Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday, March 31, 2013 12:37 am by M. in ,    No comments
March 31st marks the anniversary of Charlotte's death and it's always a date to pause and reflect on her works, her life, her afterlife.

She wrote about returning to Haworth Parsonage many times, the house that became her home in 1821. Her mother died there that same year and was followed by Charlotte's elder sisters Maria and Elizabeth in 1825. It wouldn't be until 1848 that the family would see another death there. Branwell, closely followed by Emily and then Anne. Charlotte herself died in 1855 and her father in 1861. By the time Charlotte's widower left for Ireland in that same year the house where Charlotte had grown up, where she had performed thousands of small household tasks and where she had penned some of the best novels in English literature, saw a lot of changes just like it saw a lot of life.

We wonder what she would make of her former home's new look, which is as similar as possible to the house she knew, particularly the house she decorated herself in the 1850s. Thanks to the meticulous work carried out recently, visiting Charlotte's room at the Brontë Parsonage Museum brings us as close as possible to the woman she was. Her books bring us nearer the author, her house brings us nearer the person. The lovely blue walls lend a dreamy, unreal atmosphere and visitors can't help but try and flesh out her delicate going-away dress on display (more info on it here). Many pieces are there (her newly-acquired parasol, the toy tea cup and saucer, the toy lion (both in the new Heaven is a Home exhibition), her fragile wedding bonnet, her gloves) and she provided readers with the necessary doses of imagination in her novels. Go and see her, find her home.

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