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 30 december 2011

Brontë in Paris; pity poor Haworth

My news from Paris is that on Jan 30 this cultural jewel, a tiny manuscript written by a youthful Charlotte Brontë in 1830, will go on public display for the first time.
That is an awful long time for the public to have had to wait. So it is good to be able to add that there is a geographical bonus: there are far worse places to find yourself on a winter's day than the vicinity of 222 Boulevard Saint-Germain.

Le Musée des lettres et manuscrits - someone please explain to me why Le not La, but do NOT get me on to the subject of the accent in Brontë - was successful in an auction at Sotheby's in London on Dec 14 in securing the "little book", which measures just 35 x 61mm but nevertheless contains 20 pages with more than 4,000 words of minuscule script. Read more: France salut

donderdag 29 december 2011

Portrait of Emily.

It is well known what our opinion and the Brontë Society's opinion is about this alleged portrait of Emily Brontë (attributed to John Hunter Thompson of Bradford around 1840) recently auctioned at J.P. Humbert Auctioneers. This is the press release of its auction sale:
Emily Brontë 'Bonnet' Portrait sells in excess of £23000
A portrait of Emily Brontë has sold at a Northamptonshire auction house for £23,836 (premium inclusive) against a pre-sale estimate of £10,000-15,000. It will stay in England after a fierce bidding battle with a prospective buyer in America.
After much speculation over the past month as to whether the 7 'A' x 5 '/4" oil on board was of the reclusive English writer or not, the evidence as produced by the auctioneers seemed to stack up meeting much international interest and buyers in the room and online.
Auctioneer Jonathan Humbert of J.P. Humbert Auctioneers Ltd of Towcester said: "we are delighted with the result which seems to prove our contention that this was in fact a hitherto unknown portrait of Emily Brontë."
"During viewing, at least four independent authorities on the Brontë family concurred with our view, one of whom has written a definitive publication on Wuthering Heights." 
We wonder who these anonymous independent authorities are. bronteblog/better-disputed-bronte-than-none.html
Frocktalk posts a very interesting interview with Michael O'Connor, costume designer of Jane Eyre 2011 in which he says thinks like this:
Tell me about how you arrived at the color palette.  It was exquisite.  Was it a result of conversations with the Production Designer and DP, or was it something the director had in mind?
The colour palette really is about the balance between Jane and other characters. The book often describes Jane as wearing plain black. I thought this would be too severe so chose shades of grey, dark blue and slate colours with subtle patterns to reflect the mood of the scene. Once these colours were established, other characters fit in around her. So, for example Rochester has a brown frock coat and not the more usual black; likewise Mrs. Fairfax is mostly in brown. Blanche Ingram, where the temptation is to be brash and colourful, could be designed more subtly. bronteblog

A Brontë mention in the Downton Abbey Christmas special, the book title they have to guess in the Christmas charade is The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. You can see a complete photoset on Sunny Dreams.

The new black in economy and politics is, of course, budget cuts. They know no limits and we wonder if when they are planned someone looks beyond the sheer figures and thinks of the consequences (social and economical) of many of these (improvised) decisions. The latest in this series comes from Kirkless Council:
Museums could close for a quarter of the year to cut costs.
Kirklees Council officials have drawn up plans to shut cultural centres across the district in December, January and February.
The move would affect sites including: (...)

Red House Museum in Gomersal, an 1830s home which featured in the Charlotte Brontë novelShirley.
Oakwell Hall in Birstall, a 17th Century stately home with extensive grounds which also featured in Shirley. (...)
The proposal is set to be formally unveiled next month, with the museums due to close in December 2012.
Unison’s chief steward for wellbeing and communities Kath McHendry told the Examiner yesterday: “We haven’t got firm details but the thing they are looking at is closing them in December, January and February.
“The museums would be closed for three months, unless there was a special event. That seems to be the proposal they want to run with.” (...)
Huddersfield Civic Society chairman Chris Marsden also attacked the plan yesterday.
“I think it’s a miserable idea to close the council’s cultural offering for a quarter of the year,” he said.
“The education of schoolchildren should be higher up the council’s agenda. This plan would spread ignorance.”

Mr Marsden believes the closures would harm Huddersfield’s tourism industry.
“It’s discouraging people from visiting the town,” he said.
“If you bring someone to Huddersfield, you would expect to be able to offer people some insight into the town through art and museums.”
Mr Marsden added that Kirklees should consider less radical ways to save money.

“I would like to know the rationale behind this,” he said.
“Closing museums for one day a week, or shutting earlier in the evening would be kinder.
“Closing for three months would be hard. The winter is a good time to visit museums, in the summer people want to do outdoor things, like go to Yorkshire Sculpture Park.”  (Barry Gibson in The Huddersfield Daily Examiner)

woensdag 28 december 2011

UK DVD Releases: March 2012

The DVD (and Blu-Ray) release of Jane Eyre 2011 in the UK will be next March 12 (thanks to Traxy for telling us). It seems that the edition will contain the same extras as the Region 1 edition:T
 Jane Eyre (Triple play Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy)
Universal Pictures UK
March 12, 2011

Additional Material:
  • Audiocomentary by Cary Fukunaga
  • A Look Inside Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre Featurette 03:39)
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Easter Egg: Audiocomentary by Rob Meyer and Ameer Youssef, close associates of director Cary Fukunaga. 
  • To Score Jane Eyre (02:11)
  • The Mysterious Light of Jane Eyre (01:50) — Interviews with cast and crew on the cinematography and the novel's gothic aspect.Bronteblog 

dinsdag 27 december 2011

The Rylands Online Collection

Browse images related to Mrs. Gaskell at the Rylands Online Collection. Including some of her letters, plates of drawings that originally appeared in first editions or the magazine publications of her works, and the famous miniature portrait. I highly recommend you to visit it:enriqueta.man.ac.uk Gaskell

zondag 25 december 2011

A Christmas Carol

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Happy Christmas to all Bronte Sisters readers!

The Bronte Sisters and their Christmas holidays.

Only two months later, when Charlotte was home for the Christmas holidays, the sisters had a chance to test this power further. The Brontë household servant Tabby had broken her leg on the frozen Mainstreet of Haworth and was to be sent away to recover at her sister's cottage. Emily, Charlotte and Anne protested, but were ignored. They initiated a hunger strike that only lasted 24 hours before their Aunt and father gave in, and allowed Tabby to be nursed at Haworth. 
As late as 1833, when Charlotte was seventeen, her father"s  Christmas present to her was a notebook at the front of which he thought it necessary to make the written plea that 'all that is written in this book, must be in a good, plain and legible hand' (Barker, The Brontës, p. 201).

But, in the Christmas holidays, the three sisters again met at their home, and discussed their hopes and prospects

It was about Christmas time of 1836 that Miss Wooler transferred her school from the fine, open and breezy Roe Head, to Heald House, Dewsbury Moor a much less bracing situation, which was sure to be less healthy to anyone accustomed, as the Brontes were, to the moors at Ha worth ; Charlotte very much regretted the change, especially for the sake of her sister Anne. Charlotte returned to the school after the holidays

When returning home for her Christmas holidays, Anne informs the Robinsons that she wishes to terminate her employment with them. She wants to stay at home, taking the place of Emily, who will soon be leaving, with Charlotte, to attend a school in Brussels. However, Anne has made herself so indispensable at Thorp Green that the Robinsons plead with her to return, which she ultimately decides
 to do.

Christmas 1839 saw the whole Bronte family reunited in Haworth, all four children having failed to hold a job  and all four now unemployed.

Charlotte to Miss Wooler
"Dec. 12th, 1853.

"I wonder how you are spending these long winter evenings. Alone, probably, like me. The thought often crosses me, as I sit by myself, how pleasant it would be if you lived within a walking distance, and I could go to you sometimes, or have you to come and spend a day and night with me.

zaterdag 24 december 2011

Reincarnation of Emily Bronte

Cailin McGlory from the weblog 
sent me an email. 
She told me about her weblog
 and wrote:
" I feel about Branwell the way your feel about the girls"
On this weblog 
you can read this story:

" There is a very strong likelihood that Jewelle St. James, a health-care worker from British Columbia, is the reincarnation of the nineteenth-century novelist Emily Brontë, author of Wuthering Heights. ""
and about the

donderdag 22 december 2011

The Bronte Sisters in winter walking over the moors

With a lot of thanks to Lynn Marie Cunliffe. She gave permission to use these photographs: See for more information on www.abigailsateliers.com and http://abigailsateliers.wordpress.com

Christmas Customs in Bronte Country

Christmas with the Bronte Family, and a look at the festivities celebrated in Yorkshire in the 19th century. Christmas in the Bronte Household; vessel maids and spice cake and Christmas accounts from the Bronte novels - all these and more are described in The Brontes Christmas. No matter how sheltered from the 'excesses' of Christmas, the Bronte children must have heard the Waits. They were the official city watchmen whose job was to patrol the streets at night and keep the peace. However, as they invariably played musical instruments and/or sang, to show they were on duty, that peace cannot have been kept very quietly! At Christmas time, hey played and sang the familiar Christmas carols and songs, and were occasionally rewarded with a few coppers, a pie or a hot drink, it being the season of goodwill. Carols were also sung at the houses by the choirs of local churches.  Carols were also sung at the houses by the choirs of local churches. We've little information about the services held under the Revd Patrick Bronte, the father of the literary family.  The children, after the death of their mother, were cared for by their aunt Branwell, a strict Wesleyan. Maybe, just maybe, their father's little church sang out with Christmas hymns. christmasarchives/brontechristmas

A Bronte meets her sister’s ghost - Reviews - Halifax Courier

The play was acted out in the bleak location of Moor Lodge near Stanbury and iIn a strange twist, Ian Howard (Branwell) interrupts the performance to reveal his theory that the building where we sit was possibly the inspiration for Ferndean in Jane Eyre. Lynn Marie Cunliffe, who played Charlotte, exhibited her range of exquisite hand-made period gowns. Ten year-old Tom Howard played the flute. A Bronte meets her sister’s ghost - Reviews - Halifax Courier

woensdag 21 december 2011

Bronte Weather Project: Anne Bronte's letters

Bronte Weather Project: Anne Bronte's letters: "Charlotte is well, and mediates writing to you. Happily for all parties the east wind no longer prevails - during its continuance she co...

dinsdag 20 december 2011



maandag 19 december 2011

Restauration of Top Withens

On the Death of Emily Jane Brontë By Charlotte Brontë

163 years ago today Emily Brontë turned 'her dying eyes reluctantly from the pleasant sun'as Charlotte put it. 


"Dec. 21st, 1848.
"Emily suffers no more from pain or weakness now. She never will suffer more in this world. She is gone, after a hard short conflict. She died on Tuesday, the very day I wrote to you. I thought it very possible she might be with us still for weeks; and a few hours afterwards, she was in eternity. Yes; there is no Emily in time or on earth now. Yesterday we put her poor, wasted, mortal frame quietly under the church pavement. We are very calm at present. Why should we be otherwise? The anguish of seeing her suffer is over; the spectacle of the pains of death is gone by; the funeral day is past. We feel she is at peace. No need now to tremble for the hard frost and the keen wind. Emily does not feel them. She died in a time of promise. We saw her taken from life in its prime. But it is God's will, and the place where she is gone is better than that she has left.
My darling, thou wilt never know
The grinding agony of woe
   That we have borne for thee.
Thus may we consolation tear
E’en from the depth of our despair
   And wasting misery.

The nightly anguish thou art spared
When all the crushing truth is bared
   To the awakening mind,
When the galled heart is pierced with grief,
Till wildly it implores relief,
   But small relief can find.
Nor know’st thou what it is to lie
Looking forth with streaming eye
   On life’s lone wilderness.
‘Weary, weary, dark and drear,
How shall I the journey bear,
   The burden and distress?’
Then since thou art spared such pain
We will not wish thee here again;
   He that lives must mourn.
God help us through our misery
And give us rest and joy with thee
   When we reach our bourne!

Read also:

Top Withens

Why do the Bronte worshippers take that more-often-than-not-soggy trail up to Top Withens? It’s a question I’ve often asked myself as the place has no proven link with the family. Okay, maybe it was the inspiration behind Emily’s Wuthering Heights – we’ll never know for sure – but the old farmhouse, derelict since the 1930s, continues to attract thousands of visitors every year. A while back I overtook two inadequately dressed Japanese visitors as I walked over the moor. They asked me ‘How faah Top Rivvens?’. They were relieved and excited as I pointed to the blackened ruin on the hillside and I wondered how deflated they might be when they eventually got there. The tourism bodies are certainly never going to play down its importance and I see this week that Yorkshire Water, who own the land and property, have been repointing and blocking off more dangerous areas. The place can be atmospheric and the views are tremendous. You can feel the building bracing itself against the elements but most of all you can let your imagination run riot.

zondag 18 december 2011

Jane Eyre

Z letopisů Angrie - Charlotte Brontë
Včera v 22:51 | K. |  Brontë
Tak jsem po milińech letech zpět... :D
Dneska jsem byla v knihkupectví a, jen tak čistě ze zvyku, se šla podívat do části, kde jsou knížky od Brontëových a Jane Austenové. Když tu náhle, se vedle Villette objevila růžová knížečka. Nadšeně jsem po ní sáhla... Z letopisů Angrie - Charlotte Brontëové. Měla jsem ohromnou radost.
O říši Angrii začala psát Charlotte už jako malá. Vytvořila ho společně s bratrem Branwellem a dohromady ho neustále rozšiřovali o nové a nové příběhy.
Opravdu, nakladatelství Daranus mi dělá radost. Agnes Greyová, Profesor, Emma, Villette a teď tohle. Ještě by to chtělo nové vydání Shirley..janeeyre.blog

Frederika Macdonald wanted to publish Charlotte’s ‘love letters’ to M. Heger

Read this very interesting article

Frederika Macdonald wanted to publish Charlotte’s ‘love letters’ to M. Heger in her forthcoming book, The Secret of Charlotte Brontë, about her adventures at the Pensionnat. 

The rest of the auction

The rest of the auction

zaterdag 17 december 2011

Blackfriars Bridge (1896)

I found this on a very interesting weblog http://theedwardians.blogspot.com
Full of remarkable pictures. 
This movie is  of a  later period than the Bronte Sisters were living in. But, it gives a very good idea how it could have be.

BBC News - Paris museum wins Bronte bidding war

Vroeg werk Charlotte Brönte voor kapitaal geveild | (Dutch)

Vroeg werk Charlotte Brönte voor kapitaal geveild
de Volkskrant
Een boekje dat de Britse schrijfster Charlotte Brontë als tiener had
geschreven, heeft op een veiling in Londen veel meer opgebracht dan
verwacht. ...

Manuscript Charlotte Brontë levert acht ton op
(Novum) - AMSTERDAM - Een vroeg manuscript van Charlotte Brontë uit 1830,
The Young Men's Magazine Number 2, is donderdag geveild voor 796 duizend
euro. ...

Manuscript Charlotte Brontë levert 8 ton op
Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855) schreef Young Men's Magazine, Number 2 in
augustus 1830. Ze was toen 14 jaar oud. ,,Dit is de eerste creatieve
uitbarsting van ...

Manuscript Charlotte Bronte levert acht ton op | Red Magazine
(Novum) - AMSTERDAM - Een vroeg manuscript van Charlotte Bronte uit 1830,
The Young Men's Magazine Number 2, is donderdag geveild voor 796 duizend

Vroeg-werk-charlotte-brnte-voor-kapitaal-geveild - Q-music
Vroeg werk Charlotte Brönte voor kapitaal geveild ... Een boekje dat de
Britse schrijfster Charlotte Brontë als tiener had geschreven, heeft op
een veiling in ...

Vroeg werk Charlotte Brönte voor kapitaal geveild | Bogobogo
Een boekje dat de Britse schrijfster Charlotte Brontë als tiener had
geschreven, heeft op een veiling in Londen veel meer opgebracht dan
verwacht. Een ...

Jefferson’s Granddaughter in Queen Victoria’s England

Ellen Wayles Coolidge arrived in London in June 1838 at the advent of Queen Victoria’s reign – the citizens were still celebrating the coronation. During her nine-month stay, Coolidge kept a diary that reveals the uncommon education of her youth, when she lived and studied at Monticello with her grandfather Thomas Jefferson. This volume brings the full text of her diary to publication for the first time, opening up her text for today’s reader with carefully researched annotations that provide the historical context. 

London’s clocks, theaters, parks, public buildings, and museums all come under Coolidge’s astute gaze as she and her husband, Joseph Coolidge, Jr., travel the city and gradually gain entry into some of the most coveted drawing rooms of the time. Coolidge records the details of her conversations with writers such as Samuel Rogers, Thomas Carlyle, and Anna Jameson and activists including Charles Sumner and Harriet Martineau. She gives firsthand accounts of the fashioning of the young queen’s image by the artists Charles Robert Leslie and Sir Francis Chantrey and takes notes as she watches the queen open Parliament and battle the first scandal of her reign. Her love of painting reawakened, Coolidge chronicles her opportunities to view over four hundred works of art held in both public and private collections, acknowledging a new appreciation for the modern art of J. M. W. Turner and a fondness for the Dutch masters. victorianamagazine

vrijdag 16 december 2011

Look how tiny the manuscript is.

Many, many sites are echoing the news of Charlotte Brontë's unpublished manuscript going to a French museum, but the only one seemingly posting something new is BBC News, which has a video interview with Andrew McCarthy and shows images from the auction as well as of the manuscript.  bronteblog/many-many-sites-are-echoing-news
Lookon the video how tiny the manuscript is.

Un manuscrit inédit de Charlotte Brontë, auteur deJane Eyre, a été acheté par le Musée des Lettres et Manuscrits de Paris pour 822 000 euros. lexpress.fr/culture/livre/un-manuscrit-inedit-de-charlotte-bronte-

Un manuscrit inédit de Charlotte Brontë vendu à 822 000 euros

L'Express - ‎4 uren geleden‎
Un manuscrit inédit de Charlotte Brontë, auteur de Jane Eyre, a été acheté par le Musée des Lettres et Manuscrits de Paris pour 822 000 euros. 822 000 euros. C'est la somme déboursée par le Musée des Lettres et Manuscrits de Paris pour l'acquisition ...

Record pour un inédit de Charlotte Brontë acheté par un musée français

RTL.be - ‎9 uren geleden‎
Un manuscrit inédit de Charlotte Brontë, l'auteur de "Jane Eyre", a atteint un record jeudi à Londres, où il a été acheté par le Musée des Lettres et Manuscrits à Paris pour 690.850 livres, soit 821.687 euros, a annoncé la maison d'enchères Sotheby's. ...

Un manuscrit de Charlotte Brontë vendu à un prix record

Cyberpresse - ‎21 uren geleden‎
AP La maison de vente aux enchères Sotheby's a affirmé jeudi qu'un manuscrit inédit signé Charlotte Brontë a été vendu 1,1 million $ US à l'encan, soit plus du double du montant anticipé. The Young Men's Magazine, Number 2 a été écrit en 1830. ...

1,1 million $ pour un manuscrit inédit de Charlotte Brontë

Radio-Canada - ‎15 dec. 2011‎
Un manuscrit inédit de Charlotte Brontë, l'auteure de Jane Eyre, a été acheté par le Musée des Lettres et Manuscrits à Paris pour 1,1 million de dollars. La maison d'enchères Sotheby's, qui en a fait l'annonce jeudi, précise que ce montant représente ...

donderdag 15 december 2011

Paris museum wins Bronte bidding war

The Young Men's Magazine, Number 2
The miniature magazine contains 19 pages, each measuring 35mm x 61mm (1.4in x 2.4in)

A French museum has won a bidding war for an unpublished Charlotte Bronte manuscript, dashing hopes that it could return to the author's former home.

The Musee des Lettres et Manuscrits in Paris bought the second issue of Young Men's Magazine at auction £690,850. It outbid the Bronte Parsonage Museum, based in the family's former house in Haworth, West Yorkshire.The work, written when Bronte was 14, is regarded as important for the light it sheds on her literary development. The miniature manuscript, dated 1830, smashed its pre-sale estimate of £200,000 - £300,000 and set a new auction record for a manuscript by any of the Bronte sisters. Charlotte Bronte, best known for Jane Eyre, created six hand-written editions of the
magazine as part of an imaginary world she built with her famous sisters and her brother.The issue sold on Thursday contains a story that is a precursor to the famous passage in Jane Eyre in which Mr Rochester's insane wife, who is kept in the attic, seeks revenge by setting fire to his bed curtains.Dr Philip Errington, director  of books and manuscripts at auction house Sotheby's,  said the work, which contains over 4,000 words on 19 pages, had "huge literary significance"."This tiny manuscript represents her first burst of creativity and provides a rare and intimate insight into one of history's
great literary minds," he said.
Start Quote
The Bronte Parsonage Museum already owns four of the six copies of the magazine.The whereabouts of the remaining edition are unknown. The museum was awarded a grant of £613,140 by the National Heritage Memorial Fund to buy the artefact, as well as receiving a number of smaller donations. But it was not enough to secure the book, which will now go on display in Paris in January.Andrew McCarthy, director of the Bronte Parsonage Museum, said it was "the most significant manuscript to come to light in decades" Author and Bronte Society president Bonnie Greer said the book "puts down in luminous prose not only the daydreams of a little Yorkshire girl, but it also contains the seed of the work of one of the greatest writers in the English language". 
"It will not be going home, back to the place where it all began, the Parsonage at Haworth," she said. "Its presence there would have placed it not only at the heart of the proud community in which she was born and raised, but would have brought full circle a Yorkshire story, a northern story, a British story, a world story. "The Young Men's Magazine Number Two was sold by an anonymous private European collector.

Manuscript Charlotte Brontë levert acht ton op ( Dutch).

Laatste update:  15 december 2011

AMSTERDAM - Een vroeg manuscript van Charlotte Brontë uit 1830, The Young Men's Magazine Number 2, is donderdag geveild voor 796 duizend euro.

Foto:  AFP
Dat is ruim twee keer meer dan verwacht. Veilinghuis Sotheby's in Londen had de waarde geraamd tussen 250 en 350 duizend euro.
Tijdens de veiling boden het Musée des Lettres et Manuscrits in Parijs en het Brontë Parsonage Museum in het Engelse Haworth tegen elkaar op. Het Franse instituut trok aan het langste eind.
Brontë schreef The Young Men's Magazine Number 2 toen ze 14 was, in een boekje van 3,5 bij 6 centimeter. Het verhaal wordt gezien als een voorloper van een van de bekendste scènes uit Brontë's Jane Eyre.
Daarin steekt een boze echtgenote het bed van haar man in brand. Het veilinghuis sprak van het belangrijkste manuscript van Brontë dat de afgelopen dertig jaar te koop is aangeboden.


Ook de zusjes van de auteur deden het goed op de veiling. Een exemplaar van Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights uit 1847 leverde 181 duizend euro op. Anne Brontë's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall uit 1848 ging voor ongeveer 37 duizend euro onder de hamer. 

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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