Like many before me, I became obsessed with the Brontës, especially Emily, who became, truly, an infatuation. As I read Wuthering Heights, I found myself thinking of what she may have been thinking while she wrote down the lines. What she was wearing while she wrote them down. I imagined her in her small room, writing her musical poems as the night wind “waved her hair.”I wash searching on the internet to find a photograph of the hair of Emily Bronte, but I could'nt.
I learned that Charlotte later edited her manuscript poems for publication, which I found extremely annoying; how could one hope to go in and “fix” such beautiful language? (In setting her poems, I have only ever used the original manuscript versions.)
I wondered what she looked like in real life, when she smiled or cried. How her skin smelled, her hair felt. I wanted to get in a time machine and go back there. I imagined what it might have been like, walking along a dirt road and suddenly coming upon Emily and Charlotte, two anonymous girls in their little carriage, on a day trip to Leeds.
The strange thing is, I slowly started to realize that there were thousands of others just like me. Obsessed.
Imagine then my shock while in 1999 touring their home, now a museum, and seeing an actual lock of Emily’s hair! (It had been cut off to save, in the tradition of the time, shortly after her death.)
I kept going back to that room, that glass case and looking again and again. She was real, not some mythical thing I had dreamed up. I was hesitant to finally leave. bronteblog/beneath-far-gondals-foreign-sky
I found Emily Brontë's burnt comb, said to have been used just before she died of consumption on December 19 1848.
And I found a sample of Mrs. Maria Brontë's hair (dated 1824).