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 28 mei 2013

Gentle Anne (But......she had a 'core of steel'). On a day like today in 1849, Anne Brontë died.

On a day like today in 1849, Anne Brontë died in Scarborough surrounded by her sister Charlotte and her lifelong friend Ellen Nussey.
Read more about what happened that day on 28-05-1849 anne-bronte-and-scarborough

Anne is called "gentle" Anne.
  • But as you can read (under) Anne had a 'core of steel'.
  • Her book, The tenant of Wildfell Hall, called by one of her biographers, a revolutionary work of social criticism.

In 1839, a year after leaving the school, and at the age of nineteen, Anne set out to begin her first period of employment: she was to become a governess with the Ingham family at Blake Hall, Mirfield, which was situated just two miles from Roe Head. The children in Anne's charge were spoilt and wild, and persistently disobeyed, defied, teased and tormented her. She experienced great difficulty controlling them, and had almost no success in instilling any education. She was not empowered to inflict any punishment, and when she complained of their behaviour to their parents she received no support whatever, but was merely criticised for not being capable of her job. By the end of the year the Inghams decided they needed to find some other mode of education for their offspring: Anne returned home, her employment with the family having come to an abrupt end. The whole episode at Blake Hall was so traumatic for Anne, that she reproduced it in almost perfect detail in her later novel, Agnes Grey.

With her characteristic determination, she soon obtained her second post: this time as a governess to the children of the Reverend Edmund Robinson at Thorp Green - near York. This was about forty miles from Haworth, and the furthest any of the Brontës had worked away from home. Initially, she encountered the same problems with the unruly children, that she had experienced at Blake Hall. Her own quiet, gentle disposition did not help matters. However, as one biographer has stated, despite her outwardly placid appearance, Anne had a 'core of steel': with sheer determination, and the experience she gradually gained, she made a resounding success of her position, becoming 'wondrously valued' by her new employers. Her charges, the Robinson girls, ultimately became her life long friends, and years later turned to their former governess, rather than their mother, in times of trouble. In 1848, several years after Anne had ended her employment with the Robinsons, Bessy and Mary Robinson, her former pupils, visited her at the Haworth Parsonage, and Charlotte reported the occasion to Ellen Nussey, declaring that their guests were 'attractive and stylish looking girls . . . they seemed overjoyed to see Anne; when I went in the room they were clinging round her like two children - she, meantime, looking perfectly quiet and passive.' 1  Many years after the entire Brontë family had died, it was recorded that Mary 'always retained the most kindly memories of her gentle governess'

1 opmerking:

  1. I sometimes think Charlotte's insistence that Anne was always" gentle " was wishful thinking on Charlotte's part lol. Though she greatly revered Emily, Charlotte seem not to fully understand either of her younger sisters .

    Anne had far more grit than the others when it came to the outside world . She only left Thorpe Green because Branwell had made it imposable she could stay.

    It's also impressive Anne demanded and reprieved a salary of 50 pounds a year and she arranged all this on her own.

    I believe Charlotte's best was 20 pounds with 4 pounds taken out for laundry !

    Anne's books are amazing, particularly" Tenet " ...It's hard to believe Anne did not have a romance somewhere because she depicted such scenes so well.

    It's fascinating to read Anne speaking as Gilbert Markham! You quite believe she is this young man . But then each Brontë had much experience writing as both men and women by the time they wrote their adult novels...and I have to say Anne's dialog is startling modern ...a Brontë specialty

    Many years after the entire Brontë family had died, it was recorded that Mary 'always retained the most kindly memories of her gentle governess'

    If only Mary had written those memories down! or saved her governess's letters!


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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