Archive for Wuthering Heights

Happy Birthday Emily Bronte!

Posted in Authors Birthdays, Inspiring poetry, POETS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2011 by echostains

Emily Jane Bronte

Today is the birthday of writer and poet Emily Bronte (b.1818 – 1848 Thornton Yorkshire).  She was the fifth child of Patrick Branwell and Maria  Branwell, parents of the famous Bronte’s of Haworth Yorkshire.  Emily wrote poetry and one novel ‘Wuthering Heights‘ before she died in 1848 after catching cold at her brother Branwell’s funeral, refusing all medical aid until it was too late.  Emily is always depicted as the quiet Bronte, other worldly, spiritual.  But she was also a home body too and pined for her home and the moors when she was sent away to school at Roe Head.

Wuthering Heights has inspired many films

Wuthering Heights, a tale of passion, tragedy and love beyond the grave was published in 1847 and received mixed reviews, but it was become a literary classic.  Much has been written about Emily Bronte the woman and there has been a lot of speculation about this quiet, private and almost mystical author.

Angria artifacts

As children the Bronte’s devised stories and poems about the exploits of their toy soldiers who inhabited an imaginary kingdom called Angria.  When Emily was 13, she and her sister Ann  left Angria and built Gondal – an imaginary island in the South Pacific. They wrote stories about Gondal, but only the Gondal  names and places and some diary papers survive.  Her poems are often described as spiritual and passionate.  The following comes from Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell in 1846 (Emily is of course ‘Ellis’

How clear She Shines

How clear she shines! How quietly
I lie beneath her guardian light;
While heaven and earth are whispering me,
“To morrow, wake, but dream to-night.”
Yes, Fancy, come, my Fairy love!
These throbbing temples softly kiss;
And bend my lonely couch above,
And bring me rest, and bring me bliss.

The world is going; dark world, adieu!
Grim world, conceal thee till the day;
The heart thou canst not all subdue
Must still resist, if thou delay!

Thy love I will not, will not share;
Thy hatred only wakes a smile;
Thy griefs may wound–thy wrongs may tear,
But, oh, thy lies shall ne’er beguile!
While gazing on the stars that glow
Above me, in that stormless sea,
I long to hope that all the woe
Creation knows, is held in thee!

And this shall be my dream to-night;
I’ll think the heaven of glorious spheres
Is rolling on its course of light
In endless bliss, through endless years;
I’ll think, there’s not one world above,
Far as these straining eyes can see,
Where Wisdom ever laughed at Love,
Or Virtue crouched to Infamy;

Where, writhing ‘neath the strokes of Fate,
The mangled wretch was forced to smile;
To match his patience ‘gainst her hate,
His heart rebellious all the while.
Where Pleasure still will lead to wrong,
And helpless Reason warn in vain;
And Truth is weak, and Treachery strong;
And Joy the surest path to Pain;
And Peace, the lethargy of Grief;
And Hope, a phantom of the soul;
And life, a labour, void and brief;
And Death, the despot of the whole!

The Bronte’s themselves have inspired many books, plays and songs – Wuthering Heights especially. 

Here’s two videos the first inspired by  Emily Bronte’s novel and the second by her poem above:-

More about Emily here and this wonderful site here

Emily Bronte image here and Bronte parsonage books here

Wuthering Heights still here

Bronte Parsonage Museum website

Bronte Parsonage Blog

Poem from here with thanks

Kate Bush video from  with thanks

How Clear she shines video from

There are more of my Bronte related posts in the Bronte category on the right side of the blog

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Poll ‘Which Bronte are you?’

Posted in BRONTE, Poll with tags , , , , on March 12, 2011 by echostains

Cast yourself back into the 1830’s.  Out on the winding windy moors…sorry coming over all Kate Bush here.  You live in an old draughty parsonage overlooking a muddy overcrowded graveyard which frequently floods.  You live on a diet of mainly potatoes, your drinking water isn’t all it should be and your under 5 ft tall. You share the draughty house with your clergyman Father, who’s getting on in years, your equally old Aunt Branwell, monied but quite tight fisted with it.   You have one servant, Martha Brown who is more like one of the family and she frightens the living daylights out of you with her  ghost stories as you and the other children sit around the fire in the evening  with the wind wuthering around the house. We’ve all been there.  But – which Bronte are you?  which Bronte do you think you are most like – and why?

I’ll go first.  I can’t claim to be the Full Bronte so I suppose I would be most like a hybrid of Branwell (I won’t be told, highly strung and always getting into hot water and the pub :-))  The other half would be Charlotte (small, stroppy, bossy and likes writing 🙂

Video by  thanks!

Dear Reader I Read it Book Review ‘Branwell Bronte’s Barber’s tale’ by Chris Firth’

Posted in BRONTE, Dear Reader I read it! Book reviews with tags , , , on February 23, 2011 by echostains

Well I have just finished Branwell Bronte”s Barbers Tale by Chris Firth.  It has taken me ages too.  It’s not a particularly thick book but I have been reading it before I go to sleep and eking it out.  I really enjoyed this tale of intrigue, mystery and supposition.  The authors description of the barbers habitat and the area sets the period in context.  This was of particular interest to me because of an ancestor who was a Master barber. He born in that time period (but not in the place, which was abroad though he worked in Liverpool).  The detailed descriptions of the shop, the neighbourhood and the public houses are delightful – you can almost smell the place!

 

The story itself is very well researched and the character of MacCraw, well rounded –    pathetic and brave by turn.  Crippled by the sudden death (murder) of his young wife the fellow ‘Rhymer’ can not come to terms with his loss which  ages him rapidly as he spiralls downwards onto the slippery slope of the drinking dens of his youth.  Reliving his love and the comradeship of the Rhymers (which of course include Branwell), the barber becomes intent in proving to the world that Branwell was the true author of Wuthering Heights‘.

In this book Branwell comes across as loud, garrulous and extremely talented (as he was, so it’s probably a good sketch of him).  He is a very boisterous character, highly strung and imaginative.  He is scared stiff of his sisters though – particularly Charlotte.  Whether this was true in real life we will never know – but it is indeed fun speculating.  And this is what this book does very well – speculates.  I have often speculated myself about the possibility of Branwell being the real author of ‘Wuthering Heights’.   I think that it would have to be chisseled into stone before it would be accepted even if true,  plus where would this leave Emily?  The lone mysterious mystic who roamed the moors….   Well, we would still have her beautiful poetry.

Perhaps inadvertently, Gaskell gave this theory strength by her condemnation of Branwell by his sisters.  By painting Branwell black to show, this served to show just how much his poor sisters had to put up with. Coupled with Charlotte’s impatience with her brother it may well have been advisable to leave him out of things.  But on the other hand – wouldn’t the sisters be pleased if Branwell was saved by success? wouldn’t it be just the thing he needed to drag him out of his apathy?  They obviously weren’t pleased to see his talents dissapated, so why not give him a lift?. Then again, perhaps they may have thought that fame may have gone to his head and made his vices worse….  So many questions and no easy answers. 

I recommend this well written book, authentic in style as a rip roaring tale of intrigue, speculation and detail of the world the Bronte’s inhabited.  A lovely extra is MacCraw’s recipes or remedies from his journal – which I found very interesting indeed and which again brought the story into it’s period context.

Please note: – This book was read last year, this review has only just been found amongst my drafts.