A picture-perfect start to 2013

I went to one of my all-time favourite places on this, the first day, of 2013:

Haworth – home of the Brontës’.

It holds a special place in my heart as it is one of the last places I visited with my stepfather before he passed away in 2003.

The reason it was such a special day, is that it was also the first time that I took my two young daughters to visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

Brontë Parsonage Museum

Brontë Parsonage Museum

It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for ages. I thought they might find it a bit boring and stuffy. But they really seemed to enjoy looking around their home and seeing how they lived, what they wore and what they wrote.

Brontë dining room

Brontë dining room

This is the room where, Emily, Anne and Charlotte did most of their writing. And that is the actual sofa in the background that Emily died on aged just 30. (I didn’t pass that information on to my children.)

Patrick Brontë's study

Patrick Brontë’s study

If you haven’t read Wuthering Heights yet, I urge you to do so. I promise you, it’s like nothing you have ever read before. It’s a complex and staggeringly passionate tale of unrequited love and dastardly deeds, set amidst the bleak and rugged Yorkshire Moors.

And, if you get the chance, watch the recent film adaptation by Andrea Arnold. It’s a pretty radical take on the book and one of the best interpretations I’ve seen to date. (See trailer below.)

Emily Brontë

Charlotte Brontë

wuthering-heightsIt’s not just the collective brilliance of the Brontë siblings that I find inspiring, but the whole beautifully barren backdrop of the moors. That, coupled with the picturesque cobbled streets of Haworth itself, made it a perfect start to 2013 a Daddy could ever wish for.

Haworth

Haworth

"Top Withins" Emily's inspiration for Wuthering Heights. (Now a ruin.)

“Top Withens” Emily’s inspiration for Wuthering Heights. (Now a ruin.)

"Top Withens" as it would've looked back in Emily's day.

“Top Withens” as it would’ve looked back in Emily’s day.

And if you’re wondering where the hell Haworth is … ‘A’ marks the spot.

Haworth, in the gods' county of sunny West Yorkshire.

Haworth, in the gods’ county of sunny West Yorkshire.

P.S. It’d be positively churlish of me not to also include this classic by Kate Bush…

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10 Comments

Filed under Art, Books, Creativity, Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Literature, Poetry, Writing

10 responses to “A picture-perfect start to 2013

  1. David, I’m so glad that you had such a great day and that your daughters enjoyed it so much too. You have really whetted my appetite to go follow in your footsteps. It looks and sounds wonderful. Thanks for giving so much useful info and the film is on my list for this week!
    May you have many more days like this in 2013.

    • Thank you, Jean. I’m glad you liked it. I was going to put directions on the post but there are plenty of links to the museum which give all the details. It’s a really pretty spot, considering it’s so close to Bradford! And you’re at the ‘gateway’ to the Yorkshire Moors. Let me know if you do come over to see it because there are a few other cool places to visit such as Salts Mill, (also in Bradford), not to mention the glorious moors! Which always remind me of the Dublin Mountains.

    • P.S. I’ve put a trailer up on the post of the Andrea Arnold adaptation I mentioned. I only watched it the other day. It was brilliant.

  2. Denis Goodbody

    A fascinating family and a place I have long wanted to visit. There were some incredible women writers of that time (The Brontes, Maria Edgeworth and George Eliot) and they conjoured landscape and atmosphere – not to mention character – unbelievably. I hadn’t realised the Brontes had an Irish connection until recently: http://www.turtlebunbury.com/published/published_features/pub_feats_bronte.html

  3. Hi David,

    As a County Down’er, I felt the need to comment.

    If you ever venture across the water, this little hidden gem, where Patrick Bronte once taught, is definitely worth a visit. I have been with my parents before and it was wonderful: http://www.brontemusicclub.com/home.html

  4. Thanks for the info Jodie. As an ex-resident of Dublin, I visited County Down quite a few times. Particularly in and around Helen’s Bay. But I didn’t know about this place. Next time I’m over I’ll definitely look it up.

  5. Brilliant, I wasn’t aware of that.
    My hometown lies at the foot of the Mourne Mountains in County Down – they are worth a visit if you like mountains, beautiful scenery… and a bit of gentle(?) exercise.

  6. It is said that the Mountains of Mourne inspired CS Lewis to create his magical world of Narnia – a fact which most kids (reads as: I) love.

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