遥かなる わがヨークシャー (Faraway My Yorkshire)

ホワース・『嵐が丘』の世界 (Haworth/the World of "Wuthering Heights")

14 トップ・ウィゼンズから遥かホワースを望む (The View of Haworth from Top Withens)



「“ワザリング・ハイツ(嵐が丘)”というのがヒースクリフ氏の館の名前であった。ワザリングとは、この地方独特の意味をもった形容詞で、嵐のときにこの地がさらされるところの、荒れ狂う大気のさまを表現している。たしかにあそこなら、澄んだすがすがしい空気が絶えず流れているにちがいない。屋敷の片隅にある何本かの育ちの悪い樅の木がひどく傾いていることや、やせたサンザシの列が太陽の恵みを求めて一方向にばかり枝を伸ばしていることからも、この崖っ縁を吹き抜ける北風の強さが想像できるというものだ」(嵐が丘 第1巻・第1章)



シカモアの葉とその実 (Sycamore and its seeds)
<New work for this site>

The roofless ruined farmhouse and two trees are the symbols of Top Withens. The tree which looked like only one tree from the distance were Sycamore trees, one of several popular kinds of trees associated with the Yorkshire Dales. They are often planted to shelter farmhouses and burns from the wind.
The plaque on the wall near the entrance says as followings.

"The farmhouse has been associated with "Wuthering Heights", the Earnshaw Home in Emily Brontё's novel. The building, even when complete, bore no resemblance to the house she described, but the situation may have been in her mind when she wrote of the moorland setting of the heights."

"Wuthering heights is the name of Mr. Heathcliff's dwelling, "Wuthering" being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather. Pure, bracing ventilation they must have up there, at all times, indeed: one may guess the power of the north wind, blowing over the edge, by excessive slant of a few, stunted firs at the end of the house; and by a range of gaunt thorns all stretching their limbs one way, as if craving alms of the sun." (Wuthering Heights Vol. 1 Chap. 1)

Top Withens is not actually the top of the hill. The slope spreads over the great distance. The soles of the hills in Yorkshire are very gentle and the hills are, so to speak, as flat as a pancake. It is hard to point out where the top is.
One and a quarter miles away to the north-northeast from Top Withens, there is Ponden Hall, the model of "Thrushcross Grange" in the novel, and three quarters of a mile to the north, there is Ponden Kirk, the model of "Penistone Crag".
I wanted to paint this famous farmhouse very much. If I had just painted a ruined house, it might not have been identified with the one at Top Withens but one somewhere else. I sometimes saw such houses in other places. I eventually decided to paint the house in this composition which is often taken by photographers. Seeing the ruined farmhouse and the moors far away in this composition, people would be able to recognise it as the model house even though there was no caption. This is the very farmhouse at Top Withens.

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