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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Strong Irish Connection For Bronte

Firstly, I must apologise for a brief absence. My computer died a horrible death on Sunday and I have been trying to revive it ever since. I am currently pounding away *click* at a very stiff library computer which is hurting my thumbs *click*. I hope to resurrect my computer presently. In the meantime, I have only time for one post today.

From the Evening Echo, we are reminded about the Brontes' Irish background:

Jonathan Bronte

There’s a strong double Irish connection to be found in the upcoming film about the famous Bronte sisters: Charlotte, Emily and Anne.

People usually associate the talented literary trio with the wuthering heights of the Yorkshire Moors, but their father, Irish-born Patrick, was a preacher and teacher near Rathfriland in Co Down before moving to England. He actually out-lived all his off-spring. You can visit the Bronte Homeland Interpretative Centre in Drumballyroney.

The other connection is that Dubliner Jonathan Rhys Meyers will play the sisters’ black sheep brother, Bramwell.

There is more information on the Irish connection in the Bronteana archives.


Liz said...

Oh dear, sorry to hear about your computer woes! I hope everything gets sorted soon.

Some of the more psychobiographical types were very struck with the celtic origins of the sisters, I think. I can't see much direct influence personally though.

Still not sure about this film! I hope it turns out ok.

Brontëana said...

to Liz:

I'm back! I lost everything on my compy, however... But I don't think there is a lot to mourn for. I kept most of my Bronte collection on CDs, but I did have quite a lot still on my hard drive alone. :(

I can pick up the Irish influence, but it isn't very pronounced in their works. However, it is there on a mythic level and I firmly believe that their father passed on something of his Northern Ireland accent. Whenever I read Charlotte's poetry, many rhymes do not make sense unless I cast them in a voice similar to that of a friend of mine who lives not far from where Patrick grew up. It sounds more Scottish/north of England than the southern Irish accent.

One of the things which has never been a problem for me is the 'voice across the moors.' It so happens that some of my ancestors left Ireland in the early 1850s. Some of their superstitions have held on very stubbornly all these years. And one of these is a belief in the possibility of such voices, and forerunners, etc. So, I've never been able to really understand what the fuss is about the voice being unrealistic! :)

After Polly Teale's 'Bronte' I think I'm a little on edge about such bios too.

Liz said...

Does that mean that Mr Rochester is a banshee? ;-) Actually I am surprised Bronte doesn’t mention that alongside her gytrashes and vampyres and goblins and ghosts.

Hope you haven’t lost too much off your pc.

Brontëana said...

Only if he were a woman, and he was wailing for Bertha! No, but I have sometimes heard my relatives assert that they had heard their loved ones praying or speaking to them when they were very far away (or, indeed, dead). It isn't surprising to me- other superstitions have also held on, like a fixed belief that putting shoes on certain objects would cause the instant death of a near relation. (That goes back to old waking practices of laying out the clothes of the dead).