As part of the AS English Language and Literature course, the year 12s have and will be studying ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte and ‘Othello’ by William Shakespeare. To increase knowledge and understanding of the writers, we ventured to the home territory of Bronte and Shakespeare. Two days passed extremely quickly.
On the first day we drove right up to the Yorkshire Dales. The scenes were stunning, a little isolated and barren, but reflected the brooding atmosphere in ‘Jane Eyre’. Our tour guide walked us through the Brontes’ home (a parsonage), down the hill passed the graveyard, around the church where the Charlotte’s father was a parson and into the village. Many people in the village in Bronte’s time died younger (average life expectancy was less than 30 years old) due to the buried bodies and water that ran down hill into the village below (diseases like typhoid and typhus). Two workshops on the context of ‘Jane Eyre’ and different interpretations of this text completed the day.
The same day we trekked back down the motorway to Worcester in preparation for our visit to Stratford-upon-Avon the following day.
It was a day packed with visiting three of Shakespeare’s houses, driving past the other two, a Latin lesson in Shakespeare’s old school room and a tour around the town learning about the context, history and culture that Shakespeare grew up in as well as a visit to the church where Shakespeare is buried. The Shakespeare family was quite established in Stratford-upon-Avon and Shakespeare grew up surrounding by stories, travelling actors and a bustling market environment which would have influenced his future career as a playwright and actor.
It was an enjoyable experience and thanks goes to Rosie Batts who did a LOT of driving!