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

dinsdag 27 januari 2015

A writing desk and other items from the home of the Bronte sisters.

The desk, which may have been used by Charlotte Bronte to write her novels, were  up for sale as well as her sister Emily's art box and geometry set.

The items belonged to William Law, an avid Bronte collector who bought them from Charlotte's widower, Reverend Arthur Bell Nicholls. He even installed metal plaques on them to ensure they were not thrown out or destroyed.

Her paint box and geometry set - inscribed with her initials - would have been one of the few items of entertainment she owned.
Ann Dinsdale, Collections Manager for the Bronte Parsonage Museum, explained: "They are very important pieces, especially anything relating to Emily Bronte.
"Because she was never famous during her own lifetime very few of her personal items or manuscripts were kept and are extremely rare."  Read more: telegraphBronte-sisters-desk

zondag 25 januari 2015

Snow on Top Withens.

The table is back

Keighley News reports that an important piece of Brontëana has been acquired by the Brontë Society:
The society has bought the simple mahogany drop-leaf table with a grant of £580,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund  The society said the desk was one of the most evocative and significant literary artefacts of the 19th century. The table at which the Brontë sisters wrote was the focus of domestic life in the Brontë household at Haworth Parsonage, and where the siblings gathered to write and discuss their stories, poems, and novels. The table bears the marking of the family’s daily use with ink blots, a large candle burn in the centre, a small letter ‘E’ carved into the surface, and beneath the table are ownership markings, possibly in the hand of Charlotte Brontë’s husband, Arthur Bell Nicholls. 
The table was also featured in an 1837 diary paper sketch by Emily, showing herself and Anne writing at the table with all their papers scattered before them. The table was sold during the sale of the household effects of the Parsonage, which took place after the death of Patrick Brontë in 1861. The table is listed as lot 154 in the hand-written sale catalogue, held at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, which shows that it was purchased by Mr Ogden for the sum of £1-11-0. The Ogdens sold it to another family, within which it has been handed down as an heirloom, before the museum was approached for ownership. bronteblog
Ann Dinsdale, the Collections Manager at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, said: “We are extremely proud and excited to be bringing the Brontës’ table back to its original home.
“It is one of the most important literary artefacts of the 19th century and displaying it in the Parsonage dining room marks a wonderful commencement to our programme of activity marking the forthcoming bicentenaries of the births of the Brontë siblings.”
The table was loaned to the Brontë Parsonage Museum for a short period in 1997 to mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.
Carole Souter the chief executive of the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), said the Brontë sisters were internationally revered for their contribution to English literature.
She said: “Novels which have enthralled millions of readers were imagined and written at this table and seeing it brings to life the creative process behind the famous works.
“NHMF trustees felt it important that it should be saved for the nation so that it can be displayed to the public in its original setting.” 
Heritage minister Ed Vaizey said: “The Brontës’ family dining table has a close connection with some of the most famous English literature written in the 19th century.
“The National Heritage Memorial Fund grant recognises the importance of keeping these literary artefacts on display and it’s wonderful that visitors to the Brontës’ former home in Yorkshire will now be able to enjoy it in its original setting."
The table will be displayed in its original position in the dining room at the Parsonage where it can be viewed by the public from the February 1, when the Brontë Parsonage reopens for the coming season. (David Knights)
brontesisters/ table
bbc./news/Bronte table brought back to Haworth Parsonage 

vrijdag 23 januari 2015

Rev Geo. De Renzy is in want of a situation


I received from Anne from the weblog
an email with this information:
For  my Bronte research I'm reading though Yorkshire National School Reports  for 1853-54   via  Google . It's amazing what is now online.

In my reading  I came upon a very interesting  advertisement  with a familiar name and place. The ad appears in the April 1854  edition of the monthly  magazine  for "  The  National  Society for Promoting  the  Education  of the Poor throughout  England and  Wales"

This  1854 ad  states Rev George De Renzy  is seeking a  new situation . Of course
Mr. De Renzy  is the gentleman who replaced  Arthur Bell Nicholls  as Haworth's curate in May of 1853

This advertisement  tells us a number of things. First that  Rev. De Renzy was looking to leave Haworth at least from March of 1854, since his ad appeared in April and  it had to be submitted in the preceding  month.

It tells us he was married which I didn't know. I have since found out he married Emily Mackley on January  19. 1854 so while he was in Haworth.

The ad  shows  he was not  looking  just within the Church for a new  position, but would take a  teaching only job as well. Then it reveals Mr. De Renzy was trained at  Westminster College. This was  a teacher training institute that  was founded in London in 1851 and trained teachers for Methodist schools.

The ad also says he would rather stay in a country setting and that satisfactory testimonials can  be given.

Fascinating what one can find on the web!
Thank you Anne.
Indeed it is fasinating wht one can find on the internet.
We are going on searching for it. 
Thank you for sharing. 
De Renzy, George (b. 1827)
A troublesome young clergyman who served as Patrick’s curate 1853–4, during the row with Arthur Bell Nicholls over his wish to marry Charlotte. When Patrick reluctantly agreed to the proposed marriage, de Renzy seems to have resented the consequent termination of his curacy. He complained to John Brown and others, and insisted on a long holiday at the end of his term, so that Patrick would be without a curate during the honeymoon. He was “perfectly smooth and fair-spoken to Papa,” Charlotte said, but he continued to “give what trouble he can” to Patrick whose nature, Charlotte said, was against “harsh decided” measures (to EN, 14 May and 7 June 1854). He left Haworth four days before the wedding  blackwellreference
Photo woman: people/Emily-DeRenzy

zondag 18 januari 2015

In Holland it is grey and raining
but in Haworth there is  SNOW

Bonnie Greer

The Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) is delighted to announce the appointment of Bonnie Greer OBE to its Board of Directors for a one-year term. Award-winning playwright, author, critic and teacher Bonnie Greer brings a wealth of experience of writing and the arts to her new role on the ALCS Board. Among her stated aims are to help the new generation of writers to understand intellectual property and what it means in the internet age; more inclusion from all communities in the business of writers and writing, including policy making; and the promotion of ALCS as the "go to organisation" for these aims. Commenting on her appointment as a Non-Executive Director, Bonnie says:

"I'm delighted to be joining the Board of ALCS. We are in the midst of the greatest change to the dissemination of the written word since the Age of Guttenberg. We have to make sure that the new generation of writers understands that what they write must ,and should be protected and allowed to benefit not only others, but themselves. This protection is one of the ways to preserve the unique voice of every writer and what will save and develop that unique human characteristic which distinguishes us from other species."  Read more: prnewswire/bonnie-greer

zaterdag 17 januari 2015

Anne Brontë's 195th birthday

When Charlotte's friend Ellen Nussey visited Haworth in 1833, she reported that Emily and Anne were "like twins", "inseparable companions". She describes Anne at this time:
"Anne, dear gentle Anne was quite different in appearance from the others, and she was her aunt's favourite. Her hair was a very pretty light brown, and fell on her neck in graceful curls. She had lovely violet-blue eyes, fine pencilled eyebrows and a clear almost transparent complexion. She still pursued her studies and especially her sewing, under the surveillance of her aunt. " (Chitham, 1991, p. 39) edu//bronte-anne
Anne Brontë was born on January 17th, 1820, at Thornton (see also The Brontë Birthplace). Anne was the last of the six children of Patrick and his wife Maria Branwell Brontë. Her siblings, by age, were Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte, Branwell, and Emily Jane. Patrick Brontë was the curate of Thornton. Given the size of the family, Patrick actively sought a better clerical appointment. After much difficulty, he was appointed to the perpetual curacy of Haworth. The Brontë family moved to the parsonage there in April, 1820.

Anne was barely a year old when her mother became ill. Maria Branwell Brontë died on September 15th, 1821. Elizabeth Branwell agreed to stay. Thus, she was a surrogate mother to Anne throughout her childhood. Anne slept with Aunt Branwell, not with Charlotte and Emily. She and her aunt were particularly close, and this loving adult role model may have strongly influenced Anne's personality and religious beliefs.  The character of Agnes Grey refers to poems as "pillars of witness" in a passage that may well reflect Anne's own view: Anne's religious poetry certainly fits this pattern.
"When we are harrassed by sorrows or anxieties, or long oppressed by any powerful feelings which we must keep to ourselves, for which we can obtain and seek no sympathy from any living creature, and which yet we cannot or will not wholly crush, we often naturally seek relief in poetryand often find it, toowhether in the effusions of others, which seem to harmonize with our existing case, or in our own attempts to give utterance to those thoughts and feelings in strains less musical, perchance, but more appropriate, and therefore more penetrating and sympathetic, and for the time, more soothing, or more powerful to rouse and to unburden the oppressed and swollen heart. Before this time, at Wellwood House and here, when suffering from home-sick melancholy, I had sought relief twice or thrice at this secret source of consolation; and now I flew to it again, with greater avidity than ever, because I seemed to need it more. I still preserve those relics of past sufferings and experience, like pillars of witness set up in travelling through the vale of life, to mark particular occurrences. " (Agnes Grey, Everyman Classics Edition, 1985, pp. 121)
THOUGH bleak these woods, and damp the ground
With fallen leaves so thickly strown,
And cold the wind that wanders round
With wild and melancholy moan;
There is a friendly roof, I know,
Might shield me from the wintry blast;
There is a fire, whose ruddy glow
Will cheer me for my wanderings past.
And so, though still, where'er I go,
Cold stranger-glances meet my eye;
Though, when my spirit sinks in woe,
Unheeded swells the unbidden sigh;
Though solitude, endured too long,
Bids youthful joys too soon decay,
Makes mirth a stranger to my tongue,
And overclouds my noon of day;
When kindly thoughts, that would have way,
Flow back discouraged to my breast;
I know there is, though far away,
A home where heart and soul may rest.
[Page 121]

Warm hands are there, that, clasped in mine,
The warmer heart will not belie;
While mirth, and truth, and friendship shine
In smiling lip and earnest eye.
The ice that gathers round my heart
May there be thawed; and sweetly, then,
The joys of youth, that now depart,
Will come to cheer my soul again.
Though far I roam, that thought shall be
My hope, my comfort, everywhere;
While such a home remains to me,
My heart shall never know despair!
The manuscript version of this poem is dated November 7th, 1843. Although it is 'signed' with a Gondal signature, "Hespera Caverndel", it may also reflect Anne's personal feelings about her home. There are some minor differences in spelling and formatting; the original manscript does not contain any punctuation.

Anne Brontë's 195th birthday is celebrated on the web with several posts:  Giving the Forgotten Sister and Badass Feminist Author Her Due is the rather explicit title of Flavorwire's post:Anne Brontë, born on January 17, 1820, is often the butt of Brontë jokes. She’s known as the forgotten Brontë sister, or the one with less talent compared to preternatural geniuses Charlotte and Emily. But this is a simplistic reading of her life. Anne lacked her sisters’ wild romanticism and affinity for dark heroes, but she had a strength and gift all her own, and leaves a strong feminist literary legacy. (Sarah Seltzer) And you can also find vindications of the work of the youngest of the Brontë sisters on Hard Book Habits, Alba Editorial's Facebook wall, Legimus, Book Perfume,  etc. bronteblog

A case of history repeating

Distrust of politicians... savage cuts which hit the poorest and a working class ready to revolt. Writer Juliet Barker talks to Yvette Huddleston about the lessons we can learn from the past.

A country ruled by a political class considered to be out of touch with ordinary working men and women, where many people feel they don’t have a voice, where employment legislation and pay cuts seem to hit the most vulnerable and where in some quarters there is a growing resentment towards immigrants. Sound familiar? It could be an account of Britain today, but is in fact a description of England in the spring of 1381 in the lead-up to the mass popular rebellion known as the Peasants’ Revolt. Read more: yorkshirepost

vrijdag 16 januari 2015

Historical maps

I received a nice email
""I am sure you are familiar with most web sites such as the British Library etc, but I include below a link to a map website done by the Woodland Trust organisation in the UK.  This is a very good site for historical maps.  I think they have amalgamated various 19th century maps to form a composite coverage of the UK.  The old maps show c1843 to c1893.  If this site is not familiar to you then it can provide may interesting maps of places associated with the Bronte family.  A bit of a mystery is highlighted when Charlotte and Ellen Nussey stayed with the Hudson's at Easton.  Charlotte's letter to Ellen 24th October 1839 tells of their "pleasent walks" to Harlequin Wood.  The web site map will show you that the wood in question is most likely to be one named Hallookill Wood.""
This indeed is a very interesting site
Thank you very much for sending me
Easton House
blackwellreference: : Farmhouse two miles inland from Bridlington. Charlotte and Ellen Nussey stayed there in September 1839, and soon after their arrival walked to the coast so that Charlotte could have her first view of the sea – “dark blue and green and foam-white” (to EN, 24 Oct 1839). According to Ellen they stayed with the Hudsons, most unwillingly, for a month, but were then allowed a week on their own in lodgings in Bridlington. Charlotte referred to this later as “one of the pleasant recollections of my life” (to EN, 4 Mar 1845?), and painted at the time a watercolor of the house and gardens, with the Hudsons in the foreground – a picture rather uncharacteristic of Charlotte’s usual productions, and now only known from a photograph. She and Ellen stayed with the Hudsons again in June 1849, after the death of Anne. The house, in the tiny hamlet of Easton, was built in 1810 and demolished around the 1970s.

woensdag 14 januari 2015

Irish Bronteland

The fertile land of County Down has been farming country for centuries. It was here that Patrick Brontë, father of Charlotte, Emily and Anne - the Brontë sisters, was born into a farming family on 17th March 1777 - Saint Patrick's day.

Follow the story of Patrick Brontë and his family through the buildings that survive within the Homeland. The Brontë Homeland Drive starts at Drumballyroney Church and School near Rathfriland, ten miles south of Banbridge. It is well signposted along the 10-mile route shown on the map.

Drumballyroney Church and School, where Patrick Brontë taught and preached, have been preserved and now include displays about the Brontë family.

Brontë Homeland Picnic Site, Knockiveagh. An ideal place to stop and see the rolling hills where Patrick grew up and the Mountains of Mourne in the background.

Alice McClory's Cottage, Brontë Road. The cottage was the childhood home of Patrick's mother, Alice McClory.

Patrick’s birthplace at Emdale is on an 8-mile signposted Homeland drive which starts from the centre. The remains have been in the care of the Brontë Homeland Trust since 1956.

Glascar School. Patrick taught here in the 1790's, although the original schoolhouse was replaced by this more modern building in 1844. He is said to have used enlightened teaching methods to bring out the best in his pupils.

A lot of photographes from the Irish Bronte Land
The highlight of the homeland drive was of course the Birthplace Cottage at Emdale, a small two-roomed cottage where Patrick Brontë was born on St. Patrick’s Day 1777.  Or to describe it in Patrick’s own words (from the poem entitled “The Irish cabin”):

“A neat Irish cabin, snow proof
Well thatched, had a good earthen floor,
One chimney in midst of the roof,
One window, and one latched door.”

Ireland and Wuthering Heights

The Derry Journal claims to have found the real life inspiration for Wuthering Heights (one of many claims):
It’s perhaps best known for the story of tragic Half Hanged John McNaughton. But a little known fact about the historic Prehen House in Derry is that it’s believed to have been the inspiration behind Emily Bronte’s epic novel Wuthering Heights. The Wuthering Heights link and John McNaughton are just two of the subjects covered in a series of historic tours which will take place at Prehen House this weekend. [...] And the story of John McNaughton remains the house’s biggest selling point, despite the various versions of his story which have been told down the years. John McNaughton was a friend of the Knox family. In 1761 Mary Ann Knox who was just 15 became besotted with McNaughton and the two began a relationship. McNaughton convinced Mary Ann to marry him in secret. But her father Andrew Knox found out their plan and forbid it — he believed McNaughton only wanted her considerable dowry, to continue his gambling. When Mary Ann was travelling to Dublin with her father on November 10, McNaughton held up the carriage to try and elope with the girl. The shoot-out went wrong and McNaughton accidentally killed Mary AA conducted tour had been organised under the `Talks and Tours' scheme run by the University of Ulster at Coleraine and this covered the nature and the history of the island. Everyone was staggered by the impressiveness of the bird colonies which are managed by the RSPB.nn. McNaughton was sentenced to hang for his crime but on the gallow the rope broke. Local legend says he was offered the opportunity to escape but declined, as he did not want to be remembered as a half-hanged man.
Ironically McNaughton became infamous as ‘half hanged’ and his ghostly presence has been said to have been seen in Prehen.

“People know the story better than the house,” said Colin. “During the tours visitors will get to see practically all of the house and hear the entire history. We were very lucky that the year before last Queen’s University Belfast visited and dug up the old borne in the grounds. Amazingly they found an old fort out there and a tower.” Colin explains how there’s a strong suspicion that Emily Bronte could have based her novel Wuthering Heights on the tragic love story of John McNaughton and Mary Anne Knox. “Look back at that situation in the 1760s,” he said. “This was a love story, a great romance. He was brought into the family. Then she leaves him and he comes back and wreaks havoc and revenge. There was quite an outrage at the time. There were contemporary articles written about it all over England and news would have travelled very fast.

Patrick Bronte grew up in County Down, he would have known all about it. He was a clergy man and a teacher and educated his daughters himself. It would be strange if he didn’t tell them this story. There are so many similarities between elements of the Wuthering Heights and what happened here,
“One imagines Emily Bronte must have heard the story.”
(Erin Hutcheon)


Based on this article I am searching on the internet and I found some links

A conducted tour had been organised under the `Talks and Tours' scheme run by the University of Ulster at Coleraine and this covered the nature and the history of the island. Everyone was staggered by the impressiveness of the bird colonies which are managed by the RSPB. Kilkenny was the destination for our weekend excursion in May 2005, based at the River Court Hotel. As we were accompanied by several members of the Brontë Society (Irish Section) there was a strong Brontë connection in some of the places visited. 

We called to see the attractive gardens at Rossanagh Cottage. This was formally the dower house of the residence of the Rev. Thomas Tighe who, when rector of Drumballyroney, encouraged Patrick Brontë to go to Cambridge and take Holy Orders. lisburn
Rev. Thomas Tighe & the Bronte Connection

After Lady Mary’s death in 1748, William Tighe married secondly Margaret, eldest daughter of Captain Thomas Theaker, MP, who bore him a son, Thomas, and daughter, Barbara. The son, Thomas, was educated at Harrow and Cambridge and became Rector of Drumballyroney in County Down. As such, he provides another extraordinary literary link for the Tighes. One of the Rev. Thomas Tighe’s child protégés in Drumballyroney was the future Rev. Patrick Bronte, father of the famous sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne. The Rev. Tighe died in 1821. Thomas’s sister Barbara was married in 1776 to the Rev. Michael Sandys, Rector of Powerscourt. turtlebunbury//family_tighe

Haworth villagers for Council

Bonnie Greer continues her 'campaign' to make the people of Haworth feel included in the Brontë Society. As the Yorkshire Post reports,

Brontë Society president Bonnie Greer has called for local people in Haworth to consider running for leadership roles in the literary group. In a new year address sent to members following a turbulent year, Ms Greer said she wants to see Society members who live in the village to stand for election for voluntary posts on the Society’s Council. The American-born writer said: “We must engage even more with Haworth and we’re lucky and unique to be situated in a living and thriving village. I would recommend, for example, that villagers stand for Council. “We must bring our membership age down in order to ensure that our beloved Society and Museum continue into the 21st century.”
Her comments follow months of turmoil which saw angry exchanges between Society members and the sudden departures of its executive director and chairman. During the internal wrangling, critics called for Haworth’s Parsonage Museum to be run by a Trust rather than the Society’s council.
Ms Greer told members: “Personally I don’t want to see the Society become a Trust, separating the Museum from the members. The Museum belongs to you, and I will support your right to keep it and have it taken care of by a Council elected by you, the Members.” She said “grievances” aired by some members last year had led to a “rather expensive” extraordinary general meeting in October.
She added: “Council and staff have done everything possible to alleviate reputational damage and to ensure the business of the Society and Museum has not lost momentum.” Her letter contains nomination papers for election to the Council. The Society is seeking to fill the posts of three honorary officers, who are standing down, and at least one other post. Ballot results will be declared on June 6. The Society is keen to receive nominations from people with skills in tourism/visitor attractions, press/journalism/marketing, IT/digital technology and publishing. (Andrew Robinson) bronteblog/haworth-villagers-for-council

woensdag 7 januari 2015

Juliet Barker

Sharon Griffiths talks to author Juliet Barker about research, awards and why she will never leave Yorkshire
Juliet Barker is a Yorkshire woman through and through. Despite the fame and success she has achieved through her writing, she has never been even slightly tempted to move further than from the West Riding to Wensleydale. “Never,” she says firmly. “I can’t imagine living anywhere other than Yorkshire.” It’s certainly been inspirational.
From her study window in a converted hay loft, she could gaze out at Penhill – “I couldn’t work anywhere without a view,” – and get down to work, usually at 4am, finishing her latest book. “The swallows would swoop in and around and out again as I worked.” Read more: .thenorthernecho/.Author_vows_to_never_leave_Yorkshire/

maandag 5 januari 2015

2015. A Brontë Year

2014 was a year of transition in many aspects, also as all-things-Brontë are concerned. And everything seems to point out that 2015 will also be a relatively uneventful year, just holding the reins for the big events that are being prepared for the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë's birth in 2016. Except, of course, if we are talking about the Brontë Society which in the verge of the big celebrations of next year has nothing better to do than exhibit to the world intestine/internecine (cross out what does not apply) wars and absurd rivalries that nobody outside the stale air of the closed rooms of the Brontë Society (both the ruling board and the so-called dissenters) understands. Let's hope this new year will bring some common sense and less misused stamina based on pride (and prejudice) dressed as intelligentsia.

Nevertheless, we know of a few interesting things that the new year will bring and some hints of several others that it might bring: Read more on:

2015. A Brontë Year

Was Emily Brontë an Amateur Geometer?

pp. iii-iv Author: Adams, Amber M.

Was Emily Brontë an Amateur Geometer?
pp. 1-10    Author:  Cooper, Christopher
Abstract:M. Heger claimed that Emily had a masculine mind, meaning that she had a well-developed capacity for logical thinking. To assist her drawing skills she worked through a drawing manual that was strongly based on Euclidean geometry. The Brontë Parsonage Library holds a manuscript of her drawings in which she practised several methods for constructing ellipses. Here we identify the drawing manual from which she worked and describe the geometry that lies behind the several ‘problems’.

The new issue of Brontë Studies (Volume 40, Issue 1, January 2015) is already available online

donderdag 25 december 2014

Christmas holidays of the year 1842

The death of Miss Branwell had brought Charlotte and Emily home from Brussels; and Anne, from her situation, was present on the sad occasion. When the Christmas holidays came round, the sisters were all at home again. Branwell was with them; which was always a pleasure at that time, and Charlotte's friend, 'E,' came to see her. Having overcome the first pang of grief on the death of their aunt, they enjoyed their Christmas very much together. Branwell was cheerful and even merry; and in Charlotte's next letter, written in a happy mood to her friend, who had just left them, he sent a playful message. 'Branwell wants to know,' says Charlotte, 'why you carefully excluded all mention of him, when you particularly send your regards to every other member of the family. He desires to know in what he has offended you? Or whether it is considered improper for a young lady to mention the gentlemen of a house?' [4] While they were together, plans for the future were talked over with eagerness and hope. Charlotte had accepted the proposal of Monsieur Héger that she should return to Brussels for another year, when she would have completed her knowledge of French and be fully qualified to commence a school on a footing which was yet impossible. Emily was to remain at home now to attend to her father's house, and Anne was to return to her situation as governess.
Branwell also found occupation as tutor in the same family where Anne had been for some time employed. He commenced his duties, in his new position, after the Christmas holidays of the year 1842. On his arrival at the house of his employer, he was introduced to the members of the family; and it is not too much to say that his new friends were more than satisfied with his graceful manners, his wit, and the extent of his information. Here Branwell felt himself happy; for, contrary to his expectation, he had found, to his mind, a pleasant pasture, with comparative ease, where he had only looked for the usual drudgery of a tutor's work. His family were contented that he was thus respectably and hopefully employed.  gutenberg

Oxenhope's St Mary the Virgin Church.

Keighley News reports:
An historic Oxenhope church with links to the Brontë family will share in a £550,000 funding payout from the National Churches Trust to 30 churches and chapels in the UK
The funding from the National Churches Trust includes £15,000 for Oxenhope's St Mary the Virgin Church. Custodians of the Grade II listed building, in Hebden Road, will use the cash to help fund urgently-needed repairs to the church tower as part of a £120,000 project. (...)
We'd only asked for £10,000 because we didn't want to appear greedy, but they said they liked what we were doing and that we could have the full £15,000. It is amazing."
Reverend Wright added that the church's exposed location means it often gets a battering from harsh weather sweeping down off the moors. (...)
In 1845, Reverend Patrick Brontë, father of the famous novelist sisters Charlotte, Anne and Emily, appointed the then curate, Reverend Joseph Brett Grant, to take charge of the newly formed ecclesiastical district, now know as Oxenhope village parish.
Reverend Grant began holding services in a nearby wool combing shop. Within a year he had raised enough money to build a day school, which served as a Sunday school and church.
He was a tireless worker who collected money for a purpose-built new church. According to Charlotte Brontë he wore out 14 pairs of shoes in his quest for money.
His efforts were rewarded on February 14 1849 when the foundation stone for St Mary's was laid.
The church was built from millstone grit with stone and natural slate roofs. The square west end tower is 44-feet high and houses two levels of meeting rooms, which were added in 1991

A School Progress Report for the Brontë Sisters

The Journal of Education: A Monthly Record and Review, January 1900.

The Ransom Center

maandag 22 december 2014

Was Branwell Bronte bipolair?

Hathaways of Haworth is working on a post about the authorship of Wuthering Heights and I was pondering the behaviour and tragic decline of Branwell Bronte and it suddenly occurred to me that he may have been bipolar .I probably wouldn’t have considered the possibility of mental health problems within the Bronte family if I hadn’t just finished a post on Emily to address  the question of her possible Asperger’s. did-emily-bronte-have-aspergers-autism
Its seems to me very possible Branwell had or developed a mental health problem that falls within the bipolar spectrum.  Having lived with some one with a bipolar disorder, for years there was something about Branwells behaviour that niggled at some indefinable part of my mind.Then I began reviewing Branwell after  I recently watched someone with bipolar slowly loose their moral compass and behave  in increasingly uncharacteristic ways I saw many echo’s in Branwells final sad decline.
I don’t yet have research to back up this idea and may not pursue it but several aspects of Branwells life suggested the possibility. He was clearly extremely talented in many areas yet he also lacked the ability to maintain any interest for long enough to make a living ,he makes rapid progress then suddenly seems to loose interest or cant concentrate and apply himself .He often make grandiose claims  and plans which he then looses interest in fulfilling. He is affectionate and caring ,yet is sporadically capable of being selfish  cruel and aggressive. He is aware of this  and deeply upset by it but cant control it. Hes normally very gentle and  protective of his sisters and father yet can be suddenly abusive and frightening. He has sleep problems and delusions.He appears to be worse after some emotional upset or after sudden success. He is by turns elated and depressed ,sometimes in rapid succession ,sometimes they changes can last days or weeks. Something I had not realised until recently ,each progressive episode seems to wear away at the suffers normal emotional state producing a gradual suppression of their normal self and an increasing intrusion of manic traits into their everyday lives. Many aspects of his behaviour have been explained as results of abuse of alcohol and  laudanum but there’s no evidence at all that he was using either of these  when he makes his first “mistakes” and despite social drinking doesn’t seem to have lost control of his intake until the very last days of his life .The drug and alcohol abuse could have been a coping mechanism, misunderstood by those around him who would have no idea of his complex mental health problems. Thoughts to ponder by those more well versed on Branwell than myself



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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