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 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

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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