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

zondag 21 juli 2019

Work Experience at the House of Elizabeth Gaskell.

House of Elizabeth Gaskells
Friend of Charlotte Bronte

From the blog: elizabethgaskellhouse/work-experience/

From the week beginning on 11/07/19 and ending on 17/07/19 I had done work experience at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. I had been doing multiple jobs to help out throughout the week; these included working in the tea room during the open days, helping out on the front desk and also helping out with setting up the new exhibitions. I especially enjoyed working in the tea rooms when a large tour came in and booked to have tea and cake. I was able to set up the tables and then later serve. I enjoy talking to people and hopefully making their day that little bit better, so working in the tea room was probably the best job I had done.

zondag 30 juni 2019

Elizabeth Gaskell’s lady’s maid – a dramatic imagining

Meta & Louy are working hard at the dining-room table, mending your pink gown; but I don’t know whether they can get it done to send off before Monday, as it is so much torn; & then Caroline, who is as busy as can be with other things today, will have to iron it. (….) Caroline has on an atrocious print today, great stripes of crimson, blue & brownelizabethgaskellhouse

Revealed: smuggling past of the Brontë sisters’ grandfather.

“No-one has ever connected the Brontës to Cornish smuggling before and this part of the family fortune is in startling contrast to the genteel life their mother and aunts lived amid Regency Penzance society.”
Ann Dinsdale, principal curator of the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, described the evidence as “fascinating”, casting light on how Branwell’s legacy enabled his granddaughters to get published: “In effect, their books were vanity published,” she said. “They paid for the publication of their poems in 1846. Then Emily and Anne actually paid for their novels to be published. They couldn’t find a publisher who was willing to take on their publication. So they ended up financing it themselve.
She added: “Their mother’s sister, Elizabeth Branwell [who died in 1842], had a family annuity which she saved and left to her nieces, about £300 for each of them. That would have been quite a lot of money. As a governess, they might have earned £25 [a year] … It did enable them to pay for the publication of their works.”

dinsdag 11 juni 2019

Photo of Mercy Nussey, sister of Ellen and friend of Charlotte Bronte.

I love this photo of Mercy Nussey, sister of Ellen and friend of Charlotte Bronte. Originally called Mary, she was renamed Mercy during a short lived stint as a Moravian Sister.

donderdag 30 mei 2019

Undercliffe Cemetery adds Bronte nanny to list of Bradford Worthies

NANCY De Garrs was quite a ‘celebrity’ in Bradford Workhouse 

While other inmates sat on wooden benches, Nancy had her own armchair. There was much interest in the old lady who had been the Bronte family’s nanny, and she was visited by journalists keen to interview the last person to know the famous literary sisters.

Nancy loved to talk about her time with the Brontes. But with old age, and poverty, came a fear of ending up in a pauper's grave. When Nancy told the Pall Mall Gazette it was her last request to avoid such a fate, the London newspaper appealed for public donations so she could have a decent burial. It was taken up by other newspapers, including the New York Times. How much was raised isn’t clear. A 'typo' in a Manchester newspaper meant that some of the money was sent to Bedford workhouse, instead of Bradford...
And when Nancy died in 1886, aged 82, she was buried at Undercliffe Cemetery, in an unmarked grave costing just a guinea. For over 130 years she has laid in the weed-choked plot. Now she has been added to a list of ‘Bradford Worthies’ buried at the cemetery, and finally she is to have a headstone. “Nancy has been hidden all these years. We want to acknowledge her part in Bronte history,” says Allan Hillary, chairman of the Friends of Undercliffe Cemetery which is appealing for help to raise £3,000 for a headstone and to clear the area around the grave. Allan hopes it will become part of the Bronte Trail, attracting more visitors to the historic cemetery. 

maandag 15 april 2019

‘The Remains of Henry Kirke White’

In 1783, Maria Branwell was born. She would later marry Patrick Brontë and was the mother of the Brontë siblings.
Her copy of ‘The Remains of Henry Kirke White’ was salvaged from a ship that was wrecked whilst transporting her belongings to Yorkshire. After her death, the Brontës treasured this book, filling it with annotations such as Patrick’s inscription, ‘…saved from the waves…’

Other markings include a doodle, possibly by Branwell, marginal notes exploring White's poetry, potentially by Emily, and Patrick's on thoughts on the work.
When the book was acquired by the museum in 2 016 it also contained many manuscripts found between its pages which we explored in the publication, 'Charlotte Brontë: The Lost Manuscripts'. facebook/thebrontesociety

donderdag 11 april 2019

Anne Bronte made 2 unfinished drawings of her pet spaniel Flossy.

On Anne Bronte made 2 unfinished drawings of her pet spaniel Flossy, gifted to her by her charges the Robinson girls. But there's also this sketch - it could be a Robinson girl with Flossy, but I think it's a self portrait of Anne and her beloved pet!

woensdag 6 maart 2019

The Brontë Stones

The Brontë Stones are a group of stones placed in the landscape between the birthplace of the Brontë family in Thornton and the parsonage where they wrote their famous work in Haworth.

The project was devised by writer, Michael Stewart, who took inspiration from another literary walk. There are three stones that celebrate the bicentenaries of the three sisters: Charlotte, Emily and Anne, and a fourth stone to mark the significance of the Brontës as a literary family.

The stones have been carved by fine art letter carver, Pip Hall, with specially commissioned literature by famous contemporary female writers. The project was curated and delivered jointly by Michael Stewart and the Bradford Literature Festival and funded by the Arts Council England. thebrontestones

dinsdag 19 februari 2019

We have recently added a splendid edition of Anne Bronte’s controversial novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall to our collection.

 The book has been donated, following a crowdfunding appeal, by Bonnets at Dawn, a social media/podcasting duo who regularly discuss the works of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, with occasional detours into the works of other nineteenth century female writers.  Bonnets at Dawn, otherwise known as Lauren Burke and Hannah K Chapman (based in the UK and the US),  have visited Elizabeth Gaskell’s House more than once and are now well acquainted with the stories of Charlotte’s visits to 84 Plymouth Grove and the controversies surrounding Elizabeth’s biography The Life of Charlotte Bronte.

Books by the Bronte sisters must be at the top of that list.  Elizabeth Gaskell never met Anne Bronte as she had already died before her first meeting with Charlotte, but she had heard much about her. Charlotte vividly described the life of all her family to the ever- eager listener at their meetings together. Anne is an integral character in the biography The Life of Charlotte Bronte even though Elizabeth never had the opportunity to form her own first-hand opinion. Read all: elizabethgaskellhouse

zondag 17 februari 2019

The Women's Coronation Procession, suffragette march, London, 1911.

The Women's Coronation Procession, suffragette march, London, 1911, demanding women's suffrage in the coronation year of George V, organised by the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) and captured by Christina Broom, UK's first female press photographer

donderdag 14 februari 2019

Valentine´s day.

This #ValentinesDay here's a little reminder to love thy neighbour. I'd forgotten we planted snowdrops on the graves of Anne's neighbours!
Would be cute if all neglected graves sprang up little flowers from hidden bulbs 💖💖💖

zaterdag 9 februari 2019

Meta Gaskell to Ellen Nussey

This letter from Meta Gaskell to Ellen Nussey in January 1866 gives a moving account of the death of Elizabeth Gaskell two months earlier:

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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