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

dinsdag 9 oktober 2012


I received this nice reaction from Anne. 
She is an artist and keeps an interesting weblog.
I post it here because her reaction is interesting and I love when people share with me their love of the Bronte Sisters!

"" I love the story of Charlotte's and Mr. Nicholls courtship. It's good to see this fine man finally get his due in these last years. 

It's no small thing to have won the hand of a Brontë, make her very happy and then protect her legacy for 50 years. Mr. Nicholls created the first Brontë museum in his home after leaving Haworth.

I also love reading about the 3 times Mr. Nicholls is so overwhelmed by his love for Charlotte, he simply breaks down.
Of course when he purposed,then the last church service, at Whitsum, ( when the congregation saw his struggle and cried )and when he left the school deeds at the parsonage before leaving Haworth, believing he would not see CB again. As we know, she came out and found him sobbing at the gate. 

Nicholls was too in love to give up just because those at the parsonage told him to. He persisted and won his prize

It must of been amazing for Charlotte to see in another a love that was so like the love she felt for Constantin Heger. To relive that huge event in her life, but from another perspective entirely.... this time she walked in Heger's shoes. 

This had to help Nicholls's cause. Because Charlotte knew so well the pain of unanswered letters, she could not afflict it on another forever...and indeed that was how Arthur started to win her, when she finally answered his letters. 
Few people were as keen an obverser of human nature than Charlotte Bronte. So it says a great deal about Arthur that the more she got to know him, the better she liked him, until esteem turned to love.

Her awful loneliness now that the London years were winding down and also the pressing need to somehow replace her father's work while he retained his position also helped Nicolls's cause as he was the answer. But how lovely real happiness came to Charlotte as well. 

Charlotte's need for such happiness was such, that if even she knew what was ahead, I can't say she would not have gone forward with the marriage anyway.

We know Nicholls never fully recovered from her loss and his grief remained raw. And I think he too would have said that the few months of his happiness with Charlotte as his wife was worth the subsequent 50 years of grief. This is a great love story and deserves its place in Brontë history""

1 opmerking:

  1. How nice to see my comment as a post! Thank you. You have a wonderful blog here. Your love and dedication to the Brontës is remarkable and touching.

    Indeed I'll be painting a portait pair of Charlotte and Arthur in the future( with video!) and I'm looking forward to it.

    I was just reading how even late in life when Mr. Nicholls and his 2nd wife, had younger family members visiting, if they happen to be reading Charlotte's books,they had to quickly hide them when Arthur came into the room. Because even this slight reminder so many years later would be hurtful to him.

    50 years after Charlotte's passing , Arthur spent his own last days eagerly awaiting seeing her again.

    This kind of love is extraordinary.It sweeps away one's mere ideas about oneself. That fog of ego based ideas of who we are that we mostly live in and believe to be our selves...unless an event like Arthur's love for Charlotte happens to us.

    One cannot forget such a love because it's a state of being. It's a doorway to one's authentic self.

    But most likely nothing less than such a love would have moved Charlotte to final accept Arthur Bell Nicholls.

    Whatever Arthur's intellectual limitations were next to Charlotte's, he was her match emotionally and that was the more rare and important of the two to her.


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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