Sunday, December 18, 2016

Simon Armitage will take over from Tracy Chevalier to be the next year’s Brontë Parsonage Museum Creative Partner for the Branwell 2017 bicentenary. We hope that his work will be as successful as Tracy Chevalier's has been in promoting the Brontë Society events in this nearly-over Charlotte 200th anniversary. Keighley Online reports:
Poet Simon Armitage has been revealed as next year’s Brontë Parsonage Museum Creative Partner.
The Brontë200 bicentenary celebrations are set to continue apace thanks to a generous grant by Arts Council England.
The Contemporary Arts Programme at Brontë Parsonage Museum has been awarded £97,702 through the Grants for the Arts fund. The money will support a range of activities marking the bicentenaries of Branwell Brontë in 2017 and Emily Brontë during 2018.
Simon Armitage is joining the Museum as Creative Partner for 2017 and is curating a programme of exhibitions and events to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Branwell Brontë, the wayward brother of Charlotte, Emily and Anne.
Simon explained: “Most people know Branwell either as the ne're-do-well brother of the Brontë family or as the shadowy absence in his famous portrait of his three sisters. We'll never really know Branwell properly, but in putting together events for his bicentenary I feel as if I've been privy to some of his hopes and dreams.
“Branwell's early promise and swaggering enthusiasm was ultimately overshadowed by the talents of his siblings, but even before then he appears to have lost his boyish optimism and fighting spirit, and I've found it impossible not be saddened by his disillusionment and decline.”
Jenna Holmes, Arts Officer at the Parsonage, added: “We’re really excited to be working with Simon during 2017. Branwell remains an enigma for many and we’re planning a series of events which will dig beneath the preconceptions and challenge what we think we know about the only son in the family. We’re hugely grateful to Arts Council England for their support and are looking forward to revealing our programme in the new year.”
The full programme of events will be announced in January. 
BBC News reports the closing of the Red House Museum and quotes one Kirklees Councillor saying shocking and very ignorant/stupid/silly things:
The Red House in Gomersal, which has close links to the Brontes, is due to close on Wednesday.
Kirklees Council said 30% of each building could be used for commercial ventures.
It is hoped community groups will come forward to run the buildings but, if not, they could be sold on the open market.
Charlotte Brontë often visited Red House and featured it in her novel Shirley
The council said any loaned objects will be returned to their owners or put in secure storage, while people who have permanently donated objects can be reassured they will remain in the care of Kirklees Museums and Galleries.
The reorganisation of the museum service is expected to save £531,000.
Councillor Graham Turner said: "We know the public support our plan to find new and innovative ways for them to view the collections.
"Museums are not just about buildings, it's about using the collections to tell the story of our past and how they influence what we do today."
The deadline for expressing interest or submitting an outline business case is 6 March and a decision will be made on 3 April.
Come on, Mr. Turner, at least if you are ashamed of what you are doing be quiet and do not say stupid things. The public support your plan? How do you know that? And... the best part, the one that will be remembered as the dumbest quote of the year is the 'museums-are-not-just-about-buildings' talking about the Red House Museum. In the case of the Red House Museum it is all about the building itself (even with all the modifications it has been through) because that is its real link with the Brontës.

Alan Bennett repeats an anecdote we heard before in The Guardian:
A teddy bear with sharp teeth. Bennett is plainly devoted to his partner, but on 31 August 2009 demonstrates his writer’s splinter of ice firmly intact, reporting that, after watching Wuthering Heights:
“Rupert turns to me and says: ‘You’re rather like Heathcliff.’
Me: (gratified) Really?
R: Yeah. Difficult, northern and a cunt.” (Robert McCrum)
The Guardian lists the best Christmas UK TV including, of course, To Walk Invisible:
More Sally Wainwright, this time penning a lavish period drama exploring the extraordinary lives of the Brontë sisters.
Marilyn Heins reminds us of how words can be used for praise or hurt in Arizona Daily Star:
I remember being really hurt by the words of a classmate. One incident involved two little girls ganging up on me in fifth grade because I took a copy of “Jane Eyre” to school. They accused me of being stuck-up and said that I was showing off what a good reader I was. False accusation! I carried the book to read it at recess because I wanted to find out what happened. The fact that I remember this, more than 70 years later, is an indicator of how words can hurt.
Valley Advocate reviews a theatre adaptation of Sarah Waters's Fingersmith:
It begins in a literal den of thieves in the grimy Southwark borough of London, where a teenage orphan, Sue Trinder, has been brought up as a pickpocket, a “fingersmith” as brash and cunning as any Artful Dodger (Waters’ nods to both Dickens and the Brontës are frequent and unapologetic). (Chris Rohmann)
Hartlepool Mail features five dancers who will enter the cast of the Billingham performances of a new musical production of Jane Eyre penned by Anne Dalton. The Daily Express publishes extracts from the Jonathan Pryce BBC Media pack interview.

El País (Uruguay) interviews the writer Marcela Serrano
La opción más obvia hubiera sido Jane Austen. (Fernán Cisnero)
Obvio pero lo que pasa es que Austen es muy juguetona y no me servía para esto. En todas las entrevistas que me preguntan cuál es mi escritora favorita digo Austen, a ojos cerrados. Pero no me servía así que me tiré por el lado de las Brontë, de historias más dramáticas. Pero Gaskell es una genial testigo de su tiempo, más que leer historia hay que leerla a ella para saber cómo era la pobreza de la Revolución Industrial: feroz. (Translation)
Bestfirstappearance has visited the Morgan Library's Charlotte Brontë exhibition.

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