Painting by Patrick Branwell Brontë
I have always been drawn to the history and lives creative people. There is something oddly encouraging in the realization that most talented people experienced great failure and difficulty in their lives.
That in their pain and perhaps because of it, they where able to create masterworks thats passion echoes through time.
illustration by Lizzy Stewart
I’ve read Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë twice, which is pretty unusual for me as I don’t ordinarily re-read books. It’s a darkly romantic story that’s themes deal with the conflicts of nature vs. culture and the dangers of the inability to change. Ideas that remain completely relevant today.
Some people believe that Jane Eyre, written by elder sister Charlotte, is a better book. It was certainly more widely received upon publication because of its Dickensian plot structure and virtue of its main character Jane.
Although Jane Eyre is a wonderful book (and certainly has had better screen adaptations) I think that Wuthering Heights is the more original of the two, and remains my favorite.
I feel a certain kinship with the Brontë Sisters. I can relate to their isolated and fiercely creative childhoods, even though theirs was tinged with much more sadness than mine. Creation at its heart is a solitary act.
I recently listened to these two fascinating podcasts about the Brontës.
It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.
I have dreamed in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.