Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 12:57 am by M. in ,    No comments
We are certainly a part of these so-called Brontëan ecologies:
Windfarms at Wuthering Heights: memory, materiality and the sustainability of Brontëan ecologies
Amber Pouliot
Nineteenth-Century Contexts,  https://doi.org/10.1080/08905495.2020.1782015

The past five years of Brontë bicentenary celebrations – Charlotte’s in 2016, Branwell’s in 2017, Emily’s in 2018, Patrick’s in 2019 (commemorating not the anniversary of his birth but of his being offered the perpetual curacy of the parish), and Anne’s in 2020 – have provided a focal point for fresh considerations of the family’s writing and what their legacies mean in the twenty-first century. At the centre of much of this commemorative activity is the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth. The Museum first opened its doors to the public in 1928 after the wealthy industrialist, Sir James Roberts, gifted the building to the Brontë Society to become “the permanent home of the memorials of the Brontë family” (“Haworth” 1928, 138). Since that time, the Museum has been a magnet for tourists with vastly different desires, agendas and expectations. It has operated simultaneously as heritage attraction, educational institution, gallery and events space, and pilgrimage destination. Alongside the family’s achievements, the achievements of the Museum itself (now firmly embedded in the literary map of Great Britain) are also celebrated on the Society’s website. The words “Bringing the Brontës to the world and the world to Yorkshire” are prominently displayed across the page dedicated to the official Brontë200 programming. These words signify not just the Brontës’ broad appeal across cultures and geographical space, but the Museum’s role in fostering that appeal by transmitting the Brontës to global audiences before directing them to the particularised, local, rural, ecclesiastical, and domestic spaces of Brontë Country. The Brontës, Haworth, and the Museum are here imagined as the centre of an extensive network of interconnected humans and human-led organisations, including “enthusiasts, scholars, museums, literary societies, festivals, theatre companies, art galleries, writers, artists and individuals all over the world” (“Brontë” 2020). What these bicentenary celebrations are making increasingly legible, then, is the family’s twenty-first-century enmeshment within a relational configuration of people, objects and geographical spaces that might best be understood as ecological.


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