This trip in Yorkshire was full of surprises and very enriching. It was my first time going in this part of England and probably the best way I could have discovered it. It was a real immersion into the life of the Brontë family and it was so exciting. I actually have never read any of Charlotte’s, Emily’s nor Agnes’s books and this trip really gave me the desire to discover them, and more particularly Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. In fact, the landscapes we saw really fascinated me and made me understand how the sisters got so much inspiration to write their novels.
The various visits we did, whether it was the Bronte Museum, the house that inspired Emily Brontë for Wuthering Heights, the house where the children that worked at the mill lived or the cotton industry made me realise how different life at that time was, and probably harder than ours.
Seeing those landscapes and those houses was also impressive because we were able to picture physically the places where the Brontës grew and even spent their whole lives. Indeed, the landscapes allowed us to take a step back from our lives in Paris, where everything is built, but on the other hand, I also understood that even in a peaceful setting, the rhythm of their lives was certainly more stressful than most of ours.
The hike we did to Stanage Edge was also very impressive and rewarding, especially when we got to the very top of the cliff.
This trip also enabled us to get to know each other better, and I’m keeping a wonderful memory of it.
I liked the trip to England. I had never been to that part of the country before. I had only been to London and, despite the fact that I was reluctant to go through a day and a half of travel for a place I didn’t know about, I was pleasantly surprised.
Indeed, I have been a fan of Jane Eyre ever since last year when I first read it, and I never thought I could be immersed in that atmosphere again. Yet, the trip allowed me to experience the Brontës’ universe in a much more physical way: the walk in the moors, the visit of the parsonage, and the stroll through the English sunny countryside.
As someone with a short attention span, I was captivated by all of the presentations we were offered and felt all of the experts were eloquent and easy to understand. I listened to all the talks and learned a lot from them (for instance, I didn’t know about the existence of the brother Branwell or of their tragic faith, and was pleased to learn more about what I think was one of the most fascinating, intelligent families of British literature).
I am genuinely grateful for this journey.
I learnt a lot and discovered places I never thought would be so enjoyable.
I discovered Yorkshire and I loved the hiking with its landscapes where I could imagine being Charlotte Brontë. Her house was so realistic, with the dress she wore on special occasions. I also learnt about her brother: Branwell was an alcoholic and his father Patrick had to sleep with him in order to be able to watch over his son. This family is really amazing for their talent and their history. I would have liked to explore Haworth further, because it seems a picturesque, friendly village. By contrast, York is more touristic but more lively. During the last visit of the mill at Quarry Bank near Manchester, I couldn’t see much because of a contact lens issue but I was struck by the very small size of the children’s beds. I was also very much tempted by the story of the girl who had leeches put around her eyes to relieve their swelling: I felt like I should try it for my own eyes!
Thank you so much for this trip that allowed us to explore so much and have fun while learning!
This trip to England was very enriching on both a cultural and personal level. For a student who did not appreciate Jane Eyre very much, my view of the work changed as we traveled through the English moors. The landscapes described in it came alive before my eyes and the power of Charlotte Brontë’s words finally revealed itself to me. Tracing her life, starting with the places of her childhood, gave a new perspective to the text of Jane Eyre. I particularly enjoyed the Gothic-looking cemetery behind the Brontë family home. Every moment of this journey was incredible in the etymological sense of the word. Each new place I discovered had a special emotion in its atmosphere. All the moments spent trying to understand the conditions of the workers evoked in North and South or running through the streets of York to visit York Cathedral felt very special and memorable. Seeing England without the urban architecture of London only strengthened my desire to move there one day, whether for a year or a few weeks.
However, in my opinion, one thing did not completely come undone: the small groups formed at the beginning of the year did not become a large, tightly-knit group. Nevertheless, this more focused attention on a reduced number of people allowed me to create stronger links beyond the simple purpose of this year, namely passing the ENS exam. Being caught up in our days of classes and weeks alternating between home and school with no other outings, we tend to forget that friendship is not necessarily associated with studies. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting anything from these five days. The last few school trips I had taken left me with a bitter impression. But here, instead of getting as far away from the others as possible, this trip pushed me as far away from my usual comfort zone as possible. I will have fond and happy memories from this trip.
I really enjoyed our trip to Yorkshire, and this time spent with the class and with my friends. It really was fun and I learnt a lot. Actually, I think it was a very good way to take a break during a very intense school year. I had never been to this part of England before, and I had the opportunity to discover a part of the country that I truly didn’t know. For example, regarding the industrial aspect of England that we are used to studying while dealing with literary works from the Victorian Era, I thought it was very interesting. The tour of Quarry Bank and of the apprentice house enabled us to understand better the issue that we dealt with in class. I had the same impression when visiting Haworth parsonage: because we spent quite a long time analysing Jane Eyre, it was great to have a more concrete way to perceive the novel by experiencing it by ourselves, with the walks on the moors for instance, or the visit of the Brontë parsonage, or the house that inspired Thornfield Hall.
Not only that, but we also had the opportunity to improve our English thanks to the guided tours, including that of Yorkminster for example (though we are angry because Charles III was in York too but we did not get to see him!)
The open days in the Saint John University in York enabled us to realise that it would be very good to go and try to apply to an English University. The university of York seemed very good, and people were very kind with us there, ready to answer all our questions. Besides, I took some time with my friends to visit various bookshops and to buy quite a few English books (and tea boxes). It was an immersion into the English culture that was very pleasant.
It was also a real immersion in nature, in places where there are more sheep than humans!
Besides, I think that both in the ferry or in the youth hostel in Haworth, we could share moments with our friends whom we are not used to seeing outside of school, and personally, I met a lot of people I had never spoken to before.
Everybody in the English speciality became closer and this is something that I think is very good. Besides, we could experience life in community, with the Khâgnes cooking for the Hypokhâgnes. We managed to organise ourselves and ended up being proud of what we had done.
I really thank the teachers for this trip with our class. I am so happy I could experience that!