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

zondag 17 februari 2019

The Women's Coronation Procession, suffragette march, London, 1911.

The Women's Coronation Procession, suffragette march, London, 1911, demanding women's suffrage in the coronation year of George V, organised by the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) and captured by Christina Broom, UK's first female press photographer

donderdag 14 februari 2019

Valentine´s day.

This #ValentinesDay here's a little reminder to love thy neighbour. I'd forgotten we planted snowdrops on the graves of Anne's neighbours!
Would be cute if all neglected graves sprang up little flowers from hidden bulbs 💖💖💖

zaterdag 9 februari 2019

Meta Gaskell to Ellen Nussey

This letter from Meta Gaskell to Ellen Nussey in January 1866 gives a moving account of the death of Elizabeth Gaskell two months earlier:

woensdag 2 januari 2019

Sarah Fermi. In Memoriam.

It is with great sorrow that we report the death of Sarah Fermi (1935-2018) a few days ago, on Christmas day.

Sarah Fermi was a life member of the Brontë Society, member of the Council as Publications Officer from 2008 to 2015 and frequent contributor to Brontë Studies, where she published pieces based on her original research into puzzles connected with Brontë biography.

Her interest in the Brontës was long and fruitful, maybe motivated by being one of three sisters herself. It was her reading of Edward Chitham's biography of Emily Brontë (and its many unanswered questions about Emily's life) that prompted her to more serious research.

Probably, her most famous and controversial theory was her suggestion that Emily Brontë had a relationship with a local boy named Robert Clayton, who in a certain way inspired much of Emily's poetry and even parts of Wuthering Heights. This theory was taken up by BBC Radio 4, and the play 'Cold in the Earth, and Fifteen Wild Decembers' by Sally Wainwright (who, ten years later, was to write and direct To Walk Invisible) was broadcast in 2006. Nevertheless, Sarah Fermi felt the need to explore her theory outside the boundaries of a radio play and she published a fictionalised account in the form of a diary: Emily's Journal was published a few months later.

Controversial it could be but not entirely crazy and thoroughly researched. It is worthwhile quoting from the Preface of the book in which Dr Patsy Stoneman writes:

Sarah's methods are those of the traditional historian: the patient and meticulous sifting of church records, land registers, wills and testaments, and, where they exist, letters and memoirs. By these means she has been able to solve problems which have lain uninvestigated since Gaskell's Life of Charlotte Brontë.


vrijdag 28 december 2018

Rachel Sutcliffe, Walking in Bronte Footsteps.

The blog What Rachel wrote

Walking in Bronte Footsteps: Cowan Bridge to Tunstall Church

Today's blog took longer to assemble than the walk itself. Walking in Bronte Footsteps - Cowan Bridge to Tunstall Church, a walk we did on 19 December to commemorate and all the clergy daughters.

The Best Brontë Books of 2018.

Find her on twitter @BronteBabeBlog
 Where she tweets about books, the Brontës, and animal rights

donderdag 20 december 2018

Thanks to a major £2.5m project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and others, the restored House is fully open to the public. The following film shows the transformation.

The truth about the Brontes’ beloved aunt

Bronte Society member Nick Holland examines the life of Elizabeth Branwell, who became a second mother to the famous siblings. The book, Aunt Branwell And The Bronte Legacy, looks at how the woman possibly has money and influence helped Charlotte, Emily and Anne write and publish their books. The book, published recently by Pen and Sword Books, is said to reveal Aunt Branwell's true character, far removed from the stern disciplinarian of legend.
Nick Holland shows how Elizabeth influenced the lives and works of the Brontes, before and after her death. He traces the surviving descendants of the Branwells, the closest living relatives to the Brontes today. 
Elizabeth Branwell was born in Penzance in 1770, a member of a large and influential Cornish family of merchants and property owners. In 1821 her life changed forever when her sister Maria fell dangerously ill. Leaving her comfortable life behind, she made the long journey north to a remote moorland village in Yorkshire to nurse her sister. After the death of Maria, Elizabeth assumed the role of second mother to her nephew and nieces, never seeing Cornwall again.
A spokesman for Pen and Sword said: “In this first-ever biography of Elizabeth Branwell, we see at last the huge impact she had on Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte, as well as on her nephew Branwell Bronte who spiralled out of control away from her calming influence. 

donderdag 29 november 2018

Haworth Window.

These beautiful pictures are made by Vesna Armstrong 
and you can find them on her blog vesnaarmstrong/haworth-window

"Just lately the weather here in Yorkshire has turned rather severe; typical November conditions set in: frosty mornings, foggy and chilly days with quite a lot of rain and cold and early nights with my garden solar lights hardly getting enough sun to light up at all. Days like this made me remember I have some shots of my beloved Haworth which I took back in summer on the sort of day that resembled much more the kind of weather we have right now than a summer day. I left those shots to process and share at a more appropriate time and now it feels like a perfect time. It was one of my overnight visits to Haworth, and I stayed at the wonderful Old White Lion hotel at the top of the well known, steep, cobbled Main Street." 
Read all of this nice story on vesnaarmstrong/haworth-window

She experimented with different lens apertures and focusing points....

And…….night time shots of the view had to be taken!

"A remarkable thing happened that evening. The Black Bull pub (just beyond the red phone box), where Branwell Brontë spent a lot of time drinking with his village buddies, reopened after a few weeks of closure and uncertain future. As a huge Brontës fan I was so pleased to see its lights turned on again, and made sure I went in there for a glass of wine".

donderdag 22 november 2018

Emily Bronte Song Cycle by The Unthanks.

Promo video for the Emily Bronte Song Cycle by The Unthanks, available to buy on record from www.the-unthanks.com and to experience at the Parsonage Museum in Haworth, West Yorks Dec 2018 - March 2019

dinsdag 20 november 2018

donderdag 15 november 2018

Aunt Branwell went about the house in pattens.

Aunt Branwell dreaded the cold damp arising from the flag floors in the Parsonage. She always went about the house in pattens, clicking up and down the stairs, from her dread of catching cold. Now she was gone we missed the sound...
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The Parlour

The Parlour



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.

Top Withens in the snow.

Top Withens in the snow.



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