Tag: Emily Bronte

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.

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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.

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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

Emily Brontë’s Poems Produced as Songs to Mark Her 200th Birthday!

If you’re a fan of the Brontë sisters then you’ll be delighted to hear that Emily Brontë’s poems are being made into songs. A folk band by the name The Unthanks and Adrian McNally made audio soundtracks of the poems and paired them with original music they have composed.

 

bronte sisters

Image via Picturesboss.com

 

The Brontë Society, which runs the museum in sisters’ old family home the Personage, commissioned Unthanks to make an audio production of Emily Brontë’s poems and combine it with the bands folk style to create The Emily Bronte Song Cycle. This year marked Emily’s 200th Birthday.

bronte sister home

brontesremembered.wordpress.com

 

Emily is best known for her only novel Wuthering Heights and probably lesser known for her poetry. The only poetry book she had published was entitled Remembrance, but it was these poems that inspired composer Adrian McNally and sisters Rachel and Becky from Unthanks to create music.The poems of Emily Brontë were turned into songs on her own original piano and recorded in her home at the Brontë Personage Museum.

 

unthank sisters

the-unthanks.com

 

Anyone who has been fortunate enough to visit the museum since the musical project got underway have experienced a special treat. They get to go through a hi-tech audio trial that leads people out of the home and up along the dirt tracks with beautiful countryside views. Along the way, radio frequency beacons are hidden around to keep the music coming and visitors are given noise cancelling headphones to block them from the outside world, with only the haunting voices of The Unthanks sisters and Emily’s poetically dark songs.

 

recording

Image via YouTube 

 

The Emily Brontë Song Cycle is in the final stages of being produced into CD, vinyl record, and digital format for downloading. It is due to be available in February 2019. If you want a sneak peak of the songs, check it out below!

 

 

 

Featured Image Via telegraph.co.uk

Empire Records

9 Amazing Songs Inspired by Literature

Books can change the way you think about things; the right strand of words can strike something up inside of you. It’s not unlikely to feel uneasy, dizzy, overwhelmed, inspired, or full after reading the right essay, poem, story, or novel. (Words are, like, insanely cool.)

 

So, it’s no wonder so many musicians have drawn inspiration from within the pages of the books they read!

 

Stand up and jam out to these nine incredibly songs inspired by pieces of literature! 

 

Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush

 

 

An eighteen-year-old Kate Bush wrote this insanely popular classic after finding inspiration within Emily Brontë’s novel of the same name.

Heathcliff, it’s me, I’m Cathy
I’ve come home. I’m so cold
Let me in-a-your window
 

 

Charlotte Sometimes by The Cure 

 

 

Although not their first foray into slipping literary references into their songs, The Cure held nothing back when they wrote this song based on the Penelope Farmer novel of the same name.

Charlotte sometimes crying for herself
Charlotte sometimes dreams a wall around herself
But it’s always with love
With so much love it looks like
Everything else
Of Charlotte sometimes
So far away
Glass sealed and pretty
Charlotte sometimes

 

Suffragette City by David Bowie

 

 

Bowie never ceased to draw inspiration from his favorite literary works (Diamond Dogs was influenced heavily by George Orwell’s 1984) and for a large part of his Ziggy Stardust phase he drew from Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange

Hey man, Henry, don’t be unkind, go away
Hey man, I can’t take you this time, no way
Hey man, droogie don’t crash here
There’s only room for one and here she comes
Here she comes

 

 

Off to the Races by Lana Del Rey

 

 

Lana Del Rey has drawn inspiration for much of her work from Nabokov’s Lolita, but the chorus of this song is especially Lolita-esque.

Light of my life, fire in my loins
Be a good baby, do what I want
Light of my life, fire in my loins
Gimme them gold coins
Gimme them coins

 

 

This Is Just A Modern Rock Song by Belle & Sebastian

 

 

Belle & Sebastian have always been big promoters of book love (i.e. Wrapped Up In Books), see if you can catch all the literary references hidden in this gem!

I’m not as sad as Doestoevsky
I’m not as clever as Mark Twain
I’ll only buy a book for the way it looks
And then I stick it on the shelf again

 

Tangled Up In Blue by Bob Dylan

 

 

Dylan has based much of his works off of F. Scott Fitzgerald and various poets, along with basing much of the lyricism on his Blood on the Tracks albums off of popular short stories by Anton Chekhov.

I lived with them on Montague Street
In a basement down the stairs
There was music in the cafes at night
And revolution in the air
Then he started into dealing with slaves
And something inside of him died
She had to sell everything she owned
And froze up inside

 

Baobabs by Regina Spektor

 

 

This sweet little single by Regina Spektor (and one of my personal favorites) was based off the popular children’s book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince.

You have tamed me
Now you must take me
How am I supposed to be?
I don’t have my thorns now

And I feel them sprouting
They’ll grow right through if I don’t watch it
They’ll grow through even if I watch it
And a sunset couldn’t save me now

 

 

Catcher in the Rye by The Dandy Warhols

 

 

Listening to The Dandy Warhols is always a good time, and this 2016 song about the infamous J.D. Salinger novel of the same name is no exception!

Stop look around keep your head down and let the words stop it pass on by you
Words that are somewhere in told are cold if it’s not fun then it’s funny to show
With the advice like this what else could you want if a body need a body I know

 

 

Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell

 

 

Joni Mitchell wrote this heartbreaking classic while reading Saul Bellow’s Henderson and the Rain King.

Moons and Junes and ferries wheels 
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real 
I’ve looked at love that way

 

 

via GIPHY

 

 

 

Featured Image via Bustle

Kate Bush

Kate Bush, Jeanette Winterson and More Pay an Unbelieveable Tribute to the Brontë Sisters!

As any bookworm would feel, a little Brontë never hurt anybody. And when you’re Kate Bush you know the Brontës are basically like gods. After all, being launched into music stardom at the age of eighteen because of your hit “Wuthering Heights” is no common story. Now, 40 years later and she’s paying tribute to the sisterly dream team all over again.

 

Kate Bush

 Kate Bush | Image Via Pitchfork

 
A tribute to last a lifetime will be made by Bush, poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Scottish poet Jackie Kay, and novelist Jeanette Winterson. These four women had their talents requested to write a piece of poetry or prose that will be engraved onto the stones lining the eight-mile road near the sisters’ birthplace and family home.

 

Duffy has Charlotte, Kay has Anne, Winterson has the Brontë legacy as a whole, and, of course, Bush has Emily. The tribute comes at the time of the two-hundredth year anniversary of Emily’s birth as well as the 40th anniversary of Bush’s superb hit. So, to say the timing is just right is an understatement. And Bush obviously agrees.

 

Emily only wrote the one novel— an extraordinary work of art that has truly left its mark. To be asked to write a piece for Emily’s stone is an honour and, in a way, a chance to say thank you to her.

 

It will be in July during the Bradford literature festival that the stones will be revealed to the public and the excitement is building with such talent on board. Syima Aslam, the festival’s director, couldn’t believe the luck. “We saw it as such a good fit, but equally we were, ‘she might just say no’. But you won’t know unless you ask…”

 

Bronte sisters

 Image Via Daily Express

 
Winterson is just as touched and grateful to find her way back to the Bronte sisters having grown up Lancashire and walking through the misty hills.

 

I read the Brontës and felt their spirit stand by me… The Brontës showed me that hearts beat like mine, that the struggle to know who you are happens across time and generations, and gender… They showed me that writing needs the power of the personal behind it– but that somehow the story one person tells has to become a story many people can claim as their own. And the Brontes are women. As a woman I needed those ancestors, those guides. I still do.

 

Two hundred years later and these sisters are still with us in everything we do. In the Footsteps of the Brontes will be the title of the event that will take place July 8th between Thornton and Haworth as well as in Bradford.

 

Featured Image Via W Magazine