Picturing Catherine


: : William Bouguereau, Êtude Tete de Jeune Fille, 1898 : :

I wish I were a girl again, half savage and hardy, and free.


: : Screen-grabs from the BBC’s latest version of Tess of the D’Urbervilles : : Beautiful hare-bells : :

I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath, and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers, for the sleepers in that quiet earth.


: : Oil painting for Paramount Pictures’ Wuthering Heights with Juliette Binoche as Catherine : : Screen-grab from the film Possession : : My own photo of Heather on the moors : : Screen-grab from Angel : :

I cannot look down to this floor, but her features are shaped on the flags! In every cloud, in every tree - filling the air at night, and caught by glimpses in every object, by day I am surrounded with her images! ... The entire world is a dreadful memoranda that she did exist, and that I have lost her!


: : Heather on the moors : :

I’m sure I should be myself were I once again among the heather on the hills ...


: : Flowering Heather : : John William Waterhouse: Boreas - 1902 : :

A wild, wick slip she was - but, she had the bonniest eye, and the sweetest smile, and the lightest foot in the parish.


: : Screen-grab from Wuthering Heights : : Screen-grab from Trois Couleurs: Bleu : : Screen-grab from The Company of Wolves : :

Ah, they put pigeons feathers in the pillows - no wonder I couldnt die! ... And heres a moorcocks; and this - I should know it among a thousand - its a lapwings. Bonny bird; wheeling over our heads in the middle of the moor. It wanted to get to its nest, for the clouds touched the swells, and it felt rain coming. This feather was picked up from the heath, the bird was not shot - we saw its nest in the winter, full of little skeletons. Heathcliff set a trap over it, and the old ones dare not come. I made him promise hed never shoot a lapwing, after that, and he didnt.


: : Untitled by Sundari Carmody : : My own photo of Top Withens : :

I’m tired, tired of being enclosed here. I’m wearying to escape into that glorious world, and to be always there.

* * *

Because I enjoyed picturing Rebecca so much, I attempted to picture Catherine from Wuthering Heights. I don’t know if it’s the pure pleasure of re-reading the novel with new eyes, or because in a few short weeks I’ll be holding a copy of my book in my hands, but in either case, this post fills my stomach with butterflies, moving in sympathy with Catherine’s desire for the heather, the moors, and the “glorious world”.