Friday, May 05, 2006

Haworth, the Brontes and Moslem women


A day out in Haworth allowed for a tramp across the moors in the footsteps of the Brontes. Their shoes are on view in the museum in town, coverng doll-size feet. It's sweet to think of them pattering those feet against the storms, out walking their dog. It's a dog highway up on the moors, packs of them out with owners to smash across the heather and scatter the skylarks.
I like Haworth, its steep cobbled streets clinging on to some authentic Yorkshire old-time feel. The parsonage was unpacked on a rare sunny weekday, remarkable for its presentation of all the Bronte furnitures in situ - 'here's the sofa on which Emily died' etc.
The new line of ths place since I was there a couple of decades ago is a stream of Moslem women tourgroups, peeping out through the eyeslits in their black swathes of cloth. It seems the Bronte sisters, cooped up in their family home while reaching out to the world, are deemed acceptable material for young Moslem women. It's fun to think of how they might appear in 21st Century Bronte works - they seem oddly apposite to the Bronte view of the world.

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