Saturday, May 25, 2013

Extraordinary Victorians - Emily Bronte

It is no secret that I adore Victorian literature. I have enjoyed reading the works of Dickens, Jane Austin, and the Bronte sisters since I was a child. One of my favourite books in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I actually first read this book when I was in grade 5. I took it out of the school library. I went back a week later and asked to borrow it for another week and the librarian did not believe I had read it!
She asked me questions about the book and seemed shocked I actually was reading the book!
I know this book is not everyone's favourite, but there's no denying that Emily and her sisters were extraordinary talents.

Emily was born in July 30 1818 in Thornton Yorkshire, England. She was the second youngest of six children, Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte, and their brother Patrick Branwell (often called Branwell) were older. her younger sister Anne was a couple of years younger then Emily. They moved when she was two, to Haworth, Yorkshire, where father was a pastor. Her mother died a year later, when she was three of what was probably cancer.
After her mother's death the three older girls, Maria, Elizabeth and Charlotte were sent to a school called Clergy Daughters school, where they experienced hardship and abuse. Emily was sent there at the age of six, but was only there a year when a typhoid epidemic went through the school. Maria was sent home ill first, and may have actually had tuberculosis. She died shortly after returning home. The other girls were sent home, but unfortunately Elizabeth died shortly after her return as well. These experiences are recounted in Charlotte's work "Jane Eyre".

Emily, Anne and Charlotte, Branwell painted himself out.
From there on the children were educated at home. Their mothers sister Elizabeth Branwell, helped with this, as did their father. Both her aunt and father were very strict and reclusive. They would eat meals alone, away from the children and make them spend hours in a room being quiet while their father worked. It was in these conditions the children developed a love of reading literature like Milton, Scott and Byron. They also wrote a series of stories about Branwell's toy soldiers set in a fictional world called Angria. When Emily was 13, she and her sister Anne started writing their own stories about a fictional world called Gondol. Unfortunately not much survives of these stories except character and place names, and some poetry.
At age 17, she went back to school, one where her older sister Charlotte was teaching. She lasted less then a year before returning home due to homesickness. Her sister Anne then replaced her. It was at this time the thee girls decided they wanted to open up a school.
At 20 she became a teacher in Halifax, but returned after a year to become a stay at home daughter. Their brother Branwell was also becoming more difficult due to alcoholism and possible opium addiction. He apparently had boughts of depression and mad raving. Emily did not abandon her teaching dream though, and at 24 went to Brussels with Charlotte for further studies in French and German. Their teacher was very impressed with Emily and said she had remarkable reason and should of been born a man. He also remarked that she was stubborn and headstrong.
Both Emily and her sister were offered teaching positions, but returned home because their aunt was ill, and later died.

Emily as painted by her brother.

At age 26 she decided to go through the poems she had written when she was younger, and after some persuasion her sister Charlotte encouraged her to get them published. The three sisters poems were published under the names Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, as they could get them published under male names. They got some good reviews but were told only two copies had sold.
Not to be discouraged at age 29, she published Wuthering Heights, the work she is best known for. It was thought to have been written by a man because of the raw passion, and brutality expressed in the work. It wasn't until two years after her death that her real name was revealed as the author.
Emily was reported to have been very shy and reclusive but courageous. She loved walking on the moors, wildlife and animals and rarely spoke to those outside of her circle. As such she remains a bit of a mystery. She was reported to be quite stubborn. After the death of her brother, she caught a bad cold at the funeral and contracted tuberculosis. She refused a doctor, until it was too late, and died in 1848, never seeing the huge success her book was to become.

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

What's In My Bag

Just my latest blog post, where I let you see what's in my bag.

Watch Video Here

What do you usually carry in your bag?

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Steampunk modelling

Lately I've been doing a little steampunkish modelling. I know, it's a cliche that every goth female is an "alternative model". I have been involved in a couple of projects this year and am really excited about both of them.
The first exciting announcement is that I am in Victoriana Lady Lisa's latest book "International Strampunk Fashion".

For those of you who don't know who she is, check out her website here . Victoriana Lady Lisa is an expert on Victorian and Edwardian fashion and customs. She has appeared on the show Odities, is an author, public speaker and hosts Victorian tea parties. I love that she has turned her passion into hr life - very inspiring. She also has a blog you can check out Here.
I'm on page 107 with my lovely friend and model Joan V.

The second project is a calendar fundraiser for the Subgenres Winnipeg show. It's a local show about various subcultures in the city. The calendar was steampunk themed, and I'm pleased to have been a part of it. You can check out their site Here.
Here's a group shots we did at the Dalnavert Museum.

And here's a close up of me.

It's certainly been fun, and I hope to be involved in some more projects soon.

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Goth Reading

Hi everyone

Here is my latest vlog about recommended reading for goths, both about the subculture, and gothic literature. I've probably forgotten some aurthors and books. Let me know what you recommend.

Watch video

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Nostalga Night

Yesterday I went to a social (if you're not from Manitoba, a social is basically a party held in a community hall), put on by the Elysium Social Club, a gothic community group. The theme of this social was "20 Years of Bloody Hell", celebrating 20 years of the goth scene in Winnipeg. I'm sure there was a scene of some kind before that, but it was about 20 years ago that the goth bar "The Crypt" opened, and that a local DJ, who is still going strong, has been spinning for us. DJ Evil Bastard or Zlatan, famously says "bloody hell" a lot - thus the name of the evening. While the Crypt (which later became a gothic clothing shop) is closed and the goth bar night has moved to 4 or 5 different venues since, it is nice to see that our little community is still going strong.
Last night it was great to see so many people come out and get dressed up like the old days.They had DJs playing the best songs from different eras, and a slide show with tons of photos from the past two decades.

My look for the night.

My freind Rene looking awesome.

Rene 15 years ago. Still fabulous!

Here's me back in 199/2000 playing in a gothic metal band called Exalted. I played with them from 1998 - 2002.
Seeing the old photos definitely did make me miss some things about the old days. But lots of things now are really good, and it's nice to see that many of us are still friends and are enjoying the scene, even if that means we go out a little less and some are having to find babysitters for the night.

Here's a few more pics from the night. I took a bunch, but I'll try to keep it to a minimum here.

Old Crypt sign

The lovely Christine.

Marie - love that hair!

What is your local scene like?

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Goth Elitism and Babybats

Hi everyone,
My latest vlog post. Let me know what your thoughts are?

Watch video here