Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Tuesday, November 08, 2016 11:31 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    2 comments
The Friends of Red House Museum group is urging people to make the most of the Red House Museum before it closes down. From The Telegraph and Argus:
Jacqueline Ryder, chairman of the Friends of Red House, said: “This is a very sad time for the Friends. It is particularly disappointing that the council made this decision in the year we are celebrating the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Bronte’s birth. It is not only the end of the museum but also the Friends’ group. However, we are determined to go out on a high, with an extra special Christmas event.”
The Friends are working with staff at the museum to plan the Red House Christmas event which will take place on Sunday, December 11, from noon to 4pm.
The house will be dressed for a Victorian-style Christmas and there will be live music and festive refreshments.
The Friends group had appealed to the council to allow them to stay open until Christmas so they could host the traditional event one last time. [...]
The process for gathering expressions of interest to take over the running of the buildings will start soon, with an information pack going online before the end of the month. The Council confirmed it expects to make decisions on expressions of interest in the spring. But if nobody from the community is willing to take over the running of the buildings, they will be put up for sale on the open market. Councillor Graham Turner, cabinet member for resources said: “Nobody wants to close museums but we do need to react to these times of austerity and make savings.” (Jo Winrow)
Keighley News has more on the Brontës' links to Lancashire being celebrated.
Pendle Council has just finished its six-month programme of free events to mark Charlotte Bronte’s bicentenary and links with her neighbouring county.
The activities aimed to bring to life places just over the border from the Haworth and Stanbury moors which inspired her writing.
Locations included the atmospheric village of Wycoller with its ruined hall, regarded as the real Ferndean Manor in Jane Eyre.
Pendle Council enlisted its own Brontë enthusiast Sarah Lee to coordinate the programme, working with a tourism officer, walk leaders, artists, photographers and storytellers.
She said: “It’s often forgotten that Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne walked across the border over the moors into Lancashire.
“Wycoller is just nine miles as the crow flies from the Haworth Parsonage.
“Charlotte knew this area well, drawing inspiration from the landscape, turbulent histories, local news and Lancashire folklore.”
The 21 events included Explore The Gothic, a landscape painting and photography workshop capturing the melodramatic nature of the landscape.
Primary school children who lived within walking distance of Wycoller had a Jane Eyre drama workshop, led by learning officer Sue Newby from the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth.
The Brontë Society’s youngest member Anna Stephenson portrayed Charlotte Brontë, as painted in the famous JH Thompson, during a ghost walk.
As one of a new generation of Brontë enthusiasts, Anna has been writing magazine features on the Brontë connections with Lancashire and across the border into Yorkshire with Sarah Lee, her mother.
There were walks in Charlotte Brontë’s footsteps along the Brontë Way – which also goes through Worth Valley villages – and Ferndean Way. These included ghost walks looking at hair-raising tales that found their way into the Brontës’ writing. (David Knights)
iNews reports that
The Government is calling on TV producers to create a “Poldark of the North” in a bid to showcase the countryside and boost tourism investment in the Northern Powerhouse. [...]
“Popular TV programmes and movies help to showcase regions of the country, like Poldark has done for the Cornish coast.” Literary classics set in the Northern landscape include Charles Dickens’ Hard Times and Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South – both of which have already been adapted for television. The BBC said in 2012 it was looking to adapt Gaskell’s novel Mary Barton, about a young woman trapped in the appalling conditions of 19th century Manchester. Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights was made into a hit film by Oscar-winning director Andrea Arnold in 2011, which used the wind-ravaged Yorkshire landscape to full effect. Other works by the Brontë sisters including Jane Eyre and the Tenant of Wildfell Hall have also been adapted for television. (Dean Kirby)
We will only point out what a Northern-based novel Shirley is in case any would-be producers are reading this. And actually the Daily Mail thinks so too in an article covering the same story.
[Northern powerhouse minister Andrew Percy] said landscapes from the 'windswept moors of Yorkshire to the craggy peaks of the Pennines' were home to scores of stories ripe to be televised - including Dickens' Hard Times and Charlotte Bronte's Shirley. [...]
He said the Yorkshire Moors, pictured, or the Pennines could be the setting for the next big drama - suggesting Dickens' Hard Times and Charlotte Bronte's Shirley could both be adapted for TV.
A string of major TV projects have been made in the north in the past, including dramatisations of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights set in Yorkshire and Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South filmed in West Yorkshire. (Tim Sculthorpe)
BookBub selects '10 Books About Uncovering Deep Family Secrets' such as
The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell
In Catherine Lowell’s smart and original debut novel — hailed by Deborah Harkness as a “charming and memorable read” — the last remaining descendant of the Brontë family embarks on a modern-day literary scavenger hunt, using only the clues her eccentric father left behind, and the Brontës’ own novels.
Samantha Whipple is used to stirring up speculation wherever she goes. Since her father’s untimely death, she is the presumed heir to a long-rumored trove of diaries, paintings, letters, and early novel drafts passed down from the Brontë family — a hidden fortune never revealed to anyone outside of the family, but endlessly speculated about by Brontë scholars and fanatics. Samantha, however, has never seen this alleged estate and for all she knows, it’s just as fictional as Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights.
But everything changes when Samantha enrolls at Oxford University and long lost objects from her past begin rematerializing in her life, beginning with an old novel annotated in her father’s handwriting. With the help of a handsome but inscrutable professor, Samantha plunges into a vast literary mystery and an untold family legacy, one that can only be solved by repurposing the tools of literature and decoding the clues hidden within the Brontës’ own novels.
A fast-paced adventure from start to finish for readers who devoured The Weird Sisters and Special Topics in Calamity Physics, The Madwoman Upstairs is a moving exploration of what happens when the greatest truth is, in fact, fiction. (Kristina Wright)
New Statesman reviews the book Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun by Sarah Ladipo Manyika.
The novel is crowded with often incidental figures. As they brush against Morayo, the “I” of Ladipo Manyika’s first-person narrative passes between them like a talking stick. A passing homeless woman and a man Morayo meets at the nursing home are given as much time as her ex-husband or her closest friend, Sunshine.
Some of her dearest companions aren’t Ladipo Manyika’s creations at all. Morayo spends many hours in “the company of old literary friends”, and textual references and physical books litter the novel’s landscape – writing by authors as varied as Charlotte Brontë, Paul Auster, Émile Zola, Beatrix Potter, Ernest Gaines, e e cummings, Gwendolyn Brooks and James Baldwin. The loosest of connections can bring a work swimming to the front of Morayo’s mind.
Poppy Loves has a lovely post on a stay at Ponden Hall.


  1. Shirley is an underrated book, and in any case perfect for television. It's got the personal relationships, it's got the witty, charming main characters, and it's got the backdrop of politics and violence. Do it.. now.