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The Nation's Favourite Second Novel

http://bronteblog.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-nations-favourite-second-novel.html

The future of Wycoller is still uncertain, as reported by Lancashire Telegraph.
The future of countryside sites across the county are set to be revealed next week.
Landmarks including Wycoller Country Park, which inspired Charlotte Brontë, were earmarked by Lancashire County Council for either closure or transfer because of £262million in funding cuts revealed in 2015.
Two-years-ago the council said it could no longer afford to run the 93 countryside sites and said it hoped to transfer responsibility of them by March 2018.
Cllr Marcus Johnston, the cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, will make the announcement next week.
A petition, which has already attracted more than 300 signatures, has been launched to appeal to the county to fund Wycoller Park until a new backer can be found.
Pendle councillors Paul White, Jenny Purcell and Joe Cooney are behind the petition.
The ruined Wycoller Hall, which is based in the grounds, was the model for Ferndean Manor in Brontë’s Jane Eyre and the historic venue is the starting point for the Brontë Way which leads to the Parsonage Museum in nearby Haworth.
Cllr White said: “We are really pleased with the uptake of the petition.
“It’s very important that this park stays open as it will be much more attractive to a new backer if it can be transferred as a going concern instead of having to be shut down.
“I’m disappointed the deal with the trust has fallen through but now we must do all we can to try and find a new partner.
“We are not asking the council to fund it forever, just until a new deal can be done.”
In 2015 a petition by the Friends of Wycoller to support stop the park’s closure was signed by more than 6,700 people.
Last year the Lancashire Wildlife Trust expressed an interest in taking over the majority of the council’s countryside sites but said it needed funding from the council in doing so.
A council spokesman said: “The county council agreed in 2016 to fund the countryside service from reserves until March, 31, 2018, so there is no need to find funding to ensure Wycoller Country Park’s continued operation in the immediate term.
“A decision is due to be taken in the coming days by the cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services regarding the future of the countryside sites which will address people’s concerns about the future of many of the key sites.” (Jon Robinson)
2BR Lancashire has the story as well. Let us hope this won't go the way of the Red House Museum.

In Spain, news sites are busy promoting the forthcoming adaptation of Jane Eyre in Barcelona. From La Información:
En rueda de prensa este jueves, la directora ha recordado que se celebra el 200 aniversario del nacimiento de la novelista inglesa con esta obra -que presentó bajo el seudónimo masculino Currer Bell-- y crítica con los patrones victorianos de su época, que los sectores más conservadores consideraron peligrosamente inmoral.
"Fue una mujer que por su instinto de verdad se enfrentó al mundo y cuando todos manipulaban la palabra, ella solo entiende lo literal", ha explicado Portaceli, ensalzando su pureza y el respeto que siempre guarda consigo misma, creando un personaje que siempre sale adelante.
Con música de Clara Peya y Laia Vallès en directo, 'Jane Eyre' es una ventana a través de la cual Brontë enseña su visión del mundo y opina sobre la diferencia arbitraria entre clases, con especial mención al papel de la mujer en la sociedad, así como una historia de amor con el señor Rochester, "un hombre agrietado en cuya piel pueden ponerse todos los hombres que tienen una historia tremenda", que queda prendado de la pureza espiritual de Eyre. [...]
[Ariadna] Gil ha explicado que este papel ha sido "una de las cosas más importantes" que le han pasado últimamente, y que con la lectura de la novela descubrió un mundo y une época, así como el impulso y la fuerza del personaje.
"Es un personaje moral y con unos principios inamovibles", ha dicho Gil, confesando haber quedado enamorada del personaje tras unos ensayos muy exigentes, lo que le ha dejado una enorme sensación de felicidad.
Ha relatado que el vestuario es simple y deja que salga la esencia de los personajes, en una "virguería" de función que pasa de una época a la otra sólo con un cambio de mirada, mientras que Abel Folk ha agregado que el espectáculo es un gran clásico del romanticismo reinterpretado desde el teatro contemporáneo.
Folk ha ensalzado que la obra es "un estallido de verdad y sinceridad", además de una lucha por la libertad individual y la justicia, y ha aventurado que actualmente sería también sorprendente encontrarse con una Jane Eyre tan sincera.
Con un vestuario sencillo, Gil ha agregado que el espectáculo suma unas proyecciones que aportan información que falta: "Aportan este elemento fundamental de geografía, clima y paisaje". (Translation)
From La Vanguardia:
Sobre el tono del montaje, con el que el teatro barcelonés celebra el 200 aniversario del nacimiento de la escritora inglesa, Portaceli ha asegurado: "No potencio el drama, porque no me interesa: pasa lo que pasa. Ella lucha, pero no hay un tono dramático".
Al respecto, Ariadna Gil ha puntualizado que "Jane Eyre tiene mucha ironía, sobre todo teniendo en cuenta que ella habla desde el final de la historia". [...]
En aquella época, como también hoy, ha añadido Abel Folk, "encontrar una Jane Eyre, una persona tan íntegra, también nos sorprendería".
Cuando la huérfana Jane Eyre es enviada a un internado para niñas pobres, para quitársela de encima, Eyre percibe, según Portaceli, "su incapacidad de dejarse maltratar en ninguna de las vertientes que el maltrato pueda disfrazarse".
Conversando con su compañera Helen sobre la rigidez de la enseñanza en el internado, Jane Eyre dice, en un momento dado: "No sería capaz de soportar esta humillación, yo no lo perdonaría. Si todos obedeciéramos y fuéramos amables con los que son crueles e injustos, ellos no nos tendrían nunca miedo y serían cada vez más malos".
Para la directora, "'Jane Eyre' es una puerta a través de la cual Brontë nos enseña su visión del mundo" y, de este modo, a través de la protagonista opina sobre la diferencia arbitraria entre clases y hace especial mención al papel de la mujer en el mundo. "Ella no deja nunca que nadie olvide que, por ser pobre o mujer, no se es un ser inferior", apunta Portaceli.
"Jane Eyre", continúa Portaceli, es "una obra romántica en la que la lucha por la libertad es el impulso que guía a la protagonista en un mundo en el que las mujeres no la podían conseguir".
El espectador descubre también una historia de amor que sólo se hace realidad cuando "los dos protagonistas hablan de igual a igual, cuando el amor ya no es una cárcel, sino un acto de libertad". (Translation)
Aldia, Regió 7 and Te interesa also feature the production.

BBC Culture reviews the film God's Own Country:
And in Josh O'Connor (Peaky Blinders) the film finds a central performance of such authenticity and naturalism that is feels like it grew there, planted some years ago, with a root system that extends for miles under these forbiddingly lovely moors.
The film’s sense of place recalls Andrea Arnold’s viscerally damp and windswept Wuthering Heights.
This sense of place, and of tactile immediacy in the detail and dirt of its wild location, at times recalls Andrea Arnold's viscerally damp and windswept take on Wuthering Heights, but there is nothing ethereal about Lee's vision of rural life. (Jessica Kiang)
The Monitor makes an interesting point in a review of Fifty Shades Darker:
Ana wants the hero of her Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë stories, conveniently forgetting that she is straying farther and farther away from the strong, independent, intelligent heroines within those novels, the women who challenged their suitors to be better men and earn their love and respect. (Brooke Corso)
The Conversation recommends the book L’Histoire d’O to those 'Fed up with Fifty Shades'.
At times, Desclos’s words recall another honorary Parisian writer: Jean Rhys, whose roughly contemporaneous novels of lost, voiceless women carried the same echoes of lonely, inner emptiness while in the distant thrall of powerful – but indifferent – men. Like Desclos, Rhys too had been the “other woman” in a literary relationship, this time with writer, critic and editor Ford Madox Ford. The absurdities of their arrangement formed the sustance of her 1928 novel Quartet, which was also set in Paris. By the time O was published, Rhys had already begun on her literary tour de force, Wide Sargasso Sea; her prequel to Brontë’s Jane Eyre intended to breathe life into the Jamaican wife Rochester had imprisoned in an attic. (Victoria Anderson)
Counsel & Heal reviews the book Heartthrob: A History of Women and Desire by Carolyn Dyhouse.
According to author Professor Carol Dyhouse, what makes a man very desirable to women are not only based on his appearance but also on his personality. What Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre and Christian Grey from the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy have in common, besides being wealthy men in novels, is that both male characters are considered by most women as damaged men. (Minnow Blythe)
The Daily Mail features the same book:
But what about a different sort of heartthrob? Certain women have always hankered after pirates, brigands, highwaymen, tough warriors and even vampires.
Horrible Heathcliff epitomises the anti-hero who treats women badly. This is the allure of the dark side — just a short step away from the transgressive fantasy of being taken by force. When Daphne du Maurier described a man as ‘a menace’, she meant he was unsettlingly sexy. (Bel Mooney)
An essay on Letterpile discusses whether Mr Earnshaw might have actually been Heathcliff's father. The Telegraph and Argus reminds locals of the 'attractions on our own doorstep' such as the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

Finally, the Royal Society of Literature is looking to find the nation's favourite second novel through an online poll open to UK residents only. Both Shirley and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall can be voted.
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