Monday, April 12, 2021

Monday, April 12, 2021 11:16 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
Yorkshire Live features Michael Stewart and his fight to save the Brontë landscape.
Brontë fans from across the globe are backing a campaign to save fields near their birthplace from the bulldozers, as a housing plan threatens a historic landscape linked to the famous sisters.
Academics and Brontë-ites from as far afield as Pennsylvania have objected to Bradford Council's plan for housing in Thornton - where the siblings were born - according to a West Yorkshire writer leading the fight.
Michael Stewart, who set up the Brontë Stones walk from Thornton to Haworth, says building on the site will wreck the atmospheric route and could kill off a burgeoning tourist trade.
However, a spokesperson for Bradford Council said the plans are not on Green Belt land and officers are scrutinising the blueprints.
Dr Stewart, who teaches at the University of Huddersfield, said: "Out of Thornton, the first encounter with a rural landscape is at this site.
"You are suddenly met with a panoramic view of the valley and you can see the moors in the distance - it's spectacular."
The draft Local Plan, which is currently being drawn up by Bradford Council, would see 150 homes built on the Thornton site.
That would mean give walkers a view of a housing estate and the backs of homes - instead of panoramic views of the countryside.
It could deter some of the hundreds of walkers and Brontë fans who are attracted to the walk - and mean the area would miss out on the money they spend in hotels, restaurants, cafes and other attractions.
Dr Stewart estimates that 10,000 people have already walked the Brontë Stones Way since it was set up three years ago.
The route passes artwork carved into stone that commemorating all three sisters - from artists and writers including Kate Bush and former poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy.
Dr Stewart is warning that the housing plan could hit the area economically as well as harming the cultural heritage.
Another walk called the Brontë Way is rarely walked anymore, he said, because housing development means the first 15 miles of the Oakwall Hall to Burnley route now go through new estates.
Building on the Thornton site - known as TH2/H in the draft plan - would kill off the Brontë Stones walk in the same way - and see Bradford district loses the tourist trade which is growing up around Brontë birthplace.
A consultation period on site allocated for housing closed last March, but Dr Stewart is still urging people to write to the city council planning department to object. (Victoria Prest)
The Telegraph on the writing of biographies:
Biography is a problematical genre. Nearly all human life is there. Supermarkets sell in breathtaking numbers the lives of celebrities, television personalities and sports stars; bookshops heave with volumes about those less trivial, but with less popular appeal – politicians, warriors, philosophers and literary figures. A successful literary biographer needs a command of style and narrative commensurate with that of his or her subject, to retain the reader’s confidence. As a result, a list of the great biographies is dominated by those of great writers – Boswell’s Johnson, Forster’s Dickens, Froude’s Carlyle, Mrs Gaskell’s Charlotte Brontë and, in more recent times, George Painter’s stunning life of Proust or Michael Holroyd’s Shaw. (Simon Heffer)
'The Six Proposals Of Charlotte Brontë' on AnneBrontë.org.


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