Monday 27 February 2017

House (with Brontë connection) for sale !

Some of you may remember that two years ago (in 2015) I reported on our detective work during our annual holidays in Ireland, more in particular regarding a Brontë-related house, i.e. Kill House near Clifden, in the Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland. This is the house where Arthur Bell Nicholls’ cousin, Harriette Bell, lived with her husband, John Evans Adamson, and their children. Harriette was the cousin Arthur proposed to in 1851 and who declined his proposal.

In 2015, we found the house while driving around in  the Connemara with only vague information on its exact location. As the house was in private ownership, we could not view the inside. We only saw the house from the gate (as shown below).


Monday 20 February 2017

Brussels Brontë Group, talks on "Jane Eyre" and "Wuthering Heights"

Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights were the subjects of a day of talks by members of the Brussels Brontë Group on 11 February. It was a tradi-tionally rainy Saturday in February, and members of the Brussels Brontё Group sought refuge in the rich world of complicated women and windswept landscapes to hear two more fascinating talks from the group members.

In the morning, Judith Collins walked us through Disguise, deception and concealment in Jane Eyre. Her inspiration for this topic were the two scenes when Rochester dresses up, first in the charades and then as the gypsy-woman. She says: “it occurred to me that although these were literal disguises, that is, he changed his clothes so that he wouldn’t be recognised, there were other sorts of disguises in the novel.”

Wednesday 15 February 2017

The Translations of the Brontë Devoirs

When at the Pensionnat Heger in Brussels, Charlotte and Emily Brontë wrote quite a lot of essays, or devoirs, at the instruction of Monsieur Heger, in French. These compositions are not only an important part of the legacy of their time in Brussels, they are also “a crucial link between the juvenilia and the novels,” as Sue Lonoff put it in her The Belgian Essays, published in 1996 by Yale.

For the first time the texts of all the known manuscripts were published, also in English translations. Previously, some could be found in Elizabeth Gaskell's Life of Charlotte Brontë;  Enid Duthie's The Foreign Vision of Charlotte Brontë, and several articles in the Transactions of the Brontë Society.

Cover of Enid Duthie's
The Foreign Vision of Charlotte Brontë

The first separate publication of devoirs was Fannie Ratchford's and Loraine White Nagel's Emily Brontë. Five Essays Written in French, published in 1948 by the University of Texas Press (with a 1974 reprint by Folcroft from Pennsylvania; 19 pp.). Fannie Ratchford (1887-1974), an important Brontë historian of the mid-20th century, was the Librarian of the Rare Book Collections of the University of Texas in Austin, which has among its collection of Brontë manuscripts one of the devoirs. She was the author of The Brontës Web of Childhood, about the juvenilia, edited  Gondal's Queen: A Novel in Verse by Emily Jane Brontë (1955) and contributed to C.W. Hatfield’s edition of Emily’s poems (published in 1941) and the Oxford edition of the complete works of the Brontes. In 1960 she published an article in the Transactions with three more essays.

Cover of the 1948 Emily Brontë,
Five EssaysWritten in French

Photograph of Fannie Ratchford

Thursday 2 February 2017

Villette and The Professor in Korean

The first Korean Villette was published in 1996, in a translation by Joel Lee. It was published by Ch'angjak kwa Pip'yŏngsa from Seoul. The title gives the sound of Villette, Pillett'ŭ in a transcription. The second translation’s title in transcription is Billette. This work was published in two volumes, of 270 and 218 pages. The covers were identical (apart from nrs. 1 and 2).

Cover of the 1996 Korean Villette
(Painting: Johannes Vermeer - Woman 
reading a letter  (ca 1663))