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Thursday, 20 January 2022

Dudley Green

 Richard Wilcocks writes:

Dudley Green      Photo by Richard Wilcocks

Dudley Green,
a stalwart of the Brontë Society, died on Thursday, 16 December 2021. He was 85, and had retired to the Charterhouse in London after leaving his home in Clitheroe, Lancashire. His funeral takes place at the chapel there (nearest tube Barbican) at 3pm next Tuesday, 25 January 2022. There may be (tbc) a thanksgiving service at St Martin in the Fields nearer Easter.

Dudley was a member of the Brontë Society Council (now replaced by Trustees), elected by members many times between 1991 and 2003. From 1992 to 1995 he chaired it. This was mainly before my time on Council - I was first elected in 1998 - but I soon saw him as a respected elder statesman who was full of welcome advice and information on how things ran and how things should be done. This was not always Brontë-related.

For some remote reason, my first conversation with him must have turned to the Romans (he was a retired Classics teacher), and I clearly remember that he informed me that the Roman army's javelin, the pilum, was thrown at the beginning of a battle before swords were drawn, and that it was designed to break. This was to prevent it from being thrown back.  He was extremely knowledgeable about cricket, and was rather disappointed that I was not, despite living near the famous stadium in Headingley, and was fascinated by mountain climbing. After I had told him that I had just returned from climbing in the Lake District, he informed me about a book he had written about George Mallory, who may or may not have reached the summit of Everest in 1924. The book is Because It's There: The Life of George Mallory. 

He was particularly interested in Patrick Brontë's life, and sometimes remarked on the inaccurate way he is portrayed in Elizabeth Gaskell's 1857 biography The Life of Charlotte Brontë, which is still taken as gospel in some quarters rather than Juliet Barker's encyclopaedic The Brontës (1994). In 2005, his The Letters of Rev. Patrick Brontë became the most complete published collection. It helps rehabilitate Patrick's reputation, showing him to be a tolerant and attentive father. Further rehabilitation came with the book by which he will be remembered in future, published in 2010: Patrick Brontë: Father of Genius. This contains a foreword by the Archbishop of Canterbury, which must have greatly pleased the author, a life-long practising Anglican.

Dudley Green's memorial service (Choral Eucharist) was live streamed from St Martin-in-the-Fields at 1pm on Wednesday 16 March 2022. 

It is on YouTube at

Also on YouTube is the Choral Evensong at Blackburn Cathedral on Sunday 15 May 2022 which was a memorial to him. The address from his brother Stephen can be heard about four minutes in -

Isabel Stirk writes: 

I was so glad that I was able to see the memorial service in memory of Dudley Green. What a great tribute it was with the wonderful singing, the moving readings and hymns and the heart-felt eulogy. It was clear that he had been an established past of St Martin-in- the- Fields and had become close to the heart of the community there. It was obvious from the Reverend Dr Wells' address that Dudley had lived a full life with many interests and his close attention to detail was how he had lived that life.

We at the Brontë Society had benefited from this trait as anything Dudley did for the Society, whether it was giving a lecture, leading a walk, or chairing a meeting, was done with great care and attention. The Reverend Evens said he remembered Dudley at services sitting near the back at the right hand side. I will remember him in St Michael and All Angels Church in Haworth at the annual thanksgiving services for the Brontë family. Here he would be greeting fellow members in his cheerful, friendly way, reading a lesson in his clear voice and singing the hymns with great gusto.

Dudley was held in high regard in the Brontë Society. He was always friendly, welcoming and always willing to share his great knowledge of the Brontë family. At the service his brother showed the great love they had shared and I feel that he will miss Dudley very much. I am sure, however, that he will take comfort from the words in one of the hymns sung this afternoon: 'He knows he at the end shall life inherit.'

 Margaret McCarthy writes:

It was a lovely memorial service for Dudley at St-Martin-in-the-Fields, London where Dudley was a regular worshiper and had joined other parishioners in reading and discussion groups. The Revd Richard Carter and Revd Sam Wells both spoke of Dudley who they knew well; Revd Sam Wells using the word ‘doughty’ to describe him. 

His brother Stephen spoke lovingly of Dudley and when I mentioned that I had been on the Brontë Society Council with his brother Stephen said that Dudley, while living at Carterhouse, had been banned from saying the name Brontë in the common room and would be fined if he did so. 

Stephen has arranged a memorial for Dudley at Blackburn Cathedral on May 15 at 4pm which he hopes will be attended by many Bronte members


Sunday, 16 January 2022

Red House (former) Museum in Gomersal - update

 Red House to become holiday lets

The latest attempt to connect 'commercial interests' with the interests of people described as 'literary fans' are reported on in the Dewsbury Reporter of 8 December. Here is the link:

Apparently, not-too-large marriages are anticipated...

This is an update to the previous article from last May.