The Bronte Business
Bbc4. Collections. Specially, chosen programs, from the BBC, archive. Cold. In the earth. And. 15. Wild. December's. From those brown, hills, have melted, into spring. Faithful. Indeed is the spirit, that remembers. After. Such years, of change and, suffering. Bronte. Country, it's called the, Yorkshire Moors famous, as the home of the Bronte sisters and the background of their novels, this. Is how they knew it in winter, cold, and desolate. But. What happens, to a place when it becomes famous, as the home of a great writer and do. The visitors, who come on literary pilgrimage to, this parsonage, destroy. What it is they seek a glimpse. Of how earth as the bronty's themselves. Knew it I. Have. Come here as a Bronte, enthusiast, myself to find out why so many feel, as I do for. How Earth is second only to Stratford, in the number of tourists, it attracts. It. Was after the early death of their mother and their two elder sisters that. Charlotte, Emily. Anne and, Bramwell, created. A secret imaginative. Life of their own together as young. Children they all wrote tiny, books. Developing. The literary skills that were to blossom in their, adult work and, then. In just two years between. 1847. And 18-49. Those. Three young women published. Five novels, two, of the masterpieces. Jane. Eyre by Charlotte. Which was an instant, bestseller and, withering. Heights by Emily never. Acknowledged. A masterpiece, in her own lifetime, nothing, the stories are terrific, yeah, and the diagraph, is a terrific who when you read to each one of the biographies, very, good and interesting I would, he think of all this snow and ice and round here and cold and she know and what is suffered because, they did suffer each one of them in their own way. And. Things, seem to see the wasn't. Height films, about search times, that's. Of all very level, who know when. One has been involved with something for an awful long time I think that the. Physical, contact, with the sorts of things that they had physical contact with the self-important I think I can get emanations. Emanations. That's what people want but, the parsonage, is now the Bronte, museum and museums, are about things not feelings. Still. If possessions, interest, you there's plenty that's authentic, Emily's.
Sampler, Made when she was ten hangs, him what was once her room the. Walls have traces, of childish, scribble but, the atmosphere is mostly cold, and formal. Emily's. Painting, of her dog keeper, and his, wide brass collar set. On display in one of many glass cases. Only. Occasionally. Does some small broken. Personal, object, fire the imagination to remember a small skinny, child destined, to be one of our greatest visionary. Writers, and there's, no challenging, its authenticity. The. Kitchen's a different matter altered, to accommodate further, museum, space a. Copy. Of Charlotte's, portrait, by Richmond, and many, of the miniature books they wrote about invented. Countries, and heroes. Much. Has survived because they were already famous, in Charlotte's, life time so. People hoarded. Keepsakes, and childhood, paintings, once their property came up for sale what's. More their fame was extended. By their father the, Reverend Patrick Bronte. Who, commissioned, the novelist mrs. Gaskell to write Charlotte's, biography. His. Study remains, unchanged. Here, he led his solitary, life reading. Eating. His meals alone. He. Himself had, risen from poverty, in Ireland, to a degree at Cambridge, and his own modest, literary, hopes. Painting. Was their brother bramwell's, ambition. He, was the spoilt darling, the one expected. To be a genius he, never made it instead. He became the local, drinking, boy Oh declining. Into debts drugs, and early, death. His. Most famous picture, is of his three devoted. Sisters. If. It's hard to imagine their life inside, the parsonage, it's easy to imagine their, death death. Was on their doorstep, it. Was to haunt much of their writing, they themselves were, to die young. Bramwell. Who had lost his job as tutor, because of a scandalous, affair with the boy's mother died. Aged 30, there's. No evidence he ever knew his sister's had published a word. Within. Three months emily, denying, she was ill at all died, of consumption, age, twenty nine. Six. Months more and an only, 28 died of the same she. Had traveled to scarborough in hope of a cure and is buried there. Charlotte. Survived, and then, five years later in, the face of her father's opposition she. Married his Irish, curate, Arthur, Belle Nichols, they. Lived in the parsonage, but. Their happiness was brief for, within a year Charlotte, died she, was 38 and some, three months pregnant. You. Certainly feel the chill of early death in the churchyard but. The church that stands there now and the trees were, not there then only, the original, tower remains. In. The village itself the main road is new the, winter weather is as grim as ever. The. Empty, streets cobbles. Carefully. Preserved look, much as they always have the. Steep hill the old buildings. Are the same you, catch the flavor of Victorian, life or so you think the, black ball bramwell's, favorite, haunt still stands, with, only the yellow parking, line to give the date away.
And. With. No one but yourself, on the Bronte trail howís, can be full of ghosts. Ghosts. Your, own thoughts and. Just a few locals. Come. The summer and things, are different the, fame of the little hill village has spread far and wide and, brought, the tourists, trade, and traffic. What. Would those three reticent. Young women make of this their. Lives had been private, their home remote, and they liked it like that, today, souvenirs. Knickknacks. Bronte. Tweed antiques. Useful. Bits and pieces useless. Junk clutter, the streets every, summer weekend. And. Among. The bric-a-brac the occasional. Memento, of howís, past, weaving. Shuttles, reminiscent. Of the handlooms, which provided the living in so, many of the cottages, to. Get, their books published, they used the names Ellis actin, and karabell, no. One knew who they were they, deliberately, remained, anonymous. How. Ironic then, that all these people have heard of the bronty's, that, Bronte, business, is booming, and threatening to engulf even, how its own villagers. All. These our leadership, of the village all these shops the. Houses, and. Now it's like Blackpool. Gollum. Gollum mile, every. Everybody who takes a house now the come from blood for the Leeds and London all over there's, technical, over at ridiculous prices and, converted, him a shops where everything's cell from Hong Kong and okay, it's true is this and there's. No villainous lives in the alleys now there's no how these father may say even the push the red sky. I am the house of sky I'd everything bolted. I think, really that's when, we came here forty years it was a beautiful, and. Now. He's. Just, commercialized, commercialize. And. You've got four shops in house, yes. Marlins, what's. The things they sell. Well. We range really from. The. Smallest, type. Of gift to the more expensive, skin. You. Do. You think there's a danger of having little shops like this spoiling. The atmosphere, I don't. Think so because.
When. I first came here the, street was such a mess there's such a lot of property which really. Wanted something during this it he just wasn't being done that's. Really. It's helped it's, it's it's tied it up a lot whatever. Things do you think the tourists want to buy. Well. This varies with the nationalities. And, the. Americans, particularly, want, something, that's made. In health and they. Seem to have an idea in their heads that. Every. Mortal thing is made. It's. Not desert, yeah. I. Mean, industry, here went out on long time ago as. I say when I first came there were very few shops up here mostly. For the local people do, you the danger the shops and the souvenirs, spoiling, her. Yes. I do I do I, think. Unless it's very tastefully, done it can be, rather, grata, books. Are tastefully, done in hath ever. Since mrs. Gasko books about the bronty's have poured forth they still do, biographies. Of each editions. Of the novels and the poems, the. Branches and Marxism, and sexuality. And women's lib. They're. All on sale in the converted, chemist shop where Bramwell, bought his opium. When. It comes to enjoying their books, there's bookseller joanna Hutton think their lives really matter, I personally. Don't, and I get, very fed up of this thing of trying to pin them down I mean, in one breath, were saying they're geniuses. And in, the other breath where we're saying well we've got to find out why they wrote this as they did are. They taking this from how if are they taking this from half as such are they taking this which, seems to me ridiculous, I mean if they had imagination. Obviously, they used, it and this, was the genius part do. You think the Bronte business is getting out of hand I. Don't. Know I often. Wonder what they think if they could come back to them see. It all what. Would they think I I think, they could but be flattered, I mean. How, would you feel yourself if. You'd written these books in a very humble way and, being, poor all your life and never really benefited, from any for any sort of off the things.
Of Fame and. Then to, come back 100, years100 and yet more years later and see all these people flocking, here because. Of what you've done I mean everyone you, could only be pleased I think. Can. You tell me why, it is new queueing to see with the Bronte parsonage. There. Seems no other alternative, Acadian but to cure that's largely, the reason I'm queuing, but. The Bronte, sisters are. Becoming. Increasingly important. I think in the general history of England and the general history of literature I should think if you stood here now and asked everybody who passed by the visitors, O'Rourke. Botherin. Is there isn't one in can ignore. Well. I'm a tourist that came from Greece. Well I have read the normal years are gone of, course I could opportunity, to visit the museum now as I mean England, for three weeks yes, I've read nearly all the books and I've read the biographies, you know I think I found it really fascinating I. Know really been before so obviously I'm not too sure really should. Be read the books not. Really about the big snow do you know a lot about them just. At me right is that so mm-hmm. Actually. We are on a tour of the Bronte country, and. This. Captivating. Book they're. Sort of compelling. But. Full, of interest lobbed it to me. Apart. From casual, visitors, and local, Yorkshire, folk on a day's drive out into the country there. Are of course the, Bronte, fanatics. The. Bronte society, is England's, oldest, literary, society, exceeding, even Dickens, and Wordsworth societies, for staying power it, was founded in 1893. It. Annual meeting is addressed by a distinguished. Literary personnage. It, has an annual excursion. To a Bronte landmark, and an, annual publication, the, Bronte transactions. Again. When wonders, what Charlotte, Emily and Anne would think so, I asked its chairman mr. Oliver, well. I. Think. They would be sympathetic, it was what we tried to do I should think Emily really wouldn't. Want to know what she because she disliked, the, very idea of her, sister looking at her poems, but. I think she would recognise how, devoted we are to her and how, many of the people who come here including. Members of the society, are devoted, to the Moores which she loved Charlotte. I think would would enjoy. Fame, and her, continuing, fame and the devotion which she attracts, by. Scholars. Which, is very flattering really, misses. Where was your favorite. Among. The brunt is your favorite, of, their works or, the thing that interests you most. Oh without. Question bothering. Heights and. Emili´s. Poems. It. Must be well, over 50 years now since. I first read Wuthering Heights I couldn't. Tell you because I don't think at the age I was then you analyze, the. Power of the book the. Real power. Of the book but it had some power on me, because. The scarce could be in a day I think since, then, when. I haven't thought about that book and I, went on from Wuthering, Heights to, the poems. Which. I still read. Great. Emotion. Very. Awesome and. Probably.
Reading Them on my despot, you. Find that movie that's important, yes I do. Of. Course the brand is a big business, now and they bring in thousands. A year, yeah. Well of course the, society, has a very large membership, at, home and abroad and, of, course lot, lots of people spend their weekends and even daytime leisure in visiting, the house and I, think it attracts a lot of people who. Are not knowledgeable as far as literature or concerned, or even the Bronte's but I think they're interested, in the Bronte scene their, lives their difficulties, their problems, the, little bit of social history. Which. Is fascinated. People for, 400. Years I think of, course the most the girls ever, earned as governess, is in a year was a hundred, pounds, what do you think they'd make of the income, of the Bronte, society, today I think, that bei quite pleased if they knew how I was spending it it's. All done on their behalf I think, possibly I agree with mr.. Oliver. Than Emily, might have thought it was a slight intrusion, but I doubt it I think it's spent wisely how. Many of the villagers belong, to the society, I, wouldn't. Know I would think that we have about, thirty in the actual visit a village itself. That's, not many no. I don't think that there's there particular interest because they've. Been, brought it to death. If. You can fight your way through the Jamboree in Main Street the record of the Bronte lives is here for the finding, here. Was once the gates through which they passed a church Charlotte. To her wedding each to their funerals, here, lies Tabitha Aykroyd, for 30 years their loyal servant. But. You will search in vain for, a Bronte tomb in the churchyard. Strangely. With all the paraphernalia, in the parsonage, and all the junk eating in the shops their, tomb the, family vault inside the, church is surprisingly. Modest, and seemly. Though. There is a colored slide for sale their. Family vault lies beneath the pavement, their, original, pew the original, stone went, in the rebuilding.
With. All this changed. One, living thing remains, the same the, job of parson, Barry, Ashdown is today's incumbent. Does, he sense the presence of his famous predecessor, in. Some respects I think I do yes because Howarth in many ways hasn't, changed very much since, he, was here and the. Atmosphere, of the place on certain, occasions and I do feel that sometimes, yes I noticed, one of the things looking through the the registers. In bronzes time that he must have spent almost all his time either bearing, or baptizing. People an. Enormous, number of course people very often died very young and I. Don't have, fortunately. Anything like the same number, on that and. That's part of my work. How. Earth was no rustic, Victorian, Idol it was a slum as bad as London's, worst no. Sewers, just open, drains the. Churchyard itself. Overcrowded. And ill drained was a source of infection, -. In five babies, died before the age of six the, average, age of death was, 25, years. Today. The children who attend the church and then the Sunday School where Charlotte brontë was a teacher are, more healthy live in better conditions. But. That's not to say that the bronty's early life was a misery, quite, the contrary, theirs was an intensely, happy, childhood, the. Family was close-knit, loving. Their minds cast, in the same mold, their. Home remained, the place they loved most, emily, was even ill with longing whenever, she was away, does, it matter then that the tourists, invade even the quiet of the church, well. I personally don't, mind that I know there are many people in the country who perhaps aren't regular churchgoers, but who nevertheless. Have a great. Interest in church buildings, and church architecture and, obviously in a place like Earth there are going to be many people who visit here, who. Want to see the church where Bronte, was incumbent, and I'm, personally. Quite happy, for them to come and have a good look round. So. Make them welcome yes, though you have to draw the line at some things. Once. The crowds depart, modern, Howarth has to deal with its own kind of 20th century squalor, not, now the deadly. Traces of poverty, but, the discarded, debris of affluence, the. Wrappers and refuse, of our leisure hours left. For the villagers to clear up it, takes their time their, trouble and goes on the rates Hamas. From wealthy, spinster, aunt who brought up the orphaned, Bronte children, would disapprove, she. Taught them neatness, cleanliness, punctuality. They. Would marvel at such municipal. Cleanliness but. Such individual. And tidiness, would shock them all. City. Dwellers and tourists, who get beyond the village into the fields, can even bring risks, to the farms, they. Know no better than to let their dogs roam free, at, lambing time the, farmers, fear for their flocks. It's. Hard enough farming.
The More as it is there. Are fewer farms, today many. Farmers have given up the unrewarding, struggle, and sought work in the valleys and towns, so. Farm houses stand empty, the. Moors are bleaker now than ever they were in Emily's time. You'll only get this far if you're truly dedicated and, if, you are dedicated you, won't want to miss it some. Four miles out from Howarth across rough moorland, you, come here to top Wiggins a ruined, and deserted farmhouse, imagined. By many to be the original of, Emily's. Watering. Heights the. Situation. Is probably correct but the building itself bears, very, little resemblance to, her original it. Would lift in until after the last war since. Then time, and the tourists. Have done their damage stealing. Its stone by stone as, souvenirs. In. The end it's her work that counts. But. Suddenly Emily, loved these Moors she. Was happier here than among people, who found her remote even, unfriendly. But. The Moors inspired. Her novel and her poems to a pitch of almost mystical, passion, coming. Here we get an impression of her life that, illuminates, what she wrote and the intensity, of her vision. I'll. Walk, where my own nature, would be leading it. Vexes me to choose another guide, where. The gray flocks, in Fernie Glen's, are feeding where, the wild wind blows, on the mountainside. What. Have those lonely mountains. Worth revealing. More. Glory, and more grief, than I can tell, the. Earth that wakes one, human, heart to feeling, can. Center both the worlds, of heaven and hell. That. For me is what this literary pilgrimage is, about to, come to the places where the branches belonged, their, home their, village their, landscape, and to try and know a little of what they knew, they. Traveled beyond those limits, of course there, were visits to London and months, spent in Brussels, and as governesses, in Holmes roundabout, but. It was their isolation, here, in this, harsh uncompromising. Part, of Yorkshire, that, nurtured, their genius foster. Their writing, and in, the end killed. Them howís, for all its coach loads and souvenirs, is a plays hallowed, by, genius, and tragedy, and finally. That is how it feels.