Wednesday 30 July 2008
Sherry Vosburgh writes:
Italian Bronte Society member and leading light of the Italian Section Maddalena De Leo had the brainwave of meeting Dutch and Belgian group members during her Amsterdam holiday. We all met up at her hotel on July 8 to hear her paper on the Brontës and the Sea - an entertaining and fascinating talk. She took the opportunity to give members copies of her novel for teenagers about Charlotte Brontë, Un@mica del Passato, and also presented the Brussels group with a hand-painted Neapolitan plate to commemorate the event. We then toasted the occasion with champagne also brought from Italy, after which some of us rounded off the day with a delicious Indonesian dinner.
Also present at the meeting were Veronica Metz and other members of the Dutch Celtic Band "Anois" who are setting some of Emily Brontë's poems to music.
I had decided to stay for 3 days and accompanied Maddalena and her delightful family and companions on 2 tours of the Netherlands and we met for dinner several times. Despite the torrential rain we had a good time visiting Amsterdam's many museums. Thank you, Maddalena and Helen, for organising the little jaunt.
Helen MacEwan adds:
It was most interesting to meet Maddalena and learn more about the Italian section, which has of course been around a lot longer than our group - for about 10 years. Many of its leading lights are translators of the Brontës' works into Italian as well as academics and writers: Maddalena herself of Charlotte Brontë's Juvenilia, Franca Gollini of Muriel Spark's biography of Emily Brontë and Silvio Raffo of Brontë poems. Some of the members have of course written original works on the Brontës. Maddalena is a teacher and her novel for teenagers about Charlotte Brontë's ghost contacting a modern teenager contains much information on the Brontës.
Over the years the section has organised events in cities all over Italy. Nowadays they are often held in Milan where a large audience is guaranteed, and sometimes speakers from the UK are invited.
In the photos, the whole group; Sherry Vosburgh, Maddalena De Leo and Helen MacEwan; Maddalena with members of Anois.