On January 7th, we'll be holding our first book Club of 2011. The event will take place at my boyfriend's house in Wainscott. There's going to be a total of 12 of us in attendance. We're at capacity for the invitees. But you can definitely read along with us here. I'll be posting all the question and responses at Livre Life Monday, January 10th. Next BC event I'll post with a month's lead-time so that everyone has a chance to read the book.
What: Wuthering Heights
Who: Emily Bronte
Where: Yorkshire Moors
Extra Credit Reading:
Background: Emily Bronte came from a family of writers. Her sister Charlotte wrote Jane Eyre, of course. And Anne Bronte penned the lesser-known Agnes Grey. It's generally assumed that the three began writing as a form of escapism after two of their sisters died of typhus at boarding school (the travails of which Charlotte details in Jane Eyre's Lowood Academy). Growing up, the sisters created elaborate imaginary worlds captured in the Gondol Poems.*
Eventually Charlotte, after finding some poems of Emily's that she had left lying around the house, convinced her sisters that they should attempt to publish some of their works. The poems and stories were originally published under the pseudonyms Currer, Acton and Ellis Bell.
After Emily died in 1848 (She was just 30 years old at the time), Charlotte re-released Wuthering Heights under Emily's own name. However, her controversial introduction to the novel managed to mar its reputation. In the intro, Charlotte asks for the readers pardon. Telling them that her sister Emily was a naive and unpolished writer and meant to cause no offense with her passionate and, as some thought, amoral tale. As a result, many of the Bronte contemporaries came to view Wuthering Heights as a sort of prelude to Jane Eyre. It wasn't until many years later that critics began to conceive it as an important work of fiction.
The Rumor Mill: Some believe that Emily's inspiration for the slightly incestuous Heathcliff and Cathy relationship was based upon her own rapport with her reprobate brother Patrick Branwell whom she was alleged to be extremely close with. Patrick was a painter, gambler and incidentally addicted to laudanum. Yikes Emily.
~One of my fave photographs from the Sam Taylor Wood Exhibit~
Do: The Brooklyn Museum has an exhibit on by Sam Taylor Wood. The artist has photographed the Moor's around Yorkshire's Top Withens where Wuthering Heights was alleged to be set. Adam and I went last weekend the works were beautiful and contained many excerpted quotes from the novel.
Watch: There are a ton of adaptations to choose from. But after watching a couple entertaining trailers, like this amazing MTV remake, we settled on these two to recommend. PS. Yes, that's Katherine Heigl. Ha!
Listen: Oh, and a parting shot of amazingness...Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush. Enjoy!