Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Keighley News has an article on Charlotte Brontë's birthday celebrations yesterday.
A BBC crew is in Haworth today only hours before the launch of a major Brontë celebration.
Plans for a five-year-long festival to mark the Bronte siblings' 200th birthdays will be launched tonight at the house in Thornton where most of them were born.
Coincidentally, One Show presenter Cerys Matthews is making a short film about the youngest sister, Anne Brontë.
The Brontë200 festival, masterminded by the Brontë Society and the Brontë Parsonage Museum, will last five years.
It will begin next year with Charlotte’s 200th anniversary, followed by Branwell in 2017, Emily in 2018 and Anne in 2020.
The Brontë Society also plans to commemorate the siblings' father Patrick Brontë in 2019, 200 years after he was invited to take up the parson’s role in Haworth.
The launch party, being held on the same day as Charlotte Bronte's 199th birthday, is at Emily’s, in Thornton. It is hosted jointly by proprietor Marc de Luca and staff from the the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
Guests at the party will hear how the Brontë Society intends to ‘bring the Brontës to the world and the world to Yorkshire’ through a series of events, exhibitions and partnership projects. [...]
Matthew Withey, chairman of the Brontë Society Bicentenary Committee, said: “The bicentenaries of the Brontë siblings provide a tremendous opportunity for the Brontë Society to celebrate the legacy of the Brontës across the globe.”
There will be a website, bronte200.org, which will serve as a hub for all events and activities connected to the Bicentennial programme. (David Knights)
A few pictures of the BBC crew can be seen on Ponden Hall's Facebook page as well as on the Brontë Parsonage facebook page.

ITV News lists the bicentenary events as well while Marie Claire celebrated by selecting '12 Inspiring Charlotte Brontë Quotes To Live By'. Also, The Bookseller gives us some of the background of the collection of short stories inspired by Charlotte Brontë to be edited by Tracy Chevalier.
The Borough Press has acquired a collection of short stories inspired by Charlotte Brontë, edited by Tracy Chevalier.
Authors contributing stories for the collection, Reader, I Married Him, include Helen Dunmore, Susan Hill and Emma Donoghue. Each will use Brontë's famous line from Jane Eyre as a starting point for an original story.
Katie Espiner, publisher of The Borough Press, signed world rights in the anthology in a deal with Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown.
The book will be published in spring 2016, marking Charlotte Brontë's bicentenary year. Chevalier is also curating an exhibition at The Brontë Society and Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, West Yorkshire, where Bronte and her siblings lived.
She said: "Charlotte Brontë emerged from the most unlikely of places – a small parsonage in an isolated Yorkshire village – to become a celebrated author in an era when women were not encouraged to express themselves publicly or to be ambitious. Women writers owe her and her sisters a lot for kicking open that door. I want to celebrate her achievement by giving today’s writers an opportunity to riff on Charlotte’s most famous line. I expect the results to be startling and entertaining!"
Espiner added: "When Tracy first started talking about the anthology, I knew it was something we wanted to publish. Jane Eyre’s words are arguably among the best-known ever spoken in English literature, and I am excited to see the 21st century interpretation these brilliant women will bring."
Today (21st April) is the 199th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë's birth. (Joshua Farrington)
And it looks like next year the celebrations will cross the Atlantic too. Deseret News reports that Hale Center Theater Orem has announced the 2016 season which will include
Jane Eyre,” a musical adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s classic Gothic romance novel, will run from April 21 to June 4.
The story of Jane, an orphan who grows up in a harsh boarding school and falls in love with her mysterious employer, is a beautiful, triumphant story about faith and forgiveness, Swenson said.
“The play leaves you feeling uplifted and better than when you arrived,” she said, as it shows the beautiful transformations that occur in both Jane and Mr. Rochester’s lives accompanied by “haunting” music.
“What sets this show apart from many musicals are the soaring, musical melodies that demand your attention,” Swenson said. (Ginny Romney)
On to regular news now. Palo Alto Online finds a Brontëite in young writer Kathleen Xue who has just published her debut novel.
Asked what her favorite books were, Xue named "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom, "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Brontë and "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. (Maev Lowe)
While one of the tips given by The Telegraph on going through finals this year is
5. Learn to love exams.
‘What?’, I hear you cry, ‘Surely not – exams are the devils of the academic world!’. On the contrary; our detestation of exams is the real criminal of academia. Exams taken as single entities are the gateways to a flourishing career and study abroad opportunities.
Swan through those gateways, and the world is a more open place for us and our brains. Use exams to show off how excellent you are. Use exams as an opportunity to remember why you chose to study that subject. Fall back in love with the joy of solving equations or re-reading Wuthering Heights and you will perform so much better in the exam hall. (Hilary Bell)
The Telegraph and Argus has an article on the activities that will take place during the Bradford Literature Festival.
Topics to be explored this year will cover everything from ISIS to Islamophobia, Bollywood to the Brontës, comedy to crime, diabetes to doll making, horror to goth and poetry to politics. [...]
Will Self will be offering philosophical insights on particle physics with leading scientist Professor Akram Khan. Former literary editor of The Independent, Boyd Tonkin, will be discussing freedom of speech as well as chairing a number of events as part of a special Brontë-themed weekend. (Kathie Griffiths)
Detroit Theater Examiner includes The Heights by Kathe Koja and Nerve on a list of 'Five shows you don't want to miss' because 'you've not seen anything like it'.

Exclaim reviews the video of the song Don't Take Yourself Away (Instant Nostalgia) by Hawksley Workman:
Described as "one part Brontë, one part John Bender," the new clip brings together the unexpected worlds of Wuthering Heights and The Breakfast Club, with a rebellious-looking Workman delivering the tune against a backdrop of spooky moorlands.
Tied together by the cultural references' shared "brooding gothic angst," the video was directed by Ken Cunningham and serves as an entertaining accompaniment to the theatrical, glam rock-inspired pop song. (Sarah Murphy)
The Record features the Haworth Municipal Library... in New Jersey.
Raising money to run and expand a library has been a daunting challenge since the recession struck, so for a library that serves just 1,100 households, as Haworth’s does, it pays to be creative. When the Friends of the Haworth Library learned in 2012 that a 2,900-square-foot expansion project was facing a budget shortfall of roughly $150,000, the goup  hatched an idea to trade on the borough’s connections to anyone with so much as a hint of fame, and the fact that the town shares a name with Haworth, England — a West Yorkshire village and the home of the Brontë sisters.
“Haworth is such a small town that it felt like we had to go beyond our city limits,” said Beth Potter, president of the Friends organization and one of the architects of the fundraising campaign.
Potter started writing letters to anyone with even a tenuous connection to Haworth or its history: authors who might be fans of the Brontë sisters; the Haworth Furniture Co., based in Holland, Mich.; and the actress Brooke Shields, perhaps Haworth’s most famous ex-resident, who responded by buying a brick.
“I have a cockamamie idea,” one letter opened. “You’re going to change your email address because of me,” read another. “Do it for the Brontës!” concluded a third.
Donations started pouring in. [...]
But perhaps the most fitting donation came from the Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council in West Yorkshire, England, whose members voted unanimously to buy a brick. “From your friends in Haworth, UK,” the inscription will read when the patio is installed sometime in the next few months.
Potter, who has an abiding interest in local history, and other Haworth residents had long assumed that the borough was named for the West Yorkshire home of the Brontë sisters. Their suspicions were confirmed by a line in a 1923 directory that Potter purchased off eBay a few years ago.
John S. Sauzade, an Englewood-based lawyer and railroad financier, came to own much of the land around a railroad station in northern New Jersey in the years leading up to 1872, the directory said. Sauzade, the author of at least two novels, admired the work of Charlotte Brontë, the author of “Jane Eyre,” the directory noted, so he named his railroad station and the surrounding land “Haworth” in her memory.
“I’m sure the Brontë sisters would have totally approved of our support for a library in the ‘new world” John Huxley, the chairman of the Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council, explained in an email. “You never know,” he added, “we might be asking them for help someday!” (Nicholas Pugliese)

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