Sunday, January 22, 2017

The upcoming activities at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Keighley News:
Simon Armitage has produced a number of evocative poems to accompany objects belonging to Branwell, and we can’t wait to share them with you. All in all, it’s very chaotic and noisy here; the sound of drills is forever in the background, but order will be restored by February 1!
Our new events programme for the first half of the year is now out, and is jam-packed with a variety of events.
Our popular free Tuesday talks (on the first Tuesday of the month) kicked off on Tuesday January 7 with a visiting speaker from the University of Hull, whose expertise was Branwell’s childhood writing.
Our first Parsonage Unwrapped of the year dives into our drama archives to look at Brontë adaptations, and no doubt Ann Dinsdale, our principal curator, will share a few secrets about behind-the-scenes activity on the set of To Walk Invisible.
Alongside these favourites are new Meet the Maker evenings for the spring/summer months and brand new Brontë Treasures sessions, which offer a unique opportunity to go beyond the security cord into the Parsonage Library for a close-up viewing of some of the collection items not on display.
During these special hour-long sessions, a member of our curatorial team will share facts and stories about a number of carefully-selected objects, offering a specialist insight into the lives and works of the Brontës.
Fascinating and moving, Brontë Treasures is a perfect gift for a Brontë fan, so if you’re stuck for a Valentines or Mother’s Day gift, this is one which will make someone very happy.
We are running these new Treasures sessions just once a month throughout the year – on the last Friday of the month – and tickets cost £85. Places are limited to 12, so book quickly if it’s for a special occasion.
On a more frivolous note, we’re marking the arrival of the Tour de Yorkshire at the end of April with our very own Parsonage Poet on a Bike – come up to the museum to see what that’s all about! – and we’re marking the arrival of the Flying Scotsman at the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in April with our very own Branwell Off the Rails? talks.
Here’s to a ‘flying’ start to 2017! For details of any events call 01535 640192 or visit bronte.org.uk/whats-on. (David Knights)
Some of the scheduled activities are Ursula Holden-Gill's walks around Haworth. Also in Keighley News:
[J]oin storyteller Ursula Holden-Gill on Saturday, January 28 as she leads wintry walks around the village.
The singer, who has appeared on TV, promises spellbinding, family-friendly meanderings around the streets of Haworth
Ursula, who will tell tales of Branwell, during the walks, was voted best newcomer at the British Awards for Storytelling Excellence in 2012.
The walks, which begin at noon, 2pm and 4pm, will set off from the Black Bull, one of Branwell’s favourite drinking holes, in Main Street.
The cost will be £10 per adult and £6.50 per child, and includes a bowl of soup and a roll in the Black Bull after the walk.
Places should be booked in advance, by visiting bronte.org.uk/whats-on or call 01535 640192. (David Knights)
The Yorkshire Post interviews Juliet Barker:
Do you find yourself ‘selling’ Yorkshire to non-believers? 
I’m not sure about ‘non-believers’ but I make a point of referencing Yorkshire in all my books. Obviously Yorkshire is central to the lives and works of the Brontës, but so much of writing about medieval history is London-centric that I always introduce Yorkshire events, men and women to redress the balance. (...)
Yorkshireman or woman you most admire? It would have to be the Brontë sisters collectively. It’s invidious to separate them out as individuals because they not only lived, but also worked and wrote together, which makes Charlotte’s courage and resilience after her sisters’ deaths so admirable. But if I had to choose one it would be Anne, often overlooked, but just as talented as her sisters. 
How has living in Yorkshire influenced your work? 
It’s absolutely central to it. I understand the way that its landscapes inspired those I write about because they also inspire me. And I share with the Brontës and Wordsworth that sense of what it is like to be a provincial writer, an outsider and different.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m contemplating writing a book about Mrs Gaskell’s Life of Charlotte Brontë but I simply haven’t had time to do it because I’ve been travelling up and down the country giving so many talks.
The Sunday Times reviews Heartthrobs: A History of Women and Desire by Carol Dyhouse:
For a book about desire, Heartthrobs keeps its pulse-rate steady, its careful analysis avoiding unpredictable sexual alchemy or curious imaginative blips. Yet Dyhouse has crushed a lot of rich, entertaining material into this book, a tight jostle of regency rakes and daring sheikhs, boy bands and Brontës, and she ends with something approaching dizzy optimism, casting the internet as a playground where “swirling currents of sexual preferences” are breaking down the old gendered roles. (Victoria Segal)
And Sophia Tobin's The Vanishing:
Sophia Tobin has written two historical thrillers, one set in 18th-century London, the other in Victorian Broadstairs. The shades of the Brontës and their many imitators haunt the pages of The Vanishing (Simon & Schuster £12.99), her clever take on gothic melodrama. In Regency London, Annaleigh, her heroine and narrator, leaves the home of her artist guardian to make her way in the world by taking a post as housekeeper at White Windows, a wutheringly windswept house on the Yorkshire moors. There she encounters its owner, Marcus Twentyman, a suitably brooding antihero with a Byronic taste for drink and despair, who has wicked plans for her future. (Nick Rennison
The New Zealand Herald is right on the spot when it says about Fifty Shades of Grey:
Now Family First, the Christian lobby group (any irony in that the anti-hero of the film is also a Christian?) have got their tighty whities in a twist because TV3 is going screen the movie tonight - this very Sunday.
If Family First is concerned that children younger than 13 will be exposed to filth, any parent who can't control what their child watches has far more to worry about than a very average film. Your child, your home, your television, your rules. Really simple.
And for those who worry that young women will think power and domination is at the root of all sexual relationships - what about the books we read in school that were considered classics?!
Heathcliff was a stalker with a borderline personality disorder. Mr Rochester was cold and gruff and kept the fact he had a wife hidden in the attic from his new young wife, Jane Eyre. Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara had a tempestuous, undoubtedly violent, relationship in Gone with the Wind.
Honestly, I'd be more concerned with exposing young women to appalling writing than I would be concerned about the sex scenes. (Kerre McIvor)
Lauren Daley shares her 2016 reads in SouthCoast Today:
This was a big Classics year for me, because it always is. What can I say, I like the old stuff.
I reread - and came away with new appreciation for - "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Brontë[.] 
The Queerness has something to say from the Snowflake generation to Michael Gove (who after his visit to Trump Tower seems to be emulating his Twitter style):
I mean, ouch – I’m sure my self-esteem is plummeting right now. I’m probably only one step away from howling and gnashing my teeth Heathcliff-style in Wuthering Heights now that the great man himself has uttered that word.
What I’m trying to get at, in the roundabout way of a ‘leftard’ sympathiser of ‘identity politics’, is twofold. First, that the whole ‘generation snowflake’ insult itself really has no meaning anymore but second, and more pertinently, it is itself born of an inherent hypocrisy that the so-called ‘alt right’ (or fascists as I prefer to call them because, you know, I’m old-fashioned) will find more difficult to deny in the new post-truth era of Trump. (Jonathan Boniface)
Travel Magazine recommends England for Valentine's Day and discovers a new Brontë sister altogether:
In Emma (sic) Brontë’s infamous tale of love and revenge, Wuthering Heights, Cathy and Heathcliff first discover love on the wild and desolate moors, said to be around the village of Haworth. Recreate famous scenes on a walk around the Brontë waterfalls, described by Charlotte Brontë as “fine indeed; a perfect torrent racing over the rocks, white and beautiful,” then up again to Top Withens, the supposed setting of Wuthering Heights.
Whilst in the area, don’t miss The Brontë Collections at the Brontë Parsonage Museum. Once the unique family home, it now contains the world’s most comprehensive collection of Brontë manuscripts, letters, early editions of the novels and poetry, and secondary material on the famous family and their work. 
La Depêche (in French) interviews Emily Bécaud, the daughter of the singer and actor Gilbert Bécaud:
Emily avec un «y», en hommage à Brontë («mes parents y tenaient») est la cinquième des six enfants de Gilbert Bécaud. (Sophie Vigroux) (Translation)
La Información (in Spanish) uses Emily Brontë's novel as a political metaphor:
Sirva el título de la célebre novela de Emily Brontë para calificar lo escenificado en la cumbre de presidentes autonómicos celebrada esta semana. (Aránzazu Calzada) (Translation)
Check two more reader comments on To Walk Invisible published in The Times;  Bookishaniket reviews Wuthering Heights; Clothes in Books recommends Samantha Ellis's Take Courage.

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