Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Brontë birthplace sale has now reached the news. From The Telegraph and Argus:
The sale was completed by Beverley Smith for Whitneys estate agents in Clayton.
Mrs Smith, a Thornton resident herself, said: “Because this property was a repossession we have got to get as much for it as possible. Contracts have been exchanged and keys handed over.
“It’s been bought by a couple, not a company. I am sure they will be sympathetic to the Brontë sisters because of conversations I had with them." (Jim Greenhalf)
The Yorkshire Post is not so sure:
Steve Stanworth, chairman of the Trust, said members were “upset and very disappointed” as they had spent months trying to get support for their proposal.
He said the property could have become a multi-purpose visitor attraction incorporating a museum, book shop, café and gift stall.
The house, which has a plaque on the outside wall naming the four Brontë children born there, already attracts fans of the literary siblings from far and wide.
Mr Stanworth and Trust supporters believe that the Brontë birthplace has the potential to kick-start wider regeneration in Thornton.
He also believes it would improve the experience of visitors on the Brontë Trail, thousands of whom visit nearby Haworth and its Brontë Parsonage Museum every year.
It is not clear what the buyer of the Thornton property intends to do with the building but Mr Stanworth said he believes it could eventually be turned into a bistro.
“I understand it’s a local businessman and I think he’s going to turn it into a bistro. I don’t know his full plans at the moment.”
Mr Stanworth is not giving up yet on the Trust’s dream of acquiring the building and capitalising on its Brontë connections.
“We have decided, as a Trust, we are going to carry on with our work and hope that some time in the future it will come on the market.
“We are going to try and get a professional business plan done and raise money to buy it.” (Andrew Robinson)
The Keighley News has an article on the Brontë Parsonage reopening celebration.
More than 300 people gathered to celebrate the reopening of the Brontë Parsonage Museum at Haworth following a £60,000 refurbishment.
Guests congregated at the Old Schoolroom, opposite the historic building, for wine and a buffet supper.
Among those at the event was the museum’s new executive director, Professor Ann Sumner, who outlined the work that had taken place, announced a new website launched earlier that day and spoke about a recent conference – ReVisioning the Brontës – held at Leeds University.
Speeches were also given by Brontë Society chairman, Sally McDonald, and Terry Suthers, Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire.
Others present included Bronte scholars Jane Sellars and Rebecca Fraser, the Earl and Countess of Harewood, Keighley town mayor Councillor George Metcalf and Yorkshire artist Ashley Jackson. [...]
Several new acquisitions were also on display, including six letters from Charlotte Brontë to Ellen Nussey, Charlotte’s silk, fringed parasol, and a masonic apron with symbols painted by Branwell Brontë. The apron was donated by the family of Branwell’s friend and fellow mason, William Thomas.
Publishers' Weekly reviews the memoir The Cooked Seed by Anchee Min where she tells about how
Watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and reading Jane Eyre helped pave her yellow brick road to literary success
This columnist from The Tyee is definitely not a Brontëite.
That's one of the chief differences between Austen and the romance writers she satirizes: her heroes are exceedingly good at doing the decent, upstanding thing. Unlike the Brontë sisters, who arrived three decades later and produced those kinky potboilers featuring sadomasochistic relationships. They serve as templates for today's formula romance novel industry and their heroes actually resemble Austen's villains -- narcissists, psychopaths, and stalkers. (Shannon Rupp)
Somewhat extreme, huh?

The Mirror writer outlining what's coming in British soap operas doesn't sound all that thrilled about the Brontës:
Emmerdale [...]
Short of some elaborate ­courtship dance, it’s hard to see what else Bob could do to signal his interest in Brenda.
But she’s just not getting it and agrees to go on a date with boring, Brontë-reading Brian instead. (Jane Simon)
The Canberra Times says the following of the TV series The Paradise:
The sub-Brontë-esque syntax of the dialogue borders on parody. (Louise Rugendyke)
That may be a side effect of what the Orange County Register describes:
Most of us probably still have the proof of a dormant poetic self – musty journals in boxes in the garage, old files of yellowed paper scraps and cocktail napkins on which bits of prose and poetry are scrawled, references to particularly resonant passages in the margins of "Great Expectations" and "Wuthering Heights." (Michelle Arch)
Linda Grant writes about her admiration for Jean Rhys in the Guardian.
Rhys is mainly known for her novel Wide Sargasso Sea, a retelling of Jane Eyre from the perspective of the mad wife in the attic, and I scandalised an audience at the British Library a few years ago by claiming it was a greater novel than Charlotte Brontë's. Rhys in recent years has most often been seen her in the context of post-colonial writing, but it was the novels written and set in Paris in the 1930s that chilled me to the bone.
This is how the Sabotage Times describes the song Dance Yrself Clean by LCD Soundsystem:
This song starts out all Edith Wharton and four button cuffs, and just over three minutes in it’s a Brontë explosion of big hair and bad weather and pulpy, tear slick faces. (Daisy Buchanan)
The Brontë Weather Project is delight about having the Brontë Parsonage Museum acquire her 'set of three colour wheels I made for the Hope's Whisper exhibition'. Bekah Ferguson discusses The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Stuck in a Book shares what Rachel Ferguson wrote in her We Were Amused about The Brontës Went to Woolworths.

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