Monday, 19 July 2010

Gothic and Literary Charm

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No trip to Whitby is complete without visiting the churchyard and the ruined abbey that sit mournfully on the cliff above the town. And so on my last morning there, I climbed the 199 steps to visit the weatherbeaten tombstones. Though it's a small place, Whitby has played host to two important literary figures. Bram Stoker was influenced by the undeniable gothic atmosphere, and set a part of his famous novel Dracula here. The undead count arrives in England aboard a ship of ghosts, guided by a dead captain who has tied himself to the wheel, and comes ashore in Whitby in the form of a great black dog. I've never been to a place more appropriate for his arrival, and the British Goths obviously agree with me: every year around Hallowe'en is "Goth Weekend," and they descend on the town en masse.

The other literary figure is Caedmon, not very much read these days, but he was the earliest known (by name) English poet. He wrote "Caedmon's Hymn," a frankly pretty boring poem about God which I studied in Anglo-Saxon literature and which supposedly came to him in a dream. He was a herdsman living at Whitby Abbey in the 7th century, back when Whitby was called Streonæshalch (an Anglo-Saxon name as opposed to the norse name it later acquired). While not by favourite poet, (or even my favourite Anglo-Saxon poet, hehe) I did feel a need to pose with his commemorative cross (quite modern).

Outfit is: Dress: Vero Moda, Cardigan: Current, Shoes: Steve Madden via ebay (A bit of a uniform on this trip, but I only brought carry-on luggage)!

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I also like to think I was channeling my grandmother a little in this picture. Here she is, many years ago, on the moors nearby:

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And finally, a little bit of landscape porn, since I love the area so much, I'm not sure when I'll be back, and really, can't I be self-indulgent on my own blog? ; )
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A solitary ice-cream truck on the moors, and the donkeys on Whitby beach. When I was a kid I always rode the donkeys and I knew all of their names!
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Images taken at sunset
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11 comments:

Jen said...

Oh wow, this looks like an amazing time! I would have had so much fun there.

Closet Fashionista said...

Loving all the photos!! Your outfit is great :D
http://aclosetfashionista.blogspot.com/

Closet Fashionista said...

Also, glad you're going to take part in the Potter challenge in the comments! Should be fun :D

Ashley said...

This place looks so cool, I would love to do some grave rubbings on some of the monuments!

You mentioned that you liked the header on my blog and it's a picture that my boyfriend took at the county fair last year. He posts lots of his photography so if you're ever bored come take a peak! Grant Hatfield

xx

shealennon said...

What gorgeous pics! I'm having a serious case of travel-envy right now!!

Anthea said...

Stunning! Yes, you can be self-indulgent on your own blog :) I really love seeing pictures like these and your outfit is very cute! I adore the colour of your cardigan. I also love the pic of your grandmother.

Anthea,
Embracing Style

Velvet said...

Amazing photos. By the way, your spanish is awesome!

winter said...

I love this photos, the place looks amazing! The picture of your grandmother is gorgeous too

Arielle said...

Thank you for the lovely comment and for becoming a follower! You have a wonderful blog yourself and you can count me as a follower of yours now too :)

andrea said...

that old photo is so good!

Emily said...

I'm really liking your outfit. The colors are perfect together. And the photo of your grandmother is lovely. I definitely see the inspiration!

I've really enjoyed reading through your blog so far and looking at all your wonderful pictures of Yorkshire. I'm sorry to hear that such unfortunate circumstances brought you there, but exploring the place more seems like a nice way to celebrate your grandmother's life.

I've wanted to visit Yorkshire for as long as I can remember. Well, okay, since reading Wuthering Heights as a teen. Typical, right? Bronte's descriptions just did me in, I think. However, I do happen to live in New York, so to redeem my cliched self it seems only fitting to want to visit my state's namesake!

P.S. Thank you for the sweet comments you left for me recently! It's always fun to connect with new bloggers :)