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

vrijdag 16 april 2010

Sales of Wuthering Heights

Sales of Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte's classic gothic novel set on the Yorkshire moors, have quadrupled over the last year thanks to its appearance in the cult teenage film Twilight.

After 150 years of steady sales, the romance between Heathcliff and Cathy has started flying off the shelves thanks to a generation of teenagers discovering the book through the Twilight saga – a trilogy of books by Stephanie Meyer, which have been turned into hugely popular films, staring Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. (...)

And now, thanks to the lead character Bella quoting Wuthering Heights and comparing her love for the vampire Edward with Cathy's passion for Heathcliff, some of the magic is rubbing off on Emily Bronte's great work.

Wuthering Heights, before the first Twilight books came out in 2005 sold 8,551 a year in Britain. However, the publishers Harper Collins reissued Wuthering Heights last year, with a cover inspired by the Twilight artwork and including the tag-line: "Bella and Edward's favourite book".

Following this reissue, sales peaked at 2,634 in one week and totalled 34,023 during the year, according to Nielsen Bookscan, which monitors book sales across the industry. This was a fourfold increase and it is now one of the best selling novels at Tesco, as well as more traditional book shops.

Discussion forums on the internet have not welcomed Harper Collins's marketing ploy, with reviewers on Amazon sharing their displeasure. One said: "How disgusting that they'll take a literary classic, and revamp it just so it looks like the "teen sensation" that is Twilight. Drawing this parallel is an absolute atrocity, Emily Bronte would be turning in her grave if she could see this.

However, booksellers said it was wonderful the classic had taken off once again.

Tesco's assistant book buyer Rachel Harcourt said: “It’s fantastic to see teenagers are reading a whole different genre – the classics – as well as fantasy novels because of the popularity of Stephanie Meyer’s books.

"The new sleek black gothic-style covers of Wuthering Heights clearly appeal to lovers of vampire romance stories and are helping them to try out a different read. Anything that encourages teenagers to read good books is welcome as there are so many distractions which prevent today’s youngsters from developing reading as a hobby." (Henry Wallop)


Elizabeth Gaskell & Charlotte Brontë

In 1850 when Elizabeth Gaskell was staying in the Lake District, she met ‘a little lady in a black silk gown, whom I could not see at first for the dazzle in the room’. The little lady was Charlotte Brontë, and this meeting began a warm friendship between two contrasting personalities – Charlotte timid and withdrawn, Elizabeth outward-going and gregarious. Charlotte came to stay several times at the Gaskell’s home in busy Plymouth Grove, Elizabeth went to the silent parsonage at Haworth, and they collaborated to ensure that publication of their novels did not clash. When Charlotte died she had become such an important literary figure that the press, then as now, was full of misinformation about her. Her father, Patrick Brontë, asked Elizabeth if she would put the record straight and write his daughter’s biography. The result was the outstanding and controversial Life, which still today is regarded as an important literary biography.

Thornton Hall

An historic manor house in a village with links to the Brontes has gone on the market for more than £1.3 million. Thornton Hall is located next to St James’s Church in Thornton, Bradford, where Patrick Bronte, father of the three literary sisters, was perpetual curate between 1815 and 1820.

Charlotte, Emily and Anne, along with their brother Branwell, were born in the village, before the family moved to the parsonage at Haworth.
Barry Whitaker, who has owned the Grade II-listed property since 1980, said: “The Lord of the Manor would have had access to the church from the grounds and would have known Patrick Bronte.
“There’s a presumption that the young Bronte sisters played in the garden at the manor before the family moved to Haworth.
“There’s also a school of thought that the description of Thornfield Hall in Jane Eyre bears architectural resemblance to Thornton Hall.”
Thornton Hall dates back to the 11th century, when the original wooden structure of the property, owned by Gemill of Thornton, was named in the Doomsday Book of 1086.
The property was rebuilt in 1598 and was renovated extensively in the late 19th century, by John Foster, owner Black Dyke Mills in Queensbury.
Mr Whitaker said: “The mills can be seen from the master bedroom of the manor so Mr Foster would have been able to look out and see the smoke from the chimneys and make sure everyone was working hard.
“He would have been taken across the valley by his coachman to the mills. All our children have grown up now and are living in America and France so we are going to downsize and spend time visiting them.
“We are giving someone else the chance to be Lord of the Manor in Thornton.”

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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