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 21 juni 2013

Brontë Society AGM weekend in Haworth 8-9 June 2013

The Bronte Society, which currently has around 1500 members, is one of the oldest literary societies in the world (in the UK there are societies in honour of practically every well-known writer). It was set up in 1893 and has run the Museum since the Parsonage was gifted to it in 1928. The governing board, or trustees, of the Society (‘Council’) is elected by members and delegates the day-to-day running of the Museum to a Director and other staff. As well as maintaining and acquiring manuscripts and artefacts, and books for its library, the Museum is a vibrant creative centre with a very full educational and arts programme (talks by writers, art exhibitions, activities for schoolchildren).


The main excitement in the past year was the complete redecoration of the Parsonage with bespoke wallpapers and curtain fabrics, based on analysis of evidence such as scraps of wallpaper surviving from the period. Some rooms reflect the look of the house when all four siblings were alive, others Charlotte’s improvements and ‘gentrification’ when she became wealthier in the 1850s. On Sunday morning we were able to inspect the new look at a special early opening for members only.

Apart from walks on the moors, the AGM and visits to the Parsonage, another traditional feature of the weekend is a special service for Society members in the church where Patrick Brontë preached for 40 years. Whether habitual church-goers or not, most members appreciate this opportunity to remember the members of the Brontë family in the church where they are buried and where they worshipped each Sunday. There are readings by Society members and Museum staff. Read more on: brusselsbronte

donderdag 20 juni 2013

Local legend claims that the dead pear tree in the garden was given by an infatuated member of the Heaton family to Emily Brontë.

bronteblog  and  The Telegraph makes you want to buy it on the spot:
A historic manor house which may have helped inspire Wuthering Heights is on the market for £950,000. Grade II listed Ponden Hall is less than two miles away from the picturesque Yorkshire town of Haworth, where the Brontë sisters grew up with their brother Branwell.
Emily Brontë, who visited the house with Branwell to use its extensive library, is traditionally said to have based Thrushcross Grange, the grand home of the wealthy Linton family in Wuthering Heights, on the property. Read more on the blog and newspaper

pondenhall

The biographer Winifred Gérin has suggested that Ponden Hall is more likely to have been the model for Wildfell Hall, the old mansion in Anne Bronte's novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
 

Auction at Bonhams

The Keighley News shares the results of yesterday's auction at Bonhams:
A rare first-edition copy of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre has sold for £39,650.
The work, the first published novel penned by Haworth's legendary literary sister, went under the hammer at Bonhams this afternoon.
It had a pre-sale estimate of between £30,000 and £50,000.
The buyer is an overseas collector, who wishes to remain anonymous. The Bronte Society, which runs the Parsonage Museum at Haworth, said it was not among the bidders.
The three-volume book – published in 1847 using Charlotte's pseudonym, Currer Bell – is marked in pencil with its original price, 31 shillings and sixpence. (Alistair Shand)

dinsdag 18 juni 2013

A video of the Musée des Lettres et Manuscrits concerning the Young Mens Magazine manuscript that is in exhibition in Paris:


Charlotte Brontë
Thornton, 1816 - Haworth, 1855
Manuscrit autographe, intitulé Second series of the Young Mens Magazines. No Second, datant de septembre 1830.
La romancière britannique rédige ce manuscrit inédit à l’âge de 14 ans. Cette œuvre fait partie d’une série de Magazines écrits au cours de l’adolescence de Charlotte Brontë. Ils sont directement inspirés du Blackwood’s Magazine, revue mélangeant actualité internationale, faits divers et contes populaires, que Patrick Brontë lisait à ses enfants et qui alimenta fortement leur imagination. Young Men's Magazine s’inscrit ainsi dans l’univers fantastique de Glass Town, le plus ancien des mondes fictifs créés par les quatre enfants Brontë. Branwell rédige alors en parallèle le Branwell’s Blackwood’s Magazine, dans le même esprit que les Magazines de sa sœur, Charlotte. Le manuscrit présenté ici se compose de trois textes intitulés : « A letter from Lord Charles Wellesley » (« Lettre de Lord Charles Wellesley »), « The Midnight Song » («Le Chant de Minuit ») et « Journal of a Frenchman [continued] » (« Journal d’un Français [suite] »). Le manuscrit se termine par une page d’«Advertisements » (« Annonces ») dans laquelle on peut notamment lire : « À saisir. Un cheval de toute beauté !!!! Pour celui qui sait comment tricher ». Les travaux de jeunesse des enfants Brontë revêtent une importance capitale, tant les univers créés au cours de cette période ont influencé leurs œuvres écrites à l’âge adulte. Ainsi, dans « A letter from Lord Charles Wellesley », on découvre une scène décrivant comment Caroline Krista met le feu au lit de Charles Wellesley. La description de cet acte de folie n’est pas sans rappeler l’une des scènes les plus connues du célèbre roman de Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, lorsque Bertha, l’épouse démente de M. Rochester, met le feu au lit de son mari.

Bronte blog

The BS excursion to Brussels; a 20th Anniversary

This year sees the 20th Anniversary of the first Excursion made by members from the Brontë Society.
A few of our current BBG members were there to witness that week in April 1993.
Eric Ruijssenaars and Maureen Peeck have given their personal accounts.


In the dark days, when Villette and Brussels were all but forgotten, Pearl Cragg and Elle were the only Villette fans left. Pearl made pretty much annual pilgrimage journeys to Brussels. She knew all most of what was known, which wasn’t much however. Without Pearl the Society might still not have organised an Excursion to Brussels. The greatest compliment I later got for my books were given by her. They were her constant bedside books, she once told me. Pearl was also there at the 2003 Excursion. That was her last visit to Brussels. The rise of the BBG must have pleased her greatly. She died in 2011. Dyddgu remembers that Pearl laid one rose on M. Heger’s grave.
Read more on: Brussels Bronte

maandag 17 juni 2013

Auction Charlotte Brontë - Jane Eyre. An Autobiography, 3 vol., first edition

A first edition of Jane Eyre will go under the hammer next Wednesday, June 19 at Bonhams 1793:
Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs
Auction 20752
London, Knightsbridge
19 Jun 2013, starting at 14:00 BST.

Lot 147:
Charlotte Brontë - Jane Eyre. An Autobiography, 3 vol., first edition, with all but two of the printing flaws listed by Smith, half-titles in each volume (but without the additional fly-leaf and advertisements), volume 2 with additional 8-page 'Ready Money Price List of Drawing & Painting Materials... Alexander Hill' tipped-in on front free endpaper (seemingly removed from other volumes), original price of "31/6" marked in pencil on front paste-down of volume 1, a few leaves slightly creased, some light foxing and occasional soiling in margins, UNTRIMMED IN PUBLISHER'S GREY BOARDS with grey/brown diaper half cloth spine, rubbed, spine label to volume 1 chipped with loss of 2 or 3 letters, split to lower joint of volume 2, crease to upper cover of volume 3, [Sadleir 346; Smith 2; Grolier, English 83], 8vo (199 x 122mm.), Smith, Elder, and Co., 1847
Estimate: £30,000 - 50,000

Footnotes
FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST BRONTË SISTERS NOVEL: AN EXTREMELY RARE VARIANT IN ORIGINAL BOARDS, ENTIRELY UNTRIMMED AND WITH THE ORIGINAL PRICE OF '31/6' MARKED IN PENCIL. The binding seems to correspond with Smith's variant B (allowing for some fading of the cloth over the years), but with white rather than yellow endpapers and a further slight variation in the printed spine labels, those on the present set having no semi-colon after "Eyre" and the words "In Three Volumes" inserted above the volume number. We can find no trace of any other copy in original boards having sold at auction.
 
Provenance: the tipped-in small price list of drawing and painting materials suggests an Edinburgh connection at or soon after the time of publication. Alexander Hill (of Princes Street, Edinburgh, younger brother of the painter David Octavius Hill) was publisher, artists' colourman and printer to the Royal Scottish Academy from 1830 until his death in 1866. In 1847 he was also appointed printseller and publisher in Edinburgh to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (see National Archives, LC 5/243 p.61). The price list tipped-in to this copy gives Hill's address as 67 Princes Street, where he had a shop from 1839 until his death, and mentions the royal appointment, reference to which he seems to have dropped by 1853.

Bonhams
Read more on: Bronte blog 

zondag 16 juni 2013

200.000 visitors....


Father's Day: Patrick Brontë, Tyrant or Teddy Bear?

And at the Brontë Parsonage Museum:


Father's Day: Patrick Brontë, Tyrant or Teddy Bear?
Join us for a short talk on the world's most famous literary father
June 16th 2013 12:00pm - 02:20pm

Charlotte's biographer Elizabeth Gaskell painted him as a stern authoritarian who destroyed his wife's dresses and denied his daughters meat with their meals. We now know, though, that the Gaskell biography was far from reliable. Evidence may, in fact, point to a man who was loving and tolerant, and encouraged his daughters' education in a way that was completely out of step with the attitudes of the time.
To celebrate Fathers' Day we're offering a short talk on the phenomenon of the astonishing self-made Patrick Brontë, father's of the world's most famous literary family, 'Tyrant, or Teddy Bear?'
Here you can read what kind of a man Patrick Bronte really was.

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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