Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday, October 11, 2013 8:03 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
The Telegraph and Argus devotes its leading article to celebrating the fact that Haworth has been taken out of the Heritage at Risk register.
The supposed decline of Haworth was blamed on modern, jarring signage being put up on historic buildings, advertising boards cluttering the streets and older buildings falling into disrepair.
Now, thankfully, English Heritage has withdrawn Haworth from its at-risk register after a solid three years of efforts by the local community to improve the village.
Many old buildings have been returned to their original glory, there has been a clean-up of advertising signs and clutter, and a lot of work has been done to restore the stone setts on Main Street and spruce up the Brontë schoolroom attraction.
English Heritage, though, does warn that there is still plenty of work that needs to be done to bring Haworth up to the standard that the village truly deserves.
It is a salutary warning, and one which needs to be taken seriously, but at the same time it shouldn’t detract from the hard work that has been carried out to improve this historic village.
It is a prime example of a community working together with the local authority and other agencies to take pride in their environment and improve the village for both residents and visitors, and should be applauded.
And another article in the same newspaper focuses on the news as well.
Programmes that helped remove the village from the list include works to improve the Brontë schoolroom, a £622,887 programme to re-lay setts on Main Street, and returning several buildings to their original state.
The work has been carried out with help from organisations including English Heritage, Bradford Council and Haworth Parish Council.
The Council today announced they will review the Haworth Conservation Area, involving the community to develop a strategy to make sure the village never slides back on to the “at risk” list.
Haworth Parish Council vice-chairman Peter Hill said: “The fact that we’re not on the list any more is a move in the right direction towards Haworth being recognised as an iconic place to visit.
“And it’s important it’s understood that for Haworth to remain one of the leading tourist attractions in the north of England it must not suffer from over-development.”
Councillor Val Slater, executive member for planning at Bradford Council, said: “Haworth is one of Bradford’s gems and the local community is rightly very proud of it.
“We made a big investment in new setts to help improve the condition of the village and we are committed to working with local people to review the Conservation Area and to ensure people understand how they can play their part in keeping Haworth unique.”
Averil Kenyon, a member of Brontë Spirit, who worked to improve the Brontë Schoolroom, said: “Haworth does seem improved, but I think the schoolroom is still vulnerable.”
Brontë Society chairman Sally McDonald said: “That Haworth is to be taken off the at risk register is a credit to what has been achieved by English Heritage, everyone in the village and Bradford Council in recent years.”
Trevor Mitchell, regional director for planning at English Heritage visited Haworth in August, when he pleaded with businesses and local organisations to keep up the good work. After the announcement he said: “The turnaround was very quick, and I think that was because of the very active local community.
“Putting Haworth on the register was a necessary thing to do, at the time it looked like it was getting worse. Now it looks like it is getting better, and we’re optimistic it will keep getting better.
“It is good news the council have announced they will carry out a new conservation area appraisal, that will help decide what still needs to be done. We certainly think advertising signs is a big issue that needs dealing with.” (Chris Young)
The Yorkshire Post also mentions the news.

In The Times, Jonathan Franzen doesn't like Twitter, Facebook, Amazon... (but he seems to like Nespresso, though):
"I think I can name some writers who were not natural tweeters and they are some of the ones I care about," says Franzen. "I don't see Charlotte Brontë as a tweeter. I don't see Kafka as a tweeter." (Will Pavia)
Country Life includes Charlotte Cory's Capturing the Brontës exhibition at the Brontë Parsonage Museum as one of the best art exhibitions to see this October.
Capturing the Brontes: Brontë Parsonage unveils exciting new exhibition with surrealist photographer Charlotte Cory.  This is a witty alternative "musum within museum" examines unusual facts and mysteries surrounding the Brontë family. (Mary Miers)
Dave Astor selects for The Huffington Post a few 'Fictional Characters We'd Hate to Meet'.
Hypocrites? Mr. Brocklehurst of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre allows Jane and the other girls at the Lowood institution to live in miserable, half-starved conditions while the purported "good Christian" enjoys a life of luxury. [...]
Yes, religious hypocrites -- don't want to meet those bozos!
WUIS 91.9 interviews Jo Baker, author of Longbourn.
There's been a spate of Austen-inspired books over the past decade — hello, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies! It reminds me of nothing so much as fan fiction — that phenomenon that happens when people love a fictional world so much, they want to spend more time in it than the author allowed for. But it doesn't usually happen with literary fiction — why do you think Austen's world has such pull for authors? And what new thing do you bring to the table with Longbourn? I think of Longbourn — if this is not too much of an aspiration — as being in the same tradition as Wide Sargasso Sea or Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. It's a book that engages with Austen's novel in a similar way to Jean Rhys's response to Jane Eyre and Tom Stoppard's to Hamlet. I found something in the existing text that niggled me, that felt unresolved, and wanted to explore it further. That was the pull for me, that sense of unresolvedness* — I can't really speculate on what it was for other writers: I'm afraid I don't know the other fictions around Austen's work terribly well at all. (Petra Mayer)
The Daily Mail reviews Samantha Shannon's The Bone Season:
Scion, too, is compelling in its blending of sleek urban corporatocracy with Dickensian street life, though I found the Jane Eyre-sampling love story less Brontë than Mills & Boon. It will be very interesting to see where Shannon goes with this. (Ned Denny)
The Cornell Daily Sun mentions Minae Mizmura's A Real Novel, a retelling of Wuthering Heights, in passing.

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