Friday, September 14, 2007

The Bronte Sisters

The Brontes may not be immediately associated with mystery, but the gothic form, according to study leader Carol Kent, is "the most enduring influence on mystery." And Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, is, of course, a pure piece of gothic fiction. So today, we were off to Haworth and the Bronte Parsonage, where the Bronte sisters lived, beginning in 1820. There, we met with author Robert Barnard (above at the parsonage), a prolific mystery writer as well as president of the Bronte Trust. Barnard gave us a tour of the Bronte house, and later a tour of The Red House, owned by friends of Charlotte and immortalized in her novel Shirley. It was a double bonus: one of Britain's most-known authors and a Bronte expert! Barnard has a wicked sense of humor -- I recommend his Death by Sheer Torture and The Case of the Missing Bronte, but Barnard has more than 40 books -- so plenty to choose from.

It was also our second pub lunch on the tour -- and I must mention it because it was at the Old Silent -- the namesake of Martha Grimes' novel The Old Silent. And one mystery solved for me: Yorkshire pudding is not a pudding (in the American sense, at least), but it is still quite good!

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