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Tuesday, 28 October 2008

BBC update on clampers

Click here to watch yesterday's report on BBC Look North. See local MP Ann Cryer voicing her concerns and Betty Boothroyd voicing her anger. See also Ted Evans, owner of the Changegate Goldmine, telling us that it's just something he has to do.......

Monday, 27 October 2008

Maggie O’Farrell in Haworth

Jenna Holmes announces:

Novelist Maggie O’Farrell will be speaking about and reading from her latest novel The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox and discussing the influence of the Brontës on her writing, at the Old Schoolroom, Haworth on Wednesday 12 November at 3.30pm.

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox tells the story of a woman edited out of her family history, exploring themes of sanity and madness, and parallels have been drawn with Jane Eyre.

Maggie O’Farrell was born in Northern Ireland in 1972, and grew up in Wales and Scotland. Her debut novel, After You’d Gone, was published to international acclaim, and won a Betty Trask Award, while her third, The Distance Between Us, won the 2005 Somerset Maugham Award.

Her visit to Haworth is part of the Brontë Parsonage Museum’s contemporary arts programme.

Admission is £5.00. For further details and bookings contact the Brontë Parsonage Museum, 01535 640188/ jenna.holmes@bronte.org.uk


Below, Maggie O'Farrell:

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Maddalena De Leo reports:

A MUSICAL MEETING AT CASA VERDI IN THE NAME OF THE BRONTËS

A very interesting meeting of the Italian section of the Brontë Society was held in the centre of Milan on Saturday 11th October at 4 p.m. in Casa Verdi, the rest home for retired musicians built at the beginning of the XXth century by Giuseppe Verdi himself. The author of Traviata and Rigoletto left all his musical rights and wealth to this institution and also lies buried there in a crypt together with his second wife Giuseppina Strepponi.

In so a suggestive place it was a must to choose ‘The Brontës and Music’ as a theme for the meeting and after gathering in the magnificent red saloon on the first floor, the Italian BS members: Mrs. Franca Gollini, who introduced the Brontë Society, Mrs. Raffaella Pazzaia, who organized the meeting, Maddalena De Leo, Giuseppina Verga,Paolo Mencarelli, Daria Innocenti and all other people present could enjoy a short talk by Professor Maddalena De Leo right about the Brontës and their relation with music soon followed by a wonderful concerto by the ‘Gondal Trio’ (Paolo Mencarelli – cello, Maddalena Main – violin, Emanuele Ardica - piano) who played some compositions by Beethoven and Mendelssohn Bartholdy, namely Trio op. 70 ‘Gli Spettri’ and Trio op. 66.

The atmosphere conveyed by that brilliant music was magic and the three musicians played it in a very clever and involving way. As usual the meeting ended enthusiastically with a little party held in an elegant room nearby where all at Casa Verdi could taste the exquisite chocolate cakes home-made by some of our Italian BS members.


Below, Giuseppe Verdi and members of the Italian Section:


Brontës and Music in Milan

Maddalena De Leo reports:

A MUSICAL MEETING AT CASA VERDI IN THE NAME OF THE BRONTËS

A very interesting meeting of the Italian section of the Brontë Society was held in the centre of Milan on Saturday 11th October at 4 p.m. in Casa Verdi, the rest home for retired musicians built at the beginning of the XXth century by Giuseppe Verdi himself. The author of Traviata and Rigoletto left all his musical rights and wealth to this institution and also lies buried there in a crypt together with his second wife Giuseppina Strepponi.

In so a suggestive place it was a must to choose ‘The Brontës and Music’ as a theme for the meeting and after gathering in the magnificent red saloon on the first floor, the Italian BS members: Mrs. Franca Gollini, who introduced the Brontë Society, Mrs. Raffaella Pazzaia, who organized the meeting, Maddalena De Leo, Giuseppina Verga,Paolo Mencarelli, Daria Innocenti and all other people present could enjoy a short talk by Professor Maddalena De Leo right about the Brontës and their relation with music soon followed by a wonderful concerto by the ‘Gondal Trio’ (Paolo Mencarelli – cello, Maddalena Main – violin, Emanuele Ardica - piano) who played some compositions by Beethoven and Mendelssohn Bartholdy, namely Trio op. 70 ‘Gli Spettri’ and Trio op. 66.

The atmosphere conveyed by that brilliant music was magic and the three musicians played it in a very clever and involving way. As usual the meeting ended enthusiastically with a little party held in an elegant room nearby where all at Casa Verdi could taste the exquisite chocolate cakes home-made by some of our Italian BS members.

Below, Giuseppe Verdi and members of the Italian Section:

















Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Another clamping outrage

Richard Wilcocks writes:

Haworth was in the news again yesterday, for the wrong reasons: the admirable Baroness Betty Boothroyd was on BBC Look North, and she was justifiably outraged, because the clampers had been at it again, with her as the victim. If only Carstoppers came around as an occasional or seasonal affliction, like the flu, but they are there all the time!

By 'there', we mean the Changegate Car Park, of course. Visitors to Haworth do not know that there are alternatives run by Bradford City Council, so they enter the clampers' domain and suffer. There are so many stories and anecdotes on this matter, that a collection of them would make a fair sized book. I remember, in particular, the couple from Sweden who were caught out for some trivial mistake and forced to hand over a tidy sum to enable them to drive away. They swore they would never come back.

This is the story according to today's Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

The Telegraph & Argus revealed yesterday the ticket had time remaining on it but had fallen face down so the women had to pay a £75 fine. Signs state all tickets must be displayed face up.

Carstoppers has been criticised for its strict policy before.

Speaking to the T&A yesterday, Baroness Boothroyd, 78, said: “I think it was outrageous. I thought we would be told, ‘Girls, do not do it again, put it the right way up and make sure it is.’ There was no kindliness at all.

“I have been driving for more than 50 years and never had such an experience. People are up in arms about what is happening. Us Yorkshire Tykes do not take things lying down.

“It is not fair if shops in Haworth suffer because of such actions. I do not know what can be done as it is not really a political matter.

“The Council should take some action and put a dirty big notice up saying people should not park there, and explain why.

“It is difficult parking around there. The Council should find a little space and introduce a shuttle service, like park and ride on a smaller scale.”

Mrs Megahy said last night an appeal against the fine to car park owner Ted Evans was in the post: “I have appealed but I do not expect to receive anything.”

Mr Evans said on Monday: “It’s pay and display and they didn’t display.”


It's a great pity that some people actually avoid Haworth because of this nonsense! Anyway, my very best wishes and sympathies go to Betty Boothroyd.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

It permeates our consciousness

On Saturday 18 October, exactly a year after organising its first talk, the Brussels Brontë Group once again brought the Brontës to a Brussels audience. The talk hosted by us last year was on the theme of Charlotte's anguished letters to M. Heger. A journalist in a Brussels "What's On" which announced the event, getting a little carried away himself, invited people to "close their eyes and let themselves be swept along by this torrent of passion". This year we again invited our audience to be swept along by a torrent of passion, but with their eyes open not closed, gazing at a screen on which they could watch Heathcliffs and Cathies from various film versions (the 1939 Olivier one, the 1970 one with Timothy Dalton and the 1991 version with Ralph Fiennes) chasing each other over the moors.

The film clips were shown to illustrate a talk by Patsy Stoneman called "What everyone knows about Wuthering Heights: the novel and its film adaptations". She pointed out that many people are not quite sure whether they've read the novel or not, as it permeates our consciousness. Her comparison of scenes in the films with the corresponding passages in the novel revealed how often we, the readers, supply in our imaginations scenes (such as those between the lovers on the moors) not actually described in the novel.

Patsy Stoneman's talk, which was received enthusiastically, was the first in our new venue in a university in central Brussels, Facultés Universitaires Saint-Louis. We have for some time been looking for a suitable venue and were delighted when some of the English lecturers at this university who support our events offered us the use of a room which is ideal for our purposes. The staff bent over backwards to make us welcome and help with all the practical aspects of the organisation, and staff and students from the English language department, who had prepared for the talk beforehand, attended the event. In all over 80 people were present.

After the talk we wound up with some music before partaking of the refreshments offered by the university. The music was supplied by a Dutch member of our group, Veronica Metz, who is the lead singer of Anois (click here), a Celtic band which is recording an album of Emily Brontë's poems that she has set to music. With recorded accompaniment, she sang four songs to haunting melodies a little reminiscent of Enya's. Another member, Marina Saegerman, had prepared a display of her calligraphy versions of Emily's poems.

We are looking forward to our next event to be held in the same venue, a Brontë weekend in April when Stevie Davies will be talking to us, also about Emily Brontë. Having hitherto concentrated more on Charlotte because of the influence of Brussels on her we are devoting this year to Emily, who of course also spent time in this city although there is less evidence of it in her work!

Helen MacEwan
Brussels Brontë Group

Kids go free

From the Director:

The Parsonage is offering a special kids go free offer through the October half term holiday. All those under 16 years of age, and accompanied by a full paying adult, can enter the museum completely free of charge. The offer is valid from 27 October to 2 November inclusive.

In addition to the Museum’s usual displays there are a number of other unusual extras for visitors to see. The museum’s special exhibition for 2008, Emily Brontë: No Coward Soul, has attracted visitors from around the world. The exhibition is the first time ever that such an extensive range of manuscripts, letters, art works and personal artefacts relating to Emily Brontë has been displayed. The exhibition, which earlier in the year included high profile loans from the British Library and the National Portrait Gallery, will only run to the end of the year. 

In addition to No Coward Soul, the Museum is also currently exhibiting controversial contemporary art by Swiss artist Annelies Strba. Strba, who has exhibited around the world, was commissioned by the museum to create works for display within the historic rooms of the house, a move which has delighted some visitors and appalled others. Strba’s dream-like digitally manipulated photographs are on display until 31 October.

The Brontë story might seem pretty serious stuff, and it is of course. But there’s a lot about the Brontës’ lives and their creativity that appeals in a very direct way to children. We are hoping to try and make the museum even more appealing to younger visitors, starting with a major redevelopment of our main exhibition space next year. But we also want to encourage more of the families who visit Haworth to come and experience the Parsonage and see the remarkable treasures it houses and we hope this special offer will help them to do so.

Andrew McCarthy
Director, Brontë Parsonage Museum


Further information from 01535 640194/ andrew.mccarthy@bronte.org.uk

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Parsonage Website

Jenna Holmes explains:

The Parsonage website is down at the moment due to a problem with the provider. We are making every effort to put it back up - so apologies! It should be available very soon.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Wuthering Heights Music

Alison Mullin sends this press release:

LOS ANGELES, CA 
Mark Ryan (Transformers, The Prestige, Evita, Robin Of Sherwood) announces the launch of Wuthering Heights Music, a musical adaptation based on the novel by Emily Brontë. Beginning today, visitors to  www.WutheringHeightsMusic.com can listen to Ryan's four original songs inspired by the gothic love story: Dark Passion, Women, Heathcliff's Prayer and I love The Wind. The website also features a music video for the song Women, narrated by Ray Winstone (Beowulf, The Departed, Indiana Jones, Sexy Beast). Currently, music downloads for Dark Passion and Women are available free and a four-song EP will soon be available for purchase for $1.99.

Growing up amongst the hauntingly romantic landscapes of Yorkshire, Ryan developed an emotional connection to the story of Wuthering Heights. In 1988 he wrote eighteen original songs inspired by Emily Brontë's novel, but was forced to put the project on hold due to his burgeoning film and television career. Years passed and with the success of Transformers (voice of Bumblebee), he decided it was finally the right time to record the music. 

Twenty years later Ryan comments, "This has been a labor of love and I am so proud to finally launch it. I believe we've created a musical that is as powerful and heartfelt as Bronte's tragic love story and I hope it entertains fans and music lovers alike."

Ryan is proud of the team he has assembled to make his passion project a reality. Credits include Robb Vallier (Spamalot, Gin Blossoms, Peter Murphy), who produced the four songs with Ryan. The vocal ensemble includes Jenn Korbee (Cathy), Jessica Kennan Wynn (Nelly) and Katie Boeck (Isabella), who all appear in the video for Women.

For more information regarding this project visit www.wutheringheightsmusic.com. For all other media inquiries please contact Angela Moore at 310-429-8868 or angela@starfish-pr.com.

Below, Jenn Korbee:

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Brontës and Dickinsons

IS writes:


That marvellous Emily Brontë, that gigantic Emily Brontë

Lyndall Gordon is an academic, born in South Africa and now Senior Research Fellow at St Hilda’s College, who is well known for her literary biographies, which include T. S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Henry James, Mary Wollstonecroft and Charlotte Brontë. She spoke to a captivated audience in Haworth, on Thursday 2 October.

Her new book is to be published shortly with the intriguing title of
Lives like Loaded Guns. This concentrates on the poet Emily Dickinson by way of the so called ‘Dickinson feud’. The feud explodes over adultery but comes to focus on the poet.

Mrs Gordon came to Haworth to speak of how the lives and characters of the Brontës, most especially Emily, and Emily Dickinson follow a very similar pattern. There are so many similarities between the Brontës and the Dickinsons, for example strong fathers, both imbuing their children with a demand for learning. Although we have Mrs Gaskell to blame for the myth that Patrick was something of a tyrant, all evidence points to his being a loving and concerned father to his little bereaved flock, and Mr Dickinson was apparently captivated by his elder daughter’s wit and indulged her college education. Emily consistently describes her father in a warm manner.

It is fair to say that both girls’ characters were shaped by their father and perhaps influenced by the lack of a maternal figure in their lives. In the case of the Brontës we know that they were too young, when she died, for their mother to have had much influence on them and although Emily Dickinson’s mother died when the poet was fifty two, correspondence suggests that she was cold and aloof and if Emily was in trouble it was to her brother Austin that she would turn.

Other similarities between the two Emilies are that they were devoted siblings, albeit with some rivalry, and both were acutely homesick when away from home and family.
Emily Brontë drooped and suffered when absent from Haworth and the moors - when staying at Roe Head and Law Hill- and similarly Emily Dickinson left college early and, like Emily Brontë, returned home to occupy her time with household duties. This early return could have been a combination of homesickness or a possible rebellion against evangelism - she did not want to be instructed in faith and this may have played a part in her dropping out of college. This sounds all very familiar to the Emily Brontë we know - the Emily who rebelled against her father’s religion - who found ‘God within her breast’. Both girls were individuals who insisted on thinking for themselves - spirited, strange, concentrating on visionary faith.

In her early thirties Emily Dickinson did not leave her home unless it was absolutely necessary and avoided speaking to people face to face. Emily Brontë became more and more withdrawn, tramping the moors with only her dog, Keeper, as companion. Both Emilies have been described as reclusive, but this could be said to be a form of freedom and, as other people have done, they both achieved much even in this state. Florence Nightingale did nothing visible after the Crimea but actually managed to reform the sanitation of India, and Darwin, the invalid - his achievements speak for themselves.

It is thought that the Brontës influenced Emily Dickinson from beginning to end. ‘No Coward Soul Is Mine’ – Emily Brontë’s wonderful poem, was read at her funeral, and the library in the Dickinson’s Amherst home held many Brontë books which had been acquired as published. Dickinson called her guide ‘gigantic Emily Brontë, marvellous Emily Brontë’ but
Wendy Powers, in her article ‘Parallel Lives’ says both Emilies lived in ‘an independent world, created out of pure intelligence’.

Lyndall Gordon delivered an informative and enjoyable lecture a few hundred yards away from where Emily Brontë lived and wrote one of the greatest works of literature in the English Language and I am sure the lecture left those who had heard it wanting to learn more about the parallel of these two writers, separated in age by a decade and in location by the Atlantic and thousands of miles, but whose lives ran in parallel courses from childhood to death both trying to put the ‘unsayable’ into language.

Below, Lyndall Gordon


Monday, 6 October 2008

The Thirteenth Tale

Yorkshire-based writer Diane Setterfield will be discussing her phenomenally successful debut novel The Thirteenth Tale at the West Lane Baptist Centre in Haworth on Wednesday 15 October at 2pm. The event will take place as part of the Brontë Parsonage Museum’s new season of Contemporary Arts events.

The Thirteenth Tale reached number one on The New York Times bestseller list and has won numerous awards including the 2007 Yorkshire Book of the Year. A timeless gothic tale about the magic of books and storytelling, the novel makes reference to the works of the Brontës, specifically Jane Eyre, as well as other gothic writers such as Daphne du Maurier and Wilkie Collins.

“The Thirteenth Tale is full of intriguing references to the Brontës and their work, so it will be fascinating to hear Diane Setterfield read from the novel here in Haworth. Listening to such a deliciously gothic story is the perfect way to spend an atmospheric October afternoon!” Jenna Holmes, Arts Officer.

Zoe Brigley: Poet in Residence

A news release from Jenna Holmes:

To mark National Poetry Day, poet Zoë Brigley (pictured below) will be resident in the museum for one day next Saturday October 11, engaging with visitors to create new poems inspired by the Brontës and the Parsonage. Zoë invites visitors to consider the Brontës' secrets and to write their own responses, which she will weave into a long collaborative poem. This will be read at the end of the day along with poems from her most recent poetry project  My Brontë Passion.

Zoë Brigley's first collection of poetry The Secret is published by Bloodaxe Books and was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. It has also been longlisted for the 2008 Dylan Thomas Prize. Zoë Brigley works at Northampton University as lecturer in English and Creative Writing. She has won an Eric Gregory Award, an Academi bursary and the English Association Fellows' Prize for Poetry.

Free on admission to the  Parsonage