I should explain that "Wuthering Heights" and Emily Brontë mean a great deal to me. I studied the novel at Advanced Level when I was at secondary school. I studied it again at university and when I was a secondary school English teacher, I taught it to two cohorts of A level students.
In addition, I have visited the little Pennine town of Haworth where the Brontës lived on several occasions and I have walked over the moors to Top Withens four times. It is believed that Top Withens Farm - now a ruin - provided Emily Brontë with the idea for Wuthering Heights in the amazing novel of that name.
My daughter Frances's middle name is Emily and that is not co-incidental. There is also a character called Frances in the novel. I confess that I didn't tell Shirley about this when she said she liked the name before our beautiful baby girl was born back in 1988.
And so I came to the 2022 film with special interest. I wanted it to be good and in most ways it was good. There was a sense of bleakness in a God-fearing community and a feeling that death might be just around the corner as it was for so many in the early nineteenth century.
Of course the director and her team were not seeking historical accuracy. They had poetic licence to create an imagined version of events and how the characters might have related to each other. There is no evidence for Emily's steamy affair with the new curate William Weightman. This is made up but adds spice to the middle section of the film. The religious propriety and watchful eyes of the early-Victorian era would have restrained Emily and Weightman like invisible chains. Besides, rumour had it that he was in fact drawn to Emily's sister Anne.
I ended up going down a rabbit hole, reading about the Bronte's. We are lucky to have decent health care. I agree with you about the teeth in movies that are set in the past, it's quite annoying.ReplyDelete
You might enjoy "Emily" Nurse Lily. Look out for it... or The Big Guy might take you to see it at a cinema. Try to ignore the teeth.Delete
The name on the novel would have bothered me too...a lot! Some people have issues with realism in films (or books) because they want everyone to look attractive, even if they really weren't. The Disney treatment!ReplyDelete
The social milieu of the film is quite harsh and spartan so why did they overlook the teeth? In the excellent film version of "Les MIserables" they attended to this detail. Thanks for calling round again Ms Grieve!Delete
I've never read Wuthering Heights but now I will read it. It's obviously one of your favorites.ReplyDelete
If you do get round to reading it Red, please be patient with it . It is not like reading a modern novel, such is its Victorian language and its clever weaving.Delete
I know what you mean about the teeth, but it is very rare that films set in a historical environment pay attention to that. In the 1990s, the then new Robin Hood movie stood out for me for that; actors were dirty, had greasy hair and torn clothes like poor folk who live rough lives with no daily hot showers and washing machines in their homes.ReplyDelete
In 2020, my sister's birthday presents to me were Bronte-themed. I posted about the book and the DVD she gave me here:
I can not remember what the teeth were like, but I do remember that it was muddy when it rained, and people's clothes were certainly not glamorous.
I am glad that my reference to teeth rang some bells for you Meike.Delete
My grandma used to take me to Haworth regularly to visit a relative there. We used to catch three buses to get there. It was quite an adventure for my young self.ReplyDelete
It was in the years where I would be from six to ten I think and I remember her telling me my family lived there and that her grandad had had seven wives like Henry the eigth!😂
In recent years after years of doing family history research I found the quite a few ancestors are buried in the church yard in Haworth. My great, great grandfather in fact had five wives. She obviously embroidered the story a bit!
I don't think I'd like to see the film. I think authenticity is important.
Was your great-great grandfather a Mormon?Delete
It is such a story 'Wuthering Height', Kate Bush gives an inkling of the wildness of the moors, and of course I have seen them myself, such bleakness. How the Bronte family lived amongst the grayness of Haworth and the illness of the people around them beggars disbelief.ReplyDelete
The Reverend Patrick Bronte outlived his wife and all of his children. That must have been a heavy load to carry. What was God thinking about?Delete
They could have borrowed my teeth for the film. Good old 1950s British teeth.ReplyDelete
If they had borrowed your teeth, how could you have eaten your Manx kippers each morning they were away?Delete
I have been on the same walk and visited the Parsonage and drank in the Black Bull where Branwell frequented. Wuthering Heights is a great Gothic love story that goes on beyond the grave. Kate Bush made a masterpiece of a Rock classic with her hit single: Wuthering Heights. Can't wait to see the Emily film.ReplyDelete
I suspect that you will also enjoy it Dave - maybe with a couple of reservations.Delete
I tried to read Wuthering Heights many years ago, but I am far too used to modern English and plots that crack along at a good pace with likeable characters. I don't think it's worth me trying it again. I am glad you saw the movie and liked it though.ReplyDelete
If you fly me over to Adelaide, I will lead you through "Wuthering Heights" River. I will talk roughly like Heathcliff.Delete
Those details can be so distracting, one I caught recently was rubber soles on a mans dress shoes for a scene set in the early 1940's.ReplyDelete
Some things are hard to ignore.Delete
Well, movies cannot really be entirely accurate I suppose. And in the spirit of how literature often takes the form of reality and spins it into art, I think Emily would understand and possibly even approve.ReplyDelete
To have died so young and to still inspire readers 170 years later - that's quite a thing. I wish Emily could have known before casting off her mortal coil.Delete
I've always meant to read that book but never got around to it. One day I shall. (I hope)ReplyDelete
Read it with patience Addy - slowly at first. You cannot gallop through it like a modern novel.Delete
I studied it at University too and have reread it since. But on the whole I think I always preferred Jane Eyre (by her sister Charlotte, and I probably read that a few more times). I haven't seen this film but I know what you mean about the teeth. I also usually wonder with many of the dramas set in that time period if they really managed to keep their hair that neat, and their skirts that clean (while walking miles across farmland or on muddy roads), and how they always seem to have fit a multitude of dresses made of tons of fabric into the one small chest that came with them on the carriage (when going to London or Bath or where ever)... (Trying to ignore that, I usually enjoy watching these films and series anyway, though.)ReplyDelete
It is not always easy to suspend disbelief.Delete
Recently, someone who used to write TV scripts as a hobby - successfully with small sections in some well known series - explained he had given up because of having to check diversity targets and so on, even when they make a script historically inaccurate.ReplyDelete
I think it best for me not to respond properly to this comment as I could put my big foot in it.Delete
Good heavens YP - I've never thought about teeth, but you're right! No matter how downtrodden, starving, or at death's door, in films and TV they all have excellent teeth!ReplyDelete
You were lucky with your choice of A Level Literature. I got lumbered with Sir Walter Scot's "Guy Mannering" for my A level! It was a book almost as thick as a family bible and more than a third was taken up with a glossary explaining the Scots words and phrases. None of us actually finished the book, and I literally just scraped through for a pass mark. Thinking about it, I don't think we read any Brontë books at all - probably considered too racy for us back in those days!
"Guy Mannering" is the kind of novel that would put literate teenagers off Literature for life. What were the exam board thinking about? Idiots!Delete
I'm surprised the film didn't acknowledge the Ellis Bell pen name. That's pretty famous -- and Charlotte was Currer Bell, as I recall.ReplyDelete
You're right about teeth. I've noticed that in many historical dramas.
And Anne was Acton Bell.Delete
It’s on my listReplyDelete