Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013 8:59 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    2 comments
Anne Brontë was born on a day like today in Thornton. Unfortunately, though, there's bad news concerning her birthplace, as The Telegraph and Argus reports.
A group that wants to save the Brontë birthplace in Thornton, Bradford, has received a huge set-back after learning at the last minute that the property does not qualify under a newly-introduced law which allows groups to bid to buy community assets.
The Brontë Birthplace Trust had initially been given the impression by Bradford Council that the house came under the Community Right to Bid legislation.
But Belinda Gaynor, Bradford Council’s operational estates manager, has now said that as the property was formerly lived in and constitues residential property it is not covered by the Act.
The Council has now apologised for the way it has dealt with the issue. Trust chairman Steve Stanworth said: “We were under the misapprehension that we had until the end of June to get the money together to put a bid in for the house which was on the market for £129,000.
“Our Trust needs to act quickly as the estate agents are ready to accept an offer in the next couple of days.
“I’ll try to get enough people together for a meeting tomorrow night at the New Inn, but we could be out of the picture by the end of the week, which would be sad.” [...]
The Trust believes that if the house was restored as a museum it would have a galvanising effect on the regeneration of the village. (Jim Greenhalf)
Picture source
More sad news concerning Brontë-related buildings, as the Halifax Courier reports:
It was sad to hear about the recent fire which has devastated the Ovenden Cross hotel, a building which has played a significant part in the cultural history of Halifax. For it has considerable musical and literary links. [...]
During the early 1840s, the landlord at the Ovenden Cross was John Walton, who had married Elizabeth Firth at Halifax Parish Church in 1821. In the summer of 1846, Branwell Brontë sought refuge in Halifax from the Haworth vicarage, and stayed at the Cross for some weeks. Walton’s eldest daughter Mary, born in 1822, formed a friendship with him. Mary kept a commonplace book, and in this, Branwell copied poems and drew sketches. One of the latter was entitled “The Results of Sorrow,” and depicted a gaunt and melancholy man’s face – his own. He signed his works with his pseudonym of “Northangerland.” The book is now a prized possession of the Brontë Family Collection in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, at the University of Texas.
Mary Walton married James Pearson of Grove Street, Halifax, iron-founder, at the Parish Church in January 1848; the year in which Branwell died.
Mary’s book is also valuable for her own comments about Branwell, which she recorded in it. Her words are taken from “Art of the Brontës,” by Christine Anne Alexander and Jane Sellars (C.U.P., 1995); though I have amended the punctuation. Written in June 1856, Mary’s words were addressed to her surviving son Edwin, baptised at Halifax Parish Church in June 1850:
“Who was Northangerland, my son may enquire, into whose hands this may fall after my departure from this changing life? His real name was Brontë. He was son of the incumbent of Haworth of that name, and brother to the gifted lady who wrote by the cognomen of Cora [sic] Bell; Jane Eyre was one of her productions. The little sketch over the leaf and some others you will meet with in this book, were written by him when staying at my father’s house at Ovenden Cross in the autumn of 1846; the pen and ink profile is an excellent one of himself; the other little sketch is highly descriptive of the morbid state of mind under which he then laboured, the result, as I was subsequently told, of a disappointment in love. At the time we speak of, he was an inveterate drunkard; his whole energies and talents were shipwrecked. He was a lamentable instance of what man becomes who trusts for happiness in earthly things alone… Poor Brontë died at the early age of 28, a victim to intemperance. Alas, my son, only among many such, may these shipwrecks be your landmarks, is your mother’s daily prayer…”
In fact, Branwell died at the age of 31; perhaps he had told Mary he was younger than he actually was? (David Glover)
Many websites are commenting on this excellent distinction made by Guillermo del Toro on his website:
[Crimson Peak] is not Hell House at all. Nothing could be further from that. CP is a spec script Matthew and I wrote right after Pan's Labyrinth. It stayed mostly under the radar but I have been pushing it quietly. Universal has been very supportive and wanted to do it. It's set at the turn of the century and it is a Gothic romance with ghosts. When I use the GR term I use it not in the Barbara Cartland model but rather in a Brontë fashion. Dark and stormy and wind-swept.
We wonder what he makes of the lists that are starting to crop up as Valentine's day approaches. Classic Novels Examiner recommends '5 classic novels to read for Valentine's Day'. Among which are:
1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
A tale of passion that takes place in the English moors. It's a doomed love story between Heathcliff and Catherine Earshaw, two characters who love each other but things get in away. Heathcliff, the abused orphaned who wants vengeance and Catherine who finds that she must be part of society. [...]
3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Another brooding story from the Brontë sisters this time from Charlotte. A famous tale about a young governess who goes to work Thornfield Hall and where she falls for the mysterious, Mr. Rochester. The story talks about Jane's early life to when she goes to Thornfield Hall. It's a haunting but a lovely tale. (Kellie Haulotte)
An Ithaca columnist recalls reading Jane Eyre as a child while a Post Independent columnist lists several famous spinsters, such as Emily Brontë. Closer (France) wonders whether performing Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights may have gone against a Nouvelle Star participant. Mayangadi posts in Malay about the novel. La biblioteca dei miei sogni writes in Italian about Jane Eyre while Mean Fat Old Bat Reads Romances, Mysteries, and Nonfiction reviews April Lindner's JaneLiterary Traveler reviews Margot Livesey's The Flight of Gemma Hardy and Siege Reads reviews Sherri Browning Erwin's Jane Slayre. Kate Shrewsday posts about the Brontës' publishing history.