Christmas Lunch and Entertainment 2016 - The annual Brontë Group Christmas Lunch took place last Saturday, 3 December. Around 40 members turned up to enjoy a three-course meal, drinks and entertai...
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A rare first-edition copy of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre has sold for £39,650.And more Brontë-related things for sale, as Ponden Hall is still on the market. The Telegraph makes you want to buy it on the spot:
The work, the first published novel penned by Haworth's legendary literary sister, went under the hammer at Bonhams this afternoon.
It had a pre-sale estimate of between £30,000 and £50,000.
The buyer is an overseas collector, who wishes to remain anonymous. The Brontë Society, which runs the Parsonage Museum at Haworth, said it was not among the bidders.
The three-volume book – published in 1847 using Charlotte's pseudonym, Currer Bell – is marked in pencil with its original price, 31 shillings and sixpence. (Alistair Shand)
A historic manor house which may have helped inspire Wuthering Heights is on the market for £950,000.Also in The Telegraph, writer Sally Gardner discusses her struggles with dyslexia as a child.
Grade II listed Ponden Hall is less than two miles away from the picturesque Yorkshire town of Haworth, where the Brontë sisters grew up with their brother Branwell.
Emily Brontë, who visited the house with Branwell to use its extensive library, is traditionally said to have based Thrushcross Grange, the grand home of the wealthy Linton family in Wuthering Heights, on the property.
Other scholars argue that the hall may have been the inspiration for the Wuthering Heights farmhouse itself. A Victorian account tells how Reverend Patrick Brontë, the Brontë siblings' father, described the house to a visitor to Haworth as being “the original model of Wuthering Heights”.
Ponden Hall was built in in the small village of Stanbury in 1634 by the Heaton family, but was extensively modernised and rebuilt by succeeding generations.
Carefully refurbished by its current owners, it offers six bedrooms and an additional two-bedroom self-contained annexe. There are four acres of land, and attractive views over the Yorkshire countryside.
Period features include stone flag floors and exposed beams. Some Brontë fans believe that a tiny single-paned window in the master bedroom may have been the inspiration for the window which the ghost of Cathy desperately scratches on in Wuthering Heights.
Owner Julie Akhurst, who bought the house with her husband Steve in 1998, said: "Living in this house has given us a unique chance to inhabit a corner of literary history, but after 15 years we’re reluctantly moving because of our children’s schooling. It’s time for someone else to enjoy the pleasure and privilege of owning Ponden Hall."
As well as possibly inspiring Wuthering Heights, the house was used as the setting for a short story by Branwell Brontë.
Local legend claims that the the dead pear tree in the garden was given by an infatuated member of the Heaton family to Emily Brontë.
Stewart Charnock Bates, the chairman of estate agent Charnock Bates and a member of the Guild of Professional Estate Agents, said that the area had much to offer to fans of history and literature: "Many people chose to live in the area because of the beautiful scenery which provides inspiration for both writers and artists. Whilst the Brontë connections to Haworth remain the area's greatest connection, the steam railway is equally popular because it is on this very railway line that the famous film The Railway Children was filmed."
A number of houses in Yorkshire have been identified as being the inspiration for Wuthering Heights over the years, including an isolated ruined farm called Top Withens and the now-demolished mansion of High Sunderland Hall.
The biographer Winifred Gérin has suggested that Ponden Hall is more likely to have been the model for Wildfell Hall, the old mansion in Anne Brontë's novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
Ponden Hall is for sale for £950,000 through Charnock Bates, Halifax (Leah Hyslop)
“When I was 14 I finally wound up in a school for maladjusted children, which was a sort of pre-Borstal that no longer exists, because no other school would have me.The Bryan County News interviews writer Vicki-lynn Brunskill who picks Jane Eyre as one of her favourite books.
“By then I was showing promise at art, but nobody was interested. I was surrounded by children with behavioural problems who would have screaming fits and one day I was with them and the noise was so unbearable that in desperation I picked up a book, which turned out to be the complete works of the Brontës.”
Garner started tracing the opening paragraph of Wuthering Heights with her index finger and discovered she could read. It was, she says, an electrifying moment. (Judith Woods)
In an effort to read more just for pleasure, Rachel Darling from our Charing Cross Road branch explores the merits of rereading, asking the rest of our staff to suggest things that they have enjoyed reading again, or would like to reread if only they had the time. [...]The School Library Journal reviews the translation of Jane, le renard et moi, which will be released in September.
But what else have people enjoy rereading? I had quite a few suggestions of books people had loved as teenagers - The Catcher in the Rye, The Bell Jar, Lolita, works by the Brontë sisters and Virginia Woolf. Looking back on that period of teenage angst is somehow gratifying - how much you've changed and yet how much you still relate to! (Rachel Darling)
A friend of mine once told me the story of something that happened to her when she was in the second grade. All at once one day all her friends decided that she was poison. For seemingly no reason they wrote her a letter explicitly stating that she was no longer their friend and they hated her. I remembered this story as I read the tale of Helene and the very similar shut out she experienced at the hands of her former friends. Sometimes there is no logical explanation for child cruelty. We’re lucky if we have a Jane Eyre to turn to, even as we try to find new friends and confidants. For some children out there, Jane, the Fox & Me is going to be their own Jane Eyre. Helene will shoulder their blows and offer hope for coming out strong at the end. Could a book of this sort hope for anything better? A rare piece. (Elizabeth Bird)The Romania-Insider interviews a Romanian student who has lived in Scotland since he was five years old.
Are there any similarities between Scotland and Romania -or the Scots and the Romanians? I wouldn’t dwell on the similarities between the Scotland and Romania. The differences are most interesting; Romania’s landscapes remind me of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Scotland’s remind you of Wuthering Heights. (Matt Sampalean)