The Bronte Sisters and their nature. 

In preparation for their forthcoming trip to Yorkshire, the members of the Year 9 Athenaeum enjoyed a presentation by Mrs Natalie Whittaker about the Bronte sisters and the importance of their local environment on their writing.

The session began with some brief biographical details about the sisters focussing particularly on how their family life was beset with tragedy and the challenges they faced a female authors. The students then discussed images of the rugged Yorkshire moorland dotted with ruined buildings, which was brought to life by a trailer for a recent film of the novel Wuthering Heights. They then did a detailed examination of a passage from the start of Wuthering Heights; they first considered the role of the narrator in the novel, always slightly removed from the action and then the novel’s Gothic characteristics with the shocking violence and the uncertain hovering between the physical and spectral realms.

A clip of Kate Bush singing the song “Wuthering Heights” played at the end of the presentation, was enjoyed by the students but also provided further insights into the themes of the novel with her mimicking the ghost of Catherine Earnshaw knocking at the window. The walk out onto the Yorkshire Moors was a highlight of last year’s trip and the weather was very sunny, which as you can see from the above is both a good and a bad thing! Further talks in preparation for the visit this year will take place in the next few weeks.