"May flowers are opening
And leaves unfolding free;
There are bees in every blossom
And birds on every tree."
~ Emily Jane Brontë ~
It is the time of year when rhododendrons are in bloom creating magnificent nature displays in parks and woodland. The tame and playful squirrels in Golden Acre Park add a special and cute interest.
Branwell Brontë (1818 - 1848) was the brother of the famous Victorian literary sisters - Charlotte, Emily and Anne. He appeared just as talented a writer and artist as his better known sisters, but sadly he squandered his talents through becoming addicted to alcohol and drugs, which resulted in his untimely demise at the age of 31.
There are a few Brontë connections in the Lake District, the most significant probably being the one of Broughton-In-Furness, a small historic town on the Duddon estuary in the southern part of the Lake district. Branwell Brontë lived and worked here in the first half of 1840. This is what Branwell said about Broughton in a letter to a friend, John Brown: "I am fixed in a little retired town by the sea-shore, among woody hills that rise round me - huge, rocky and capped with clouds".
Whilst at Broughton Branwell had met with the poet Hartley Coleridge, the son of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who invited him to Nab Cottage, his home on the shore of Rydal Water. The meeting and interaction is certain to have boosted Branwell's poetry writing and given it a new vigour.
The drawing of Brouhgton Church by Branwell Brontë shows a view of the east end of the church which has been altered greatly since Branwell's drawing.
There is a speculation that while in this post, Branwell may have fathered a child with a servant girl and that the child died at a young age.
Hawkshead is a lakeland village where I choose to stay on my holidays in The Lake District. There are many reasons for that; I just love its olde worlde story book look and feel; it has a more or less central position in the Lake District making it close to wherever you might want to go on your day trips; and it has important connections with The Wordsworths and Beatrix Potter, who are among my favourite names in English literature. The photos below were taken last month when I stayed there for the first time in five years.
My previous posts on Hawkshead: