eldritchhobbit: (books/old)


Happy birthday to Emily Brontë (30 July, 1818 – 19 December, 1848)!

image

“Heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy.”
- Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (1847)


eldritchhobbit: (Wuthering Heights)
Happy birthday to Charles Brockden Brown (17 January, 1771 – 22 February, 1810) and Anne Brontë (17 January, 1820 – 28 May, 1849)!

"Yet I will persist to the end. My narrative may be invaded by inaccuracy and confusion; but if I live no longer, I will, at least, live to complete it. What but ambiguities, abruptnesses, and dark transitions, can be expected from the historian who is, at the same time, the sufferer of these disasters?"
- Charles Brockden Brown, Wieland: or, The Transformation: An American Tale (1789)

Ormond, or The Secret Witness The Tenant of Wildfell Hall


“Are you hero enough to unite yourself to one whom you know to be suspected and despised by all around you, and identify your interests and your honor with hers?”
- Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848)
eldritchhobbit: (Wuthering Heights)
Happy birthday to Emily Brontë (30 July, 1818 – 19 December, 1848)!

Wuthering Heights


“Heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy.”
- Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (1847)
eldritchhobbit: (Waterhouse/heroines)
Happy birthday to Charlotte Brontë (21 April, 1816 – 31 March, 1855)!

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847)

Jane and I
eldritchhobbit: (Wuthering Heights)
Happy birthday to Charles Brockden Brown (17 January, 1771 – 22 February, 1810) and Anne Brontë (17 January, 1820 – 28 May, 1849)!

"Yet I will persist to the end. My narrative may be invaded by inaccuracy and confusion; but if I live no longer, I will, at least, live to complete it. What but ambiguities, abruptnesses, and dark transitions, can be expected from the historian who is, at the same time, the sufferer of these disasters?"
- Charles Brockden Brown, Wieland: or, The Transformation: An American Tale (1789)

Ormond, or The Secret Witness The Tenant of Wildfell Hall


“Are you hero enough to unite yourself to one whom you know to be suspected and despised by all around you, and identify your interests and your honor with hers?”
- Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848)
eldritchhobbit: (Waterhouse/heroines)
Happy birthday to Charlotte Brontë (21 April, 1816 – 31 March, 1855)!

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847)

Jane and I
eldritchhobbit: (Wuthering Heights)
Happy birthday to Charles Brockden Brown (17 January, 1771 – 22 February, 1810) and Anne Brontë (17 January, 1820 – 28 May, 1849)!

"Yet I will persist to the end. My narrative may be invaded by inaccuracy and confusion; but if I live no longer, I will, at least, live to complete it. What but ambiguities, abruptnesses, and dark transitions, can be expected from the historian who is, at the same time, the sufferer of these disasters?"
- Charles Brockden Brown, Wieland: or, The Transformation: An American Tale (1789)

Ormond, or The Secret Witness The Tenant of Wildfell Hall


“Are you hero enough to unite yourself to one whom you know to be suspected and despised by all around you, and identify your interests and your honor with hers?”
- Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848)
eldritchhobbit: (Wuthering Heights)
Happy birthday to Emily Brontë (30 July, 1818 – 19 December, 1848)!

Wuthering Heights


“Heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy.”
- Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (1847)


Happy early birthday also to [livejournal.com profile] tudorpumpkin, [livejournal.com profile] xjenavivex, [livejournal.com profile] lizziebelle, [livejournal.com profile] zmaddoc, [livejournal.com profile] supermusicmad, [livejournal.com profile] wiccagirl24, [livejournal.com profile] febobe, [livejournal.com profile] manzanas_verdes, [livejournal.com profile] gamgeefest, [livejournal.com profile] janissa11, [livejournal.com profile] lucybun, [livejournal.com profile] asahifirsa, [livejournal.com profile] baka_kit, [livejournal.com profile] gabrielle_h, [livejournal.com profile] onegoat, [livejournal.com profile] mbranesf, [livejournal.com profile] roo2, [livejournal.com profile] darthsindel1981, [livejournal.com profile] ceosanna, [livejournal.com profile] amygrech, [livejournal.com profile] roozette, [livejournal.com profile] super_chik, [livejournal.com profile] dement1a, and [livejournal.com profile] funkyturtle. May you enjoy many happy returns of the day!
eldritchhobbit: (Millennium/textless)
Happy birthday to Charlotte Brontë (21 April, 1816 – 31 March, 1855)!

Jane Eyre


“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847)

Curious

Feb. 2nd, 2014 09:06 am
eldritchhobbit: (Wuthering Heights)
The photograph below, discovered by Lancashire researcher Robert Haley in a private Scottish collection, has the words "Les soeurs Brontë, Londres" written on the back. Is this a portrait of the Brontë sisters?

three.sisters.ambrotype.x400


From what I can tell from an admittedly quick glance around, experts at the National Media Museum have been dubious, while some members of the Brontë Society are aiding in research to (possibly) authenticate it. The photo currently is believed to be a ambrotype copy of a daguerreotype. The photographer who may have copied it is John Stewart of Pau, France & London, England. If these are the Brontë sisters, the original photo must have been taken before Emily died in 1848.

Here's an interesting website that 1) compares the women's faces in this photo with known portraits and written descriptions of each of the three Brontë sisters made during their lifetimes and 2) constructs a possible history for the photo based on the evidence it provides. Intriguing!

What do you think?
eldritchhobbit: (Waterhouse/heroines)
Happy birthday to Charles Brockden Brown (17 January, 1771 – 22 February, 1810) and Anne Brontë (17 January, 1820 – 28 May, 1849)!

"Yet I will persist to the end. My narrative may be invaded by inaccuracy and confusion; but if I live no longer, I will, at least, live to complete it. What but ambiguities, abruptnesses, and dark transitions, can be expected from the historian who is, at the same time, the sufferer of these disasters?"
- Charles Brockden Brown, Wieland: or, The Transformation: An American Tale (1789)

Ormond, or The Secret Witness The Tenant of Wildfell Hall


“Are you hero enough to unite yourself to one whom you know to be suspected and despised by all around you, and identify your interests and your honor with hers?”
- Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848)
eldritchhobbit: (Default)
My Spring 2014 online, interactive, international course for The Mythgard Institute (available both for M.A. students who are seeking degrees and auditors wishing to participate the love of the subject) is now open for registration. It's "The Gothic Tradition."

The Gothic Tradition at Mythgard Institute

Here is the class description: The Gothic literary tradition began in the mid-eighteenth century in Europe and lives on in various forms across the globe through contemporary fiction, poetry, art, music, film, and television. Mad scientists, blasted heaths, abandoned ruins, elusive ghosts, charming vampires, and even little green men people its stories. With ingredients such as a highly developed sense of atmosphere, extreme emotions including fear and awe, and emphases on the mysterious and the paranormal, Gothic works tend to express anxieties about social, political, religious, and economic issues of the time, as well as rejection of prevailing modes of thought and behavior. This course will investigate the fascinating and subversive Gothic imagination (from the haunted castles of Horace Walpole to the threatening aliens of H.P. Lovecraft, from Dracula to Coraline), identify the historical conditions that have inspired it, consider how it has developed across time and place and medium, and explore how it has left its indelible imprint on the modern genres of science fiction and fantasy.

Here is the class trailer.



For more information, check out the course page here.
eldritchhobbit: (Headstone)
On this day in 1847, according to Charlotte Brontë's letters, she received her author's copies of her newly-published work, one of the greatest of Gothic novels, Jane Eyre (credited to Brontë's pseudonym, Currer Bell). Secrets and disguises, fire and death, a sadistic boarding school and a madwoman in the attic: what could be more appropriate for Halloween?

Green finch, Nightingale, Blackbird.


Here is an eerie excerpt, describing how Jane as a little child was cruelly punished by being locked in the singularly spooky "red-room":

“God will punish her: He might strike her dead in the midst of her tantrums, and then where would she go? Come, Bessie, we will leave her: I wouldn’t have her heart for anything. Say your prayers, Miss Eyre, when you are by yourself; for if you don’t repent, something bad might be permitted to come down the chimney and fetch you away.”

They went, shutting the door, and locking it behind them.

The red-room was a square chamber, very seldom slept in, I might say never, indeed, unless when a chance influx of visitors at Gateshead Hall rendered it necessary to turn to account all the accommodation it contained: yet it was one of the largest and stateliest chambers in the mansion. A bed supported on massive pillars of mahogany, hung with curtains of deep red damask, stood out like a tabernacle in the centre; the two large windows, with their blinds always drawn down, were half shrouded in festoons and falls of similar drapery; the carpet was red; the table at the foot of the bed was covered with a crimson cloth; the walls were a soft fawn colour with a blush of pink in it; the wardrobe, the toilet-table, the chairs were of darkly polished old mahogany. Out of these deep surrounding shades rose high, and glared white, the piled-up mattresses and pillows of the bed, spread with a snowy Marseilles counterpane. Scarcely less prominent was an ample cushioned easy-chair near the head of the bed, also white, with a footstool before it; and looking, as I thought, like a pale throne.

This room was chill, because it seldom had a fire; it was silent, because remote from the nursery and kitchen; solemn, because it was known to be so seldom entered. The house-maid alone came here on Saturdays, to wipe from the mirrors and the furniture a week’s quiet dust: and Mrs. Reed herself, at far intervals, visited it to review the contents of a certain secret drawer in the wardrobe, where were stored divers parchments, her jewel-casket, and a miniature of her deceased husband; and in those last words lies the secret of the red-room — the spell which kept it so lonely in spite of its grandeur.

Mr. Reed had been dead nine years: it was in this chamber he breathed his last; here he lay in state; hence his coffin was borne by the undertaker’s men; and, since that day, a sense of dreary consecration had guarded it from frequent intrusion.

My seat, to which Bessie and the bitter Miss Abbot had left me riveted, was a low ottoman near the marble chimney-piece; the bed rose before me; to my right hand there was the high, dark wardrobe, with subdued, broken reflections varying the gloss of its panels; to my left were the muffled windows; a great looking-glass between them repeated the vacant majesty of the bed and room. I was not quite sure whether they had locked the door; and when I dared move, I got up and went to see. Alas! yes: no jail was ever more secure. Returning, I had to cross before the looking-glass; my fascinated glance involuntarily explored the depth it revealed. All looked colder and darker in that visionary hollow than in reality: and the strange little figure there gazing at me, with a white face and arms specking the gloom, and glittering eyes of fear moving where all else was still, had the effect of a real spirit: I thought it like one of the tiny phantoms, half fairy, half imp, Bessie’s evening stories represented as coming out of lone, ferny dells in moors, and appearing before the eyes of belated travellers. I returned to my stool.


* Read the complete novel here.
* There are two different downloadable audiobooks of Jane Eyre at Librivox, here and here.

Jane Eyre
eldritchhobbit: (Wuthering Heights)
Last words


Happy birthday to Emily Brontë (30 July, 1818 – 19 December, 1848).

“Heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy.”
― Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

emily bronte


Happy early birthday wishes to [livejournal.com profile] johnjosephadams, [livejournal.com profile] tudorpumpkin, [livejournal.com profile] xjenavivex, [livejournal.com profile] lizziebelle, [livejournal.com profile] zmaddoc, [livejournal.com profile] supermusicmad, [livejournal.com profile] wiccagirl24, [livejournal.com profile] febobe, [livejournal.com profile] manzanas_verdes, [livejournal.com profile] gamgeefest, [livejournal.com profile] janissa11, [livejournal.com profile] lucybun, [livejournal.com profile] baka_kit, [livejournal.com profile] gabrielle_h, [livejournal.com profile] onegoat, [livejournal.com profile] mbranesf, [livejournal.com profile] roo2, [livejournal.com profile] darthsindel1981, [livejournal.com profile] ceosanna,[livejournal.com profile] amygrech, [livejournal.com profile] dormannheim, [livejournal.com profile] roozette, [livejournal.com profile] super_chik, [livejournal.com profile] dement1a, and [livejournal.com profile] funkyturtle. May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day, my friends!
eldritchhobbit: (Sherlock/Watson sweater)

** So NASA is holding a special televised news conference on Monday "to discuss the Chandra X-ray Observatory's discovery of an exceptional object in our cosmic neighborhood." Now that sounds interesting. Hmmm.


** Thanks to the brilliant Sherlock, I've decided to correct my heretofore scattershot and disorganized reading of Arthur Conan Doyle's Holmes works by reading through them all in their original order of publication. I'm two novels into this project now and enjoying myself quite a bit. I'll probably use this as an excuse to revisit the Professor Challenger stories, too. (I love The Poison Belt!)

I wanted to ask you, my friends, for recommendations of Holmes pastiches. I know that the field is vast, and I want to sample the best (and leave the rest). I'm particularly interested in those that lean toward science fiction and speculative literature, as opposed to straight mystery. Neil Gaiman's "A Study in Emerald" is one of my favorite short stories of all time, and I need to read all of Shadows over Baker Street. I've noted that Sherlock Holmes in Orbit, The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Gaslight Grimoire, and Gaslight Grotesque all seem like good starting places. As for the subgenre of Sherlock Holmes versus Jack the Ripper fiction, I gather that Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson is the novel most respected by scholars of "Ripperology."

Do you have any suggestions for me?


** In other news, I'm quite intrigued by the new official trailer for 2011's Jane Eyre, starring Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench, and Alice in Wonderland's Mia Wasikowska as Jane. It looks like the film may emphasize the gothic aspects of the story, rather than just focusing on the period romance. If so, that's very refreshing. I look forward to seeing it.


** Happy early birthday wishes to [livejournal.com profile] adamantrealm, [livejournal.com profile] sneezythesquid, [livejournal.com profile] bibliotrope, and [livejournal.com profile] m_stiefvater. May you enjoy many happy returns of the day!


"I had no idea that such individuals exist outside of stories."
- Dr. Watson, A Study in Scarlet, Arthur Conan Doyle
eldritchhobbit: (Halloween)

I have another 2010 book to recommend for your Halloween reading: The House of Dead Maids by Clare B. Dunkle. The novel follows fictional 11-year-old Tabby as she's taken to become a maid at the distant and dilapidated Seldom House. There she encounters her very dead predecessors and her very live charge, a precocious and wayward little boy, whom she tries to protect from the sinister forces around them, as well as his own ignorance and willfulness. As the two unravel the secret of Seldom House, they discover that peril comes from forces far older and much closer than they could have imagined.

Dunkle nests her story within the larger context of the Brontës. According to the novel, the fictional child (who has all the courage and tenacity of Neil Gaiman's modern-day Coraline) grows up to be the "real life" adult Tabby who serves as the Brontë family's housekeeper at Haworth, the one who reportedly told the Brontë sisters dark and imaginative tales -- some, Dunkle implies, from firsthand experience. The author suggests that the "heathen git" child that Tabby protects at Seldom House is none other than the "real" Heathcliff, whom Emily Brontë later immortalized in her masterpiece Wuthering Heights.

In short, it's ideal reading for a dark and stormy night. You can read my full review here at Goodreads.

Boston Cemetery by cookiefleck


Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] cookiefleck for today's spooky picture!

Text of the Day: Today's short story is perfect for the season, "The Little Black Train" by Manly Wade Wellman (1903-1986).

Teaser: A ghost train running on the High Fork Railroad. Spawned by a curse during a love quarrel that ended in the murder of the engineer of the train. The Little Black Train is destined to come back and take away the guilty.

Read the complete story here.
eldritchhobbit: (Science Fiction Feeds the Mind)
Happy Monday! I have some links to share:

Articles:

* The Guardian reports on which books 2,000 readers have chosen as the Greatest Love Story of All Time, based on a poll sponsored by the UKTV Drama Channel.

The Top Ten list looks like this:
1 Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, 1847
2 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, 1813
3 Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, 1597
4 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, 1847
5 Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, 1936
6 The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, 1992
7 Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, 1938
8 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak, 1957
9 Lady Chatterley's Lover by DH Lawrence, 1928
10 Far from The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy, 1874

Marin Kettle responds in The Guardian with "If Wuthering Heights is a love story, Hamlet is a sitcom."

* Duck of Minerva writes about "What Harry Potter Inherits from Star Wars."


Other Literary News:

* For those of you who use iTunes, Lit2Go from the University of Southern Florida offers a number of free, unabridged audiobooks from the likes of Horace Walpole, Ann Radcliffe, the Brontë sisters, Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and H.G. Wells, among others.

* The finalists for this year's World Fantasy Awards have been announced.


"He liked the steady sway and rhythms of voyaging, of movement, of the perpetual mystery that lurked beyond the far horizon. This was humanity's role."
- Gregory Benford, "At the Double Solstice"
eldritchhobbit: (Monty Python/autonomous)
Happy early birthday to the ever-fabulous [livejournal.com profile] janissa11! May you have an excellent day tomorrow, and may the next year be your best yet.

Thanks to Sword of Gryffindor (syndicated as [livejournal.com profile] sword_gryff), HogwartsProfessor.com (syndicated as [livejournal.com profile] hogwartspro), and BrontëBlog (syndicated as [livejournal.com profile] bronteblog) for recently recommending and referring to this blog. I appreciate it!

Thanks also to all of you who participated in my poll about Wuthering Heights adaptations. The results were much closer than those of the Jane Eyre poll. The winning Wuthering Heights adaptation, by one vote, is the 1970 version with Anna Calder-Marshall and Timothy Dalton. Tied for second place are my personal favorite, the 1939 version (Merle Oberon/Laurence Olivier), and the 1992 version (Juliette Binoche/Ralph Fiennes). Because of this poll, I plan to enjoy the 1970 version next week; I'm willing to be persuaded!

[livejournal.com profile] jamesenge kindly pointed out another worthy candidate for best adaptation. Who can resist Monty Python's own Semaphore Version of Wuthering Heights?

[Error: unknown template video]


And now, for something completely different...

* The winners of the 2007 Mythopoeic Awards have been announced. I'm particularly looking forward to reading Gemstone of Paradise: The Holy Grail in Wolfram's Parzival by G. Ronald Murphy.

* Via [livejournal.com profile] altariel: Blog a Penguin Classic. (To follow the blog on LJ, there's [livejournal.com profile] blogaclassic.)

* And, for those of you who like to knit while (or what) you read, there's Knit the Classics.


"What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance." - Jane Austen (letter, 1796)
eldritchhobbit: (Pros/Literary Type)
Many thanks to everyone who took part in my poll about Jane Eyre adaptations. The favorite, by a strong consensus, is the 1983 Zelah Clarke/Timothy Dalton version, although seven different adaptations received more than one vote. Personally, I've enjoyed several of the films. My preference at this point is for Charlotte Gainsbourg as Jane Eyre (the only actress who has seemed sufficiently young, starved - both socially and physically - and deep for my taste... I wonder if she might have been more passionate if playing against a more spirited performance than William Hurt gave as Rochester) and Timothy Dalton as Rochester (his portrayal captures the character's proud spirit and changing moods so incredibly well, to my mind, that this overcomes the fact he is rather too attractive for the role). I have not seen all of the versions, however, and the poll has convinced me I must, especially the 1944 Joan Fontaine/Orson Welles adaptation.

That poll seemed to require this one, which I offer now. I'll admit to having much stronger loyalties for one of these films in particular, but then again, I'm yet to see them all. I look forward to your responses!

[Poll #1035096]

Is Mr. Heathcliff a man? If so, is he mad? And if not, is he a devil? I sha'n't tell my reasons for making this inquiry; but I beseech you to explain, if you can, what I have married...

"...Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living! You said I killed you--haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers. I believe--I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always--take any form--drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!

- Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
eldritchhobbit: (Book/Swanson)
Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] wiccagirl24, and happy early birthdays to [livejournal.com profile] febobe and [livejournal.com profile] ghani_atreides! My friends, I hope all three of you have fantastic days and wonderful years to come.

I've been rereading one of my very favorite novels, Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, which leads me to a question:

[Poll #1033387]

Incidentally, the new unabridged reading of Jane Eyre by Emily Woof for SilkSoundBooks is extremely well done, not to mention very reasonably priced. You can hear a sample here.


Because I can't choose just one quote for the day from Jane Eyre, here are several:

"I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will, which I now exert to leave you."

"I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself."

"Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last.

"Do you think I am an automaton? ­— a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God's feet, equal — as we are!"

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