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The Brontes

(24 Posts)
WhiteWinterWitch Fri 24-Feb-17 09:34:19

I've just finished watching to walk invisible and I loved it....I've always loved Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Agnes Grey and my daughter has just started reading Wuthering Heights (I'm so envious of that first read!) we're planning on going to visit Haworth and the parsonage in the summer so has anyone else been?? I would love to do a walk on the moors (I'm going to book a room in Ponden Hall) so any Bronte fans here, please come share the love ....

SatsukiKusakabe Fri 24-Feb-17 10:31:01

I haven't been, but one I want to do when the children are older. Have you read Tenant of Wildfell Hall? That was one I had missed as a teen and very much enjoyed discovering it last year.

MiddlingMum Fri 24-Feb-17 12:21:29

I love them too. Like Satsuki I really enjoy The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Not so keen on Villette, but I like all the others.

crapfatbanana Fri 24-Feb-17 15:52:43

I've only read Jane Eyre but I loved To Walk Invisible and have decided to read more Brontes this year. I picked up a copy of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall from the charity shop and on the way home it was being discussed on the radio (Woman's Hour possibly) which made
me want to read it even more.

I've been to Haworth a few times (regular day out when I was little) but haven't been for many years.

WhiteWinterWitch Fri 24-Feb-17 18:19:12

The Tenant is one I haven't read either or Shirley, so I'm planning on getting around to reading those this year too, hopefully before I visit Haworth, if there's a gift shop there I'll be buying the lot grin I was really impressed with the actor who played Branwell I was aware they had a brother but wasn't aware of what happened to him. I read recently too that Simon Armatiage is putting together an exhibition on Branwell which looks good.

SatsukiKusakabe Fri 24-Feb-17 18:29:51

Some of the stuff in Tenant was based very much on Anne's experience of caring for Branwell and dealing with his alcoholism; its being perceived as too "personal" was partly what led Charlotte to restrict its publication for some time. It is a very good read, and groundbreaking in certain ways, but Jane Eyre remains my favourite Bronte. I didn't see the thread programme, might try and look it up.

WhiteWinterWitch Fri 24-Feb-17 18:34:45

Ahh there is a scene where Anne talks to Charlotte about writing stories about things that are real to them and shortly after that The Tenant was was on a few months ago [satsu] I only watched it yesterday, I found it online, it was very good- I'll look forward to reading the Tenant now smile

BarchesterFlowers Fri 24-Feb-17 18:55:17

I went to Haworth a couple of weeks ago. It was packed! It was a bit tired to be honest. Interactive boards not working etc., etc.. I grew up nearby so know it fairly well but hadn't been to the parsonage for years.

TOWH is the best of them all in my, very humble, opinion grin. it isn't as revered as some of the other works of course - women weren't like HG back then, I love the way it deals with the limitations imposed by women on society/challenges the complacency of the day re domestic violence/abuse. HG's self belief/strength/principles were often seen in men but rarely women in writing from that period. HG is a bit of a hero.

I loved To walk invisible (was co-produced by the open university). They had the costumes from TWI on display at Haworth.

SatsukiKusakabe Fri 24-Feb-17 19:31:45

I liked the subject matter and characters, but just felt the structure was a bit unwieldy and didn't have the same tightness of plot as JE - gets given over too much to the "message" in places. All aesthetic quibbles, really, but enough to explain it not having risen quite to the standing of the WH and JE imo (though I'm not a fan of WH, can appreciate its artistry) agree it is very innovative in lots of ways, and was very glad to have finally read it.

The idea that there are interactive boards at Howarth and that it would be packed has blown my mind, never imagined it as quite so set up or touristy smile

I will look for it, thank you white

BarchesterFlowers Fri 24-Feb-17 19:43:03

Haworth is vvv touristy. I took Dd10 with me and it was a bit dry for her, not very inviting for her age. We had been to the Bar Convent in York the weekend before, I expected it to be slightly dull but it wasn't, quite the opposite, which made the parsonage seem worse!

The small rooms in the parsonage were packed, so packed we skipped one of them.

Tickets are valid for 12 months - we will go back, out of season though.

SatsukiKusakabe Fri 24-Feb-17 19:47:14

That's good to know. I went to Jane Austen's house around 20 (!) years ago and that had quite a few tour groups but not overly busy so that's what I had in mind, and that was in Summer. Wonder what it's like nowadays.

BarchesterFlowers Fri 24-Feb-17 19:51:36

My grandparents lived in Haworth and I spent a lot of my childhood there, summer holidays, played on the moor, in the beck, etc, etc. I hadn't been back since 2004 until a couple of weeks ago. Amazing (not positive) change.

WhiteWinterWitch Sat 25-Feb-17 00:13:20

Aww i was hoping it wouldn't be too touristy (if there's such a word) have this image of having the moors all to myself (& Heathcliff of course grin) Barchester your childhood sounds wonderful....I lived in rural Ireland and it resembled the moors, I think that's why I think I'm so taken with the Brontes and their writing

BarchesterFlowers Sat 25-Feb-17 09:25:36

Very good word, touristy White.

Yes, it is lovely there, a bit more industrial than where I grew up (Upper Wharfedale) but lovely.

I just googled it - 70,000 visitors a year. It is only a house, not that big, some of the rooms are tiny, six people would be cramped because of the roped off bits.

In the summer I would park at Penistone Hill Country Park and walk into Haworth, I reckon it will be absolutely heaving.

WhiteWinterWitch Sat 25-Feb-17 12:23:38

Good grief after reading my last post the Brontes would be disgusted with my own use of the English language (I think i think all over the place grin)
Maybe going out of peak season, wonder would that be better- it's for my birthday in august - so I will check out they're opening times. Have you been in Ponden Hall Bar? It's quite pricey to stay in but the room with the 'Cathy window' is drawing me in, I'm such a sucker for all that stuff- a salesmans dream me!!

BarchesterFlowers Sat 25-Feb-17 13:46:22

I haven't been to Ponden Hall white, don't let me put you off with stories of it being busy, not much else is open at the beginning of February. You won't have to worry about parking either if you are staying there grin.

We sampled a few of the cake shops (as many as we could fit in in a day) ..... The Cookhouse was our favourite.

We took a trip on the steam railway (the Railway Children was filmed on the line not far from Haworth). The walk back up the hill deserved another piece of cake.

SatsukiKusakabe Sat 25-Feb-17 14:17:44

Oh this all making me really want to go smile

BarchesterFlowers Sat 25-Feb-17 14:26:25

The railway trip is lovely Satsuki, it was part of my childhood, it re-opened the year I was born.

SatsukiKusakabe Sat 25-Feb-17 20:17:58

I had thought the kids were too young to go on that kind of weekend trip to a house for me to look around, but I'm now thinking a steam train might tip the balance!

I've never been to Yorkshire, but have fallen in love with it through different books. Is it far to Heptonstall from Howarth? I was just thinking of the Plath/Hughes connection there.

SatsukiKusakabe Sat 25-Feb-17 20:18:53

Your childhood sounds lovely, btw barchester

BarchesterFlowers Sat 25-Feb-17 20:34:14

I grew up quite remotely in a farming village, in an old farmhouse, lots of love, food and freedom, not much spare cash. My parents were time rich, cash poor, it was all in the house! But yes it was lovely and safe and happy.

12 miles or so I reckon from Heptonstall, maybe a bit less.

flowersalloverme Sun 26-Feb-17 16:58:43

Regarding Jane Eyre, it is brilliant. But..... there is a segment in that book where there is a gathering/ball or something like that, and it just goes on for ever! But I skipped over it.

Wonderful book apart from that, but then again that is a personal observation.

I am not in UK so will look forward to a visit to Yorkshire, York and Haworth sometime. But that's not too important really, it's the books, the books!

WhiteWinterWitch Sun 26-Feb-17 20:03:01

Ohh you haven't put me off in the slightest Bar thanks for the info though it's good to have an idea of what to expect. The Railway Children is another favourite of mine too so that's something else to add to the list thanks grin ohhh and not far from Heptonstall is quite close too..Hughes & Plath that's another interest I have...I might try check that out too, we'll be busy. I agree with you on that Flowers I found WH easier to read personally, still enjoyed JE but there were parts that did drag out for me (still love it though) have to disagree I think the place they lived is so much part of their writing, you can nearly feel their surroundings while reading their books but that's just me, I can't wait to go must get it all booked soon. And totally agree the books the books Flowers so important

HappydaysArehere Fri 03-Mar-17 00:18:49

Read Wuthering Heights when I was eleven. I leapt from Enid Blyton to the Brontes!! Loved it. Decided that if I ever had a girl I would call her Cathy. This I duly did. Wept over it. Loved it. My edition st that time also contained Emily's poetry which Charlotte published after her death. Jane Eyre was great and enjoyed The Tenant.. I also downloaded Elizabeth Gaskell's biography of the Brontes. She was a friend of Jane and it is full of first hand info about them and some really comical insights that Jane had about the inhabitants of Howarth at that time.

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