Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Sisters Brontë Have a Smackdown: Act Two

image found here  
As you may recall, when we last left the Brontë sisters. Emily had expressed a desire to eschew her needle and thread in favor of horse wrangling and start her herd using the stud services of the family plow horse, Heathcliffe. Charlotte has informed her that this will not do because Heathcliffe is a gelding, but of course no genteel daughter of a Parson can be expected to know what a gelding is.  And how did Charlotte ever come to possess this earthy information, so lacking in delicacy or dignity?

Color inflamed Emily's cheeks as she pondered Charlotte's question.  Heathcliffe, a gelding?   With a toss of her ringlets she drew the fine lawn handkerchief from her sleeve and fluttered it with an airy gesture. "I don't give a fig for where Heathcliffe was born. He's as fine a steed as a horse from London."

"What's all this?" Anne said as she entered the parlor with a tea tray.  "Emily, you look flushed.  Here come sit down and have a crumpet."  She made her way gracefully to the table by the hearth, oblivious of the building tension in the room

Charlotte's plain but pleasant face darkened with anger.  "Tea and crumpets don't solve everything Anne.  Are you aware that our sister wants to become a horse wrangler?"

The tea tray, when it dropped from Anne's hands seemed to fall in slow motion, a thin stream of translucent liquid arcing from the white china pot  and crumpets launching like diminutive baked bombs.  The explosion on the stone hearth was tremendous, china shattering, tea sizzling as it hit the coals and the tray clattering for ages before it settled.

The silence, after the explosion, was not a peaceful lack of sound, but rather like the humming noise on the heath as electricity charges the air before a great crack of thunder.  Suddenly guttural screams were torn from three lovely white throats as the sister's Brontë rushed at each other headlong in the frenzy of familial passion turned into a bout of wrestling, hair pulling and name calling.

Let us draw a curtain on the scene so as not to observe the torn pantaloons, the clumps of hair on the parlor floor, the bloodied noses, the unladylike oaths, the climbing on the horsehair sofa and launching with an airborne assault on a writhing pile of crinoline.  A painful scene, a display of suppressed emotion let loose.  A scene eventually forgiven but not forgotten, to come to light in literary masterpieces like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.

The End



Sue said...

It's always so edifying to know the back story.


Cherie said...

You did not disappoint - Bravo!!

Holly said...

Hmmmmmmm......I think my husband would think that sounded pretty erotic. He's simple like that.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...


You picked a great photo. Those are some scary faces. This whole thing ought to be a SNL skit! Not with today's crowd, either. I'm talking the greats---Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner (RIP), and Laraine Newman. (Not too surprising there was a Laraine in the bunch!)

Pondside said...

I just knew it! mama was always holding those Bronte girls up to me "why can't you be more like the Bronte girls?" Those fakers!

Vagabond Mother said...

I'm partial to Charlotte because they now believe her pregnancy killed her. Who couldn't love that?