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Charlotte Brontë commemoration held at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House in Manchester

PUBLISHED: 00:00 27 October 2016 | UPDATED: 10:33 28 October 2016

Composer Robin Walker introducing his music

Composer Robin Walker introducing his music

Archant

Love, Loss and Longing, one of Brontë 200’s most significant events

Elizabeth Gaskell, author of Wives and Daughters and North and South, and who immortalised Knutsford, the home town of her youth, in her novel Cranford, once said: ‘The difference between Miss Brontë and me is that she puts all her naughtiness into her books, and I put all my goodness.’ Gaskell was also the biographer of Charlotte Brontë, whose bicentenary has been celebrated this year.

Love, Loss and Longing, one of Brontë 200’s most significant events, was held at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House in Manchester and featured a concert of words and music commemorating the theme of unattainable love in the Brontë writings. Devised and directed by musician and curator Pamela Nash, it featured premieres of song settings by composer Robin Walker.

Soprano Lesley-Jane Rogers was joined by pianist Janet Simpson and violinist Suzanne Casey, with the poet Philip Watts reading the work of both Charlotte and Emily Brontë, as well as young poet Edwin Stockdale reciting his own Brontë-inspired poetry. The Drawing Room – where Charlotte and Elizabeth would sit together, and where the painfully shy Charlotte once hid behind the curtains from visitors – was full to capacity for the event.

Dinah Winch, the manager of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, said: ‘It really was a fantastic concert. The audience felt they had experienced something very special.’

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