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- Dame Judi Dench to become President of the Bronte Society

Anouncement comes in the week of Charlotte's bicentenary
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The Brontë Society is delighted to announce the appointment of Dame Judi Dench as Honorary President of the organisation.

The Oscar-winning actress and author, who played Rochester’s housekeeper Mrs Fairfax in the 2011 film adaptation of Jane Eyre, has long been a fan of the Brontës and their writing.
Yorkshire-born Dench said, “I am delighted to have been offered the role of Brontë Society President and look forward to helping the organisation celebrate this significant and iconic literary family.  The Brontës are respected and adored the world over and it will be an honour to work with the Society to promote their legacy during this important bicentenary period.”

The announcement comes in the midst of the celebrations surrounding the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charlotte Brontë, on Thursday 21 April.  As well as a new publication of short stories, ‘Reader I Married Him’, there are special exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery and the Sir John Soane’s Museum.  At the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, where Brontë spent most of her life, Thursday’s celebrations include talks and the chance for visitors to glimpse behind the scenes, the laying of a floral tribute, a birthday party for the local community and a short performance of scenes from Jane Eyre by pupils of Haworth Primary School.   2015 Great British Bake Off contestant Sandy Docherty will deliver a special cake and novelist Tracy Chevalier, who is working as a creative partner with the Museum during 2016, will give a short guided tour of her exhibition, ‘Charlotte Great and Small’.  On Friday 22 April, the Brontë Society is holding a special service in honour of Charlotte at Poet’s Corner, Westminster Abbey. 

John Thirlwell, Chair of the Brontë Society said, “We are thrilled that Dame Judi has accepted our invitation to be our President. The Brontë Society is embarking on an exciting new chapter in its history and I can think of no better person to accompany us on that journey.’

Dench will be officially voted in as President at the Society’s AGM in June. 

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