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.
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Brontëana Resources: Albion and Marina, Villette.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Thornycroft Hall (1864) by Emma Jane Worboise
Thanks to reader, Shoshana, I stumbled upon this rewrite of Jane Eyre. A very... interesting one.
Published in 1864, Thornycroft Hall has more than a few echoes of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, which appeared some eighteen years earlier. It seems that the evangelical Emma Jane Worboise felt the need to provide a more "Christian" version of the earlier novel, including not only a spirited defence of Rev. William Carus Wilson and "Lowood School", but also repeatedly urging the necessity for immediate acceptance of Christ.
I have not had the time to read much of it, but here are a few more excerpts from literaryheritage.org.uk:
The similarities between the opening chapters of this book and Jane Eyre are striking. An orphaned girl is brought up by uncongenial relations, and a furious (though justified) temper tantrum leads to her being sent away to school. But here the novels diverge: Ellen is very happy at the Clergy Daughters' School, and defends both it and Rev. William Carus Wilson vigorously from Charlotte Bronte's strictures.
And it was no "Do-the-girls Hall," as some people have asserted: I here
solemnly declare that during the whole of my residence--nearly five years--I never saw the table otherwise than plentifully and wholesomely supplied…I confess that sometimes, at the breakfast hour, our olfactory nerves were saluted with a perceptible odour of burnt porridge; but I have known the milk to be burnt now and then at Thornycroft Hall; and certainly our bread and butter was cut in "planks," not slices, and the butter was, perhaps, a little hard to find…but if you had seen the large dishes-full replenished again and again till every girl was satisfied; if you had seen them passing down the long narrow tables in the lofty eating-room, disappearing with astonishing rapidity; if you had counted the number of "planks" each young lady consumed, you would not have imagined any pupil to be badly served.
The pious and slightly priggish Marshall Cleaton is certainly no Mr. Rochester, but he and his mother are surprisingly appealing characters, despite the rather heavy-handed evangelistic fervour they both display.
...Pious and priggish? The full e-text is now listed in the sidebar.
Patrick Brontë's The Rural Minstrel
As soon as I finished posting Emma (which is being revised right now- I did catch a handful of errors, and I still have to add bibliographic information) I recieved offers of more resources for the site, including more e-texts and transcriptions. When I said that the site would not be empty for long, I meant what I said! Two new e-texts in as many days isn't bad. Thisbeciel was good enough to find the e-text she had once sent me before I began blogging. It is of Patrick Brontë's The Rural Minstrel. These poems are now available at the Brontëana Resource site, and the text is now listed in the sidebar.
1 Erewhile, the morning o'er the blushing sky,
2 In milder beauty, held the soverign sway;
3 The streaky east, with many a changing hue,
4 Glowed on the confines of the ether blue,
5 And gently ushered in the king of day.
6 Now hangs the sun, his golden lamp on high,
7 Diffusing, brighter, warmer light;
8 The sleepy charms dissolving, of the drowsy night,
9 The spirits cheering, with a quicker flow,
10 And fostering all the rosy flowers of health that blow.
11 How charming is the scene!
12 The fields in flowery green,
13 Scent the soft breezes, with their fragrant smell:
14 The blackbird and the thrush,
15 Make vocal every bush;
16 Perched on the milk-white thorn, the linnet sweetly sings;
17 The labouring bee, shakes music, from his mellow wings:
18 Loud tolls the Sabbath Bell;
19 From yonder ancient tower, proceeds the solemn sound,---
20 Where dusky yews, and lofty ashes bend,
21 Beneath a load of years, their crazy head,
22 Mourn o'er the living, and protect the dead.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Emma Fragment and Brontëana Website
I have spent most of the day working on this. What began as the simple task of transcribing Emma, the two chapters of Charlotte's last unfinished novel, turned into a website. This website: http://bronteana.bravehost.com I had plans to make a website for some time, but at last I was forced to create one in order to share this transcript. It would be simply too large for a post. So far, the only item there is 'Emma'. The design is a template, and very unattractive but for now, it will have to do! There is also a handy guestbook so everyone can leave me a note. I am able to add a message forum but I am not sure if I want to go that far at this point. If there is interest I may add it.
This transcript is of chapter one of Emma. I transcribed it personally from a book I have. It appears, from the type, wear, illustrations etc to be from the 1890s. It is part of my collection of antique books. The image above is a scan I made of the first page of 'Emma'. The book itself is the unloved last volume of 'Bronté Works'. And is the 'Professor Emma and Poems' volume. There are also a few illustrations. I can tell from its condition that it was seldom read... The transcript is now listed along the sidebar along with the other Brontë e-texts, and the website is also listed in the links list above.
The Emma fragment was made into a novel called Emma Brown recently. Comment on this book will be forthcoming. I am quite exhausted at the moment. Remind me not to edit half a novel, transcribe a chapter from another, and make a website all in one day. It hurts... The second chapter should be up before next week, when I shall go back to school and return to my regularly scheduled essays and seminars. Speaking of which, when I wasn't working on Emma and the website I was editing and annotating the Mr Christi novel (an unpublished novel by one of Canada's first Modernists). Can you imagine Jane Eyre boarding in a house full of Ginevra Fanshawes? Now, that's terrifying!
In the same volume is also Thackeray's wonderful 'Last Sketch' preface to Emma, and tribute to Charlotte Brontë. I'll have that posted later as well.
Shop Brontë Parsonage Museum
After witnessing my distress over not being able to find a copy of Agnes Grey, reader Alan Bentley reminded me that the Brontë Parsonage Mueum Shop now has an online store front. I say reminded because I first heard about their new presence through the Brontë Parsonage E-Magazine Blog, run by the editor of the Brontë Society Gazette.
In our shop you will find a wide range of books, gifts and souvenirs including old favourites, new temptations and curiosities, many of which are exclusive to us. Profits from sales help support and maintain the museum and its collections.
At the museum shop we are passionate about the lives and works of the Brontës. Our aim is to provide the largest collection of Brontë related products for the enthusiast or for those with a growing interest.
It looks like they carry most things, but not 'BrontëBerry Lip Balm'.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Brontëana Update Phase Two
No more work has been done on the index, but now you may find below it a list of e-texts of the Brontë novels, and poetry as well as other related works such as Gaskell's The Life of Charlotte Brontë and several 19th century adaptations of Jane Eyre. The first of these is the 1857 play by John Brougham which I encourage everyone to read- it's very entertaining, as you can discern from the cover art. I don't think they had Mr Rochester suspended from wires but this was the Victorian stage, so one can never tell.
There's also our personal favourite, Miss Mix: a parody of Jane Eyre from the 1860s.
The new e-text links are available at the bottom of the sidebar at left.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Face to Face with Charlotte Bronte at the Parsonage
The Bronte Parsonage E-Magazine Blog has posted this great article by Diane Benn about a current exhibit at the Parsonage Museum called Face to Face with Charlotte Bronte. Among other things, there is this image of Charlotte only recently acquired by the museum. I remember when it was purchased among other items of the Brontes. If I remember correctly, it was supposedly drawn while Charlotte was in Belgium, but I cannot say for certain. It is wonderful to see what restorers are able to do with such material. I saved an image of the portrait from when it was posted on the auction website (where it was shown next to other portraits of Charlotte):
Other news from the Parsonage Blog, the Bronte Society is organising their spring walk (route and contact information here), DNA tests may soon be performed on hair samples from the Brontes (more on this here). A film about Charlotte at Hathersage may also be in the works, and there's a new Bronte Society fanzine for children- 'Genius!'
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Northern Ballet Theatre's Wuthering Heights
Another post about a Brontean production from a few years past- and another dance production! This time we have Wuthering Heights, starring Charlotte Talbot as Cathy and Jonathan Ollivier as Heathcliff, produced by the Northern Ballet Theatre. This is the first time I have heard of Emily Bronte's novel being produced as a ballet but, I never can tell. Often something even older turns up. Unlike other productions, this one still has an active website with a fair bit of information, including a long synopsis, reviews, an e-flyer (with probably even more great finds), and even wallpaper for your computer desktop (in two different sizes: 800 x 600 and 1024 x 768) , as well as many colour and black and white photographs! Here is one of the reviews, to give you a sense of the show's reception:
DANCE EXPRESSION MAGAZINE - MAY 2003
"Nixon has created a narrative ballet where the story is clear, the characters come through the choreography (which doesn't shun emotional values), the music sets a mood (it's tuneful as well) and the dancers have some difficult work to do establishing their roles as Nixon challenges them at every turn. Jonathan Ollivier expertly expresses the glowering moods of Heathcliff....I particularly enjoyed Desiré Samaai's empty-headed Isabella...The scene where she eventually catches Heathcliff's eye - is quite erotic in its intensity. ..What makes this two-acter so palatable is the dramaturgy of Patricia Doyle, the pleasant windswept score of Claude-Michel Schönberg, complemented by Nixon's choreographic structure.....NBT has a winner"
Friday, November 18, 2005
'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 :)
Sunday, November 13, 2005
John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester film to be released in North America.
This post from Brontëblog reminded me that there is soon to be a film released that marginally pertains to Brontë studies. The film is called The Libertine, starring Johnny Depp as John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. The film itself was made sometime last year, I believe, but until now it has been very difficult to track down and hasn't been released in the theatres in North America at least.
Briefly, there is much to be discussed regarding to what extent Lord Rochester provided material for the character of Edward Rochester. Clearly, the relationship isn't as profound as that of a model per se, at the very least he is his namesake. There are several important similarities, however, which do indicate a conscious decision to utilise certain aspects of Wilmot's life. Many of these are symbolic resonances: names, and places in Jane Eyre such as St.John (the name of one of the Earl's relatives), Elizabeth- the ancestress of Mr Rochester- is also idenitifed with one of the Lord's relatives, and the battle in which Mr. Rochester's fictional ancestor Damer de Rochester was slain is the same in which the first Earl of Rochester was created. During this battle (of Marston Moor), one of the generals in the conflict was named Fairfax. Other key elements, a little more profound, are the Lord's penchant for 'drawing out' ladies while in disguise, his poetry (he is best known for being a poet, and a rakehell) is often bittingly cynical about the human race- in his Satyr on Reason and Mankind, he refers to Reason as being an ignis fatuus leading into error- a motif appropriate for Jane Eyre in which he is lead into error (and much is made, of course, of the similarity between 'eyre' and 'err').
Not much work has been done on this subject so far, but it will certainly be rewarding. I've already written on it, and there really is more to it I'm sure (If I had but time!). We must alo keep in mind what Charlotte had to say in Mr Rochester's defense:
Mr. Rochester has a thoughtful nature and a very feeling heart; he is neither selfish nor self-indulgent; he is ill-educated, misguided; errs, when he does err, through rashness and inexperience: he lives for a time as too many other men live, but being radically better than most men, he does not like that degraded life, and is never happy in it. He is taught the severe lessons of experience and has sense to learn wisdom from them. Years improve him; the effervescence of youth foamed away, what is really good in him still remains. His nature is like wine of a good vintage, time cannot sour, but only mellows him.
One last interesting point is the casting of the film. The plot deals somewhat with the affair between Rochester and his mistress Elizabeth Barry, played by Samantha Morton. For those readers unaware of what is so interesting here, Samantha Morton played the part of Jane Eyre in the latest film (A&E 1997). The picture above shows her and Johnny Depp in a production photo from http://imdb.com
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
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:
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.
Director of Program Planning
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
Friday, July 08, 2005
This post is utter silliness.
...Where do I start? Well, something ordinary, I think. I finally figured out how to create a links list on this blog by stealing the codes from my good friend, Glaukopidos! ha ha! And so, now you can find the best Bronte related links that I have stumbled upon, on the left. The umlauts are not working today. I am very sorry for that.
Last Christmas my sister sent me a gift certificate for a website where you can download audiobooks. After a friend recommended the Emma Fielding audiobook of Jane Eyre, I bought that one, as well as their unabridged Pride and Prejudice. I have been having a really tought time appreciating Miss Austen. I have never liked Neo-Classicism in any form. And yes, I know that I am a Classicist- but shut up. I don't like it. It's not the same thing as Classicism. I wanted to tear my hair out while reading Emma, and even with this very good audiobook of P&P I still not only fell asleep several times, but I also zoned out, and once I caught myself reading Jane Eyre. I kid you not. I keep it close by me, and I must have sought it out for comfort.
Anyway, several of my friends who appreciate Austen's works told me that it might be a good idea for me to see the A&E adaptation first. I did. And it was very good. It did help me to stay focussed, I think, but when I came to the scene where Mr.Darcy and Elizabeth meet suddenly at Pemberley, I couldn't help but notice that he had not been swimming in a pond a few minutes earlier. While I was telling my friends my feelings about this, I remembered something. I remember how odd it seemed to me that Austen would include such a scene. It seemed like something Charlotte might do- I mused. And then I realised that she had.
4 times, if I remember correctly.
Mr Rochester gets soaked 4 times in Jane Eyre: once when Jane so liberally baptises him in bed, once when he and Jane are caught in the rain after the proposal under the Chestnut tree, once while he is riding home in a storm, and once while he stands outside of Ferndean! I really have been ruined by my education... all I could think about was whether or not this solved a sticky point in one of my papers on the novel. *sigh*
"In the name of all the elves in Christendom..."