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.
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.
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 Countryhas listed Ponden Hall and I apologize if this article cramps the realtor’s style—own the gothic vibe, my friend. Own it.
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!
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
Of Charlotte sometimes
So far away
Glass sealed and pretty
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
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
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
Love triangles are all over literature. They’re complex, dramatic, and wildly unpredictable (err—sometimes entirely predictable). These interconnected love affairs get so tangly and confusing, but their circumstances and characters can seem similar from one story to the next. So why is it that we keep on reading the same old tale?
In many ways, the uncertainties and decision-making that plagues characters in these stories often parallel our own circumstances and fears. Should we follow the trail of happiness over money? If I go with choice A, 10 years from now will I be stuck in a never-ending loop of what ifs? But a good love triangle can provide us with guidance. Add in the fact that these tempestuous relationships are downright entertaining, and we have two very good reasons for constantly seeking stories that feature love triangles.
Though there are countless stories that feature prominent and unforgettable love triangles, here are six love triangles that are simply iconic. Whether it was the shocking and dysfunctional circumstances of their relationships, the pure feelings of love that they represent, the challenges they endured to be together, or the devastating effects of their courtship, these romances have made impressions on many readers everywhere.
Scarlett and Rhett |Image Via Warner Bros. Pictures
The relationship between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler in Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind is considered, by some readers and viewers of the adaptation, an epitome of a classic romance. Others, on the other hand, may consider the relationship between O’Hara and Butler a classic example of an abusive relationship. Regardless, the love triangle (quadrilateral if you count Melanie Hamilton) that the duo finds themselves mixed up in is certainly an iconic representation of tempestuous love.
Headstrong southern belle, Scarlett O’Hara, finds herself smitten with the reserved and respectable Ashley Wilkes who, to her surprise, ignores her in favor of the kind and gentle Melanie Hamilton. O’Hara uses manipulation and patience to win over Wilkes all the while trying to dodge persistent bachelor Rhett Butler whose own determination and superiority complex gives O’Hara a run for her money. The turmoil O’Hara and Butler each face in their respective pursuits makes this affair unforgettable.
If there is one literary love affair that could possibly rival O’Hara and Butler’s tumultuous relationship, it just may be that of Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan. The smitten Mr. Jay Gatsby may be considered the world’s biggest romantic or stalker depending on your take.
Gatsby’s love and adoration of the young, pretty, and emotionally unavailable Daisy consumes him entirely, manipulating him to completely reinvent himself into the man whom the superficial Daisy may fall in love with. Their eventual relationship is made complicated by her marriage to the domineering Tom Buchanan whose own superficiality hinders him from giving up Daisy without a fight. The ways in which Gatsby’s adoration for Daisy manipulated his entirety, and the tragic consequences of their love, makes this affair simply unforgettable.
3. Lolita: Humbert Humbert, Dolores “Lolita” Haze, Charlotte Haze
Humbert and Lolita |Image Via MGM
Whereas Jay and Daisy’s relationship is memorable for its intense love (though bizarre and dysfunctional as it may be), the relationship between Humbert and Lolita is defined by how dysfunctional it is. Since its release in 1955, Lolita has portrayed one of the most controversial fictional relationships since Oedipus Rex. It was banned in France shortly after it was published and was panned by numerous critics and editors who took issue with the book’s graphic portrayal of sexuality. Others applauded author Vladimir Nabokov for divulging in a conversation on morality and culpability, as well as the underlying metaphors and social commentary. Sixty-three years later, Lolita still manages to raise eyebrows.
Lolita refers to the titular character who evokes the sexual interest of the much older Humbert Humbert. There are just two small—tiny, really—issues. Lolita is twelve-years-old. She also happens to be Humbert’s stepdaughter. Humbert’s convoluted (i.e. inappropriate) sexual feelings towards the underage girl, and the consequences following, forever seals Lolita as the quintessential dysfunctional love affair.
As rare as it is to feel a sense of empathy for the cheater, Edith Wharton manages just that by creating a world in which the happiness of two characters fated to be are ultimately challenged by restrictive social constructs and malicious figures.
Newland Archer is a stereotypical upper class man who is initially consumed by adhering to his social status. His marriage to May Welland appears to be motivated by social convention and his desire to keep his image intact. When he quickly falls in love with the free-spirited Ellen, May’s divorcee cousin who rebuffs social convention in favor of individuality and free-thought, Newland sees a parallel between their shared desire for freedom and passion. The genuine love between the duo is a wonderful example of true love held back by social forces.
Lady Chatterly and Oliver |Image Via Hartswood Films/BBC
Before Lolita was banned, Lady Chatterley’s Lover was targeted for its graphic sexual nature. Like Lolita, the dynamic between Lady Chatterley and her lover, Oliver, spawned debate. It wasn’t an age difference that offended readers, rather it was the thought of a sexual affair occurring between an upper-class woman and a lower-class man that led to protests.
Lady Chatterley, also referred to as Constance or Connie, is a down-to-earth intellectual who is married to an old-fashioned aristocrat Sir Clifford Chatterly. After a war injury leaves Clifford paralyzed from the waist down, Connie experiences sexual frustrations. Her sexual desires, exacerbated by additional marital pressures, eventually leads her to undergo an affair with gamekeeper Oliver Mellors. The intense sexual affair between the duo, as well as the invigorating themes on the human mind-body connection in which their affair embodies (and impacts the cultures of audiences exposed) will stick in your mind.
In a discussion of love triangles, where would we be without mentioning Wuthering Heights. Like Jay Gatsby, Heathcliff’s obsessive love has a strong hold over him, ultimately driving his over-arching desires throughout the story and proving to have a substantial impact on not only him, but everyone else around him.
Considered a tortured romantic soul, Heathcliff has lived his life deeply in love with his childhood friend Catherine who, to his revulsion, is torn between her shared desire for him and her desires for another, the wealthy and well-bred Edgar whom Heathcliff seems to pale in comparison to. The intense love between the duo is (as it always is) challenged by social constructs and Catherine’s dilemma to follow true love or a life of stability and social acceptance. The pressures this trio faces, the sacrifices they make, and the disastrous and far-reaching consequences will go down in history.