Friday 17 August 2018

Emily Brontë: “I wish to be as God made me”

2018 is the year of Emily Brontë’s bicentenary. As I am a massive Emily Brontë fan, this year is important for me. I sometimes wished that I could have taken a sabbatical year off to go to all the events that have been  organised to celebrate Emily’s 200th birthday. But sadly, I have to limit my taking part in the celebrations to the BS conference in York (in September) and afterwards my annual visit to Haworth.

My husband and I go to Ireland (and England) on our holidays every year and for both Charlotte’s and Branwell’s bicentenary I have found special places to visit that were related to the travels of these Brontë siblings. For Charlotte her honeymoon in Ireland was a very good topic to explore in Ireland, for Branwell the Lake district was the selected area.  I reported on these travels on the BBG blog.
In Emily’s case that was more difficult, she was not really someone who travelled a lot. Apart from her work as a governess at Law Hill, she only travelled to York (with her sister Anne) and to Brussels (with her sister Charlotte). Both these destinations were not really a good option to write about or to visit: Brussels is for me not a special destiny to travel to as I work there (and this subject has been dealt with in great detail by our own Helen in books, articles and presentations), and the BS conference on Emily this year is taking place in York.

Therefore, I had to find something else to do during my holidays to remember Emiliy Brontë and to celebrate her special birthday. My only option left was reading the many books (old and recent ones) that have been written on Emily’s life and work. And reading I did! A lot! Even while in Ireland, Emily was not out of the picture. One Tuesday morning I went to the newspaper agent and what did I see: “Ireland’s Own” (an Irish magazine) featured Emily Brontë’s bicentenary (“The unforgettable Emily Brontë”): five pages on Emily’s life and work. Nothing new, of course, but still it made my day!