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 17 oktober 2014

‘Exciting’ new donation to the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth

It’s been a busy month. Last week, we were alerted to a Charlotte Bronte letter coming up for sale by auction, the next day! Sadly, we were unsuccessful in our bids as it sold for double the estimated price. We were disappointed that we couldn’t bring the letter back home to the place where it was written over 150 years ago. To lift our spirits though, we were thrilled to receive an exciting donation to the collection.

An ivory quill-cutter which the Bronte family would have used to sharpen their quills before they put quill to paper! This was an important tool in the Bronte household and was probably used many times by the young Bronte children to achieve such miniscule handwriting inside their tiny books, and later in life for writing their letters, poems and novels.

We will display the quill-cutter from February 2015. The year 2016 marks 200 years since the birth of Charlotte Bronte and there will be celebrations all over the world.

We have been putting together a list of objects to exhibit at the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York to commemorate the bicentenary, which will include a Charlotte Bronte dress, a selection of her artwork, and one of the famous handmade ‘little books’.
The exhibition will travel between the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Parsonage, and finally the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York throughout 2016. keighleynews/Parsonage_Museum_in_Haworth/

donderdag 16 oktober 2014

the Brontë Society emergency general meeting taking place this weekend at Haworth.

The Museum Association Journal reports the Brontë Society emergency general meeting taking place this weekend at Haworth.

The chairwoman of the Brontë Society, which runs the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, West Yorkshire, has stepped down just 26 days into her 12-month term.
The society said Christine Went had been forced to take the decision due to "ill health and an urgent family matter". She was appointed as chairwoman on 6 September after a unanimous vote, and formally stepped down on 2 October. Went had previously been a member of the society for four years.
Her resignation came ahead of an extraordinary general meeting (EGM), which takes place this Saturday. A group of more than 50 members have forced the meeting amid a number of allegations about the conduct of the council.
These included a claim that the council attempted to call an EGM to overturn a vote at the society’s AGM in June that defeated motions to extend the chairman of trustees' term of office and give the council the power to summarily expel trustees and members.
The group said the meeting would include discussion about electing a new council in order to “modernise” the organisation and bring “higher levels of professionalism and experience to the society”.
However, a clause in the Company Act prevents a vote removing the current council.
Doreen Harris, the honorary secretary of the society, who has taken on the work of the chairwoman until an appointment is made, said: “Regarding the EGM, we look forward to a frank exchange of views to enable the Brontë Society to go forward into the bicentenary period a stronger and more united organisation.” (Rebecca Atkinson)

woensdag 15 oktober 2014

“I should love to know what Elizabeth Gaskell would think of the house now.

Historic novelist Elizabeth Gaskell’s Manchester home is set to re-open to the public - after a 20 year battle to save and restore it.
The writer’s home in Ardwick has been completely transformed to take it back to Victorian times when she lived there - writing famous works including North and South and Cranford. Read more, watch a video and see a lot of photo's  at manchestereveningnews/home-novelist-elizabeth-gaskell-

dinsdag 14 oktober 2014

World-famous home of the Brontes is in prime location to welcome a new surge in tourism as Christmas fun gears up

Traders are also proactive in making Haworth a place people want to visit. One of the most popular events is the annual 1940s weekend in May which draws huge crowds of visitors, many of them wearing costumes from the Second World War and recreating the atmospheric wartime period. The event has raised thousands of pounds for charities including the national armed forces charity, the SSAFA, and Help for Heroes.
From October 25 to December 20 the Haworth craft fairs will be pitching up at the Bronte Schoolroom, offering unusual gift inspiration in time for Christmas.
Following on from last year’s success of Haworth’s inaugural Steampunk Weekend, the event, combining science fiction with Victoriana, returns from November 21 - 23.
November is also the month when festivities really begin in Haworth. The traditional ‘Scroggling of the Holly’, with parades and entertainment, runs from November 29 - 30. The Victorian Christmas, running on December 6 and 7, sees traders sporting period costume and the torchlight procession on December 13 and 14 weaves its way down the Main Street, an atmospheric event, complete with carol singers, that promotes Haworth as the place to visit during the festive period. Read more: thetelegraphandargus

maandag 13 oktober 2014

Playing games develops innovation and creativity.

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Child’s Play is About More than Games, the authors, Peter Gray and Lenore Skenazy, indicate that children learn much by playing.

Playing games develops innovation and creativity. The authors indicate that when children are not told what to do by an adult, they have to figure out their own fun activities.  The Bronte children created an imaginary world called the Great Glass Town Confederacy. This time spent in imaginary play became the backbone for the imagination the three sisters used in writing their classic adult books. thedestinlog/-importance-of-playing-in-childhood

Braving the Brontes

“Braving the Brontes” is the first in a series that introduces “Carly Keene, Literary Detective” – a Juneau girl whose adventurous spirit allows her to brave time travel, ghosts and Victorian England.

Published by New York-based In This Together Media, the book begins and ends in present day Juneau. It takes an interesting turn when Carly is walking downtown with her best friend Francesca.
“They go into a bookshop they’ve never seen down a little alleyway they’ve never seen when they’re walking home from getting hot cocoa downtown. And she’s reading a first edition of ‘Jane Eyre’ and falls asleep, and wakes up in 1846,” Rue says.
Carly finds herself in the home of the Bronte sisters in England as Charlotte Bronte is trying to write the classic “Jane Eyre.” Carly is stuck there until she can solve a mystery involving the literary family. Rue mirrored the fictional Carly after herself as a young girl – someone who read a lot of books, spent a lot of time outdoors and romanticized the past. She says it was important to have Carly be an adventurous, independent Alaskan girl.“Challenges that Carly faces are things that she feels better prepared to deal with because she is Alaskan, like how they approach situations, like a chamber pot,” Rue says. Braving the Brontes is geared for kids ages 9 to 14. Read all th article: alaskapublic/former-juneau-resident-sets-new-pre-teen-book-series-in-alaska/

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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