Monday, March 16, 2009

Fountains Abbey and the Bronte sisters... (Day 2 of Northern England)

** Don't forget to scroll down and read Day 1**

The next day was Fountains Abbey and the Bronte House in Haworth. I have decided I am getting married at Fountains Abbey... actually Phoebe is getting married there because I already claimed St Paul's, but I may take my wedding photos and have my reception at Fountains Abbey... If you thought I was a little in love with ruins before, Fountains Abbey sealed them in my heart forever... it was absolutely gorgeous!!!!!!! It was also amazing how warm it was that I only had to wear my hoodie for warmth and eventually got to go in a tshirt!!!

Victoria, Phoebe, Brie, Leonore, and Rik

a moment of prayer
the room where they kept the riches of the monastery
crawl space
a walk around the grounds

It was so beautiful and I hated the thought of getting back on the bus... but our next stop was Haworth which is everything Bronte I could ever want. As we made ourselves towards the moores and the haunting city which inspired dark figures like Wuthering Heights' Heathcliff and the creepy Thornfield Hall of Jane Eyre, this is the countryside we passed by... look sheep!

As we drove the sky also darkened with overcast... it was pretty perfect seeming as Haworth is not the happiest of places. It was of course the hometown of two of the greatest Gothic writers and for that matter - just plane great authors (Anne was the third Bronte sister, but supposedly she was nothing to boast about and neither were her books... sad). But Haworth also was the sight of their deaths (again minus Anne who died somewhere else, she could never do it right it would seem). But Haworth is set in the moors and while the town sits upon the upper part of the hill, the water supply was at the bottom... therefore as all the sewage and filth drained out of the town, it would go into the water supply. No wonder everyone there died. But it's all sorted for the modern residents.
The home of the Brontes is kept in exactly the same condition as when they lived on the parsonage... minus the gift shop.

Now Jane Eyre is one of my very favorite books of all time... I was so excited to see where it was dreamed into written word and to see first editions of the novel, Charlotte, Anne, and Emily's rooms clothes, furnitue... everything. My souvenir was a nice hardback edition of Jane Eyre to put on my shelf with my nice copies of Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion by Jane Austen. My ratty overly-read editions are kept by my bed at home of course.
Then Leonore, Phoebe, Brigid and I took a family portrait as the Brontes. Leonore is Emily ("the mystic of the moors" and said to be the genius of the family), Phoebe is Branwell (the good for nothing artist brother who did nothing right by his sisters), I was Charlotte ("a great sense of humor but a little of a bitchy side"... she had the tendency of being kind of jealous of her sisters and burned one of Emily manuscripts and then refused to publish one of Anne's books after her death)... and Brigid is Anne (she was described as "dull"... hence the blank stare).
After the Bronte house we made our way to the Moors for a little bit of a walk.

Jane Eyre pic
We walked back from the Moors to the bus and then made our way back to London
On the bus on the way back we all played "contact" which is probably the most fun game ever. WONDERFUL WEEKEND!!!!

1 comment:

Laura said...

That sounds like a great weekend! I love your stories and your pictures!