Tuesday, September 08, 2020

The Guardian picks up the story of the £20,000 donation from the TS Eliot estate to the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
The TS Eliot estate has now made a £20,000 donation to the appeal, which has raised almost £50,000 since its launch in mid-July.
Rebecca Yorke, head of communications and marketing at the Society, said it was totally unexpected. “They quietly donated £20,000, wishing us all the best with our campaign,” she said.
There is a small connection between the Eliots and the Brontës: the “Bradford millionaire” in The Waste Land is believed to be Sir James Roberts, a Yorkshire philanthropist who bought Haworth Parsonage and gifted it to the Brontë Society in 1928. He was also a customer of the bank where the poet worked.
“He, the young man carbuncular, arrives, / A small house agent’s clerk, with one bold stare, / One of the low on whom assurance sits / As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire,” run the lines.
“For there still to be a connection between Eliot and the Brontës all these years later is very special,” Yorke said.
A grant from Arts Council England’s Emergency Response Fund meant the museum could reopen, with entry by pre-booked, timed ticket only, and visitors admitted at the rate of six people every 15 minutes. “This means that visitors have a very special experience, with lots of space and time to look around, but it does mean that our capacity is limited which has an impact on our income,” said Yorke. [...]
“It’s too soon to say our future will definitely be assured if we reach our target, but it will certainly put us in a much stronger position as we enter the traditionally quieter autumn and winter months,” said Yorke. (Alison Flood)
Times of India and Urban fusions (France) report it too.

Metro has an article on Ponden Hall being for sale.
Ponden Hall, a country home near Haworth that’s said to have inspired iconic parts of Wuthering Heights, is up for sale for £1million. The home was once much loved by the Bronte sisters, who, back in the early 1800s, used to hike from their parsonage across the moor to visit. The home is said to have been used as inspiration for key elements of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and for Anne’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. [...]
The original library, where Anne, Emily, Charlotte, and their brother Branwell used to borrow books, remains in place. There are stunning views over a moor and reservoir, and there’s a tiny east gable window that exactly fits Emily Bronte’s description in Wuthering Heights of Cathy’s ghost (sorry, spoiler) scratching at the glass trying to get in. The home’s current owners are Julie Akhurst and Steve Brown. Julie, an English Literature graduate and massive Bronte fan, decided to buy the property on the spot after hearing about the home’s literary connections. ‘It’s incredible to think Emily would have sat here reading,’ Julie said. ‘We have a catalogue of the books that were here then and they probably influenced her. ‘There were gothic novels and books on necromancy and dark magic. 
‘I’ve always been fascinated by the Brontës and as soon as we saw it we had to buy it. ‘It’s a magical place in an incredible location. You can feel the presence of history in this house yet it’s also very warm and welcoming.’ Julie said the house attracts Bronte fans from all over the world and that she hopes another fan of the famous family purchases it. (Ellen Scott)
Also on Daily Star.

GoodHousekeeping asks writer Rachel Edwards about her favourite book:
It pains me to pick just one! At different stages of my life, different books have blown me away: Jane Eyre, Catch-22, The Sellout, Possession, The Rachel Papers, Beloved… the list goes on and on. If I were not constantly amazed by books, there would be little point in reading. 
La Stampa (Italy) discusses literary pseudonyms.
Loro, infatti, un riconoscimento del genere lo hanno sempre rifiutato, e con buoni motivi. Charlotte, Emily e Ann Brontë si presentarono – per lettera - agli editori come i fratelli Currer, Ellis e Acton Bell (salvando come si vede solo le iniziali), e anche dopo aver pubblicato, con vario successo, i loro romanzi, tutti e tre insieme, nel 1847 (Jane Eyre Charlotte, Cime tempestose Emily, Agnes Grey Anne) continuarono strenuamente a difendere lo pseudonimo, anzi quello che preferivano definire il loro anonimato. Lo fece soprattutto Charlotte, perché Emily e Ann (sic) morirono presto. Presentando l’edizione postuma di Cime tempestose e Agnes Grey, nel 1850, parlò dei motivi per cui avevano deciso di cambiare nome, citando l’istintiva avversione del trio alla notorietà, e soprattutto spiegando che «non volevamo far sapere di essere donne perché – a parte il fatto che all’epoca non ritenevano di scrivere in modo, come si diceva, femminile – avevamo la vaga impressione che le autrici fossero soggette a una forma di pregiudizio». Delizioso understatement britannico, ma alla fama non si resiste.
In quel momento la sua identità non era già più un segreto.
A parte le chiacchiere del padre, nel paese agricolo di Herethford [SIC] dove la famiglia era cresciuta tutti sapevano infatti tutto. Non solo, ma cominciavano ad arrivare davanti a casa lettori entusiasti in pellegrinaggio culturale. E proprio come sarebbe accaduto, oltre due secoli dopo, a Stephen King (e se l’accostamento può apparire azzardato, ebbene, ce ne scusiamo con entrambi), fu il giornale locale a rendere di pubblico dominio la ghiotta notizia che la figlia superstite del reverendo Brontë era una star internazionale. Era il 28 febbraio 1850, lei aveva 34 anni e benché smascherata non aveva intenzione di cambiare vita. Si rimise al lavoro. Tre anni dopo, nel 1853, pubblicò testardamente il terzo romanzo, Villette, ancora come Currer Bell, «Author of Jane Eyre, Shirley etc.»; ma discusse a lungo con l’editore la possibilità di scegliere un nuovo pseudonimo, da cui era fortemente tentata. Il poveretto, disperato, la scongiurò di non farlo. (Mario Baudino) (Translation)

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