Monday 2 April 2018

Update on some Brontë activities in the Netherlands

One of our Dutch members, Marcia Zaaijer, reports on a meeting with two young Brontë fans in the Netherlands, and an upcoming event they are organizing – in case you want to make a little trip. 

Please meet Maartje and Janneke Schut, Brontë lovers from the Netherlands. These two sisters, both young doctors, have created a website on the Brontës in Dutch: www.brontezusjes.nl. They love to visit Britain and on these trips encountered the Brontës and their stories. On their website they write about their visits and they also publish newsletters. These are good reads about a theme connected to the Brontë history, like this one about Valentine's Day or this one about animals. And they always give their sources.

This Saturday 24th of March they gave a well-informed talk in Dutch on the lives of the Brontë sisters, supported by a clear power point presentation. And a lovely high tea, made by their friend Janny. I am sure the small, but very interested audience (part of them Jane Austen lovers) was much enlightened about the Brontës when they left the premises after a well spent afternoon.

Why am I telling you all this, while not many members of the Brussels Brontë Group read or speak Dutch or Flemish? First: naturally I am very glad, that people in the Netherlands learn about the Brontës through these enthusiastic activities of young ones like Maartje and Janneke. Second: their next talk will be in English! I quote from their website:

An Introduction to Reading Wuthering Heights.
This talk opens by discussing the context for Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1847), before moving to consider how we might begin to interpret this complex and contradictory novel. One of the first reviewers wrote ‘Wuthering Heights is a strange sort of book – baffling all regular criticism’, a feeling which has been shared by many readers since. I discuss the importance of the narrative form and style of the novel, and ask how we should think about it in relation to genre, since the novel has aspects of realism, Gothic fiction, Christian allegory, and myth, but does not seem to fit simply into any single category. I also address the importance of secrets and mysteries in the novel, many of which remain unresolved. While the talk does not seek to provide an ‘answer’ to the problems of the novel, it does at least hope to raise some interesting questions for readers to consider!

• Date: 26th of May 2018 at 2 pm (14.00 h, venue opens at 13.45 h).
• Speaker: Dr. B.P. (Ben) Moore, Assistant Professor in English Literature at the University of Amsterdam.
• Location: community centre ‘Spieghelwijck’, Iepenlaan 354a, 1406 RG Bussum, the Netherlands.
• Accessibility: free parking,  easy walking distance (10 minutes) from NS-train-station ‘Bussum Zuid’.
• Ticket price: 10 euros per person, including tea/coffee.
• Spoken language: Easy English.

 To register please send an e-mail to  info@brontezusjes.nl

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