Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Yorkshire Post picks up the story of the Red House being turned into a holiday home or a wedding venue.
The Red House in Gomersal was a museum, but Kirklees Council is to consider a £600,000 project to give the premises a new lease of life.
Proposals for the “ground-breaking” £600,000 project are set to come before Kirklees Council’s decision-making cabinet later this month (April 13).
They include “comprehensive refurbishment and some sympathetic remodelling” of the Grade II* listed 19th century manor house to become a five-star high-end luxury holiday home for commercial holiday letting, accommodating 10 people within five bedrooms to be let as a single holiday cottage unit.
The site’s cart shed will be remodelled and refitted to provide four individual self-contained holiday apartments, each accommodating two people, available to book either individually or in addition to the main house.
The barn is not included in the commercial proposal and remains a community asset.
Revenue generated from holiday stays is expected to be sufficient to cover the costs of operating the site and to enable a series of planned open days/weekends ensuring community access to the site for planned and curated activities and events. There will also be a room for weddings.
The handover could be as soon as March 2022 with the house open for holiday stays in April.
However the site will not be completely devoted to commercial hires. Community access to the house and gardens will be offered over a series of managed and curated events and open days thus allowing the public to enjoy the house and grounds.
With its connections to Charlotte Brontë, who stayed at Red House and renamed it ‘Briarmains’ in her 1849 novel Shirley, the site is expected to have broad appeal.
Red House Museum, which explained the history of Gomersal’s intrepid feminist and author, Mary Taylor and her friendship with Charlotte Brontë, was one of two venues closed by Kirklees Council in December 2016 amid budget cuts.
The council turned down three asset transfer requests and announced in September 2019 that the building and grounds were to be put on the market.
Campaigners with the Red House Heritage Group wanted the site turned over to them.
Senior Labour councillor Graham Turner described the move as “ground-breaking”.
He added: “This project will not only help stimulate the local economy but will ensure that this historic building is retained as a publicly-owned building.
“We have never tried this type of project before, but I have every confidence that this will be a great success and could lead the way to other exciting commercial ventures that can protect some of our historic assets.”
The holiday home plan has also received the backing of local councillors David Hall, Lisa Holmes and Michelle Grainger-Mead who referred to Red House as “the heritage jewel in Gomersal’s crown”.
They said: “Without a doubt, the key to saving Red House for our community is finding a suitable use for the site, one which means it can pay for its own upkeep.
“Given its huge potential appeal to Brontë enthusiasts visiting the wider area, we agree that allowing tourists to holiday here could not only be the key to a financially sustainable future for Red House, but also trigger a wider tourism boost for other local businesses too.” (Tony Earnshaw)
San Francisco Chronicle features several sequels, prequels and retellings of classic books.
Such is the case with Bertha Mason, the violently insane “madwoman in the attic” and first wife of Edward Rochester in Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre.” Jean Rhys comes to Bertha’s rescue in “Wide Sargasso Sea.” The novel is told from the point of view of the “madwoman” herself, who, in Rhys’ retelling, is born Antoinette Cosway in Jamaica before Rochester renames her Bertha.
The dark, brooding Rochester is reimagined as a chronically unfaithful and emotionally abusive husband who locks his wife in the attic and hides her from the world. The book is decidedly feminist and anti-colonial — Rochester rejects “Bertha” in part due to her Creole heritage, hastening her descent into madness. Sort of puts Jane in a whole new light. (Barbara Lane)
BuzzFeed lists '19 Songs You Might Not Know Are Based On Books' and surprise! Wuthering Heights is one of them.
4. "Wuthering Heights" by Kate Bush is inspired by the tragic love story of Heathcliff and Cathy in Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.
KateBushMusic / Thomas Cautley Newby / Via youtube.com / amazon.com
Bush captures the same angst and heartache as Brontë did more than a century before her. She tells the love story from Cathy's perspective and even utilizes real lines from the novel throughout her lyrics! "Heathcliff, it's me, I'm Cathy. I've come home, I'm so cold. Let me in your window." (Kat Pickhardt)
What we also love about that is that credit is given to no other than Thomas Cautley Newby himself for the cover of a Wordsworth Classics edition of the novel. Brilliant!

Chicago Tribune recommends reading The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay (2015).

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