Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

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 29, 2006

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Filed under: Agnes Grey,Anecdotes,Anne Bronte,Jane Eyre,villette — by bronteana @ 11:52 pm

Anne-ecdotes

This is yet another personal testamony of a Brontephile in the land that forgot the Brontes. Today, in the very room where last week I had heard a tirade against all three sisters, someone began to talk to me about them, knowing of this blog. I was delighted, and surprised when he assumed that of the three Anne was my favourite. She is not, in fact, but it made me feel strangely happy nevertheless.

And, I did finally break down and order a copy of Agnes Grey. It should be arriving next week.

Some related Bronte news from the homefront- I did convince two people to read Jane Eyre this week. This is astonishing progress, believe me. Although I think the first person will not be pleased with the book… After rejoicing, I remembered that this particular person loathes and despises anything even remotely religious. I brought in a Bible once, to prepare for a medieval lit seminar I had to give, and she hissed at it. So… I'm not sure what she'll make of Jane Eyre! Alas. And the second is the fellow mentioned above who hasn't read the book, "but I saw the movie and that was enough." The minx. But anyway, he was only kidding. He also said he wanted to give "Violet… Violette… that V one, you know," a try. Oh bliss- I don't think many of you will comprehend this, but I had to get a copy of Villette from a friend in Iowa…

Lastly, blame me who will, I was alone in an auditorium room for several hours today so I worked on a short story (based on JE), talked out loud to Charlotte while I did so, then sang Amarilli, Mia Bella. No one else will ever know!

March 19, 2006

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The Butterfly, by Emily Bronte I've just finished transcribing Sue Lonoff's translation of Emily's Belgian devoir entitled 'Le Papillon' ('The Butterfly'). I've transcribed the translation rather than the original French this time so that the anglophone readers of Bronteana can enjoy some of Emily's work as an essayist as well. I will transcribe the French at a later date. The transcript is available here. I have also begun to scan the rest of the illustration I have for Villette, and these will soon be appearing on the site. Thereafter, I have some for Shirley, The Professor, and Jane Eyre to add in time. Le Papillon is my favourite of Emily's devoirs, at least of those I have read so far. Here are a few excerpts from the transcript: In one of those moods that everyone falls into sometimes, when the world of the imagination suffers a winter that blights its vegetation; when the light of life seems to go out and existence becomes a barren desert where we wander, exposed to all the tempests that blow under heaven, without hope of rest or shelter– in one of these black humors, I was walking one evening at the edge of a forest. It was summer; the sun was still shining high in the west and the air resounded with the songs of birds. All appeared happy, but for me, it was only an appearance. I sat at the foot of an old oak, among whose branches the nightingale had just begun its vespers. "Poor fool," I said to myself, "is it to guide the bullet to your breast or the child to your brood that you sing so loud and clear? Silence that untimely tune, perch yourself on your nest; tomorrow, perhaps, it will be empty." But why address myself to you alone? All creation is equally mad. Behold those flies playing above the brook; the swallows and fish diminish their number every minute. These will become, in their turn, the prey of some tyrant of the air or water; and man for his amusement or his needs will kill their murderers. Nature is an inexplicable problem; it exists on a principle of destruction. Every being must be the tireless instrument of death to others, or itself must cease to live, yet nonetheless we celebrate the day of our birth, and we praise God for having entered such a world.

March 5, 2006

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Filed under: Academic,Charlotte Bronte,E-texts,Illustrations,Juvenilia,Resources,villette — by bronteana @ 1:51 pm

Brontëana Resources: Albion and Marina, Villette.

Especially for Brontëana, Charlene has taken the time to transcribe one of Charlotte Brontë's Angrian tales- Albion and Marina. The e-text is now available on the Brontëana recource site and in the sidebar to the left. I have also made some substantial changes there. I'm working on the design elements but I have also made some progress with uploading the ridiculous number of images I have. There is now a page for illustrations of Villette from an early edition of the novel (I would guess early 1900s, from the style). I would prefer having a separate directory for each edition, since I have illustrations by more than one artist, but I am still trying to work this out.

These images of Villette were donated by Charlene as well.

March 4, 2006

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Filed under: Bronteana,Comic Books,Crafts,Fan Art,Jane Eyre,Uncategorized,villette — by bronteana @ 5:21 pm

Bronte Craft Corner

I think this is the first time I have written about the many things readers do to show their enthusiasm for the Brontes. This is by no means an exhaustive list. In fact, I have done no research at all for this post. I simply noticed that my friends and I are very peculiar and wanted to share this fact. Firstly, my friend Kristina made me a pair of Jane Eyre finger puppet gloves for me to use in lecture when I am a professor (above: Blanche, St.John, Diana, and Mary). She also made a little plush Mr Rochester doll. Mysticgypsy made some as well! Here's little finger puppet Jane and Rochester:

I have mentioned before that last year I created a comic book of Jane Eyre and am currently working on one for Villette (I intend to one day illustrate all of the novels and then to have them bound). Another common project is to make an icon, banner or bar sometimes will captions:
(Right top: By Alisa and Thisbeciel. Right bottom: by myself and Natasha Ranken)

And below is a bar of illustrations from a book I have, rough work for my comic book, two contributed by Arliamay in Australia, two ink sketches of mine, and from Lady Branwen's comic book! I'm sorry for the lack of Wuthering Heights fun but I don't have permission to post what I have come across.


Please respect the artists and do not save, copy, or repost these images without permission.

February 3, 2006

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Filed under: BBC,Brussels,Media,Radio,villette — by bronteana @ 5:14 pm

Villette on BBC7

BBC 7 will begin broadcasting Villette next week which can be heard via http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbc7.
Info as follows:Drama www.bbc.co.uk/bbc7/drama/index.shtml Catherine McCormack, Joseph Fiennes and Keira Knightly star in a Sony Award winning dramatisation of Charlotte Brontë's lesser known novel Villette. Lucy Snowe flees from an unhappy past in England and begins a new life as a teacher at a French boarding school… Brontë's strikingly modern heroine must decide if there is any man in her society with whom she can live and still be free. The three part drama is beautifully directed by Catherine Bailey and James Friel. Originally broadcast on Radio 4 in 1999.Wednesday to Friday 10 am 9 pm and 2 am

Thanks to Aidan, my Cornish correspondent.

…Kiera Knightley?

January 12, 2006

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More Video Clips from JE the Musical and Transvestism in CB

This is sure to please Esther! Thanks once again to Thisbeciel for these clips from the Jane Eyre Musical! Some of these are repeats from the last time, but I don't think anyone will mind too much?

An Icy Lane
You examine me
Waking Rochester
I know who heals my life
the Gypsy
the Proposal
Wild Boy/Farewell Good Angel

Thisbeciel also came across this interesting poem, 'Transvestism in the Novels of Charlotte Bronte' by Patricia Beer

1 When reading Villette, Shirley and Jane Eyre,
2 Though never somehow The Professor
3 Which was all too clear,
4 I used to overlook
5 The principal point of each book
6 As it now seems to me: what the characters wore.

7 Mr Rochester dressed up as the old crone
8 That perhaps he should have been,
9 De Hamal as a nun.
10 There was no need
11 For this. Each of them could
12 Have approached his woman without becoming one.

13 Not all heroines were as forthright.
14 Shirley in particular was a cheat.
15 With rakish hat
16 She strode like a man
17 But always down the lane
18 Where the handsome mill-owner lived celibate.

19 Lucy, however, knew just what she was doing.
20 And cast herself as a human being.
21 Strutting and wooing
22 In the school play
23 She put on a man's gilet,
24 Kept her own skirt, for fear of simplifying.

25 Their lonely begetter was both sister and brother.
26 In her dark wood trees do not scan each other
27 Yet foregather,
28 Branched or split,
29 Whichever they are not,
30 Whichever they are, and rise up together.

January 1, 2006

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Filed under: BBC,Films,Productions,TV,villette,Villette (BBC 1970) — by bronteana @ 7:48 pm

Villette (BBC 1970)

Come on, BBC! I cannot tell if a recording of this is still in existence but surely there must be a chance of it. And if it does exist, why on earth is it not released when thousands of readers adore this book, when we have about 8 or 9 films of Jane Eyre, half a dozen Wuthering Heightses, and about two million works by Jane Austen? This is all I could find out, and all of it from www.imdb.com

director Moira Armstrong

writer Lennox Phillips

Judy Parfitt… Lucy Snowe
Peter Jeffrey…. Paul Emmanuel
Mona Bruce…. Madame Beck
Bryan Marshall…. Dr. John Graham Bretton
Angela Richards…. Ginevra Fanshawe
Mary Healey…. Rosine
Joan Heath…. Mrs. Bretton

ETA: Well, nothing more turned up about the production but I did forget to include a few items. Firstly it was a 5 part mini-series, each episode was 45 minutes in duration. The producer was Martin Lisemore.

Also, a few photos of the cast did turn up. Here are the actors who played our Lucy Snowe and Paul Emmanuel:

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.

November 18, 2005

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'Cottage Poems' by Patrick Brontë

At last! The Cottage Poems have been published by Project Gutenburg! Click here to read the full texts. They were released on november 16th. Could 'Maid of Killarney' be far behind? How very exciting! Other Bronte texts available through the Project include:

A, C, and E Brontë: Poems by Currer, Ellis and, Acton Bell
Anne Brontë: Agnes Grey, Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre, Villette, The Professor.

Il y a Jane Eyre ou Les mémoires d'une institutrice>>, le roman en Francais aussi. Je ne sais pas qu'est le traducteur de cet roman. C'est tres intéressante. Je pense qu'il est comme lire la roman encore- pour le premier fois. Il a un peu plus …de melodrame. Ou plus de poésie, peut-etre. D'accord. Chacun langue chante son poésie. And, no, there is no text for Shirley! Shame, shame! (Nothing for Branwell either).

Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights.

Also: Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell: The Life of Charlotte Brontë volume one and two.

A friend of mine is responsible for Really Slow productions of Shakespeare. People volunteer to record their lines, and then this is all pasted together with the magic of the internet into… a really slow production of Shakespeare. Some of my other friends and I were then inspired to try a really slow production of Jane Eyre the Musical. The trouble here was that all of my friends are ladies (the ones who sing, at any rate). And so, we had a soprano Rochester and myself who plays St.John Rivers (also a soprano, although I can sing alto as well). I forget how Brocklehurst came out… Our Jane was a certain classicist from Nova Scotia. Alas, before we ever even took our little horrendous productioni seriously, she ran away to a religious order.

And now, she's back! And she's not a nun. She found true love… in the religious order. I am astounded and amazed, and it is beautiful. She is no longer my soon-to be nun friend who despaired of leaving behind her copy of Villette. I now have a deliriously happy non-nun friend who can have as many books as she likes- and the true love thing is rather nice too.

ps. Don't worry, Martha- I got your email! I think this deserves a post of its own 🙂

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