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

donderdag 26 mei 2011

On this day in 1846 Mrs Robinson's husband died.

Lydia Robinson, née Gisborne, was the youngest daughter of the Reverend Thomas Gisborne (1758-1846), a well-known Anglican priest and writer who lived at Yoxall Lodge in Staffordshire.

Thomas Gisborne and his wife

The Gisbournes had eight children, of whom the youngest was Lydia.

By the time Lydia met Branwell Brontë, she was in her thirties and had been the wife of the Rev. Edmund Robinson, a curate from Derby, for at least fifteen years.

In 1840, the 20-year-old Anne Brontë (the youngest of the Brontë girls) had started working for the Rev. and Mrs. Robinson as a governess to their four children. Anne had moved in with the Robinsons, living in their family home at Thorp Green Hall, a wealthy country house near York.

Thorp Green

In 1843, Anne also secured a position there for her unsettled brother Branwell, then aged 26. While Anne continued to tutor the three Robinson girls, Branwell was to take over from her as tutor to the Robinsons’ only son, Edmund (junior), who was now growing too old to be under Anne’s care.
Branwell did not live in the Hall itself with the Robinson family as Anne did, but in a smaller building nearby on the same grounds, known as The Monk’s Lodge.

During this time he corresponded with a number of old friends about his increasing infatuation with Robinson's wife Lydia, who was the daughter of Rev. Thomas Gisborne. He was dismissed on unspecified charges in 1845. It is thought, according to his account to his own family, the Robinson family's silence on the reason for his dismissal, and subsequent gifts of money from Mrs. Robinson through her servants, that he had an affair with Mrs. Robinson and that the affair had been discovered by her husband.

When his mistress' husband died in May 1846, Branwell was convinced he would now marry Mrs. Robinson, though she had no intention of marrying a penniless man seventeen years her junior. She kept Branwell away by telling him that Mr. Robinson's will required her to stay away from him, never mind marrying him.

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2 opmerkingen:

  1. Such a mess...and poor Anne, I'm sure she knew and was mortified by it all. Mrs. Gaskell certainly had 'words' about Lydia, she was not very fond of her.
    xo J~

  2. In this sad history , one thing is often over looked. That a large measure of Mrs Robinson's attraction for Branwell was bound up imo in the fact she was mistress of Thorpe Green .

    Branwell wanted the house as much if not more than the Lady. In all his rants there was never a suggestion he and she should run off together . No . He would go on and on about being master of such a fine home.

    Branwell's love for " his Lydia" was not for herself alone and it was this mercurial nature of his involvement that was a great heartbreak for his sisters. The Bronte women valued a guinea as well as anyone. But money would never be a motivation for personal relations . It was hard for them to even grasp such a concept and that one of their number joyfully embraced it .

    It would be too much to ask Branwell to take a good look at himself because he was trained from birth to think he was without peer...but even so, he should have been able to see the social impossibility of Mrs.R marrying her son's former tutor who is 17 years younger than herself .

    They would be an unending laughing stock, if not scandal .The very thing Branwell craved most , care free social standing and an admiring public, would be forever out of reach. They would have wound up on the Continent, so to not hear the laughter, Mrs. R was not so foolish.

    He is to be pitied Rather than grow up, Branwell chose to live and die in Angria

    As a novelist Mrs. G likes villains and heroes. and brackets people accordingly. Where she got this reputation for wisdom I don't know She was extraordinarily foolish in the cavalier way she treated living people in her book and had to take back her words on several points ....not just from Mrs R .

    Mrs G treated Patrick Bronte quite badly. But he unconsciously paid her back when he told her all about the evil seductress of the Thorpe Green who ruined his boy .A story the old man had to believe himself . Mrs G published it all without checking it out...as she did with gossip about Rev Bronte himself , but this time she paid a price

    Mrs R, now Lady Scott, was having none of it and made Mrs. Gaskell publicly consume a health slice of humble pie


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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