Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

May 5, 2006

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Filed under: Bronteana,Drama,Fun,Jane Eyre,Media,Reviews,Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 12:22 am

Brontë News

Jane Eyre is playing London: "Jane Eyre'' plays from May 9 through July 9 at Trafalgar Studios. Tel. (44) (870) 060-6632 or click http://www.theambassadors.com.

'Bookslut' has another review of The Brontë Project: A Novel of Passion, Desire, and Good PR.

This is probably a better idea than encouraging your children to write fictional thank you letters for fictional gifts of Jane Eyre: a mother-daughter book club!

The Chocolate War, The Outsiders, and The Secret Life of Bees are novels written by contemporary writers, but the group has tackled classics that include A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Jane Eyre, as well.

"It's not hard to read a book each month," said Katie [aged 11], "but Jane Eyre was so long."

Author Sara Paretsky talks about her attraction to a certain breed of heroine: Women like Jo March of "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott and the title characters of "Anne of Green Gables" by Lucy Maud Montgomery and Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre"
"Heroines who engage me had to suffer before they succeeded," said Paretsky.

And lastly, Yorkshire has the dubious destinction of being #4 on a list of places to avoid visiting
Lovely scenery, but there are people in the West Riding who have lived there since 1106 but are still not accepted as true Yorkshiremen because rumour has it that their mother bought clogs from a pedlar who had a cousin in Prestbury, thereby blighting the bloodline forever. They make Londoners look like Hawaiian greeter girls. Plus you can't stray within 50 miles of Haworth sodding Parsonage without being assailed on all sides by Bronte bilge. The Branwell Tea Shoppe. The Helen Burns Sunbed Centre. Mr Rochester Opticians. Grace Moon Loft Conversions. What a load of Wuthering Shite.

I cannot but laugh at the thought: who the deuce is 'Grace Moon'? They… did at least inadvertently promote two other places associated with the Brontës: The Peak District, home to at least one of the halls said to have inspired Charlotte's description of Thornfield, not to mention the location for now two version of Jane Eyre. Also, the Mourne Mountains, in Northern Ireland. Visible from Patrick Brontë's birthplace. So, it's not all so bad? …

ETA: These this a better link for the London Jane Eyre production: http://www.theambassadors.com/trafalgarstudios/sp_p2702.html

Adapted and Directed by Polly Tealefrom the novel by Charlotte Bronte. Jane Eyre is poor, plain and unloved. But locked up in the attic of her imagination lives a woman so passionate and so full of longing she must be guarded night and day for fear of the havoc she would wreck. Who is this woman who threatens to destroy Janes's orderly world? A world where Jane has, for the first time, fallen in love.

Last seen in the West End with its award winning play After Mrs Rochester, Shared Experience is one of the country's most successful and inventive theatre companies, making a long awaited return to London with its heartbreaking, utterly compelling and unique interpretation of a great novel.

'You feel you are looking into the heart of Bronte herself' The Times
'Brilliant. A big, stormy play' Sunday Times
'Keeps making me cry in the street. Startling intelligence, passion and humour.' Daily Telegraph

May 4, 2006

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Filed under: Crafts,Fun,Wuthering Heights — by bronteana @ 11:43 am

Stitching Wuthering Heights

For those of you thinking about joining in on Knit the Classics' reading of Wuthering Heights next month, I bring you some useful links that have turned up which might give you some ideas for your needlework project.

Victoriana.com might be a good place to start, and get some general ideas.

These are a few illustrations from The Beeton's Book of Needlework, published in 1870, showing a few Victorian embroidery stitches. Wuthering Heights is a great book from an embroiderer's point of view, because you might choose to work with older 18th and 17th century styles- which are a lot more fun in my opinion! Such embroidery is known as Jacobean or Crewel embroidery. This is also the kind of embroidery Jane Eyre probably saw, the 'strange' birds and people on the hangings tucked away on the third floor. I would suggest photocopying instructions from books at the library, or try going to used bookstores for comprehensive guides. I learned through some wonderful books I picked up second hand. Then, get a hoop a needle and some embroidery floss.

So, you can guess what I'll be doing this June!

April 27, 2006

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She's back.

Charlotte Brontë-saurus. First seen here*, but now we have another sighting of this elusive creature. Apparently she now lives in Minnesota and has children in South Dakota. This is clearly not the same Charlotte Brontë-saurus, but you never know. I mean, she's out there somewhere (unless she has been microwaved into action-figure oblivion). A Brontëana reader reports a cartoon dinosaur named Emily, but in our professional opinion we believe we can discount the report as not being a valid sighting of the even more elusive Emily Brontë-saurus, since she is not a cartoon as far as we know.

*Well, not 'seen' per se…

April 23, 2006

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Filed under: Bronteana,Crafts,Fun,The Bronte Family,Toys — by bronteana @ 9:12 pm

Brontë Sisters Paper Dolls

Yesterday I brought you paper dolls of some characters from the Brontë novels, and now, thanks to Cristina, I bring you the sisters themselves (or reasonable facsimiles).

The sisters only have one dress each, but they are very fine dresses. I'm not sure what they would think of these likenesses, however! I'm sure Charlotte would have something to say about it all…

In case it isn't easily apparent, they are from left: Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, and Anne Brontë.

April 5, 2006

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Jane Eyre 2006 Imdb Page Correction (and WonderJane)

After being notified that there is a wee error on the page, I have sent them a request for an update and a correction. The wee error is that the Ruth Wilson currently linked from the page, and listed as playing Jane Eyre is in fact the wrong Ruth Wilson. This would be the 48 year old Ruth Wilson, rather than the 24 year old who doesn't have a page of her own- yet. Hopefully, when they get to my request next month, she will have (yes, she will! She will!).

This next bit doesn't deserve a post of its own… I came across this this morning. It is one of the more amusing and random Bronte references in a long while:

April Fool Contender: Lindsay Lohan

[…]

Foolish Justification for Foolish Behavior: She told Web site thesun.co.uk: "Wonder Woman would be cool. I'm trying to find roles right now that are different to anything I've done to show my abilities, to show that I have some sort of stretch in me." We are talking Wonder Woman, with the starry Underoos and golden eagle breastplates, aren't we? It's not exactly Jane Eyre, although I can speculate that you can improve any story with impressive cleavage, red boots, bullet-deflecting bracelets and a lasso of truth.

You would think so, would you not? And yet…

Although the lasso of truth might come in handy.

(Illustration is from the Classics Illustrated Jane Eyre)

March 30, 2006

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Librivox Villette

LibriVox– "acoustical liberation of books in the public domain." The site publishes audio books in the public domain, recorded by volunteers. Thanks to Heather, a co-ordinator for writing in to tell us about Villette, the first collaborative LibriVox Bronte work. There are no finished Bronte works yet although Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights are being recited by two people attempting solo recordings. Most pressingly, under 20% of the chapters are claimed as of yet and they still need volunteers to recite chapters.

Aw, no Vanity Fair? … Well, I do think that book just might kill anyone attempting a solo recitation.

A friend of mine has a similar project on hand. Very slow productions of Shakespeare, which each part recorded separately online and then pasted together. It is very very slow work. And, I myself have a project which, from the start, was doomed to never actually be done- to put together a similar performance of Jane Eyre: The Musical. The trouble (…one of the troubles) is that all of my friends willing to entertain the idea are young ladies, so our Rochester is a soprano and I'm playing St.John Rivers (I am likewise a soprano, but this isn't quite so bad in St.John's case. No, really, some of his demo songs are very high! It's creepy…). It doesn't matter that I have dark hair and dark eyes, but I do burst out laughing at inappropriate times. Very out of charater.It will never, ever, ever be recorded (although I do have one clip of our (Miss) Rochester singing 'As Good As You').

March 17, 2006

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Filed under: Anecdotes,Bronteana,Fan Art,Fun,Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 5:47 pm

Spreading the Word…


I finally recieved material from the Master's program in English. They are offering me a graduate assistantship. It seems like a good time, therefore, to discuss interior design. Professors at my university are very creative in how they choose to decorate the doors of their offices. I remember that in first year I stumbled upon the door of the writer in residence- now one of Canada's foremost authors. There was a feather taped to the door beside a cartoon of goats standing on a stove with the caption "Home on the Range". Below this was an old teacher evaluation from the 1960s. Scrawlled across it in an uncertain hand were the words: "That lecturer dude was rad." Below the scrawl, in elegant writing was: "____ ____ rocks Romanticism." Another professor- my mentor- has a magazine cover with a photo of an actress of the same name- I don't think she knows anything about Homer, though. And there's also an insultingly witty ancient Greek epigram bashing Challimachus. The Classics department is rife with puns. A poster of the she-wolf of Rome suckling Romulus and Rhemus has the caption: "Got Classics?" Another has a list of useful conversational Latin such as "If catapults are outlawed only outlaws will have catapults."

I have already stored a few items for the day when I too will have an office, and a door of my own. I don't know if I will have a door… I will certainly have a wall, and perhaps a chair and a desk… maybe a few walls. At least three. This poster, courtesy of the Association of the Librarians of the Czech Republic will definately have a place of honour on my wall.

January 6, 2006

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Filed under: Action Figures,Anecdotes,Bronteana,Fun,Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 3:38 pm

More Than Meets the Eye

We have seen a lot of strange things on Brontëana, and a lot of fun gifts for Brontë fans. What I have come to talk about today is what might have been. This should have been an illustrated post but, what I have to describe here is so bizarre that I cannot go through with drawing it. I also have too much respect for the Brontës to- well, you'll see.

About two years ago, a friend of mine studying publishing at a university in the eastern US reportedly saw a very interesting presentation on marketting books to children. This presentation involved a showing of a full fledge proposal, including a commercial for a little something to stimulate interest in the Brontës. The target audience were young girls, and the product? Brontë sister action figures.

There was a commercial. The commercial went something like this: Girls are shown playing with the Brontë Sisters (patent pending). The set would also come with 'evil publishers.' The Sisters pay a visit to the Evil Publisher who cackles at them and says they are just women. So, the young girls put false moustaches on the action figures, and the Sisters return to Evil Publisher who now declares their works "Splendid!" Each sister then has her moustachio wiped off: "I am Emily Bronte! And I wrote Wuthering Heights!" "I am Charlotte Bronte! And I wrote Jane Eyre!" "I am Anne Bronte! And I wrote Agnes Grey!" Curses! The Evil Publisher summons his minions (who come down like ninjas on ropes…) and that's when… when… The Brontës form… a Brontësaurus. With rocket launchers.

That's all I have the courage to say. Now you can see why I could not go through with drawing this! In case you are inclined not to believe that such an idea is plausible, I will inform you that you can purchase (for only $8.95 US) the following action figures from Archie McPhee:

Jane Austen, Marie Antoinette, Leonardo Da Vinci, Jesus, Houdini, Bach, Mozart, Oscar Wilde, Ben Franklin, Charles Dickens, Casanova, Annie Oakley, Edgar Allen Poe, Anne Bonny, Blackbeard, Beethoven, Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes, Alexander the Great, and Wagner!

None come with rocket launchers. Some witty folks at the Jasper Fford Fforum had suggested we have the Bronte Sisters (patent pending) team up with "The Mighty Morphine Power Byrons" and that special sets could have a Branwell figure with a little beer stein.

December 24, 2005

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Filed under: Art,Comic Books,Fan Art,Fun,Illustrations,Jane Eyre,Media,villette — by bronteana @ 1:18 pm

Villette the Comic Book

It seems fitting that today's post should be about this little project of mine. It was begun nearly one year ago. It is the second work of the Brontes that I have attempted to illustrate in this way- the first was Jane Eyre which is complete. The Jane Eyre comic book was only published once online but has since disappeared after I became aware of how easily it could be pirated. Jane Eyre has been used as the subject for many comic books. I have a few of these, all are of questionable quality- one features a likeness of Mr Rochester which I swear is the Grinch who stole Christmas- only less green. Another has the novel packed with beautiful people, and Jane appears to fly at one point (my favourite part). In the frame directly following 'the voice across the moors' she cries "I'm coming!" as she leaps into the air, Wonderwoman-like, her blond hair waving in the wind and her blue super-Jane cape streaming behind her! I will have to scan this, for I don't think my words do it justice… In any case, I have not been able to find a comic book of Villette. It is possible that mine is the first but rather unlikely. If anyone has heard of another, please drop me a line either in the comments or send me an email at bronteana.blogATgmailDOTcom!

I intend to try publishing these as one book, once I have finished illustrating all of the Bronte novels. I began Jane Eyre on a whim late one night when I was tired and silly after studying for too long again. It was posted for my close friends but soon drew the attention of others. Someone suggested that I offer it to the Bronte Society but it is far too long for publication there, I think. Villette has been far less popular although those who do follow it are very enthusiastic (and cheer on their favourites, mostly Monsieur Paul and… Alfred deHamal! But only because he looks very cute as a line drawing- lots of snarky vows of admiration worthy of Miss Snowe herself). So far my reward is in forcing my friends to go out and read more of the Bronte novels. One of these had refused to try them, thinking they would be 'Victorian and dull' but after getting about a third into the Jane Eyre comic book, I recieved the instant message that it was 'all my fault' that she had gone to the library and is now completely conquered. I have complained long about how little known the Brontes are where I live. And it is nice to know that, even in my limited capacity, I am doing my part in changing things.

October 24, 2005

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Filed under: Bronteana,Comic Books,Fan Fiction,Fun,Games,Jane Eyre,Parodies,Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 9:37 pm

Jane Eyre by Telegram.

Yes! You read correctly. Jane Eyre by telegram… I am being buried now, beneath piles of exams. I marked a good many today, and I have an exam to proctor tomorrow as well as one to sit! I will take the time now, while I can catch my breath and save for future reference, some of the more amusing pastimes of a few Brontephiles- namely me, and my friends. Projects like Jane Eyre by Telegram, but other projects suggested include a blogged version of Wuthering Heights (with journal entries by each of the characters), and there's also a huge Jane Eyre comic book that I made, and half of one of Villette.

Jane Eyre by Telegram was first proposed by Aidan, on august 18th 2005 at 2:56 PM. We didn't get very far because we all got so excited! But there was one telegram that arrived far too early:

"Jane stop Jane stop Jane stop Mr Rochester stop."

Others never made it at all:

{This telegram was never sent- having slipped into a crack of the post office floor.}jane eyre stop i love you stop mr rochester stop

Here's a selection of my favourites from all parties:

dear doll stop i am here at school stop i have met a very nice girl who does not despise me stop i am sending you a telegram because i am so cold i can not speak stop i hope we have something good to eat this morning stop love jane

dear God stop kill me know or let me at least run away stop sob sob sob stop yes i will run away and live again in europe stop i know that i'm not crazy even though i am sending a telegram to God stop it's better than carrying out this suicide attempt stop speaking of which i should put these pistols away now before wife gets them stop again stop yours agonisingly edward

"God is currently busy and cannot take your call please hold *sounds of Greensleeves*"Dear St John,We're writing in regard to your latest shipment of beef. It never showed up and we're running low on supplies. We need fresh meat otherwise we will surely go out of business. Please provide some.Yours sincerely,Rhajid Bhaskar,Manager of The Calcutta Grilling Co.

Hahahahaha stop Thornfield is mine all mine stop Hahahahha stop have died suddenly stop Rowland Rochester

mamma stop i am having a frightfully good time here in town stop everybody likes me and they are always getting up gambling parties just for me stop i need more money though stop send me by wire stop your own rapscallion john

dear god stop your favourite son here stop all these children are dying and people are blaming me stop help stop they are actually going to start feeding them stop please strike down the unbelievers stop awaiting your divine wrath stop brocklehurst stop

dear jane stop my husband's great stop however I just won't ever write to you again stop he doesn't let me have contact with any of my close friends stop send help stop i mean i am perfectly happy with married life stop the former miss temple

0948 stop a woman came in and said the code word stop but not the rest of it stop she did not seem to know anything stop however there really was a letter for J.E. stop can not be a coincidence stop advise following the woman who headed towards lowood stop postmistress stop

Agnes Grey stop thank you for your reply stop but we have already secured a governess stop have a nice life stop mrs. fairfax stop

dear mademoiselle jeanette arrete je suis very happy to have a governante arrete i mean governess stop i have stopped jumping on the matresses in the third story stop may i now have some cake stop Adella Varens

what the deuce is to do now stop mr rochester stop

for once i wish someone would care about my welfare in these situations stop mesrour stop

To Theatrical Equipment Proprieters, Millcote sir stop you have sent me the wrong costume stop i wanted a female gypsy outfit stop the skirt must have a wide waistband stop nevermind what it is for stop just send it to me stop mr. rochester

john stop please get the gardner to fix up the lawns stop miss eyre has created ruts in the grass with all of her pacing stop it looks awful stop mrs. fairfax stop

john stop go out and purchase a doll and a dress or whatever for adele stop i could not be bothered to get anything for her when i was abroad and now she is bugging me stop mr rochester stop

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