Saturday, 17 September 2011
This Tuesday is going to be my first full day kids free!!! So I am going to treat myself to a trip to the cinema to see the new Jane Eyre. I am very excited about seeing it.
When I was a teenager I had an obsession about the Brontes. Strange girl I know. But I read all their books many times as well as every biography I could find.
While doing my GCSE`s I saved up for a trip to their home village of Haworth in Yorkshire. When a few friends heard about the trip they said that they would come to. But when the time came they all dropped out and I went alone. At 17 yrs old I had never been away on my own before but I got on a bus and after a very long journey reached Bradford then taxi to Haworth. I fell in love . Haworth is the most beautiful place in England. A little picturesque village with very steep cobbled streets that really are surrounded by wild moors.The Bronte parsonage, the church, the pub , chemist and houses all stand as they did when the sisters walked the streets.
The atmosphere and and the stillness of the place was amazing for a history buff like me. From that day my plan was to gain a history degree so that I could work for the rest of my life in the Bronte sisters house. I got the degree but life got complicated so I never got my dream job.
To this day my head is still bursting with thousands of Bronte facts so I thought I would share some with you.
1 . The Bronte`s two older sisters died as children because of very poor conditions at the clergy daughters boarding school. Which Charlotte described at the start of Jane Eyre.
2 . While teaching in Brussels in 1843 Charlotte fell in love with a married professor ( nothing happened between them). She wrote him a letter which he ripped up and threw away. Later his wife collected the pieces and sew them together with thread. The letter is at the Bronte parsonage museum.
3 . Their father Rev Patrick Branwell Bronte had a fear of fire and would not allow any curtains in their home.
4. The three remaining sisters first published some poems under the names Currer, Acton, Ellis Bell.
5 . They chose the surname Bell because they would often make fun of their fathers assistant curate Arthur Bell Nicholls .
6 . Emily was anorexic and would often sit at meal times reading a book while others ate.
7. Emily tried to move away to work at a school and study but her nature could not cope away from her home and beloved moors so she soon returned.
8. A ruin of a farm house called Top Withens which stands alone on a hill in the moors is believed to have inspired the idea for Wuthering Heights.
9 . The sisters only brother was Branwell Bronte. He was a talented artist but had many varied jobs. But everything he touched in his life would go wrong. His life would make an interesting film.
10 . Branwell turned to drink and drugs. In Haworth you can still go in the chemist where he bought his drugs then go across the road to the pub and still see his chair standing in a corner.
11 . Because of Branwells now violent intoxicated mood swings ( and fear of burglars) Rev Bronte slept with a gun next to his bed . Each morning he would point the gun out of the bedroom window and fire the loaded gun at the facing church tower. Funny thing is that he was going blind.Villagers must have made sure they did not go for walks in the church yard in early mornings. You can still see the bullet holes in the tower today.
12 . Rev Bronte campaigned for the grave head stones to be stood upright. Before this time most of the grave stones layed flat. Because of this the village water was contaminated by the runoff from the church yard which caused the children's mortality rates to be as bad as the London slums.
13 . Emily caught a cold during the funeral of her brother Branwell in September 1848 and died 19th December 1848 at two in the afternoon on this sofa.
14 . Charlotte attended the Great Exhibition of 1851.
15 . Rev Bronte refused to attend Charlotte's wedding to Arthur Bell Nicholls as he believed her too old to marry. She was the only Bronte sibling to marry.
16 . Charlotte was pregnant with her first child when she died. There are some baby items she bought or made in the museum.
17 . Rev Patrick Branwell Bronte survived all him family. He died 8 June 1861(1861-06-08) (aged 84).
Branwell painted this picture of himself with his sisters (from left Emily, Anne, Charlotte) .But decided he did not like the image of himself so painted it out.
The only Known Photo of Charlotte
The Bronte parsonage museum
Emilys bedroom. You can still see some writing and drawings she did on the wall.
The three sisiters wrote their novels sitting at this table. Emily died on this sofa.
The family are entombed in the village church opposite their house.
I think I had better shut up now, I could talk about them for hours. If you have the chance please go and visit Haworth
The new Jane Eyre