Thursday, 9 March 2006

Saturday Play

If you can receive BBC Radio 4, stand by to record this on Saturday afternoon. If you can't, go to Listen Again on

This is from the BBC website:

Saturday Play
Cold in the Earth and Fifteen Wild Decembers

By Sally Wainwright, based on a theory by Sarah Fermi.

Why did Emily Jane Brontë write Wuthering Heights? And how was she able to do it? In spite of the massive amount of material published about the Brontë sisters over the last 150 years, these two questions still remain unanswered. Yet given the large amount of autobiographical material in the novels of Charlotte and Anne Brontë, it is almost unthinkable that Emily would not have also used her own experience in the creation of her great book. How could she write so vividly about love, grief and hatred without having known these emotions in her own life?

This is a compelling drama about the story of Emily Brontë's socially transgressive love affair with a weaver's son.

This is a media release from Diane Benn:

A member of the Brontë Society who researched and wrote several papers on the life of Emily Brontë will have her work broadcast on Radio 4’s Saturday Play on Saturday 11 March 2006 at 2.30 pm until 3.30 pm

Sarah Fermi, who is in the process of writing a speculative biography entitled ‘Emily’s Journal’ has been working with writer Sally Wainwright who created and wrote TV programmes such as ‘Canterbury Tales’ and ‘At Home with the Braithwaites’. Sally has taken Sarah Fermi’s research and constructed a play about Emily Brontë’s romance with a weaver’s son.

Sarah’s research focused on the theory that Emily Brontë probably had a tragic romantic relationship with a young working-class lad, Robert Clayton, who died when they were both 18 years old. Questions were asked as to how Emily Brontë was able to write such a powerful love story which turned into the classic ‘Wuthering Heights’ novel without experiencing such strong emotions herself.

Sarah Fermi says “I learned all I could about Emily, and carefully examined the chronological development of her poetry. There are quite a few aspects of her life which present interesting questions. Why did Emily change from a charming and outgoing child to a solitary and reserved young woman? Why was she sent away to Roe Head School in 1835 and what was the real reason for Emily’s near-fatal illness there?�

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