I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas: they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.
Emily Bronte
Wuthering Heights

vrijdag 9 juni 2017

The Vegetable Garden of Mrs Gaskell.

In 1852 Mrs Gaskell wrote in her letters about the vegetables that were growing in the garden. In another letter she tells of being given rhubarb, though whether she meant rhubarb stalks for cooking or a root of rhubarb for growing, is not clear. I suspect it was a root. The part of the garden in which vegetables are likely to have been grown, is no more. There is a block of flats on the site. Also lost is the paddock in which, we can speculate, the cow and chickens were kept and the pigsty was situated. However, it was important to represent the productive side of the garden. Mrs Gaskell’s letters show that she took great pleasure in the vegetables that were grown in the garden and described herself planting cabbages among other garden tasks.

Consequently a small vegetable bed has been established at the end of the pergola and a fruit bed created against the rear wall. Mrs Gaskell is very unlikely to have had a vegetable bed so visible from the living and dining room. But then the garden as it is currently maintained is not a re-creation but more of an evocation of her life and works and it was important that we included some reference to the practical side of the mid-19th century garden.
Apart from perennial herbs, there is currently little to see in the vegetable bed which has recently been dug over, but it will be planted up with beans whose flowers compliment the roses on the pergola along with other vegetables. In past years we have grown coloured chard and cabbages, parsnips and leeks.

We do use “heritage” seeds and plants when these are available and in 2015 a “heritage” pumpkin seed produced the most abundant crop. The plants romped across the fruit bed and even started climbing the walls. We had pumpkins for Halloween, and enough for staff and volunteers to make pumpkin soup and pumpkin pie.

There must be something in the soil or the situation of the fruit bed. An alpine strawberry that was planted as an attractive edging to the bed, spread itself abundantly across the whole bed last year, way beyond its remit! The fruit-bed is now the home of the more sedentary gooseberry and currant bushes. Again we have used older varieties such as Lancashire Lad. Against the wall are apple and pear trees, trained as espalier plants. We have used varieties such as Doyenne de Comise and Duke of Devonshire.
Chris Tucker elizabethgaskellhouse

zaterdag 3 juni 2017

Brontë Society plaque on Bozar gets a facelift

It’s all too easy to walk past the bronze plaque on ‘Bozar’ commemorating Charlotte and Emily’s stay in Brussels in 1842-43, as it’s placed rather high on the building. Bozar. stands on the site of the Pensionnat Heger (demolished in 1909) where the sisters stayed while in Brussels. The plaque is on Rue Baron Horta/Baron Hortastraat, to the left of the main entrance to Bozar. Added to its lack of visibility, until a couple of weeks ago the Brontë plaque was looking sorry for itself under the grime deposited by air pollution.

It now has a brighter look after a spring cleaning. On 2 May it was restored – cleaned, polished and lacquered). The work, which took the best part of a day, was commissioned by the Brontë Society, based in Haworth, Yorkshire, with help from the Brussels Brontë Group. The Society plans to have regular maintenance of the plaque done from now on.
Read all: brusselsbronte

zaterdag 13 mei 2017

April advanced to May: a bright serene May it was.

Wild primrose -  Wild-Foodies

April advanced to May: a bright serene May it was; days of blue sky, placid sunshine, and soft western or southern gales filled up its duration. And now vegetation matured with vigour; Lowood shook loose its tresses; it became all green, all flowery; its great elm, ash, and oak skeletons were restored to majestic life; woodland plants sprang up profusely in its recesses; unnumbered varieties of
moss filled its hollows, and it made a strange ground-sunshine out of the wealth of its wild primrose plants: I have seen their pale gold gleam in overshadowed spots like scatterings of the sweetest
lustre. All this I enjoyed often and fully, free, unwatched, and almost alone: for this unwonted liberty and pleasure there was a cause, to which it now becomes my task to advert. Have I not described a pleasant site for a dwelling, when I speak of it as bosomed in hill and wood, and rising from the verge of a stream? Assuredly, pleasant enough: but whether healthy or not is another question. 

From Jane Eyre

Mansions in the Sky, Celebrating Branwell Bronte’s Bicentenary.

Leigh from the blog "Love Leigh"
visited the Bronte Parsonage Museum
And made beautiful photographes

From the blog"Love Leigh":

While the Parsonage have planned events throughout the year for all the family, it’s fair to say their crowning glory is the re-creation of Branwell’s bedroom. What was once simply a room to feature portraits painted by Branwell, has been transformed into a cave of chaos and creativity, with stacks of books stashed away in corners of the room, scrunched up pieces of paper with half-baked ideas, ink bottles on the floor, staining the carpet. Paints, brushes, and sketches you can hardly see because the room is so dimly lit. You really get a stark impression of Branwell’s mentality, desperate to succeed in some creative outlet, growing increasingly desperate and despondent as time goes on.
Read and see all: ashleylianne./mansions-in-the-sky-celebrating

donderdag 4 mei 2017

Will the Day Be Bright or Cloudy?

Will the day be bright or cloudy?
Sweetly has its dawn begun
But the heaven may shake with thunder
Ere the setting of the sun

Lady watch Apollo’s journey
Thus thy first born’s course shall be –
If his beams through summer vapours
Warm the earth all placidly
Her days shall pass like a pleasant dream in sweet tranquillity

If it darken if a shadow
Quench his rays and summon rain
Flowers may open buds may blossom
Bud and flower alike are vain
Her days shall pass like a mournful story in care and tears and pain.

If the wind be fresh and free
The wide skies clear and cloudless blue
The woods and fields and golden flowers
Sparkling in sunshine and in dew
Her days shall pass in Glory’s light the world’s drear desert through

Note: There seem to be a number of slightly different versions of this and many of Emily Brontë’s poems, with different line breaks, for example. I’m working from the Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets edition, in which the punctuation seems more minimal than in other editions. I did conduct some research but can’t ascertain which is truest to Brontë’s originals.

‘We've got a house...it certainly is a beauty...Elizabeth Gaskell, in a letter to her friend Eliza Fox in 1850.

‘We've got a house...it certainly is a beauty...I must try and make the house give as much pleasure to others as I can.’ Elizabeth Gaskell, in a letter to her friend Eliza Fox in 1850.

Welcome to 84 PLymouth Grove, Manchester.  For over 150 years, this house has been associated with its most famous resident: the novelist, Elizabeth Gaskell, who lived here from 1850 to 1865.
The House, now a Grade II listed property, was built between 1835-1841 on the outer edge of the growing city.  It was built as part of a new suburban development planned by Richard Lane and is a rare example of the elegant Regency-style villas once popular in Manchester. Thanks to a major £2.5m project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and others, the restored House is fully open to the public for the first time.

During the time Elizabeth lived here she wrote nearly all of her famous novels, including Cranford, Ruth, North and South and Wives and Daughters. She also wrote the biography of her friend Charlotte Brontë, plus many lively letters.

Notable visitors to the House included fellow writers Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, John Ruskin, the American abolitionist and novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe and musician Charles Hallé.
William and his two unmarried daughters, Meta and Julia, continued to live in the house after Elizabeth’s death in 1865.  When Meta died in 1913 the house and its contents were sold.

This is Jess writes/take-a-walk-on-the-writers-side

donderdag 27 april 2017

The genesis of genius. The tiny books.

The tiny, hand-lettered, hand-bound books Charlotte and Branwell Brontë made as children surely qualify. Measuring about 2.5 by 5 centimeters, page after mini-page brims with poems, stories, songs, illustrations, maps, building plans, and dialogue. The books, lettered in minuscule, even script, tell of the “Glass Town Confederacy,” a fictional world the siblings created for and around Branwell’s toy soldiers, which were both the protagonists of and audience for the little books.

In 1829 and 1830, Charlotte and Branwell cobbled the pages together from printed waste and scrap paper, perhaps cut from margins of discarded pamphlets. They wrote with steel-nibbed pens, which tend to blot, yet the even script demonstrates their practiced hand.

Children can be rough on their playthings — miniature books created by the younger Brontë siblings Emily and Anne did not survive — but Charlotte kept and stored the “Glass Town” adventures carefully. “They must have been very precious to them, as they are to us today,” said Priscilla Anderson of Harvard’s Weissman Preservation Center, who restored the volumes.

Only about 20 volumes of Brontë juvenilia are known to remain. Harvard holds nine, the Brontë Museum at the family home in England owns a few, and the remaining are scattered among museums and private collectors.

To repair tears, Anderson used fine surgical instruments, teasing out and pasting down individual fibers of kozo paper about the width of a human hair. (Kozo is a fine paper made from the inner bark of an Asian plant, and is regularly used to mend books.) All through the painstaking work, she knew even a small mistake would be magnified. “I held my breath, literally,” said Anderson, “to keep fragments of paper from blowing away.”

New binding exposed text in the gutters of Branwell’s volumes for the first time in 170 years, and the digital technology deployed provides clarity beyond that of the human eye. Technicians moved the camera very slightly on multiple takes and combined them into one image. Every millimeter is sharply focused.

Charlotte’s husband sold the volumes after her death to a collector, who gave them to poet and fellow collector Amy Lowell; she donated the set to Houghton Library in 1925.

The nine Brontë volumes held by Harvard referenced in this story are available in full, free, online:
By Charlotte Brontë: Scenes on the great bridge, November 1829
The silver cup: a tale, October 1829
Blackwoods young mens magazine, August 1829
An interesting passage in the lives of some eminent personages of the present age, June 1830
The poetaster: a drama in two volumes, July 1830
The adventures of Mon. Edouard de Crack, February 1830
By Patrick Branwell Brontë:
Branwells Blackwoods magazine, June 1829
Magazine, January 1829
Branwells Blackwoods magazine, July 1829

Read all: news.harvard.edu/the-genesis-of-genius

maandag 17 april 2017

Easter and my Bronte watercolor cards.


Did you have a nice day on first easter day?
I was busy making pictures of the Bronte cards I painted
with some easter fun stuff

I work with watercolors and make greeting cards
But also large watercolor paintings
For a long time I wanted to make some Bronte related greeting cards
And now..... I did it......

Bracelet of Charlotte Bronte

Patrick Bronte's watch
Here pictured with my granddad' s watch and photograph

I wish you a happy second easter day

Do you want to know more about my watercolors?

I keep a blog: kleurrijkaquarellen

zaterdag 15 april 2017

Ellen Nussey bicentenary, April 20

Yorkshire Evening Post reminds their readers of the upcoming Ellen Nussey bicentenary:
The name of Ellen Nussey may not be too familiar to many readers but she was a lifelong friend of the author Charlotte Brontë whom she met at Roe Head School, Mirfield in 1831. Ellen was the 12th child of John Nussey a clothing merchant of Birstall Smithies, near Gomersal in West Yorkshire.
In the 1840s Ellen and Charlotte were regular visitors to Oakwell Hall, a young ladies boarding school. Ellen Nussey’s early home was the Rydings at Birstall which partly inspired ‘Thornfield Hall’ in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. The Rydings property is still partly visible on the Leeds road(A62), near the crossroads with A652 Bradford road.
The Nusseys last rented home, where she died aged 80 years old in 1897 was Moor Lane House, which is now the Gomersal Park Hotel.
After Charlotte Brontë’s death in 1855 Ellen defended her memory and reputation in a number of letters, some of which can still be seen in the University of Leeds. April 20 is the 200th anniversary of Ellen’s birth, she is buried in the graveyard at St Peter’s Church in Birstall.

Jane Eyre and fashion.

vrijdag 7 april 2017

What an amazing launch day for Clare Twomey's Wuthering Heights - A Manuscript

What an amazing launch day for Clare Twomey's Wuthering Heights - A Manuscript. Here is chapter one complete, with thanks to 115 visitors aged from 6 to 80.

donderdag 6 april 2017

Clare Twomey: Wuthering Heights - A Manuscript

Creating handwritten copy of Wuthering Heights
April 06th 2017 10:00am - January 01st 2018 05:00pm

Artist Clare Twomey invites visitors to the Museum to create a handwritten copy of Wuthering Heights. The original manuscript for Emily’s famous novel no longer survives, but in this new commission for the Brontë Parsonage Museum, over ten thousand visitors will each be invited to copy one sentence of the novel into a handmade book to be exhibited during 2018, Emily Brontë’s bicentenary year. Each participant will be gifted a pencil, commissioned by the artist, as a tool for further writing. Clare Twomey hopes that the act of sitting at a table in the house where Emily wrote her novel, and to hold a pen and write, will build understanding of Emily and her determination to create the one published work of her lifetime.

woensdag 5 april 2017

The Brilliant Bronte Sisters

The Brilliant Bronte Sisters 2013 A Documentary about The Bronte Sisters from ITV & Hosted By Sheila Hancock.

vrijdag 31 maart 2017

31 March 1855 "Our dear Charlotte is no more..... "

31 March 1855, Arthur Bell Nicholls writes to Ellen, 'Our dear Charlotte is no more - She died last night of Exhaustion ... We intend to bury her on Wednesday morn[in]g'. Ellen later recollected her subsequent visit to Haworth in a letter to George Smith the following year. She reported:
'her death chamber is in vivid remembrance ... Her maid Martha brought me a tray full of evergreens & such flowers as she could procure to place on the lifeless form ... what made the [task] impossible at first was the rushing recollection of the flowers I spread in her honour at her wedding breakfast & how she admired the disposal of the gathering brought by Martha from the village gardens - '

Read more: Brontesisters/Death of Charlotte Bronte



Charlotte Bronte

Presently the door opened, and in came a superannuated mastiff, followed by an old gentleman very like Miss Bronte, who shook hands with us, and then went to call his daughter. A long interval, during which we coaxed the old dog, and looked at a picture of Miss Bronte, by Richmond, the solitary ornament of the room, looking strangely out of place on the bare walls, and at the books on the little shelves, most of them evidently the gift of the authors since Miss Bronte's celebrity. Presently she came in, and welcomed us very kindly, and took me upstairs to take off my bonnet, and herself brought me water and towels. The uncarpeted stone stairs and floors, the old drawers propped on wood, were all scrupulously clean and neat. When we went into the parlour again, we began talking very comfortably, when the door opened and Mr. Bronte looked in; seeing his daughter there, I suppose he thought it was all right, and he retreated to his study on the opposite side of the passage; presently emerging again to bring W---- a country newspaper. This was his last appearance till we went. Miss Bronte spoke with the greatest warmth of Miss Martineau, and of the good she had gained from her. Well! we talked about various things; the character of the people, - about her solitude, etc., till she left the room to help about dinner, I suppose, for she did not return for an age. The old dog had vanished; a fat curly-haired dog honoured us with his company for some time, but finally manifested a wish to get out, so we were left alone. At last she returned, followed by the maid and dinner, which made us all more comfortable; and we had some very pleasant conversation, in the midst of which time passed quicker than we supposed, for at last W---- found that it was half-past three, and we had fourteen or fifteen miles before us. So we hurried off, having obtained from her a promise to pay us a visit in the spring... ------------------- "She cannot see well, and does little beside knitting. The way she weakened her eyesight was this: When she was sixteen or seventeen, she wanted much to draw; and she copied nimini-pimini copper-plate engravings out of annuals, ('stippling,' don't the artists call it?) every little point put in, till at the end of six months she had produced an exquisitely faithful copy of the engraving. She wanted to learn to express her ideas by drawing. After she had tried to draw stories, and not succeeded, she took the better mode of writing; but in so small a hand, that it is almost impossible to decipher what she wrote at this time.

I asked her whether she had ever taken opium, as the description given of its effects in Villette was so exactly like what I had experienced, - vivid and exaggerated presence of objects, of which the outlines were indistinct, or lost in golden mist, etc. She replied, that she had never, to her knowledge, taken a grain of it in any shape, but that she had followed the process she always adopted when she had to describe anything which had not fallen within her own experience; she had thought intently on it for many and many a night before falling to sleep, - wondering what it was like, or how it would be, - till at length, sometimes after the progress of her story had been arrested at this one point for weeks, she wakened up in the morning with all clear before her, as if she had in reality gone through the experience, and then could describe it, word for word, as it had happened. I cannot account for this psychologically; I only am sure that it was so, because she said it. ----------------------She thought much of her duty, and had loftier and clearer notions of it than most people, and held fast to them with more success. It was done, it seems to me, with much more difficulty than people have of stronger nerves, and better fortunes. All her life was but labour and pain; and she never threw down the burden for the sake of present pleasure. I don't know what use you can make of all I have said. I have written it with the strong desire to obtain appreciation for her. Yet, what does it matter? She herself appealed to the world's judgement for her use of some of the faculties she had, - not the best, - but still the only ones she could turn to strangers' benefit. They heartily, greedily enjoyed the fruits of her labours, and then found out she was much to be blamed for possessing such faculties. Why ask for a judgement on her from such a world?" elizabeth gaskell/charlotte bronte

Poem: No coward soul is mine

No coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the worlds storm-troubled sphere:
I see Heavens glories shine,
And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.

O God within my breast.
Almighty, ever-present Deity!
Life -- that in me has rest,
As I -- Undying Life -- have power in Thee!

Vain are the thousand creeds
That move mens hearts: unutterably vain;
Worthless as withered weeds,
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main,

To waken doubt in one
Holding so fast by Thine infinity;
So surely anchored on
The steadfast Rock of immortality.

With wide-embracing love
Thy Spirit animates eternal years,
Pervades and broods above,
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears.

Though earth and man were gone,
And suns and universes ceased to be,
And Thou wert left alone,
Every existence would exist in Thee.

There is not room for Death,
Nor atom that his might could render void:
Thou -- Thou art Being and Breath,
And what Thou art may never be destroyed.

Emily Bronte

Family tree

The Bronte Family

Grandparents - paternal
Hugh Brunty was born 1755 and died circa 1808. He married Eleanor McClory, known as Alice in 1776.

Grandparents - maternal
Thomas Branwell (born 1746 died 5th April 1808) was married in 1768 to Anne Carne (baptised 27th April 1744 and died 19th December 1809).

Father was Patrick Bronte, the eldest of 10 children born to Hugh Brunty and Eleanor (Alice) McClory. He was born 17th March 1777 and died on 7th June 1861. Mother was Maria Branwell, who was born on 15th April 1783 and died on 15th September 1821.

Maria had a sister, Elizabeth who was known as Aunt Branwell. She was born in 1776 and died on 29th October 1842.

Patrick Bronte married Maria Branwell on 29th December 1812.

The Bronte Children
Patrick and Maria Bronte had six children.
The first child was Maria, who was born in 1814 and died on 6th June 1825.
The second daughter, Elizabeth was born on 8th February 1815 and died shortly after Maria on 15th June 1825. Charlotte was the third daughter, born on 21st April 1816.

Charlotte married Arthur Bell Nicholls (born 1818) on 29th June 1854. Charlotte died on 31st March 1855. Arthur lived until 2nd December 1906.

The first and only son born to Patrick and Maria was Patrick Branwell, who was born on 26th June 1817 and died on 24th September 1848.

Emily Jane, the fourth daughter was born on 30th July 1818 and died on 19th December 1848.

The sixth and last child was Anne, born on 17th January 1820 who died on 28th May 1849.



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