Thursday, February 09, 2017

In Keighley News, Diane Fare from the Brontë Parsonage Museum puts us up to date with all the latest goings-on.
At last, Branwell Brontë’s bicentenary year is underway!
We opened our doors to the public on Wednesday February 1, and invited Brontë Society members from all over the UK to a private view of the exhibition on the Friday.
We had a huge response to the invite, so we booked our neighbouring venue, the Old School Room, and entertained guests in this historic building – founded by Patrick Brontë, and where his children taught local school children – before they were escorted over to the museum to see what we’d been up to throughout January.
Our creative partner for 2017, poet Simon Armitage, read one of his new poems – written in response to a number of Branwell objects from our collection – and surprised guests with mention of The Smiths and Manchester United.
If you want to find out more about Simon’s take on Branwell Brontë, and his referencing of popular cultural icons, then visit the museum and read Simon’s poems for yourself.
Also new, and very exciting, is the recreation of Branwell’s bedroom in one of the historic rooms in the museum – the result of a collaboration with the BBC production team behind To Walk Invisible.
And dotted through the museum are costumes from the show. If you use Twitter or Facebook, you’ll probably find some pictures of the new exhibits, but better to visit the museum and see them in the flesh!
Our new events programme is now out, so pick one up to discover what we’re up to for the first half of the year.
We have activities planned for half-term, so it’s a good time to visit with children.
Our popular Wild Wednesday workshops are back, and local artist Rachel Lee will join us for some upcycling.
Free talks will be taking place and Branwell’s closest friend, John Brown, will be popping into the Parsonage to share anecdotes about Branwell.
The first talk is about Charlotte’s remarkable life-long friend Mary Taylor, who Charlotte met at school.
2017 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the feminist and politically active Mary Taylor, so we’re marking the occasion with a talk on Sunday February 26 at 2pm.
And our free Tuesday talk on March 7 promises to be entertaining – entitled ‘Bad Beyond Expression’, it explores allegations of Branwell’s affair with a married woman for whom he worked.
We have a few tickets left for our first Parsonage Unwrapped of the year, on February 24, so book now if you’re interested in learning more about the various Brontë film and tv adaptations that have appeared over the years.
We also launch our brand new Treasures sessions this month, so if you want to treat yourself – or someone special – to an intimate close-up viewing of some of our collection objects, then book via the website or call 01535 640192.
New Statesman has 'quickfire' round of questions with Prime Minister Theresa May. She's not a Brontëite:
Austen or Brontë? To which you’ll say: which Brontë? So let’s say Austen or Charlotte Brontë?
I’ve read both, but if I had to choose it would be Austen. When I’m asked [about] my favourite book, I always say Pride and Prejudice. I sometimes hover between Emma and Pride and Prejudice [but I] always come out with Pride and Prejudice. The exchanges between Elizabeth Bennet and Darcy – the wit that she brings into those, I think is  just wonderful. (Jason Cowley)
The Morning Call features some of the events that will take place on Valentine's Day in Allentown and Easton. The Brontë-related one will take place at Easton, PA:
At the 1833 Mixsell-Illick House, Fourth and Ferry streets, you can view antique Valentines and Victorian scrapbooks, sip floral elixirs, create your own chocolate Valentine and listen to readings from "Jane Eyre." (Ryan Kneller)
Variety reviews Fifty Shades Darker and makes a good point:
 “I was reading Austen and Brontë and no one ever measured up to that,” says Anastasia Steele of her romantic history near the beginning of “Fifty Shades Darker.” Had she only been reading E.L. James, she might have been less disappointed in life (Guy Lodge)
VSD (France) reviews it too:
« Que veux-tu, alors ? – Je te veux toi, tout entier » lui susurrera-t-elle après nous avoir parlé de l’amour selon Jane Austen et les sœurs Brontë. (Translation)
Unfortunately, we have a feeling this won't be the last we hear of this film here on BrontëBlog.

Jungle Red Writers discusses spin-offs and mentions Wide Sargasso Sea.

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