Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Bronte Sister Summer

I bought this dress for the shop intending to hem it slightly below the knee, but pulling it out for alterations and photos, I kind of fell in love with the length! My informally appointed photographer, German and I had so much fun taking pictures and he did such a great job that I thought I'd share some.

It's just oh so Victorian Summer with its fullness and girly ruffles (though an authentic dress from this period would be a bit more modest with the skin on top), and I like to picture my favorite sibling authoresses in similar garb as they stroll the wild moors of Haworth.

(photo by Abigail 709b)

The long standing "Bronte Myth" has popularized the image of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte as country bumpkins raised in the wild moors and cutoff from society. This began with the very first Bronte biographer, Elizabeth Gaskell who wrote during Charlotte's lifetime, and even Charlotte herself somewhat encouraged this myth in her introduction to the second editions of her late sisters' works, claiming that any flaws in the novels were due to their innocence and lack of worldly experience. However, the truth is that Haworth was deep in the throws of industrialization in the 1840s, and the girls lived only a few miles from a bustling urban center. Closer to reality than a walk in the country, perhaps, is a walk in the city!

I feel very Catherine in Wuthering Heights here!

Even in their home, the Brontes were far from sheltered from the social and literary movements of their time, being avid readers of many popular journals and magazines from childhood. This exposure informed their "Juvenilla," the name for their collection of childhood writings including their brother, Branwell's contributions.

I love the contrast of old and new, and the pictures we took of this dress capture the contradiction nicely with the whimsical style of the clothing and the backdrop of urbanization.

Do you ever have fun dressing up like your favorite literary heroes or characters?

Monday, May 17, 2010

the graduate who didn't walk

I decided to spare myself and my relatives the dullness of an official graduation ceremony, and skipped walking. I had a small twinge of regret seeing all the buzz on my campus. All the families were dressed to the nines walking around Atlanta looking hilariously lost, and I felt like an outsider peering in at my own life (your graduation is supposed to be this like monumental event, right?); but my regret was quickly drowned in my buddy's swimming pool. Laying out for the afternoon was far superior to sitting through a drawn out ceremony, which at a school as large as mine, is devoid of any individual attention or actual "walking" anyway.

In lieu of graduation, my family prepared a little happy hour in my honor. I was so surprised pulling up to their house and seeing graduation balloons on the mailbox and the dining room decorated with festive themed items such as chopsticks and Mao postcards. We had appetizers and champaign with strawberries, it was both personalized and the cutest thing ever.

No graduation is complete without gifts. We're an energy efficient family and naturally we recycle, so my mom used my old head shots from when I was a kid as wrapping paper. It's sort of a family joke because we ordered those head shots in bulk and barely used a fraction of them, and of course I grew out of the picture in a few years and grew to despise it! I won't say it didn't give me some satisfaction ripping into it.

Blogging (and everything else in life) will now be abazillion times easier with the contents of this package... the most spectacular awe-inspiring graduation gift of all time: A MAC BOOK PRO!

The angels sang as I removed it from its box and whispered "Excalibur."

That evening was my choice, hibachi and sake, of which I am still reaping the benefits of the leftovers.

By the end of the evening, I couldn't believe there had been a moment that day when I had actually regretted my graduation choices. With such an amazing family and so many blessings raining down on me, I must conclude that I am the luckiest little graduate that never walked.

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