Wednesday, 5 September 2012

St Michael's Mount and the Branwell Meadery

On Sunday I went to St Michael's Mount in Marazion, which is a short distance away from Penzance, Cornwall. It is best you go before the tide comes up, otherwise you'll have to catch a ferry. The steps were steep and stony and winding, and it was pretty hard keeping my balance, but anyway it was worth it. If you're into Mediaeval stuff. The story goes, the previous owner of the place had a wager with the St Aubyn family and wagered his property. St Aubyn won, and so got the Mount. Well you know how it is like with these Regency people. It is certainly grander, more ancient, but I prefer the well-regulated rooms of Pencarrow, also the family home of the St Aubyn family. The head of the family is a baronet, by the way.

St Michael's Mount

the Blue Drawing-room

View from the balcony

Coming back to Penzance this building caught my eye. Branwell Mill! What a coincidence, I thought, that was the name of Charlotte Brontë's mother.  Then I realised that Mrs Brontë, née Maria Branwell, was from Penzance. Could they possibly be related? The name of the restaurant (this place seems to be a restaurant now) is the Branwell Meadery. Now I know that Maria Branwell's father was a brewer.

Mind you, there are good Cornish wines. I believe there's a vineyard near Pencarrow - around Bodmin, I think. They make rose wine I think.

Anyway I've started on my Shirley fanfiction - here it is. I haven't finished it though, and it's far from entertaining. Hope the references are not to obscure. I don't know much about Cowper or Burns or Byron so what I've written is based on reviews from the 19th century and knowledge of Charlotte Brontë's opinions on poetry.

If Louis Moore's character doesn't seem recognisable it's because I've tweaked him a bit. You see, Charlotte didn't write him convincingly so I decided to develop a different character, though still with some similarities to the original. I was annoyed though that she had to make him so intelligent and well-loved, but nothing in the novel justifies this. We never see his intelligence or goodness.

Anyway here's my new money-making scheme. Since writing fanfics of Twilight and Fifty Shades and self-publishing it will definitely make you a millionaire, I am going to do the same with Shirley. I am a struggling student and thus am justified in copying others' ideas. Also making up characters isn't easy for a young person, and well, I have my precept in Shirley. Hopefully I'll get enough hits, self-publish it, and receive a 7-figure deal from Penguin. We can all dream.

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