Further readings in Scarborough!

Not simply content with one reading in Scarborough (come along to Taylor’s Café and Books on 8th August at 6pm!) we have just confirmed a second event in anticipation of National Poetry Day!

Caroline will be at Scarborough Library from 6pm on 1st October, reading a special selection of work by the Brontë family. The event will last for roughly an hour, and there will be refreshments available.

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Scarborough is, of course, the resting place of Anne Brontë, the youngest member of the family, who died at the age of 29 in 1849. Her literary legacy is vastly underrated; Agnes Grey, her first novel, speaks out with understated sensitivity about the torturous trials and damage to self-respect suffered by governesses, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall tackles readily the stigma attached to women who flee domestic abuse, and the moral dilemmas faced when raising a son or daughter in a society all too ready to dictate how it must be done.

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Anne, who worked as a governess with the Robinson family of Little Ouseburn near York for a lengthy period of her adult life, often accompanied her employers on their holidays to Scarborough. Her brother Branwell, who entered the Robinson’s employment a little later, would also join them. Branwell was later fired – strong evidence points to an affair with Mrs Robinson – and Anne left her position too, apparently out of shame.

When her sister’s health began to fail due to tuberculosis, a condition the whole family seemed susceptible to, Charlotte Brontë escorted Anne to the seaside town once more. Anne loved the ocean, and it was thought that the sea air might assist in her recuperation, but sadly the young woman died in her hotel room with her sister and a close friend, Ellen Nussey, by her side. In her final hours, Anne voiced a wish to be buried in Scarborough. Her last words to Charlotte were “Take courage, Charlotte. Take courage.”

Anne’s pretty grave can still be visited today. She is the only member of her family not to be buried in the Brontë crypt under Haworth church in West Yorkshire.

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Further readings in Scarborough!

Announced: Event in Ambleside!

Another event in August! Come along to Ambleside Library on 25th August at 5:30pm to get a chance to hear gorgeous Brontë work and enter into a discussion about the unique and unusual family.

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The event is FREE to attend! Please see the Facebook event page here.

Original pieces will also be brought to the stand, and audience members are welcome to donate a short piece of work for this purpose. Simply email dtkmanchester@gmail.com!

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Dangerous To Know is a currently self-funded Northern theatre company, which will always be grateful of support. Our upcoming production, The Dissolution of Percy, an original piece about the final few years in the life of Branwell Brontë, will be staged in Greater Manchester and Yorkshire this coming November. For more information, and to watch a trailer for the production…

PLEASE CLICK HERE

Announced: Event in Ambleside!

Announced: Scarborough Event!

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Ladies and gentlemen, we’ll be in Scarborough on 8th August at 6pm, reading a little more of the beautiful work by the Bronte family, and chatting about their intriguing lives and (in some cases) scandalous relationships!

Original pieces will also be brought to the stand, and audience members are welcome to donate a short piece of work for this purpose. Simply email dtkmanchester@gmail.com!

If you’d like a little more information about the event…

PLEASE CLICK HERE

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Dangerous To Know is a currently self-funded Northern theatre company, which will always be grateful of support. Our upcoming production, The Dissolution of Percy, an original piece about the final few years in the life of Branwell Bronte, will be staged in Greater Manchester and Yorkshire this coming November. For more information, and to watch a trailer for the production…

PLEASE CLICK HERE

Announced: Scarborough Event!

More Brontë readings to come!

After the success of our big campaign in June, in which AD Caroline Lamb walked 130 miles in one week, stopping off to deliver readings of poetry, prose and letters by the Brontë family, we thought we’d crack the little black folder out a second time for a few of the important Brontë-related sites we’ve not yet covered* (the walking boots are staying at home this time!)

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While dates are still being confirmed, we are pleased to announce that our intimate, enlightening, fun and slightly scandalous event will soon be delivered in Scarborough, Ambleside and York during August and September. Other sites may yet be added!

CLICK HERE: Readings announced in Westmorland Gazette

CLICK HERE: Readings announced in Yorkshire Times

CLICK HERE: Readings reviewed on Brontë Society Blog

*Yes, we do know about London and Brussels. One day!

More Brontë readings to come!

Fundraising walk: Final day

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TRAILER / INFO / CAMPAIGN

We had an early start, and set off from Haworth with the sun beating down upon us as we set a course for the final point in our journey: Sowerby Bridge, where Branwell Brontë once worked as a clerk  on the railway.

It isn’t just the Brontë connection that causes me to be fascinated by Haworth – it’s the fact that, visually, it has changed so little since their time, and the thought that a number of its inhabitants can boast local ancestry stretching back before the time of the famous literary family.

VIDEO: “MYSTERIOUS” HAWORTH

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The names used in the area also suggest their link to the town’s history. The Haworth Free School may once have welcomed Branwell into its tutelage, but for some reason – be it his highly strung personality, the mental or physical health issues that many now suggest that he had, or something else – he could only have attended for a few months before being withdrawn for home-schooling.

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I got the chance once again to pass over the lovely West Yorkshire Moors, though the terrain wasn’t always on my side.

VIDEO: DAD JOKE

Though I did make a couple of friends along the way. The locals of West Yorkshire are friendly whatever their species!

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As is always the way with the North, one kind of weather didn’t seem to be enough and, suddenly I found myself battling gale-force winds as I made my way through Wainstalls.

VIDEO: BIT WINDY!

Eventually, signs for Luddenden Foot, where Branwell briefly enjoyed a promotion to the position of clerk in charge, lifted my spirits someone despite the sweltering sun, as my destination was getting ever-closer:

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However, I knew my legs and feet wouldn’t hold up for much longer, and was grudgingly grateful that this was the final ten miles of my 130 mile journey. I decided to write a short song to commemorate the quest as I hobbled along. (Warning: suggests a naughty word!)

VIDEO: CAROLINE’S TOTALLY ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

Trivia: Caroline holds Grade 8 with distinction with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Seriously. It’s on her Spotlight and everything. The fraud.

I was overjoyed to arrive in Sowerby Bridge in good time, and found a wonderful welcome awaiting. This fab display really made it all feel a bit special, and was particularly poignant as this was the final date of my readings tour:

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Audience members were arriving a good fifteen minutes before the start, and, once I began, all seemed highly interested in the subject and started some really interesting discussions after the talk was finished. Sowerby Bridge library really seems a vital part of its community, and this seemed evident in the numbers that attended the event.

At the end, I packed away my things with a degree of sadness, because, though I was looking forward to heading home for a good rest, I knew I would miss this project hugely. I hope to put on some more readings in the near future (there is one lined up for 8th July at 7:30, at the Kings Arms in Salford), but it was the combination of those and the walking that really made this an experience to remember.

The adventure had also left its mark on my trainers, which evidently decided that enough was enough and have now been given last rites.

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You have served me well, trainers. You will be remembered.

VIDEO: TRIBUTE TO MY TRAINERS

So it’s over now! A few really exciting opportunities have arisen from this venture, and we have big plans for the next couple of months before The Dissolution Percy hits the stage at the Kings Arms in Salford from 4th – 7th November and for one night in Haworth at the Parkside Social Club on 14th November.

So keep an eye on our website and Twitter feed (@DTKManc) for updates. In the meantime, please do take a look at the below link for The Dissolution of Percy‘s trailer, further information about the production, and for the chance to donate to our exciting new company! Please share the information wherever you can – any assistance is hugely appreciated.

TRAILER / INFO / CAMPAIGN

Fundraising walk: Final day

Fundraising Walk: Day 7

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INFO / TRAILER / CAMPAIGN

It was a rather grim start to the day, damp and overcast, but the walk was only a little over six miles in a straight line between Thornton and Haworth.

To set me up for the day ahead, I thought I’d give a little history lesson as I went on my way:

VIDEO: THORNTON ROAD

Then I recalled that it was time to do a birthday shout-out for a certain someone. I wasn’t quite up for stopping off to buy 198 candles though.

VIDEO: MANY (MANY) HAPPY RETURNS!

While the walk into Haworth was utterly gorgeous and highly atmospheric, it seemed so short compared with earlier treks that I could have blinked and missed it. I did have time, however, to be substantially miffed by the sight of a lovely claret-leather chair sitting alone in a field.

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I’m sure we could have made use of it if no one had wanted it; it looked in decent nick! However, if a person had brought it out with thoughts of sitting and admiring the fabulous view, then kudos to them – I’d have done the same.

After a short time, I found myself skirting the moors, with a direct path over them to Haworth. I was far too tempted. I clambered off the road, and had a little peace and quiet amidst the scrubby heather and tussocks of grass.

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Breaking over the brow of a hill, I finally came across this belter of a vista, with the town half-shrouded in mist at the bottom of the valley:

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A little further along, a steam train puffed along the Worth Valley railway below me, and I went completely potty, scrambling to film. Sadly I failed. You’ll have to imagine it. But it was lovely.

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The bunting was out in the town as I walked to the top of the steep street, making a beeline for the obligatory selfie outside:

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The Brontë Parsonage.

After admiring the bullet holes left in the church tower opposite by the wonderfully unique Reverend Patrick Brontë – who slept with a loaded pistol close at hand every night and discharged it out of the window every morning for safety’s sake – I had a poignant moment in the church where I paid my respects to the whole family, save Anne who was laid to rest in Scarborough.

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The talk, at the brilliant art cafe, Cobbles and Clay, was very well attended and the response was superb. The pieces that audience members donated to be read were of an extremely high standard as usual. After a very nice chat with the attendees, I popped over to The Black Bull, famously Branwell’s preferred watering hole, for a respectful pint, and was pleased to see that his favourite chair, still in one piece almost one hundred and seventy years after his death, was on display partway up the stairs.

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It’s hardly as if I’m a stranger to Haworth, but I very much enjoyed this visit – as I do all visits – to perhaps the most famous of my destinations.

With tomorrow comes the final stretch to Sowerby Bridge, where Branwell worked as a clerk on the railway, before I return to Manchester and reality. I’ll be at Sowerby Bridge library at 2pm, and it would be fantastic to see this wonderful adventure off in style.

Please do come along!

See the company’s trailer for The Dissolution of Percy, find out more information and take a look at our crowdfunding campaign below:

INFO / TRAILER / CAMPAIGN

Fundraising Walk: Day 7

Fundraising Walk: Day 6

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INFO / CAMPAIGN / TRAILER

Having stayed the night in Leeds thanks to the kindness of my sister, I set off for Thornton after a welcome lie-in, considering the 12-and-a-half mile walk was one of the shortest of my journey!

I must, however, have been slightly befuddled in the earlier part of the day, as I became convinced that the walk was still shorter.

VIDEO: CAROLINE DOES SOME POETRY AND FAILS AT MATHS

Upon noticing that the distance was actually printed on the top of my map…

VIDEO: FOR GOD’S SAKE, JIM – I’M AN ARTIST NOT A NAVIGATOR

However, after my initial confusion wore off, I enjoyed a sunny and leisurely walk from Leeds, through Bradford and on to Thornton. The shorter distance allowed me to take regular breaks and look around at the landmarks scattered throughout West Yorkshire – each a homage to rich industrial history.

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Got to love a “dark, satanic mill”!

I arrived in Thornton hours ahead of schedule and used the time to have a good look around the lovely village.

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VIDEO: DORA THE EXPLORER

Naturally, we had to drop in on the Brontë birthplace (pictured top), now a superb coffee shop called Emily’s, which is decorated to retain  the rustic feel of the place and displays artwork inspired by the family. A lovely touch is that graffiti is not only permitted but encouraged on the loo wall. A previous occupier had chosen a quote that I, in particular, appreciated:

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Emily’s also boasts THE fireplace before which Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne were born:

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After an utterly fabulous pot of Desi Masala tea and an Italian-inspired Ploughman’s lunch, we headed down to the old ruined chapel where Patrick once preached, and in which the four younger Brontës were christened.

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Finally, we made our way up to the extremely accommodating New Inn. The pub had a great feel and is well laid-out for events. They were setting up for a big event on Saturday, which will feature local ales, live music and family activities, but the staff still gave up their time to help arrange the room and make us feel at home.

The readings went extremely well, and it was great to have the buzz of a busy bar accompanying them. All in all, a really lovely day!

We’re down to our last few events, though do watch this space for anything that may pop up in the future! Please do watch our trailer and check out further details here:

INFO / CAMPAIGN / TRAILER

Here’s where I’ll be for the final few days:

Cobbles and Clay, Haworth – Friday 26th June – 18:00pm

Sowerby Bridge Library, Sowerby Bridge – Saturday 27th June – 14:00pm

The Kings Arms Theatre, Salford – Wednesday 8th July – 7:30pm

Pleas e do come along and/or spread the word!

Follow the company on Twitter (@DTKManc) and use the hashtag #nocowardsoulismine to tweet about this adventure!

Fundraising Walk: Day 6