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It is a saga worthy of any epic novel, including village squabbles, accusations of snobbery and the threat of squandering the legacy of some of Britain’s best-loved authors.
Now, the members of the Bronte Society have been warned they must put their warring factions behind them to secure the future of the family parsonage , turning it into a visitor attraction worthy of the family name.
The Bronte Parsonage Museum, in Haworth, West Yorkshire, has been the subject of a long-running dispute between well-meaning locals and trustees, with high-profile resignations, disquiet on both sides, and emerging rivalries between so-called “Modernists” and the “Old Guard”.
This weekend, a report by independent consultants brought in to help plan the future of the Society has ruled the heavily-invested volunteers must “draw a line under past conflict” and come together to “plan proactively” for the coming year.
More than 100 interested members were present at the Bronte Society AGM to hear the verdict, suggesting growing rifts in the area should be healed for the greater good ahead of the bicentenary celebrations for Charlotte Bronte in 2016, Emily in 2018 and Anne in 2020.
According to witnesses, the meeting saw Bonnie Greer, the writer and President of the Society, keep order using her Jimmy Choo heel on the top table, as critics from both sides waiting to hear how the Bronte name should best be preserved.[...]
After observing the Society’s workings, a report by two independents consultants has now recommended recruiting more committee members with a wider range of skills to improve the running of the museum.
Dr Rowie Shaw, one of the consultants, said: "We heard and saw evidence of anger and hurt on all sides.
"We strongly recommend it's time for the Society to draw a line under past conflict.
"This is essential for the future health of the society."
Admitting it had been a difficult year, Ms Greer, who oversaw the meeting with her own shoe as a make-shift gavel, said: "We have to do this to be recognised as a 21st century organisation."
John Huxley, the 68-year-old parish council chairman and member of the church where the Bronte family worshipped, said: "The future of the village is very much in the hands in the tourist industry which is connected with the Brontes.
"The problem is the trustees have become divorced from the local community
"It is easy to say they want to be part of the community. Words are cheap. It is actions which count.
"They say they do not want to be seen as the snobs on the top of the hill - but they are.
"We have not heard from the President - the American lady - ever.
"We have not enjoyed watching them implode.
"But the Bronte legacy is just bumbling on. It is not like Stratford upon Avon and Shakespeare. The Society needs to get its act together."
Consultants rejected calls to split the organisation with one half running the museum and the other the literary side, arguing the Society was just too small to become two separate charities.
Many locals in Haworth claim the Society has already successfully alienated the entire village by behaving like "an exclusive little club". (Hannah Furness)
Hay ecos de Rebeca y de Jane Eyre en la novela. La autora se muestra encantada ante ambas referencias. “Son dos de las primeras novelas que leí de verdad y la de Charlotte Brontë vuelvo a releerla siempre que paso un mal momento, sin duda mi novela tiene de ambas”, dice Burton, una joven atractiva y simpática que ha decidido cambiar su carrera de actriz por la de escritora. (Jacinto Antón) (Translation)
Over the opener, “The Other Girls,” drifts Cassie Ramone’s pre-emptive warning: “I don’t want to be like the other girls” — sung in a sly, dislocated mid-Atlantic drawl that’s part-Catherine Earnshaw of “Wuthering Heights,” part-Bushwick caterwaul. It’s in that lyric that Ramone (whose real name is Cassie Gryzmkowski) appears to be portending a future of going it alone, and sure enough the band split in January 2014. (Marissa Chen)