OK, so what on earth is a blog that purports to be about all things London doing writing a piece about one of our greatest authors more associated with the bleak Yorkshire moors?
Those of you who have been paying attention will recall the line “I left my native Yorkshire…” on my about page. Specifically, I was born and raised in Keighley, the nearest large town to Haworth, and so grew up surrounded by the Brontë heritage industry (my middle school was called Brontë School and overlooked the wild and windy Haworth moors), so there’s my first excuse.
I know their home at Haworth Parsonage well (now a museum, obviously) having visited it dozens of times both in my youth and on subsequent visits back up t’ north with understandably interested southern friends.
The overwhelming sense you get from a visit there is quite how grim an existence it must have been (even by the most phlegmatic Yorkshire definition of the word) living in that cold, windswept house overlooking the graveyard.
Charlotte visited London on couple of occasions (beautifully recalled by Kate Shrewsday here on her excellent blog), which leads us towards my second excuse for featuring her.
It is the quote from Villette that seals the deal; a particularly sharp and perceptive observation from an ingénue visitor to London from the bleak Yorkshire moors, but one that came as no surprise to me knowing so well the area and environment in which she was brought up.
Which is why she features as one of the “heroes” on my Heroes and Villains walk.
And where can you see her depicted in The City of London? Well, you’ll have to come on the walk to find that out… 🙂
Happy 198th birthday, Charlotte.