The moors, the merrier for Bronte tour

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Friday’s column (read it here) is about my visit to Haworth, the English village where Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte lived and wrote. The photo above looks uphill through Haworth’s Bronte Village toward the historical sites.

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The Bronte Parsonage Museum. This is the home where the family lived from 1820 to 1861.

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The sofa where Emily died in 1848. Sob!

Read about the Bronte Museum here.

Bronte fans will like this cartoon by Kate Beaton entitled “Dude Watchin’ With the Brontes.”

Below, in a bonus, is the first-draft ending that I wrote for my column but cut. This would have picked up immediately after the last paragraph of my column. I decided to chop this and end the column on a stronger note, even though I didn’t tell about the rest of my visit to Haworth. I’d be curious to know if you think I made the right choice.


Once outside the museum, I began to walk the moors that had so inspired the sisters, particularly Emily. A dirt path was marked along the edges of hilly farms, with less picturesque modern homes along the other side.

Stocking cap pulled low, scarf around my neck and coat zipped tight, I walked an eighth of a mile in the mud, rain in my face, before deciding sensibly, “I think I have the idea” and turning back.

These moors were a bit too wild for me.

Back in what passes for the town, I paused for lunch at the long-lived Black Bull Pub, where Branwell entertained guests and slowly drank himself to death. I settled for hot tea, thank you, plus a tart and, as the British say, two veg, before heading back to the bus stop.

It was cold, wet and miserable. The wind turned my umbrella inside out. For all I knew, in Stratford-upon-Avon, it was sunny and clear. But I didn’t care. The Brontes are for me.

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  • DebB

    Personally, I think you made the right decision. The article as it stands is a pretty powerful portrait of the family’s tragedies. The bonus ending, while interesting in itself, takes away some of that power. It’s a little anti-climactic. And I’m not one who insists on a happy ending to every story.

    Plus there’s that whole “leave ’em wanting more” thing….

    [Yeah, taking the column back to the beginning with the Stratford-upon-Avon reference made a certain sense, but ending the column on a more emotional note made even more sense. Thanks, Deb. — DA]

  • Beware the Moon

    What part of “Keep off the moors… And stay on the road” did you not understand, David?

    [Heh. “American Werewolf in London” quote. — DA]

  • Theresa Hanley

    David, great pieces on your trip. Friday’s column ended well enough — but it was nice to read the extra bit here too.

    But, hey — Jane is way more famous than that Steve guy.

    [Not if you were an 11-year-old boy circa 1975. — DA]

  • john fatini

    So sad that the father had to witness the passing of all 6 siblings.