Monday, December 16, 2013

The Brontë Society is 120 years old today and though we can't thank those who first established it, we can and certainly would like to thank everyone who keeps it running today. Keeping the memory of the Brontë family alive as well as watching over their belongings and many other jobs is not as easy as one would suppose at first. The Telegraph and Argus has an article about the celebrations:
Haworth will today be the hub of worldwide celebrations marking 120 years of the Brontë Society – believed to be the world’s oldest literary society.
Established on December 16, 1893, the group has members across the world, and celebrations are being held as far as Australia and Canada.
The society now runs the Brontë Parsonage Museum – the former home of the family and which is now one of the area’s top tourist attractions. The anniversary will be marked by a number of worldwide events in 2014.
The first meeting in 1893 took place in Bradford Town Hall and was attended by more than 50 people. Presided over by the Reverend W H Keeling, headmaster of Bradford Grammar School, the group resolved to establish a museum to contain family relics, art and literary works, as well as any historic pieces related to the family.
That resolution lead to the opening of the first Brontë museum at the former Yorkshire Penny Bank in Main Street, Haworth, in 1895. When the Church of England put the family’s home up for sale in 1928, the museum was moved to where it remains to this day.
In the past year the Parsonage has undergone an extensive refurbishment, with experts painstakingly recreating the decor and features that would have filled the house when the sisters lived there.
In January, the ticket desk in the entrance hallway, will be moved to the rear shop area, allowing the hallway to be restored to its original state.
Sally McDonald, chairman of the Brontë Council, said: “Members of the Brontë Society are very proud to be celebrating their 120th anniversary this month and will be celebrating not only in Haworth but around the world.
“We see ourselves as having a unique role, being simultaneously a literary society and a charity that owns and runs a world-renowned museum. From the start members have come together to promote interest in the lives and works of the Brontës, but today activities are not limited to Haworth.
Ann Sumner, executive director of The Brontë Society, said: “We wish all our members a very happy 120th anniversary and hope that visitors to the Parsonage on the day will celebrate with us on this very special occasion.”
A full programme of events, including lectures and discussions all over the country will be announced at an event in London on February 19. (Chris Young)
It is of course a very Brontë week, as the storm Emily will be raging outside around the time of Emily Brontë's 165th death anniversary this coming Thursday. The Asian Age comments on it:
Emily Brontë who died 165 years this coming Thursday will be immortalised by a storm that threatens to batter our little island at wind speeds predicted to be around 100 kmph. “Storm Emily” will perhaps create more havoc than any other thus far. So is this a befitting tribute for someone who wrote Wuthering Heights — a heartbreaking tale of unrequited love and obsession set in bleak surroundings? Some might disagree — preferring to commemorate the celebrated author in other, perhaps more traditional ways — rather than as a harbinger of destruction. Yet, it will certainly make everyone sit up and think of her in the run up to Christmas especially in the northern and western parts of the UK while the strong winds chill. It will be a good time to curl up with a Brontë book indoors (if hopefully your house is not blown away) while “Emily” rages outside. (Kishwar Desai)
Dichtbij (Netherlands) interviews film director/producer Judith Vreriks who apparently would like to switch places with Emily Brontë.
5. Dagje ruilen met?
Ik zou wel willen ruilen met Emily Brontë, schrijfster van Wuthering Heights. Haar strijd om erkenning, haar vernieuwende stijl destijds haar pogingen te doen wat zij wilde - of moest - doen in plaats van zich te schikken naar haar rol en haar inventiviteit vind ik heel inspirerend. (Marion Kors) (Translation)
The St.Louis Post-Dispatch features the BabyLit series of classic books adapted for babies and toddlers.
Both 1-year-olds and 4-year-olds got up from their seats and magnetically moved toward the “7 insects” page of “Jane Eyre: A Counting Primer.” [...]
Their teacher helped me out and asked the 4-year-olds who hadn’t wandered away to blocks, a miniature kitchen or a drawing station to point at the book they’d liked best: “Jane Eyre” got three votes; “Wuthering Heights” and “Emma” each got a vote. But “War and Peace” was by far and away the winner. “Why?” Politte asked. Because of the horse. (Holly Silva)
Metro looks at what's on TV tonight in the UK:
Don’t Tell The Bride: Christmas On The Slopes, BBC3, 9pm
Dashing through the snow, on a one-horse open sleigh? Well, no. Laughing all the way? That remains to be seen as brave young Darren plans to sweep Brontë, his bride-to-be, off to the Alps for this secretive wedding Christmas special. But as the adrenaline-junkie groom reveals his intentions for the big day, it looks as if this particular romance might end up as more of a Cathy and Heathcliff tragedy: Brontë is scared of flying and isn’t too keen on scaling mountains either…
Death on the Road reviews Wuthering Heights while Dust has created a Wuthering Heights brooch. Ezra Won't Shut Up discusses Shirley. Inspirefly has summed up Jane Eyre in '166 characters or less'. Fiction Addict reviews the Cozy Classics adaptation of Jane Eyre for babies and toddlers. The Brontë Parsonage website has a short account of last weekend's High Victorian Christmas at the Parsonage.


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