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

vrijdag 9 november 2012

Weblogs and the Brontes

 
 
Proposed wind turbines that would go up in moorlands that inspired “Wuthering Heights” are generating controversy with the Brontë Society and nearby villagers, according to reports in United Kingdom media.
Thornton Moor near Haworth, in West Yorkshire, would be home to four 328-foot-high wind turbines flanking the Brontë Way tourist trail, The Telegraph of London said.

The moor in what is termed “Brontë Country” was an inspiration for all three Brontë sisters, who lived less than five miles away, the newspaper said.
 
 
 
On way to dropping my daughter off at work, I noticed the plaque shown above at Cowan Bridge
 
 
 
 
HAWORTH, England — For anyone wanting to immerse him or herself in emerald beauty of the English countryside, the quaint Yorkshire town of Haworth is a perfect destination, but for literary fans of authors Emily and Charlotte Brontë, it is a must.
 
From Bookysh
 
 
A friend, who knew my admiration for the Brontës, just came home from the U. S. and gave me this box of note cards.

Char March - Writer, performer and tutor

I regularly work at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth - helping visitors and also school groups capture their visit through creative writing. I recently worked with visitors and staff at the Parsonage to create a series of mini-books - like the ones the Brontë sisters produced when they were young. Another favourite activity for Primary children is visiting the graveyard in front of the Parsonage were there are - allegedly - 22,000 bodies buried in just that very small area! The kids love writing poems about being worms in the graveyard - munching through all the bodies, and imagining all the tastes, smells and textures of those terrible times when Haworth's infant mortality was one of the highest in Britain because water from the moors flowed through the graveyard to feed the village's main pump.....yuk!

woensdag 7 november 2012

The Bronte Weather Project is coming to an end.

Bronte weather: It's been just over a year that i've been collecting weather data from the Bronte Parsonage Museum garden: the exact place on the planet where the Bronte sisters lived, worked and died. Researching the subject around the weather has been fascinating: looking at the way it has shaped the moors of the surrounding area; how it effected the Bronte's everyday lives and their health; how it influenced their fictional writing in novels and poems and also in their letters to others. It's obvious that in a year i could only cover so much and this subject is vast - so i know i'll continue this line of enquiry beyond the end of the project.

dinsdag 6 november 2012

After Aunt Branwell died in 1842 Emily took on the role of housekeeper helping out in the kitchen.


The Kitchen is to the rear of the house. The Bronte children would often listen to their servant Tabby tell of stories about Haworth and the moors. After Aunt Branwell died in 1842 Emily took on the role of housekeeper helping out in the kitchen.fatal secret

maandag 5 november 2012

Aunt Branwell wore pattens. What are pattens?


From: Rowenadunn
I particularly liked the pattens used by Aunt Branwell to raise her feet out of the muck in the street, and tried to imagine how much mud and mess would have covered these cobbles at the time, and how difficult it would have been to walk anywhere in the town; the moors would have been a much more attractive option by comparison.
 
From: Echostains

These are not the pattens of Aunt Branwell.
I put the photographe here
to give an idea
These pattens are from te 19 th century

Pattens were made of wood or leather and sometimes very high 8 to 10 inches.  The idea was to elevate the dainty or flimsily made shoe or slipper from the wet, muddy or damp ground. The Bronte’s Aunt Branwell wore pattens. Coming from the warm climate of Penzance Cornwall, she hated the dark rainy windy climate of Haworth Yorkshire.  She never ever got used to it. It was not considered  polite to wear pattens indoors so Aunt Branwell was considered eccentric for doing so: -

…she disliked many of the customs of the place, and particularly dreaded the cold damp arising from the flag floors in the passages and parlours of Haworth Parsonage. The stairs, too, I believe, are made of stone; and no wonder, when stone quarries are near, and trees are far to seek. I have heard that Miss Branwell always went about the house in pattens, clicking up and down the stairs, from her dread of catching cold.’ (From ‘The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell)

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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