While visiting the Bronte Parsonage, I was touched by a project led by the artist Clare Twomey, to celebrate the 200th anniversary next year of Emily Bronte’s birth.
The manuscript of Wuthering Heights having been lost, the project seeks to recreate it sentence by sentence in a hand-made book. At appointed times during the museum’s opening hours, visitors are invited to write one sentence of the novel by hand. It’s expected that more than 10,000 people will jointly create a new manuscript in the same house where Emily wrote the original.
Although I missed the time slot and so didn’t have chance to add a sentence, I was moved by the idea and it has inspired me to try similar hand-written exercises through this website. This steady accretion of a beloved work of literature at the hands of thousands of readers and visitors includes another book next to the manuscript in which the scribes write their names and ages.
Another thoughtful detail is the use of a specially commissioned pencil with each contributor being able to keep the one they used to add their sentence.
The notes say ‘this re-creation honours Emily’s achievement and celebrates her contribution to English literature through the act of writing’.
Further information: Wuthering Heights – A Manuscript
Twitter: #whManuscript I @BronteParsonage I @CTwomeyStudio
Photo credits: all but the last photo (the register of names) are courtesy of Clare Twomey