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 29 september 2011

Translation, Authorship and the Victorian Professional Woman

Translation, Authorship and the Victorian Professional Woman
Charlotte Brontë, Harriet Martineau and George Eliot
Lesa Scholl, The University of Queensland, Australia
September 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4094-2653-0

In her study of Charlotte Brontë, Harriet Martineau and George Eliot, Lesa Scholl shows how three Victorian women writers broadened their capacity for literary professionalism by participating in translation and other conventionally derivative activities such as editing and reviewing early in their careers. In the nineteenth century, a move away from translating Greek and Latin Classical texts in favour of radical French and German philosophical works took place. As England colonised the globe, Continental philosophies penetrated English shores, causing fissures of faith, understanding and cultural stability. The influence of these new texts in England was unprecedented, and Eliot, Brontë and Martineau were instrumental in both literally and figuratively translating these ideas for their English audience. Each was transformed by access to foreign languages and cultures, first through the written word and then by travel to foreign locales, and the effects of this exposure manifest in their journalism, travel writing and fiction. Ultimately, Scholl argues, their study of foreign languages and their translation of foreign-language texts, nations and cultures enabled them to transgress the physical and ideological boundaries imposed by English middle-class conventions.

Parsonage Museum

  1. a dress of  Charlotte Bronte
  2. The Kitchen

woensdag 28 september 2011

On this day in 1848 Branwell Bronte was buried.

On October the 9th, Charlotte Bronte writes:
"The past three weeks have been a dark interval in our humble home. Branwell's constitution had been failing fast all the summer; but still, neither the doctors nor himself thought him so near his end as he was. He was entirely confined to his bed but for one single day, and was in the village two days before his death. He died, after twenty minutes' struggle, on Sunday morning, September 24th. He was perfectly conscious till the last agony came on. His mind had undergone the peculiar change which frequently precedes death, two days previously; the calm of better feelings filled it; a return of natural affection marked his last moments. He is in God's hands now; and the All-Powerful is likewise the All-Merciful. A deep conviction that he rests at last - rests well, after his brief, erring, suffering, feverish life - fills and quiets my mind now. The final separation, the spectacle of his pale corpse, gave me more acute bitter pain than I could have imagined. Till the last hour comes, we never how know much we can forgive, pity, regret a near relative. All his vices were and are nothing now. We remember only his woes. Papa was acutely distressed at first, but, on the whole, has borne the event well. Emily and Anne are pretty well, though Anne is always delicate, and Emily has a cold and cough at present. It was my fate to sink at the crisis, when I should have collected my strength. Headache and sickness came on first on the Sunday; I could not regain my appetite. Then internal pain attacked me. I became at once much reduced. It was impossible to touch a morsel. At last, bilious fever declared itself. I was confined to bed a week, - a dreary week. But, thank God! health seems now returning. I can sit up all day, and take moderate nourishment. The doctor said at first, I should be very slow in recovering, but I seem to get on faster than he anticipated. I am truly much better."

Read; messages for Branwell

maandag 26 september 2011

Kate Beaton, creator of the comic "Hark! A Vagrant," on the art of telling jokes about things people take seriously

The characters in Kate Beaton's hit webcomic, "Hark! A Vagrant," are familiar, and also not. There are the three Brontë sisters, checking out surly guys: "So passionate!" "So mysterious!" "So brooding!" swoon Charlotte and Emily, while Anne Brontë (author of "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall," in case you didn't know she existed), retorts, "If you like alcoholic dickbags!" "No wonder nobody buys your books," hisses Charlotte. Inspector Javert from "Les Misérables" is detailed to the Bread Crimes Division. Raskolnikov tips off his own police nemesis by penning an Op-Ed titled "Murdering Old Ladies: Not Even a Big Deal."
Read more: salon.com/books/laura_miller/2011/09/22/kate_beaton

Walking up to Haworth

The new Jane Eyre film hits the big screen this month, starring Michael Fassbender. Inspired, Leo Owen goes in search of ‘Brontë Country’
"You can see [the parsonage] for two miles before [you] arrive, for it is situated on the side of a pretty steep hill, with a background of dun and purple moors,” novelist Elizabeth Gaskell wrote in the mid-1800s, describing her friend Charlotte Brontë’s family home. Walking up the hill that Gaskell so perfectly described, it’s easy to imagine the Brontë sisters running errands for their father, Patrick. Still picturesque and unspoilt, Haworth’s Yorkshire stone walls counterpoint the coarse weather-beaten moors that surround it.
The town’s main street may appear relatively unchanged, but closer inspection reveals an impressive array of vintage, retro and antique shops, all tempting avid Brontë fans off their yellow brick road. But most notable are the streams of people braving the steep hill on a literary pilgrimage that is today attracting more and more visitors.

Tragically, Charlotte was the only Brontë sister to have felt the admiration of fame, along with Patrick – who outlived his wife and six children to witness the first influx of Haworth tourists and marvel at souvenir pictures of himself on sale.

Walking past only son Branwell Brontë’s favoured tavern, the haunted Black Bull, I climb the remaining steps towards the churchyard that leads on to the lifelong home of England’s most celebrated literary family.

Entering a small gate, I queue inside a modest square garden. When finally inside, I talk with Andrew McCarthy, the director of the Brontë Parsonage, who has noticed a sizeable buzz in the area as the film's release date draws nearer. “Any kind of new TV or film adaptation of a Brontë work is always of interest, but with this particular adaptation there seems to have been a lot more media attention,” he reveals.

read more:tn tmagazine haworth-a-breath-of-yorkshire-eyre

The comb of Emily Bronte

http://bronteblog.blogspot.com/: The on going exhibition Roni Horn: Recent Work at the Hauser & Wirth London Gallery (9 September – 22 October 2011) contains a work inspired by a Brontë anecdote. Regrettably we have been unable to find a picture of the piece, but Laura Mc-Lean Ferris describes it in The Independent:

Horn drags us away from wateriness, too, with this work's title. It is called Untitled ("Once I saw Emily's comb, a very nasty-looking comb, too. She dropped it off the horsehair sofa the moment she died and it fell in the fire. Charlotte grabbed it, which seems an odd thing to have bothered about doing with her sister dying. There it is to this day, a bit burnt. One of the most horrible things I ever saw.") (2011).
This title refers to an anecdote about the death of Emily Brontë. The images of the fire, horsehair sofa, death and the burnt comb and seem antithetical to the atmosphere of Horn's sculptures, which have a cool, gentle atmosphere. It is as though they might be memory buckets, or soothing lozenges – a balm to stories of pain and fire. They are very beautiful, and worth visiting on different days, to be seen in changing climatic conditions as the cold sharpens its teeth and the days contract towards winter.

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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