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

vrijdag 18 april 2014

Easter activities at the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth

Easter activities at the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth include a celebration of the 198th anniversary of Charlotte’s birth on Bank Holiday Monday. Visitors can find out more about her life with talks from members of staff throughout the Parsonage – including a talk from Executive Director Ann Sumner on the Brontë connection to the railways, which highlights the new display in Branwell’s Studio and follows on from our appearance on Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys. There is also a rare opportunity to view some of Charlotte’s possessions, letters and manuscripts up close, as Collections Manager Ann Dinsdale (pictured) takes visitors behind the scenes in the research library at 11am, 12pm and 1pm (free to museum visitors, though numbers are restricted so booking essential – contact susan.newby@bronte.org.uk or call (01535) 640185. thetelegraphandargus

donderdag 17 april 2014

Easter traditions

Many of our current Christmas and Easter traditions originated back in the Victorian era which covered the duration of Queen Victoria's reign over the UK from 1837 to 1901. At that time England was emerging from its historic Puritanical bans on celebrations. The people at that time were filled with joy and hope as they embraced a new world of merry celebrations and traditions. Today many of these Victorian traditions are still popular and there is no sign that they will be abandoned.

Easter is one of the major Christian festivals of the year in the UK. The participants enjoy its customs, folklore and traditional foods. It is an ancient holiday dating back to pagan times long before Christianity arrived in Britain. The first English historian, the Venerable Bede, wrote that Easter derived from the Anglo-Saxon goddess of the dawn and spring--Eostre.
Easter falls at the end of the winter and the end of Lent, which is a time of fasting during the Christian calendar. This is a joyful holiday marked by feasting, fun and celebration. The British national holidays for Easter come on the Friday before Easter Sunday and the Monday afterward. The schools are closed for two weeks and the children devour chocolate in large quantities.

Victorian Traditions

A large variety of Victorian traditions have survived the years. One favorite is Easter cards, which began in the late 18th century when a publisher added an Easter greeting to a drawing of a bunny on writing stationery. Sending the cards is a fun practice which is now growing in the US as well.
The Easter Lily became popular in symbolizing life after death, since the bulb grows, blooms, dies back and grows once again during the following year. Although tulips, daffodils and narcissus follow the same life cycle, the lily with its large size and white blossom is an excellent symbol of resurrection during the season.
Easter parades allow the participants in the processional to show off their spring finery after Easter Mass as they stroll through the streets following a priest or minister with a crucifix or a candle. The

Easter bonnet became a favorite adornment for women and girls to show off as they walked. During Victorian times, a beau might give a pair of gloves to his sweetheart and if she wore them during the parade, she was announcing her acceptance of his marriage proposal.

The children were especially excited when they awoke on Easter morning to see what the Easter bunny had brought them for their Easter baskets. If they had been good throughout the year, they could expect a variety of chocolate eggs and bunnies, jelly beans and other sweet treats. Egg rolling contests and Easter egg hunts were/are a favorite pastime during this holiday.
In some areas, Morris dancers perform a folk dance which has roots dating back to the Middle Ages. The men dress in colorful costumes with hats and ribbons. They also wear bells around their ankles as they dance through the streets. Some carry sticks with inflated pigs' bladders tied on the end. When they dance up to young women, they smack them over the head with the bladder. This is supposed to bring them luck. One wonders just what kind of luck the lady might find afterward--or is it the young man who gets lucky?

Maundy Thursday

This is the Thursday before Easter, commonly remembered as the Last Supper, when Christ washed his disciples' feet as an act of humility. The word "Maundy" comes from the French word, "Mande," which means "command." The Ceremony of the Royal Maundy in Britain dates back to Edward I.
It is traditional for the British Queen to participate in the ceremony. She distributes Maundy Money in white and red purses to senior citizens which amounts to one man and woman for each year of her own age. This tradition dates back to at least the 17th century when the royal sovereign washed the feet of some poor people as a gesture of humility. The last royal monarch to participate in this version of the tradition was James II.
The British continue to enjoy their Victorian Easter traditions which they still practice today. As a side note, today the Easter Bunny is just as popular as Santa Claus.


woensdag 16 april 2014

Brontë Studies. Volume 39. Issue 2

Brontë Studies. Volume 39. Issue 2

The new issue of Brontë Studies (Volume 39, Issue 2, April 2014) is already available online. We provide you with the table of contents and abstracts:

woensdag 9 april 2014

Bronte Parsonage around 1920

Bronte Parsonage 26 mrt.
This image shows the Parsonage in around 1920, when it was still a private house

A very good idea

For the first time the Parsonage is offering VIP tours for the most dedicated Brontë enthusiasts. Small groups or individuals can now enjoy a personalised tour of the Museum given by a specially trained guide, and/or view close up some of the treasures of the collection, whether manuscripts, 'Little Books', the Brontës' personal possessions, letters or drawings. Special interest groups can be catered for, and tours and treasures tailored to your particular requirements. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime present for a special occasion, or an unforgettable part of your trip to Yorkshire for a group of true Brontë lovers. To contact us click here, or ring Sarah Laycock on 01535 640199.
VIP Tour Fees, 2013
For 2 to 8 people:Private Tour -  25 per person
Library Viewing -  £25 per person
Private Tour and Library Viewing - £40 each,
For 1 person only, minimum payment:Private Tour -   £50 each
Library Viewing - £50 each
Private Tour and Library Viewing - £50 each

maandag 7 april 2014

A Jenkins descendant meets a Heger descendant

A Jenkins descendant meets a Heger descendant:
M. Francois Fierens (great-great-great-grandson of Constantin
Heger) and Monica Kendall (great-great-granddaughter of Rev.
Evan and Eliza Jenkins), Brussels, February 2014
Read the complete story on: brusselsbronte/brussels-bronte-jenkins
I am the great-great-granddaughter of that Mrs Jenkins (her name was Eliza, née Jay), and of Rev. Evan Jenkins, the British Chaplain in Brussels from 1825 until his death in 1849. Until October 2013 I knew quite a bit about the Jenkins family in Brussels, though mostly in the second half of the nineteenth century, but knew nothing about our connection with the Brontës. It’s a mystery why there are no anecdotes in the family. But thanks to hugely helpful people who responded to my interest (and an inordinate number of emails I sent) I finally arrived in Brussels in February 2014 to investigate. It was the same month Charlotte and Emily arrived, 172 years before – rather more quickly (by Eurostar from London where I live) than the Brontës had managed!

 The current 61 Rue des Champs Elysées - possibly the same
house as in the 1860s: the Jenkins home and school at that time

Sketch of the head and shoulders of a young woman by Charlotte Bronte

Bronte Parsonage Museum
On this day in 1831, Charlotte completed this sketch of the head and shoulders of a young woman, possibly as part of an art exercise at Roe Head School.

Wallet of Branwell

From the Treasure Trove
This wallet is the only personal possession of Branwell's in the collection, and it was empty when it was found. It joined the collection here at the Parsonage in 1950.

Anne Brontë copied this scene from Bewick's "A History of British Birds"

On this day in 1829, the nine year old Anne Brontë copied this scene from Bewick's "A History of British Birds"

zaterdag 5 april 2014

Literary heritage: The three-bedroom cottage in the West Yorkshire village of Thornton was once home to the Bronte family

 Patrick Bronte, his wife Maria and their first two children, Maria and Elizabeth, moved there in 1815 and it is where Charlotte, Emily, Anne and  Branwell were all delivered in front of the fireplace in 1816, 1818, 1820 and 1817 respectively. But five years after making it their home, the family moved to the Parsonage at nearby Haworth – which has claimed the spotlight in the Bronte story ever since. The cottage was shut up for years following the failure of a birthplace museum on the tourist trail. It was let as private rented accommodation until it came back on the market last year. The historical home had been rented as bedsits to tenants in search of cheap accommodation but the plaques commemorating the births of the four gifted children outside the faded front door were barely noticed. After the last tenants packed their bags the absentee landlord put the property on the market last year. The Bronte birthplace trust was formed by local villagers to save the property and turn it back into a museum again.  But this scheme failed after Bradford Council decided it could not afford to buy the property. Amid fears it would be turned back into flats, businessman Mark de Luca and his wife Michelle spotted the near-derelict property believing it to be an unpolished tourism gem.

He renovated the home which was suffering from damp and flooding and has turned it into a deli where visitors can look round the Bronte’s private quarters. The cafe is due to open up in May following an extensive renovation. Among other features, visitors will be able to inspect the very hearth where all three sisters were born. It also boasts the writing desk built into the structure where Patrick Haworth wrote his first sermon - about the Battle of Waterloo.

Birthplace: The drawing room still boasts the fireplace, in front of which Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell were all born

The new owners, both 29, sold their cottage in the village to buy the Bronte home. They
snapped it up as a repossession for £120,000 and then spent another £30,000 doing it up. The couple already had a track record, having converted a Grade II listed building around the corner into a hair salon. But it was cheap because the 100 year old timber windows were rotten, the roof was leaking, and the wallpaper was falling off the walls -which were riddled with rising damp. The old scullery at the rear of the property had flooded through the back door with waste from the overflowing drains. Mr de Luca, a former quantity surveyor, said: ‘It was so damp and humid. The drains were overflowing with years of dirt and debris.’‘The property has been mistreated over the years and I wanted to bring tourists back to the village,’ he said. ‘It is a very important property for England and we wanted to reclaim the history and restore the place to its former glory.’ The couple are sleeping in Patrick and Maria’s room complete with the writing desk where he wrote his first sermon – on Wellington’s victory at Waterloo.




The owners' private living room complete with a wardrobe used by the Bronte family

The second bedroom where the younger Brontes slept has become the drawing room, though it still has the built-in wardrobe used by the children. The third bedroom used by the Bronte children’s nurse serves as a study while the downstairs scullery has become their private kitchen. The rest of the downstairs rooms, including the drawing room with the famous fireplace, have been laid out as a delicatessen and coffee shop with room for 35 people due to open next month. A counter and open kitchen serving cakes, sandwiches, and pastries has been created in one of the front extensions built in the 1900s as a butcher’s shop. The couple hope the trendy décor will attract of a new generation of Bronte fans who previously may have regarded the sisters’ writings as a touch highbrow. Mr de Luca added: ‘We want to make the Brontes cool and trendy. The Bronte Society meetings and events at Haworth seem to attract mainly older people. ‘The original idea of a museum is great - but you do not really get to sit there and enjoy reading a Bronte book or a newspaper.’ Birthplace Trust Chairman Steve Stanworth said: ‘I am delighted. It will  once again be somewhere that Bronte fans can see the actual place the literary giants were brought into the world. ‘It could have been turned into flats - and that would have been a real shame. But Mark spotted a unique selling point for a coffee house.


The original desk where Patrick Haworth wrote his first sermon - about the Battle of Waterloo

Thornton village needs the recognition as the first stop on any pilgrimage and we hope this helps the regeneration of the village.’

Bronte Society Chairman Sally McDonald said: ‘The birthplace in Thornton is hugely important in the Bronte story. ‘In the bicentenary year of 2016 the world’s attention will turn to all places linked with Charlotte Bronte. ‘Some years ago former Bronte Society member, Barbara Whitehead, bought and tried to restore the house but sadly it proved just too big a project. ‘It is a pity the Birthplace Trust’s hopes of turning the house into a museum were pipped at the post but it wasn’t to be and it is heartening to hear the new owners are keen to sympathetically retain the history.’ Patrick Bronte wrote of his time in Thornton: ‘My happiest days were spent there.‘This is where the family was complete: father, mother and children, and where they had kind friends.’ In Haworth, he said, he felt like ‘a stranger in a strange land’.

Here you can see how it lookes in Barbara Whitehead's time :kleurrijkbrontesisters/the-birthplace-of-charlotte-bronte

vrijdag 4 april 2014

Charlotte Brontë’s time in the city of Brussels.

From: Charlotte Mathieson. read more and see more pictures on her website.
Although it is well known that two of her novels, Villette (1853) and The Professor (published 1857) are based on her time as a student and teacher in the Belgium capital, the importance of Brussels is typically given less attention other than as a topographical reference-point for her novels. In my research I’m exploring the legacy of Charlotte Brontë in Brussels over the past 150 years, and this visit was the first step in seeing the sites for myself and meeting the Brussels Brontë Group


A small section of the Rue Terarken, just a few steps away from the Pensionnat, has survived and gives a sense of what the area would have looked like when the Brontë sisters were there: The street is narrow and close, with the overhanging buildings adding to the sense of proximity; it also shows the difference in depth of the past topography of the area, as the photo above is taken from the current street level, and a series of steps descend into the Rue Terarken

There are also the houses of some of the Brontës’ friends in Brussels, including 11 Rue de la Régence, home to the Dixon family and inspiration for Madame Walravens’ house in Villette:

dinsdag 25 maart 2014

The top 75 Yorkshire icons

75 William Wilberforce
73= Stainless steel
73= Dame Judi Dench
72 Yorkshire Sculpture Park
71 Rhubarb
70 Ashley Jackson
68= Whitby Whalebone Arch
68= Rugby League
67 Henderson’s Relish
66 Halifax Piece Hall
62= Roseberry Topping
62= Keighley & Worth Valley Railway
62= Heartbeat
62= Dracula
61= Emmerdale
60 Rievaulx Abbey
59 Kes
58 Wentworth Woodhouse
57 Wuthering Heights
56 Whitby jet
55 Cow and Calf rocks
54 Swaledale sheep
53 Salt’s Mill
51= Sir Patrick Stewart
51= Alan Titchmarsh
50 Yorkshire County Cricket Club
49 Harry Ramsden’s
47= Yorkshire coastline
47= Black Sheep Brewery
46 Flamborough Head
45 Pennines
44 Three Peaks
43 Arctic Monkeys
41= Richard III
41= Dickie Bird
40 Brian Blessed
39 Great Yorkshire Show
38 Settle-Carlisle Railway
37 Last of the Summer Wine
36 Whitby fish and chips
35 Fred Trueman
34 National Railway Museum
33 Bill Mitchell
32 Brimham Rocks
31 Emley Moor Mast
30 Castle Howard
29 Humber bridge
28 Flat cap
27 Ribblehead Viaduct
26 Yorkshire dialect
24= On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at
24= David Hockney
23 Aysgarth Falls
21= North Yorkshire Moors Railway
21= Ilkley Moor
20 James Herriot
19 Geoffrey Boycott
17= White Rose of York
17= Brass bands
16 Bettys Tea Rooms
15 Shambles, York
14 Captain James Cook
13 Bolton Abbey
12 Drystone walls
11 Malham Cove
10 Yorkshire Tea
9 Whitby Abbey
8 Wensleydale cheese
7 Alan Bennett
6 Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal
5 North York Moors
4  Brontë sisters
3 Yorkshire Dales
2 York Minster
1 Yorkshire pudding

Emily Brontë vs Jane Austen

The Keighley News now has an article on the Emily Brontë vs Jane Austen debate that took place in London a few weeks ago. Emily Brontë narrowly lost to Jane Austen in a prestigious debate over who was the best novelist. Popular modern novelist Kate Mosse led the fight to declare Emily the top writer during the gathering at the Royal Geographic Society. Leading English literature professor John Mullan put the case for Jane Austen during the event in London earlier this month.  Professional actors including Sam West, who played Mr Elliot in the 1995 film version of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, performed scenes from both writers’ work. On entering the venue the audience were asked to vote for their favourite author, with Jane receiving 55 cent of the vote and Emily receiving only 24 per cent. After the debate, a new vote gave 51 per cent to Jane and 47 per cent to Emily, with only two per cent remaining undecided. Prof Mullan passionately defended Jane Austen, saying she had a wonderful ability to write simple prose that was actually incredibly complicated. He praised Austen’s descriptive ability, particularly of her characters, and described her mastery at observation and putting an artistic gloss on the world. Kate Mosse described Austen as witty and wonderful, but said she wanted more from a book than romantic characters in pursuit of marriage. She said Wuthering Heights was one of the most effectively set-up novels in the English language, balancing light with dark and calm with chaos. She said the novel was not in love story, but a story of obsession and ghosts, as well as exploring what it meant to be human and to have a soul. bronteblog

maandag 24 maart 2014

Charlotte owned a number of rings.

From the Treasure Trove

Charlotte owned a number of rings. This one is decorated with pearls and turquoise and measures 18mm in diameter.

vrijdag 21 maart 2014

The Salutation pub

Picture source
The Manchester Evening News reports that Manchester Metropolitan University will give £235,000 towards restoring The Salutation pub, built in the 1840s. As the article says, The building also bears a plaque marking the site nearby where Charlotte Bronte began to write Jane Eyre on a visit in 1846. (Yakub Qureshi)
This Wikimedia article goes a bit further into it: The blue plaque on the side of this rather nice looking pub says:
Charlotte Bronte (1816 - 1855). In 1846 The Revd. Patrick Bronte came to Manchester for a cataract operation accompanied by his daughter Charlotte. They took lodgings at 59 Boundary Street West (formerly known as 83 Mount Pleasant). It was here that Charlotte began to write her first successful novel Jane Eyre.
So, ambiguous info from Manchester's Blue Plaque people (who are presumably bigging up Manchester's tourist opportunities), but clearly it wasn't this building, which I'd say dates from the 1880s?
The problem is that the plaque was first placed on a building in Boundary Lane some distance to the west. When this building was demolished for redevelopment the plaque was saved. The Brontes were lodging at 83 Mount Pleasant and the eye hospital was then in South Parade, Manchester (until 1867)
The building, as per the Manchester Evening News article, however, does date from the 1840s, not the 1880s. bronteblog


Did you know?

When Patrick Brontë went to Manchester on 19th August 1846 for his cataract operation, he wrote:

“I was bled with 8 leeches, at one time, & 6, on another, (these caused but little pain) in order to prevent, inflammation”.

He also added a note in the margin saying, “Leeches must be put on the TEMPLES and not on the eyelids”!!

dinsdag 18 maart 2014


On 15 February, for our first event of the year we were pleased to welcome Eric Ruijssenaars, who gave us a fascinating slide show of pictures relating to the research he did for his two books, Charlotte Brontë’s Promised Land: The Pensionnat Heger and other Brontë places in Brussels (2000) and The Pensionnat Revisited; More light shed on the Brussels of the Brontës (2003). Eric guided us on a virtual walk of the area round the Pensionnat. Many of those present have already been on one of our actual guided walks and this presentation provided an opportunity to gain a fuller picture of the area and its history. Eric, who lives in Leiden and has been researching the subject for the last twenty-five years, is always delighted to return to Brussels and his old Brontë haunts here.

It is 25 years ago that I started doing research on the Brussels of the Brontës, aiming to recreate the Isabella quarter for her, the lady who had introduced me to Villette. Over the next decades I looked at every book and picture I could get hold of, in archives and libraries, to try to understand what the old quarter had looked like in the days of the Brontës. In 1990 I visited Brussels and the quarter for the first time, with Elle. I remember the excitement of standing on the Belliard Steps, though obviously having no real idea of the world ‘down these Steps’, and what it would all bring. Most recently, my talk for the BBG.

Of invaluable importance was and is the iconic Tahon photo of the quarter, supposedly dating from 1909. For many years it hung on the wall at my desk. The crucial breakthrough came in 2003, when I took the picture to a photography professor of Leiden University. She said it must be an 1850s photograph. It’s possibly the highlight of these 25 years. Finally we fully understood the quarter. By implication it shows us the quarter as it was in 1843.

With all we had gathered then, it had become possible to do a sort of virtual walk through the old quarter, in the mind. Just as I can easily imagine walking in, for instance the quarter as it is now. I hope that those who joined my walk can agree.

One of my last and nicest discoveries was the following picture:

Hotel Ravenstein, circa 1920

It’s a picture of the area where the Terarckenstraat now ends (with Hotel Ravenstein on the right). This time though we only need to climb over the gate to continue our walk, ‘through the mist of time’ (unfortunately I forgot to say that at my talk). At the same time it’s also a sad reminder of the very charming quarter that not long before had been demolished.

Eric Ruijssenaars
On Google Earth

Patrick Bronte's magnifying glass

Patrick Bronte's magnifying glass he used when reading as his eyesight deteriorated with age.

maandag 17 maart 2014

A very happy 237th birthday to Patrick Brontë

A search on th internet. The connections between the Brontes and Saltaire.

On Facebook I found this information. facebook.com/pages/Bronte-Parsonage-Museum
Visit Saltaire World Heritage Site and explore the Bronte connection with Saltaire owner, James Roberts. It made me curious. I wanted to know more about the connection between the Brontes and Saltaire. I found this:


Martha Brown started as a servant to the Bronte family as an eleven year old in 1839 and remained with the family until 1862.  In 1868 she came to stay with her sister Anne Binns in Saltaire where she stopped for 9 years.  Does anyone know where Anne Binns lived.

16/17 Victoria Road.

Martha took on domestic work in the village, including a stint with Dr Amos Ingham (lately the Brontë family physician) at the Manor House in Cookgate. Martha's mother died in 1866, and in 1868 Martha, who increasingly by then was in poor health, went to live with her sister Ann Binns and her family at Saltaire. She stayed there for nine years, until domestic tensions between her sister and her husband Ben became intolerable for her, and she returned to Haworth

Helen's  Bronte walks are unique in that they focus on Charlotte, Emily and Anne’s fictional and poetic writing. On these Bronte Country walks you will hear the extracts from their novels and some of their poetry as you discover more about the people and places that inspired them to write their famous novels:helensheritagewalks

An interesting sale of Bronte relies has just taken place at Saltaire, in the course of the disposal of the effects of the late Mr. Benjamin Binns, tailor, of Saltaire, into whose possession they had come through his wife, the sister of that Martha Brown who was such a faithful domestic of the Brontes, and to whom they had been committed by the Rev. P. Bronte as mementoes of his famous daughter.

Bronte relies
77 Housewife used by Charlotte Bronte, afterwards given to Martha Brown
24 Deed of Gift from Eev. P. Bronte to Martha Brown of some of the drawings in this collection
43 Charlotte Bronte's portfolio, which formerly contained the drawings given to Martha Brown
46 Fourth portion of a Shawl worn by C. Bronte, given to Martha Brown
56 A copy of " Jane Eyre," given to Martha Brown by Charlotte
76 Snuff Box used by the Rev. P. Bronte, from Binns' sale, Saltaire
80 Lock of Charlotte Bronte's Hair, taken after death by Mr. Nicholls and given to Martha Brown


vrijdag 14 maart 2014

From notebooks to fridge magnets to cards.

Bronte Parsonage Museum

Our new exhibition, The Brontës and Animals, has some beautiful merchandise to help remember your visit from notebooks to fridge magnets to cards.

Tea caddy made by Charlotte

From the Treasure Trove

Tea caddy made by Charlotte. It consists of a wooden lidded box which has been covered with elaborate paperwork. This work, composed of tiny strips of coloured paper wound into small rolls and individually attached to the box to create a brightly coloured textured finish, is known as quilling.



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.


Most read blogs


Related Posts with Thumbnails