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Rare Charlotte Bronte book coming home after museum’s auction success

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The book by Charlotte Bronte slipped through the museum’s fingers eight years ago

A book written by Charlotte Bronte at the age of 14 will return “home” after being bought by the Bronte Society at auction in Paris.

The miniature work, called The Young Men’s Magazine, will go to the Parsonage Museum in the Brontes’ old home in Haworth, West Yorkshire.

It was bought for €780,000 (£666,000) after a fundraising campaign by the Bronte Society, which runs the museum.

The museum lost out on the book when it last went under the hammer in 2011.

The work is one of six “little books” written by Charlotte, the eldest of the three sisters, in 1830. Five are known to survive, and the Bronte Parsonage Museum already holds the other four.

The works were created for Charlotte’s toy soldiers and document an imaginary world created by the family called Glass Town.

Charlotte is best known for her 1847 classic novel Jane Eyre.

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Dame Judi Dench led a campaign to raise funds for the book to be secured for the Bronte Parsonage Museum

The existence of the book that went up for sale – measuring 35mm x 61mm and consisting of 20 pages – came to light in 2011 when it was auctioned at Sotheby’s.

The Bronte society was outbid by a discredited investment scheme that is no longer operational.

Before the auction, Kitty Wright of the Bronte Society said: “This extraordinary manuscript slipped through our fingers in 2011 so we are especially determined to make the most of this second opportunity to bring it home to Haworth.”

Rebecca Yorke, also from the society, said more than 900 people had pledged money to help buy the book.

“They have also expressed how strongly they feel that this remains in Haworth, where it can be enjoyed by visitors and researched by scholars and academics,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Several celebrities, including Dame Judi Dench, Dame Jacqueline Wilson and Tracy Chevalier, backed the society’s efforts to raise money.

‘A magical doorway’

York-born Dame Judi, who is president of the Bronte Society, said earlier this year: “I have long been fascinated by the little books created by the Brontes when they were children.

“These tiny manuscripts are like a magical doorway into the imaginary worlds they inhabited, and also hint at their ambition to become published authors.”

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Charlotte Bronte captured by the artist George Richmond

The Paris auction house catalogue said: “This is a unique opportunity to acquire such a precious autograph piece of the origin of this genius novelist, as well as a glance at the children’s games and the imaginary world of the ‘Glass Town’ of the Bronte children.”

Part of the Young Men’s Magazine describes a murderer driven to madness after being haunted by his victims, and how “an immense fire” burning in his head causes his bed curtains to set alight.

Experts at the museum say this section of the story is “a clear precursor” of a famous scene between Bertha and Edward Rochester in Jane Eyre, which Charlotte would publish 17 years later.

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Coronavirus: Mission Impossible filming halted over health fears

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Tom Cruise is set to appear in the seventh film in the Mission: Impossible series

Filming on the latest Mission: Impossible movie in Italy has been paused due to concerns about the outbreak of coronavirus in the country.

Shooting on the seventh film in the series was due to take place in Venice over the coming weeks.

But Paramount has halted production after Italy recorded the worst outbreak of coronavirus in Europe.

There have been more than 200 cases in the country so far, including seven deaths.

The number of cases makes Italy the third worst-hit country in the world after China and South Korea.

Tom Cruise was not in Italy for the shoot, according to The Hollywood Reporter., but the production crew were sent home.

“Out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our cast and crew, and efforts of the local Venetian government to halt public gatherings in response to the threat of coronavirus, we are altering the production plan for our three-week shoot in Venice,” Paramount said in a statement.

“During this hiatus we want to be mindful of the concerns of the crew and are allowing them to return home until production starts. We will continue to monitor this situation, and work alongside health and government officials as it evolves.”

This isn’t the first time the Mission: Impossible franchise has been hit by difficulties.

Mission Impossible: Delays and difficulties

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  • During promotion for Mission: Impossible III, an advertising firm placed digital devices in 4,500 newspaper vending boxes in Los Angeles, which played the movie’s theme tune aloud whenever the door was opened. But some members of the public mistook the devices for bombs and reported them to police, who in turn detonated several of the news stands. An LA hospital was even evacuated for 90 minutes because of the apparent threat.
  • One scene in the first movie was shot outside the Lichtenstein Palace in Prague, but it turned out to be a far more expensive location than originally thought. Authorities initially quoted the filmmakers $2,000 (£1,540) per day, but when they turned up to shoot on the day the team was told the new price would be $23,200 (£17,860) per day.
  • Cruise has performed many of his own stunts during filming, but he’s occasionally been injured in the process. The actor cracked a couple of ribs while shooting Mission: Impossible 3, and in 2018 he broke his ankle jumping between buildings while shooting the sixth film, the footage of which was seen on The Graham Norton Show.
  • The third movie suffered a delay of a year after its director Joe Carnahan exited the project because of “creative differences”. Cruise was able to shoot an entire film (War of the Worlds) in the time it took for a new director to be appointed.
  • In 2015, Disney announced the title of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but Paramount felt this clashed too much with their fast-approaching fifth Mission Impossible film, Rogue Nation. Disney kept their title but agreed to hold off on promoting the film until the fifth M:I had been released.
  • Mission: Impossible 2, which was about the outbreak of a deadly virus, came up against horrible weather, logistical problems during city shoots and the defection of cinematographer Andrew Lesnie to the Lord of the Rings franchise. “This is one of the most difficult movies I’ve ever made,” director John Woo said at the time. “But we overcame. We kept fighting.”

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Singer Duffy ‘drugged, raped and held captive’

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Duffy’s debut album Rockferry went seven times platinum

Grammy award-winning singer Duffy has revealed she was drugged and raped after being held captive by an attacker.

The 35-year-old Welsh star posted on her verified Instagram account that her “recovery took time”.

The performer, who had a UK number one single Mercy in 2008, wrote to her 33,000 followers: “The truth is, and please trust me I am OK and safe now.”

“I was raped and drugged and held captive over some days,” she wrote.

Duffy, whose debut album Rockferry went seven times platinum as it went to number one in six countries, won three Brit Awards and a Grammy following her breakthrough.

“You can only imagine the amount of times I thought about writing this,” she wrote on Instagram.

  • A biography of Duffy
  • Listen to Duffy on the BBC

“Well, not entirely sure why now is the right time, and what it is that feels exciting and liberating for me to talk.

“I cannot explain it. Many of you wonder what happened to me, where did I disappear to and why. A journalist contacted me, he found a way to reach me and I told him everything this past summer. He was kind and it felt so amazing to finally speak.

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Duffy wrote about her ordeal to her 33,000 Instagram followers

“The truth is, and please trust me I am OK and safe now, I was raped and drugged and held captive over some days. Of course I survived. The recovery took time. There’s no light way to say it. But I can tell you in the last decade, the thousands and thousands of days I committed to wanting to feel the sunshine in my heart again, the sun does now shine.”

‘Sadness in my eyes’

Duffy – whose real name is Aimee Anne Duffy – went to number one in 12 countries with Mercy, which was the UK’s third-best-selling single of 2008 with sales of more than 500,000 copies.

The singer, from Nefyn in Gwynedd, then enjoyed success with her first album Rockferry as it became the UK’s biggest selling album of 2008.

“You wonder why I did not choose to use my voice to express my pain? I did not want to show the world the sadness in my eyes,” she added.

“I asked myself, how can I sing from the heart if it is broken?

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Duffy went to number one in 12 countries with her single Mercy

“And slowly it unbroke. In the following weeks I will be posting a spoken interview.

“If you have any questions I would like to answer them, in the spoken interview, if I can. I have a sacred love and sincere appreciation for your kindness over the years. You have been friends. I want to thank you for that. x Duffy.

“Please respect this is a gentle move for me to make, for myself, and I do not want any intrusion to my family. Please support me to make this a positive experience.”

The BBC attempted to contact Duffy to verify her account.





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‘Deontay Wilder’s costume didn’t make an ounce of difference’

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The designer of Tyson Fury’s boxing outfits has told BBC Radio 5 Live that Deontay Wilder’s ring-walk costume wouldn’t have impacted the result of the fight.

Melissa Anglesea is the creative director of Lancashire-based Suzi Wong. The company has made Tyson Fury’s shorts and robes since the start of his boxing career.

Wilder told US media that Fury didn’t actually hurt him, but he lost because his costume was too heavy meaning his legs were “shot” from the beginning of the fight.

Anglesea dismissed Wilder’s claim and said the costume worn by the American made “absolutely no ounce of difference”.

For more reaction to the fight, listen to 5 Live Boxing with Costello & Bunce on BBC Sounds.



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