Chez l'abeille

Culture. Travel. Writing. My world in words and pictures

Finding Charlotte.


“Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs.”
Charlotte Brontë – Jane Eyre
Those words seem remarkably prescient when you consider Charlotte Brontë died at the young age of 38. Her life in many ways seems small yet in that short time she achieved so much. Most readers will have tackled her partly autobiographical novel “Jane Eyre” but her passion for writing began at an early age.
There is much more about Charlotte Brontë that appears small. Visitors to the Brontë family home in Haworth, Yorkshire are drawn to displays of her incredibly narrow waisted dresses and her impossibly petite gloves and shoes. Their murmurs of disbelief and amazement are constantly  heard in her bedroom, where these objects are displayed. Tiny too, are the books she and her siblings wrote for each other as children, covering minute pieces of paper with even more miniscule writing and drawings. It is believed that Charlotte ruined her eyesight by working on such an impossibly small scale.

The Parsonage Museum gives an insight into the very enclosed world the Brontës lived in. Yet these cramped rooms and confined working spaces contrast greatly with the vastness of the open moors which sit right behind the house.
Behind the Parsonage - The Moors

Behind the Parsonage – The Moors

Despite her emotionally constrained and very tragic life, Charlotte created some of the best loved novels of the past 200 years, and her literary legacy remains eternally strong. As part of the 200th anniversary of her birth a small exhibition has been curated by author Tracy Chevalier, the museum’s creative partner for the bicentennial year. Exploring these artefacts and pondering on the objects in the very rooms that Charlotte inhabited, it’s impossible not to sense something of her indomitable spirit and sense of self shining through.

“I am not an angel,” I asserted; “and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself.”
Charlotte Brontë – Jane Eyre



3 thoughts on “Finding Charlotte.

  1. Lovely post! You’re a really good photographer. Sounds like a really interesting museum, must pay it a visit sometime!

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