It was in 1978 when Kate Bush appeared in that video, wearing that white dress as she sang for the first time Wuthering Heights. Now 40 years on, the singer is once again channelling the spirit of Top Withens to create a brand new work of art in honour of Emily Bronte.
The Bronte Stones project is part of the Bradford Literature Festival and will also see poets Carol Ann Duffy, Jackie Kay and writer Jeanette Winterson commemorate Yorkshire’s famous literary sisters.
Each has written an original piece of work to be engraved onto stones, which will then be installed in different locations connected to the Brontës, from their birthplace in Thornton to the parsonage at Haworth.
Kate Bush said: “I am delighted to be involved in this project. Each sister being remembered by a stone in the enigmatic landscape where they lived and worked is a striking idea. Emily only wrote the one novel - an extraordinary work of art that has truly left its mark. To be asked to write a piece for Emily’s stone is an honour and, in a way, a chance to say thank you to her.”
Accompanied by hand drawn maps, created by Yorkshire cartographer Christopher Goddard, the stones will take visitors on an eight mile journey in the footsteps of the sisters, whose novels are recognised worldwide as some of the greatest works of literature to emerge from the 19th century.
The project is the brainchild of Yorkshire author Michael Stewart, whose latest novel, Ill Will, is in part inspired by Wuthering Heights.
He said: “I first conceived of the Brontë Stones project in October 2013. I live in Thornton and have long wanted my village to receive recognition for its place in the Brontë story. All three literary sisters and their wayward brother were born here.
“They were a happy family, but very shortly, after their move to Haworth in 1820, tragedy struck. First the death of their mother, then the two oldest siblings. I was also aware that Anne Brontë was buried in Scarborough many miles from the rest of her family and I wanted a stone to mark her return. It’s fantastic to see the project come to fruition.”
The Brontë Stones will be inaugurated this year, the bicentenary of Emily Brontë, at Bradford Literature Festival in a special launch event on July 7.
Bradford Literature Festival, in association with Provident Financial Group, takes place from June 29 to July 8. Bradfordliteraturefestival.co.uk.