Tag: Anne Bronte

Party at Wildfell Hall – BYOB

Party at wildfell hall

Ladies, lace up your corsets, leave your terrible husbands at home and get ready to party like it’s 1820. That’s right, today is Anne Brontë’s birthday and if there was ever an excuse to celebrate Anne and her achievements, her 200th birthday is definitely it.

Far from the ‘other Brontë’, Anne left an eternal mark on classic English literature. Under her pseudonym Acton Bell, she published a wide range of poems before her two novels Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. She has been widely acclaimed as a feminist author, having refused to write through the romantic lens that her sisters, Emily and Charlotte, preferred. Anne’s conviction in her own beliefs cost her a lot of readership and popularity at the time but today she is renowned and celebrated for exactly that.

Image via Britannica

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate Anne’s big day, there are actual events happening that you can attend. In Bradford, West Yorkshire, the Brontë Parsonage Museum is hosting a bicentenary party, full of good food, crafting and poetry. In Sydney, Australia, Cate Whittaker will be giving a reading at the Stanton library. Bonus points if you dress up.

You could even throw your own party. Anne Brontë was a big believer in going her own way so the party theme would be totally up to you. Gather your troupe of talented sisters, brew some tea and discuss how you’re going to diverge from social mores – it’s what Anne would want.

Image via bust

 

Sadly, Anne died in May 1849, at the age of 29. Like many young people at the time, she died of tuberculosis. Despite the fact that she is often cited as the ‘least popular Brontë sister’, her legacy has taken on a posthumous new life.

Happy Birthday, Anne. There are many things to celebrate today; Anne’s body of work, her fierce spirit and the amazing talent that was bred and nurtured in the Brontë home. Anne’s last words are reported as being “Take courage, Charlotte, take courage” and if that isn’t the energy to take with you into 2020, we don’t know what is.

Bookstr is community supported. If you enjoy Bookstr’s articles, quizzes, graphics and videos, please join our Patreon to support our writers and creators or donate to our Paypal and help Bookstr to keep supporting the book loving community.
Become a Patron!https://c6.patreon.com/becomePatronButton.bundle.js

 

 

Ponden Hall

Home That Inspired Brontë’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ Is For Sale

Confucius once said,” The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.” This would lead one to believe that England was in deep shit when Emily Brontë wrote her gothic masterpiece Wuthering Heights. Not the most optimistic of tales, and definitely not propaganda for any time-travelers wanting to visit Victorian England, Heights depicts a homefront cake full of dysfunction, mental and physical illness with a supernatural cherry on top. It’s basically a version of The Bachelor where alcohol and drugs (I mean c’mon) are not readily available and Chris Harrison is clinically depressed.

The story follows Heathcliff—one name— basically the original Cher, and his love interest/adoptive sister Catherine Earnshaw. The two estates in the novel are the antithesis of one another: Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights.

.

Wuthering Heights book cover depicting house on moor
IMAGE VIA AMAZON.COM

When Emily Brontë and her sisters were young, they visited an estate called Ponden Hall, located in Haworth, West Yorkshire. The property is believed to have inspired the work of all three Brontës ; in particular, it is believed to be the setting of the famous scene in Wuthering Heights where the narrator, Lockwood, encounters Catherine’s ghost after trying to close a noisy window.

Excerpt from Chapter 3:

 ‘I must stop it, nevertheless!’ I muttered, knocking my knuckles through the glass, and stretching an arm out to seize the importunate branch; instead of which, my fingers closed on the fingers of a little, ice-cold hand! The intense horror of nightmare came over me: I tried to draw back my arm, but the hand clung to it, and a most melancholy voice sobbed, ‘Let me in—let me in!’ ‘Who are you?’ I asked, struggling, meanwhile, to disengage myself. ‘Catherine Linton,’ it replied, shiveringly (why did I think of Linton? I had read Earnshaw twenty times for Linton) ‘ I’ve come home: I’d lost my way on the moor!’ As it spoke, I discerned, obscurely, a child’s face looking through the window. Terror made me cruel; and, finding it useless to attempt shaking the creature off, I pulled its wrist on to the broken pane, and rubbed it to and fro till the blood ran down and soaked the bedclothes: still it wailed, ‘Let me in!’ and maintained its tenacious gripe, almost maddening me with fear.

 

Wildfell Hall, which may have inspired by Ponden Hall, in the engraving by Edmund Morison Wimperis.

GettyImages-606243066.jpg
IMAGES VIA SMITHSONIANMAG.COM

Ponden Hall’s current owners, Julie Akhurst and Steve Brown, have used the building as a bed and breakfast experience for Brontë enthusiasts since 1998 and are now trying to sell it for £1.25 million ($1.6 million). The two are downsizing, apparently, not running away due to various bumps in the night. Waaaay before them, it was owned by the Heatons (friends of the Brontës). Ponden Hall’s library was visited often by the Brontës. Julie Akhurst spoke on that fact:

“It’s incredible to think Emily would have sat here reading. We have a catalogue of the books that were here then and they probably influenced her. There were gothic novels and books on necromancy and dark magic.”

Brontë experts acknowledge Ponden Hall’s architectural similarities with both Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights…but mostly Wuthering Heights. So if by some miracle your credit limit has been increased to £1.25 million or $1.6 million, buy yourself a creepy guest house. Just ignore the voices.

Fine Country has listed Ponden Hall and I apologize if this article cramps the realtor’s style—own the gothic vibe, my friend. Own it.

 

Featured Image Via Lonelyplanet.com