Thursday, 30 September 2021

Hill Top, Haworth Moor, Brontë Country


"There is a spot 'mid barren hills
Where winter howls and driving rain
But if the dreary tempest chills
There is a light that warms again

The house is old, the trees are bare
And moonless bends the misty dome
But what on earth is half so dear - 
So longed for as the hearth of home?

The mute bird sitting on the stone,
The dank moss dripping from the wall,
the garden-walk with weeds o'ergrown
I love them - how I love them all!" 

~ Emily Brontë, "A Little While" ~



Friday, 24 September 2021

iMovie: Anne Brontë's Scarborough


I visit Scarborough at least once a year and certainly every summer. I personally prefer inland countryside to the seaside, but in summer months I love to be near the sea for a change. Scarborough, a popular resort town on England's North Sea coast holds a lovely traditional and historic charm which is right up my street; and there is also a very special reason why I love visiting this place: Anne Brontë (1820-1849), the youngest of the three Victorian literary sisters died and was buried here. As a big Brontëphile, it means much to me to come and pay homage to Anne, who is the only member of the Brontë family not buried in Haworth, where they lived most of their life. 

Anne became very fond of Scarborough through the holidays she spent here with the family for whom she worked as governess. When she got struck down by tuberculosis Anne came here with her sister Charlotte hoping the sea air would help her recuperate, but tragically she died just a few days into her stay, aged only 29. Her sister Emily and brother Branwell died within months of each other in the previous eight months, and to spare her father Patrick the pain of yet another family funeral in Haworth, Charlotte decided to have Anne buried in her beloved Scarborough.

I love coming to Scarborough on my own and wander around with just Anne in my mind for company. This video is part of the Brontë Places project I have been working on. It focuses on places and buildings that Anne would have been familiar with and shows them in the light present day visitors/locals see them.


Friday, 10 September 2021

Emily Brontë Stone on Ovenden Moor, Between Thornton and Haworth, Brontë Country


"She stands outside

A book in her hands,

"Her name is Cathy", she says

"I have carried her so far, so far

Along the unmarked road from our graves

I cannot reach this window

Open it, I pray."

But his window is a door to a lonely world

That longs to play.

Ah Emily. Come in, come in and stay.

~ Kate Bush, 2018 ~

Looking for Emily Stone took me for an exhilarating walk on remote and for me hitherto undiscovered moorland. It was a perfect time of the year for a hike to the stone with purple heather in full bloom and moody light from the rain threatening sky.

Emily Stone is a natural rock, part of Ogden Kirk, inscribed with the above poem by Kate Bush, English singer-song writer. The stone was unveiled in 2018, the year of Emily's bicentenary birthday, and also the 40th anniversary of the release of Kate Bush's single "Wuthering Heights", which was inspired by Emily's novel of the same title. 
In Victorian times -  the time the Brontës lived in, Ogden Kirk was a popular picnic spot. A good Brontë family friend, Elizabeth Firth mentions in her diary coming to this beautiful, elevated and secluded places for a picnic with Patrick Brontë and his children. Subsequently, Emily who loved long and distant walks is almost certain to have frequented this place herself, which is the main reason for the location of this stone. 

Emily Stone is part of a group of four stones in Yorkshire landscape, each one remembering the literary Brontë sisters in the countryside they lived in and which profoundly inspired all their work. Brontë Stones, as well as four Brontë Stones Walks are devised by writer Michael Stewart