Tag: gothic

Keeley Hawes latest cast member announced for 'Rebecca' adaptation

Keeley Hawes Joins Netflix Cast for ‘Rebecca’

Bafta-nominated actress Keeley Hawes has joined Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Armie Hammer in Netflix’s adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s classic, Rebecca. The cast is loaded with stars, including Game of Thrones alum Ben Crompton.

Keeley Hawes is best known for her roles in High-Rise and Bodyguard.

Originally published in 1938, the gothic tale tells the story of a widower, Maxim de Winter, and his new bride being haunted by the ghost of his former wife, Rebecca. The haunting isn’t as direct as in the traditional sense, her ghost isn’t walking the halls, but the past itself lingers in every part of the house. Du Maurier’s book was an instant success, selling a whopping 2.8 million between the time it was released and 1965.

Other new additions to the cast include Ann Dowd of The Handmaid’s Tale and Sam Riley of On the Road, and  Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Production is set to start next week in the UK.

featured image via variety
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