Saturday, May 06, 2017

The recent and forthcoming events at the Brontë Parsonage Museum are reported in Keighley News:
It was great fun to see our Parsonage Poet on a Bike, Winston Plowes, mingling with the crowds on the day the Tour de Yorkshire came through Haworth.
Winston encouraged visitors and non-visitors alike to engage with his Random Poetry Generating Bicycle, and with their help has produced some poems specially for us, which are now available on our website.
We have been incredibly busy in the museum – Easter Saturday was our busiest day in the past ten years – and we also have lots of events coming up, as our new events programme for the second half of the year is hot off the press.
We have just a handful of tickets left for Simon Armitage’s exhibition talk at West Lane Baptist Centre on Saturday, so come along if you want to hear how he pulled together our Mansions in the Sky exhibition on the often underestimated Branwell Brontë.
And we have our Museums at Night evening on May 18, which is free to visitors providing proof of residence in the BD22, BD21, BD20 postcode areas or Thornton.
We have some intriguing domestic objects in our collection, and so for Museums at Night our assistants will be getting ‘hands on’ in our historic rooms, in order to allow you a closer look and the opportunity to find out exactly what some of the objects were used for, and how we care for them now.
Join us if you’d like to discover more about the day-to-day domestic life of the Brontës.
That weekend is 1940s Weekend in Haworth, so we’ll be getting involved by presenting short talks on 1940s Hollywood Brontë adaptations.
May half-term will feature talks and walks. Our regular holiday Wednesday workshop on May 31 is Stitching Stories.
The Brontës couldn’t afford lots of paper, so they would cut out blank scraps and stitch them together to make amazing tiny versions of their favourite magazine.
Join us for the chance to sew your own miniature comics, books or magazines with artist Julia Ogden.
We’ve just released our new events programme for the second half of the year, so look out for it when you’re out and about (and see page 25 of this week’s edition).
We have a fantastic line-up for our Poetry at the Parsonage day on July 1, featuring some of the most vibrant poets on the contemporary scene, and we’ve organised a walk over the moors with Simon Armitage, following in the footsteps of Branwell Brontë, on July 2.
Looking further ahead to September, our Festival of Women’s Writing is back due to popular demand, and we’re thrilled to be hosting bestselling novelists Rachel Joyce and Sarah Perry.
There are workshop opportunities at both these events, but numbers are very limited, so don’t delay in signing up if you want the unique chance to work closely with award-winning poets and novelists.
Details of all events are available at or call 01535 640192. (Richard Parker)
Even more details about the more immediate events:
Special events will showcase Mansions in the Sky, the exhibition about Branwell Brontë, and the costume display from recent BBC drama To Walk Invisible.
Simon Armitage, who curated Mansions in the Sky, will talk about the process of putting together an exhibition about the often-underestimated Branwell.
Simon will reveal how his understanding of Branwell developed and changed as he took a closer look at the Brontë siblings’s life and influences.
The talk will be at the West Lane Baptist Centre, near the museum, on Saturday May 13 at 2.30pm.
The Haworth museum, run by the Brontë Society, is organising two events to mark the national Museums At Night festival.
One, on Wednesday May 17 at 7.30pm, will highlight the exhibition of costumes from Sally Wainwright’s Brontë biopic To Walk Invisible, shown to great acclaim on TV last Christmas.
Visitors to the £20-a-ticket event will join To Walk Invisible costume designer Tom Pye and academic Eleanor Houghton for an exclusive insight into the design and development of the historic costumes used in the 90-minute film.
Costumes from the drama will be displayed throughout the museum, and Tom and Eleanor will discuss the process of designing styling the Brontës, balancing the needs of both historical accuracy and television flair.
Tom Pye has worked extensively as both a set and costume design in the worlds of theatre, opera, film and television, collaborating with leading directors, including Peter Brook and Nicholas Hytner.
Eleanor Halton is in the third year of a PhD at the University of Southampton, and is written Decoding Clothing: Charlotte Brontë, Plainness and the Language of Dress.
Museums At Night will continue on Thursday May 18 with a hands-on history sessions running from 5.30pm.
The event is free to visitors providing proof of residence in the BD22, BD21 or BD20 postcode areas, or Thornton. Usual admission prices apply to other people. (Richard Parker)
Poet Ian MacMillan loved Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre. Chapter and Verse in The Yorkshire Post:
A few weeks ago I saw a brilliant production of Jane Eyre by the National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic at the Lyceum in Sheffield; I know the book and this was like the book but more so. The set was a symphony of levels and ladders, and the actors ran up and down the ladders and across the levels. At one point somebody sang Mad About The Boy, which definitely isn’t in the book. There were what appeared to be real flames bursting from the stage, perilously close to the curtains but nothing was damaged and by the end of the evening I felt that I’d had the book folded and refolded and presented to me like an origami bird that flew around my head for days afterwards. And I know that next time I read Jane Eyre I’ll read the novel with new eyes.
Did you ever wonder where Branwell Brontë lived while he was working at Luddenfoot Railway Station as a station master? Yorkshire Post reports that the place is now on the market:
A fondness for drink and laudanum, a failure to make a living from writing or portrait painting and a job he had no interest in left Branwell Brontë careworn. But his troubled mind must surely have been eased by his stay at Brearley Hall.
The grade II* listed property, near Hebden Bridge, sits in 44 acres on an elevated plateau with glorious views over the Calder Valley. Branwell, brother of the famous literary sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, was a lodger at the 16th century manor house in Luddendenfoot, near Hebden Bridge, according to the census of 1841. “This ties in with the time that Branwell was a clerk in charge at Luddendenfoot station and there are poems written by people, thought to be Branwell’s friends, about the views from the hall,” says Stella Steigeler, who co-owns the property and is a keen historian.
Broadway World reviews the Milwaukee performances of Polly Teale's Jane Eyre:
A fascinating adaptation to ponder when watching the performance and afterwards, a red box placed atop several ramps presents a structural ghost of Jane's life, and the places, including Thornfield she inhabits. Scenic Designer Kris Stone's sculptural set design uses cool, neutral colored materials minus much color to showcase the characters. Yet, the exact set constructed in warmer colors or materials might possibly blend with Rachel Healy's beautiful period costumes. Several young couples in the audience appreciated the clean sensibility and stripped down production of this iconic Victorian romance exploring Jane Eyre's dilemmas and psyche as a Victoria woman. (...)
The Rep's complex Jane Eyre will inspire audiences to dig deep into the concerns Jane faced in the mid to late nineteenth century. While perhaps less restricted by corset and social convention in 2017, the modern Jane Eyre faces other innumerable hurdles, including initiatives to acquire or further her education or be in control of her own body, to transform into that fully realized person, capable of commanding her own journey and lighting the unique flame within her own soul. Theater continues to challenge audiences by reinterpreting the classics in productions that offer alternative perspectives into classic literature's heart. Set romance on fire this May by attending this innovative, provocative and thoroughly modern Jane Eyre. (Peggy Sue Dunigan)
WUWM and The Wisconsin Gazette also recommend the production.

The alleged discovery of a pastel sketch featuring a young George Eliot is discussed in The Guardian:
More specifically it looked a bit like the work of George Richmond, the pre-eminent portrait painter of the period who did everyone from Charlotte Brontë to Charles Darwin. (...)
Long-lost likenesses of 19th-century novelists have a habit of turning up in a fizz of excitement, only to fade away again when someone points out just why the thing is impossible. In 2012 and again in 2015 photographs of “the Brontë sisters” surfaced, quickly followed by a cacophony of commentators saying it couldn’t be them (the bonnets were wrong, the women looked French, one of them was far too old). (Kathryn Hughes)
The London Economic is giving away a collection of Penguin Essentials books:
Titles range through the Classic canon with Brideshead Revisited, The Great Gatsby and A Passage to India, through to modern meta-revisions of Classics with Jean Rhys Wide Sargasso Sea (reimagining Jane Eyre) and J M Coetzee’s Foe (reimagining Robinson Crusoe), through to the popular and prize-winning with Patrick Susskind’s Perfume and Nicole Krauss’ The History of Love, amongst others. (...)
To WIN the FULL set of 2017 titles simply post [here] which titles you would add to the Penguin Essentials 2017 list and who you would knock off the list! Best answer wins. Competition closes May 29th.
The Irish Times reviews Into The Water, the new novel by Paula Hawkins:
Before the psychological thriller, before suburban noir and domestic suspense, it was called had-I-but-known. Originating with Jane Eyre, it earned its wings in The Woman in White and informed the work of the golden-age precursor Mary Roberts Rinehart and the Gothic romancer Daphne du Maurier, among others. (Declan Hughes)
The Hindu interviews the author herself:
Hawkins, who reads books by Kate Atkinson, Pat Barker and Margaret Atwood — though she doesn’t find much time when she is writing — admits she doesn’t “do heroes and heroines”. Her books are peopled by quite a few unlikeable characters. “I prefer relatable characters, which are more realistic,” she explains. So it isn’t a coincidence that the fortune-teller Nickie, Nel Abbot and the victims of the drownings in Beckford, all “the troublesome women”, feel like versions of the ‘Mad Woman in the Attic’? “That is an interesting analogy,” says Hawkins, adding, “Bertha Mason in Jane Eyre is presented as this violently-insane villain of the piece. However, when you think of her story, she is a poor woman who was dragged from her home in Jamaica, married off to Edward Rochester who disliked her and locked up in the attic in Thornfield Hall for 10 years. You realise she is a victim more than a villain.” (Mini Anthikad Chhibber)
An interesting discussion on how literature depicts working class language in The Guardian:
Yet I’m sometimes asked if it’s terribly difficult writing dialogue for working-class characters because working-class people, particularly men, don’t converse. It’s galling the number of people who buy into this idea of class determining articulacy, a Blytonesque estimation that patois is intrinsically moronic and that the working classes communicate in dropped syllables, slang and scratching. That we are thick-tongued as Wuthering Heights’ Joseph, or stubbornly simple as Animal Farm’s Boxer, or as proud of our savagery as Lionel Asbo himself. (Lisa McInerney)
New Republic reviews the new novel by Minae Mizumura, Inheritance from Mother:
She travels to Paris for a year to study, and there she meets Tetsuo, an aspiring intellectual of humble means who has landed in Paris on a prestigious scholarship. In Mitsuki’s eyes there is something impossibly romantic about this figure. He may reside in a dingy attic up six flights of stairs, but in her imagination he leads a more exalted existence, known to dilettantes and artists alike as the life of the mind. “The Tetsuo who had sat amid the flickering candlelight in the garret in Paris, looking grave—how many different heroes she had happily projected onto him!” These include Julian Sorel of The Red and the Black, Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights, and Kan’ichi, the tutor from The Golden Demon: “Young men who were penniless but reaching for the stars, longing to rise above life’s vulgarity, and passionately in love with one woman.” Reader, she marries him—and many years later, when her mother is dying, he is off in Vietnam with a younger woman. (Ryu Spaeth)
iNews lists places to visit within an hour of Leeds:
Famed for being the home of the Brontë sisters, Haworth is a must visit for literary lovers and tourists alike. The iconic Brontë parsonage is full of intriguing artefacts which offer a fascinating insight into the family, while Haworth’s iconic cobbled Main Street has a unique, vintage charm that will undoubtedly win you over. As well as the cultural sites, be sure to take a stroll across the nearby rolling moors which provide the most spectacular backdrop to this quaint little village. (Claire Schofield)
La Presse (in French) reviews the film A Quiet Passion:
Un peu comme les soeurs Brontë, Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) appartient à cette sororité littéraire faite d'écrivaines dont les oeuvres ont miraculeusement accédé au panthéon de la littérature mondiale, alors qu'elles ont créé des enfermements difficilement imaginables aujourd'hui. Une petite douzaine de ses poèmes, sur des milliers, ont été publiés de son vivant. (Chantal Guy) (Translation)
The Lady Macbeth sighting comes from Diario de Jerez (Spain):
El guión de la actriz y escritora Alice Birch la traslada a la Inglaterra victoriana y la extraordinaria dirección del debutante en el largometraje William Oldroyd la convierte en una extraordinaria fusión entre la obra original rusa y las tragedias ambientadas en páramos desolados del Dorset del Thomas Hardy de Tess la de los Duberville o del Yorshire de la Emily Brönte (sic) de Cumbres borrascosas. (Carlos Colón) (Translation)
20 Minutos (Spain) interviews the French director Bertrand Tavernier:
“A los 13 años de edad ví una película de John Ford que me despertó las ganas de ser director de cine: La legión invencible (1949), que habré visto unas veinticinco veces. También recuerdo La venganza del bergantín (Edgard Ludwig, 1948) con John Wayne, que también me encanta y que al volver a verla, no hace mucho, descubrí que esa película de aventuras parece a veces, en uno o dos episodios, una imitación de Cecil Mille, aunque en lo esencial es una historia de amor, una nueva versión de Cumbres borrascosas, de Emily Brönte (sic)”. (Juan Carlos Rivas) (Translation)
Página 12 (Argentina) interviews the actress Nelly Prince:
En teatro, cantidad de roles desde su temprana iniciación (“Mi primer teatro fue a los 10, como la Cathy, en la etapa de niñez, de Cumbres Borrascosas, con Pedro López Lagar”): con igual arrojo y ductilidad, reemplazó a la vedette Ámbar La Fox como azafata americana en el exitosísimo vodevil Boeing Boeing, de Marc Camoletti; o interpretó a doña Inés de Don Gil de las calzas verdes, de Tirso de Molina. (Guadalupe Teibel) (Translation)
The Little Professor posts about teaching Cary Phillips' The Lost Child.

And finally BuzzFeed has one of those tests, Answer Seven Questions And We'll Tell You What Male Brontë Character You Should Be In A Relationship With.


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