Tuesday, 5 March 2013

The Brontë Museum

The Brontë Museum situated in the village of Haworth buried between the moors of North Yorkshire was a wonderful experience for a literature lover like me. The Parsonage where the sister's Charlotte, Emily and Anne lived was a tiny but well restored and presented example of a nineteenth century simple home.

Behind these walls were written the words of 'Jane Eyre', and 'Wuthering Heights', and 'The Tenant of Wildfell hall'. This very same sky I was stood under had looked down upon these great historical women as they walked the lane into that church where their father the parson had spoken. That very church tower was standing there when they stood here more than a hundred years ago.

I had read 'Wuthering Heights' twice at this point and was amazed at how much being here felt as though I'd stepped into the book. It was bitterly cold, the wind was like a brutal force pushing us back at was as if the violence of Heathcliff was echoed here, the rain was freezing sharp shards of water, it came down like shreds of cold glass and the wind howled and howled again. The moors were as I expected, a hundred years had not changed them from the dark and dangerous image that Emily had presented. I stood outside in the rain appreciating the view, the spectacular feeling of being stood here. My group had huddled into a tea shop but I wanted to savour this, rain or not. Cathy was roaming the moors, her voice echoing and she called out for Heathcliff, Jane Eyre was rushing forwards to rescue Mr Rochester who lay fallen from his horse, and Sian Siviter stood alone and inspired, and Jim came flying down into my mind. :-)


Eventually the rain eased up and I fought my way through the wind to the church, the doors were hard to push through and as I entered an all black cat came darting through my legs. The cat sat on the stone floor all wet fluffy fur and blinked up at me, I'm not kidding when I tilted my head and asked it out loud "Emily?"
The cat let me stroke it and I took this as confirmation, it clearly knew the church well. I knelt a moment at the altar to pray, I like to pay respects, and then I took a seat and pulled out my sketchbook and pencil case. I was quick and rough but here are the pieces I created there.
I saw something at the front of the church I thought was stunning, the cat seemed to agree, for a while she'd sat next to me quite content for a strangers leg to be a headrest, now she strolled to the front of the church and flicking her tail jumped onto the altar. Next to the alter was a highly polished brass podium featuring a detailed eagle..I loved this.
When it was time to return to the minibus I left a donation in the box and lit a candle. Bid the reincarnted Emily Brontë goodbye and took my leave.
So that was another thing crossed off my Bucket List :-)

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