Saturday, August 01, 2020

Saturday, August 01, 2020 11:03 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
The Guardian features the literary museums across the country which are either preparing for reopening or just reopened.
The corridors once walked by the likes of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters have been silent for the past four months, as the museums at the homes of some of the UK’s greatest authors have been closed. But after weathering the threat of permanent closure posed by the coronavirus pandemic, many of the UK’s places of literary pilgrimage are tentatively preparing to reopen. [...]
At the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, staff are hoping to reopen at the end of August, with a timed entry scheme for visitors. They have in addition been running The Brontë Lounge, a strand of live talks on Zoom with authors including Tracy Chevalier in the meantime. Emergency support from ACE has also helped, and means the museum can survive until September, but a public appeal for funds has so far raised just £5,000 of the £100,000.
“Our strength is that we have a really beautiful domestic setting, but that is also a weakness when it comes to social distancing and footfall,” said the museum’s Rebecca Yorke. “Visitors will have a really special experience because they’ll have space and time to themselves, but going forward we’ll have to see how viable that can be.”
“There is so much love for the museum and the Brontës, it is unthinkable that in 12 months’ time we might not be here. It’s really hard to say that out loud but it’s the uncertainty, it is not knowing how long measures will be in place, how quickly footfall will resume.” (Alison Flood)
That last bit is truly heartbreaking. Please remember that you can donate towards keeping the Brontë Parsonage Museum alive.

The Guardian also has a similar article featuring music venues.
The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge: ‘Posters for cancelled shows haunt me’
This much-loved 200-capacity venue – built by trade unions in 1924 – is somewhere magic happens. Booker Mal Campbell once drew up a “fantasy wishlist” of acts he’d love to play here, and his dream for Patti Smith actually came true. “It turned out she was a big fan of the Brontës [from nearby Haworth] and Sylvia Plath, who is buried on the hill here,” he explains. Smith donated her fee for the 2012 performance to the flooded town, while other big names who have performed at the socialist members club include Mark Lanegan and Laura Marling. “For decades people have banged tables and sung,” sighs Campbell. “The posters for cancelled shows haunt me.” (Dave Simpson)
Tricycle quotes from Zadie Smith's essay Fascinated to Presume: In Defense of Fiction.
Of books, she writes, “I lived in them and felt them living in me. I felt I was Jane Eyre and Celie and Mr. Biswas and David Copperfield . . . I found myself feeling with these imaginary strangers: feeling with them, for them, alongside them and through them, extrapolating from my own emotions, which, though strikingly minor when compared to the high dramas of fiction, still bore some relation to them, as all human feelings do.” (Charles Johnson)
According to Daily Mail's extracts from the journals of Sir Alan 'Tommy' Lascelles, King Edward VIII seems not to have been the bookish kind (surprising, huh?).
[He also had an] astounding ignorance of English literature. I recollect [when he was] the Prince of Wales, years ago, saying to me, 'Look at this extraordinary little book which Lady Desborough says I ought to read. Have you ever heard of it?'
The extraordinary little book was Jane Eyre.
Then there is the famous story of his having luncheon with Thomas Hardy and his wife during a tour of the Duchy of Cornwall.
Conversation flagged, and to reanimate it the Prince of Wales said brightly: 'Now you can settle this, Mr Hardy. I was having an argument with my Mama the other day. She said you had once written a book called Tess Of The d'Urbervilles, and I said I was sure it was by somebody else.'
Thomas Hardy, like the perfect gentleman he was, replied without batting an eyelid: 'Yes, Sir, that was the name of one of my earlier novels.'
The Times features actress Beanie Feldstein, who recently starred in How to Build a Girl, and mentions
Johanna's “God Wall” of icons and savants: the Brontë sisters, Elizabeth Taylor, Sylvia Plath, Cleopatra, Jo March, Karl Marx, Donna Summer. . . (Jane Mulkerrins)
Brontë Babe Blog discusses 'Charlotte Brontë’s The Search After Happiness, Good Editing, and the Brontë Juvenilia'. The Sisters' Room monthly treasure from the Brontë Parsonage Museum is the 1834 Diary Paper. El Sol de México features the Brontës.

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