AN author who lived in Grassington before moving to the village of Wycoller, in Lancashire, has published a second book inspired by the Brontës.

Top Withins, says John Eames, “takes us into the mind of Emily Brontë”.

The title, Top Withins or Emily Brontë and how not to be, proved to be a challenge.

From his home in Wycoller Mr Eames can see the ruin of Wycoller Hall, possibly the inspiration for Fearndean Manor, in Jane Eyre, which was written by Emily’s sister, Charlotte.

Charlotte records a walk to Wycoller, so Mr Eames took the three famous bridges across the beck as focal points for Charlotte, contemplating the central issues of Jane Eyre.

The result was Wycoller’s Bridges, which was published earlier in the year.

“The latest companion volume has been more of a challenge, mainly because Emily was so inward,” he explained.

He says he has aimed to capture something of her self-perception and preoccupations, looking at how these might have inspired some aspects of Wuthering Heights.

Moving on from Emily’s close bond with the landscape of the moor, Mr Eames evokes the intense and regulated atmosphere of the Parsonage in Haworth, gripped between the wilderness of the moor on one side and the mournful graveyard on the other.

Within, the parsonage is a cauldron of creativity, from the early ‘bed plays’ to the great novels which were to immortalise the sisters.

“The book represents some of the tensions which arose in this context, particularly the conflict following Emily’s discovery of Charlotte reading the poems, in part inspired by a deep admiration for Lord Byron, secreted in Emily’s portable writing desk,” he adds.

He is particularly interested in the lives which Emily rejects – the excruciating discomfort which she feels in the company of most other people, her melting with embarrassment when she senses her social inferiority and Emily’s fading almost to death in the role of governess.

“These aspects of her life lead to the key point of this book: her search for invisibility. Emily discovers this in something as mundane as kneading bread for the family table but most significantly in her writing.

“The smouldering enigma of Heathcliff, interlinked with her deeply troubled brother Branwell, gives her one of literature’s most unforgettable and irresistible outsiders,” Mr Eames explains.

“She interweaves what she knows of foundlings and African slaves; she is inspired by the power or Milton and Blake. No wonder Wuthering Heights unsettled its early readers and, indeed, readers from 1847 to the present day.”

The book takes the reader past the death of Emily and brings us to the present day. It considers Emily’s probable response to the taming of the moor and the commercialisation of the Brontë narrative but also comments on her likely satisfaction at the impossibility of identifying Top Withins with the Wuthering Heights of the novel.

Living near Grassington before he moved, Mr Eames was inspired by the annual Dickensian Festival. For the 2016 event, he published The Boy with Four Hats which he had originally written for his neighbours’ daughter – partly because she had enjoyed the musical, Oliver, and partly because she found it difficult to create and construct a story.

It was The Boy with Four Hats which launched his mini-series and plans are already afoot to complete a Brontë trilogy, looking into the inspiration for The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, in time for the 200th anniversary of the birth of Anne Brontë in 2020.

All of the books are quite short, between 30 and 40 pages and priced at £3.

The texts are not biographical, although the biographical material has been carefully researched; on the other hand, the books are not literary critical, although they do seek to offer potential insights into the creative workings of the minds of the profiled authors.

Mr Eames discovered that one of his students from the late 1970s had become an artist. Nicola Dennis has created a format and set of images which reflect the style of publications in the mid-nineteenth-century.

The books are available from: the Craft Centre/Tea Room in Wycoller; the Bookshop in Colne; and the Brontë Parsonage in Haworth or purchased via John and Nicola’s website