Charlotte Brontë’s time in Ireland in 1854, and her visit to Co Clare in particular, will be discussed at an event at this year’s Mountshannon Arts Festival.
The festival will take place between May 26th and June 6th and the theme of this year’s event will be ‘community’.
Events will range from Full Circle Playback Theatre; a songwriting workshop with John Spillane; Origami workshops; a community art installation and the first ever Mountshannon Community Parade all designed to make you wonder whether you are the spectator or the artist.
One of this year’s guests will be award-winning writer Pauline Clooney and author of ‘Charlotte and Arthur’.
On May 28th, as part of the Mountshanon Arts Festival, Pauline will take the audience back, through visuals, letters and extracts from her novel to that Summer of 1854 to meet the Charlotte Brontë seldom found in biographies alongside her gentle Irish husband Arthur.
In 1854 the celebrated author of Jane Eyre, married her father’s curate, Irishman, Arthur Bell Nicholls, a fact that is well known; what is less well known is how they honeymooned for almost the entire month of July in Ireland.
Their travels took them through Dublin, Offaly, Clare, Kerry and Cork. Their longest sojourn being in Clare, on the Shannon and at the famous Victorian Irish watering place of Kilkee. Pauline will explore Brontë’s time in Ireland and Clare in particular at the May 28th event.
Mel White, chair of the Mountshannon Arts Festival committee said: ‘We are so excited for this festival after 2 years of lockdown and we have been supported by the local community in every way. We have brought together an eclectic mix of actors, musicians, artists and creative writers to create an experience like no other this year. We would like to encourage everyone to come and join us either as a participant or a spectator’
Everyone is invited to take part in the events and to discover the unique relationship between artists and audience. Mountshannon Arts events are being brought to fruition thanks to all the amazingly talented artists involved and their apprentices.
Find out more about the Festival on www.mountshannonarts.ie and their social media channels.
About Pauline Clooney
Originally from Laois, Pauline Clooney has been living and working in Kildare for over thirty years.
A former teacher of English and History, she left that career in 2017 to concentrate on her writing. Her stories have been shortlisted and longlisted for numerous competitions and in 2015 Pauline won the Penguin Ireland/RTE Guide Short Story competition with her entry entitled ‘Beautiful Things in his Head’.
Her stories are published in; an anthology of stories associated with historical houses of Great Britain entitled Come into the House: Tales of Secrets, History, and Mystery, in the 2017 Ireland’s Own Anthology of Short Stories, and in The RTE Guide and HCE Review, Arts and Literary Journal.
Pauline is the 2021 recipient of the Dennis O’ Driscoll Literary Bursary awarded by Kildare County Council. She is currently working on her third novel which focuses on the relationship between the poet, William Butler Yeats and his wife, George Hyde Lees.