Monday, October 14, 2013

The Wily Moors

     While I was in England I completed my long awaited and long anticipated pilgrimage to the Bronte Parsonage. As is often the case, the actual journey from South Shields to Haworth took a lot longer than it appeared on the map-- but of course it was worth it! 

     I was surprised by Haworth and how large and modern a town it was. Locals had told me it was a small town with nothing much to see. Perhaps the town has grown tremendously in the past years, because I actually got lost and also got a ticket for parking illegally! The town looked kind of ordinary, and did not seem to highlight the Bronte parsonage. As I drove around I thought: Don't these people appreciate the holy genius that once walked the streets here! 

     When I posted about my journey on Facebook Jonathan made the comment about the 'wily moors,' in reference to Kate Bush's brilliant song "Wuthering Heights." I always thought the word was 'wild' in the song, having never heard the word 'wily.' I looked it up and it means cunning, sly, or deceitful, but I guess it is somewhat archaic. At times the lyrics of the song have listed the word as 'wild,' 'winding,' or 'windy.'

     My greatest impressions of the Bronte home are as follows. I could not take pictures, but walked around the place with the greatest attention, trying to suck in every detail. 

1. Charlotte Bronte's Dress- It reminded me of Emily Dickinson's dress at her house in Amherst, MA. Emily had a small pocket sewn on her dress, so she could stow away small snatches of poetry as she went about her daily household chores. What struck me about Charlotte's dress was how small she was. 

2. The 5 little books- The tiny "juvenilia' books that all the Bronte children wrote, are quite amazing to see. I can't imagine how they wrote in such a small script. 

3. First precious editions of 'Wuthering Heights" and "Jane Eyre."

4. The portrait Branwell painted of his three sisters, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne. He originally included himself, but removed himself later. 

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