Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Charlotte's Wind

I've been going through Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte to work out how many times and what type of weather conditions are mentioned throughout the book.

So, out of interest Charlotte mentions the wind the most - a total of 62 times. Closely followed by rain at 52 times and temperature at 46 times. There is also descriptions of the sky (28 times); the sun (25 times); clouds (24 times); snow (23 times); frost and ice (21 times); the moon and stars (cloudless nights - 19 times); storms and gales (12 times); thunder and lightening (6 times); mist (6 times); dew (5 times); and fog (3 times).*

I'm now going to see what kind of references Emily Bronte mentions in Wuthering Heights and Anne Bronte mentions in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

*It doesn't necessarily mean there are 6 thunder storms in the book - but that the thunder of one storm is mentioned a few times.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Emily Bronte's Poems

I am aware i've neglected the blog in the last couple of weeks, sorry. My life was taken over by having to do some fund raising for another project - but don't worry, even though i feel like the life has been drained from my body, i managed to survive the ordeal with only minor brain ache and i'm slowly regaining the feeling in my limbs.

In the meantime i have still been trying to concentrate on all things Bronte and went to the Bronte Parsonage Museum last week to see if i could see some originals of Emily Bronte's poems. 
There's not many originals of Emily's writing to survive and what the Museum holds is on display. So I couldn't handle any of the works and the image isn't great (the work is behind glass in a dimly lit room). 

How fascinating her writing is with minuscule text, ink blots and doodles. It's the smudges and idle little sketches that seem to bring it to life - Emily Bronte made those marks. Having said that, with her writing being so small,  behind glass in low lighting and my rubbish eyesight i couldn't read a bloody thing.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

To a Wreath of Snow

O transient voyager of heaven!
O silent sign of winter skies!
What adverse wind thy sail has driven
To dungeons where a prisoner lies?
Methinks the hands that shut the sun
So sternly from this mourning brow
Might still their rebel task have done
And checked a thing so frail as thou
They would have done it had they known
The talisman that dwelt in thee,
For all the suns that ever shone
Have never been so kind to me!
For many a week, and many a day
My heart was weighed with sinking gloom
When morning rose in mourning grey
And faintly lit my prison room
But angel like, when I awoke,
Thy silvery form so soft and fair
Shining through darkness, sweetly spoke
Of cloudy skies and mountains bare
The dearest to a mountaineer
Who, all life long has loved the snow
That crowned her native summits drear,
Better, than greenest plains below –
And voiceless, soulless messenger
They presence waked a thrilling tone
That comforts me while thou art here
And will sustain when thou art gone
Emily Bronte (1837) 
I've just finished reading through a number of poems written by Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell Bronte - i'm hoping that i can also see any originals held at the Bronte Parsonage Museum later this week  - i'll keep you posted.
Thanks to Mike from Stanbury for the beautiful images of snow on the moors surrounding the Bronte Parsonage Museum taken in the last couple of weeks.

Friday, 3 February 2012

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

"But now, - at evening, when I see the round, red sun sink quietly down behind those woody hills, leaving them sleeping in a warm, red, golden haze, I only think another lovely day is lost to him and me; - and at morning, when roused by the flutter and chirp of the sparrows, and the gleeful twitter of the swallows - all intent upon feeding their young, and full of life and joy in their own little frames - I open the window to inhale the balmy, soul-reviving air, and look out upon the lovely landscape, laughing in dew and sunshine, - I too often shame that glorious scene with tears of thankless misery, because he cannot feel its freshening influence..."

Written by Anne Bronte (published in 1848 under the pseudonym Acton Bell) 

I just finished reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte. I like Anne's writing and although she doesn't use or refer to the weather as much as Emily and Charlotte do, there are a few lovely weather quotes within the text. A novel about the plight of a woman married to a drunk womaniser it reveals the lack of rights of married women. Anne's moralising can be a bit much at times (it could be 100 pages shorter) but i love that it points out the bad treatment of women in an earnest, unfaltering way. It's interesting that Charlotte Bronte tried to prevent any reprinting of it after Anne's death thinking that "the choice of subject was an entire mistake".

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

London Clouds

While in London I was perusing the displays in Tate Britain and saw this book of etchings by Alexander Cozens (1717 - 1786) "A New Method for Assisting the Invention in the Composition of Landscape" where he has made sample etchings with notes on how to depict clouds in artworks. I quite like the idea of a guide to the creation of clouds in art.