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

zaterdag 17 juli 2010

'Smith, Elder and Co.

65, Cornhill, London - the premises of Smith, Elder & Co. - Charlotte's publishers. It was into this building where she and Anne walked on Saturday, 8 July 1848, and shocked George Smith (who had already published Jane Eyre, but had never met its author) by presenting him with his own letter that he had addressed to 'Currer Bell': it took him several moments to realise that standing in front of him were Currer and Acton Bell - authors of Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

On Internet I found this picture
65 Cornhill EC3 (E I'Anson, completed 1870), City of London. Formerly a trading house, now the Shanghai Commerical Bank.
Is this the same building????

Smith, Elder was a London publishing firm noted for its association with many of the foremost writers of the day, including the Brontes, Ruskin, and Thackeray. Founded by George Smith (1789-1846) and Alexander Elder (c. 1790-1876), the firm began as booksellers and stationers in Fenchurch Street, moving to 65 Cornhill in 1824. It was also involved in agency and banking with a strong Indian connection. In 1833, Smith, Elder started 'The Library of Romance', original works in one volume at 6s, the first of a number of attempts by publishers to reduce the price of fiction, already dictated by the circulating libraries.

George Smith

William Smith Williams

George Smith II (1824-1901) became sole head of the firm in 1846, moving to Waterloo Place in 1869. He was renowned as an honourable, hardworking and astute businessman, backing his judgement by offering authors generous payments. Smith founded the Cornhill in 1860, the Pall Mall Gazette in 1865 and launched the Dictionary of National Biography in 1882. The firm was absorbed by John Murray in 1916.

Collins was first introduced to Smith by Ruskin, with a view to publishing Antonina. Smith declined, not wanting a classical novel, but issued After Dark in 1856. Smith always regretted missing The Woman in White. After a few instalments of the serial, in January 1860, Collins received an offer from Sampson Low. He had promised Smith the opportunity of bidding for the book and wrote to him accordingly. Smith asked his clerks but none of them was familiar with the serial. He therefore dictated a hasty note offering a modest £500 and rushed off to a dinner party where he learned that everyone was raving about The Woman in White. He subsequently claimed that had he known this he would have multiplied his offer fivefold.
Smith was also unsuccessful in obtaining No Name, succeeding only in pushing up the price paid by Low to £3,000. Still determined to publish Collins, he secured Armadale for The Cornhill with an offer of £5,000, the largest sum at that time paid to any novelist except Dickens. Smith, Elder also published for Collins the dramatic version of Armadale (1866) in an edition of twenty-five copies.

From 1865, Smith, Elder added to After Dark the seven copyrights previously held by Sampson Low. Until the mid 1870s, Smith, Elder issued various one volume editions which included Armadale and, from 1871, The Moonstone. Smith at this time declined Collins's proposal for cheap reissues. In 1875, therefore, the copyright to most of his earlier works was transferred to Chatto & Windus. There was some period of overlap since Smith, Elder yellowbacks dated 1876 continued to advertise their editions although Chatto & Windus had already issued thirteen titles by July 1875. Smith, Elder retained Armadale, After Dark and No Name and continued to issue them throughout the 1880s. They were not published by Chatto & Windus until 1890.

Lee, Sir Sidney, 'Memoir of George Smith' in Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford; reprinted in George Smith: a Memoir with Some Pages of Autiobiography, for private circulation, London 1902.

Een kranten artikel/ a newspaper story

Document Information: Title: George Smith: publisher
Author(s): Eric Glasgow, (Eric Glasgow is a Retired University Teacher, Southport, Merseyside, UK.)
Citation: Eric Glasgow, (1999) "George Smith: publisher", Library Review, Vol. 48 Iss: 6, pp.290 - 298
Keywords: Books, History, Literature, Publishing, UK
Article type: Research paper
DOI: 10.1108/00242539910283813 (Permanent URL)
Publisher: MCB UP Ltd

Abstract: This is a brief study of the character, and the professional career, of one of the most spectacular and prolific of all the huge medley of book-publishers in Victorian London. George Smith is perhaps today somewhat overshadowed by other famous names. Nevertheless, in 1944, the Cambridge historian, G.M. Trevelyan, singled him from the rest: as the publisher of the monumental Dictionary of National Biography. As the nineteenth century’s cult of printed books inevitably now recedes in favour of information technology, perhaps the time is ripe for this succinct evaluation of an extraordinary publisher from Victorian times who promoted not only works by Leslie Stephen, Thackeray, and many other literary men but particularly works by women-novelists, such as Charlotte Bronte and Elizabeth Gaskell, despite the fact that he was far from being a “feminist”, in our own contemporary sense.

1 opmerking:

  1. I have to tell you how wonderful and great your website is! I´m also a big fan of the Brontës. When I am looking for some new knowledges about them, Google send me very often to your blog which is unfailing source of informations about this family..
    Congratulations and very big thanks.. :) K. from janeeyre.blog.cz
    And sorry for my English, it has to be full of mistakes. :) :)


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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