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

donderdag 12 augustus 2010

fine lace work

This item was described as Lot 89 "Lace - work by the Bronte sisters", in the Sotheby & Wilkinson auction on 2nd of July 1898. It is now offered once again for sale 110 years later. This item comprises of two pieces of fine lace work in an oak frame. The frame measures 13" x 13". On the reverse there is a note written in pencil by the original 1898 purchaser " Lace worked by the Bronte sisters bought at a sale of Martha Brown's effects at Sotheby & Wilkinson London July 2, 1898 - 3 pounds, 3 shillings". There is a paper label on the top right hand corner with the number 89 written in pen. This is a Bronte relic with an impeccable provenance.

zondag 8 augustus 2010

Birthplace of Charlotte, (Patrick) Branwell, Emily Jane and Anne Bronte in Thornton.

This week I received an e-mail from Jar Bancroft, he is the maker of bancrofts from yorkshire.blog

Earlier I found his weblog and loved it very much. Interesting articles about the history of Yorkshire and the Bancroft family. In my weblog I posted allready an article I took over from Jar. Benjamin Babbage Report
He wrote to me that his great grandparents were living in the house in Thornton were Branwell, Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte were born.

Today I received an article from him, that tells  more about the Bronte birthday house.
Thank you very much, Jar, for your kindness to mail to me. And I appreciate it  so much that you, who are living so near to the place where this weblog is telling about, make the effort to write to me.  If there are other people who can tell me stories about the Brontes, please, don' t hesitate.
It's very difficult to miss the plaque pointing out that this really is the birthplace of Charlotte, (Patrick) Branwell, Emily Jane and Anne Bronte. For a number of years the house has been owned by novelist Barbara Whitehead who has not only restored many of the house's original features but has been more than happy to open it to the public by arrangement. Now Barbara is retiring and has to sell the house. The Grade II listed building will be auctioned at Elland Road football stadium, the home of Leeds United, on Monday June 25th, 2007.
The property has four bedrooms and three staircases! A stone above the front door suggests the house was built in 1802. When Patrick Bronte moved here as Curate to St James' Church, Thornton, in 1815, he was accompanied by his wife Maria and their two little girls. While Maria and Elizabeth were not to survive into adulthood the Bronte children born here grew up to take the literary world by storm.
Barbara Whitehead says on her website: "People sometimes wonder why the birthplaces of famous people are so important. Charlotte, Emily and Anne were small children here; it was not the place where they wrote their books. But the first years of life are very formative and this was a family home with their mother and their two elder sisters still living, the house where little Charlotte stood watching her mother playing with baby Branwell on the rug."

Angela takes us into what would have been the Parlour: "This is where they took tea with the Firth family from Kipping House and of course they went down to Kipping House quite a lot. In fact they had a lovely friendship with the Firth family." In the 1830s Patrick Bronte wrote a letter to one of the Firths. Angela says: "He came back in 1835 and he looked around Thornton and he looked at all the places that he loved and the old friends that he knew and in this letter he said, 'I've never quite been well since I left Thornton. My happiest days were spent there'. I think that says a lot."
The heart of the house would have been the dining room and it's also where the Bronte children were born. Continuing on through the back kitchen we reach an old stone staircase which goes up to the maids' room: "Sarah and Nancy Garrs came from the School of Industry in Bradford and Nancy was 13 when she had the job and she was their housemaid and I suppose you'd call it a children's nanny these days. They slept in here and this leads directly into what was the nursery."
Angela points out a bathroom which in the Bronte's day was a dressing room: "When Aunt Branwell came to stay she stayed in there because the house was quite full." Just along the passageway is what would have been the Reverend and Mrs Bronte's bedroom. "There was nothing opposite except a sweep of green fields going down and then climbing up to Clayton Heights so they'd get a lovely view of those lush green fields around Thornton which you still see through little walkways and ginnels."

If you want to read the complete article click 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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