Haworth is a beautiful, historic village nestled in to the outskirts of the Pennines. It is famous for its cobbled streets, olde world sweet shop, apothecary and of course it was the home of The Brontës from 1820 until 1861.
The Brontë sisters, and their brother, were born in Thornton village, just along the road from where I grew up. This is where my love of the Brontës and Haworth stems from. I feel a connection with them and Brontë Country because to me they are of great importance, their history, and the imprint they have made on the world. The paths they have carved for creators after them to follow.
I can recall discussing Jane Eyre with my Nana Cora and when we read the novel at school I was captivated.
This was on my doorstep. These words and adventures had been created by women who once, maybe, walked through my childhood village. The Moors on which I have spent many hours wandering through, were the backdrop to literary classics penned by these extraordinary women.
It’s hard to imagine not being inspired, living in such close proximity to a wild and wonderful landscape.
It’s almost spiritual to stand on the heather filled land and ponder the moments when inspiration struck. Did they discuss their ideas as they walked together? Were they enlightened within from a glimpse of a fellow walker across the bracken?
It’s breath-taking and such an immense honour to stand and walk and relish in the surroundings that gave way to bickering and heartache, the laughter and disputes, the hatred and the friendships, the jealousy and contempt but most of all the desire. The all-consuming love. The yearning between Jane and Mr Rochester is something that will stay with me always.
I’m not sure what attracted me to the book as a child, I’m almost certain that it wasn’t the romance. It may well have been the mad woman in the attic. Whatever it was I can’t thank it enough.
That book has brought me happiness, despair, utter shock, joy, elation, desire and an insurmountable love of writing.
Thank you Miss Eyre and Mr Rochester, to me you are the greatest love story ever told. Thank you Charlotte, I imagine we would have been great friends. After all you had Jane Eyre published just in time for my birthday, even if it was over 100 years too early 😉