Thursday, February 20, 2020

Keighley News looks at the Anne Brontë year ahead at the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
An exhibition in Haworth exploring Anne Brontë's life is the centrepiece of a year of events celebrating the writer's 200th birthday.
Amid The Brave And The Strong is the title of the exhibition through running throughout 2020 at the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
The museum is also putting together a series of events devised with its creative partner for 2020, writer, journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed.
Activities through the year include talks, behind-the-scenes events, writing and art workshops, author appearances, musical and comedy performances, a film screening, and children's craft sessions every school holiday.
This year, the 200th anniversary of the birth of the youngest Brontë, marks the end of five years of celebrations of key anniversaries for the four Brontë siblings and their father. [...]
This year is also the 200th anniversary of the Brontë family's arrival in Haworth, the place where they wrote their famous novels.
Amid The Brave And The Strong was launched earlier this month, when the museum reopened after its winter break, and will run until January 1 next year.
The exhibition explores the life and work of Anne, the least famous of the Brontë sisters, who wrote the novels The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Agnes Grey.
A spokesman for the Brontë Parsonage Museum said that Anne’s life and work had received much less exploration than those of her sisters.
She said: "Amid The Brave And The Strong will delve into key elements of Anne’s life, from her childhood at the Parsonage, to how her legacy has been shaped by others since her death.
"Throughout her life, ‘dear gentle Anne’ was considered the baby of the Brontë family, but she went on to write one of the first sustained feminist novels in English literature – The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
"Although her work bears the familiar stamps of a classic Brontë novel, Anne’s strong moral beliefs led her to write for purpose as well as pleasure, something which shocked and excited her readers at the time.
"Anne was not to be deterred by criticism however, and right up to her death she had plans and schemes for the future.
"The exhibition tracks the course of her life and gives an insight into Anne’s personality and motivations, which reveal a strong, outspoken and complex genius."
Highlights of the exhibition include Anne’s poignant last letter, some of Anne's original drawings and paintings, and a copy of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall given by Anne to a close friend, which is currently on loan to the museum.
There is also a portrait of Anne by Charlotte, displayed together with the carnelian necklace worn by her in the picture.
A sketching block specifically designed for use in the open air and purchased by Anne in 1843, is on display for the first time after being loaned to the museum.
Pride of place goes to Charlotte’s first ‘little book’, which was written especially for Anne. [...]
Samira Ahmed said she was looking forward to returning to Haworth during 2020 to explore Anne Brontë's life and legacy.
Ahmed will soon unveil programme of talks and events to shine the light on a woman she terms an "oft-overlooked" writer, and highlight still-relevant issues that Anne wrote about more than 170 years ago.
Ahmed said: "Winning a place at Oxford University in 1986, I chose to study the new Women’s Studies option as part of my English Literature degree.
"Alongside reading the exciting African American prose emerging from the likes of Alice Walker and Toni Morrison, I wrote my undergraduate thesis on ‘Property and Possession: The Politics of Marriage in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’, looking at connections with the eventual 1870 Married Women’s Property Act that granted women some rights 22 years after Anne Brontë’s publication."
Hannah said that at the Parsonage in Haworth, she was mesmerised by the dimly-lit dining room where the sisters walked round the table sharing their stories of their elaborately imagined early fantasy worlds.
She added: "While looking at some of the collection in the Library, I smile to see Anne’s drawing of one of the strong Amazonian women of her imaginary island creation Gondal; standing tall and confident on the rocky seashore, looking out to the horizon and a world of adventure.
"I am still trying to process the impact of Anne Brontë, a young motherless woman with brown curls and a few cherished possessions, on my life and on the long campaign for women’s rights.
"Re-reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall while preparing for my own employment tribunal for equal pay was an incredibly potent experience. I felt her voice and her sense of indignation speak to me across the centuries."
The Brontë Parsonage Museum has two writers-in-residence for 2020, who will both write new poetry as there research Anne Brontë's life and work, then share their responses digitally later this year.
Toria Garbutt is a spoken word artist from the former mining town of Knottingley in West Yorkshire. She has been a regular support act for Dr John Cooper Clarke. [...]
Jasmine Gardosi is a multiple slam champion and Birmingham Poet Laureate finalist. (David Knights)
The Telegraph and Argus recommends a visit to the Brontë Parsonage Museum among other things to do in Bradford this weekend.

What'sOnStage reports that Emma Rice has found her Cathy and Heathcliff for her forthcoming stage adaptation of Wuthering Heights.
Initial casting has been announced for Emma Rice's adaptation of Wuthering Heights, which opens at the National Theatre later this year before embarking on a UK tour.
Lucy McCormick (Post Popular, Collective Rage) will play Cathy in the stage version of Emily Brontë's novel, alongside John Pfumojena (The Jungle) as Heathcliff.
The piece is co-produced by Rice's company Wise Children and the National Theatre in association with York Theatre Royal. After running in London in September it will play at the Lowry in Salford and tour to cities including Canterbury, York and Bristol, with further stops to be announced. (Alex Wood)
BBC Culture wonders about 'the most terrifying images in history' and Paula Rego's work is mentioned.
But to my eye, the formidable figures we encounter in Rego’s work – from The Policeman’s Daughter (1987) who portentously polishes a jackboot to her portrait of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre in the menacing red room – invariably defy fear rather than embody it. (Kelly Grovier)
On Vox, director Céline Sciamma is quoted as saying the following about her film Portrait de la jeune fille en feu.
We began with shooting the exteriors for eight days. I wanted it to be kind of gothic, so it’s colorful, but it’s more Brontë sisters, the gray and the rain. And it was super sunny [when we shot the exteriors]! Cinema is about welcoming things with enthusiasm, especially things that you don’t have power over. You have so much power over everything that sometimes it can be super disturbing that you don’t get what you expect, especially with period pieces where you design everything. And the fact that the sun came in, we were like, this is good news, and we have to bring back this light now to our castle in the Parisian periphery [where the interiors were shot]. (Emily Todd VanDerWerff)
The New York Times discusses 'Why Tales of Female Trios Are Newly Relevant'.
It has always seemed right and proper that the Brontës and (the original) Kardashians came in threes, and of course, there’s an entire pop-­music history of female trios, going back to the Supremes. (Megan O’Grady)
A contributor to The Independent describes her youthful obsession with a boy:
Even the night before, when I was ranting on and on about him, she stopped abruptly and said: “Hang on a minute, you sound like Cathy in Wuthering Heights.” She started reciting the bit when she tells Nelly, “I am Heathcliff!. He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.” I had to agree there were some similarities in her depth of feeling. (Charlotte Cripps)
Essex Live lists things to see and do locally and one of them is a trip to
41) Northey Island
Northey Island is owned by the National Trust who call it ‘the closest you’ll get to true wilderness in Essex’.
To visit you have to arrange for a permit and you can’t cross over at high tide. It’s referred to as ‘bleak, remote and quiet’ and ‘the Wuthering Heights of Essex’. (Tommy Wathen, Clare Youell, Lottie O'Neill, Elliot Hawkins)
Satire website Reductress tells (makes up, really) the story of a 'Woman [who] Decides to Briefly Consider Reading ‘Jane Eyre’ Every 3 Years for Rest of Life'. Zip06 has a quiz to test your knowledge about Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice. Brussels Brontë Blog has a post on the recent talk on Brontë Mind Mapping by Mark Cropper.

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