Friday, January 17, 2020

It's Anne's bicentenary today! We hope that 200 years after her birth she starts shedding 'the other Brontë', 'the forgotten Brontë' and 'the lesser-known Brontë' tags and she finally becomes Anne Brontë. Her books, her poems and her life certainly warrant that. Happy 200th, Anne.

This is also the last of the bicentenary celebrations: four years of celebrating the Brontë family non-stop that have been surprising, rewarding and fulfilling. We would like to thank everyone who has celebrated the Brontës throughout these years, both publicly and privately, for doing so and we hope you will continue to enjoy the Brontës and their work.

A special thank-you goes to the staff of the Brontë Parsonage Museum who have been tirelessly working on all of this for a long, long time and we sincerely hope that their enormous effort is rewarded with the satisfaction of having done the Brontës proud. Of course, we have yet to see this year's exhibition on Anne, Amid the brave and strong, a title which we love and find delightfully suitable. Those near Haworth, however, can get a sneak peek into it today until 3.30 pm.
The Telegraph and Argus list some of the local celebrations scheduled for today, though we wish they had got their facts right. Seriously, it's her bicentenary and you can't even check your 'facts': 'She produced a total of ten books before she died aged 29, leaving behind works such as The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Glass Town(?) and Agnes Grey'. What?!
The district is celebrating the life and success of Anne Brontë on her 200th birthday.
Anne was often seen as the lesser-known Brontë, quiet and waiting for death.
She produced a total of ten books [sic] before she died aged 29, leaving behind works such as The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Glass Town [sic]  and Agnes Grey.
Many curators even believe governess Agnes Grey inspired Jane Eyre.
But artists, historians and poets are hoping to quash these rumours - honouring one of the world’s greatest 19th century writers and the “strong, brave and outspoken person she was”.
Harry Jelley, audience development manager at the Brontë parsonage museum, told the Telegraph & Argus: “There is a perception that Anne is maybe a little meek and the less celebrated of the Brontë’s.
“When you read her literature, she’s really taking on big issues of the day and shouting out about injustices that she sees which we can all look at now and acknowledge as very brave.
“Bradford has so much to celebrate but one of these people is Anne Brontë.
“It’s the beginning of a whole year of celebrating Anne.”
A new exhibition is coming to the South Square Centre, Thornton, in February with artist responses to Anne’s life and works.
Meanwhile Bradfordians are invited to throw on their glad-rags for an evening of live music, poetry and dancing at the Delius Centre from 6-10.30pm.
A partnership between The South Square Centre and The Brontë Parsonage Museum, a lineup of musicians, there will be a lineup of musicians, poets and DJs as well as workshops on zine-making, badge-making and other DIY crafts.
Sonia Sandhu’s vegan pop-up food stand will be serving up delicious treats as well as Anne Brontë punch.
Local artist Rosie McAndrew is leading a zine making workshop.
The illustrator is a self-confessed Brontë lover, having shown her Bradford Moor and Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë)exhibition, ‘The Eternal Rocks Beneath’, at South Square last year.
Sharena Lee Satti will be reading poetry from the heart of Bradford as well as Kirsty Taylor bringing spoken word to the stage.
On music, there will be Stephanie Hladowski with her acapella folk magic and DJ’s Jenny Harris and Maria Spadafora - known as Buffet Disco.
Harry continued: “It’s giving people a way to celebrate in somewhere else other than the Parsonage.
“It’s about coming into a different place and engaging with the arts community in Bradford.
“It’s about showcasing creativity in the area - the event team has been partnered with local artists and creatives for exactly that reason - celebrating female artists from Bradford.
“It’s celebrating Ann by bringing together creatives from Bradford and the area.”
A Party for Anne Brontë’s 200th Birthday is a Pay What You Feel event.
No booking is required. (Natasha Meek)
The Irish Times mentions Anne's bicentenary in passing:
Anne Brontë was born 200 years ago today. And no more than her sisters, she is not now someone you think of as having had the crack much, however spelt. Their ne’er-do-well brother Branwell was the one who spent too much time in pubs.
She was considered the most reserved of the three and is still the least famous. But her second and final novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848) was a huge success and in ways very radical for its time: especially on the subject of alcoholism and its effects on family life.
In an era when married women had no escape from bad marriages, and few rights in general, Brontë has her heroine locking a drunken husband out of the bedroom: a door-slamming said by one critic to have reverberated across Victorian Britain.
The character ultimately flees her situation. And in this, the writer drew inspiration from similarly radical advice dispensed by her father when, as an Anglican clergyman, he was approached by a real woman in the same situation. Departing from the then usual church line, he urged her to leave. (Frank McNally)
News outlets from all over the world are also timidly celebrating: The Times of India has a lengthy article on her life (sadly headlined 'Anne Brontë: The forgotten Brontë sister'), Il Messaggero (Italy), La Nación (Argentina) also has quite a long article on her life, NDR (Germany) has both an article and a podcast, Freie Presse (Germany)...

Finally, the Italian branch of the Brontë Society announces the publication in Italian of a biography of Anne:
Finalmente annunciamo la novita' editoriale dedicata ad Anne nel giorno bicentenario della nascita: la sua prima biografia tradotta in lingua italiana, scritta da Will T.Hale e curata dalla prof.ssa Maddalena De Leo, pubblicata dalla Casa Editrice Ripostes!
Il libro potra' essere prenotato scrivendo a e/o essere richiesto direttamente nelle librerie di tutt' Italia o online a partire dall' ultima settimana di gennaio! (Translation)
Varsity discusses women writers in the 18th-19th centuries:
Three decades in, Mary Wollstonecraft pens the seminal proto-feminist A Vindication of the Rights of Women, which, far from anomalous, chimed with increasingly active contemporary agitation for universal education. Six decades in, her daughter, Mary Shelley, publishes one of the most culturally impactful novels of the last two hundred years: Frankenstein. Across the eighteenth century, popular sentimental novels were churned out by several female writers. By the time we approach the end of the paper’s span, Jane Austen has published her six nationally-beloved novels, the Brontës are whipping up a storm, Elizabeth Gaskell’s factory novels are engaging with imminent socio-political realities as well as Dickens, and George Eliot is beginning to make a name for herself. This female line easily rivals the numbers, let alone the abilities, of Milton, Johnson, Pope, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, and Dickens. (Jess Molyneux)
Il Sole (Italy) asks writer Maryse Condé about her literary role models.
È vero che François Mauriac è uno dei suoi modelli letterari? Ce ne sono altri in particolare? «Ho scoperto Lo scimmiottino, celebre short novel di François Mauriac, quando ero una bambina. Era così diverso dalla vita che conoscevo e mi ha costretto ad affrontare problemi totalmente differenti dai miei. Oltre a Mauriac, molti scrittori mi hanno influenzato. La più importante è Emily Brontë e il suo romanzo Cime tempestose. Mi piace molto anche Virginia Woolf, Thomas Hardy e credo che la letteratura inglese in generale dia risposte a domande assai rilevanti per scrittori di un'altra nazionalità». (Alberto Fraccacreta) (Translation)
Here's how The Sunday Times describes actress Tanya Reynolds:
she’s already 28 — but a youthful-looking one, her pale face still full of young-Brontë gloom, her outfit a Pulp Fiction T-shirt, assorted silver rings and Dr Martens, which ground her tall, skinny frame. (Louis Wise)
(Can you imagine a man being described like that? We can't, either).

DVD Magazine (Brazil) has a post on Villette.


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