Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

November 1, 2005

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At last! JE 1973 to be released! (and Nanowrimo).

Thisbeciel's work to spread the word on the BBC version of Jane Eyre from 1973 has finally paid off. She recieved this unsolicited email today, which answers all of our hopes:

Greetings,

I’m writing to let you know that Acorn Media is finalizing an agreement with the BBC to release the 1973 adaptation of Jane Eyre on DVD for both North America and the UK. No firm release date has been set as that will depend on the details that are being finalized, but it will most likely happen in 2006.

Best regards.
Donald Klees
Director of Program Planning
Acorn Media
U.S.

I am informed that Acorn Media often include extras on their DVDs- dare I hope for such things? Considering how acurate the production is, relative to the text (for example, we finally get to see little Julia Severn at Lowood) and in other respects (Rochester actually rides off from Hay Lane with his injured foot hanging out of the stirrup!) any little bit more would be appreciated. There are two surviving homemade copies of the show- one made in America and one in Canada. The Canadian version includes the first episode which was sliced off of the American broadcast for whatever reason. Part of the dialogue in the Hay Lane scene was also cut (in this production Rochester says 'the deuce' even more than in the novel!). In short, this version makes me giddy and blissful, and this is very very very very very good news.

(The first scene of the American version: "Hitherto I have narrated…" Adult Jane is about to break away from her life at Lowood.)

More information on the 1973 production can be found here, from the Internet Movie Database, and there are lots of images, sound clips, and information at Thisbeciel's website, which is listed on the side bar.

It's that time of year again… nanowrimo: national novel writing month. During the month of Novemeber, thousands of insane people around the world attempt to write a 50 000 word novel. I have attempted to write a "nanovel" twice, and both times I very nearly lost my mind. It caused me to resort to speaking in very short sentences. It is not for the faint of heart… nor anyone who would be pained by writing truly awful prose. This is relevant for the Brontëverse because my last year's attempt was a reworking of The Professor. It didn't get beyond two chapters, but parts of it were pleasing. Strangely my 'OC's (Original Characters) took over the story. One of them was a governess named Miss Smyth(e). She was supposed to be entirely incidental, but the moment I said so, she suddenly stole the plot entirely and I had to send her away into the backstory before she did something crazy like marry one of the main characters (or that tutor… I don't know what he was up to). She wasn't the favourite amongst my readers… It was an interesting experiment because my readers had not read The Professor and didn't know which characters were entirely mine, and which were my imitations of Charlotte's. The favourite character by far ended up being the poor 'shuffling' little spinster Miss Sedler! (I conjured her up to work for Mr.Hunsden).

Is a third attempt in store for me? Will Miss Sedler get her own novel or will Miss Smyth strike again? Well, I'll give it a try. Anyone else up for a Brontë-inspired nanovel? If I can survive until I reach chapter three, I think I will count it a great victory!

Details on Nanowrimo can be found here: http://www.nanowrimo.com

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October 3, 2005

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This is a pun.

Next she bore the Kyklopes with over-proud heart,
Brontes and Steropes and hard-hearted Arges,
who gave Zeus thunder and made the lightning-bolt.
They were like the gods in everything else,
but a single eye was in the middle of their foreheads;
they were given the name Kyklopes because
one round eye was in their foreheads;
strength, force, and skill were in their works. (Theog. 139-146)

This is a distracting bit of Hesiod. But note: strength, force, and skill were in their works. Apt, yes? 😉

As usual, very interesting stuff on the wire and at BronteBlog including another DVD release of Wuthering Heights! I'm not sure how widely known this is, but in my circle it has been much talked of… We expect that the BBC production of Jane Eyre, the beloved version with Sorcha Cusack and Michael Jayston, will be released sometime next year. Alisa from L.E.R.O. first got wind of this after emailing Eureka Video. However, there has been much confusion on this. Even though the news has been verified independently, Eureka and the BBC can't seem to decide who is actuallying releasing it–the BBC say Eureka, Eureka says the BBC. So long as it can be in my hands sometime in the near future, I really do not care. I'm one of the lucky ones. I didn't know about it until this year and I was able to get a recording made from someone's 30 year old copies (thank God for PBS and the CBC!). I have not had to wait 30 years like quite a few fans I know.

I know that from the news on BronteBlog it looks like new adaptations are not forthcoming but I can't say that I agree. The trend seems to be that a Bronte film is made at least once a decade. I believe there has only been one decade or so when this didn't hold true, and in many cases there are a lot of films made in that space of time. Our last one was 1997 I think… I someone has written a screenplay of Villette! Ah! Now wouldn't that be tremendous?! [apparently it had been done by the BBC but I haven't yet been able to find out if copies of it still exist or if it has been lost].

ETA:
I also have an idea. I'm considering posting some of illustrations I've been hoarding over the past year. I collect antique books, and illustrated copies of Jane Eyre. I have quite a few, but friends have simply… piled them on me. I cannot keep up! I have books still to scan (I'm an obsessive compiler, I think ;). I had intended this to be an illustrated blog (see Mr. Bulwer-Lytton in Petticoats below) but I don't often have the energy to make a sketch a day on top of everything else. Anyone horrified at the idea? Here's a random picture–the cover of the 1857 play.

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