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 8 oktober 2011

Pillar Portrait reconstruction

Sarah Walden, the author of the Pillar Portrait reconstruction, has written to us to share a video showing the process of the digital reconstruction which brought Branwell back from behind the pillar:
A digital reconstruction of Branwell Brontë back into the sibling portrait group he painted. Reportedly, Charlotte Brontë showed this portrait sans Branwell and smelling of fresh paint to Elizabeth Gaskell after her siblings' deaths. I have used GIMP to dodge and burn the faint paint variances to "draw out" the features of Branwell that have shown up as the paint has faded over there years on the pillar. I used Emily's eyes for his. The song is my own composition.
You even can buy merchandise (a T-shirt with the Pillar Portrait plus Branwell back in) on zazzle.

vrijdag 7 oktober 2011

History to Herstory

The Guardian's Northerner Blog announces the revamping and launch today, October 7, of the website History to Herstory, which up until now was one of the few repositories online where many manuscripts of letters written by Charlotte Brontë, Ellen Nussey, etc. as well as lives and manuscripts of countless famous and not-so-famous Yorkshire women could be seen.

woensdag 5 oktober 2011

October in Haworth

Autumn colourOctober is the month where autumn is now well underway and early morning frosts are a reminder of winter to come. The days will become noticeably shorter as the month progresses. Autumn colour can be seen as the trees and hedgerow leaves change.

What to see

Garden birds such as the Blackbird, Blue Tit and Robin will be seen more frequently as their need to find food increases. This time of year is a good time to start feeding them. The start of the month Meadow Pipits can sometimes be seen in large numbers as they migrate to other areas. Redwing and Fieldfare will be migrating from Northern Europe to winter in Britain.

The leaves on Trees and hedgerows start to change colour to a yellow - gold colour. The reason why this happens is that during the summer when there is plenty of sunlight the leaves produce chlorophyll This is the green you see and it converts the sunlight into energy. The red orange pigment is there in the leaf but is covered up by the green, in the autumn there is less light and so the making of chlorophyll stops and the green fades away to reveal the red - orange colours underneath. As the tree canopy is gradually lost Grey Squirrels can be seen moving around in woods, busy looking for acorns.

This is the time Jays are also active burying acorns to eat during the winter.

October is a good time to see fungi, cool damp days you will find many types in woodland and fields.

Fewer insect will be seen as the cold weather sets in, early in the month if the weather is warm you can still see butterflies such as 
Red Admiral.

dinsdag 4 oktober 2011

‘October 4th, 1847.TO W. S. WILLIAMS

Dear Sir,—I thank you sincerely for your last letter.  It is valuable to me because it furnishes me with a sound opinion on points respecting which I desired to be advised; be assured I shall do what I can to profit by your wise and good counsel.
‘Permit me, however, sir, to caution you against forming too favourable an idea of my powers, or too sanguine an expectation of what they can achieve.  I am myself sensible both of deficiencies of capacity and disadvantages of circumstance which will, I fear, render it somewhat difficult for me to attain popularity as an author.  The eminent writers you mention—Mr. Thackeray, Mr. Dickens, Mrs. Marsh, etc., doubtless enjoyed facilities for observation such as I have not; certainly they possess a knowledge of the world, whether intuitive or acquired, such as I can lay no claim to, and this gives their p. 334writings an importance and a variety greatly beyond what I can offer the public.
‘Still, if health be spared and time vouchsafed me, I mean to do my best; and should a moderate success crown my efforts, its value will be greatly enhanced by the proof it will seem to give that your kind counsel and encouragement have not been bestowed on one quite unworthy.—Yours respectfully, C. Bell.’

maandag 3 oktober 2011

‘October 3rd, 1851. Dear Nell

Dear Nell,—Do not think I have forgotten you because I have not written since your last.  Every day I have had you more or less in my thoughts, and wondered how your mother was getting on; let me have a line of information as soon as possible.  I have been busy, first with a somewhat unexpected visitor, a cousin from Cornwall, who has been spending a few days with us, and now with Miss Wooler, who came on Monday.  The former personage we can discuss any time when we meet.  Miss Wooler is and has been very pleasant.  She is like good wine: I think time improves her; and really whatever she may be in person, in mind she is younger than when at Roe Head.  Papa and she get on extremely well.  I have just heard papa walk into the dining-room and pay her a round compliment on her good-sense.  I think so far she has been pretty comfortable and likes Haworth, but as she only brought a small hand-basket of luggage with her she cannot stay long.
‘How are you?  Write directly.  With my love to your mother, etc., good-bye, dear Nell.—Yours faithfully,
C. Brontë.

Keighley News gives an update (and an unforgettable picture) of the current status of the Haworth Couldn’t Wear Less calendar initiative to raise money to refurbish Haworth's parish church:

Volunteers have been stripping off to help raise the £1.2 million needed to refurbish Haworth’s parish church.
They have come forward to be part of a pair of charity Calendar Girls-style calendars for 2012.
These will feature people either living or working in Haworth, including some local councillors. They will be pictured against familiar Bronte Country landscape, all wearing a lot less than usual. (...) 

“We’re calling them ‘Haworth Couldn’t Wear Less - His’ and ‘Haworth Couldn’t Wear Less - Hers’. “We are looking for some local businesses to provide about £1,000 worth of funding to cover the costs of printing and for outlets willing to sell the calendars for us from mid October. “People can follow the project on our Twitter account which is @HaworthCalendar.” [says Sarah Granby]. She said she would also like help from someone with computer skills to put together a thermometer-style graphic which can be featured online and updated to allow people to keep track of how many calendars are being sold. People willing to support the project can email haworthcalendar@aol.com.

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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