The director of the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth, West Yorkshire, Andrew McCarthy, says people visit for many reasons. "Principally, it's the power of the Brontes' writing, the imaginative potency of their fictions, combined with the extraordinary, compelling story of their lives - and the two do tend to get conflated in people's minds - that appeals," he says.A place that, according to the Financial Times, the Chinese ambassador to the UK, Madam Fu Ying, has visited. And The Times, too, suggests a weekend in Bradford with Haworth as one of the main attractions nearby:
"The museum and the exhibits on display provide a moving physical connection with those stories and their authors. They are the golden thread which give us at least a sense of the Brontes as real, extraordinary but also, like us, ordinary people."
14. Bradford, West YorkshireThe Times also publishes an advance of the upcoming book J.D. Salinger: A Life Raised High by Kenneth Slawenski which happens to mention the Brontës:
Why should I go? A century ago Bradford was one of the richest cities in the world and a grand collection of Victorian structures abound in its centre. The city’s large Pakistani population means that it now has the best curry houses in England. For literature lovers, the Brontës’ home in nearby Haworth, in all its Gothic glory, is within easy reach.
While in London, Salinger purchased a Hillman car that he used to explore Britain. He drove through England and Scotland, visited Ireland, and the Scottish Hebrides. He was enthralled and his letters and postcards sparkle with enthusiasm and child-like delight. At Stratford-upon-Avon, he paused before the theatre and debated with himself between paying homage to Shakespeare or boating with a young lady. The lady won out. In Oxford, he attended Evensong at Christ Church. In Yorkshire, he swore that he saw the Brontë sisters running across the moors. He was delighted by Dublin, but fell in love with Scotland most of all, and actually wrote of settling down there.Not the only article linking the Brontës and Salinger. Another mention appears in El Norte de Castilla (Spain) and the Wall Street Journal:
The Brontës spent their childhoods making up stories about the land of Angria—but that was before inventing "Jane Eyre" and "Wuthering Heights." Salinger, uniquely among major writers, seemed to go in the opposite direction, from public storytelling to private, until he reached the point where it was unnecessary to admit any readers into his fictional universe. (Adam Kirsch)Also in the Wall Street Journal there's a review of The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine begins like this:
Although the image is contrary to Jane Austen's unassuming nature, I like to contemplate the "Pride and Prejudice" author in paradise, ruining eternity for the dour Brontë sisters and George Eliot by issuing smug daily updates about the mini-industry of Austen knock-offs that her work has inspired. (Joanne Kaufman)Some years ago Jonathan Rhys-Myers was attached to Angela Workman's biopic project Brontë (he was going to play Branwell). It seems that the shadow of the Brontës still lingers on him:
"I've got a very kind of bony face, and I've got big lips, and sometimes I can look kind of snarling ... kind of Heathcliff-y."The Webster-Kirkwood Times reviews Agnes Grey (although the title of the article americanises it to Agnes Gray):
Aside from that touch of Brontë animalism, he admits that he's also quite good at accents. (Amy Biancolli in the San Francisco Chronicle)
When thinking of a Brontë novel, most will remember Emily Brontë's "Wuthering Heights" or Charlotte Brontë's "Jane Eyre." However, the younger sister, Anne, set England back on its literary ear with a realistic first novel relating the harsh realities of the life of a governess. (...)We read in The Independent this enigmatic Brontë reference by Howard Jacobson:
Anne paints a true picture of what life was like for young women in the 1800s which goes to say they did not have a lot of options. While her writing can get bogged down in minutiae, one has to appreciate her eye for detail, and her dogged intent to make sure the reader knows exactly what is going on and why.
While Anne's writing differs in tone and style from that of her sisters, her story does tell a vivid (in its own way) story of a young girl's life. (Linda Jarrett)
You could have mistaken my flat in Wolverhampton for Wuthering Heights on South Bank Show nights, so tempestuous were the altercations, a succession of Cathies disappearing in the direction of Walsall, calling "Heathcliff, Heathcliff!" though whether they meant me or Melvyn I had no idea. But this I did know: they weren't going to find him in Walsall.Le Figaro (France) reviews La Tache aveugle by Emmelene Landon with a brief Brontë mention:
Comme les Brontë, elles sont trois. Trois sœurs inséparables en ce début de XXIe siècle. Trois élèves de l'École des beaux-arts, à Paris. (Thierry Clermont) (Google translation)Il Clandestino (Italy) interviews the author Guillaume Musso (a known Brontëite):
Quali personaggi letterari l’hanno aiutata a superare le difficoltà?Il Corriere della Sera (Italy) puts Emily Brontë on a curious list:
Primo su tutti “Le Hussard Sur Le Toit” di Jean Giano, e poi Cyrano de Bergerac di Rostand, i caratteri di Emily Bronte e Albert Cohen: sono personaggi che aiutano durante un lutto, dopo la fine di un amore, su una scelta professionale da fare, in momenti nei quali ci sentiamo smarriti, pensando al tempo che passa, quando prendiamo coscienza che alcune cose oramai sono dietro di noi. (Giovanni Zambito) (Google translation)
Difficile domandarsi, con Giorgio Gaber: «Perché fare l’amore quando non è necessario?». Non è strano che uno si riscopra romantico fino all’asexuality: almeno il 3 per cento della popolazione, con numi tutelari del calibro di Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, Jorge Luis Borges, Emily Brontë. E perfino il Dr. House: l’avete visto concludere qualcosa? Un po’ di nausea, dopo un quarantennio di sbornie. (Marina Terragni) (Google translation)Victor Català and the Brontës are compared in a Kultiversum article about the German translation of her novel Solitud:
Wie bei den Brontë-Schwestern oder bei Emily Dickinson führt die existenzielle Abgeschiedenheit, die Distanz zur Gesellschaft, zu besonders großer und eindrucksvoller Menschenkenntnis. (Manuela Reichardt) (Google translation)Wicked Local Rockport recommends Wuthering Heights as a Valentine reading (yes, it's that time again!), the New York Times quotes Charlotte Brontë using the much-quoted: happiness-is-not-a-potato in an essay about the concept of happiness, Jane Eyre and feminism in a letter published in Tracce (Italy). And Suite101 discusses 'Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre and Bertha Mason. How does the Madwoman in the Attic Relate to the Docile Heroine?' by Shvetal Vyas.
As for the blogosphere, The Book Whisperer reviews The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Amazing Grace discusses Wuthering Heights and love, and Christy's Book Blog posts about Jane Eyre 2006. LyzzyBee's Books writes briefly about Rachel Ferguson's The Brontës Went to Woolworths. Gerihatrick uploads to YouTube a video of a walk around Ponden Kirk and the Brontë waterfalls. And finally, Cardinalidae has created three hats, each inspired by a Brontë sister. And they are for sale too!
Categories: Agnes Grey, Books, Brontëites,Brontë Parsonage Museum, Haworth, Jane Eyre, References, Villette, Wuthering Heights