Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wuthering Heights and a Bronte-Along Giveaway!

Did you make it through Wuthering Heights? I have to say it's one of my least favorite stories in English lit, and I've never seen the appeal. I picked it up again for the Bronte-Along, hoping to find something redeeming in the nearly twenty years since I read it last, but sadly, Heathcliff and Catherine seem to have grown even more awful. Emily Bronte's prose is a redeeming quality, and I loved the gloomy, dark language she employed. Heathcliff and Hareton's rough, foul language is so earthy and Catherine's vitriol so sharp and awful. The very gothicness of this book is what makes it great to me, not the romance. Because there's nothing romantic about an abusive couple who hate everyone and make lives miserable all around them because they're too selfish to do otherwise. A man who marries a woman just to take revenge on her brother by beating her senseless is not an ideal man to me. Don't get me wrong -- I love a broody leading man like Darcy or Rochester any day, but they're attractive because beneath the rough exterior they have good hearts. Heathcliff's just mean and nasty, and Catherine is, frankly, a bitch. And their children are no better.

So. Need something a bit more swoonworthy to sweeten the bitterness of Wuthering Heights? I started this cross-stitch silouhette back during Jane Eyre, and based it on the lovely fireplace scene in the 2006 film version -- the scene after the fire where Mr. Rochester first calls Jane by her given name, and she realizes she's in love. Silouhettes were hugely popular in the Victorian era, and tracing a lover's shadow was a common parlor game. So I thought a silhouette would be a perfect Bronte-Along craft.

And the best part about it is it can be yours! Just leave a comment on this post! I'm interested in what you've gotten out of this Bronte-Along, but you don't have to address that to enter. Has it gotten you interested in reading something you'd never have picked up before? Given you a greater appreciation of the sisters' work? Even just introduced new delicious actors? Gotten you back into a craft you've neglected for a while? The Bronte-Along has given me a new appreciation for Emily Bronte, and although I'll always loathe her characters (my God, isn't Joseph insufferable?), I do understand she was using them to make greater statements about bleak realities of life for women and religious fanaticism.

The giveaway will be open for a week. I'll do a random drawing Monday, and post the winner Tuesday! Also, I'd be happy to paint the frame another color before shipping (it's just kind of whitewashed right now). The finished piece is about 6"x6" (not counting the frame).

Want to make your own version? Here's the chart for download:

As usual, I'd love to see pics of your version -- I think it'd look quite stunning done in black on charcoal linen. Also, non-commercial use only, attribution please.


  1. I'm having so much fun with the Bronte-Along. In addition to revisiting some old favorites, I've been introduced to stories that are new to me. I love your silhouette, and I'm actually working on an appliqued silhouette craft for the project myself. I, too, thought that would be a fitting craft to go along with the Bronte-Along.

  2. I do love Jane Eyre! This inspires me to pick up an old favorite.

  3. I love Jane Eyre. I sort of adore Heathcliff too, but what do you do?

  4. What a romantic subject, & *such* gorgeous stitching! I haven't been doing the Bronte-along, but I'm certainly inspired to pick some up now! Thanks for the awesome give-away!

  5. Thanks, guys! Someone wanted to know how I made the chart -- it's kind of a painful process using Gimp (photo-editing software) and this tutorial from Instructables: http://www.instructables.com/id/Cross-stitch-pattern-in-photoshop-with-symbols/

    I'm sure there are easier ways, but it's working ok for me for now!

  6. That's beautiful! And you've shared the pattern as well! Thank you, might have a go at that at some point. :D

  7. I really like this! and thanks for the chart too!

  8. I am a huge Jane Eyre fan, and love the 2006 movie; as a matter of fact was watching it this past week and was wondering if I might find any Jane Eyre needlework patterns...Thanks so much for this pattern!!


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