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Thursday, 29 April 2010

Brontës in Europe


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Helen McEwan writes:
The weekly staff newspaper of the European Commission (where I work as a translator) did an interview with me about our Brussels branch (see above). Many of our members work at the EU institutions here. The newspaper has a circulation of 56,000, so it seems like a good way of promoting interest in the Brontës in Europe.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Charlotte Brontë's Corset

An exhibition of poems by writer in residence Katrina Naomi has gone on display at the Parsonage until 31 May. The poems are the result of Katrina’s time spent exploring in the archives, working with visitors and observing the daily life of the museum. The exhibition takes the form of a series of text installations within the historic rooms of the Parsonage.

The exhibition coincides with the publication of a new collection of Katrina’s Brontë poems, Charlotte Brontë’s Corsetwhich is on sale in the museum shop.

Katrina’s poems are fresh and surprising and examine the Brontës’ possessions for clues about their lives; the sisters’ stockings, Patrick Brontë’s feather quill and Branwell’s drinking chair for example. But Katrina is also fascinated by the museum and many of her poems explore life behind the scenes of the Parsonage museum. We have displayed Katrina’s poems alongside the objects that inspired them and we hope that they invite visitors to think about the collections in new ways too.  (Jenna Holmes, Arts Officer)

The writer’s residency took place as part of the museum’s Contemporary Arts Programme, which with the support of Arts Council England has been running a series of events showcasing and celebrating women’s writing. As part of her residency, Katrina delivered a special creative writing project with the Together Women’s Project in Bradford.

Katrina will be reading a selection of her Brontë poems at the first Brontë Festival of Women’s Writing which will take place at the museum in September.

Her first full collection The Girl with the Cactus Handshake was recently published by Templar Poetry, priced at £9.99. 

Monday, 19 April 2010

Lisa Appignanesi – Mad, Bad & Sad

Novelist, writer and president of English PEN, Lisa Appignanesi will be visiting Haworth to speak about her book Mad, Bad & Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors from 1800. The event will take place on Wednesday 28 April at 2pm, at the West Lane Baptist Centre, Haworth and forms part of the Brontë Parsonage Museum’s contemporary arts programme.

Mad, Bad & Sad explores the ways in which women’s mental disorders and states of mind have been understood since the 1800s, from the depression suffered by Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath to the mental anguish and addictions of iconic beauties Zelda Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe. The book also explores Charlotte Brontë’s use of madness in Jane Eyre, with its famous portrayal of Bertha Mason, the ‘madwoman in the attic’, drawing on Victorian ideas of madness.

The book has been shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson, the Warwick and the MIND prizes and has won the Medical Journalist’s Award.

Lisa Appignanesi was born in Łódź, Poland (as Elżbieta Borenztejn) and grew up in France and Montreal, where she studied at McGill University and worked as Features Editor for The McGill Daily. A novelist, writer and broadcaster, she is former deputy director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, chair of the Freud Museum and president of English PEN. 

Admission will be three pounds on the door and there is no need to book in advance. For further information contact the Parsonage's Arts Officer: / 01535 640188.

Mad, Bad and Sad Women and the Mind Doctors. By Lisa Appignanesi. 535 pages. $29.95, W. W. Norton & Company; £20.00, Virago Press Ltd.