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

zondag 3 april 2011

What happened after the death of Charlotte Bronte?

On 04-04-1855 Charlotte Bronte was buried in the family vault at Haworth Parish Church.

On Easter Sunday, 1st April, 1855, many people walked over the Haworth moors to the church to obtain particulars of the sad death of one who had become so widely known. The whole district mourned for the old vicar's last daughter, who, like her sister Anne, had longed to live in order to accomplish a larger task. The old Haworth custom of " bidding " a large number of people to the funeral was adopted. The custom
still obtains of issuing invitations to the funeral to an equal number of householders on each side of the home where the death has occurred. In Charlotte Bronte's case, almost every family in the village had one member " bidden," and there was a very large funeral procession, in this respect unlike Emily's
and Anne's, which were only attended by members of the family.

A poor, blind girl begged to be taken to her funeral, for she had received much needed help in the shape of a small annuity.

Outside the small family circle, none felt Charlotte Bronte's sudden death more than Mrs. Gaskell, who wrote a kind letter to the poor, stricken father, and also to the bereaved husband.

Mr. George Smith had got possession of A Fragment of a Story, written by Charlotte Bronte, which had been forwarded by Mr. Nicholls. It was intended to publish this in The Cornhill


After her death, Arthur stayed with Rev. Patrick Bronte to care for him.

Martha Brown, the faithful servant, who was a woman of twenty-six, remained with the two mourners, and her sisters Eliza and Tabitha helped her.

In 1860 Elizabeth Gaskell, accompanied by her daughter Meta, paid her last visit to see Mr Brontë, who was by this time confined to bed: 'we were taken into his bedroom; where everything was delicately clean and white, and there he was sitting propped up in bed in a clean nightgown, with a clean towel laid just for his hands to play upon ...' Mr Brontë, having outlived his wife and children, died here on 7 June 1861, at the age of eighty-four.

Strange world of the Brontes Marie Campbell
Arthur Bell Nichols packed up his belongings and all his mementos of Charlotte and returned to Ireland taking Plato, Patrick's last dog, with him. In Banagher the Royal School was now being run by Dr. Bell's second son, James, who had taken it over on the death of his father. He was living in Cuba House, so his mother, Arthur's aunt, had gone to live in a small house at the top of the hill in the little town, with her daughter Mary Anna. After Cuba House, Hill House must have felt minute, hut it was pretty, opposite the church and stood in twenty acres of land. It is still there though much changed over the years.

Arthur made his way to Hill House where he joined his aunt and cousin, Mary Anna. He became a small farmer, giving up the Church altogether. Martha Brown, one of the faithful Brontë servants came over from time to time and took over the housekeeping. She had nursed Charlotte and was one of Arthur's last links with the old days. When he was forty three and Mary Anna thirty two they decided to get married. She had always loved her cousin and he was fond of her.
They married in 1864 and the ceremony was performed by Rev. Joseph Bell, Mary Anna's brother, and Arthur's cousin. It seemed to be more of a marriage of convenience, a friendship than anything else. There were no children of the marriage. Arthur died in 1906 at the age of eighty eight and Mary Ann in 1915 aged eighty five. They are both buried across the road from Hill House in the Churchyard of St. Paul's. Arthur's aunt, Mary Anna's mother, lived to the great age of 101, dying in 1902, a wonderful old lady. Arthur never recovered from Charlotte's death.  .lisburn.com/books/historical 
23/07/1855 Elizabeth Gaskell visited Haworth to meet Patrick Bronte to discuss the biography of Charlotte Bronte.

07/02/1857  The manuscript of the "Life of Charlotte Bronte" by Elizabeth Gaskell was completed.

25/03/1857 The "Life of Charlotte Bronte" by Elizabeth Gaskell was published.

06/06/1857 Charlotte Bronte's previously rejected novel "The Professor" was published.

01/03/1893 Mary Taylor close friend of Charlotte Bronte died.

26/11/1897 Ellen Nussey, Charlotte Bronte's life long friend died aged 80

02/12/1906 Arthur Bell Nicholls husband of Charlotte Bronte died.

After his death in 1906 at the age of 88, his wife who was short of money, sold many of her husband's souvenirs of his former wife to the Brontë Society, including the portrait by Branwell Brontë of the three sisters, that had been kept.
Bonnell’s earliest opportunity to buy Brontë manuscripts would have arisen in 1895 or 1896 when some letters and early manuscripts, including little books (Figure 4), appeared on the market. They were part of the collection that Arthur Bell Nicholls had taken to Ireland with him when the Brontë household was broken up in 1861 and he had guarded it jealously, selling nothing for over thirty years. The story of how Arthur Nicholls was persuaded to part with his treasured mementos, and by whom, has itself been the subject of books, but the bones of the story are this: on the 31 July 1895, the fortieth anniversary of Charlotte’s death, Arthur Nicholls received a visit from Clement Shorter, a book collector and journalist on the Illustrated London News who had written an introduction to one of the cheap editions of Jane Eyre. Shorter was researching a new biography of Charlotte that was to come out the following year under the title Charlotte Brontë and her Circle (1896), and he interviewed Nicholls at length.

However, during the interview, Shorter managed to persuade Nicholls to part with the greater part of his manuscripts and letters, including the little books. Shorter told Nicholls that close study of the juvenilia would cast valuable new light on the Brontës’ literary development, and he promised that, when he had finished with the manuscripts, they would be deposited in the safe keeping of the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington. Nicholls was, by 1895, seventy-six years old, and the promise of his
treasures being secured for the nation rather than cast, after his death, upon the market, evidently appealed to him, as too would the money, for his means were by then straightened. He sold the collection, with exclusive rights, to Clement Shorter.
But Shorter was not working alone in the purchase of Nicholls’ collection, he had a partner in the London bibliographer and book dealer, T. J. Wise, and Nicholls received cheques from both of them. Over the years that followed, most of the Brontës’ early poems and stories were first published (under Shorter’s assumed copyright) by either Shorter or Wise, but none of the manuscripts ever saw the inside of the South Kensington Museum. Wise vandalized Nicholls’ collection and sold it, scattering it across the globe.
Under the terms of Bonnell’s will his widow, Helen, retained some eighty items of Brontë memorabilia but the rest of his collection, some 336 items, were despatched in 1929 to the newly acquired Parsonage Museum — 336 items that would be the firm foundation on which other donors of Brontë memorabilia would thereafter have the confidence to build. His bequest included the manuscripts of fifteen of Emily’s poems, her French devoirs, and the desk on which she wrote Wuthering Heights.

There were fifty of Charlotte’s manuscripts, including The Story of Willie Ellin, Angrian poems, and her French devoirs; nine of Anne’s poems and twenty by Branwell, and over a hundred of Charlotte’s letters. There were thirty-four drawings and watercolours; Mr Brontë’s Homer and his Horace, both prizes from St John’s ‘for having always kept in the first class’

Whilst at college, Patrick Bronte, in addition to his scholar- ship and exhibitions, gained two prizes at least, consisting of two quarto copies of Homer and Horace. " Homeri Ilias. Graece et Latine. Samuel Clarke, S.T.P. Impensis Jacobi et Johannis Knapton, in Ccemeterio D. Pauli, mdccxxix." This book bears the College Arms on the cover, and has the following inscription : " My prize book for always having kept in the first class at St. John's College, Cambridge. P. Bronte, A.B. To be retained semper.
" Horatius Flaccus, Rich. Bentleii. Amstelodami, 1728.
" Prize obtained by Rev. Patrick Bronte, St. John's College."

Mr Brontë’s Bible, Emily’s Prayer Book, Anne’s book of Christian poets, and Branwell’s music book, and there were first editions of every Brontë novel, and every one of Mr Brontë’s six published works.

Martha Brown treasured a large collection of Brontë memorabilia that she was happy to display, but reluctant to sell. On her death however, this collection was divided between her sisters and it gradually dispersed.

A meeting took place towards the end of 1893 in the office of Mr Butler Wood, Chief Librarian of Bradford Public Libraries, followed by articles suggesting that the time had come to secure and preserve for the use of the public the literary and other relics of the Brontë sisters.
A public meeting took place shortly afterwards, the Brontë Society was established and has flourished ever since. Brontë items began to come in, many on loan, and in 1895 the upper floor of the Yorkshire Penny Bank building in Haworth was rented as a public museum.

In January 1896 there were 260 members and during the following summer months about 10,000 visitors passed through the Museum.
The antiques shop was previously used by the Bronte Society as a museum from 1895.

It contains numerous  relics of the Bronte family. Altogether there are some three hundred exhibits, and a number of letters and manuscripts written by Charlotte and Branwell Bronte. There is a copy and translation of the letter written by M. Heger to Mr. Bronte in  1842 (someone had evidently copied it and given it to Ellen Nussey, as it was purchased at the Nussey Sale), and one from Mrs. Gaskell to Martha Brown. A specimen of almost every article of dress worn by Charlotte Bronte is also exhibited, including her boots and house shoes, as well as many relics of other members of the family.
There is Ellen Nussey's copy of the privately printed book made up of the letters from Charlotte Bronte to her, which Mr. Horsfall Turner compiled, and there are also some early editions of the Bronte novels and poems, which have been presented to the Society. In addition are many sketches made by Charlotte, Branwell, and Emily Bronte; even the old leather trunks used by the family have a place there, as
well as a saddle bag used by old Mr. Bronte. Thackeray's statuette is in the window-sill, facing visitors as they enter the main room, and from its prominent position it is the first object to be seen from the street.

4 augustus 1928
thousands turned out
for the opening
of the
Bronte parsonage museum

In 1930 the dining room
then housing
the Bonnell Collection

Haworth, the home of the Brontes," is now a familar and well-recognised description of the little moorland village in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Here everything of importance appropriates the name of Bronte. The parsonage is always an object of interest, though it is by no means so desolate and bare as in the Bronte days. Bronte pilgrims may often be seen in the churchyard, looking over the low wall which
separates it from the vicarage garden, but in summer the leafy trees act as a screen to the parsonage. The church naturally claims much attention, though the tower is the only part of the old church which remains. When the church was pulled down in 1879, Mr. Wade, the Incumbent, was very careful that
the Bronte grave should not be disturbed, and since the new church was built in 1881 a brass plate has been fixed over the grave, with the simple inscription



2 opmerkingen:

  1. This is a marvelous post off alot of fascinating history
    that usual isn't on into

    Outside the small family circle, none felt Charlotte Bronte's sudden death more than Mrs. Gaskell,

    She certainly felt it was a golden opportunity and she didn't let it pass her by

    Mrs. G put off Charlotte's requests for her to visit Haworth with excuses so she could visit Florance Nightingale twice in the same time period.

    Charlotte was a past sensation and declining stock while living . There were fresher celebrity fields than Charlotte now to explore .

    All that changed in a blink when Charlotte died. Haworth's stationary seller John Greenwood wrote to inform Mrs. G.of Charlotte's death. She was too out of touch with Charlotte to learn of it otherwise

    Mr. Greenwood was Mrs Gaskell's source for Haworth village gossip about Charlotte's father and husband ever afterwards ...which she would print and spread about without a thought of investigating as it suited her proposes so well. Greenwood was no fool . He knew what she wanted to hear

    Mrs. G and Greenwood worked well together since for both of them Charlotte Bronte had become a commodity

  2. Thank you for the information! I'm a really devoted to Charlotte Bronte and this post means a lot to me


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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