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 25 juli 2023

Challenges posed by AI by Nick Holland.


Nick Holland
My latest blog post looked at the Brontes and technology, and at the challenges posed by AI today. I've just asked an AI server to create a picture of the Bronte sisters using a computer, and this is what it's come up with!

donderdag 18 mei 2023

The Old post Office Haworth.


The restored shop front is almost complete; we just need to add the corbels and the horizontal sign panel to the top

From the Facebookpage of
the Old Post Office Haworth

Over a year of careful planning has gone into the design and details of the front of the Old Post Office. We were keen to bring it back to an early Victorian style, complete with smaller window panes and narrow glazing bars. Many thanks to our talented local joiner, Richard, for his meticulous work in making and fitting all the windows and the panelled stall riser.
The Heritage Officer was keen to retain the existing front door and, although it is later in style (probably Edwardian), it sits well in the newly painted shop front.
The removal of incongruous concrete steps under the shop window was a massive task, but well worth it; we have now revealed the original cellar window and reinstated the railings around the drop.
The front of the building will also feature a hanging sign on a Victorian-style ornate bracket, and a heritage Sugg lantern.

N.B. The larger top step has a little groove in it to carry rain water away from the centre of it! It would form a puddle and freeze in winter without it.

donderdag 11 mei 2023

Bronte rings in the collection of the Bronte Museum.

Real Bronte treasures here - these are some of the Bronte rings in the collection of the Bronte Parsonage Museum. Central is a very important ring - the wedding ring of Charlotte Bronte!

vrijdag 7 april 2023

Anne Bronte's carnelian necklace.


Nick Holland 
 :  On Good Friday, here's one of my favourite Bronte treasures - Anne Bronte's carnelian necklace and a tiny portrait by Charlotte Bronte of 13 year old Anne wearing it!

dinsdag 6 december 2022

Anne Lloyd: My Brontë Stories

 I started to learn Anne Lloyd because we both are Brontëites.  I am following Anne's blog, she is following me. I knewAnne is writing about Charlotte Bronte and her husband Arthur Bell Nicolls. Anne visited Haworth and Banagher.

Anne Lloyd posted on her blog: Stay at Home ArtistFor the past ten years I have been writing a Brontë novel from the view point of Charlotte's husband, Arthur Bell Nicholls. Well, I thought I was writing a novel. What I now find is I have been writing many, many Brontë short stories that run from 1798 to 1906. The collection is called," My Heart is in Haworth. "

I have always meant to weave these stories into one narrative and have tried to do so for years. But so far they stubbornly refuse. So I'm now publishing them as they were written, and posting them periodically on this blog. 

I have decided to do it this way because I'm tired waiting for this book too! The time is now on the platform I have. 

The stories are offered to the public for free,but they are copyrighted of course.

The book hasn't been written in chronological order by any means. In one writing session I could zip to two or three different decades of the story and often did. So it is in keeping with the endeavor that my writing doesn't appear in an orderly timeline either. 

There are far more romantic and dramatic scenes than this one to be sure. But this one elbowed itself to the front of the line!

The scene is the fall of 1854, the Nicholls have returned to Haworth from their honeymoon in Ireland. 

At this point it is important to say something about Arthur Bell Nicholl's appreciation for poetry so that part of my story doesn't seem fantastic. Arthur did not write poetry. But he was sensitive to it and utilized his fine voice to recited it for friends and family most of his life. 

We know this because Rev. George Sowden, the younger brother of Arthur's great friend, Sutcliffe Sowden, recalled Arthur did so a great deal and that.... 

On one occasion, he repeated by heart, from the beginning to end , and without a single mistake or a moment's hesitation, Tennyson's long and exquisite poem "The May Queen" With the charming Irish pathos which he threw into it, it was delightful to  hear." 

And we know George wrote this because the dedicated research of Ian and Catherine Emerson and their discovery of his 1890s article published in a church magazine,which they republished. 

My first installment. "Miss Emily's Stone " set in 1854.

My first installment. "Miss Emily's Stone " set in 1854

woensdag 23 november 2022

Christmas in Haworth.

  Every year at Christmas time, Haworth is lit by twinkling fairy lights and pretty shop windows. Our cobbled street is home to wonderful independent shops, bars and restaurants, cafes, hotels and pubs, and every weekend in December leading up to Christmas, Haworth's residents and traders host bands, choirs, carol singers, processions and parades for visitors to enjoy. Home | Christmas In Haworth

vrijdag 4 november 2022


Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day.
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.
                       EJB 1838

 The garden has never looked better than it has this year.  It was a dry summer, so we did lots of watering to keep the plants comfortable; the leaf cover from the graveyard trees is so dense in summer that even when we have rain it doesn't always get through.  The roses have been stunning. They love the sun, as do many other beautiful plants in the garden.  The challenge is more in the shady beds so in the last couple of years we have put more work and more of our budget into improving them.  We have bought quite a number of pots and containers which enables us to move plants to fill gaps as needed.  Our policy now for the garden is to make it more environmentally friendly - if you see seed heads left on or overflowing foliage, don’t think we’re being lazy, we’ll be leaving these for food and shelter for the wildlife and we are also thinking about how to bring water to the garden without using mains. 

It’s a new era; we have the will and the skill of our gardeners, so we intend to do our bit for the planet.
Jenny Whitehead

Read all: bronte.org.uk


The Brontë Society is pleased to announce the permanent appointment of Rebecca Yorke as Director of the Brontë Society and Brontë Parsonage Museum.  Rebecca, who first joined the Museum in early 2015 in a marketing and communications role, has been a member of the organisation’s senior management since 2016 and has held the post of Interim Director since June 2021.

Julian Sladdin, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said. “Following a rigorous internal recruitment process, we are delighted to appoint Rebecca to the role of Director of the Brontë Society and Brontë Parsonage Museum.  The Board continues to be impressed by Rebecca’s commitment to the organisation and is excited by her clear vision for both the Society and the Museum. We have every confidence that she will continue to steer our organisation to further success and look forward to working with her to ensure that as a museum and charity we are resilient, inclusive, forward-looking and relevant to future generations.”
On accepting the role, Rebecca said,  “I am thrilled to be appointed Director of the Brontë Society and Brontë Parsonage Museum, to have this opportunity to build on all that has been achieved in recent years and fulfil our mission of bringing the Brontës to the world and the world to Yorkshire.  It’s an exciting time to lead one of the country’s most-loved heritage organisations as we prepare to celebrate Bradford as UK City of Culture in 2025 and the Museum’s centenary in 2028 and I would like to thank the trustees for their faith in me,  and all my Parsonage colleagues for their continued commitment and support.” bronte.org.uk

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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