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

zaterdag 24 april 2010

Charlotte Bronte, governess

Few people know that Charlotte Bronte had a connection with the village of Lothersdale, where she worked as a governess for a short time. Here, reporter Lesley Tate reveals how Charlotte’s employer bore a resemblance to Edward Rochester, a character in her much-loved novel Jane Eyre.

In the summer of 1839 the young Charlotte Bronte was living at a grand country house near Lothersdale. The then 23-year-old was employed as a governess to the wealthy mill-owning Sidgwick family of Stone Gappe.
Charlotte, who would shortly write the classic novel, Jane Eyre, appeared to have liked Lothersdale, but not a life devoted to looking after children.
Indeed, in a letter to her younger sister, Emily, she described her young charges as “riotous” and “unmanageable cubs”.
However, she was kinder in her description of Mr Sidgwick, who appears to have born a striking resemblance to Edward Rochester – the employer and eventual husband of her fictional heroine Jane Eyre.
Mr Sidgwick, who Charlotte describes on a walk with the children, even had a Newfoundland dog – much like Mr Rochester’s large black and white dog, Pilot. (...)
Many years later, in 1907, the Craven Herald passed comment on the death of Charlotte’s husband, who had died a few weeks earlier at the age of 90. (...)
Mr Nicholls had bequeathed George Richmond’s famous portrait of Charlotte, painted in 1850, to the National Portrait Gallery, and in 1907 it had gone on public display for the first time.
The Craven Herald suggested that Charlotte, who wrote under the name of Currer Bell, might have got the name from one of two sources.
“It is supposed that she either took the name from Currer Hall, near Beamsley, or else, as it is more believable, from the Currers, who then lived at Kildwick Hall, the greater part of whose magnificent library is now at Eshton Hall.”
The year before he married Charlotte, the Rev Nicholls had attended the consecration of St Mary’s Church, Embsay.
Initially, Charlotte’s father, who reportedly had a vicious temper, would not hear of the match and, 10 days after his visit to Embsay, Mr Nicholls was forced to leave the area A one-time headmaster of Skipton Grammar School, Dr Cartman, was a great friend of Charlotte’s father, Patrick.
In a letter to her father written from London on June 7, 1851, she wrote: Dear Papa, I am very glad to hear that you continue in pretty good health, and that Mr Cartman came to help you on Sunday.”
The Rev Patrick Bronte died in June, 1861 and Dr Cartman was one of the pallbearers at his funeral in Haworth.
In July 1910, the Craven Herald again passed comment about Charlotte.
Ninety of her letters were to be sold at Sotheby’s in London and one of them had been to a friend, while Charlotte was again employed as a governess – her first job after leaving the Sidgwicks.
In her reply to her friend, who had invited her away for a weekend, she had described the response she had got from her employer on asking permission.

“As soon as I had read your note, I gathered up my spirits directly, and walked, on the impulse of the moment, into Mrs … presence, popped the question, and for two minutes received no answer.
“Will she refuse me when I work so hard for her, thought I. ‘Ye-es-es, drawled Madame, in a reluctant, cold tone. ‘Thank-you Madame’, said I, with extreme cordiality, and was walking from the room when she recalled me with, ‘you’d better go on Saturday afternoon then, when the children have holiday, and if you return in time for them to have all their lessons on Monday morning, I don’t see that much time will be lost.’ You’re a genuine Turk, thought I.”

The Craven Herald concluded that the lady in question was a Mrs White – based on the evidence of Anne Bronte’s diary of 1841.

In it, she wrote about Charlotte and her attempts to be a governess. “Charlotte has left Miss Wooler, been a governess at Mrs Sidgwick’s, left her and gone to Mrs White’s.”

Parsonage

3 competing Bronte sisters’ projects

Like some bizarre tag wrestling team in bonnets, there are now 3 competing Bronte sisters’ projects limbering up for production. Shooting has just started on Focus Features' and BBC Films’ Jane Eyre. It’s the next project from Sin Nombre director Cary Fukanaga. The producers are Alison Owen and Paul Trijbits of Ruby Films. This latest adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel stars Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) and Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Basterds). Judi Dench, Jamie Bell and Sally Hawkins round out the cast.
Fassbender was previously attached to another Bronte adaptation, Wuthering Heights, now due to start filming in May. New director Andrea Arnold wants to cast teenage unknowns in the leads. She’s found somebody she thinks is right for Cathy, but the search is still on for Heathliff. Ecosse Films hasn’t got long before production starts on location in Yorkshire.
And a 3rd Bronte project is a biopic of the Bronte sisters themselves, Jane Eyre-author Charlotte and her sister Emily, who wrote Wuthering Heights. Charles Sturridge, director of TV’s Brideshead Revisited, was going to direct Angela Workman’s script. Now producers Alistair MacLean-Clark and Nick Wild have hired Polly Teale, joint artistic director of the Shared Experience theatre group, to write a new version. They’re sending it out at the end of April with the belief that the story of the family itself is more interesting than their books.

woensdag 21 april 2010

Het is vandaag 194 geleden dat Charlotte Bronte werd geboren.


Het is vandaag 194 geleden dat Charlotte Bronte werd geboren.

Charlotte,
Je zou eens moeten weten
Dat je boeken nog steeds populair zijn
 dat er nu mensen blogs over je maken
dat jij en je zussen inspiratiebronnen zijn
voor boekenschrijvers en filmmakers
Dat het huis waar je woonde
nu een bedevaartsoord is geworden
Dat je de eeuwen door zo geliefd bent
194 jaar geleden werd je geboren

Happy birthday

Parsonage

Parsonage

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).

Parents
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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