Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Moors

We had book club tonight; we read a book by Anne Bronte this month - The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.  I loved it!!  I'm not as familiar with Anne's works as her sisters' works, but I really enjoyed it; I may even have to read Agnes Grey now.

I was so mad at myself; I forgot to bring pictures of the Bronte parsonage with me to book club - I visited there when I did study abroad to London in 1997, and I wanted them to see where Anne and her sisters grew up.  I told the girls in my group that I would scan the pictures in and send them to them.  I thought maybe I'd put them on here and then just send them this link.

I bought a postcard while I was there that showed the sisters' pseudonym signatures.  They published under men's names:  Charlotte was Currer, Emily was Ellis, and Anne was Acton:
We received this map from my professor when we got there.  If you click on it to see it bigger, you'll see the sites that some of the settings of the girls' books were based upon, which is fun:
So here is the front of the parsonage where the girls grew up (my friend Meliss is on the left, and I'm on the right. Yes, I used to be skinny.  Those were the good old days):
You can see more of it in this picture, as well as the graveyard, which is essentially in the girls' front yard:
Can you see why the Brontes' books are a little...dark?  This is what you see from their front door:
My friends and I posing in the middle of the graveyard:
Don't ask me what any of us was doing - I have no idea.  All I know is that I was really spazzy and had a ton more energy back then.

Anyways, then you can take this long walk along this path through the moors, which really are pretty bleak.  They're windy and cold.  Which again gives you more of an idea of where these girls got their kind of dark/bleak sensibilities in their writing:
The parsonage is just outside of a darling little village named Haworth.  You can see it from the path.  Along with lots and lots of heather:
So yeah, the moors are a little bleak, windy, and cold, but living in Southeast Idaho, I think the Brontes had no idea what bleak, windy and cold is.  Try 60 mph winds each spring, girls. Try -7 degrees when I dropped Micah off at preschool this morning.  Then we can talk.  I'll have to compare notes with the Brontes when I meet them in the afterlife:

"So you think you had it bad??  We had no insulation in our 1945-era house!  When we heated it, it did very little to warm the house up.  Food from my pantry felt like it was being refrigerated!   My butter on my butter plate on the counter would never soften in the winter!"

"Um, I died of tuberculosis at the age of 29."


Yeah, they win in the "bleak" department.

The moors really aren't ugly.  It's just that they're wild and ungroomed, which is different for England.  This is the view of the outskirts of Haworth when you walk along that path - see all the manicured fields, all with little neat stone fences separating them?
That's what most of the countryside looks like.  I know because we drove all over that country.  Nothing but beautiful, green fields, sheep, and little stone fences.  It's so beautiful.

Again, I really don't know what we were doing in that picture.  But I think it's funny.

At the end of the path, you get to this little bridge, called Bronte Bridge:
That's my friend, Lish, with her imaginary friend. :)

Study Abroad in England is, like, in my top five best experiences of my life.  I got to see all of these authors' houses - Dickens (even though I don't like him), Fleming (I am a James Bond-aholic, after all), Austen, Wordsworth, Doyle, was like a dream come true.  Plus see all the other great stuff there is to see in England.

It was fun to look through these old pictures.


Kathleen said...

Hi. Cool trip you were able to take. You have to tell me about book club. Are you letting new people in? Do you read lots of kinds of books? How often do you meet? Do tell.

Casady Clark said...

I’m a bit jealous. Charlotte Bronte is my favorite author hence why we named Charlotte that.

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