Saturday, July 05, 2014

First of all today: very sad breaking news as Museums Association reports that Brontë Parsonage director Ann Sumner is leaving her post:
Ann Sumner has stepped down as executive director of the Brontë Society, which runs the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Howarth [sic], after 16 months in the role.
Her departure was announced at the society’s AGM last month.
In a statement, the society said: “We regret to announce that Ann Sumner has decided to move on from the Brontë Society as she will be seeking a new part-time post. We thank Ann for her enthusiastic contribution to the society and wish her all the best for the future.”
A colleague described Sumner as a “breath of fresh air” who had done much to take the museum forward during her time in the role.
Plans to recruit a replacement for the position are not yet clear. A spokeswoman from the institution said no further information was available.
Museums Journal understands that Sumner’s departure comes at a time of upheaval in the Brontë Society.
According to a source, some of the society’s members expressed concern about its direction and governance at last month's AGM, with a majority voting against two proposed motions to give the governing council greater power to expel members and extend the chairman of trustees’ term of office. (Geraldine Kendall)
Anyway, today the news is that the Tour de France starts in Yorkshire and even though Haworth is part of tomorrow's route, many newspapers mention it.

BBC News has a wonderful selection of picture on what he riders will probably miss but which sums up the excitement in the area perfectly. 
The tour will also pass through the Pennine village of Haworth which was home to the Brontës, arguably the world's most famous literary family.
In the mid 19th Century the sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë, who lived at the top of the village in The Parsonage, wrote some of the most acclaimed novels in the English language.
Haworth sits in the middle of the moors. (Laurence Cawley)
Unfortunately, they themselves have overlooked the Brontë sisters on a bike stencil.

The Yorkshire Post features Alister Colley, Official Artist of the Grand Départ.
Alister Colley is man enough to admit that not everyone is happy with his painting celebrating the Tour de France in Yorkshire. It’s a typical Dales scene, all rolling hills and winding roads, with the Grand Départ peloton making its way past a few Yorkshire landmarks like the Ribblehead Viaduct, Sheffield’s Crucible theatre and the Brontë parsonage, but there have been a number of omissions. (Sarah Freeman)
The Yorkshire Post also selects 'Yorkshire’s top ten bike rides', one of which is
8. Best ride in the South Pennines: Calderdale (11½ miles).
A main road, the Rochdale Canal, trans-Pennine railway and River Calder are threaded along the valley like wires in a cable. The most recent route, the cycleway, provides the perfect way of untangling these strands and exploring the industrial heritage of the region.
Begin by taking the train from Sowerby Bridge to Walsden to join the Calder Valley Cycleway. The glory of taking the train first and cycling back rather than the other way round is that you start from the top – the nearby village of Summit is just that – and can freewheel down all the little slopes beside all the locks. If you run out of puff you can always hop back on the train as there are three stations along the way. The route follows the canal closely from Todmorden until Hebden Bridge and includes 12 artworks depicting themes relating to the canal and its corridor. At Todmorden you pass models of its town hall and Stoodley Pike through which the real monument can be viewed. My favourite artwork is the sculpture of Branwell Brontë at Luddenden Foot. Watch out for the gorillas in Mytholmroyd too! (Paul Kirkwood)
The Times reports that,
Chris Froome, the defending champion, has been spotted out on the wuthering heights of Haworth, getting used to the terrain.
While El País (Spain) features Froome and the Brontës:
La primera etapa del 101º Tour recorre hoy los páramos de Yorkshire para terminar en Harrogate, donde la mamá de Cavendish, que allí vive, espera a su hijo y espera que se vista de amarillo después de ganar el sprint, su especialidad, y donde, en los páramos, tan agradables y verdes en verano, hasta en el verano inglés, Chris Froome tendrá tiempo para inspirarse pensando quizás en las hermanas Brontë, que de esas desoladas tierras, y también de las colinas que se subirán y bajarán mañana, vivieron y escribieron.
Se supone, es un suponer, que hasta hace menos de un mes, hasta la Dauphiné y lo que allí ocurrió, el drama brontiano que más cuadraría con el estado mental del ganador del Tour del 13 debería ser Cumbres borrascosas, la historia de celos y venganza (hablamos de Wiggins, claro) en los páramos de Yorkshire de la hermana pequeña, Emily Brontë [sic]. Después de la Dauphiné, y de su triple golpe físico y moral para el inglés de Kenia y Mónaco (la caída, que le desencadenó un proceso inflamatorio casi paralizante durante unos días; la resistencia de Contador a sus ataques terribles en el col del Béal; el proceso médico-ético-mediático a que se vio sometido cuando un periódico francés desveló que, insólitamente, la UCI le había permitido correr y ganar el Tour de Romandía mientras tomaba prednisona, un corticoide raramente autorizado, por vía oral), sin embargo, la triste historia que más le inspirará será sin duda la de la pobre huerfanita enamorada y maltratada, la Jane Eyre de la hermana mayor, Charlotte Brontë. (Carlos Arribas) (Translation)
Off to something else, as according to The Independent,
Of the pleasures incident to the literary life, one of the most innocent is being able to say – not boastfully, just with quiet satisfaction – that you’ve read everything a writer has written.
It’s easier, of course, with some writers than with others. Read Wuthering Heights and a few poems and that’s Emily Brontë done. (Howard Jacobson)
Writer Sarah Sheridan has written a guest post for the Foyles blog where she mentions one of her recent reads:
Some characters stay with you from the moment they first appear on the page. Recently I read Samantha Ellis's How To Be A Heroine. This fascinating exploration of female characters with whom Ellis has connected over several decades will chime a bell with any bookworm. I've always been a swot. As a child, reading allowed me to escape my many difficulties and try on the happier lives of fictional characters or at least explore some solutions to my problems. Like Ellis I was transfixed by the fierce love of Kathy [sic] and Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights and I longed for the sheer good nature of Anne in the face of her many challenges at Green Gables.
The Linlithgow Gazette is giving away tickets for the local performances of Chapterhouse Theatre Company's stage production of Wuthering Heights.
we have two pairs of tickets 
to give away for the production on Sunday, July 13 at 7pm.
To win this great prize, just answer this question: Name one of Emily’s sisters?
Send your entry on the form provided to Hopetoun House Competition, Journal and Gazette, Unit 4a Gateway Business Park, Beancross Road, Grangemouth, FK3 8WX, to arrive no later than 5pm on July 8, or alternatively drop your entry into our postboxes at Taste, Linlithgow, or Bo’ness Library.
The Australian reviews the film Girl with a Pearl Earring where
Vermeer is played with such morose intensity by Colin Firth that I was reminded not so much of his Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice but of Rochester in Jane Eyre. (Evan Williams)
BlondiesBEARista posts about Jane Eyre 2011 and The World is Robert writes briefly about Wide Sargasso Sea. The Brontë Society June enewsletter is online and contains the following items:
Bagnalls win award for the redecoration programme of 2013
The British Library launches new website - Discovering Literature
Monthly Update: June in the Parsonage Garden
What's on at the Parsonage?
Emily Brontë's Birthday Celebrations
Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and visit to the Brontë Parsonage Museum
Emily Brontë's Birthday Evening Celebration
EDIT: Finally, an alert for today July 5 in La Paz, Bolivia:
El directorio del Club del Libro ACF cita a las socias a la reunión mensual a realizarse el día sábado 5 de julio a horas 16:30, en la sede de Asociación Cristiana Femenina. En la ocasión disertará la socia Rosario de Molina, sobre una obra: Jane Eyre, de la autora británica Charlotte Brontë. (La Patria) (Translation)

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