Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Good news and bad news for Haworth

Today Haworth generates two very different news stories. Good and bad ones. Let's begin with the good one. The Brontë landscape and Haworth village have been included in a tentative list of 38 sites for World Heritage status undisclosed today by the Minister of Tourism and Heritage:

The UK’s heritage is world class and this list represents the unique variety and history present in all corners of this country and our overseas territories," said John Penrose, Tourism and Heritage Minister. "We wanted a strong and varied list to eventually put to UNESCO and I’m delighted that so many wonderful, diverse places have been put forward."
An independent expert panel will now be set up to assess each bid with a new list of potential sites drawn up for submission to UNESCO in 2011.
The bad news comes from English Heritage as reported by the Telegraph & Argus:
Conservation areas in the Bradford area, including world famous Haworth, have been included in a Heritage at Risk register. (...)
About Haworth’s Main Street, with its ancient setts, the 70-page document says it is cluttered with signage, has too modern shop fronts and windows and the cobbles are in need of repair.
English Heritage’s regional director Trevor Mitchell, went on a walkabout of Haworth yesterday with Bradford Council’s design and conservation team leader Christine Kerrin and City Hall’s design and countryside manager John Hogg.
Mr Mitchell said: "Haworth is a great place, visited by thousands every year. But it is slowly changing, for the worse, so that the Brontë’s might not recognise it if they returned today.
"While many of the buildings and streets survive, changes to windows, signage and street clutter are gradually eroding the village’s character."
Bradford Council, with advice from English Heritage, had developed a strategy for repairing the characteristic setted street surfaces and had found the funding to carry out the work, he added.
Literally the report considers the Conservation Area of Haworth as Very Bad. Its vulnerability however is Low and the Trend is described as Expected to show some improvement.

The Harry Ransom Center of the University of Texas at Austin (which owns several Brontë manuscripts) has an article with a very interesting discussion:
It’s hard to imagine Evelyn Waugh or Charlotte Brontë experiencing self-consciousness about writing in a journal because a scholar might someday read it and scoff, but many of today’s top authors are aware that placing their papers at libraries engages part of an important branch of scholarship (and occasionally comes with a pay-off). What does this self-awareness mean for them as artists and archivists, and what does it mean for the future of archives? I’m not one to speculate, but I expect that as more living writers place their archives at libraries, the nature of the archive will evolve, for better or worse.
NPR interviews Lyndall Gordon about her biography of Emily Dickinson: Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson's and her Family Feuds.
Lyndall Gordon has previously written biographies of T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Charlotte Brontë and Mary Wollstonecraft. (...)
On Dickinson's relationship with Susan, her sister-in-law (...)
She was somebody who read the best, even better than Emily Dickinson — the real classics, like the Brontës and Elizabeth Barrett Browning and George Eliot — and she and Emily Dickinson were reading together.
Chicago Now recommends Jane Eyre for your summer beach reading list:
A Brontë sister at the beach? Oh, yes. If you tend to reach for V.C. Andrews or Danielle Steele for your beach bag, swap it out for Jane Eyre. The titular character and her love interest, Rochester, overcome insane wives in the attic, blindness, foiled wedding ceremonies, proposals from cousins and more to be together. Plus, you'll be hard-pressed to find a female protagonist with a stronger sense of self, who refuses to commit to Rochester until they can do so on her own terms. (Cassandra Gaddo)
Blogcritics interviews author Kailin Gow:
Who are some of your favorite authors and/or books? (...)
Favorite books are Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Shining, Interview with a Vampire, Great Expectations, and everything Shakespeare. (April Pohren)
Elizabeth Bluemle (Publishers Weekly) includes Heathcliff on a list of characters you wouldn't let your daughter date:
As for suitors I’d forbid from Calyn’s doorstep: at the top of the list is Heathcliff (who was my own weakness at 18; by 30, I knew better).
Culture24 recommends a visit to Victoria Brookland's Wearer Unknown exhibition at the Brontë Parsonage Museum (until July 18 2010). Other Brontë references appear in articles in Serious Eats or The Orange County Register. Reviews from Spencer Public Library and Bookatopia post about Jane Eyre and Amar-te-ei até ao tédio! about Wuthering Heights (in Portuguese); Suite101 posts a brief biography of Emily Brontë, My Eclectic Reads reviews positively Juliet Gael's Romancing Miss Brontë. Flickr users Julia Gillen and Walruscharmer have uploaded pictures of Wycoller Hall. Finally Victorian Literature devotes a post to Villette.

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