Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Diane Fare's Chapter & Verse monthly article about the Brontë Society activities appears in Keighley News and as usual is full of interesting things:
The Parsonage received another celebrity visitor last week – hot on the heels of Gemma Arterton!
David McCallum – of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. fame – was more than happy to chat to delighted museum assistants, and sign our VIP visitor book.
It’s great fun when a recognisable face walks unannounced through the front door!
We’ve been very busy over the October half-term holiday period, welcoming families who’ve enjoyed our workshops, hands-on history sessions, and free talks, not to mention a great Museums at Night evening with Bradford and Keighley Astronomical Societies, who shared their wealth of knowledge with us.
Our Branwell-themed free Tuesday talks are drawing to a close, with just two left this year.
On November 7 we welcome Calderdale-based poet Simon Zonenblick to talk about Branwell’s time in Halifax.
As a railway clerk at Luddendenfoot station, Branwell became part of a social circle which included the sculptor Joseph Leyland and ‘The Airedale Poet’ John Nicholson.
With the encouragement of Leyland in particular, Branwell became the first of the Brontës to get his work in print, with a poem published in the Halifax Guardian in 1841.
Discover more about this eventful period in Branwell Brontë’s life in this free talk.
We have a very unique Friday night Parsonage Unwrapped on November 24: an evening examining the jewellery in the collection with Sophia Tobin, an expert in antique jewellery, and our own curatorial assistant, Amy Rowbottom.
Amy has spent a considerable amount of time studying the jewellery owned by the Brontës – a previously under-researched area – and will be presenting her findings.
Sophia Tobin is assistant librarian for the Worshipful Company of Goldsmith’s, and a novelist. Her most recent novel, The Vanishing, published earlier this year, has been described as ‘brilliantly Brontë-esque’ in tone and plot.
Sophie will be spending Saturday with us too, staying for a creative writing workshop that uses the Brontë collection for inspiration. There will be a rare opportunity to see some Brontë items up close in the museum’s library, before moving on to write prose or poetry inspired by the Brontë relics.
The workshop is suitable for beginners or more experienced writers.
The weekend of November 24 and 25 will be a busy one, for as well as hosting Sophia, we will be welcoming members of the steampunk community to the museum.
To mark Haworth’s annual steampunk weekend, there will be a drop-in junk-modelling workshop between 11am and 4pm (free with admission to the museum), and reduced admission (£1 discount) for steampunk-attired visitors.
It promises to be an eventful weekend!
When next I write, we’ll be looking ahead to Christmas, and I’ll have news about our January events.
Branwell’s bicentenary year is fast drawing to a close – and what a year it’s been – and we are busy behind the scenes planning an amazing year to celebrate Emily’s bicentenary.
Details of the Sophia Tobin Parsonage Unwrapped evening and Saturday workshop can be found online at, or call 01535 640192. (Richard Parker)
Lenny interviews Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney, authors of A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot and Virginia Woolf and retells the story of the Charlotte Brontë ghost visiting Harriet Beecher Stowe:
Alexis Coe: The letter Stowe sent Eliot on May 11, 1872, starts out innocently enough, with talk of work, health, and home, and then Stowe divulges her spectral flirtations. It all began with a "toy planchette," the Ouija board of the Victorian era, but things had gotten pretty serious since: she'd gotten visits from Charlotte Brontë! Why Charlotte, who had been dead for more than fifteen years, of all the Brontës?
ECS: It's perhaps hard nowadays to understand the commotion caused by Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre when it was first published in 1847. As a devout Christian, married to a biblical scholar, Stowe may well have been interested in the British parson's daughter's controversial depiction of religious life. And, of course, Stowe was no stranger to literary scandal, Uncle Tom's Cabin having even been cited by some as a cause of the American Civil War.
AC: When writers get together, they often talk about writing, and Beecher's conversation with Brontë was no exception. Charlotte's ghost was still smarting over critics who'd called her work "coarse"; Beecher had described it as "peculiar." I'm wondering if this was something Brontë expressed when she was alive, and about Beecher's relationship to critics, too.
EM: Brontë was undoubtedly affected by those who disparaged her. She added a defiant preface to the second edition of Jane Eyre in 1848, in which she took to task those critics whom she regarded as "timorous or carping." An appraisal of her second novel, Shirley, wounded her deeply. The reviewer was George Henry Lewes — George Eliot's future partner. Following his enthusiasm for Brontë's previous novel, and the letters the two had exchanged, she regarded this as a betrayal, and one that made her feel "cold and sick."
The Guardian reviews the latest book by Lyndall Gordon, Outsiders. Five Women Writers Who Changed the World :
This fascinating work explores the lives of five female novelists who were outsiders: Mary Shelley (the “prodigy”), Emily Brontë (the “visionary”), George Eliot (the “outlaw”), Olive Schreiner (the “orator”), and Virginia Woolf (“the explorer”).  (Anita Sethi)
Do you remember the Long Island house with a Brontë ghost? It's still on the market according to Dans Papers's This is The Hamptons! :
Sanderling is a stunning house on Beach Lane in Quogue. There are beautiful water views everywhere, 7 bedrooms and 7.5 baths in 4500 square feet. It’s asking $4.75 million, which includes a famous literary ghost. When a Mr. and Mrs. Toppings built their new home in the 1950s, they shipped over an old staircase to use from England. It came from a Yorkshire mansion where Anne Bronte had once worked. In 1962, Mrs. Topping heard footsteps on the stairs and saw a figure of a young woman in old-fashioned dress climbing the stairs. She felt sure it was Anne. Later she heard more ghostly rappings and footsteps, though she did not see Anne again. (Laura Euler)
Another property more or less related to the Brontës on the market is the Aysgarth Falls Hotel. Insider reports:
A hotel that was used for filming in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and the 1992 production of Wuthering Heights has been put on the market for £1.5m.
Christie & Co has been instructed to sell the Aysgarth Falls Hotel in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. (Joshua Hammond)
More ghosts in The Telegraph. A history of British ghosts:
In A Christmas Carol Dickens created a ghost with a social conscience while in Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë conjured Cathy’s ghost as a corporeal creature who gripped the narrator’s hand and bled when cut. (Wendy Moore)
Working class pride in New Statesman:
I liked Laura Waddell on the joy of fast food (“Yellowing posters about nutrition flap dog-eared from the walls of local surgery waiting rooms… I don’t want to eat these apples, clinically dissected into units of health, peeled of enjoyment”), Yvonne Singh on the seaside (“We were the only brown faces on the beach but we didn’t experience any racism… the seaside instilled in me a hope, a hope that things could be better”), Kit de Waal on being a reader from the “wrong” side of the tracks (“Even Jane Eyre, a ‘poor’ orphan, spoke French, played the piano, ultimately and conveniently becoming a rich heiress”) and Kath McKay on vulgarity (“When did it become a pejorative term?… it silences people, and causes a huge waste of talent”). (Julie Burchill)
The Australian talks about the fashion designer Lee Matthews:
In an increasingly fast-paced fashion industry, with a visual intensity that is almost unparalleled (think: the Gucci effect), Mathews’s work is almost a salve. “That’s exactly right, it takes you back to the simple things in life: a little slip dress, a pretty print, and a hankering for hanging around in your pyjamas reading Emily Brontë.” Buzz can see the appeal. (Glynis Traill-Nash)
Portland students with a love for poetry in The Forecaster:
[Arlo] Farr-Weinfeld said “Emily Brontë is pretty cool,” but she also enjoys reading the “Bum Rush the Page,” poetry anthologies. “They’re just so vibrant and fun to read. They’re just fantastic.” (Kate Irish Collins)
Bustle lists novels that are 'more messed up than you think':
Jane Eyre is one of the most notable female protagonists in literature, but she really deserves better than Edward Rochester. Dude's first wife experienced a mental breakdown, so he locked her in the attic forever. Um? Even given the time period, there must have been a better way to deal with that? Not to mention that Bertha Rochester is of Creole heritage, and her mental illness manifests in her behaving in a "savage" or "animalistic" way. The book doesn't do a lot to make Creole or mentally ill people seem like fully realized humans. (...)
Wuthering Heights has a reputation for being a torrid, Gothic romance, but... really it's kind of a mess. Heathcliff loves Catherine, he thinks she doesn't love him back, she dies, and it's all very sad and romantic. But Heathcliff's "revenge" plot is to have his son and Catherine's daughter make out to vicariously relive his own youthful romance. That's... not a great plan? Please stop trying to force your kids to hook up?? (Charlotte Ahlin)
According to kehn14 (Vietnam), Norton Conyers is now a haunted place:
Căn phòng gác mái ở Norton Conyers
Cuốn tiểu thuyết "Jane Eyre" của nữ nhà văn Charlotte Brontë tính đến nay đã xuất bản được tròn 170 năm. Tại thời điểm ra mắt với công chúng, tác phẩm đã đặc biệt gây chú ý với hình ảnh căn phòng gác mái trong tòa lâu đài Thornfield huyền bí – nơi giam giữ một người phụ nữ điên với biết bao bí mật đáng sợ của người chồng, đồng thời cũng chính là chủ nhân của tòa lâu đài.
7 địa điểm nổi tiếng với những câu chuyện ám ảnh đáng sợ nhất thế giới - Ảnh 5.
Căn phòng nguyên mẫu trong tác phẩm văn học nổi tiếng "Jane Eyre".
Tuy nhiên, ít ai biết rằng, trên thực tế, đây lại là một ngôi nhà có thật nằm ở Norton Conyers, Bắc Yorshire, nước Anh. Nhà văn Charlotte đã trực tiếp đến thăm ngôi nhà vào năm 1839 và đã biến nơi đây trở thành cảm hứng cho kiệt tác đầy ám ảnh của mình.
Kể từ năm ngoái, căn phòng này đã được mở lại sau khoảng 10 năm tái sửa chữa. Trong quá trình tu sửa, người ta đã phát hiện thấy xác người chết. Bên cạnh đó, cũng có không ít lời đồn cho rằng linh hồn của người vợ điên vẫn luôn đeo bám lấy căn phòng này. (Theo Thời Đại) (Translation)
Nordwest Zeitung (Germany) reviews the film Lady Macbeth:
Oldroyd hat mit „Lady Macbeth“ ein packendes Drama geschaffen, das tief in die Abgründe der menschlichen Seele blicken lässt, mit Anklängen an Emily Brontës Roman „Sturmhöhe“. (Cordula Dieckmann) (Translation)
Workfromhome posts about Wuthering HeightsJools and her books (in Polish) reviews the novel. A nice Jane Eyre 2011 gif on Transfixed;.


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