Withering Slights! Bitter Row over Role of Model Lily in Emily Bronte Celebrations

Daily Mail (London), January 4, 2018 | Go to article overview

Withering Slights! Bitter Row over Role of Model Lily in Emily Bronte Celebrations


Byline: Chris Brooke

IT'S a row to rival the drama in her masterpiece Wuthering Heights.

For the official marking of the 200th anniversary of Emily Bronte's birth has descended into anger over the role of Lily Cole in the celebrations.

Last month, the supermodel was made 'creative partner' for 2018 to the Bronte Parsonage Museum, the West Yorkshire home of the writer and her novelist sisters, Charlotte and Anne.

The museum is maintained by the Bronte Society, and the role of Lily Cole has caused divisions between the traditionalists and modernisers.

Critics, led by Bronte expert Nick Holland, have slammed the actress as an inappropriate figurehead and an insult to the writer's memory. Resigning his membership in a blogpost, he wrote: 'I have nothing against Lily herself, other than her terrible acting, but against the people who selected her.'

He went on: 'What would Emily Bronte think if she found that the role of chief artist and organiser in her celebratory year was a supermodel?'

However, others have backed the Cambridge history of art graduate. Samantha Ellis described the criticism as 'tedious killjoy carping', while Olga Matthias said: 'The more I think about it the more perfect the choice of Lily Cole seems. Well done.'

Miss Cole, 30, is expected to work on a project exploring the origins of Emily Bronte's character Heathcliff.

She said: 'I am excited and honoured to be given the opportunity to work on a project to commemorate the legacy of one of England's most important, and mysterious, writers.'

A Bronte Society spokesman said: 'Lily's innovative projects in literacy, nature, storytelling and the environment are the perfect fit for Emily. …

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