Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

November 6, 2005


Filed under: Audiobooks,BBC,Brussels,Charlotte Bronte,Downloads,Media,Productions,villette — by bronteana @ 4:46 pm

Villette Audio Adaptation

Right here: starring Catherine McCormack as Lucy Snowe, James Laurenson as Monsieur Paul Emanuel and Joseph Fiennes as Graham Bretton! Thanks to Biedroneczka! However am I going to study for the Classics midterm now?Life is good, notwithstanding that distressing review of Polly Teale's Bronte. 😉

Part One

Part Two

Part Three


October 16, 2005


Filed under: Drama,villette — by bronteana @ 10:26 am

Charlotte Brontë’s Villette

Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
20 October – 12 November 2005

A brand new adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s Villette can be seen at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough from 20 October – 12 November. Presented in association with Frantic Assembly, Villette is the SJT’s tribute to Charlotte Brontë on the 150th anniversary of her death.

A new life beckons for Lucy Snowe, who leaves behind her past and flees from England. As a teacher in a school in the town of Villette, Lucy is faced with a world of coquettish schoolgirls, a fierce headmistress and stories of a ghostly nun who haunts the dormitories. It is enough to push her fevered imagination to the edge, enduring fire, storms and unrequited love. But could a happy ending be in her grasp?

Villette is Charlotte Brontë’s most autobiographical novel, based on her experiences when travelling through Europe where she fell passionately and dangerously in love. Her last completed work, Villette was written after the death of her sister Anne, who is buried in Scarborough.

Villette is adapted by Lisa Evans, whose other adaptations for stage include Anne Brontë’s The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall and Daphne Du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn. Director Laurie Sansom combines the powerful text with choreographed movement provided by theatre company Frantic Assembly.

The award-winning Frantic Assembly stand at the forefront of modern British physical theatre and over the past 10 years have become one of the most pioneering and exciting companies in the UK. The movement directors on Villette are Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett, who are founder members and joint Artistic Directors of the company.

The Stephen Joseph Theatre was founded 50 years ago and was the UK’s very first theatre-in-the-round. The SJT is led by Artistic Director Alan Ayckbourn, the world’s most performed living playwright. One of the few new writing venues in the country, the SJT also produces innovative adaptations of classics.

All tickets for Early Bird performances on 20 – 25 October cost £8.50. Best seats for all other performances are a special price of £10 for Bronte List members. For more information call the Box Office on 01723 370541 or email:

October 10, 2005


Monsieur Heger sighting?

As I updated my blog, looking at the image from the UMaryland production of the Jane Eyre musical, a had a vague sense that I had seen this all somewhere before. It didn't really have time to bother me before I realised what was so familiar about the actor playing Mr Rochester- he looks like Constantin Heger. No really. See?

That's M. Constantin Heger on the left, and James Gardiner on the right (from the photo by Stan Barouh). The image on the left is a detail from a large photocopy a friend sent me of a portrait of the Heger family. M.Heger was Charlotte Brontë's teacher while she was studying abroad in Belgium at the Pensionnat Heger. It's my understanding that she based much of Mr Rochester's character on monsieur. They certainly both have a penchant for cigars and bonbons at any rate 😉 And it goes without saying that he is the model for the fabulous Paul Carlos Emmanuel, of Villette. I've always wanted to know more about him, but the books I have on hand have been printed in the 1890s and it looks like there had been some censorship going on. Over and over again it is asserted that Charlotte was never in love with the married Heger, but obviously many believed this was so. What the current evidence for either case is, I don't know not having any more recent works for comparison!

The 1970s Yorkshire TV mini-series The Brontes of Haworth certainly asserts that she was in love with Heger. So my guess is that the letters she wrote to him have been widely published, and I just haven't come in contact with them yet.

July 29, 2005


Filed under: Anecdotes,Bronteana,Locations,villette — by bronteana @ 1:41 am

Buzz, buzz!

News, news! Lots and lots of news… Firstly, the home of Ellen Nussey, Charlotte's close friend, is up for sale. Pity I have barely enough to cover my textbooks for next semester, and really can't afford to live there. But we can all check out the link for free, and be jealous:

Also, it appears that July is international Read Villette month, or something. A surprising number of my friends are reading Villette right now. It's very surprising! Once again, I am glad there is such a thing as the internet… None of my friends in town have even read Jane Eyre. The other day I managed to get my mother to read some of Villette. She has not read a word of Jane Eyre. We were talking about how she used to live off of her reading, and I remarked that she didn't read at all anymore, and handed her one of my antique editions of Villette from the 20s.

"What's this?" she said.
"My second favourite book."
"It's French!"
"…Not all of it!"

And that was the end of that. But she read some of it! That's… progress.

One last word- it seems that the Radio JE post has posted correctly, but the one after that was erased entirely! I can't explain it, but that worries me. I still haven't mastered blogger. Well, I am extremely tired, and so I will leave you. Now, go and read Villette while there is still time!

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