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

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

IN THE PARSONAGE GARDEN.

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 ANNOUNCES NEW DIRECTOR.


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

dinsdag 25 oktober 2022

Charlotte Brontë’s Roe Head Letter Of October 1836.


This was the classroom where Charlotte Bronte taught

One period that Charlotte Brontë found particularly trying in her life was her time as a teacher at Roe Head school in the hills above Mirfield in the West Riding of Yorkshire (that’s a drawing of it, by Anne Brontë at the head of this post). Charlotte had attended the school as a pupil from 1831 until 1832; it was a very happy time for her, and she made lifelong friends in Ellen Nussey and Mary Taylor. In 1835 Charlotte returned to Roe Head in the role of teacher, but she found this to be a very different experience. Read more: anebronte.org/2022/charlotte-brontes-roe-head-letter-of-october-1836/n

zaterdag 15 oktober 2022

The new Emily Bronte film.


Ben LovegroveI‘ve been to see the #EmilyMovie tonight and loved it. All I can say is ignore the critics and decide for yourself. We know the historical accuracy of the Weightman part has been questioned but it’s very accurate in portraying other aspects of Emily’s life that were overlooked in To Walk Invisible, such as her stubborn attachment to Gondal, questioning of religion and belief in ghosts. If you’ve seen it let me know what you think. facebook

donderdag 13 oktober 2022


 PARSONAGE UNWRAPPED: INSIDE THE BRONTËS’ JEWELLERY BOX

 
On Friday 4 November, ‘Parsonage Unwrapped’ returns, this time to delve inside the Brontë Sisters' jewellery box.
Join us for this special evening event led by Curator Sarah Laycock in the Parsonage library where we'll take a look at Charlotte, Emily and Anne’s jewellery.
 
This event offers a unique opportunity to get up close to, and discover more about, these treasures and how they came back to the Parsonage.
 
Tickets are £25.

zondag 17 juli 2022

Haworth at 4.30 in the morning.

Beautiful photographes on the Facebook page of Dave Zdanowicz.

Haworth at about 4:30am this morning. Rained just as I got there!

zondag 12 juni 2022

Defying Expectations: 5 Treasures Of The Exhibition.

 Nick Holland from the Anne Bronte Blog paid his first visit of 2022 to the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth. Their latest exhibition is entitled ‘Defying Expectations’ and it takes a particular look at clothing and accessories used by the Brontë sisters, as well as showcasing some old favourite items from the museum’s extensive collections, and some items which are less frequently seen. Despite it’s title this exhibition very much lived up to my high expectations, so in today’s post I bring you five treasures from this year’s parsonage collection! Read all the story here: Anne Bronte

                                              Mohawk Moccasin Slippers


                                                      Berlin Work Bag

                                                                  Shawls

Nick Holland: The one on the right with the shiny silk inserts, is  the very shawl that Charlotte Brontë wore on her wedding day in 1854.


Luxurious Dress

Nick Holland: Perhaps the greatest item of all, among many great items, in this year’s exhibition is this dress. Charlotte’s Room, as the museum hails it, always contains a Brontë dress within a carefully sealed glass case. They are always very moving, but this year the dress is particularly spectacular – and it really does defy general expectations around Charlotte Brontë’s apparel.

We often think of Charlotte Brontë as rather dowdy, and she may have been so by necessity throughout much of her life. The Brontës were not wealthy, and had to repair, improvise and recycle much of their clothing. By the end of Charlotte’s life, however, things had changed dramatically for her. The royalties she earned from her writing were far greater than anything she could have hoped to earn from careers as a teacher or governess, and the legacy she left in 1855 was worth more than a million pounds in today’s money.

This dress dates from this period of Charlotte’s life. It was one where she often had to mix in high society, difficult as that must have been for someone as shy as she was, and she dressed accordingly. This striped silk dress was one of three found holed up behind a wall during renovations at the parsonage in 1936. It has been a cause of speculation for some time, but the museum has finally proven that it did belong to Charlotte meaning that it can finally go on display. With floral adornments it’s an item of real beauty, and evidence of the elevation in status and wealth that Charlotte’s literary genius finally brought her. Also displayed her are an ornate fan, and a pair of black stockings worn by Charlotte Brontë.


                                    Hair Brooch and Bracelet

woensdag 8 juni 2022

An artist's dream world, Paula Rego.


On Facebook (Nick Holland | Facebook I read: Sad to hear of the death of brilliant, versatile, groundbreaking artist Dame Paula Rego. A book of her 2002 artworks inspired by Jane Eyre is one of the favourite Bronte items I've ever been given.

I feel sad to hear this. I admired Paula Rego's illustrations as well.

An artist's dream worldPaula Rego

Brontë and Paula Rego share an imaginative ardour that abolishes the veil between what takes place in fact and in fantasy. As storytellers, they really are kith and kin: Rego reproduces the psychological drama in the book through distortions of scale, cruel expressiveness of gesture, and disturbingly stark contrasts of light and welling shadows. The long, lugubrious, moralising face of Mr. Brocklehurst in The Inspection looms as large as the little girl’s whole upper body and twice its bulk: Jane standing on the stool, held by Bessie, becomes a tiny, breakable poppet.

In Paula Rego’s work, in her ‘artist’s dreamland’, the peculiar and the elfish twist and turn with a similar rebellious vitality. And they do so for reasons that Jane Eyre’s did, mirroring Charlotte Brontë’s, over a hundred and fifty years ago. Rego has explored, in a myriad different sequences of pictures, the conditions of her own upbringing in Portugal, her formation as a girl and a woman, and the oscillation between stifling social expectations and liberating female stratagems.

At one point Jane Eyre protests,

Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their own efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellowcreatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags.

Read all: tate/paula-rego 

zondag 22 mei 2022

Author Anne Bronte was keen rock collector, research shows.


Anne Bronte was not only a talented writer but also a skilled rock collector interested in geology, researchers have revealed.

The youngest Bronte sister built up a collection of specimens before her death aged 29 in 1849.

It was thought she collected them for their aesthetic value, but research shared by Sally Jaspars has shown she was an informed geology fan.

Ms Jaspers is studying Bronte as part of a PhD at the University of Aberdeen.

She said: "Her interest in geology is mentioned in her literary works - indeed in The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall she references the science and a book by Sir Humphry Davy directly."



Ms Jaspers was helped by Stephen Bowden, from the university's School of Geosciences, who helped to analyse the collection housed at the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth, West Yorkshire. 

Experts from the University of Leeds and a specialist spectroscopy company were also involved, and they found she had carnelians and agates which she collected in Scarborough, where she worked as a governess.

She also had flowstone and a rare kind of red obsidian, which originated outside of the UK.

When the Brontë sisters strolled the boulevards of Brussels.


 Read all: brusselstimes/when-the-bronte-sisters-strolled-the-boulevards-of-brusselsBy Helen MacEwan

The Belgian capital barely acknowledges its link with the two most famous Brontë sisters, Charlotte and Emily. A plaque commemorates their stay here in 1842-43, at a girls’ boarding school called the Pensionnat Heger, which stood on the site now occupied by Bozar, the Centre for Fine Arts. However, it is placed high up near Bozar’s entrance: most concertgoers pouring through the doors are oblivious of it, as are most tourists.

It is a pity the city is so silent about its Brontë link. Visitors are unlikely to have heard about the connection before they come. Mention the Brontës and how many people picture the sisters strolling on the boulevards in Brussels?

Yet they did – and so do some of their fictional characters. Although it is not hard to see why the connection can be missed. Charlotte wrote two novels set in Brussels and based on her time in the city: her first, The Professor, which was not published until 1857, two years after her death; and her fourth and last, Villette (1853). But neither were bestsellers like Jane Eyre. Many literary pundits rate Villette as her most interesting book, but, sadly, no feature film has ever been made about its heroine Lucy Snowe, a sharply observant expat experiencing loneliness and frustration as a teacher at a pensionnat.

woensdag 2 maart 2022

The Parlour

The Parlour

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.

Top Withens in the snow.

Top Withens in the snow.

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