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 augustus 2011

Thornfield Hall

Norton Conyers 

It was Clare Balding’s love of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre that took her to Norton Conyers in North Yorkshire, a manor house owned by the same family since the 17th century and long thought of as a likely inspiration for fictional Thornfield Hall, where Mr Rochester kept his mad wife Bertha confined in an attic. 
In 1839, Charlotte was unhappily employed as a governess to a family at Lothersdale, not far away, when she accompanied them on a day trip to view the historic house. ‘I think she’d have been enchanted by its atmosphere,’ Clare explains.
It is easy to imagine this place being Thornfield Hall.’ Maybe it was a loquacious housekeeper who showed the visitors around the house and told them the darkest family legend, the story of a madwoman restrained in the attic back in the 18th century. The present owners of the house are Sir James and Lady Graham. ‘She was known as Mad Mary,’ explains Lady Graham. ‘We don’t know if she was a servant or a member of the family. Anybody considered mad was hidden from view.’ 

It makes me feel terribly sad being here... it feels so much like a cell, with just a glimpse of the outside world through the window
It was an astonishing discovery at Norton Conyers in 2004 that seemingly supports the Grahams’ claim. A door was discovered behind some solid Edwardian panelling, giving access to a previously unknown staircase. It led to a cramped garret with a small gable window. Could this be the madwoman’s chamber? 
‘It makes me feel terribly sad being here,’ says Clare, ‘because it feels so much like a cell, with just a glimpse of the outside world through the window. We’ll never know for sure whether Charlotte Brontë came up here. But I can’t tell you how strange it feels, how eerie to be allowed to wander through these rooms and imagine the screams and the groans of a woman locked away. And to feel the spirit of Charlotte Brontë and, in a way, the ghost of Jane Eyre.’

Read more:Daily mail Attic-inspired-Jane-Eyre-priest-hole-saved-Charles-II.html
 with an interesting story about 
 Norton Conyers: 

"The wallpaper was found behind 18th century paneling in a cupboard next to the house maid’s room. We know that the house maid’s room was originally much larger and grander but part of it was done away with when the 1780s ceiling was created. We do not know if this was the original place for the wall paper or whether it had been used in the grander rooms downstairs. This room had wallpaper which was stuck onto canvas and held together by a wooden frame and we found evidence of a soft woolen-type fabric which would have given it a much softer look which we are told was French”.

Muriel Spark

If writing came naturally to Muriel Spark - and she insists it did - so did her material. She specialises in paradox, danger, assumption, the Great Unseen. In her stories and novels, even in her biographies of Mary Shelley and Emily Brontë, the air crawls with treachery and half-truths. (...)
Her two biographies, do not forget, researched writers who experienced critical censure much focussed on their sex: Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, had variously been called a "mere sponge who absorbed the ideas of the great men who surrounded her", a cypher of her talented husband and a hysteric, while Emily Brontë hid behind a male pseudonym (as did her sisters) to avoid the double dismissal of her work as not only tragically girly but also unwomanly in her immodest desire to parade it shamelessly before the public. (Janice Galloway)
 bronte blog i-could-wish-she-used-simpler-language and  Muriel Spark.

vrijdag 19 augustus 2011

Patchwork by Ellen Nussey under the Hammer

Bronte blog/ patchwork-by-ellen-under-hammer

A fragment patchwork quilt worked by Ellen Nussey is going under the hammer on September 27th. As the Dorset Echo said, A COLLECTION of vintage clothing will go up for sale at Duke’s auctioneers in Dorchester.
There will be a selection of clothing, bags and accessories on auction on Tuesday, September 27. There will also be a good example of patchwork, which was worked by Ellen Nussey, a close friend of the Bronte sisters. Miss Nussey met Charlotte Bronte at Roe Head School when Charlotte was 15 years old.
The patchwork is bright and in good condition and is being sold with several provenance letters, including one from The Bronte Society relating to when it was on loan to them.

Jane Shawl

From the weblog

Last week I saw the new Jane Eyre for the first time. There are the pretty dresses and the finery, but there's also the grime and soot, and dirty hems and simple clothes and knit wear--- ah, stop there! Knitwear :)
And what does my adoration of a gritted up Jane Eyre have to do with Tasha Tudor, you say? Well, I think Tasha would most heartily approve of it since the 1830s was an era she was particularly passionate about. Her costuming, in essence, is that of Jane Eyre. And in the movie and in Tasha's personal wardrobe was a very simple but so snug and comfortable looking little shoulder shawl.

Word on the knitting street is that other knitters have fallen for the 'Jane Shawl' (which might as well be the 'Tasha Shawl") and several patterns have popped up on Ravelry

The bicentenary of the birth of William Makepeace Thackeray


School of English, University of Leeds
Saturday 1st October 2011
Professor Judith Fisher (Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas), author of Thackeray’s Skeptical Narrative and the ‘Perilous Trade’ of Authorship (2002)
Professor Richard Pearson (National University of Ireland, Galway), author of W.M. Thackeray and the Mediated Text (2000)

2011 marks the bicentenary of the birth of William Makepeace Thackeray. This conference offers an opportunity to reassess Thackeray’s place in Victorian culture and in the history of novel, as well as the development of his critical reputation over the past two centuries. The conference will examine both Thackeray’s position within time and the importance of time – including questions of temporality, history, and modernity – within his writings. The concept of ‘time’ proposes a focus – with numerous permutations – for enquiry into Thackeray’s works and cultural status. By interpreting the relationship between Thackeray and time in different ways, we anticipate that scholars will be able to consider his writing in challenging and exciting ways, to reposition Thackeray on the map of Victorian studies, and to build on the existing body of scholarship.

donderdag 18 augustus 2011

Jane Eyre 2011 Region 1 DVD and Wuthering Heights.

On http://bronteblog.blogspot.com/: you can find a lot of news about:

Jane Eyre 2011 Region 1 DVD and Andrea Arnold's upcoming Wuthering Heights. After being presented at the Venice Film Festival, the film will enter the Toronto International Film Festival as a Special Presentation. The festival's website says about the film: 
No starched lace, no panoramic views, no sweeping score — Andrea Arnold takes Emily Brontë’s classic novel and strips it to the root of youthful passion, restoring its stark power for a contemporary audience. Following her bracing portraits of female desire in Red Road and Fish Tank, Arnold pushes even further here, portraying love as a rush of heart-stopping beauty, cruelty and impulsive acts.
And it includes a few promotional pictures (which can also be found on Collider) uncredited, although we suppose them to be the work of Andrea A. Nitecka:

maandag 15 augustus 2011

Wendy Craik

Separate chapters are given to each of the seven novels. The author’s aims and techniques in each are assessed and Dr. Craik shows what light the books throw on each other, how they are related to the novels of the Brontë’s predecessors, and how the Brontë novels compare with their great contemporaries in the nineteenth century novel.
Wendy Craik

zondag 14 augustus 2011

Patrick Brontë and Cambridge

Library of   St. John's College
Patrick Brontë, father of the famous literary sisters Charlotte, Anne and Emily, was born in the Banbridge District in 1777. Born in a tiny whitewashed cottage at Emdale kleurrijkbrontesisters patrick-bronte birthplace, he was the first child of Hugh and Alice Brunty. Patrick was apprenticed to a blacksmith, then to a linen weaver and draper. Patrick was tutored at an early age by Reverend Andrew Harshaw, who taught him in the early mornings before Patrick went on to his job as a linen weaver. By the time he was sixteen he was already teaching in the Presbyterian school at Glascar and then in the Parish Church School at Drumballyroney.

The Rev. Thomas Tighe, Rector of Drumballyroney, genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry/Drumballyroney was evidently much interested in young Bronte since he entrusted to him the education of his own children.

St. John's College The Great Gate  

Patrick moved to Cambridge in 1802 to study theology at St. John's College. http://www.joh.cam.ac.uk/about/tour/   He gained his 
BA degree in 1806.

The following is a list of notable people educated at St John's College Cambridge. 

Arts and Literature

St. John's College Cambridge

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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