Thursday, September 03, 2020

These are very hard times for the Brontë Society and the staff of the Brontë Parsonage Museum. Here's the latest statement from the Brontë Society:
On 28 August, following the longest period of closure in its 92-year history, the Brontë Parsonage Museum reopened its doors to the public.
This was a significant and positive step, but as over 70% of the Brontë Society’s income comes from admissions, events and retail, being closed during the busy spring and summer season has had a devastating financial impact on the organisation.  Recovery will be slow and the Society is forecasting a significant reduction in visitor numbers and associated income into 2021. 
The Society is making use of all available support, including the HMRC Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which continues to subsidise staffing costs.  We are very grateful to have been awarded a grant from Arts Council England’s Emergency Response Fund, which enabled us to reopen the Museum.   Additional income has been raised via a fundraising campaign, a digital events programme and a membership drive.  However, it is painfully evident, that for the Brontë Parsonage Museum to survive, the charity needs to significantly cut costs further. It is with great reluctance that we have therefore notified our staff of our intention to enter a period of consultation with them, which may lead to redundancies.
Trish Gurney, Chair of the Brontë Society Board of Trustees, said:
“We are very sad to be in this position, but difficult decisions are now necessary in order for the charity to survive.  Our staff are experienced, talented and dedicated individuals who care deeply about our collections and sharing the Bronte legacy, and we are committed to supporting them during this painful and distressing time. 
We would like to thank everyone who has supported us during recent months by becoming a member of the Society, purchasing from our online shop or donating to our Just Giving campaign.  We are determined to overcome the challenges of the immediate and longer-term future so that our world-class collections can continue to inspire generations of visitors and audiences.”
It is truly heartbreaking so do please consider supporting them with a donation.

Both The Telegraph and Argus and The Yorkshire Post echo the sad, sad news. ActuaLitté (France) also has an article on this complicated situation.

The Independent recommends the '10 best kids’ poetry books: Anthologies that inspire and educate', including a couple which include poems by Emily Brontë.
A Poem for Every Autumn Day’ edited by Allie Esiri, published by Macmillan Children’s Books. 9+
Reading a poem every day is an exciting way to discover the power of poetry. The beauty of this volume is that it does the choosing for you. As Allie Esiri explains in the introduction, it brings together “the lingering heat and brightness of the waning summer with the cold and creeping darkness of the forthcoming winter”.
Suitable for all age groups, it features two poems for each autumn day and ranges from classics like John Keats’s ‘To Autumn’ and Emily Brontë’s “Fall, Leaves, Fall” to newer works like Imtiaz Dharker’s ‘Crab-Apples’ and ‘Plums’ by Gillian Clarke, the former national poet of Wales. This is a gorgeous selection of seasonal poems for children to dip into, with notes to explain each choice and a reminder that poems are “a trusty companion for life”. [...]
‘I Am the Seed That Grew the Tree’ edited by Fiona Waters and illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon, published by Nosy Crow. 3+
Named after the first line of Windsong, a poem by Judith Nicholls, this is an award-winning collection of 366 nature poems. The poems were selected by anthologist Fiona Waters and range from old favourites like William Wordsworth’s “Daffodils” to more recent choices, such as “Moth” by former poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy and “That Stormy Night” by Berlie Doherty, all illustrated by artist Frann Preston-Gannon.
The book features 185 poets, including William Blake, Emily Brontë, Walter de la Mare, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Thomas Hardy, Ted Hughes, Roger McGough, Christina Rosetti and John Updike, as well as a host of anonymous poems and rhymes. There are poems about animals, birds, plants, trees, the weather and the seasons so children can read it from cover to cover, read a poem a day, learn a poem by heart or enjoy the verse chosen for their birthday. (Emma Lee-Potter)
A contributor to The Times shares her experience rereading Mary Stewart's Madam, Will You Talk?
The plot is sprinkled with her erudition, from the Shakespearean twists and the suppressed eroticism of Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë. (Melanie Reid)
And here's how another columnist from The Times dubs Charlotte Brontë: Charlotte "Not at all the Body" Brontë.

El Cultural (Spain) reviews the Spanish edition of Isabel Greenberg's Glass Town.
La Ciudad de Cristal de Isabel Greenberg nos permite descubrir dentro de una novela gráfica una combinación afortunada de manifestaciones artísticas finamente integradas con la magia del pincel. La trama recorre los años de la infancia de los hermanos Brontë y encontramos a Charlotte, Branwell, Emily y Anne explorando su portentosa imaginación para inventar mundos y personajes. Un periodo poco conocido que ayuda a entender mucho mejor su posterior trayectoria literaria.
Sin perder el regusto melancólico y las contradicciones emocionales, el relato da protagonismo sucesivo a cada hermano, que edifica una parte de la imaginaria Ciudad de Cristal. Allí disponen a sus personajes, como marionetas de un guiñol fantástico, para que cobren vida y luchen por ser quienes son. Todas las inconsistencias humanas afloran en un derroche creativo nacido de la mejor improvisación. Momentos luminosos se entrecruzan con otros oscuros y tenebrosos propiciando el necesario conflicto narrativo.
Ilustraciones a dos páginas invitan a dejarse llevar por mares embravecidos y parajes solitarios, cobijados bajo el resol de un atardecer o la sombra de un árbol invernal. Los primeros planos desmenuzan las intenciones, los colores establecen los estados de ánimo. Los gestos y los diálogos, muchas veces apasionados, terminan por delimitar el territorio de los protagonistas, cargándolos de vida, convirtiéndolos en héroes o villanos por los que llegamos a tener gran interés.
Los trazos atrevidos de esta joven ilustradora inglesa mezclan con esmero y ritmo la poesía, la pintura y el teatro para acercarnos a la portentosa vida de esta familia. El resultado: un cómic inspirador, entretenido e inclasificable. (Héctor G. Olarte) (Translation)
Aventuras na história (Brazil) lists Wuthering Heights as one of 10 'best-sellers that everyone should read'.


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