Lily Cole, the supermodel and actress, has hit back in a row over her role in events for Emily Brontë’s bicentenary celebrations by claiming she has faced prejudice over her image.
The Cambridge graduate was named a “creative partner” for the events but the appointment led to leading literature expert Nick Holland resigning from the Brontë Society in protest, saying the author wouldn’t have approved of Cole getting the role.
He also said she was hired over a traditional writer to “attract a younger audience”.
Cole, 30, is making a short film for the museum about Wuthering Heights anti-hero Heathcliff, which will also address gender politics and women’s rights in the year that marks 100 years since women got the vote.
However last night Cole said the criticism about her involvement made her consider if she should present her film under a pseudonym too, “so that it will be judged on its own merits, rather than on my name, my gender, my image or my teenage decisions”.
She told the BBC: “I would not be so presumptuous as to guess Emily’s reaction to my appointment as a creative partner at the museum, were she alive today.
“Yet I respect her intellect and integrity enough to believe that she would not judge any piece of work on name alone.”
The Brontë sisters – Emily, Charlotte and Anne – initially published their work under pseudonyms so they would be taken seriously by the 19th Century literary establishment.
The Telegraph yesterday revealed how Mr Holland criticised her appointment in a blog post in which he wrote: “What would Emily Brontë think if she found that the role of chief ‘artist’ and organiser in her celebratory year was a supermodel?
“We all know the answer to that, and anyone who doesn’t isn’t fit to make the decision or have any role in the governance of the Brontë Society.
“The very basic rule should have been that the person chosen for such an important role as creative partner is a writer.
“The drive now is for one thing – attracting a young audience. Being trendy is the ultimate aim, with the Brontës themselves relegated to the sidelines.”
A spokeswoman for the society said: “The Brontës were trailblazers and it is one of the roles of the society to ensure that their lives and work continue to be of relevance and interest to modern society.
“Lily’s innovative projects in the fields of literacy, nature, storytelling and the environment are the perfect fit for Emily, and her originality and creativity will bring a fresh perspective to our 2018 celebrations.”
Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/05/model-lily-cole-hits-back-critics-appointment-lead-bronte-society/