Juliet Barker's The Brontës & upcoming films

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Juliet Barker's The Brontës & upcoming films

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Editado: Dic 3, 2009, 8:01am

Hello, I think this is my first time posting here! I was just wondering whether anyone has read Juliet Barker's mighty biography The Brontës and what they thought of it? It's the first Brontë biography I've read and I'm racing through it. Is it worth picking up any other biographies?

Also, I read today that there are going to be new film adaptations of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, as well as another one based on the Brontës and Angria/Gondal, geared towards young Twilight fans (http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/dec/02/twilight-new-bronte-films). What do you think? I'm all for new adaptations but the cast - esp. the actress who's going to play Jane Eyre - look a bit unsuitable to my eyes! Or am I just being old...?

Dic 3, 2009, 8:07am

I have Juliet Barker's massive biography sitting on my floor (I'm afraid to put it on my shelves!) waiting for me. I'm glad to hear it is good! The only Bronte biography I've read is Elizabeth Gaskell's The Life of Charlotte Bronte. I enjoyed it; Gaskell is one of my new favorite authors, and the book is really well-written. The only downside is that she was one of Charlotte's friends, so a lot had to be left out. I'd still recommend it, though.

Are they really doing new film adaptations? I think that Mia Wasikowska is too pretty to be Jane!

Dic 3, 2009, 8:09am

That's exactly what I thought about Mia Wasikowska!

Re. Juliet Barker, it did start a bit slowly for me because it begins with Patrick's birth and meticulously works it way right through the whole family history, but it's extremely interesting and she dispels a lot of the myths that are floating around about the whole family. Definitely worth a read!

Editado: Dic 8, 2009, 1:31am

I'm slightly horrified by the "targeting the Twilight audience" goal of the films, (well, mainly of the Jane Eyre film - I'm not so attached to Wuthering Heights) because I suspect they are therefore not going to be particularly concerned with appealing to book purists... It doesn't sound like they aim to be faithful adaptions!
I would have said Mia Wasikowska is too pretty to be Jane, too. That said, films can do a good job of changing actors' appearances.

Dic 6, 2009, 11:16pm

IF it shows them good literature. That is the only way I will accept it. If Twilight fans become Brontë fans, I'm okay with one bad adaptation for the greater good. (As if hollywood did not already ruin the story.) I have read only the first Twilight, but it is because I work in a library. Good god she took Rochester out of his home text made him a blood-sucking twerp and then LEFT JANE BEHIND!!! (Can you hear me shouting?) The book just made me hungry for Jane again. This might be a bit of an exaggeration, but this is how I felt.

Dic 6, 2009, 11:27pm

So does anyone know how old Michael F who will play Rochester is? The clip says he was considered for the Heathcliff role? Either they are making Rochester too young or they were going to age Heathcliff too much. The same actor can play both roles but there needs to be a ten year gap at least. Oh I might throw up... He can't be any younger than he is written! It will mess everything up! Breathe, Elizabeth, breathe!

Dic 9, 2009, 8:13am

I finally finished Juliet Barker's biography last night and have written a review: http://www.librarything.com/work/3031638/reviews/22467619

A brilliant book that should be read by all Brontë fans!

Editado: Dic 9, 2009, 10:20am

>7 mooingzelda: Thanks for the review! It looks like one I need.

Edited to say: It's being republished, but I have to wait until November 2010!!

Dic 9, 2009, 10:39am

You can probably find it used on Abebooks or half.com or something. That's how I managed to find a copy.

Dic 17, 2009, 1:01pm

I've had the Juliet Barker biography sitting on my floor too and frankly was intimidated by the slow beginning. Now that I hear it is actually worth the trouble, I think I'll go back to it again as I've been looking for a good Christmas read.

Barker's The Brontës: A Life in Letters also sounds interesting. Anyone read it?

Dic 19, 2009, 12:16pm

It really is worth getting past the beginning! I found the first few chapters a bit slow going but I raced through it after those. And I did find later on that I was grateful for all the info in the first part because it really helped to put various events into perspective.

I haven't read A Life In Letters, although I would like to.

Ene 3, 2010, 5:05am

I'm reading the Barker biography right now - lucky enough to find a copy in my local remainders warehouse sale for GBP3, which absolutely made my day. I'm going very slowly though, as I am reading all the footnotes and there is so much to think about. I love that Barker sets out her stall so clearly - that she wants to fill in the gaps and correct some common misconceptions.

I've also got A Life in Letters ready on the shelf for when I finish.

Mayo 11, 2010, 1:56pm

I just started the Barker bio last night, and wasn't going to read the endnotes but of course I am incapable of seeing the little number and not flipping to the back. So this means that it'll take me a good long time to finish it. But so far so good.

Mayo 11, 2010, 2:44pm

I liked the Life in Letters even more as it's good to read the Brontes with commentary & filling in from Barker. It is a good companion volume to the biography. It's hard to beat the 3 Winifred Gerin biographies of Charlotte, Emily & Anne , especially of Charlotte - called the Evolution of Genius. The Muriel Spark Derek Stamford biography of Emily is also good.

Editado: Mayo 29, 2011, 1:18pm

If anyone's interested, I've seen Barker's The Brontës biography in the sale at The Works for £2.99. Might not be available in all their stores, but it's probably worth a look!

You can get it online as well: https://www.theworks.co.uk/product.asp?cid=&pid=10976