You may have read the book Jane Eyre. If not you should as it’s perhaps one of the best books I have ever read, so much so that I have several editions in several languages and have seen various film versions.
But the original English version is always the best and I have my copy purchased from the bookstore attached to the Bronte parsonage in Haworth, not far from Leeds.
When you visit the area, its like stepping into a Bronte novel. There are many towns and landmarks around the area that that continue to fascinate Bronte enthusiasts and scholars above all.
The language and the novel’s setting are like a perfect marriage and you have to visit Haworth to really see what I mean. The novel is structured around five separate locations, all supposedly in northern England: the Reed family’s home at Gateshead, the horrible Lowood School from Jane’s childhood, Rochester’s manor house Thornfield and Rochester’s rural retreat at Ferndean.
I also see examples of Bronte locations in other places I visit: there are old ruins of a house near Gibside in Gateshead (The Main House – home to the Bowes-Lyon family) and this to me could have been Thornfield Hall. I see Jane returning to the house as it lies in charred ruins very time I go there. I can almost see Rochester on his black horse with Pilot the dog running across the field.
Another link I love about The Bronte sisters is that they were well travelled women for their day and travelled to Brussels, living there for a time in order to improve their French. I took myself off on a Brussels Bronte guide when I was there and discovered a city hidden from the majority. And its such a treasure, it’s a rare treat for the real fans of these fantastic writers.
Brussels and Ferndean manor will be featured in upcoming blog posts since they really do confirm that the Bronte sisters, in my opinion, really were some of the luckiest authors that ever lived due to the richness they created out of the richness of their surroundings.