The Bronte Home
Our trip to the Bronte Parsonage museum
Three years back when my husband and I were in UK, we visited the Bronte Parsonage Museum at Haworth, West Yorkshire. I had been really looking forward to this visit because it was the house of the famous Bronte sisters. Chalotte's Jane Eyre, Emily's Wuthering Heights and Anne's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall were written there.
The bus trip itself was quite enjoyable with the moors and the picturesque countryside. We were not really sure of the bus stop that we were supposed to get down. So, after continually pestering the bus driver as well as the passengers as to the location we finally got down at the correct stop.
The museum was tucked away behind the Haworth church overlooking the village. In front of the museum was a graveyard which I found quite creepy. It was sad to see a number of graves of young children. Haworth was a very unhealthy place in the 1800's.
After paying the entry fee (Standard admission £5.50) we entered. The museum boasts of the largest collection of Bronte possessions in the world. Each of the room told a story of its own- the dining room where the sisters wrote, read and discussed their ideas, Mr.Bronte’s study where he took care of his parish work, the kitchen where Emily helped with the household activities and the children’s study where all the Angrian and Gondal stories evolved. It was in Charlotte’s room that Mrs. Bronte died. Branwell used his studio for painting in anticipation of becoming an artist.
In the dining room there was the sofa on which Emily is supposed to have died. The room also had Anne’s favourite chair. The cabinet piano which Emily played was displayed in Mr. Bronte’s study. Other possessions of the museum included Charlotte’s wedding bonnet, her dresses, shoes, painting box, writing desk, the sisters’ mourning items, their letters, samplers and paintings, the little books which they made as children, Anne’s collection of stones from Scarborough, dog collars of their pets Flossy and Keeper etc.
There were two exhibitions as well at that time- ‘'That Unlucky Book' - The Life of Charlotte Bronte’ and ‘Who were the Brontes?’
As you might probably know there are a lot of myths surrounding the Bronte family- that Mr. Bronte was very strict with a violent temper, that he restricted their diet, that Haworth was a lonely and secluded place and so on. 'Who were the Brontes?' was intended to throw some light into the known facts and thus separate myth from reality. ‘'That Unlucky Book' - The Life of Charlotte Bronte’ was about Elizabeth Gaskell's biography of Charlotte Bronte which unfortunately was the source of many myths.
Overall, it was a great experience and I enjoyed it thoroughly (eventhough I caught a cold after the trip!).