Monday, July 03, 2017

Monday, July 03, 2017 9:04 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
On Cornwall Live, Cornwall claims some of the Brontë sisters' fame.
Cornwall is regarded across the globe for its association with the arts, but next week will explore the significance the town had in inspiring one of the most famous writing families our nation, and indeed the world, has ever seen the Brontës. [...]
The festival will also be including two events that examine perhaps the most famous writers of Cornish heritage the aforementioned Brontës appropriately as the years 2016 to 2020 mark the 200 anniversaries of their births. [...] Known as the immortal Queens of Yorkshire, their legacy attracts countless tourists to the village of Haworth where they lived though the literary festival will serve as a reminder that their roots actually lie here, in west Cornwall. In fact, without two special Penzance women, there would likely be no Brontë books to read."The Brontës of Haworth are of Cornish Origin", said Nick Holland, author of 'In Search for Anne Brontë', who is due to appear at the festival to discuss their heritage. "Their father, Reverend Patrick Brontë, was a Church of England minister who had become Haworth's parish priest, a post he held for the next 40 years.
"Originally from County Down, it was while he was acting as an examiner at a Leeds school that he met another solitary heart a long way from home--Maria Branwell. "Maria had made the arduous journey from Penzance to Yorkshire in 1812 to work for her uncle and aunt John and Jane Fennell who ran Woodhouse Grove School. It was at love at first sight when Maria and Patrick met and they married in December 1812." Mr Holland, a celebrated non-fiction writer from Yorkshire whose grandmother hailed from Cornwall, is particularly excited about his visit to Penzance, reversing the route taken by Maria and Elizabeth. [...]
"Maria and Elizabeth were sisters, two of eleven children of Thomas and Anne Branwell, not all of whom survived childhood. "Thomas Branwell came from a successful Penzance family of merchants. As well as being a tea merchant, he ran a grocer's shop and owned a number of properties across the town, including the Golden Lion Inn and Tremenheere House." Mr Holland adds that Thomas Branwell also served as a councillor and his son Benjamin Carne Branwell, brother to Maria and Elizabeth, served as Mayor of Penzance in 1809. Thomas and Anne died suddenly within a year of each other in 1810 and 1811, and it was this that precipitated the break-up of the Branwell family and led Maria to seek employment in Yorkshire. Elizabeth remained in Penzance, living with her sister Charlotte and brother-in-law Joseph, but in 1821 when she heard of the severity of Maria's sickness she knew her place was at her side. "Elizabeth nursed Maria until her death and then made the life-changing decision to remain in Haworth and raise her sister's children alongside Patrick", said Mr Holland. "Elizabeth, forever known as Aunt Branwell to the Brontës, was 45 when she arrived in Haworth, and she would never see Cornwall again." "It was a huge move, as she was swapping a comfortable existence in Penzance, and any lingering hope she had of finding a husband, for an uncertain life in Haworth surrounded by people whose accents were unintelligible and amidst a climate she found intolerable. "Nevertheless she endured and became a second mother to the children." [...]
"The moors the Brontës looked out on, and that often feature so vividly in their works, were reminiscent of the West Penwith moors Maria and Elizabeth Branwell knew," said Mr Holland. "Elizabeth was intensely proud of Cornwall, and often regaled her nephew and nieces with tales of her old county and echoes of these too can be found in the Brontë novels. "The Brontë sisters were very aware of their Cornish roots, as seen in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall; the hero Markham is casually looking over his love's book collection when his eye is caught by a particular volume: 'I took it up. It was Sir Humphrey Davy's 'Last days of a Philosopher.' "Why did Anne Brontë choose to name this particular book? Simply, it was a tribute to Penzance's famous son Davy, and by extension a tribute to the town of Penzance that had given her two mothers." (Tom Gainey)
Indeed Nick Holland discusses all this and more on his blog AnneBrontë.org.

Independent (Ireland) sets the scene for an interview with artist Eithne Jordan:
There are grey buildings, a boarded-up housing estate, a deserted GAA pitch and a graveyard. In one painting you can see a convent which is surrounded by walls. Another is of a cottage half hidden behind a bush. Although the skies are grey, they are somehow luminous. Their compelling gloom is reminiscent of a scene from Jane Eyre - buildings behind strange railings and bare crooked trees. (Ciara Dwyer)
Folha de S. Paulo (Brazil) has Mariana Enríquez describe her book Las cosas que perdimos en el fuego:
"Misturei influências, de Stephen King a Emily Brontë, com elementos do cotidiano argentino e da realidade social do país. O medo e o suspense podem vir de elementos fantásticos e surreais, mas também da própria realidade. Para mim, a realidade oferece os melhores recursos para contos sombrios, ainda que não despreze o fantástico." (Sylvia Colombo) (Translation)
The Yorkshire Post looks at the history of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, claiming that it is 'the only railway in the world to be built because of Charlotte Brontë'. Also locally, The Telegraph and Argus reports that volunteers have helped save the Thornton Library, which is 'just yards from the birthplace of the Brontë sisters' (well done!). Kerry Lynne Pike reviews one of the performances of Sally Cookson's Jane EyreLa Razón (México) discusses how losing her mother at an early age may have impacted Charlotte Brontë. La Nación (Argentina) quotes Charlotte Brontë's opinion of her work in an article on Jane Austen.

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