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 29 december 2010

29-12-1812 Maria Branwell and Patrick Bronte get married

Between 1808 and 1811 four family deaths (including Maria's mother and father) effectively broke up Maria's immediate family and she looked for employment. Her father's sister Jane was the wife of John Fennell, a Methodist minister who, in 1812, was appointed Headmaster of the newly opened Woodhouse Grove School at Rawdon, between Leeds and Bradford in Yorkshire. Jane Fennell acted as housekeeper at the school and she invited her niece to assist her. In the summer of 1812 Maria Branwell travelled to Yorkshire to start a new life.

John Fennell and Patrick Brontë had been curates together in Wellington, Shropshire in 1808. In 1812 Patrick Brontë was the curate at Hartshead, 12 miles from Rawdon, and John Fennell invited his former colleague to visit Woodhouse Grove School to inspect the teaching of Classics. During his visit, Patrick Brontë was introduced to the newly arrived Maria Branwell, and after a short but determined courtship (Patrick Brontë walking the 24 mile round trip to take Maria out walking!) the couple were married in nearby Guiseley Parish Church on the 29th December 1812. The ceremony was a double wedding sanctioned by special licence. A mutual friend of Fennell and Brontë, The Reverend William Morgan of Bradford, was engaged to Jane, the daughter of John and Jane Fennell.

At the double ceremony, Patrick Brontë solemnised the marriage of William Morgan and Jane Fennell, and then William Morgan solemnised the marriage of Patrick Brontë and Maria Branwell. John Fennell gave away both his daughter and his niece, and the brides stood bridesmaid to each other. On the same day in Penzance, two cousins of the two brides, Joseph and Charlotte Branwell, were also getting married.
The ceremony taking place on 29 December 1812 at St. Oswald's Church, Guiseley (near Leeds)

dinsdag 28 december 2010

Today I was busy
 making some fotographs
 about my new books
I wanted to bring a little
christmas feeling

zondag 26 december 2010

In daily life
I am a watercolorist
I painted a lot of Christmas cards

with the money I earned
I bought some very nice books

yes offcourse

 The Bronte Sisters
Jane Austen

I am so happy with my new books
Christmas time= holiday= reading!!!!!

woensdag 22 december 2010

Haworth Main St

Festivities celebrated in Yorkshire in the 19th century

Christmas with the Bronte Family, and a look at the festivities celebrated in Yorkshire in the 19th century. The fellow countrymen of the Brontes are quite hard to please when it comes to literature about their famous local heroines. But the reviewer of the YORKSHIRE DALES Magazine was fulsome in his praise, to the point of making the book the prize for their Christmas competition last year! "Christmas in the Bronte Household; vessel maids and spice cake and Christmas accounts from the Bronte novels - all these and more are described in The Brontes Christmas. Dip into the pages of this engaging anthology and discover customs long forgotten. The Brontes Christmas by Maria Hubert is published by Suttons publishing and available from all good bookshops."

Christmas 1854.

Visiting the Brontë Parsonage at Haworth, Mike [Harding, author of Beautiful North] is surprised to discover that the traditional image of a cosy Victorian Christmas wasn’t quite the reality for the Brontë family. Brontë expert Dr Juliet Barker tells him there’s barely a mention of Christmas in letters documenting the Brontës’ lives. The only documented festive fact is a newly-married Charlotte and her husband distributing Christmas money around the village in 1854.

21-12-1848 Funeral of Emily and Keeper, her dog.

Emily Bronte was buried
in the family vault
at Haworth Parish Church.
She had died on 19th December
aged 30.

On December 19, 1848, Emily, 29 years old, died of tuberculosis. She had become ill three months earlier at Branwell's funeral. Branwell died of tuberculosis aggravated by his dissolute life style. According to Charlotte, as Emily slowly withdrew from life, Keeper continually “lay at the side of her dying-bed” ( Barker, 1998, p. 240).
By the time of Emily's death, the power struggles between them were long over. Even as her strength waned, Emily was determined to continue caring for both Keeper and Flossey. Barker (1994) wrote, “The evening before her death she insisted on feeding the dogs...as she had always done. As she stepped from the warmth of the kitchen into the cold air of the damp, stone-flagged passage, she staggered and almost fell against the wall” (p. 576). The next afternoon Emily died.

The accounts of Emily's funeral all mention Keeper (Garber, 1996). Charlotte wrote that Keeper “followed her funeral to the vault,” and then came into the church with the family, “lying in the pew couched at [their] feet while the burial service was being read”( Barker, 1998, p. 240). According to Gaskell (1975), Keeper “walked first among the mourners to her funeral; he slept moaning for nights at the door of her empty room, and never, so to speak, rejoiced, dog fashion after her death” (p. 269). In her visits with Mrs. Gaskell after Emily's death, Charlotte seemed to find reassurance in talking about the funeral. Mrs. Gaskell noted how often Charlotte spoke about Keeper walking “side by side with her father” toward the graveyard and how often she mentioned Keeper sleeping every night at the door of Emily's empty room, “snuffing under it, and whining every morning” ( Wise, 1980, vol. 4, p. 87).

zondag 19 december 2010

Tuesday morning 19-12-1848

On Tuesday morning
Emily insisted on dressing herself.
When it was almost noon
she said to Charlotte
"If you will send for a docter, I will see him now"
About two o' clock she died.
She was 30 years old.

I remember Miss Brontë's shiver at recalling the pang she felt when, after having searched in the little hollows and sheltered crevices of the moors for a lingering spray of heather - just one spray, however withered - to take in to Emily, she saw that the flower was not recognised by the dim and indifferent eyes. (Elizabeth Gaskell, The Life of Charlotte Brontë, ch. XVI)

Charlotte wrote:
My sister Emily first declined. The details of her illness are deep-branded in my memory, but to dwell on them, either in thought or narrative, is not in my power. Never in all her life had she lingered over any task that lay before her, and she did not linger now. She sank rapidly. She made haste to leave us. Yet, while physically she perished, mentally she grew stronger than we had yet known her. Day by day, when I saw with what a front she met suffering, I looked on her with an anguish of wonder and love. I have seen nothing like it; but, indeed, I have never seen her parallel in anything. Stronger than a man, simpler than a child, her nature stood alone. The awful point was, that while full of ruth for others, on herself she had no pity; the spirit was inexorable to the flesh; from the trembling hand, the unnerved limbs, the faded eyes, the same service was exacted as they had rendered in health. To stand by and witness this, and not dare to remonstrate, was a pain no words can render.

Two cruel months of hope and fear passed painfully by, and the day came at last when the terrors and pains of death were to be undergone by this treasure, which had grown dearer and dearer to our hearts as it wasted before our eyes. Towards the decline of that day, we had nothing of Emily but her mortal remains as consumption left them. She died December 19, 1848.


162 anniversary of Emily Brontë's death

Published in the 1846 collection Poems By Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell under Emily's nom de plume 'Ellis Bell'.
(The Gondal title of this poem was "Rosina Alcona to Julius Brenzaida." )

Death! that struck when I was most confiding.
In my certain faith of joy to be--
Strike again, Time's withered branch dividing
From the fresh root of Eternity!
Leaves, upon Time's branch, were growing brightly,
Full of sap, and full of silver dew;
Birds beneath its shelter gathered nightly;
Daily round its flowers the wild bees flew.
Sorrow passed, and plucked the golden blossom;
Guilt stripped off the foliage in its pride
But, within its parent's kindly bosom,
Flowed for ever Life's restoring tide.
Little mourned I for the parted gladness,
For the vacant nest and silent song--
Hope was there, and laughed me out of sadness;
Whispering, "Winter will not linger long!"
And, behold! with tenfold increase blessing,
Spring adorned the beauty-burdened spray;
Wind and rain and fervent heat, caressing,
Lavished glory on that second May!
High it rose--no winged grief could sweep it;
Sin was scared to distance with its shine;
Love, and its own life, had power to keep it
From all wrong--from every blight but thine!
Cruel Death! The young leaves droop and languish;
Evening's gentle air may still restore--
No! the morning sunshine mocks my anguish-
Time, for me, must never blossom more!
Strike it down, that other boughs may flourish
Where that perished sapling used to be;
Thus, at least, its mouldering corpse will nourish
That from which it sprung--Eternity.

Winter in Haworth 15/12/1846

Charlotte Bronte wrote:

"I hope you are not frozen up; the cold here is dreadful. I do not remember such a series of North-Pole days. England might really have taken a slide up into the Arctic Zone; the sky looks like ice; the earth is frozen; the wind is as keen as a two-edged blade."

zaterdag 18 december 2010

Love and Friendship - a poem by Emily Bronte

Love is like the wild rose-briar,
Friendship like the holly-tree
The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms
But which will bloom most constantly?

The wild-rose briar is sweet in the spring,
Its summer blossoms scent the air;
Yet wait till winter comes again
And who will call the wild-briar fair?
Then scorn the silly rose-wreath now
And deck thee with the holly's sheen,
That when December blights thy brow
He may still leave thy garland green.

Haworth Old Hall, Sun Street

Running out from the cellars of this four hundred-year old manorial hall house are elaborate escape routes and two tunnels, one connected with the church, each nearly a mile in length. The Emmotts who once lived here, owning most of the property in the vicinity, were recusants who kept up the old faith in the church and protected priest and people from persecution during penal times. In other times of religious persecution there was an escape route for meetings of nonconformists in this house.

In 1816 Dr Whittaker, Vicar of Whalley, writes 'Haworth is to Bradford as Heptonstall is to Halifax – almost at the extremity of population, high bleak, dirty and difficult of access.' As though that and the conditions provided by the present owners are not atmosphere enough, Emmott Old Hall, as it is known locally, has a far older history.

This fine specimen of an old hall house – a communal dwelling house, court house and resting place for the inhabitants of the area, the manorial lord and his court. – stands at the bottom of the Church Gate, no doubt on the site of the original manor house. In the reign of the first Queen Elizabeth, the present house was erected as rooms off the entrance hall, which itself was a most magnificent room with polished oak rafters.

By the 1870's the Old Hall, though still regarded as a capital specimen, was divided into two cottages. Tenants came and went, certain additions were made to the house early in the twentieth and in recent times it has been reconverted into one residence, the ancient hall becoming the dining area, revealing the two magnificent stone fire places which are the principal features of it. The last of the Emmott line to remain at the hall was General Emmott Rawdon, but the association of the family with it continues among the characters described by the Bronte sisters in their novels. Reading from these, perhaps one can add a little to the atmosphere of this house on the wuthering heights.

vrijdag 17 december 2010

Bronte Christmas lunch

Eric Ruijssenaars told during the Bronte Christmas lunch about the scholarship he has been granted by the New Netherland Institute in Albany, US, to do a research project involving 17th C Dutch colonial archives. While in the US Eric will also make contact with the Brontë Society there and talk to its New York section and will also address the annual meeting of all the American sections of the Society. The subject of his talk will of course be Brussels Brontë research and our group!

donderdag 16 december 2010

Wuthering Heights official photographer

Read : Wuthering Heights official photographer

Victorians were terrified of debt because inability to pay meant one could lose everything -- even one's liberty. Ireland maintains a touching collection of Victoriana, including letter boxes, the Dublin Custom House coats of arms, and laws which prescribe prison for not repaying loans.Literary critics say Charlotte Bronte's novel 'Villette,' is really about the dangers of Victorian life, before the invention of limited liability. One commentator notes the frequent use of the words crisis, panic, dread, terror, fever, frenzy and peril in the book.The ups and downs of the financial cycle cause the heroine's family to suffer, "shocks and repulses... humiliations and desolations." Ah yes, indeed.We may be entering a more Victorian world, where people's spending will be more in line with their incomes, and exposure to debt on mortgages and purchases of expensive consumer items will be more limited. For the time being at least, they are likely to receive every encouragement in this approach from the banks.

woensdag 15 december 2010

Christmas Contest

Christmas Contest

Send the Bronte Blog (read more above) your favourite, more Christmas-like quote from any Brontë work or letter.
It doesn't need to include the word 'Christmas'. We would rather the quotation conveys the feeling of what Christmas time feels like for you, or what Christmas time should be all about in your opinion.

maandag 13 december 2010

13-12-1852 Arthur Bell Nicholls proposed to Charlotte Bronte.


Arthur Bell Nicholls proposed to Charlotte Bronte. Charlotte informed her father who was not pleased about the marriage proposal. She wrote to Nicholls rejecting him.

This picture was taken in 1904, depicted Arthur Bell Nicholls as an old man, standing with his dog Pincher and a little girl outside his house in Ireland. He had returned to his native country after Charlotte’s death, taking with him the remaining Brontë dogs, servant and everything of sentimental value connected with her.
More information of Arthur Bell Nicholls click here.

zondag 12 december 2010


In deze dagen denk ik vaak aan de Bronte Sisters
Hoe vierden zij kerstfeest?

Een kerstboom heeft Charlotte misschien
alleen gezien,
 toen haar zussen en broer
overleden waren en zij beroemd was
en naar Londen reisde
de kerstboom kwam pas later
in de Victoriaanse tijd in de mode

misschien zag het er ongeveer zo uit
toen Maria Branwell
nog leefde

In alle biografieën lees ik
dat de zussen en broer
tijdens Kerstmis
 naar huis terugkeerden. 

Zij zullen ongetwijfeld
 een kerstdienst
in de kerk van hun vader
bijgewoond hebben
Ik kan me zo voorstellen
dat Anne en Charlotte
bezoeken aflegden
manden met voedingsmiddelen
 rondbrachten naar de armen
Versierden zij het huis?
Kookten zij extra lekker?
Wat aten ze?

The Christmas dinner was generally a huge family affair. In addition to the main meat dish, they served Christmas pudding with beef, raisins and prunes. Mince pie was a traditional dish to be eaten during the Twelve Days of Christmas to ensure luck throughout the coming new year.

Ze maakten vast muziek
Emily spelend op de piano
Wat we weten is dat
 ze schreven en lazen
en blij waren
dat ze bij elkaar waren.

Christmas Plum Pudding
2 cups soft bread crumbs
2 cups chopped suet
1 cup chopped raisins
1 cup chopped citron
1 cup cleaned currants
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
6 eggs
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 tablespoon lemon rind
Mix ingredients; pour into buttered mold; cover and steam four hours; bake in oven one-half hour. Serve with Wine Sauce
Wine Sauce
1/2 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
wine, brandy or vanilla
1 teaspoon hot water
Cream butter; add sugar by the teaspoon, and beat until light and creamy. Flavor and serve.

How did the Brontës celebrate Christmas? The simple answer is we do not know: apart from a poem by Anne celebrating music on Christmas morning and Mrs Gaskell’s passing reference to the recently married Charlotte and her husband taking a spice-cake as a gift to an elderly parishioner on Christmas Day, the biographical record is remarkably blank. Attending church would have been obligatory for the parson’s children but their novels suggest that the usual festivities were not neglected.

There is goose with apple sauce for Christmas dinner at Wuthering Heights, not to mention dancing and carol-singing when the Gimmerton band arrives.

And Jane Eyre’s preparations for her cousins’ return to Moor-House suggest first-hand experience: the ‘cleaning down’ of the house from top to bottom, laying fires in every room and the ‘solemnizing of … culinary rites’ including making Christmas cakes and mince-pies.

vrijdag 10 december 2010


The first edition of Wuthering Heights was published in December, 1847.

After Wuthering Heights was written, the sisters tried to find someone to publish it along with Anne’s novel Agnes Grey. They had trouble finding a publisher, and finally were able to convince Thomas Newby to publish it. He published Wuthering Heights as Volumes I & II, and Agnes Grey as Volume III. They had to pay money upfront for the publication, and contracted Newby to print 350 copies. However, Newby proved himslef to be a horrible published by only printing 250 copies and ignoring the proofing sheets submitted by Emily. This led to the first edition having many errors in the print. This first edition was published in December, 1847.

Wuthering Heights was first received by critics with hostile reviews. Five reviewers were found in Amily’s desk after her death and were reprinted in William Sale’s edition of Wuthering Heights. The first review was published in January 1848 by the Atlas. The Atlas review begins by calling Wuthering Heights a "strange, inartistic story…[that] is inexpressibly painful." The reviewer briefly touches on the mystery of the author of Wuthering Heights and whether it was written by a man or woman, and if the same person wrote Agnes Gray. He calls the questions of authorship "matters really of little account" but does assert his "private conviction" that the names of Currer, Acton, and Ellis Bell are "mere publishing names." The writer of the review asserts that there has never been a work of fiction that "presents such shocking pictures of the worst forms of humanity." The author believes that had there been a few "glimpses of sunshine" in the book, it would have "increased the reality of the picture and given strength rather than weakness to the whole." He describes every character in the book as "hateful or thoroughly contemptible" which makes the readers hate and despise them. He claims that even the women of the book "turn out badly." He ends his review by stating that the work of Ellis Bell is not a "great performance" like that of her sisters in Jane Eyre, but that it is "only a promise, but it is a colossal one."

December 1847, Wuthering Height and Agnes Grey published

The year 1847 was a remarkable one for the Bronte sisters of Haworth , Charlotte, Emily and Anne, as all became published novelists – Charlotte with Jane Eyre beating the other two by some six weeks or so in spite of the fact that Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey had both been accepted by the publisher (and crook) Thomas Newby before Jane Eyre had been completed.

Newby demanded payment of £50 each to publish Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey, but having received the money and at least type-set the book and produced proof copies he seems to have considered his duties at an end – indeed given the agreement was to return the £50 fees when 250 copies of the books had sold it was almost in his interest not to publish.
The success of Jane Eyre, published by a somewhat more ethical house,    persuaded Newby to publish Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey in a three-volume edition, expecting to cash in on the Bell pseudonym (though he had no idea that such it was) adopted by the sisters.

In spite of its lengthy time span it is a claustrophobic novel, the grim moors almost a prison for the actors in the story. Wuthering Heights shocked some contemporary reviewers, its dark tone and intertwining sexual tensions and relationships very different as it were from the home life of our own dear Queen. Had Emily not hidden behind the apparently male name Ellis Bell it might have stirred greater controversy. That view changed over time, the novel eventually recognized as a classic of the genre, with innumerable films, TV series and other adaptations and takes on the story made, most famously the 1939 with Laurence Olivier as an unconvincing Heathcliff, and perhaps the song which made Kate Bush’s name in 1978.

maandag 6 december 2010

The Brontës. Revised and Updated Edition - A Review

Over the years at BrontëBlog we have reviewed a few books which we have claimed couldn't be missing from a Brontëite's bookshelf, but if there's just one book - apart from the Brontë novels, of course! - that simply has to be there then it's Juliet Barker's thorough biography The Brontës.

First released in 1994, it became an instant classic, and deservedly so. The wealth of information contained there in and Juliet Barker's clearly extensie research in order to get nearly each and every fact ever linked to the Brontës verified is simply overwhelming. Juliet Barker's goal was no other than to try and dispel - or confirm - the many myths surrounding the Brontë family(1) going back to the sources, thus doing the dirty work for many present and future researchers. A huge number of the books/articles on the Brontës' lives published since then have listed The Brontës in their bibliography.
Time didn't stop in 1994 and as we say many books have been published since and a few discoveries have been made. And so Juliet Barker decided it was time to update the book and so, too, keep it in print for the new generations of Brontëites.
The Brontës. Revised and Updated Edition - A Review

Tabby, badly breaking a leg, in december 1837

In December 1836, around christmas, Tabby slipped on ice in Haworth's main street, badly breaking her leg. Aunt Branwell suggested that she leave the Parsonage to be nursed by her sister Susannah, but the Brontë children objected, even going on hunger strike, and Tabby stayed in the Parsonage nursed by the children. The leg never fully healed however, and over the next 3 years many of Tabby's duties were taken up by Emily.

Les soeurs Brontë (1979)

Isabelle Adjani - Les soeurs Brontë

Les soeurs Brontë (1979)

Les soeurs Brontë (1979)

Trailer - Les soeurs Brontë (1979)

zondag 5 december 2010

World's First Christmas Card

The first commercial Christmas cards were commissioned by Sir Henry Cole in London in 1843 and featured an illustration by John Callcott Horsley.[1] The picture, of a family with a small child drinking wine together, proved controversial, but the idea was shrewd: Cole had helped introduce the Penny Post three years earlier. Two batches totaling 2,050 cards were printed and sold that year for a shilling each.
Early English cards rarely showed winter or religious themes, instead favoring flowers, fairies and other fanciful designs that reminded the recipient of the approach of spring. Humorous and sentimental images of children and animals were popular, as were increasingly elaborate shapes, decorations and materials. In 1875 Louis Prang became the first printer to offer cards in America, though the popularity of his cards led to cheap imitations that eventually drove him from the market. The advent of the postcard spelled the end for elaborate Victorian-style cards, but by the 1920s, cards with envelopes had returned.

Een Victoriaanse kerstkaart

Toen Koningin Victoria met aan haar zijde Prins Albert in 1837 de Engelse troon besteeg was er eigenlijk al tijden geen echt kerstfeest meer. Oliver Cromwell en zijn rigide puriteinse handlangers hadden daar halverwege de zeventiende eeuw korte metten mee gemaakt. In het land bestonden nog steeds wel allerlei Joelfeesttradities, maar die kenden een marginaal bestaan.
De uit Duitsland afkomstige Prins Albert gaf de aanzet tot een radicale ommezwaai. Hij introduceerde in Windsor Castle de ‘Weinachtsbaum’, een kerstboom vol licht.

zaterdag 4 december 2010

Christmas In Victorian England

Prince Albert married Queen Victoria and brought many German customs with him that Christmas began to gain popularity again.

One of the first signs of Christmas was the arrival of the Christmas card in the post. John Calcott Horsley designed the first Christmas card in 1846 for Sir Henry Cole, Chairman of the Society of the Arts. Only 1000 cards were printed that first year and were expensive, but the pattern for the future was formed. Then in 1870, postage was reduced to one half penny per ounce and a cheaper color lithography was used for printing. Thus began the real spread of the Christmas card. By the early 1870s, the custom had reached the United States. At first, designs were simple, but as technology advanced, new subjects evolved. By the 1860s, popular designs were Christmas feasts, church bells, snowbound mail-coaches and turkey and plum puddings.

Christmas decorations sometimes appeared well before the holiday, also, but many still held to the old superstition of bad luck to erect evergreens before Christmas Eve. The most favored plants were all 'magical' because of the mid-winter berries they produced--mistletoe, holly and ivy. The red berry of the holly was believed to protect one against witchcraft. The sprig had to be carried into the house by a male, as the berry is on the 'male' holly plant. One use for holly sprigs was to decorate the Christmas pudding. The 'female' ivy symbolized immortality. Mistletoe, because of its pagan origins, was not allowed in any church. Kissing under the mistletoe was a purely English custom, and only as many berries as were on the mistletoe, could there be kisses. For after every kiss, a berry had to be removed from the sprig.

The Christmas tree can truly be called a Victorian innovation. The custom of a lighted tree began in Germany and German settlers brought the idea to America. But it wasn't until Prince Albert, of German descent, brought the Christmas tree to England in 1840 that it gained popularity there. By 1847, the trees at Windsor Castle were laden with presents as well as wax candles. The tradition spread as English citizens followed the Royal example. The trees and other decorations were removed on Twelfth Night (January 6). To do so before or after was considered bad luck.

Families began their Christmas Day by celebrating mass. (Christmas Eve services did not become popular until after the Second World War.) The peal of bells called everyone to church. At services, scriptural lessons were interspersed with carols. Most of the carols we sing today were written in the nineteenth century, although old favorites such as 'Silent Night' and 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing' are much older.

Carols were also sung at home and families even walked door-to-door to entertain others. Also going from house-to-house were the wassailers. These were usually the poor of the parish, who sought donations of drink, food or money as they invited others to drink from their wooden bowl.

Christmas dinner was a grand affair. Goose, chicken or a joint of roast beef took center stage on the table. Turkey, while popular in America, wasn't customary fare until late in the 19th century in England. Christmas pudding, made with beef, raisins and prunes, was mixed on Stir-up Sunday, the Sunday before Advent, in order for the mixture to mature. All present in the house took turns stirring the pudding with a wooden spoon (in honor of the Christ child's wooden crib). The stirring had to be done in a clockwise direction for luck. Mince pies were another traditional dish. They were sweeter, made with mincemeat, fruit and spices, and had to be eaten for the twelve days of Christmas to ensure twelve months of luck in the coming year. Each one eaten had to be baked by a different person, however, so there was much sharing with friends.

After dinner, children pulled their crackers and everyone exchanged gifts. The evening usually ended with parlor games and carol singing.

by Michelle J. Hoppe

zondag 28 november 2010

Villette, directed dreaming

In Charlotte Brontë’s book Villette, her heroine, Lucy Snowe, accidentally takes too much opium, and spends an evening intensely tripping. When Ms Brontë was asked how she, a parson’s daughter in a remote Yorkshire village, could accurately describe what opium felt like, she said that every night, before she went to bed, she deliberately thought about this particular scene as she fell asleep. On the third night of trying this, she dreamt the entire scene in its entirety, with all the sensations and visions Lucy had.
Of course, this could have been a way of covering up the fact that her brother was an opium addict, and she probably got the facts from him. She did say, however, that she often used this method when she wasn’t sure how to write a scene, or how a character thought or felt. Many creative types use directed dreaming when they’re stuck.



Bookings for Mirfield's Brontë-themed Christmas all-charity fund-raising events. Some Brontë descendants of Rev Patrick Brontë's brothers and sisters to be present at some of the events. All funded by local businesses in North Kirklees and Haworth and friends of Kirklees Brontë Group.
Sun 28th November. A Brontë walk in the footsteps of the Brontës when they walked from Roe Head school to St Mary's parish church, Mirfield. We will see what is left of the former Blake Hall site, where Anne Brontë was a governess. Then back to the church hall where one can purchase refreshment and food and see the exihibition about the St Mary's church history and the Brontë connection. The walk starts at 1pm across from Holly Bank School, Mirfield, at the top of Whitleys Garden centre to be led by Ken Dews from the Kirklees Ramblers. It will take about one and a half hours at the most. All are welcome - just turn up. Some of us to have collection tins for Help the Heroes.

vrijdag 26 november 2010

Nieuwste verfilming van Jane Eyre

De nieuwste verfilming van Jane Eyre zal op 11 maart 2011 voor het eerst in de bioscoop te zien zijn. Dat heeft filmmaatschappij Focus Features bekendgemaakt.

December 2010

30 November: The Bronte Society. Festive candlelit tours of the Bronte Parsonage Museum, Haworth - £14 in advance
5 December: The Gaskell Society. Open Day at Plymouth Grove, Manchester, 12 - 4 pm, followed by Christmas entertainment, led by Delia Corrie and Charles Foster. Price £7.50 incuding seasonal refreshments.
7 December: The Bronte Society. Festive candlelit tours of the Bronte Parsonage Museum, Haworth - £14 in advance 11 December: The Bronte Society. S E Group Christmas dinner at the Strand Palace Hotel in London.
14 December: The Gaskell Society. Meeting at Cross Street Chapel, Manchester - Ann Peart on Unitarian networks of William and Elizabeth Gaskell, plus some Christmas cheer. Starting at 1pm - £3 for non-members.
Festive Candlelit Tours at Brontë Parsonage

The Parsonage is always decorated for advent with traditional holly and ivy, which looks wonderful, but it will be a very special experience to see the period rooms of the house also lit by candles. It’s very atmospheric and gives an even greater sense of the house as a home. In the Brontës’ time Christmas was of course a religious festival, without all the commercial emphasis we have now. We like to think that these evenings will capture something of Christmas past and we hope that people will come along and enjoy that.

Andrew McCarthy
Director, Brontë Parsonage Museum

As a child, Heathcliff was plucked from the streets of Liverpool and taken in by Mr Earnshaw. His actual provenance is unknown, but in Brontë's 1847 novel the boy is variously described as being "dusky" or "a gipsy". One character says he looks like "a little Lascar, or an American or Spanish castaway".

Fascinating. What's a Lascar? It's a 19th-century term for an East Indian sailor.

Right. So he's dark-skinned but he has never been played by a dark-skinned actor. Until now, that is: a new adaptation directed by Andrea Arnold (who won an Oscar for Fish Tank) will star an unknown black actor called James Howson.

zondag 21 november 2010

Haworth, November 1904" by Virginia Woolf

Haworth was the home of the Brontë family. Virginia Woolf's account of a visit to Haworth was the first of her writings to be accepted for publication (and the second to appear in print.) Woolf's article was first published in The Guardian, unsigned, on 21st December, 1904.

I do not know whether pilgrimages to the shrines of famous men ought not to be condemned as sentimental journeys. It is better to read Carlyle in your own study chair than to visit the sound-proof room and pore over the manuscripts at Chelsea. I should be inclined to set up an examination on Frederick the Great in place of an entrance fee; only, in that case, the house would soon have to be shut up. The curiosity is only legitimate when the house of a great writer or the country in which it is set adds something to our understanding of his books. This justification you have for a pilgrimage to the home and country of Charlotte Brontë and her sisters.
The Life, by Mrs Gaskell, gives you the impression that Haworth and the Brontës are somehow inextricably mixed. Haworth expresses the Brontës; the Brontës express Haworth; they fit like a snail to its shell. How far surroundings radically affect people's minds, it is not for me to ask: superficially, the influence is great, but it is worth asking if the famous parsonage had been placed in a London slum, the dens of Whitechapel would not have had the same result as the lonely Yorkshire moors. However, I am taking away my only excuse for visiting Haworth. Unreasonable or not, one of the chief points of a recent visit to Yorkshire was that an expedition to Haworth could be accomplished. The necessary arrangements were made, and we determined to take advantage of the first day for our expedition. A real northern snowstorm had been doing the honours of the moors. It was rash to wait fine weather, and it was also cowardly. I understand that the sun very seldom shone on the Brontë family, and if we chose a really fine day we should have to make allowance for the fact that fifty years ago there were few fine days at Haworth, and that we were, therefore, for sake of comfort, rubbing out half the shadows on the picture. However, it would be interesting to see what impression Haworth could make upon the brilliant weather of Settle. We certainly passed through a very cheerful land, which might be likened to a vast wedding cake, of which the icing was slightly undulating; the earth was bridal in its virgin snow, which helped to suggest the comparison.

Keighley - pronounced Keethly - is often mentioned in the Life; it was the big town four miles from Haworth in which Charlotte walked to make her more important purchases - her wedding gown, perhaps, and the thin little cloth boots which we examined under glass in the Brontë Museum. It is a big manufacturing town, hard and stony, and clattering with business, in the way of these Northern towns. They make small provision for the sentimental traveller, and our only occupation was to picture the slight figure of Charlotte trotting along the streets in her thin mantle, hustled into the gutter by more burly passers-by. It was the Keighley of her day, and that was some comfort. Our excitement as we neared Haworth had in it an element of suspense that was really painful, as though we were to meet some long-separated friend, who might have changed in the interval - so clear an image of Haworth had we from print and picture. At a certain point we entered the valley, up both sides of which the village climbs, and right on the hill-top, looking down over its parish, we saw the famous oblong tower of the church. This marked the shrine at which we were to do homage.
It may have been the effect of a sympathetic imagination, but I think that there were good reasons why Haworth did certainly strike one not exactly as gloomy, but, what is worse for artistic purposes, as dingy and commonplace. The houses, built of yellow-brown stone, date from the early nineteenth century. They climb the moor step by step in little detached strips, some distance apart, so that the town instead of making one compact blot on the landscape has contrived to get a whole stretch into its clutches. There is a long line of houses up the moor-side, which clusters round the church and parsonage with a little clump of trees. At the top the interest for a Brontë lover becomes suddenly intense. The church, the parsonage, the Brontë Museum, the school where Charlotte taught, and the Bull Inn where Branwell drank are all within a stone's throw of each other. The museum is certainly rather a pallid and inanimate collection of objects. An effort ought to be made to keep things out of these mausoleums, but the choice often lies between them and destruction, so that we must be grateful for the care which has preserved much that is, under any circumstances, of deep interest. Here are many autograph letters, pencil drawings, and other documents. But the most touching case - so touching that one hardly feels reverent in one's gaze - is that which contains the little personal relics of the dead woman. The natural fate of such things is to die before the body that wore them, and because these, trifling and transient though they are, have survived, Charlotte Brontë the woman comes to life, and one forgets the chiefly memorable fact that she was a great writer. Her shoes and her thin muslin dress have outlived her. One other object gives a thrill; the little oak stool which Emily carried with her on her solitary moorland tramps, and on which she sat, if not to write, as they say, to think what was probably better than her writing.
The church, of course, save part of the tower, is renewed since Brontë days; but that remarkable churchyard remains. The old edition of the Life had on its title-page a little print which struck the keynote of the book; it seemed to be all graves - gravestones stood ranked all round; you walked on a pavement lettered with dead names; the graves had solemnly invaded the garden of the parsonage itself, which was as a little oasis of life in the midst of the dead. This is no exaggeration of the artist's, as we found: the stones seem to start out of the ground at you in tall, upright lines, like and army of silent soldiers. there is no hand's breadth untenanted; indeed, the economy of space is somewhat irreverent. In old days a flagged path, which suggested the slabs of graves, led from the front door of the parsonage to the churchyard without interruption of wall or hedge; the garden was practically the graveyard too; the successors of the Brontës, however, wishing a little space between life and death, planted a hedge and several tall trees, which now cut off the parsonage garden completely. The house itself is precisely the same as it was in Charlotte's day, save that one new wing has been added. It is easy to shut the eye to this, and then you have the square, boxlike parsonage, built of the ugly yellow-brown stone which they quarry from the moors behind, precisely as it was when Charlotte lived and died there. Inside, of course, the changes are many, though not such as to obscure the original shape of the rooms. There is nothing remarkable in a mid-Victorian parsonage, though tenanted by genius, and the only room which awakens curiosity is the kitchen, now used as an ante-room, in which the girls tramped as they conceived their work. One other spot has a certain grim interest - the oblong recess beside the staircase into which Emily drove her bulldog during the famous fight, and pinned him while she pommelled him. It is otherwise a little sparse parsonage, much like others of its kind. It was due to the courtesy of the present incumbent that we were allowed to inspect it; in his place I should often feel inclined to exorcise the three famous ghosts.

One thing only remained: the church in which Charlotte worshipped, was married, and lies buried. The circumference of her life was very narrow. Here, though much is altered, a few things remain to tell of her. The slab which bears the names of the succession of children and of their parents - their births and deaths - strikes the eye first. Name follows name; at very short intervals they died - Maria the mother, Maria the daughter, Elizabeth, Branwell, Emily, Anne, Charlotte, and lastly the old father, who outlived them all. Emily was only thirty years old, and Charlotte but nine years older. 'The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law, but thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.' That is the inscription which has been placed beneath their names, and with reason; for however harsh the struggle, Emily, and Charlotte above all, fought to victory.

The Alliance of Literary Societies

30 November: The Bronte Society. Festive candlelit tours of the Bronte Parsonage Museum, Haworth - £14 in advance
December 2010
5 December: The Gaskell Society. Open Day at Plymouth Grove, Manchester, 12 - 4 pm, followed by Christmas entertainment, led by Delia Corrie and Charles Foster. Price £7.50 incuding seasonal refreshments.
7 December: The Bronte Society. Festive candlelit tours of the Bronte Parsonage Museum, Haworth - £14 in advance
11 December: The Bronte Society. S E Group Christmas dinner at the Strand Palace Hotel in London.
14 December: The Gaskell Society. Meeting at Cross Street Chapel, Manchester - Ann Peart on Unitarian networks of William and Elizabeth Gaskell, plus some Christmas cheer. Starting at 1pm - £3 for non-members.

zaterdag 20 november 2010

Haworth Christmas Festival

Haworth Christmas Festival
Sat 27, Sun 28 Nov 2010
Pipes, Bows and Bells at Main Street, Haworth
Santa Specials at Keighley and Worth Valley Railway
Sat 4, Sun 5 Dec 2010
Pantomime Weekend at Main Street, Haworth
Santa Specials at Keighley and Worth Valley Railway
Sat 11, Sun 12 Dec 2010
Santa Specials at Keighley and Worth Valley Railway
Torchlight Procession Weekend at Main Street, Haworth
Sat 18, Sun 19 Dec 2010
Nativity Weekend at Main Street, Haworth
Santa Specials at Keighley and Worth Valley Railway

Historic picture of Haworth 1890

The Jenkinses’ house in Ixelles

Brian Bracken reports on an important discovery concerning the location of the house of the Rev. Evan Jenkins, the British chaplain in Brussels whose home was so often visited by the Brontë sisters.

The Jenkins family played an important role in the Brontë Brussels story, introducing Emily and Charlotte to the Hegers and their Pensionnat, yet the only concrete address we've ever had for the family's home in Ixelles is from W. Gérin's famous biography of Charlotte Brontë, wherein she cites the address as Chaussée d'Ixelles, 304. This lies near the Place Flagey end of the Chaussée. It would have proved a long enough walk for the Brontës, coming from downtown Brussels on their Sunday visits to the Jenkinses. However, our new research has shown that the address provided by Gérin is incorrect.The Brontë biographer repeats an erroneous address listed in the 1840 Indicateur Belge, used by her as a source book. If one looks at other Indicateurs, or address books, for Brussels in the period 1838-1848, the Jenkins address is clearly given as Ch.d'Ixelles, 388. The Ixelles Commune's Population Census for 1846 confirms this address.

However the Chaussée d'Ixelles we know today ends at number 359. So where was number 388? This has a simple explanation - the houses of Ixelles underwent a major numbering change between the years 1846 and 1850. Chaussée d'Ixelles 388, in the new numbering system became Chaussée d'Ixelles, 138. The death certificate of the Rev. Evan Jenkins, issued by the Ixelles Commune, confirms this. He died at this address, on 23 September 1849.

Where was number 138 located exactly on the Chaussée? Reading the 1846 and 1856 Census Registers for Ixelles, it's clear that the house bearing this number lay between the Rue de la Paix and the Rue de la Tulipe, on the left hand side as one goes from the Porte de Namur to Place Fernand Cocq. It was located about eight or nine houses before the corner of Rue de la Tulipe. The Ixelles cadastral maps of 1836 and 1866 also show this position. On their Sunday afternoon visits here, the Brontë sisters, accompanied by the Rev. Jenkins' sons, John and Edward, would have walked up from the Place Royale in half an hour at the most.

We must note, however, that the Ch. d'Ixelles,138 of the 1840s is not the 138 we see today. There were further minor house number changes on the Chaussée over the last 160 years, with the result that the house would have stood somewhere between the present day 144 and 148, still on the same section of the Chaussée d'Ixelles, between the Rues de la Paix and de la Tulipe. It's impossible to be more precise for the moment. The street has seen a lot of new constuction over the years, and old houses have been swallowed up by new blocks of flats. Numbers 144 and 146 today are neoclassical houses of 19th century origin, with transformations, and it's possible either one of the two is the Jenkins house.

In any case, even if no further information can be attained, it's certain that the Jenkins family's home, whose whereabouts has long since been a puzzle, was located on this part of the Chaussée d'Ixelles. Our research also offers one of those mysterious coincidences sometimes found in Brontë studies - the house we have been patiently seeking, and which Charlotte and Emily often visited many years ago, may in fact be the house now occupied by a shoe shop called … Pronti !http://brusselsbronte.blogspot.com/2010/11/jenkinses-house-in-ixelles.html

woensdag 17 november 2010

Lesson from Mr. Heger to Charlotte and Emily/ Caterpillar / Butterfly

In the twin essays Caterpillar (Charlotte) and Butterfly (Emily) it seems M. Heger has asked the sisters to write about an insect’s metamorphosis and to draw a moral lesson from their description. For Charlotte the caterpillar is like man, he eats and crawls through a miserable existence, the chrysalis is the tomb, and the butterfly resurrection. Charlotte’s French is good but the parable conventional.

Emily meanwhile rages imperfectly but unnervingly that “All creation is equally mad” [La création entière est également insensée], before squashing the caterpillar she finds eating a plant. A last-minute butterfly flies past to make her wonder if there might be something other than her dark thoughts, but the reader is left with her impression that “Every being must be the tireless instrument of death to others, or itself must cease to live”.

maandag 15 november 2010

Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre

The Bronte sisters were pretty amazing young ladies – Charlotte and Emily, especially. Both have their classic works up for adaptation again, but we’ll be getting Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre first. Andrea Arnold is busy working away on Wuthering Heights as I type.
A wonderful and very moody poster has debuted on the film’s Facebook page. The lead has been taken by Alice in Wonderland star Mia Wasikowska and expect Michael Fassbender to be all mean and aloof as Mr. Rochester in this Focus Pictures adaptation due in March 2011.

There’s fine support on offer in the forms of Jamie Bell and Judi Dench. If you’ve never read the book – get yourself to a library and prepare to be wowed. And no, it’s not a chick’s book, either but one of the finest stories written in English. One has high hopes for this given the cast and director.
Based on Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel, the romantic drama stars Mia Wasikowska (“Alice in Wonderland”) and Michael Fassbender (“Inglourious Basterds”) in the lead roles. In the story, Jane Eyre flees Thornfield House, where she works as a governess for wealthy Edward Rochester. The isolated and imposing residence – and Mr. Rochester’s coldness – have sorely tested the young woman’s resilience, forged years earlier when she was orphaned. As Jane reflects upon her past and recovers her natural curiosity, she will return to Mr. Rochester – and the terrible secret that he is hiding…

zondag 14 november 2010

Exhibit explores dark lives, bright talent of the Brontes - LancasterOnline.com Entertainment

Exhibit explores dark lives, bright talent of the Brontes - LancasterOnline.com Entertainment

When it comes to literary families, is any one more fascinating, more talented and more tragic than the Brontes?

Between the three sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, they wrote some of the greatest literature of the 19th century, including "Jane Eyre" (Charlotte), "Wuthering Heights" (Emily) and "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" (Anne).
But their talents went beyond the printed word. The sisters and their brother, Branwell, were all gifted artists.
The Lancaster Literary Guild has put the Brontes in the spotlight with their new exhibit, "A Portrait of the Family as Artists," which runs through Dec. 17. (Call for hours.)
A year in the making, the exhibit features reproductions of family letters, poems and numerous sketches and paintings of and by the family, as well as a narrative of their all-too-brief lives.
The exhibit has been a labor of love for Betsy Hurley, the executive director of the Lancaster Literary Guild, who put it together with the help of interns Constance Renfrow and Hillary Flynn.
"The Brontes are the reason I am doing what I am doing," Hurley says.

She became fascinated by them when she was attending the Nightingale-Bamford School, a girl's prep school in New York City. One of her teachers was a Bronte scholar who introduced her to their story and their work.

Read more: http://articles.lancasteronline.com/local/4/311301#ixzz15GZOpiLd

Jane Eyre Reader Guide

An accessible guide to Jane Eyre that explores its literary and historical contexts and discusses its critical reception.
Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre is one of the most famous literary works of the nineteenth century and has inspired generations of students. This concise but comprehensive guide to the text introduces its contexts, language, reception and adaptation from its first publication to the present. It includes points for discussion, suggestions for further study and an annotated guide to relevant reading. This introduction to the text is the ideal companion to study, offering guidance on:

• Literary and historical context
• Language, style and form
• Reading the text
• Critical reception and publishing history
• Adaptation and interpretation
• Further reading

Jane Eyre Reader Guide

woensdag 10 november 2010

Rare Brontë novel sells for record £163,250

Jar Bancroft of the weblog bancroftsfromyorkshire.blogspot.com 
told me about this story ( standing in the KeighleyNews)

A rare first edition copy of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights has sold at auction for a record price.

The three-volume book, published in 1847, fetched £163,250 when it went under the hammer last Thursday, at Sotheby’s, in London. The figure — more than double the pre-sale estimate — is the most ever paid at auction for a copy of the classic novel.
The buyer was an unnamed American dealer.

Andrew McCarthy, director of the Brontë Parsonage Museum, at Haworth, said: “In the context of the worldwide recession it seems a lot of money and is quite surprising, but anything associated with Emily fetches that bit more.

The book was among 123 rare publications, mostly first editions, which together sold for more than £3.1 million.
The seller was a 75-year-old collector.

Also included in the lots was a first edition copy of Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, which sold for £85,250 — slightly above its estimate.

A first edition of Scenes of Clerical Life, by George Eliot, which was once owned by the Keighley Reading Society, failed to sell.

maandag 8 november 2010


Click on elizabethgaskell.wordpress.com

I can testify to a magnificent family red silk umbrella, under which a gentle little spinster, left alone of many brothers and sisters, used to patter to church on rainy days. Have you any red silk umbrellas in London? We had a tradition of the first that had ever been seen in Cranford; and the little boys mobbed it, and called it “a stick in petticoats.” It might have been the very red silk one I have described, held by a strong father over a troop of little ones; the poor little lady – the survivor of all – could scarcely carry it.

Rond 1760 werden in Frankrijk de termen paraplu en parasol wettelijk vastgelegd. De paraplu werd toen in Europa vooral gezien als een product voor welgestelde dames. Vanaf 1750 begonnen ook mannen in Groot-Brittannië paraplu's bij zich te dragen, onder invloed van Jonas Hanway (1712-1786).

Klik hier voor leuke verhalen mbt de paraplu

zondag 7 november 2010

The Brontë Sisters

The Brontë Sisters

Authors: Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, and Anne Brontë. Designer: Kelly Blair. Cover Artist: Unknown. Art Director: Roseanne Serra. Editor: Elda Rotor.

Roseanne Serra, Art Director:

When dealing with our more special Penguin Classics, we are always thinking of how to create a special package. It has to be gorgeous, gifty, something you just have to have for its sheer beauty. I worked with Kelly Blair on Jane Austen: The Complete Novels. I wanted a gorgeous period piece that was also contemporary. In the end, the black silhouette of the tree gave the cover that darkness it needed without being depressing and took a traditional old painting and gave it new life.

Kelly Blair, Designer:

For me, this was one of those magic jobs where everyone was in agreement right from the beginning. This cover is one of the first ideas I sent in to Roseanne, and it was decided upon very quickly. It was my favourite as well. I love that the full cover speaks to the three authors as well as the mood and place of the novels. I look forward to hearing how the Brontë sisters feel about the cover.

Juliette Wells, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English, Manhattan College:

Three sisters, each prodigiously talented but far from conventionally beautiful, are screened from the public world by pen names. Isolated together, they create works of fierce imagination side by side, in a gloomy house abutting the natural world, where they found solace and inspiration. Their originality is acclaimed and despised in equal measure by their contemporaries, who feared such passion in young women. Knowing how soon the shadow of death would fall on them all, who would not prefer to imagine the sisters as portrayed here: a trio of lovely women whose gaze speaks of genius.

vrijdag 5 november 2010

PG-13 rating for Jane Eyre 2011

PG-13 rating for Jane Eyre 2011

Haworth Church

Visitors to Haworth church could soon be able to visit the crypt where two of the famous Brontë sisters are buried.

The Reverend Peter Mayo-Smith, rector of Haworth, hopes to allow access to the crypt as part of a £1.25 million repair programme at the church.
Mr Mayo-Smith said opening up the crypt could prove a major attraction to fans of the Brontë sisters' writing.
He said: "For people to actually see or feel themselves close to the Brontës would be the most amazing experience."
A plaque in Haworth church is the only sign the Brontës are buried there

Emily Brontë, writer of the torrid love story Wuthering Heights, and Charlotte Brontë, who is perhaps most famous for writing Jane Eyre, are both buried in the crypt under Haworth parish church.
The legendary literary sisters lie alongside other family members who once lived in the nearby parsonage, including their father Patrick and their infamous brother Branwell.

The Reverend Peter Mayo-Smith said the campaign to raise the money needed to repair the church was now underway.
Mr Mayo-Smith said the crypt would need some major work before visitors could be given access.
He explained: "There is a beautiful Victorian arch which at the moment is an absolute mess
"There is a huge oil tank which is redundant and then, on the other side, is where the Brontës are buried."

He said there was huge potential for opening up the crypt so tourists - many of whom come to Haworth from across the world, including from Japan and the United States - could get closer than ever to the final resting place of the two 19th century literary giants.
He said: "Potentially, we don't know yet, we are hoping to be able to see into the crypt where the sisters are buried rather than people just leaving flowers on the marker above."
Mr Mayo-Smith has launched the £1.25 million fundraising campaign, amid hopes that English Heritage might provide half the cash alongside money from Brontë enthusiasts and local businesses.

He said if the big plans for Haworth parish church came to fruition, he hoped they would help boost the economy of the popular tourist village.
He explained: "We want to make sure the church is here for another 150 years.
"If we enhance Haworth church then we can really build something good.
"That will enhance the number of visitors coming into Haworth which has the knock-on effect for all the traders of the village with more income coming into an area which, at times, is struggling."
Read Here

Haworth Parish Church

Traders are urging people to support a £1.25 million fundraising project to repair one of the most photographed and visited churches in the world.
They are being rallied to back the project to restore the famous Haworth Parish Church where the Reverend Patrick Bronte, father of the famous Bronte sisters, was in charge until 1861.
The building also houses the crypt where most of the famous literary family is buried. The plight of the church was revealed in yesterday’s Telegraph & Argus.
Mike Hutchinson, chairman of Haworth Village Association, said it was particularly important that help should come from Government sources in these tough financial times.
The project involves repairing the leaking roof, installing a new heating system and re-wiring.
A band of business experts has already volunteered to help steer the fundraising activities by forming a Futures Group. Mr Hutchinson said: “This is an iconic building, a focal point of the village.
“Its importance is crucial to both its religious significance and as a tourist destination. It’s regarded world-wide as the Bronte church.”
Andrew McCarthy, director of the Bronte Parsonage Museum, said: “Haworth’s history and heritage is not simply the Brontes.
“There are other significant aspects of the village’s history and the church has its own heritage as well as its vital connection with the Bronte family. It’s very important the building is taken care of.
“We are supporting the fundraising initiative and despite our own challenges are keen to do anything we can to help.” Haworth Church vicar the Reverend Peter Mayo-Smith said an application had already been made to English Heritage for help.
He said: “We’ll be expected to match fund whatever they may offer. We are among a shortlist of 14 and are hoping to hear the outcome by December.”
Read Here

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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