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 1 februari 2012

The relation between George Smith and Charlotte Bronte/ part 1


I am going to search what kind of a relationsship Charlotte Bronte had with George Smith, her publisher. 
Who is George Smith? 

George Murray Smith (19 March 1824[1] – 6 April 1901) was the son of George Smith (1789–1846) who with Alexander Elder (1789–1846) started the Victorian publishing firm of Smith, Elder & Co.. His brainchild, The Cornhill Magazine, was the premier fiction-carrying magazine of the 19th century.[2]
The firm was extremely successful. G. M. Smith succeeded his father and expanded the product and sales areas to cover most Victorian topics and the British Empire. The firm also supplied a catalogue full of other products desirable to British expatriates.
George Smith is widely acknowledged to have inspired the character of Graham Bretton inCharlotte Brontë's novel Villette (as he himself believed).
From 1890 until his death, Smith lived at Somerset House, in Park Lane, having bought the lease from Lady Hermione Graham, a daughter of the twelfth Duke of Somerset. The house became known as 40, Park Lane.[3] He died at St. George's Hill, Byfleet, Surrey on 6 April 1901.
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Charlotte first met George Smith in July 1848 when she and Anne had travelled overnight to London to prove the separate identity of the brothers Bell; for T. C. Newby had told an American publisher that he and not Smith, Elder would be publishing ‘Currer Bell’s’ next novel. Newby had assured George Smith that ‘to the best of his belief’ all three Bells were one writer. Charlotte and Anne convinced the astonished George Smith that Newby had lied. Smith’s natural reaction was the wish to make a show of his best-selling author. Charlotte’s resistance to this, and her excitement and exhaustion, gave her ‘a thundering head-ache & harassing sickness’. Thus she did not at first like her young and handsome publisher. A better understanding and warm friendship developed after she had stayed with Smith, his mother, and his sisters in December. There were to be other friendly visits, companionable outings in London, and an exhilarating stay in Edinburgh. From mid-1850 Smith became Charlotte’s principal London correspondent. The brief business letters she had previously written to him gave place to their friendly correspondence of late 1850, followed by twenty-four long, candid, often affectionately teasing or cheerfully satirical letters in 1851. There were fewer letters in 1852, though the friendship continued; and then a marked falling off in their correspondence from the spring of 1853, caused in part by the long strain of overwork on Smith’s part as the firm expanded its banking and export business. Charlotte could not know that Smith was also more happily preoccupied with the beautiful Elizabeth Blakeway, whom he first met in April 1853. On 10 December 1853 Charlotte wrote a curt, contorted letter of congratulation to him on his engagement to Elizabeth. She wrote more warmly to him on 25 April 1854, when she had received his congratulations on her engagement to Arthur Nicholls. fds.oup.com
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Few episodes in the publishing history of the nineteenth century are of higher interest than the story of his association with Charlotte Brontë. In July 1847 Williams called Smith's attention to a manuscript novel entitled 'The Professor,' which had been sent to the firm by an author writing under the name of 'Currer Bell.' The manuscript showed signs of having vainly sought the favour of other publishing houses. Smith and his assistant recognised the promise of the work, but neither thought it likely to be a successful publication. While refusing it, however, they encouraged the writer in kindly and appreciative terms to submit another effort. The manuscript of 'Jane Eyre' arrived at Cornhill not long afterwards. Williams read it and handed it to Smith. The young publisher was at once fascinated by its surpassing power, and purchased the copyright out of hand. He always regarded the manuscript, which he retained, as the most valued of his literary treasures. He lost no time in printing it, and in 1848 the reading world recognised that he had introduced to its notice a novel of abiding fame. Later in 1848 'Shirley,' by 'Currer Bell,' was also sent to Cornhill. So far 'Currer Bell' had conducted the correspondence with the firm as if the writer were a man, but Smith shrewdly suspected that the name was a woman's pseudonym. 
wiki/Memoir_of_George_Smith



Biographical Information

The publishing firm of Smith, Elder and Company was founded in 1816 by George Smith (1789-1846) in partnership with Alexander Elder. In 1843, Smith's son, George Smith (1824-1901), took over much of the firm's operations, and, upon the death of his father in 1846, became sole head of the company. Smith lived in London with his mother, Elizabeth Murray Smith (1797-1878), until 1854, when he married Elizabeth Blakeway. They had two sons and three daughters.
Smith, Elder and Company prospered under George Smith's leadership. Early in his tenure, the firm published works by John Ruskin, Charlotte Bronte ( Jane Eyre in 1848), and William Makepeace Thackeray ( Esmond in 1851). In 1859, Smith started The Cornhill Magazine with Thackeray as editor; in 1865, The Pall Mall Gazette, an evening newspaper with literary leanings, began publication. Both the magazine and the newspaper attracted contributions from leading writers and artists.
In his later years, Smith's chief authors were Robert Browning, Matthew Arnold, and Leslie Stephen, all of whom were close personal friends. Smith was also the founder, in 1882, of the Dictionary of National Biography.
In 1894, Reginald J. Smith, husband of George Smith's youngest daughter, joined Smith, Elder and Company, and, in 1899, became sole head. Smith,Elder_and_Co

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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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