffles were also implemented on a short baby-doll white tulle dress with a pastel blue embroidery emblazoned with phrases from “Wuthering Heights” across the chest. (Lorelei Marfil)
The Daily Mail carries on with its crusade against supposed 'mumbling' on TV, citing To Walk Invisible as an example (we have watched it several times now and we still don't find any mumbling).  Just Plain Suus posts about Wuthering HeightsRead & Relax recommends the novel Wild Island by Jennifer Livett, 'a novel of Jane Eyre and Van Diemen’s Land'. Independent People has a blog post full of lovely pictures of Haworth, the moors and the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

Finally, an alert for today, in Wellsburg, WV:
The Brooke County Public Library’s book club will meet at the library, 945 Main St., Wellsburg, at 5 p.m. Thursday to discuss “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë.

Jane Eyre in Barcelona

A new adaptation of Jane Eyre opens today, February 23, in Barcelona, Spain:
Jane Eyre: Una Autobiografia
based on Charlotte Brontë's novel
Adaptation: Anna Maria Ricart
Director: Carme Portaceli
Music: Clara Peya

Teatre Lliure- Gràcia
February 23 - March 26

Ariadna Gil ... Jane
Abel Folk ... Rochester
Jordi Collet ... Blocklehurst, Mason, veí 5
Gabriela Flores ... Bessie, Helen, Bertha/Antoniette, veïna 4
Pepa López ... tieta Reed, Srta. Temple, Sra. Fairfax, Lady Ingram, veïna 2
Joan Negrié ... Dr. Carter, capellà, veí 3, St. John
Magda Puig ... Srta. Scatcherd, Adèle, Blanche, Christophine, veïna 1, Diana, Srta. Rosamond

El més fantàstic d’aquest personatge i d’aquesta novel·la és el fet que Jane Eyre, des del seu naixement i sense tenir unes circumstàncies que la portin a ser d’aquesta manera, té dins seu l’instint de superació més impressionant que jo mai hagi llegit. Ja a l’internat de pobres, on l’envien, per treure-se-la de sobre perquè ja s’enfrontava a la injustícia des de ben petita, ella percep la seva incapacitat de deixar-se maltractar en cap dels vessants que el maltractament pogués disfressar-se. La Jane li pregunta a la seva amiga Helen per què es deixa castigar d’aquesta manera. La Helen li respon que ella ha vingut aquí per rebre una educació i que això forma part de l’assoliment d’aquest gran objectiu. I la Jane diu “no seria capaç de suportar aquesta humiliació, jo no ho perdonaria, això. Si tots obeíssim i fóssim amables amb els qui són cruels i injustos, ells no ens tindrien mai por i serien cada cop més dolents. Si ens peguen sense raó tenim l’obligació de tornar el cop, n’estic segura, i ben fort, per deixar clar als qui ho fan que no ho poden repetir”.
Jane Eyre és una novel·la escrita l’any 1847 per Charlotte Brontë sota el pseudònim de Currer Bell. Amb el seu nom real, el més possible hagués estat que no els haguessin publicat, ni a ella ni a cap de les seves dues germanes, l’Emily i l’Anne, cap de les novel·les que van escriure. O, si més no, no haurien aconseguit l’èxit que van tenir (no en el cas de l’Emily i els seus Cims borrascosos) ni, per tant, la possibilitat de continuar escrivint, que era la passió de totes elles.
Jane Eyre és una finestra a través de la qual Charlotte Brontë ens ensenya la seva visió del món. La Jane opina sobre la diferència arbitrària entre classes i fa especial menció al paper de la dona al món. Ella no deixa mai que ningú oblidi, pel fet de ser pobre o de ser dona, que no és un ser inferior.
Però per sobre de tot, Jane Eyre és una obra romàntica on la lluita per la llibertat és l’impuls que guia la protagonista en un món on les dones no la podien assolir. També hi ha, és clar, una gran història d’amor que només es podrà viure quan els dos
protagonistes estiguin d’igual a igual, quan l’amor no sigui una presó, sinó un acte de llibertat.
Carme Portaceli

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend indeed

The Yorkshire Post features Mansions in the Sky, the Branwell Brontë bicentenary exhibition curated by Simon Armitage at the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
When we meet at the Parsonage Armitage admits that it wasn’t immediately apparent how he should approach the project. “When the museum got in touch I didn’t really know that much about Branwell other than the image of him being a trouble maker and a drunk,” he says. “So it was about trying to think of a way of celebrating him and acknowledging him. When I started, I wondered if he could be restored in some way, whether his writing had been under-rated. But it seemed to me that he burned out – he had very early promise and enthusiasm but that only took him so far. So it was about finding something to connect with.”
His way in was a letter that the ambitious 19-year-old Branwell wrote to William Wordsworth expressing his hopes and dreams, his intention to build ‘mansions in the sky’, and enclosing one of his own poems, for which he sought some kind of validation. He never received a reply.
“When I read about the letter I got excited because I could connect with that – thinking about being a poet and trying to get recognition, having your voice heard,” says Armitage. “The poem itself has some really good lines in it, but overall it is a kind of Romantic pastiche. To me that letter is so full of bravado, but it is desperate as well.”
Armitage’s poem William, It was Really Nothing, displayed alongside the letter, which is on loan from the Wordsworth Trust, is a perfect balance of humour and pathos. After painting a slightly irreverent portrait of the great Lakeland Bard receiving Branwell’s missive ‘mid-breakfast, letter in hand/eyes on stalks… a loaded knife-blade of Dorothy’s damson preserve/stalled between lidded porcelain jam-pot and toast’ he delivers the killer lines ‘what glittered like charmed finches over Haworth Church/drifts as rain across Scafell Pike. No reply’. It’s incredibly poignant.
“Branwell clearly had weaknesses and frailties but I think it was his disappointments that really broke him,” says Armitage. “I did feel sorry for him – everything seemed to end badly for him.” His dreams of becoming a revered poet came to nothing as his writing never matched up to his sisters’ work, his short-lived period of fruitful employment as a railway clerk at Luddenden Foot ended abruptly after a minor accounting error and he was dismissed from a tutoring post after having an affair with Lydia Robinson, the much older wife of his employer. Branwell’s hope was that she would eventually set up home with him, but when this didn’t happen it seems to have triggered his final decline, as was so powerfully depicted in the BBC’s recent Brontë drama To Walk Invisible, written by Sally Wainwright. (Read more) (Yvette Huddleston)
Coincidentally, ITV News reports that, 'Yorkshire pulls in 20% of country's literary holiday makers'.
New research shows 20% of trips with a literary link were to Yorkshire, home of Haworth and Brontë country and Whitby Abbey, which inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Figures from VisitEngland show that more than half of British holiday makers would visit a literary attraction on holiday in England.
Findings also show that a quarter of Brits visited a literary location in England during a holiday break in the last year. The same amount had read literature relating to a place they had visited in the country.
VisitEngland’s first ever research into literary tourism, which surveyed more than 1200 people, found that 21% of trips with a literary link were to London.
Famous for its connections with Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes and Charles Dickens, the capital just pipped Yorkshire to pole position.
And PR Web has a press release on a the launch of UK Countryside Tours' 'Telling the Stories of England'.
Landscapes and Literary Connections enables literary buffs to meander through the timeless villages of the New Forest to the rugged uplands of the Lake District and the wild intensity of the Yorkshire moors as they discover the landscapes which inspired such as Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters. Guests will enjoy distinctive rural heritage, folk customs and celebrated regional foods from Dorset cider to Grasmere gingerbread whilst expert guides share favorite readings bringing each location to life in the words of the author.
Entertainment Weekly interviews Aline Brosh McKenna, who's to release a modern-day Jane Eyre graphic novel.
Aline Brosh McKenna, co-creator of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and screenwriter of The Devil Wears Prada, will publish a graphic novel, Jane, that reimagines Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel Jane Eyre, EW can announce exclusively. Jane will be published by Boom! Studios.
Illustrated by Eisner Award winner Ramón K. Pérez, Jane transposes our heroine to the modern era, where she’s an art student who has finally left her small fishing town for the bright lights of New York City. Soon, she realizes that the city and her talented peers are more intimidating than she expected, so Jane gets a nannying job to earn extra money. But the comfort that job provided grows thin when she starts falling for her young charge’s father, Rochester — a wealthy man with a dark secret. [...]
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did this project come about? ALINE BROSH MCKENNA: I got very interested in graphic novels after I adapted one called Rust, and I met Ramón at Comic Con when I was working on Rust. Ramón was there with Tale of Sand — it’s the book he wrote that won the Eisner, and it’s the most remarkable, gorgeous book. So I had this idea to do sort of an updated Jane Eyre story, and I was going to do it as a movie, and then when I saw Ramón’s work I became obsessed with doing it with Ramón.
I’ve seen every movie based on Jane Eyre, and I’ve read the book many times. It’s one of those that I just have gone back to a lot in my life, and I wanted to do sort of a contemporary version of that.
But I love the idea that Rochester’s mysterious circumstances kind of take place in a bigger, grander world — almost in a different genre from Jane’s world — because a lot of the obstacles in Jane Eyre, the marriage and romantic obstacles, are specific to that era. They have to do with marrying well, and those sorts of concerns. So the obstacles and barriers in a contemporary setting needed to be a little bit different. When we started talking about Rochester, I started seeing him almost in a Bruce Wayne type of way.
Like strong, dark…Yeah. It’s very much like, Jane Eyre comes to New York, and that’s what intimidates her. She has a sad backstory, as Jane Eyre does in the book. [Brontë’s] book is several sections, of which the Rochester [stuff] is just the middle section, because there’s a whole section about her childhood and then there’s a whole section afterwards when she goes and lives with the family with the priest. [...]
Is the book already finished then?No, he’s still working on some of it. I’ve seen the whole book in rough, and he and I did some revisions. There’s an additional bad guy in the story now, which is very cool. There’s some new relationships, definitely new settings. Jane is an art student in this version — she comes to the city to be an art student. He’s finishing it up and it’ll be out in the fall. [...]
I love that. I’m really interested to see how you’re going to take on the woman in the attic. Is that part of it?That’s an interesting thing — we did something different with that, and it also speaks to the sort of genre, comic book aspects of it. That was really what was cool about the genre comic book stuff: it allowed us to turbo-charge the story in a way. It adds this other element of drive and intrigue and mystery, which is incipient in the [original] book, but in Jane Eyre, it’s really just focused around who’s in the attic.
How do you figure out how much to leave in to keep it as Jane EyreI think it was stuff that had spoken to me since I was a kid. I tried to analyze what had appealed to me. So in the graphic novel, instead of being a big scary castle, in the beginning it’s this very, very intimidating three-story apartment in New York. She’s from a small town, so New York is overwhelming to her to begin with, and then the space that Rochester lives in is something she’s really unfamiliar with.
What was the biggest challenge? I would say that the challenge was really just balancing those genre elements so you had the core of what makes Jane so lovable and attractive. I think the other thing that has always made Jane Eyre attractive to women is that it’s not about being pretty. [Rochester] doesn’t love her because she’s pretty; he loves her because she’s such a moral example for him. That story makes you think that any man, no matter how rich or handsome or high above you in society, if he could see your inner goodness, that would inspire him to love you.
I think that is a very core fantasy of the book. It’s also a bit retro, and I wanted to find a way to say, “What is it in their relationship that inspires him to make changes in his life based on her innate goodness?” But also for her to challenge herself to uncover aspects of herself she would never have if she had not taken this job. (Isabella Biederharn)
Ara (in Catalan) has an article  about the Stage production of Jane Eyre which opens tomorrow in Barcelona, Spain.
La fascinació de Carme Portaceli per Jane Eyre comença precisament per la vida de les germanes Brontë, tres filles d’un pastor anglicà que vivien isolades al ventós West Yorkshire i que, tot i no tenir pràcticament cap contacte amb l’exterior, van crear un món literari propi des de la cuina de casa seva escrivint en trossets de paper. Totes van arribar a publicar novel·les, i ho van fer amb pseudònims d’home. “Feien d’institutrius en escoles i la Charlotte ho odiava perquè deia que criaven les nenes per ser tontes”, afirma Portaceli. Aquest caràcter rebel i independent és el que l’autora va cedir a la protagonista de Jane Eyre, una nena òrfena criada per una tia que “s’enfrontarà al món” sense renunciar a “la puresa” i “dient sempre la veritat”: “Passi el que passi sempre tira endavant i manté el respecte per ella mateixa. No suporta la falta de respecte”, diu la directora. “És un personatge que hauria de caure i no aixecar-se, però ella té una moral i uns principis inamovibles. I lluita per la seva felicitat”, defensa Ariadna Gil, que li dona vida. La noia aspira a la llibertat però, conscient de les seves possibilitats, comença aspirant a canviar la manera de guanyar-se la vida. Per això se’n va. I se’n va per acabar coneixent el senyor Rochester (Abel Folk), un home solitari, brusc i amb un passat esquerdat que troba en la jove Jane una altra ànima solitària però amb una sinceritat, veritat, justícia i manca de malícia irresistibles. “És una història de superació i d’amor amb un happy end fantàstic en què la gent pugui somiar”, sentencia Portaceli. ¿Una revisió feminista de Jane Eyre? “No. És que Charlotte Brontë ja ho és”, respon. (L.S.) (Translation)
Artslant mentions the project Angela Carter was working on when she died.
Carter also died before her time, in 1992, while working on a sequel to Jane Eyre based on her stepdaughter. That she died while reinterpreting Charlotte Brontë’s text adds another layer of irony: the work of artists and writers dialoguing with one another seems to never be complete. (Sola Agustsson)
USA Today's Happy Ever After has romance writer Lisa Marie Perry list her 'Top 5 favorite romance heroes', one of which is
Rochester in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Mr. Rochester is brooding, perceptive and so seductive in his manipulation that plenty of readers can’t tell just how manipulative he is. He’s sexy, too. Sure, the man has a wife hidden in the attic, but we aren’t going to hold that against him, are we? (Joyce Lamb)
We are very fond of Mr Rochester in spite of all his faults but that description of him is just - erm - silly.

The Huffington Post publishes the introduction to Carla Power's book If the Oceans Were Ink.
When I was eleven years old, I bought a tiny book containing a verse from the Quran from a stall outside a Cairo mosque. The amulet was designed to be tucked into a pocket to comfort its owner throughout the day. I was neither Muslim nor literate in Arabic; I bought it not for the words inside but for its dainty proportions. The stall’s proprietress watched me bemusedly as I cooed over the matchbox-sized book. My family and I were living in Egypt at the time, and back at home I taped a bit of paper over the cover and crayoned a woman in a long blue dress, writing on top, “Jane Eyre by C. Brontë.” I then placed the book in the waxy hand of my doll, which sat stiffly on a high shelf in my Cairo bedroom.
The little book outlasted the doll: I found it over a quarter century later, one sticky summer afternoon in St. Louis, wrapped in a jewelry box in my parents’ house. It was a minor miracle that such a flimsy item from a market stall had endured so long. It was a major miracle that I’d found it at all, in a three-story house so crammed with exotic souvenirs that friends called it Aladdin’s Cave. But somehow I did find that booklet, amid the spoils of my father’s avid collecting from the Middle East and Asia: mosque lamps from Cairo, stacks of Indian brocades and embroideries, Bokhara samovars, lapis lazuli boxes, mounds of tribal jewelry, and hundreds of carpets.
Todo Literatura (Spain) reviews Elizabeth Smart's By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept.
A día de hoy, En Gran Central Station… está considerada como un clásico de la literatura, y uno de los hitos dentro de lo que se ha dado en llamar como literatura feminista, pues se encuentra en ese doloroso Olimpo junto a títulos como: Jane Eyre de Charlotte Brontë, Ancho Mar de los Sargazos de Jean Rhys, Al despertar de Kate Chopin, o Una habitación propia de Virginia Woolf. (Ángel Silvelo Gabriel) (Translation)
JK Rowling's dog Brontë has made it to many news websites such as Bustle, Mirror and The Scottish Sun. Where A Thousand Words Paint A Picture reviews Wuthering Heights.

Jane Eyre: An Autobiography on Tour

Jane Eyre: An Autobiography by Elton Townend Jones (which was presented at last year's Edinburgh Fringe) begins today an Irish and British tour:
Dyad Productions present
Jane Eyre: An Autobiography
by Elton Townend Jones
With Rebecca Vaughan

Struggling to think, live and love beyond the stifling expectations of duty, class and convention, governess Jane Eyre and Master Edward Rochester take a dark journey towards sensual and intellectual liberation. Told through Jane’s eyes, English literature’s most celebrated autobiographical novel shocked the Victorians, and Charlotte Bronte’s gothic subversion of fairy-tale romance is now distilled for the stage – under its full title – by writer/director Elton Townend Jones. Performer Rebecca Vaughan embodies everywoman Jane – and several other characters – in this intimate study of love’s realities. From the creators of: Austen’s Women, I, Elizabeth, The Unremarkable Death of Marilyn Monroe, The Diaries of Adam and Eve, Female Gothic, Christmas Gothic and Dalloway.

February 21, Old Courthouse Theatre, Antrim, NI February 22,  Riverside Theatre, Coleraine February 23,  Courtyard Theatre, Ballyearl, Newtownabbey, NI February 24, Island Arts Centre, Lisburn, NI
February 25,  Market Place Theatre, Armagh, NI February 26, Down Arts Centre, Downpatrick, NI
March 1,  Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, Ireland
March 2, Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda, Ireland
March 3, Draiocht, Dublin, Ireland March 4, Source Arts Centre, Thurles, Ireland
March 5, Siamsa Tire Theatre, Tralee, Ireland
March 7, Carriageworks, Leeds March 8, Georgian Theatre, Royal, Richmond, North Yorks March 10, Maltings Theatre & Cinema, Berwick upon Tweed
March 11, Helmsley Arts Centre, North Yorks
March 15, Hertford Theatre, Herts March 16, artsdepot, London March 17, Harrow Arts Centre, London
March 22, Wakefield Theatre Royal, West Yorks
March 23, Swan Theatre, Worcester March 25, Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury March 27-28 York Theatre Royal, York
March 30, Byre Theatre, St Andrews
March 31, Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock
April 1, Eden Court Theatre, Inverness April 2, Lyth Arts Centre, Wick
April 19-20 Stables Theatre, Hastings
April 21, Astor Community Theatre, Deal
April 22, Art for Hungerford
April 25, Forest Arts Centre, New Milton
April 26, Hawth Theatre, Crawley, East Sussex
April,l 27, Electric Theatre, Guildford
May 3-5 Omnibus, Clapham, London

Jane Eyre Musical in Billingham

The Anne Dalton's Jane Eyre musical is performed in Billingham:
Jane Eyre
by Anne Dalton
Forum Theatre, Queensway, Billingham
22nd Feb 2017 - 25th Feb 2017

A faithful and haunting retelling of the Charlotte Brontë classic, this musical captures the full emotional force of the iconic original novel, appealing equally to those already familiar with “Jane Eyre” and to anyone experiencing the story for the first time.
Sweeping melodies enhance this Gothic romance while the sparkling dialogue and expertly crafted lyrics bring the novel’s power and wit vividly to life.
Step into history and watch this passionate and tenacious woman journey from child to adult in her search for family, belonging and love.
What is it that draws her to moody, enigmatic Mr Rochester?
Will class differences and his terrible secret tear them apart?
The Darlington & Stockton Times discusses the presence this production.

Family Events for February Half-Term at the Parsonage

This week at the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
Family Events for February Half-Term
Family friendly talks and artist-led workshops

During the school holidays the Museum offers activities for all the family. Listen to our free talks, meet John Brown, take part in drop-in workshops and Hands on History sessions!
Tuesday 21stHands on History, 2pm- 4pm   Get your hands on some domestic artefacts from the Brontës time and see if you can work out some intriguing puzzles… You can even try your hand at a bit of cross stitch!
Meet John Brown, between 11 – 4pm  Branwell’s friend John Brown is in and out of the Parsonage today looking for him. He’s supposed to be taking Branwell to Liverpool for a few days of ‘recuperation’, but he’s nowhere to be seen.  John’s in chatty mood though, so if you come across him today, he’s sure to share a few Branwell anecdotes…

Wednesday 23rd Wednesday workshops are back! Every Wednesday during the school holidays, we will be holding a drop-in workshop led by a local artist. Come and explore different techniques and mediums and create something special to take home with you. Sometimes arty, sometimes crafty but always fun!
Branwell's Wallet
One of Branwell Brontë's possessions that we have at the Museum is a simple brown leather wallet. Join local artist Rachel Lee in upcycling everyday packaging to create your own much funkier version.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday  2.30Talks and Walks Join us for a walk around the environs of the Parsonage and find out a little about the Brontës and  their lives in Haworth. If the weather's really bad, there will be a talk in our Learning area instead.

Anne Brontosaurus

Broadway World tells about the new cast of Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre, soon to go on tour around the UK.
Casting for Sally Cookson's energetic and imaginative new adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's masterpiece, Jane Eyre was announced today (20 February 2017), with Nadia Clifford taking the central role of Jane Eyre and Tim Delap as Rochester.
Manchester born and bred Nadia Clifford's previously appeared at the National Theatre in Alistair McDowell's sell-out production of Pomona and Tim Delap will make his NT debut as Rochester.
They are joined by Hannah Bristow (Helen Burns/Adele/St John/Grace Poole/Abbot), Matthew Churcher (Musician), Alex Heane (Musician), Melanie Marshall (Bertha Mason), Belfast born and bred Paul Mundell (Mr Brocklehurst/Pilot/Mason), Cardiff born David Ridley (musician), Evelyn Miller (Bessie/Blanche Ingram/Diana) and Lynda Rook (Mrs Reed/Mrs Fairfax). The cast is completed by Ben Cutler, Jenny Johns, Dami Olukoya, Francesca Tomlinson and Phoebe Vigor.
2017 marks the 170th anniversary of the first publication of Jane Eyre - a significant time to be touring Charlotte Brontë's classic and much loved story. The highly acclaimed co-production between the National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic opens at The Lowry in Salford on 8 April and will continue its journey around the country to Sheffield, Aylesbury, Plymouth, Southampton, Edinburgh, York, Woking, Glasgow, Richmond, Canterbury, Cardiff, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Milton Keynes, Norwich, Brighton, Leeds, Belfast, Aberdeen and Birmingham.
Playbill reports it too.

This columnist from the Uinta County Herald is offended by a recent association of Jane Eyre to Fifty Shades Darker.
I was delighted to discover the 2011 “Jane Eyre,” one of my all-time favorite movies (romantic or otherwise), at Wal-Mart this Sunday. I have loved the book by Charlotte Brontë since I first encountered it in middle school, and the movie is a beautifully done adaptation.
However, my delight at finding “Jane Eyre” was tempered by the realization that the slipcover was bleached of all color, leaving it in black, white and grey — and the movie came with an expired coupon for a ticket to “Fifty Shades Darker.
I am mortally offended by the implied connection between “Jane Eyre” and “Fifty Shades.” It’s a gross insult to Bronte’s genius and sensitivity. And what of this comparison to “Fifty Shades” — that “Twilight” fanfiction that is disgustingly degrading at best and outright dangerous at worst? From what I’ve gathered, it is a story of a man abusing a woman in the name of love, and of her eager submission to it. That’s not love. That’s abuse.
On the other hand, we have “Jane Eyre,” which does have surface similarities but also (and this is the important part) profound differences. It is these differences that “Twilight” and “Fifty Shade,  have neglected.
The hero of “Jane Eyre” (if you can call him that) is Edward Rochester — powerful, wealthy, well-educated and well-traveled, violent, rude, passionate, rough, tormented by his inner demons and by his mad wife in the attic and Jane’s social superior in every material way.
By contrast, Jane is “poor, plain and little” by her own admission. She is an orphan despised and cast off by her aunt and cousins, abused through childhood and sent to a boarding school where her best friend and many other girls died of disease and malnutrition. She is a governess, caught between the servants’ class and the middle- and upper-classes. She has no apparent worth in the world and is alone, unbeautiful and unloved — but her saving grace is her faith in God (found while suffering in boarding school) and in her strong moral principles. (Read more) (Bethany Lange)
Signature Reads interviews writer Maeve Higgins.
SIG: Are there any books you’ve read lately that inspired  Maeve in America?
MH: Absolutely. Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War is amazing. The Upstairs Wife about women in Pakistan is another one I love, and How the Irish Became White is fascinating. Those books are windows into worlds. There are also novels, like say Jane Eyre. What’s always interesting to me is someone who leaves their life behind and starts over. (Patrick Sauer)
On Gramophone, John Amis, Rumon Gamba and Adrian Edwards discuss composer Bernard Herrmann and his works.
AE Writing film music is partly an art because you’re writing to a prescribed number of minutes, in segments, in sections, all the time. Yet when we recall what Herrmann considered to be the piece by which he would be remembered, the opera Wuthering Heights, that’s a sprawling work which really could do with a bit of the technique of film writing being allied to it.
JA I think there are a lot of film gestures and atmospheric gestures in it but I do think it’s the most boring piece. I didn’t want to condemn him without reconsidering it, so I listened this week to the last two acts and I do think it’s a bit like eating polystyrene and there’s such a lack of melody. Although there’s one good song in it, the rest is really rather feeble.
AE So Rumon, what do you think happened? The marvellous, dramatic music he wrote for film eluded him when it came to Brontë.
RG Of course he was working with a great writer, but he didn’t have the visual stimulus. That’s what he needed. He was involved in the process of making films, unlike a lot of the composers who would score it afterwards. So he was an active creative partner. Perhaps he didn’t have a creative partner for the opera. Suddenly he was let off the leash with no time limits, and I guess one thinks when you write an opera you have to produce something grand. He was quite romantic in that respect, in the way he approached music. He wanted to emulate the Romantic composers rather than bring everything into a tight shape.
Diario Información (Spain) tells about the publication of a book about Kate Bush in Spanish.
Abogado y profesor de Derecho Tributario en la Universidad de Alicante –«comprenderás que busque escapes», bromea– Vicedo apunta que la autora de ese Wuthering heights con el que irrumpió en escena en 1978 «necesitaba una biografía en castellano, que no tenía».
Él, como muchos seguidores de esta artista británica, la conoció con ese video famoso de aspecto coreográfico que habla de Cumbres borrascosas «con una pasión que trasciende». «La mitad de la gente que ve ese video piensa: ''Qué voz más horrible tiene'' y a la otra mitad lo que nos llama la atención es cómo vive la historia que cuenta en tres minutos. Eso es lo difícil del pop, cuando se consigue ir más allá de esos tres minutos. El pop normalmente lo entendemos como un género menor, más intrascendente, más frívolo, y ella lo lleva a un nivel mucho más alto», asegura Vicedo. (África Prado) (Translation)
Also in Spanish is this weird mention which sounds like a blunder but we really couldn't tell. From Pysn Noticias:
Radcliffe también fue una de las primeras en explorar la terrible figura del villano gótico, tan demoníaco como seductor — influyendo, por cierto, otra autora de enorme importancia: Emily Brontë y su de los brujos (quien leyó difícilmente se olvidará del misterioso y atormentado Heathcliff). (Translation)
Express & Echo reports that the luxury five star cruise ship MS Emily Brontë now has a Godmother to launch it. Apartment Therapy shares a selection of gifts for book lovers such as literary teas, including one inspired by Jane Eyre. Patheos Hawkeye discusses orphans in literature. The Brussels Brontë Blog (with a brand new design) tells about the recent talks on Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre.

Finally, apart from her production company being called Brontë Film and Television, JK Rowling has now mentioned on Twitter that she has a dog called Brontë. When asked about it, she replied,