Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

May 3, 2006

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Jane Eyre 1952 and 1934

Thisbeciel posted these quite some time ago, but I have been putting off posting them here. It is a good time to add these to the other footage and screencap posts from a few months ago (one more). The 1952 production is extremely rare. The production stars Katherine Bard as Jane Eyre and Kevin McCarthy as Mr Rochester. For my thoughts on this production see the posts here.

She has also uploaded all of Jane Eyre 1934 with Virginia Bruce as Jane Eyre and Colin Clive as Mr Rochester. This production is currently in the public domain. It is the acknowledged failure of all Jane Eyre adaptations, but I think it does have some charm even though it often only barely resembles the story at all. Mr Rochester has a faux air of Mr Darcy, I think, and Adele sings and falls into vases. See? It isn't all bad! It is often quite funny, actually.

Jane Eyre 1952: The First Interview
Jane Eyre 1952: The Second Interview
Jane Eyre 1934: Part One
Jane Eyre 1934: Part Two

Image is of Katherine Bard and Kevin McCarthy in Westinghouse Summer Theater One's Jane Eyre from 1952.

ETA: I have corrected some of the dates. When I first posted this, I wrote '1943' each time I meant '1934'. Thanks to an anonymous reader caught the error.

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May 2, 2006

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Filed under: Art,Illustrations,Jane Eyre,Media,Resources — by bronteana @ 3:11 pm

Resources Update: Jane Eyre Illustrations


In between trying to manage the Brontëana archives, I did find the time to post the links to a few more Jane Eyre illustrations I uploaded yesterday to the Brontëana Resource Site. These black and white illustrations were donated by Anna, a friend of mine in Australia. I do not know the name of the artist, so I am asking anyone reading this that if they recognise the work email me about them at bronteanaDOTblogATgmailDOTcom.

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Two More Clips for Musical Fans

Thanks again to Thisbeciel, here are two clips from promotions for Jane Eyre: The Musical. One is the performance of the song 'Secret Soul' from the Rosie O'Donnel show, and the other is a performance of the same song from Bway on Bway. Enjoy!

May 1, 2006

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Filed under: Academic,Art,Illustrations,Media,Resources,Shirley,Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 5:05 pm

T. H. Robinson Shirley Illustrations


I have been quite busy this morning uploading a lot of illustrations at the Bronteana Resource Site. It will take me some time to actually get all of them linked, but I hope to have each artist catalogued over the next few days. For now, something a little different. There are 8 full-colour illustrations of Charlotte Bronte's Shirley available here. I have scanned them from my own edition so I have a few things to say about the volume. It is a Collins Clear Type Press edition, although not one of their lovely palm-sized books. This one is very large by comparison (I have the Collins Clear Type Press editions of Jane Eyre and Villette as well- their illustrations will be scanned in eventually…). Also, since these are from my own edition, I have them in 100 dpi, but they are also available in a much higher resolution upon request.

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Filed under: BBC,Jane Eyre (BBC 2006),Locations,Productions,TV,Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 10:12 am

New Locations for Jane Eyre 2006

Fast on the heels of our casting news, comes new faces for familiar places. We already know that Haddon Hall is the location for Thornfield Hall. Belton House is the new location for Gateshead Hall, home of the Reeds. Learn more about Belton House here. Among other things, it should look familiar… it appeared as a location in the BBC's Pride and Prejudice.

Several other properties owned by the National Trust will be used as locations in the production:

Dovedale is one of the most famous areas of the Peak District, and has already, like Haddon Hall, played a part in the 1996 film of Jane Eyre. Ilam is a village in the Peak District National Park (this place will likely be on the Jane Eyre touring trail eventually, what with all of its associations genial and pleasurable!). There is also a hall at Ilam, which one might imagine to be Ferndean.

And lastly, we have further confirmation that the production will air this autumn in the UK.

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Filed under: BBC,Films,Jane Eyre (BBC 2006),Media,Productions,TV — by bronteana @ 9:58 am

More Cast for Jane Eyre 2006

Andrew Buchan is confirmed as our St. John Rivers, according to the productions imdb page, and Bertha Mason will be played by Claudia Coulter, according to M.


If this is the same Andrew Buchan, he has done extensive work with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and you can listen to his voice here.

April 30, 2006

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Old Footage Comes to Light


In the history of a musical, one can never be sure what will come to the surface and when. Yesterday a 14 minute fragment of footage from the Gordon/Caird Jane Eyre: The Musical came to light, out of the depths of fandom where it had been cherished for several years. Only 14 minutes of the production at La Jolla. this production lies at the centre of the massive reconception of the work, when it transformed from 'musicalised BBC drama' to 'Cliff Notes Jane Eyre.' It is peculiar, and any new material is something special. I do have a full audio recording of the work, but it leaves me with more questions than answers.

This clip includes the Gypsy scene and the proposal. The quality is rather poor but good enough to show some of the staging- the elusive chestnut tree for example. Unfortunately the clip cuts off abruptly before the moment the tree is struck- which is something of a mystery to me; how it was done. I asked the composer, Paul Gordon, about this once. He recalled that there were in fact two trees. That they were rapidly switched and that it was 'very noisey'. The tree was so noisey that it 'not infrequently set off the fire alarms' and the theatre would have to be evacuated! Somewhat too realistic, perhaps!

I think the technical demands of using this effect in turn had an effect on the music. There is a strange bit of music during the La Jolla proposal scene which fans of it have mockingly dubbed 'Rochester Triumphant.' Now, the recording is made from the sound board so the effects are always louder and more obnoxious than they would be in the theatre, but 'Rochester Triumphant' features trumpet fanfares and other effects culminating in a shout of exhaultation from Mr Rochester followed by bells and a choir. It is awful, doesn't appear before or after this stage in the show's development. And I think it is all to cover up the noise of the tree.

For those who are curious, the cry goes something like this:

Let fire burn wild and deep,
Raging skies bleed bitter rain
but there is peace, I have my Jane!

This last image is from the gypsy scene and apparently shows Mr Rochester doing his impression of a matador (just to show off his acting ability, of course! His hair is also notorious in this production. It is quite a hideous Zamorna wig) and there's Jane encouraging this sort of behaviour.

April 29, 2006

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Filed under: Films,Interviews,Jane Eyre (1997),Media,Productions,Reviews,TV,Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 9:39 pm

Ciaran Hinds on playing Mr Rochester

This is a supplement to a very old post on Ciaran's take on the role of Mr Rochester in the 1997 film Jane Eyre opposite Samantha Morton. As part of a series of posts called 'Actors on Playing Mr Rochester' I had posted some of his rather off-base conceptions of Edward Rochester. Now, it gets so much worse, but we know now why he has such delusions… the poor, poor man:

Firstly, Mr Rochester's mysterious moustache is revealled to be the result of lazy facial hair adaptation from his stint as Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert: "At least half the facial make-up was there. They just chopped bits off the beard willy-nilly."

Hmnnn… *taps foot*

He was chosen for Rochester after the director, Robert Young, heard him play the part on radio. "He told me there was passion in my voice. I couldn't evaluate whether I was right or wrong. I haven't seen any film versions, or read the book. I don't want to because I'd worry about the impossibility of translating it to the screen. I'd wonder why particular scenes are left out, and that would cause frustration as well as getting in the way of the screen writer, who has worked very hard for a long time and knows more about it than me. Sam (his co-star Samantha Morton) has read the book several times, so I developed the character through her. She's only 19 and has an amazing talent. She treated me like her grandfather," he jokes. "The danger is that Rochester has been played so many times I risk being shot down by the critics. But a good story is a good story, whatever, and this is still about two hearts. I hope I can communicate real emotions. I hope against hope sometimes, but there's an extraordinary feeling when you get it right."

Hnnn!!!!! *taps foot faster*

Rochester is, he believes, selfish, arrogant, chauvinistic, bullying, sexist. "You could say he's a man of his time, a rich landowner, with power which he abuses. I wouldn't fancy him, and I wonder why women find him attractive. It's the power, I think. My job is to try and make viewers have sympathy. I hope we show how his heart was hit badly by his first wife. She'd been a bit of a sex siren when younger. How was he to know she was barking mad? Jane is employed as a governess and responds to him like a genuine person. It's not 'Yes, sir, no, sir.' She looks him in the eye and speaks her mind, which is a new experience for him. He finds her fascinating. In the end he says 'We are one soul,' but he can't trust himself to open up completely and admit, 'I love you'. He is callous, too, in the way he flirts with Blanche in order to make Jane jealous".

…*twitch* Perhaps if he had read the book he might have half a clue why women find him attractive? And that Mr Rochester is decidedly …none of those things listed? …*deep clensing breath*

Then he muses on life and love: "Monogamy is a bizarre concept, don't you think?"

…uuuuuurgh! Read it, if you must but… ugh! But… thank you, siansaksa for this. Really. *twitch* I really should talk to Mags at Austenblog about where she got her 'Cluebat of Janeite Righteousness.'

ETA: …one more remark just in case anyone still had any suspicions that this actor had the least sympathy with his character:

His first professional job was as the back end of the horse in Cinderella. "From the back end of a horse to Mr Rochester. You could say there's not much difference. The horse was probably a lot more interesting."

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Filed under: Art,Illustrations,Jane Eyre,Media,Resources,Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 3:56 pm

Helen Sewell Jane Eyre Illustrations


These are lovely, and often very interesting illustrations by Helen Sewell. Several of them depict scenes that I have never seen illustrated before. There are a lot of them, in blue and white. I have just uploaded them, but Thisbeciel must be thanked for sharing them with me in the first place! They can all be found on the Brontëana Resource Page, here.

Some of the curiosities include illustrations of the moth in Mr Rochester's garden, and Mr Rochester and Bertha in Jamaica.

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Filed under: Agnes Grey,BBC,Media,Radio,Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 10:17 am

Agnes Grey on BBC Radio 7

Thanks to Christina for this find! A dramatisation of Anne Brontë's Agnes Grey can be listed to from the BBC's webplayer, here.

Does anyone else find their synopsis rather odd?

Agnes Grey dismays her family when she decides to earn her own living as a governess. Will her trials lead to true love?

Because we all know that one of the likely outcomes of becoming a governess is to find true love…

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