I was a little bit apprehensive before getting started in this month’s challenge – 31 days did feel like quite a lot of Bronteing. As it happens, I have come through the entire month and still had topics to spare. I was looking through old photo albums earlier this week and upturned this picture from 1994 – this was not my first trip to Haworth but it was definitely one of the earlier ones.
It’s funny looking at myself with the huge fringe and the big smile despite the fact that at that point I had never read a single line of anything the Brontës had ever written. I knew all of their names, I knew that they had had a naughty brother, I even knew that they had had two older sisters who died. I knew that their father had been born in Ireland. And yet I didn’t even really know what they wrote about. Within a year or two I would watch The Tenant of Wildfell Hall on BBC and around then I would also see some of a Jane Eyre film. Sitting here now in my thirties, I feel like reading the books is the key to the fandom but even back then, I would definitely have said that I liked them. Partly I think I just liked Haworth. There was one time we had gone there via a steam train and I always hoped that we would go that way again. There was always something eerie though about visiting the Parsonage. There was Patrick’s funny hat in one room and then the sofa that Emily died on in the living room. Upstairs there was the little cap for Charlotte’s baby who was never born. I think in my own way I was a fan. It was definitely that same fascination that I felt then which led me to actually pick up the books in my early teens. Looking at it that way, I have been a Brontë fan for not far off thirty years. It’s been a lot of fun discovering a whole new side to the online Brontë community – thank you for joining in too!