Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Carriage Full Of Brontes

Oh, it all started so well. You will recall that I had accepted the kind invitation from Tess Kincaid to attend the 4th Annual Willow Manor Ball and, over the weekend, I had walked across the valley to the small West Yorkshire village of Haworth to invite a special girl to be my date. The Willow Manor Ball is, of course, a virtual event and therefore you are allowed to invite any companion you want - whether or not they are still drawing regular breaths on this mortal coil is neither here nor there nor anywhere else. Not wanting to intrude - and being of a shy and retiring nature - when I got to the parsonage I just dropped a note through the letterbox. Here is what it said :

"My Dear Miss Bronte, I have long been an admirer of your work and it would give me enormous pleasure if you would agree to accompany me to the Willow Manor Ball being organised by my friend Tess Kincaid on the 12th October.  If you agree, I will have a carriage ready to collect you on Wednesday evening at 7.30 in the evening.  With the greatest of respect and affection, your humble servant, Alan Burnett".

I thought the words captured the tone of the event and I sat back and awaited a reply. I did not have to wait long, and on Monday morning the following note was pushed through my door:

"Respected Sir, Thank you for you kind note. I am so glad that you find some satisfaction in my humble writing and that you wish for my company at the ball being held by the American Lady. I would be delighted to attend and I look forward to your carriage arriving at the parsonage on Wednesday. Your friend, Charlotte Bronte"

I was of course, delighted that my invitation had been accepted and stayed up all night re-reading "Jane Eyre" just so that I would have something to talk about on the long carriage ride to Ohio. 

You can therefore imagine my shock and surprise when on Tuesday morning I found the following note behind my door. "Gallant Sir, Thank you so much for your kind note, I am both delighted and a little overawed that you have read my book and like my work. I would be overjoyed to accept your kind offer to take me to the Ball and I will be looking out of my window in anticipation of your arrival on Wednesday evening. Thank you once again for thinking of me kind sir, your soul-mate, Emily Bronte".

I have to confess a crude expletive passed my lips when I read this message and realised the mistake which must have been made. One sister had left my note lying around and the other had mistakenly thought it was for her. But what can't be mended must be endured so I immediately took to my library and started to read "Wuthering Heights".

By now you will have realised what awaited me when I got to the door this morning! Yes, you guessed right. "My Dear Sir, Thank you so much for your note. You can not understand what a delight it was for me to receive it as I often think that I hide away in the shadow of my two successful sisters. But you, kind sir, have invited me to the Ball and I ecstatically accept. See you on Wednesday my dear sir, Your Anne Bronte".

Well, what can I say. Well I am not going to say it because quite frankly I am exhausted from lack of sleep. Last night I had to stay up all night reading "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" and I can assure you that is no walk in the park. So here I am, in Haworth with a carriage full of Brontes. The female members of the party are all scowling at me and I can see from their eyes that as soon as they get me alone they will demand an explanation. But worst of all, I have also got their brother Branwell in the carriage with me. "He is a little melancholic and must come with us", said Charlotte. Melancholic! He is as drunk as a judge and singing rude songs in the back of the carriage. How on earth I am going to explain this disaster to Tess when we all arrive I can't imagine.

The only way for you to find out is for you to go on over to the Willow Manor Blog and follow the events live, as they happen. Wish me luck.

27 comments:

  1. Alan, I am so very thrilled over your slight misunderstanding...all three Bronte sisters at the Willow Manor Ball! I have a special kinship to Emily, and have already spotted her in the wing back chair in front of the manor fireplace...looking a lot like me...

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  2. Hahaha. Poor you. Well a man appearing as clever as all that, and reading so many of those sisters in such short notice, should make anyone of them swoon. Just give them time, as well as slipping them a little of Bertie's punch - a guaranteed ice breaker. Best of luck, dear lad.

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  3. Strange goings on at Willow Hall!

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  4. Three for the price of one! How fortunate for all of us!

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  5. Glad to see you there and exquisite company!

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  6. Well, I have heard of un menage a trois, but un menage a quatre????? This I have to see!! Let us know more, do not keep us in suspense! How intriguing....

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  7. I sincerely hope you managed to explain things to the satisfaction of all three ladies, Alan.

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  8. Alan, you truly are the cad, I must say, ole man. But what a joy it will be to see all three of the Bronte sisters... you're the man! see you at the ball.. I'll play a request for you on the piano, ole chap! :)

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  9. Just give the sisters a few glasses of Tess's "Last Word" Cocktail. That with your natural charm will win the evening, I'm sure.

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  10. you are a romantic devil...kudos for your taste in writers albeit complicated---I am certain you will have many a story to tell--I am certain the last word cocktail will be helpful ..hope to see you on the dance floor-c

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  11. Oh my goodness, all this carrying on will really take up all your free blogging time! Oh no! ;)

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  12. I believe that cloning yourself is perfectly acceptable behavior for events of this nature.And then you can stay up all night reporting events back to yourself. I think this is suitable for a movie!

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  13. Alan, you rascal.

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  14. Just as well you didn't read Frankenstein too.

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  15. I Look Forward To seeing Photofits Of You & Branwell on the next edition of Crimewatch !

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  16. Oh Alan, you are just too much of a social success for this world! Thank heavens you're living in a virtual one at present :)

    Very entertaining and amusing post.

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  17. Take some advice from you brother: forget about swatting up on the novels and go for things in common. As I remember, Emily taught at Southowram school and you taught, just across the valley, at Northowram.

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  18. A Carriageful of Brontes, sounds like the title to a poem or song...

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  19. Alan sounds like you had quite an interesting time at the ball....somehow we missed each other on the ball room floor. I bet you are quite the dancer to.

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  20. This is to see if this will post a comment, if so, we can go for lunch

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  21. Alan you ole rascal you. What a night you must have had. All the Brontes in one carriage and the ole sot to boot. I didn't make it but am sure enjoying all the stories today.
    QMM

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  22. I think you should ditch the women and go out drinking with the bro. (!) -J

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  23. Oh! I will so be following along, dear Alan,


    BTW, wanted to tell you that I am closing Hot Toast and Jam so thought you might enjoy its last post. Please read to the end for a lil' surprise.

    Thank you especially for your creative expertise on the xmas teas! I will still be visiting just not as much (as if I have been that frequent anyway) as one might expect when hosting a personal blog, verses an art one.

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  24. You are the second person whom I have discovered to be attending this prestigious event, though I have to say that the first guest had more sense than to turn up with three scowling sisters and their drunken brother.

    For you, perhaps, it is somewhat fortunate that the sisters no longer draw breath, else you would highly likely have discovered yourself cast as the most heinous villain in no less than three new works of fiction!

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  25. Hi Aln,its nice to see your blog,visit my bog too.

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  26. I suspect that it was Branwell (that trouble maker) who contrived the matter so that each sister believed that she alone was the object of your affections. But what a coup for you to arrive at Willow Manor with the three lovely ladies!

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  27. hahahahaha! saw that coming but enjoyed the way it played out. well done Alan.

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