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

woensdag 5 januari 2011

Redecorating the Parsonage

Redecorating the Parsonage

Experts have been called in to help recreate the interior decoration at one of the most famous literary homes in the country.They are examining minute samples of paint and scrutinising small pieces of wallpaper in an effort to uncover what the inside of the Brontë Parsonage looked like when it was occupied by the famous sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne.The work is being carried out this month while the Brontë Parsonage Museum at Haworth is closed to the public.The aim is to gather enough evidence to recreate the interior of the building in the early 19th century when the house was occupied by the family.Andrew McCarthy, the museum’s director, said when the investigation was completed it was hoped to attract funding and to start the redecoration in the closed period next year.“It’s a very exciting project,” he said. “We’re looking forward to discovering what the house looked like during that time. Who knows what the investigation might throw up?“We already have a book which was owned by Charlotte and covered by wallpaper. We will be attempting to find out if that was a left-over piece used in the house at the time. It might be possible to match that with a paper design of the period.“We have some other examples, including some paper used in a writing desk owned by the family.”The papers could be reproduced as they would originally have been, using wooden blocks or by a modern digital process.The paints would have to be more robust than the original distemper type in order to cope with the 75,000 people who visit the museum every year. Called in to help has been Allyson McDermott, a specialist in recreating period schemes, especially in reproducing historic wallpapers and paints, and Crick Smith, consultants with expertise in analysing paints. (Clive White)


I really am curious what the result will be
The first two pictures
you see below
are from a book
 of mine
 what I bought
when I visited Haworth
 in 1984

I don't know the period
 of these pictures
but the wallpaper
 and furniture
complitely different

So, what will be the result of
Allyson McDermott
Crick Smith?

In a letter to a friend, Elizabeth Gaskell said: 'I don't know that I ever saw a spot more exquisitely clean...Everything fits into, and is in harmony with, the idea of a country parsonage, possessed by people of very moderate means.''The parlour has evidently been refurbished within the last few years, since Miss Brontë's success has enabled her to have a little more money to spend...The prevailing colour of the room is crimson

The furnishings in the Parsonage reflect the simplicity of the late Georgian and early Victorian period. Ellen described the effect as 'scant and bare indeed' but nevertheless, 'mind and thought, I had almost said elegance but certainly refinement, diffused themselves over all, and made nothing really wanting.' Although Ellen stated that 'there was not much carpet anywhere', except in the dining room and Mr Brontë's study, a stair carpet and stair rods were sold at the 1861 sale, along with several other 'Kiddiminster Carpets and Rugs'. Ellen also recalled that Mr Brontë was fearful that the combination of young children, candles and curtains would be a fire hazard. The windows were shuttered at night and curtains were introduced at a later date. An early ambrotype photograph of the Parsonage shows a combination of shutters, blinds and curtains in use in the 1850s. Charlotte purchased curtains for the dining room in 1851 and for her husband's study prior to their marriage in 1854. Damask and muslin curtains are also recorded in the 1861 Bill of Sale.

According to Elizabeth Gaskell, Mr. Nicoll's was originally 'a sort of flagged store-room', probably used for fuel, which could only be reached from the outside. Before her marriage in 1854 Charlotte converted the room into a study for her future husband, the Revd. Arthur Bell Nicholls, who in 1844 had come to assist her father as curate at Haworth Church. A fireplace was added to the room and the present doorway created into the entrance hall. Charlotte died within a year of her marriage, and Mr Nicholls remained at the Parsonage for the next six years to care for the elderly Patrick Brontë. On Patrick's death in 1861, Mr Nicholls returned to his native Ireland, taking with him many mementoes of the Brontë family. He died in 1906 aged eighty-eight, having survived Charlotte by fifty-one years.

Describing her preparations for the room's conversion in a letter dated 22 May 1854, Charlotte wrote: '... I have been very busy stitching; the new little room is got into order, and the green and white curtains are up; they exactly suit the paper, and look neat and clean enough'. Three wallpaper samples were found in Charlotte's writing desk. A fourth sample, held in the New York Public Library, is accompanied by a note, authenticated by Elizabeth Gaskell, which describes it as being a 'Slip of the paper with which Charlotte Brontë papered her future husband's study, before they were married.'

1 opmerking:

  1. It does make me a bit nervous...I've always felt that the rooms looked fairly adequate as they stand now, at least to my imagination of what they would have looked like, but with all the care they are taking, it would be fun to see what they come up with.
    The 1984 pictures are interesting...a bit more 'Victorian' looking with the wallpaper and the glass bookcase.

    What do you think?
    xo J~


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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