Friday, July 22, 2016

BBCOne's Celebrity Masterchef episode filmed in Haworth is one of the news items of the day:
The  Telegraph & Argus:
The remaining contestants – including boxer Audley Harrison, comedian Tommy Cannon and Eastenders actor Sid Owen – will be seen cooking meals in marquees in the meadow behind the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
They will then serve about 70 specially-invited guests in the Old School Rooms, on Church Street, where the Brontë sisters taught during the 1800s.
Guests, who went along in period costume, included members of the Brontë Society, Brontë Parsonage Museum staff and their families, and some villagers.
The contestants were seen marching up historic Main Street in the closing credits of last Thursday’s episode of Celebrity Masterchef.
Among those tucking into food such as roast lamb with Wuthering veg, hake a la Rochester and Branwell Brontë pud were Brontë Parsonage Museum marketing officer Rebecca Yorke and her daughter Mala.
Rebecca said the Brontë Society was delighted to be invited to host an episode of Celebrity Masterchef, but those involved were asked not to tell anyone how the filming went.
Some staff were simply told in advance that a “BBC cookery series” was coming to the village.
Rebecca said: “We didn’t know it was Celebrity Masterchef until they turned up. It was great fun hosting the programme.
“Shine TV asked Brontë Society members, staff and other guests to be colourful. They asked if we wanted to dress up.
“They used the meadow for the marquees and we had a meal in the Old School Rooms.
“As part of the filming members of the Parsonage staff read extracts from Brontë novels like Jane Eyre. Then the contestants walked round the village.” (David Knights)
On the Haworth Village Facebook page you can find more behind-the-scenes pictures and videos.
More comments can be found on Press Association (with a selection of tweets from viewers), Daily Express, OK!, Coventry Telegraph, ...

Still in Haworth, The Telegraph & Argus remembers the joint initiative between the Brontë Parsonage and KWVR:
The Brontë Parsonage Museum and Keighley and Worth Valley Railway have launched a joint ticket initiative.
Visitors to Haworth can travel on a vintage bus between the two attractions as well as getting cut-price tickets.
Passengers buying an Adult Day Rover at any station on the Worth Valley line will be given a voucher admitting adults to Brontë Parsonage Museum for the reduced price of £5.50.
Museum visitors will receive a similar voucher entitling them to a Day Rover railway ticket for £14.
The vouchers are valid for one month from the date of issue. Vintage buses will operate daily until September 4 to help visitors travel between the two attractions
Brontë Society marketing manager, Rebecca Yorke, said: ‘We recognise there is much to see and do in Haworth.
“By working in partnership with a fellow attraction, we hope visitors will be persuaded to return and spend more time in the area, benefitting local shops and businesses.
“We also hope that local families looking for things to do in the summer holidays will take advantage of this special offer and explore the special places on their doorstep.”
Railway marketing officer, Sarah Howsen, said: “We have established a successful working relationship with the Brontë Parsonage Museum and look forward to developing our partnership further, with a regular series of special events and offers.” (David Knights)
Finally, in the same newspaper a brief account of the BPM events this month:
The Parsonage's first ever Poetry Festival took place early this month, and was a great success, despite a rather wet and windy start.
Gazebos were taking flight on Saturday morning, but were eventually tethered in place, and the sun finally appeared to make for a beautiful summer’s weekend.
Poets and visitors mingled in the Parsonage garden and various venues dotted around Haworth, enjoying stumbling upon a real mish-mash of poetic styles, whilst some chose to hone their skills in poetry workshops at the museum.
We hope to repeat the festival next year and build on its success.
Another first for the museum this month was Tracy Chevalier’s Twitter tour of our Charlotte Great and Small exhibition, which was a brilliant way of letting far-flung devotees of the Brontës see what’s going on in the museum this year.
Who ever thought the Brontës would be trending on Twitter! (David Knights)
The Parsonage is not for sale, but it seems that old rectories are hot on the properties market. The Times talks about it and mentions the house of the Brontës in Haworth.

Also in The Times, Charlotte Tuxworth recommends several podcasts for this summer, including Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time episode devoted to Jane Eyre:
The story of Jane Eyre is one of the best-known in English fiction. Jane is the orphan who survives a miserable early life, first with her aunt at Gateshead Hall and then at Lowood School. She leaves the school for Thornfield Hall, to become governess to the French ward of Mr Rochester. She and Rochester fall in love but, at their wedding, it is revealed he is married already and his wife, insane, is kept in Thornfield's attic. When Jane Eyre was published in 1847, it was a great success and brought fame to Charlotte Bronte. Combined with Gothic mystery and horror, the book explores many themes, including the treatment of children, relations between men and women, religious faith and hypocrisy, individuality, morality, equality and the nature of true love.
Dinah Birch
Professor of English Literature and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Liverpool
Karen O'Brien
Vice Principal and Professor of English Literature at King's College London
Sara Lyons
Lecturer in Victorian Literature at the University of Kent
Producer: Simon Tillotson.
The New York Times interviews the author Megan Abbott:
You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite?
Emily Brontë, Freud and Flannery O’Connor. That’s a tough, tough crew. I’m not getting away with anything at that table. There will definitely need to be martinis.
The current turbulent political situation in Kashmir finds a Brontë echo on Greater Kashmir:
"Sweet love of youth, forgive if I forget thee, while the world’s tide is bearing me along; sterner desires and darker hopes beset me, Hopes which obscure, but cannot do thee wrong!" I think of these verses from Emily Brontë as I sit in my balcony in the picturesque view of Srinagar, pondering over the tragic situation out here with a very heavy heart. (Gitanjoli Dasgupta)
Margaret Hickey finds in the Irish Examiner a curious thing in common between Angela Merkel, Theresa May, Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë:
Merkel and May are the daughters of church ministers and while parsonages are not usually thought of as places of exceptional privilege, they are places that value learning. Jane Austin(sic) and the Brontës had broken the literary glass ceiling in their fathers’ parsonages in previous centuries.
BBC Radio 4 lists some writers that have spent some time in prison. Including Jean Rhys:
By the 1960s, Jean Rhys was thought by many to be dead. After publishing a few minor works in the 1930s, she seemed to vanish completely. But she returned spectacularly with her prequel and reinterpretation of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre – Wide Sargasso Sea, released in 1966. But despite her reclusive nature, Rhys had quite a lively life prior to her literary successes. As well as stints as a chorus girl, nude model, demi-mondaine and possibly even a prostitute, she became the mistress of a wealthy stockbroker and then the wife of a Belgian conman and adventurer. In 1949 she found herself in Holloway Prison, charged with assault. She claimed a man had been rude to her, so she slapped him. After five days inside, and a psychiatric evaluation, she was sent back to the magistrates who ordered her to refrain from violent activities in the future.
Khaleej Times interviews the author Konstantina Sakellariou:
What are the books that shaped your outlook and changed your life?
That question is practically impossible to answer in an accurate and holistic way. I have read numerous books of various genres, and they have all contributed to the person I am today. I particularly love novels that focus on the importance of the human story- emotions, reactions, passions, weaknesses and personal victories over ego and pain are fascinating to me. I love classics from Homer as well as the works of the Brontë sisters, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Henrik Ibsen, Virginia Woolf, Naguib Mahfouz, Khalil Gibran, Nikos Kazantzakis and Anton Chekhov, just to name a few. More modern writers would be Jose Saramago, Haruki Murakami, Kazuo Ishiguro, Amin Maalouf and Orhan Pamuk. 
Bristol 24/7 explores Dartmoor:
This was my first moor. You never forget your first moor.
Sure, I had heard of moors before – as an American with a healthy interest in British literature, I had read Jane Eyre and Jamaica Inn and knew the moors were supposed to be sinister wastelands where people get sucked into bogs and ghostly voices cry out through the ever-whipping wind. Needless to say, I was very excited. (Alison Maney)
Il Manifesto (Italy) talks about the journalist and writer Grazia Livi:
Senza frenesie, distillando momenti d’essere in una svolta, nella meditazione di un rovesciamento, le strade di Londra, dove era già stata, ricongiungono al centro di sé, rammendando di imprevisto il già noto. Se colloquiare con una città significa perimetrarne le intenzioni – insieme alle proprie – in una peregrinazione audace di riconnotazione, in cui avere fiducia nell’incontro con l’altro, è nella vita di Livi che gli incontri sono stati tanti. Da Le Corbusier a Rubinstein, o anche Anna Banti – decisiva nella sua presa di coscienza letteraria. Tra quelli immaginari certamente c’è Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Carla Lonzi e poi ancora Rilke, Shelley e altri. (Alessandra Pigliaru) (Translation)
TSA-Tout sour l'Algérie (in French) reviews the novel La porte de la mer by Youcef Zirem:
Les épreuves subies par Amina défilent ainsi, de l’extérieur, un paradoxe pour des situations si intimes et des souffrances intériorisées, énoncées dans un style plus proche du roman Harlequin que d’Ahlem Mosteghanemi, d’Emilie Brontë, ou d’autres championnes de la condition féminine. (Nadia Ghanem) (Translation)
Elizabeth Hein interviews Luccia Gray who talks about her Eyre Hall trilogy: Magic, Ink and Stardust reviews Wuthering Heights.


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