Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Both Keighley News and The Telegraph and Argus share pictures from the bicentenary celebrations last week. And The Westmorland Gazette tells about the local celebrations at Casterton Sedbergh Preparatory School.
The bicentenary of the birth of Charlotte Brontë was marked at Casterton, Sedbergh Preparatory School with a series of celebratory activities involving pupils and parents.
Headmaster Scott Carnochan said: “The Brontë sisters are an important part of the heritage of the school and a number of historic artefacts are now kept safe at Kendal Record Office.
"This birthday provided us with a tremendous opportunity for us to celebrate the legacy of the Brontës. As a school, we invest a great deal of energy into the arts and literature, developing a love of reading and writing, and we regularly welcome popular children’s authors into the school to work with the children.”
Charlotte Brontë attended a school for clergymen’s daughters in nearby Cowan Bridge in 1824, and the school moved to the current site in Casterton in 1832. In 2013, following a merger with Casterton School, Sedbergh School moved its preparatory school to the site.
Extracts of the Brontë family school bill from the 1830s show that their fees cost £14 for board and entrance for the year. It cost a further £3 if they wished their daughters to do Art, French, Music. At the time, £14 was the annual salary of a teacher at the school.
The Brontë Society and Brontë Parsonage Museum at Haworth will be working with the school on future workshops. (Mike Addison)
The Belfast Telegraph has an article on Branwell.
The lives of Charlotte Brontë, author of the immortal Jane Eyre (and other novels), and her dazzling literary sisters, Emily (Wuthering Heights) and Anne (Agnes Grey) are being currently marked for the bi-centennial of Charlotte's birth. But faded into the background - and painted out of the famous group portrait of the three Yorkshire sisters - is their brother, Branwell, who died of drink, dissolution and opium addiction, probably accelerated by tuberculosis, at the age of 30.
It is the Brontë women who are celebrated as a trio of literary geniuses; Branwell, their brother, only exists in relation to them. Yet some biographers have suggested that Branwell had more than a hand in the inspiration and writing of Wuthering Heights and as young children, the Brontë siblings wrote, painted and played music together, creating their own fantasy world, in which Branwell, their only brother, had a dominant role.
Like the girls, Patrick Branwell Brontë - their father, the Rev Patrick Brontë came originally from Co Down, where the family name had been Prunty - was a creative child; by the time he was 18, he had filled up 30 volumes of stories, poetry and plays, imagining an entire world of fiction and fantasy.
But the Brontë childhoods were full of tragic loss - Branwell lost his mother when he was four (she died, probably of a form of sepsis, after giving birth in quick succession to six children). (Mary Kenny) (Read more)
Whetherby News suggest a walk that is somewhat related to Branwell Brontë:
Enjoy passing through several of North Yorkshire’s prettiest villages and walking in the footsteps of the Romans and the Brontës. You’ll have the chance to observe all kinds of wildlife along the river and through the countryside.
Walk information
The full walk is 17.5 miles but can easily be broken into sections: Boroughbridge to Great Ouseburn (eight miles) and Great Ouseburn to Boroughbridge (9.5 miles). [...]
Follow Main Street, heading for St Mary’s Church, then go left down a snickelway (7) past the churchyard, which contains a railed obelisk in memory of Dr John Crosby, a good friend of Branwell Brontë.
We don't know about 'good friend' though.

Impact discusses whether 'English Students Only Study ‘Dead White Males’'.
One student [...] reported that “discussion of race … is severely lacking in the course”. While students study Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea, set in the Caribbean in the 19th century, Jack believes the course should “at least have one book dealing with modern Britain and racial diversity” therein, due to the increasing diversity in this country. Jack also notes that “there isn’t a lot that goes against the ‘white old male’ canon”, aside from books by Austen and Brontë, which is in itself hardly surprising due to the fact that they are widely considered classics. (Matteo Everett)
Los Angeles Review of Books looks at the life and works of Constance Fenimore Woolson.
In tribute to Alcott, Woolson took the pseudonym Anne March and published The Old Stone House in 1873, hoping to win a $1,000 prize offered by a publisher for the best “Sunday School” reading for children. The book won, sold decently, and was kindly reviewed; Woolson, for her part, was irritated because the publisher only gave out half the prize money. Turning to examples like George Eliot and Charlotte Brontë, she knew she was not alone in wanting to chart a different path. (Stephanie Gorton Murphy)
Oxford Times mentions in passing that the recent Chip Lit Fest included
talks on topics as varied as Sikhism, Charlotte Brontë and taxation. (Megan Archer)
Thandie Newton discusses her Jane Eyre audiobook on ThandieKay:
Two centuries after Charlotte Brontë was born, I’ve re-enacted her classic ‘Jane Eyre’ as an audiobook.
And this just in – a week after its release, my Jane Eyre Audible book is #9 on their bestseller list!
I leapt at the chance to record the novel. I loved the idea of bringing the book, potentially, to a more diverse audience. It reflects the timelessness of the book and Jane’s quest for self actualisation. Also, I loved the challenge of creating a cast of different characters, all with the one tool of my voice. It’s as close to walking in another person’s shoes as you can get.
Whatmeread reviews Jude Morgans's Charlotte and Emily (aka The Taste of Sorrow);  Boken är tankens barn (in Swedish) posts about the Swedish edition of Ann Dinsdale's The Brontës at Haworth; Zeit für neue genres (in German) and this scenery is evergreen review Jane Eyre; Vesna Armstrong publishes some more pictures of Haworth and Brontë country; El despertar de un libro (in Spanish) reviews Wide Sargasso Sea; La Biblioteca de la Bruja (also in Spanish) posts about Wuthering Heights.


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