Saturday, September 05, 2020

Saturday, September 05, 2020 10:40 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
Well, today for a change we are able to begin with good news. First of all, congratulations to Dr Claire O'Callaghan and Dr Sarah E Fanning as organisers of the Brontë2020 conference as they have managed to raise around £6700 for the Brontë Parsonage. Quite a feat - well done!
And more good news for the Brontë Parsonage Museum due to a very tenuous link to TS Eliot. As reported by BBC News:
The Brontë Parsonage has received a £20,000 donation from the estate of TS Eliot after the coronavirus pandemic put the museum's future at risk.
A trustee of the poet's estate said the donation had been made possible due to the success of the musical Cats.
The Brontë Society, which runs the museum in Haworth, West Yorkshire, said it had a little known link to the poet.
This week, the museum announced a consultation on redundancies as Covid-19 has limited visitor numbers.
Rebecca Yorke, a spokesperson for the Brontë Society said: "The very generous donation from the TS Eliot estate was totally unexpected and has given our fundraising a huge boost, we are extremely grateful and touched by their support."
"It is thought that the 'Bradford millionaire' that Eliot refers to in The Waste Land may have been Sir James Roberts, who was a customer of the bank where Eliot worked.
"Sir James was a Yorkshire industrialist and philanthropist who bought Haworth Parsonage and gifted it to The Brontë Society in 1928.
"It's wonderful that there is still a connection between Eliot and the Brontës all these years later." [...]
A crowdfunding appeal has been launched to try and raise £100,000.
An online festival, called #Brontë2020, took place on Friday, contributing more than £6,500 to the cause.
Still locally, The Yorkshire Post features Ponden Hall, which is for sale for 'offers over £1m'.
Back in the early 1800s, the Brontë sisters regularly tramped across the moor from the parsonage to visit Ponden Hall, the grandest house in the area. The Grade II* listed property in Stanbury, near Haworth, is now a beautiful home and thriving B&B with eight bedrooms and a two-bedroom annexe and is on the market with Strutt & Parker for offers over £1m.
The part it played in the Brontë story is a remarkable claim to literary fame. It is said to have provided inspiration for key elements of Emily’s Wuthering Heights and for Anne’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
Fate clearly played its part when owners Julie Akhurst and Steve Brown first walked through the door of Ponden Hall and agreed to buy it on the spot. The house in Stanbury, near Haworth, most of which dates to 1634, had found its perfect custodians. An English literature graduate and Brontë fan, Julie was already fascinated by its connection to Charlotte, Emily and Anne. The property’s breathtaking setting at the edge of the moor and overlooking a reservoir sealed the deal.
The Brontë sisters first visit was in 1824 when they were caught in the great Crow Hill Bog Burst, a cataclysmic mudslide caused by a thunderstorm after days of rain, Anne, Emily, their brother Branwell and servant Sarah Garrs were out walking on the moor and terrified, they took shelter in the hall’s peat loft.
They and Charlotte later became firm friends with the property’s owners, the Heatons, and borrowed from what was described as “the finest library in the West Riding” full of the best books money could buy, including a Shakespeare first folio. The original bookshelves are still in place.
“It’s incredible to think Emily would have sat here reading. 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, ” says Julie.
When she and Steve bought the Grade II star listed Ponden Hall 22 years ago, it was suffering from benign neglect. “I’ve always been fascinated by the Brontës and as soon as we saw it we had to buy it, ” says Julie. “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.” [...]
The most popular B&B room at Ponden Hall is the Earnshaw room. It features a tiny east gable window that exactly fits Emily Brontë’s description in Wuthering Heights of Cathy’s ghost scratching furiously at the glass trying to get in. The words of the story’s narrator, Mr Lockwood, still gives readers goosebumps: “I muttered, knocking my knuckles through the glass, and stretching an arm out to seize the importunate branch; instead of which, my fingers closed on the fingers of a little, ice-cold hand.”
Julie says: “We think that Emily based that scene on this room because old documents relating to the house describe a box bed in a room across from the library and you can see where it was bolted to the wall by the window. It is just how it is described in Wuthering Heights. Plus the date plaque above the main entrance identifies the hall as being rebuilt in 1801 and Emily’s story starts with that exact date.”
Julie has had a replica box bed made for the room and it pleases Emily fans, who are the most ardent of all. “There is something about Emily that makes people very emotional. She is a complete enigma. People cannot work out how a woman who had a very sheltered background wrote this dysfunctional, violent, sexual, amazing novel," says Julie.
The replica bed is indicative of the attention Julie and Steve have paid to historical detail during a renovation that has preserved and uncovered historic features while providing modern day comforts. The Brontë sisters would certainly still recognise the property, near Haworth. The door, the mullions, beams, wide staircase and the fireplaces are still there, along with their favourite room, the library.
Its shelves may soon contain Julie’s own book. She has enjoyed using her academic skills to research the hall’s past and is hoping to write a history of Ponden Hall. “It would be a fitting tribute to a home that we have loved so much, ” she says. (Sharon Dale)
That would be great!

After showing the world a life-sized cake of Mr Darcy celebrating the 25th anniversary of the wonderful Pride & Prejudice 1995 and also part of a promotion of a Jane Austen Season on UKTV Play, UKTV Play has carried out a poll to try and find out the 'Top 20 'tastiest' male leads in British period TV dramas over the last 30 years.
  1. Colin Firth as Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice - 79%
  2. Sean Bean as Richard Sharpe in Sharpe - 71%
  3. Tom Hardy as Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights - 55%
  4. Jonathan Rhys Myers as Henry VIII in The Tudors - 51%
  5. Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark in Poldark - 49%
  6. Richard Armitage as Mr Thornton in North & South - 48%
  7. Jonny Lee Miller as Mr Knightley in Emma - 47%
  8. Rob James-Collier as Thomas Barrow in Downton Abbey - 47%
  9. Allen Leech as Tom Branson in Downton Abbey - 46%
  10. Douglas Booth as Pip in Great Expectations - 41%
  11. Toby Stephens as Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre - 41%
  12. Dan Stevens as Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey - 39%
  13. Rufus Sewell as Will Ladislaw in Middlemarch - 35%
  14. Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Wraysford in Birdsong - 34%
  15. Dan Stevens as Edward Ferrars in Sense and Sensibility - 34%
  16. Jeremy Piven as Harry Selfridge in Mr Selfridge - 33%
  17. James Norton as Prince Andrei Bolkonsky in War & Peace - 33%
  18. Rupert Penry-Jones as Captain Wentworth in Persuasion - 33%
  19. David Oyelowo as Javert in Les Misérables - 28%
  20. Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell in Wolf Hall - 27%
More Jane Austen today as ScreenRant looks into the differences between the actual novel and the 2005 adaptation (team P&P 1995 here though!).
While Jane Austen fans may concede that the changes make for a beautiful film, the approach to these scenes is more stylistically appropriate for Wuthering Heights than Pride & Prejudice. (Kay McGuire)
Elle (Poland) reviews the show Dickinson.
W domu panowały surowe kalwińskie reguły, na których straży stała jej matka. To ona od dziecka przygotowywała Emily do roli żony i matki. Z mizernymi skutkami, bo córka miała na siebie inny pomysł. Od pieczenia chleba i haftowania
bardziej interesowały ją nauka, botanika, filozofia, literatura. Uwielbiała Dickensa, siostry Brontë, poezję Williama Blake’a. (Marta Krupińska) (Translation)
Ciak (Italy) finds Brontë echoes in a couple of heroines created by film director Susanna Nicchiarelli.
Figure affascinanti, quelle di Nico e Eleonor, eroine romantiche che avrebbero potute essere protagoniste di un romanzo di una sorella Brontë a caso. (Alessandro De Simone) (Translation)
Canal Ciências Criminais (Brazil) features The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

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