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Crossing the culture

The most recent strain of Brontemania, at large throughout 2011, included major film versions of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights and the sale of a Charlotte Brontë manuscript for almost £700,000.

Rachel Thorpe

Enthusiasm for the Bronte sisters and their work is nothing new. Their novels have spawned numerous interpretations: Charlotte’s Jane Eyre alone has been adapted for the screen almost 2,000 times1. Each re-telling is selective, emphasising certain aspects and ignoring others in order to re-image the characters for a contemporary audience. The controversial casting of the 2011 Wuthering Heights, along with the decision to truncate the ending, is an example of the desire to both affirm and alter the message of the novels.