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

donderdag 5 mei 2016

'A whispering of leaves and perfume of flowers' (Charlotte Bronte on EG's garden)

E Gaskell's House@GaskellsHouse 11 uur geleden                       
'A whispering of leaves and perfume of flowers' (Charlotte Bronte on EG's garden) on this beautiful spring morning!

zondag 1 mei 2016

Beautiful pictures of the grave of Anne Bronte.

What a beautiful and sweet picture of the grave of Anne Bronte

The pictures are taken by Sara Barrett
She writes: The weather wasn't too good but it's always nice to visit.

maandag 25 april 2016

The Bronte Sisters cast announced

Casting has been announced for the new two-hour BBC drama To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters about the personal lives of the Bronte family, written and directed by Sally Wainwright, creator of Happy Valley.

Scottish actress Chloe Pirrie will play Emily, author of the complex and ground-breaking Wuthering Heights

Finn Atkins will play the deeply ambitious Charlotte Bronte, who wrote the phenomenally successful Jane Eyre.

Irish actress Charlie Murphy, (represented by The Lisa Richards Agency in Ireland, who also starred in Happy Valley and The Village, will play the determined and level-headed youngest sister Anne, the writer of Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. 

Their brother Branwell, whose destructive behaviour threatens to tear his family apart, will be played by Adam Nagaitis.


donderdag 21 april 2016

I will collect all kinds of congratulations on the 200 celebrations/birthday of Charlotte Brontë.

I will collect all kinds of congratulations on the 200 celebrations/birthday of Charlotte Brontë,

Happy 200th Birthday Charlotte Bronte!
This beautiful cake, which will be delivered by conference organiser Eleanor Houghton later today, will be cut and served to delegates at our conference in Charlotte Bronte's honour on the 13th and 14th of May.

Parsonage looking beautiful - filled with thanks to

Happy 200th Birthday Charlotte Bronte!

Today, 21st April 2016, marks a very special day indeed – it’s the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of the world’s most loved novelists: Charlotte Brontë. Celebrations will be taking place on all continents, and I myself will be having a slice of cake and a glass of bubbly in Haworth later today; it should be a birthday party to remember, and of course we’ll also be honouring Emily Brontë and our own dear Anne Brontë in 2018 and 2020 respectively. In today’s blog we’ll take a brief look at Charlotte’s life and at just why she’s so popular two centuries after her birth.
Historic England@HistoricEngland
Happy birthday Charlotte Brontë! Here are 7 buildings which witnessed her life
This was the birthplace of Maria and Patrick Brontë’s four youngest children, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne. It was home to the Brontë family from 1815 when Patrick was curate at the church of St James in Thornton, until 1820 when the family moved to Haworth.

Happy 200th birthday, Charlotte Brontë!
Ponden Hall@PondenHall   

Hip hip hurrah!

(tweehonderdmaal) voor Charlotte Brontë, auteur van de klassieker Jane Eyre en de oudste van de drie schrijvende Brontë-zusjes. Zij werd tweehonderd jaar geleden geboren op 21 april 1816.

Brussel. Zicht op de Isabellastraat. Achteraan de Sint-Goedele. Het witte U-vormige gebouw (links) is het pensionaat Heger

Op 21 april is het tweehonderd jaar geleden zijn dat de Engelse schrijfster Charlotte Brontë geboren werd. De High Tea Birthday Party in Hotel Métropole op 24 april is misschien de gelegenheid om (over) Brontë te lezen.

The Brussels Brontë Group werkt samen met beeldhouwer Tom Frantzen (van onder andere Zinneke) aan een standbeeld van de zussen Charlotte en Emily in Brussel. Een ideale locatie ervoor zou Bozar zijn, waar het Pensionnat de Demoiselles Heger-Parent stond.

Happy birthday Charlotte!

getting ready for tea party
Portrait Gallery@NPGLondon
A pen and ink self-portrait by Charlotte Brontë , on the manuscript of her poem 'Sunrise'
Celebrating Charlotte's birthday with trusted apple and almond cake
Brontë Parsonage@BronteParsonage
Charlotte's cake baked by . It was delicious.


On this day in History, Charlotte Bronte born on Apr 21, 1816

On this day in History
 Charlotte Bronte born on Apr 21, 1816
200 years ago
The Brontës are remarkable for being three successful authors from one family. But, more remarkably, Charlotte, Emily and Anne were all women who were successful at a time when women didn't have much freedom, either at home or in society. I have always loved their novels which are full of strong female characters who challenge the social conventions of their time. And I can still see their impact today through writers, musicians and film-makers who are continually inspired by them.
But were they really feminist pioneers in their own lifetimes? And what did they really do for women? Read  more: bbc
Celebrations  for Charlotte Brontë's bicentenary will be taking place across the world, but here's our guide to what's happening in Haworth ...
The Old School Room, Haworth, 11am - 4pm
Charlotte's Birthday Party

We're throwing a party for Charlotte and everyone is invited! There will be tea, birthday cake and a few surprises, so please come along and help us celebrate.

We'll be joined by pupils from Haworth Primary School, who will perform early scenes from Jane Eyre and during the afternoon we'll have music from local performers Charlotte Jones and Eddie Lawler, also known as the Bard of Saltaire.

Members of Otley Cycling Club will be riding between Thornton and Haworth with a floral tribute, which will be laid in the Parsonage Garden at approximately 1pm.  Rev Peter Mayo-Smith will lead the proceedings and there will be a reading by our 2016 creative partner Tracy Chevalier.

Artist Julia Ogden will help visitors make a birthday card for Charlotte and there will also be the opportunity to learn more about the Bronte Society.

At 2.45pm Great British Bake Off contestant Sandy Docherty will present a cake baked especially for the occasion and at 4pm a rose bush (kindly donated by David Austin Roses) will be planted in Charlotte's honour.

Brontë Parsonage Museum, 10am - 8pm  Celebrating Charlotte

Join us for what is sure to be a memorable day at the Museum!  BBC Radio Leeds will be broadcasting live from the Parsonage between 9am and 12pm so please come along and join in the fun.

Visitors to the Museum will be invited to hear talks on different aspects of Charlotte Brontë's life, including her experience of school at Cowan Bridge, getting published and her time in Brussels.   Talks will take place at 10.30am and 2pm.  Tracy Chevalier will give a talk about her exhibition, Charlotte Great and Small at 6.30pm.

There will also be the opportunity to meet with members of our Collections team and view some of Charlotte's possessions, letters and manuscripts in the library. These  'Treasures' sessions will take place at 12pm, 2pm and 4.30pm.

The Museum will be open until 8pm and visitors arriving after 6pm will be invited to join us for a celebratory drink.

All activities are free with admission to the Museum, but as space is limited, places to the talks and Treasures sessions will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. charlottes-birthday-party

Happy 200th Birthday Charlotte Bronte!
This beautiful cake, which will be delivered by conference organiser Eleanor Houghton later today, will be cut and served to delegates at our conference in Charlotte Bronte's honour on the 13th and 14th of May.

woensdag 20 april 2016

Haworth gearing up for Charlotte Bronte’s big anniversary

Tomorrow is the bicentenary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth.
Read all the article"
“At one point we had #JaneAndMe,
 #JaneEyre and
 all in the top ten Twitter trends

The story of Charlotte Brontë – in pictures

I posted before some of these illustrations
I love them
The author of Jane Eyre tells you the story of her life, with a little bit of help from Mick Manning and Brita Granström – to celebrate the 200th anniversary of her birth
Here some more

See more?
And this beautiful picture of the moors


maandag 18 april 2016

Interview: Brontë Society Operations and Development Manager Matthew Withey on the Brontës’ 200th Anniversary

2016 sees the start of five years of Brontë 200th anniversary celebrations, marking the births of the sisters and Branwell, with a further year in honour of their father, Patrick Brontë. With the Brontë Society and the Parsonage at the heart of the celebrations, TSOTA’s Mike Farren caught up with Operations and Development Manager, Matthew Withey, to find out what’s in store for admirers of Yorkshire’s greatest literary family.

TSOTA: What was behind the decision to spread the Brontë 200 celebrations over 5 years?
MW: Charlotte’s bicentenary is this year, but the Brontës managed to get themselves born in consecutive years. We have Branwell’s bicentenary next year, followed by Emily’s. The year after that, we have a fallow year, and we’re going to use that to celebrate Patrick, the father, then we round it all off with a celebration for Anne in 2020.
Read all: thestateofthearts

Brontë authors on what Yorkshire’s literary sisters mean to them

Sophie Franklin
Deborah Lutz
Lyndsay Faye
Mick Manning
Tracy Chevalier
Jolien Janzing
Nick Holland

zaterdag 16 april 2016

Dame Judi Dench accepts Bronte Society role

Dame Judi Dench has been appointed the new honorary president of the Bronte Society as it marks the bicentenary of Charlotte Bronte's birth. The actress, who appeared in the 2011 film of Bronte's Jane Eyre, said she was "delighted" to be offered the role. "It will be an honour to work with the society to promote [the Brontes'] legacy," continued the 81-year-old.  Chair John Thirlwell said the society was "thrilled" and could "think of no better person" to be its president. Dame Judi, who was born near York, will be officially voted in at the society's annual general meeting in June.
Her appointment follows a tumultuous period for the organisation and last year's resignation of its former president, Bonnie Greer. bbc./news

maandag 11 april 2016

On this day in Yorkshire, April 9, 1945.

April 9, 1945
The remarkable increase of from under 10,000 to over 21,000 in the number visitors to the Bronte Parsonage Museum at Haworth last year was referred to at the 51st annual meeting of the Bronte Society, held in the Leeds Civic Hall on Saturday.
Mr Donald Hopewell (President), who presided, said he thought this was almost the most encouraging thing that could have happened. The increase was partly due the fact that because, with transport difficulties, people could not go far afield at present, and more people than formerly were compelled to learn something about their own neighbourhood. Another reason was the very large number of men and women in the Forces who, in their leisure hours, had visited the Museum. It all showed how great was the interest taken in the life and work of the Brontes.

A satisfactory financial statement was presented by Dr W.M. Dickie, the hon treasurer, who said the receipts from Museum admission fees had Increased from £252 in 1943 to £520 last year. The total cash assets of the Society were £1,651, as against £1,237 at the end of 1943, an increase of £414.
Reviewing the work of the Society during the year, Mrs C. Mabel Edgerley (hon secretary) said they had added many new members. She also referred to interesting gifts which had been made to the Society.
Mr W.L. Andrews, hon editor of the Transactions of the Society, and chairman of the Council, reported how paper and printing labour difficulties had been overcome in producing the Transactions, mainly through the efforts of Mr H. Outhwaite. Read all the article: yorkshirepost


donderdag 7 april 2016

Charlotte Brontë: An Independent Will

September 9, 2016-

January 2, 2017         

From the time Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre was first published in 1847, readers have been drawn to the orphan protagonist who declared herself “a free human being with an independent will.” Like her most famous fictional creation, Brontë herself took bold steps throughout her life in pursuit of personal and professional fulfillment. This exhibition, presented on the occasion of the two hundredth anniversary of Brontë’s birth, traces her creative path from reluctant governess to published poet to commanding novelist. From her earliest literary works—written with a quill pen in a minuscule hand designed to mimic the printed page—to the manuscript of her explosive novel Jane Eyre, the exhibition presents an intimate portrait of one of England’s most compelling authors.

The exhibition is a historic collaboration between two of the world’s finest repositories of Brontëana. It brings together literary manuscripts, intimate letters, and rare printed books from the Morgan’s rich collection with personal artifacts, drawings, and photographs from the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, England. Highlights include Brontë’s earliest surviving miniature manuscript, her portable writing desk and paint box, one of her own dresses, and a pair of her ankle boots. Also on view—for the first time in North America—will be a portion of the manuscript of Jane Eyre, from the collection of the British Library, open to the unforgettable scene in which Jane tells Rochester,

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.” themorgan/charlotte-bronte

zaterdag 2 april 2016

The Irish Independent reminds their readers of the upcoming Charlotte Brontë 200th anniversary from an Irish perspective:

The Irish Independent: Charlotte was of course half-Irish herself. Her father Patrick was a native of Co Down, and most famously an indulgent parent, when it came to encouraging the literary output of his children. But he was also a complex man of the cloth, and as a Church of England minister, he seemed ever anxious to distance himself from his poverty stricken childhood. He even changed the family name of Prunty - which can be traced back to the Irish clan O'Pronntaigh - to the more exotic sounding Brontë hoping it would smooth his pathway through English life. And perhaps taking a cue from her father, Charlotte for most of her adult years, tended to ignore or downplay any legacy of Irishness which might influence her thinking or writing. She would remain determined that her English Protestantism, would always stay a step above, what she perceived to be the rabid Catholicism of the Irish peasantry. (...)

Despite her heartbreak, Charlotte would initially turn down a proposal of marriage from Mr Nicholls, the young Irish curate working with her father in the parish. As is made clear in correspondence she considered him dull and tedious. However, she later changed her mind, and decided she would marry him after all. Patrick Brontë's old snobbery resurrected itself once more and he refused to give her away at the wedding. He felt his daughter - who at this stage had achieved literary fame - could do better for herself than striking out with a relatively impoverished Church of England curate.
The couple spent their honeymoon in Ireland, with her new husband showing her around Dublin, including Trinity College, where he had been a student. They then travelled to Banagher, Co Offaly, to meet members of his family, continuing on to Kilkee, Tralee and Killarney. Charlotte admitted she was enthralled when she saw the majesty of the Atlantic Ocean for the first time, but some old prejudices remained.

"I heard a great deal about Irish negligence,'' she wrote in one of her letters back home.
"I own that until I came to Kilkee I saw little of it. Here at our inn - the splendidly designated West End Hotel - there is a good deal to carp at - if we were in a carping humour - but we laugh instead of grumbling - for outdoors there is so much to compensate for any indoor shortcomings.'' (...)

Charlotte Brontë's life and work is a reminder of the ever overlapping world of language both the British and the Irish have come to share. Of course we can't really claim her as one of our own. But there is assuredly a Celtic strain in her novels she could never really acknowledge. And the Irish blood in her veins was surely part of those many mysterious forces which made her a writer of genius. (Gerard O'Regan) bronteblog

Brontë Parsonage film set takes shape on moors above Haworth

It may look a little out of place amidst the bleak Yorkshire moorland, but this bare timber structure will soon set hearts soaring. When finished, television viewers won't be able to tell it apart from the stone-built Bronte Parsonage in nearby Haworth, former home of the Brontes. The exterior replica of the Parsonage is taking shape on Penistone Hill, chosen by film location experts to better resemble the original 1840s setting for a major new BBC drama. To Walk Invisible, created by award-winning Yorkshire writer and playwright Sally Wainwright, will tell the story of the world-famous family. Although the unpainted timber structure is currently a "monstrosity", according to local councillor Glen Miller, the short-term pain will be worth it in the end. thetelegraphandargus

woensdag 30 maart 2016

Villette in the US, or the story of the first American visitor to the Pensionnat in 1858.

The garden drawing in
'Vagabondizing in Belgium'


William Makepeace Thackeray was in the United States, for a lecturing tour, when Villette was published. He wrote about the novel in several letters, and, according to Winifred Gérin in her Charlotte biography, “the rage the book was enjoying among lady-readers over there.” A look in The Letters and private papers of William Makepeace Thackeray (volume 3, London, 1946) reveals however that there are only two references to the popularity of Villette in America. On 11 March 1853 he writes a letter in Charleston, to Lucy Baxter in New York City (pp. 232-3): “So you are all reading Villette to one another – a pretty amusement to be sure – I wish I was a hearing of you and a smoakin of a cigar the while. “ That remark was followed by his opinion of the novel. On 5 April he wrote from New York City to a Mrs. Mayne in London (p. 253): “Here the reign of novels is for a brief season, indeed, and “My novel” [by Edward Bulwer-Lytton] and “Villette,” have long since had the better of Mr. Esmond and his periwigged companions.”

It is certain that Villette was much more popular in America than it was in England. Smith, Elder & Co seem to have published just two editions of the novel in the 1850s. The second one was published in 1855. Harper & Brothers, from New York, published six editions in the 1850s. Apart from the two previously mentioned books of 1853 they also had an edition in 1855, 1856, 1857 and 1859. There is also an 1857 edition of Derby & Jackson from New York & Cincinnati.

The popularity of Villette in America is also reflected in what we know of the first Brontë visitors to the Pensionnat. The three first known visitors (after Mrs. Gaskell) are Americans.  One of these early visitors, Adeline Trafton, in 1871 (see below), who was there with friends, wrote about their introduction at the Pensionnat, having been let in by a teacher. “’We are a party of American girls,’ we said, ‘who, having learned to know and love Charlotte Brontë through her books, desire to see the garden of which she wrote in Villette.’ ‘Oh, certainly,’ was the gracious response.  ‘Americans often come to visit the school and the garden.’” The anonymous author of the 1890 article in The World wrote that the Pensionnat “has become the Mecca of American travellers. The average Britisher is content with worshipping at the shrine of the Waterloo ballroom, but the literary Yankee finds out Charlotte Brontë’s school, searches in vain for the Allée Défendue, and carries away a leaf from one of the giant pear trees. “

And Marion Harland, in 1898 quoted a Pensionnat teacher who had let her in: “So many English and Americans, many more Americans than English, come here every year, and talk, oh, so much! of Mlle. Lucie and Mme. Beck and Mlle. Charlotte, and the Ghost” (Promised land, pp. 59, 68 and 80).

Read all: brusselsbronte

Charlotte Brontë’s Birthday Tea

Thursday, April 21, 2016 - 15:30 to 17:00

Charlotte Brontë’s Birthday Tea

Did you know that Charlotte Brontë and Elizabeth Gaskell were good friends, and that Charlotte visited 84 Plymouth Grove? We at the House would like to invite you to celebrate Charlotte's 200th birthday and the friendship between these two authors. Join us for a cream tea and hear readings from Elizabeth Gaskell’s ‘Life of Charlotte Brontë', the first of Charlotte’s biographies, published in 1857. elizabethgaskellhouse

zaterdag 26 maart 2016

Saturday night, 9pm on BBC Two, sees the first broadcast of a landmark documentary about the Brontë sisters – Being The Brontës.

Tonight, 9pm on BBC Two, sees the first broadcast of a landmark documentary about the Brontë sisters – Being The Brontës. Its timing is perfect of course, as it comes just a month before the 200th birthday of Charlotte Brontë.

What I really like about the documentary’s premise is that three presenters will each tell the story of one of the sisters. Martha Kearney and Helen Oyeyemi will represent Charlotte and Emily, while Lucy Mangan is batting for Team Anne. You may know Lucy for her articles and features in the Guardian, or for one of her best selling books such as Inside Charlie’s Chocolate Factory.
Read all on the weblog Nick Holland: annebronte/being-the-brontes-team-anne

Charlotte Brontë, 26 March 1853 (letter to George Smith).

“When people think too much and sit too closely – the circulation loses its balance, forsakes the extremities and bears too strong a current on the brain; I suppose exercise is the best means of counteracting such a state of things
facebook/The Brontë Society

dinsdag 22 maart 2016

The letters were loaned to Bronte's biographer by one of her friends

Rare collection of letters written by Charlotte Bronte is to return to the writer's West Yorkshire home after they were bought at auction for £185,000. The recently discovered letters, which were expected to fetch between £100,000 and £150,000, were bought by The Bronte Society at Sotheby's in London.
They will be returned to the Jane Eyre author's former home in Haworth, which is now the Bronte Parsonage Museum. The six letters were written between 1832 and 1854. Bronte died in 1855.

School friend

Ann Dinsdale, collections manager at the museum, said: "These are amongst the most significant Bronte letters to come to light in decades. "They belong in Haworth and we are delighted that both scholars and members of the public will now have the opportunity to study and enjoy them, either here at the Bronte Parsonage Museum, or through our online resources."

Bronte's closest confidante Ellen Nussey, who she met as a pupil at Roe Head school in 1831, is the recipient of all but one of the six letters. The letters were among a collection loaned by Nussey to Bronte's biographer Elizabeth Gaskell in 1857. They were discovered in a first edition copy of Gaskell's two-volume biography, from a private collection, which was also included in the auction lot. The Bronte Society were able to buy the lot following a £198,450 donation from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.oe Head. bbc/news/uk-england-leeds 


Exhibition and party to celebrate the bicentenary of Charlotte Bronte’s birth.
South Square Centre is located on the outskirts of Bradford in Thornton, a village which is also birthplace of the three Brontë sisters. April 2016 marks the bicentenary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth, so to celebrate all of South Square’s exhibitors will be women and there will be a range of artworks, events and activities in response to this throughout April and May. South Square has commissioned Yorkshire Film Archive to create a short film, weaving together images of women recorded on film over the decades of the twentieth century, engaging in a variety of activities from politics, engineering, education and sports. T...he footage has been drawn from the collections housed by the Yorkshire Film Archive & North East Film Archive - these are films that capture women going about their varied and everyday lives through the ages. To accompany the film there will be a soundtrack by Todmorden-based musician Magpahi (aka Alison Cooper). The music will be made using a mixture of acoustic and electronic instruments, processed vocals as well as objects inherited from her Bradford born relatives.

South Square also invites audiences to nominate Bradford born or based pioneering women from the time of the Brontë’s to the present day. Candidates so far include: Charlotte Brontë (Author of novels featuring strong-willed women such as Jane Eyre), Margaret McMillian (Educator and campaigner for improvement of health care for children), Beryl Burton (Record-breaking Cycling) and Marianne Straub (Textile Design and 3rd female student at Bradford Technical College). Suggestions can be made at the exhibition, by email (y.carmichael@southsquarecentre.co.uk) or twitter (@South_Square).

Opening Event: 7-9pm Friday 1st April 2016 - FREE All Welcome
After Party: 9pm onwards The New Inn (next door to South Square), fun quiz hosted by Agnes Clout (aka Laura Dee Milnes) DJ sets by Lucy Barker and Kirsty Taylor Everyone is invited to bring along their own 5-song DJ-sets showcasing their favourite female musicians on mp3 players to add to the nights soundtrack.  Also get your Limited Edition Risographed Poster by Anna Peaker
PLUS 5-11pm RUSTICA by De Luca Boutique will be offering Artisan Street Food for hungry gallery goers including pizzas made to order in a wood fired clay oven!

Exhibition Open: 2nd April - 29th May, Tues - Sat 12-3pm or by appointment

Supported by Arts Council England, Bradford Metropolitan District Council and Bronte Parsonage Museum. facebook/South-Square-Centre

dinsdag 15 maart 2016

BBC applies to build replica of Bronte Parsonage for new drama on Penistone Hill, Haworth

THE producers of a major new BBC production have formally applied to build a temporary replica of the Bronte Parsonage on Penistone Hill. Plans for the structure have now been submitted to Bradford Council. The set will also include replicas of properties surrounding the parsonage, including the graveyard and the Old School Room. If permission is granted the set will be used for the filming of a drama called To Walk Invisible, a project directed by award-winning screen writer Sally Wainwright which will explore the lives of the Bronte family. thetelegraphandargus

maandag 14 maart 2016

Look this book with the beautiful illustrations. I love it!

From The Brontes - children of the moors, publishing on the 10th March by Hachette and with the expert help and sage advice of Ann Dinsdale and Bronte Parsonage Museum all about Charlotte Brontë and her sisters Emily Brontë / Emily Bronte and Anne Bronte - and the wild landscape of Haworth ~ Bronte Country. For children and adults. Beautifully illustrated by Brita Granström and with some moorland birds, feathers and other stuff by me. Mick Manning


zondag 13 maart 2016

Charlotte Brontë at the Sir John Soane Museum.

Sir John Soane's Museum

The Sir John Soane's Museum was designed by the architect himself to house his personal collection of paintings and architectural salvage. On the first Tuesday of each month the museum is open until 9 pm and some parts are lit by candlelight. The Picture Room is now as it was in Soane’s day and features paintings by Canaletto and others. Restoration work, part of a three year ‘Opening up the Soane’ project is underway – Number 12 Lincoln’s Inn Fields designed by Soane. This is a neoclassical townhouse built and decorated by John and Eliza Soane for their own use in 1792.
Sir John Soane’s Museum
13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields

Charlotte Cory Hi everyone, Charlotte Cory here. If you enjoy the drama series this week and are in london, i have some of the actors from the cast coming to the Sir John Soane's Museum on Friday night for a candlelit Jane Eyre themed evening around this magical house. And you can see the very dress that Charlotte Bronte wore to the Thackeray dinner (episode 3) and her little account book (from episode 1) and meet some celebrated Bronte experts and enjoy a nice glass of wine or an 1859 Colonel Fox's gin. I think there are a few tickets left. but you can visit the exhibition at any other time for free and soak in the atmosphere of this perfectly preserved architectural gem.  With many thanks to the BPM for their kind loan of Bronte related items. Best wishes, Charlotte C (life member since 1967!!) facebook/Bronte-Parsonage-Museum

From the website of the soane Museum:
Toast the great English novelist Charlotte Brontë, at this special candlelit evening with drinks and live readings. To celebrate the opening of our exhibition Charlotte Brontë at the Soane, join us for this after-hours party. Experience 'pop up' live readings of Brontë’s masterpiece Jane Eyre (1847) in the Museum’s atmospheric interiors, enjoy complimentary gin cocktails by Colonel Fox and wine by Joseph Mellot, and get a chance to see the exhibition with the curator Charlotte Cory.
And with an opportunity to see all the other treasures in the Soane Museum, as well as getting 10% off everything in the shop, it's the perfect way to salute a writer who changed the landscape of British culture forever.

Charlotte Brontë: A Celebration 15 Mar 2016 to 07 May 2016

We are delighted to announce an exhibition celebrating 200 years since the birth of Charlotte Brontë will open at the Museum on 15 March 2016.
Charlotte Brontë at the Soane is an imaginative and fascinating free display which is inspired by the five trips Brontë made to London in the 1840s and ‘50s to see her publisher after the meteoric success of Jane Eyre. Curated by artist Charlotte Cory, the show brings together an incredible selection of objects: from the personal effects Brontë brought with her to London, to Cory’s own artworks inspired by these visits to the capital.

Visitors will be able to see the guidebook Brontë used to explore the city - featuring Sir John Soane’s Museum - and a dress that she wore to a dinner with her publisher; the first time the dress has returned to London since she wore it. Also, on display for the first time ever are newly discovered sketches of the Brontë sisters, drawn by their sister Anne. Although Charlotte Brontë’s busy itinerary meant that she didn’t make it to the Museum, we are one of the few places in her guidebook which remain the same today as on her visits in the mid-nineteenth century. This show is therefore a unique opportunity to bring Brontë to the Museum for the first time, and to reflect on the Soane’s position on London’s tourist trail – frozen in time – for the past 180 years.

To mark the opening of the exhibition, we will host a special evening event on Friday 18 March, where Charlotte Brontë and her novel Jane Eyre will be celebrated with ‘pop-up’ readings, candlelight and cocktails. Tickets are £30. Buy here. On April 21st 2016, the day of the bicentenary, the Soane will lead a unique public participation live reading event across the capital. Inspired by the famous plinths in Trafalgar Square, a ‘mobile’ Fifth Plinth will host readings of Brontë’s novels at various locations including the Soane, the National Portrait Gallery and the British Library. More details, including how you can get involved, will be announced shortly.

Sir John Soane's Museum was formerly the home of the neo-classical architect Sir John Soane. It holds many drawings and models of Soane's projects and the collections of paintings, drawings and antiquities that he assembled. The museum is in the Holborn area of central London. wiki/Sir_John_Soane Museum 

And then there is SPRING.

facebook/  Pictures of Patrick Bronte

Look, what a marvelous pictures
After all the rain and snow
there is


zaterdag 12 maart 2016

The Victorians regarded Charlotte Brontë as coarse and immoral - and deplored Jane Eyre

Lucasta Miller:

The most notoriously vituperative notice, published in the conservative Quarterly Review, accused Currer Bell of "moral Jacobinism" – of trying to start a revolution. It went on to insinuate that, if indeed female, she must have "for some sufficient reason … forfeited the society of her own sex", ie that she must be a fallen woman whose loose sexual behaviour had made her a pariah in decent circles. Few insults could have been more excoriating at the time. Charlotte Brontë – in reality, the spinster daughter of a provincial parson and a lifelong Tory – was nonplussed at being simultaneously tarred with the brush of political liberalism and personal libertinism.

It is easy today to dismiss Jane Eyre's Victorian critics as purblind prudes. The fact that the Quarterly's anonymous critic was herself a woman, Elizabeth Rigby, outraged 20th-century feminists, who saw it as an unsisterly affront from a hidebound conservative. Yet it is worth asking whether the intensity of the contemporary response was a more honest reaction to Jane Eyre's insistent abrasiveness than the modern tendency to remove its sting by blandly categorising it as a classic.

At first glance, Elizabeth Rigby – who later married the head of the National Gallery – seems a Victorian woman after Charlotte Brontë's own heart. Carving out a successful journalistic career on her own merits, she stormed a bastion of male privilege when she was appointed lead critic of the revered Quarterly. As such she embodied in real life the ideals expressed by the fictional Jane who tells Mr Rochester that women are secretly as ambitious as men to exercise their faculties.
Why, then, did Elizabeth Rigby so hate Jane Eyre?

Elizabeth Rigby, the future Lady Eastlake, photographed about 1847 by Hill & Adamson

An easy answer would be that she had to conform to the Quarterly's old-school stance to keep her job. But her review fails to support that. In fact, if one reads it in depth it is clear that she does not attack Brontë's novel from a conservative position. Her accusations of Jacobinism are a cover for her own progressive political platform.

How, Rigby wonders, can Currer Bell make a hero out of Rochester? He is a rich, privileged, middle-aged, married man who gets a kick out of grooming the disempowered teenage governess he has employed to teach his illegitimate daughter. First he hooks her by telling her intimate details of his previous sex life. Then he goes on to try to get her into bed under false pretences by fixing a mock wedding. According to Rigby, most women of spirit would recoil from such a blatant exploitation of power for sexual ends. But Jane, clearly a self-deluded masochist, delights in addressing him as her "master". As for the "governess problem", Rigby is scathing. As we now know, the real Charlotte Brontë was in reality paid a mere £16 per annum when she worked as a governess in a private family, which, in today's equivalent, would be considered stingy pocket money for an au pair. Rigby fully understands that such underpaid employment was almost the only work option for impoverished but educated women at the time. Yet she blasts Jane Eyre, since it suggests that the only solution to the governess's dilemma is to marry the master. Instead, Rigby laments the fact that governesses are prevented by their gender from forming a trades union. Higher wages, she argues, would be the true solution to their plight.

Despite the "Jacobin" label, Rigby does not see Jane Eyre as a forward-looking book but as a throwback to less egalitarian times. Her views, usually regarded as misguided by modern critics, in fact enable us to understand how Jane Eyre's success in mesmerising generations of readers derive from its unspoken contradictions, which arguably give it its electric energy and have allowed it to be interpreted in so many contradictory ways.

Jane's assertiveness is indeed feminist, relocating the Byronic ego in the figure of the poor, plain governess. But her erotic masochism reflects the Fifty Shades of Grey view of gender relations promoted by the sub-Byronic commercial literature of the 1820s and 1830s which the young Charlotte had imbibed, along with the amoral, libertine, and frankly misogynistic Tory anarchism of Blackwood's Magazine and Fraser's Magazine, her favourite reading in her youth.

As a provincial, Charlotte Brontë was behind the times and outside the loop of literary London. She had no idea quite how tawdry and naïve her female Byronism would seem in 1847 to the new, progressive Victorian establishment, who had moved their focus from Romantic individualism to social amelioration. And yet, for all her doubts, even Rigby acknowledged that Jane Eyre was a work of genius. Jane Eyre is too full of paradox to be read as a moral manual, but it has survived because, artistically, it has rarely been bettered.

Lucasta Miller's book is The Brontë Myth' . Her essay on why Brontë books were deemed "coarse" will appear in the Blackwell Companion to the Brontës. Read on: independent

More information about Elizabeth Rigby; wiki/Elizabeth Eastlake




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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