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

Chapter Coffee House

The Chapter Coffee House
Paternoster Row, London

A picture of the 'Chapter Coffee House' (on Paternoster Row - behind St. Paul's Cathedral), where the girls stayed on this occasion. It was also where Charlotte, Emily and Patrick stayed en route to Brussels in February 1842. The lodgings had been known to Patrick since 1806 when he stayed there while visiting London for his ordination. In this picture, the 'Coffee House' is the building on the left, being viewed from Paul's Alley

'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.

woensdag 14 juli 2010

Anne Bronte' s grave.

Having made my pilgrimage to Anne Brontë’s grave last weekend, I was very interested to read the article on the Brontë Parsonage Blog. The subject of the grave can be guaranteed to be touched upon at the Brontë Society’s annual general meeting next June - and of course Haworth itself is no stranger to controversy regarding car parking.

If the mortal remains of Anne Brontë could not be deposited in Haworth I always think that the spot Charlotte chose is idyllic- just below the dramatic ruins of the castle and overlooking the bay Anne had come to love. Much has been debated through the years about the state of the headstone and surrounding ground but last week it was my opinion that the grave has never looked better. Of course the stone itself has suffered some understandable damage through the years and this last severe winter has taken its toll on one or two letters of the inscription but compared to other stones in the surrounding area it has stood the test of time surprisingly well. The area in front of the headstone is now grassed over and level - which will make, I guess, tidying and mowing much easier. A very tasteful arrangement of flowers had been left in tribute to the youngest member of that remarkable family.

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Huis van Maria Bronte

Even verderop in Chapel Street, het unieke Egyptian House in oosterse art deco stijl en de Turk's Head Inn, die al meer dan 800 jaar een herberg is. De nieuwe thuis van Louise en de andere samenlevende Heistenaars was een gebouw in Georgian Style, zoals nog een fiks aantal in de straat. Bij het eind van de 19de eeuw werd het pand bewoond door de oude rijke weduwe Hester Kingwell en haar dochter. Daarna, in 1893, werd het de dokterspraktijk van Richard Hosking, die er vervolgens ook met rust ging. Jaren voor Louise en haar gezin in de straat neerstreken, woonde even verderop in het nummer 25 niemand minder dan Maria Branwell, de moeder van de auteurszusjes Bronte!

lees verder  vluchtnaarpenzance

How Haworth can move up in the world

From: John Collinson, Oldfield Lane, Oldfield, Keighley.

The Old School Room, Church Street. This building was originally constructed by Patrick Brontë in 1832 as the National Church Sunday School, and is of great historical importance to Haworth. The building, while being wind and watertight, requires major restoration and conservation works totalling £1m. This would create a building for public access that provides a stage and auditorium for shows and lectures, an area for exhibitions, meeting rooms for local groups and societies, an archive room, a Victorian school room together with associated facilities.

The provision of a wheelchair ramp from the Bradford Council car park to Church Street.This is desperately required, as I regularly speak to visitors who are dismayed at the lack of this provision which means that instead of travelling a few yards to Church Street they have to take a 300-yard detour. The estimated cost of this work is £30,000.
Surely these works are essential for the bid for world heritage status to be successful?
Taking the above two items into account, along with all the other issues, it is of no surprise that Haworth now finds itself on the English Heritage "at risk" register.
Jude Morgan wisely begins Charlotte and Emily (St. Martin's; paperback, $14.99) with the death of their mother, and he artfully evokes the wonder that animated the lives of the young Brontës even in a world pocked with grief. Adulthood forced them to take work as teachers and governesses, though they always returned home. "Here they were around the table again, we three; and again that peculiar rightness in it," he writes, describing one of the interludes when the young women were together, having left or been fired from their genteel gigs. The tension and affection between Charlotte, who is eager to please and hungry for a little literary fame, and Emily, who refuses to play by the world's rules, are wrought with particular sensitivity. Morgan, the author of several historical novels, is a fine writer in his own right, and "Charlotte and Emily," foregone as its sad conclusion is, often surprises and delights.

maandag 12 juli 2010

Pensionnat Héger

In the shadow of the de Cleves-Ravenstein mansion, a flight of stone steps leads down to an inconspicuous cobbled alley where the Rue Terarken now ends. There, opposite an underground car park, the corners of three buildings form an abrupt wall. Beyond this, somewhere along the hill that slopes down from the Place Royale to the town centre, was the Pensionnat Héger where, for two years, Charlotte Brontë lived, taught and wrote. The school was demolished in 1910 and today a concrete office block stands in its place, beside a fifteenth-century sandstone edifice. Yet, from the environs of the old Rue Isabelle – formerly the site of kennels for ducal hounds – one can perhaps still conjure the shadowy scene that greeted the young Brontë when she arrived in Brussels in 1842.

Villette was Brontë’s last novel and the only one to be published under her real name. There are few English-language novels set in Belgium that don’t feature Great War battlefields, but Villette is one such exception, in which the urban landscape is no less haunting than the Yorkshire moors of her other novels. Brontë originally came to Brussels with her sister Emily to study languages at the Pensionnat Héger and stayed on as a teacher there. A decade later, the school would serve as a model for Madame Beck’s academy in the novel, a tale informed by Charlotte’s personal experiences of loneliness, cultural alienation and unrequited love. Although my own experiences as a newcomer to Brussels have been rather different (and happily so; I believe that some dislocation never did a writer any harm), I am intrigued and enchanted by Brontë’s casting of an unjustly maligned city. Today, the European Capital is alternately reviled and celebrated by its native and expatriate population – just as it is by her enigmatic heroine and narrator, Lucy Snowe.


Rue d'Isabelle

It was February 1842 when Charlotte and Emily, accompanied by their father, set off from Haworth on their journey to Belgium, crossing the channel on the Ostend "packet". Since the railway line to Brussels was not yet fully opened, on arrival in Ostend they continued their long and tiring journey by stagecoach.

The next day they went to the Pensionnat Heger. Charlotte could not know when she entered it how profoundly her stay in this strange new place was to change her life.

The school was on the Rue d'Isabelle in a quarter close to the central park and near the grandeur of Rue Royale with its stately 18th century houses.
Place Royal Brussels
Steel engraving by A. Cruse after J. Fussel, ca 1850.

The Rue d’Isabelle and the Isabelle quarter had an ancient past, remnants of which could still be seen. But the street as Charlotte and Emily knew it dated back only forty or fifty years.

The street itself had a curiously sunken appearance, towered over on all sides by high buildings, with the old city wall alongside much of it.

The Park in Brussels
Le Parc de Bruxelles Ansicht von Park zu Bruessel
Steel engraving by H. Bond after Fussel, ca 1850.

On the ‘higher’ level lay the spacious aristocratic quarters with fine buildings, the beautiful Parc and the Palace Royale,
the grand residence of the Belgian monarch, king Leopold I. These places were only a stone's throw away from the Pensionnat.
Descending to the ‘lower’ level, the city centre, you found yourself in the busy commercial area and the higgledy-piggledy streets dating back to medieval times. In the mid 19th century these little back streets had become a dirty and overcrowded slum area.

To reach the Pensionnat, below the Rue Royale, you went down a steep flight of steps. Standing at the top of the stairs by the statue of General Belliard, you could look down on the chimneys of the Rue d’Isabelle below and the old city beyond.

Reaching the bottom of the stairs one had only to cross the street to reach the school. It had been built forty years earlier and was a plain white building two storeys high, long and low with a row of large windows on each floor.

Even though the school building itself was no more extraordinary than the other schools in the neighbourhood, there was an unexpected treasure, tucked away behind the house; a delightful big garden with a line of ancient fruit trees.

This garden was to provide Charlotte with a haven of peace right in the centre of the city. It is described in full detail in her novel Villette, and one can imagine her relishing every opportunity to escape from the pressures of school life to the bower (berceau) and the allée défendue.

Nowadays, sadly, nothing of the Pensionnat remains and little of the Rue d’Isabelle or the old quarter apart from the area around the Place Royale and the Rue Royale. Demolition in the 20th century destroyed many of the streets and ancient history of old Brussels. Luckily, not all is lost and if you know where to look, remnants can still be found.

Today, the view from the top of the steps is completely changed and it is difficult to imagine the scene Charlotte and Emily would have seen. The Palais des Beaux Arts (an arts centre in the art nouveau style built in the 1920s) and the Rue Baron Horta now cover the site of the Pensionnat and the Rue d’Isabelle.

The Rue Ravenstein we see today is on a much higher level than the old street. But the Rue Villa Hermosa, which once led to the Rue Terarcken, still partly exists. One can still go down the steps near the Hôtel Ravenstein to this street of which only a small section remains. This little backwater is still on the original level and one can see the old cobbles paving the street where Charlotte and Emily once walked on their way to the Rue d’Isabelle.

In the Pensionnat Charlotte and Emily were taught by the charismatic and inspiring Constantin Heger, whose wife owned the school. He recognised their literary talents and gave them encouragement and guidance in honing their writing skills. In Charlotte's case his legacy was still more profound, since she fell in love with her teacher.

                          READ!!!!!!!!!/ CLICK!!!!

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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