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 12 november 2011

Old pictures of Haworth

Parsonage Museum

The document is tiny. Its 19 pages are the size of your credit card. Its author was 14 years old. And it is expected to reach in the region of £300,000 when it goes under the hammer at Sotheby’s auction house on December 15.

For this is a lost story by none other than Charlotte Bronte, author of Jane Eyre, and a member of the famous family who lived in the parsonage in Haworth, West Yorkshire.
Our fascination with the Bronte sisters is seemingly inexhaustible. This autumn alone, there have been new films of Charlotte’s novel Jane Eyre and Emily’s Wuthering Heights. Director Andrea Arnold’s brooding, silent Wuthering Heights is the 27th film adaptation of this book.


donderdag 10 november 2011

Haworth, Scroggling the holly weekend.

Its almost the start of Haworths calender of Christmas events. It starts as always with the Scroggling the Holly Weekend this coming Saturday and Sunday. Next week is the Christmas market and a good chance to see Haworth looking Christmassy without the scary ice and snow that have arrived the past couple of years in early December or even late November.

Auctions at Bonhams

Auctions at Bonhams

The Sotheby's auction of a Charlotte Brontë manuscript is not the only one going on in the following days:

In Bonhams to be auctioned next November 22:

Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs, including the Property of the late Michael Silverman
New Bond Street, 22 Nov 2011 at 10:30

Lot No: 16
Autograph letter signed ("P. Brontë"), to the Haworth stationer John Greenwood, asking him to order Dr Cumming's Sermon before the Queen and the Churchman's Almanack for 1851, one page, lightly browned overall, a little wear, marginal nicks, but nevertheless still in attractive condition overall, oblong 8vo, Haworth, 5 December 1850
Estimate: £600 - 800, € 690 - 920
PATRICK BRONTË FACES THE THREAT OF PAPAL TYRANNY. This letter was written by the Rev Patrick Brontë, while living alone with his surviving child, Charlotte, at Haworth Parsonage, Branwell having died on 24 September 1848, Emily on 19 December 1848, and Anne on 28 May 1849: although by now he had perhaps some inkling of the fame that was to be accorded to all three of his daughters; for Charlotte had managed to wrest control of her sisters' novels from their original publisher Thomas Newby, and Smith Elder were due to publish Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey five days after the date of this letter, on 10 December 1850. Charlotte was to escape the confines of Haworth Parsonage a few days later, going to stay with her friend Harriet Martineau at the Knoll in Ambleside on 16 December – see the adjacent lot.
Read on: Auctions at Bonhams

'Six young men wish to let themselves all a hire for the purpose of cleaning out pockets...'

Charlotte Brontë's soon-to-go-under-the-hammer unpublished manuscript is all over the news today. Sites echoing the news include The Washington Post, CBS News, The Huffington Post, etc. What they're mostly doing is republishing this Associated Press release:
Sotheby's says an unpublished work by the teenage Charlotte Brontë could sell for 300,000 pounds ($482,000) at an auction next month
The auction house says "The Young Men's Magazine, Number 2" is dated August 1830, when the writer was 14.
The mini-magazine, measuring 1.4 inches by 2.4 inches (35mm by 61mm), contains a tale of murder and madness set in the imaginary world of Glass Town.
Sotheby's book specialist Gabriel Heaton said it "provides a rare and intimate insight into one of history's great literary minds."
He said it includes a foretaste of a famous scene in Brontë's "Jane Eyre" — "when Bertha, Mr. Rochester's insane wife, seeks revenge by setting fire to the bed curtains in her husband's chamber."
The manuscript will be sold Dec. 15 in London. (Picture credits: Sotheby's)
'Six young men wish to let themselves all a hire for the purpose of cleaning out pockets...'

A first edition of Jane Eyre at Christie's

A first edition of Jane Eyre at Christie's
And another auction with Brontë-related material. This time a first edition of Jane Eyre is going to be auctioned at Christie's. Just check your pocket money, who knows?
Sale 8002
Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts
23 November 2011
London, King Street
[BRONTË, Charlotte (1816-1855)]. Jane Eyre. An Autobiography. Edited by Currer Bell. London: Smith, Elder, 1847.
£22,000 - £26,000 ($35,266 - $41,678)
Lot Description

3 volumes, 8° (198 x 118mm). Half-title in each vol. and advertisements dated June, 1847, at end of vol. I. (Some spotting, the majority marginal, but affecting text of first three chapters of vol. I, staining to quire R in vol. III, occasional finger-soiling and small light waterstains, half-title to vol. III tipped onto front endpaper.) Original brown fine-ribbed cloth by Westleys and Clark with their ticket in vol. I, covers with trellis-like borders, gilt-lettered spines, yellow endpapers (spines rubbed and repaired at head and foot, corners rubbed, some splits to inner hinges, front inner hinge of vol. I entirely split from text block, some repairs to endpapers), later cloth box. Provenance: E.M. George (faded inscription at head of first text leaf in each vol, giving his address at Pound Road, Aylsham) -- Paula Fentress Peyraud (1947-2008; sale Bloomsbury New York, 6 May 2009, lot 168).

FIRST EDITION of Charlotte Brontë's story of a young, plain-looking governess who falls in love with her employer, Rochester, unaware that he keeps a dangerous, mad wife hidden away on the uppermost floor of his country house. The assumed name of Bell, shared with her sisters, was the midddle name of her future husband, Arthur Bell Nicholls, who had arrived in Haworth in May 1845 as her father's curate. Published at 31s. 6d. on 19 October, 1847, in an edition of 500 copies, her novel followed the unsuccessful publication of Poems by the three sisters in May 1846, and the rejection of her first novel The Professor. It was her greatest work, and the first Brontë novel to appear in print. In the second edition of January 1848, the name Currer Bell was given as that of the author and no longer just the editor of the book. Smith 2; Block p. 28; Sadleir I, 346; Wise p. 16; Wolff I, 826. (3) bronteblogfirst-edition-of-jane-eyre-in-christies.html

Elizabeth Gaskell

My fascination for Elizabeth Gaskell began with the BBC as they presented some of her memorable stories in film adaptations.  Until I later watched Wives and Daughters, and saw the small documentary of her included in the DVD, that I really became aware of who Mrs. Gaskell was.
Read more: theregencyinkwell/a-guests-thoughts-on-writing/

woensdag 9 november 2011

Mini-tijdschrift van Charlotte Brontë op veiling

Bij veilinghuis Sotheby’s in Londen wordt op 15 december 2011 een bijzonder manuscript verkocht van Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855). Het is een miniatuur tijdschrift met 19 dichtbeschreven pagina’s van 6 x 3,5 cm: The Young Men’s Magazine, nummer 2, augustus 1830. Verwachte opbrengst £200,000-300,000.
Het – tot nu toe onbekende – juweeltje is gevuld met verhalen uit de imaginaire wereld ‘Glass Town’, ontsproten aan de rijke verbeelding van de Brontë kinderen die opgroeiden in de pastorie in Yorkshire.
De kinderen schreven vele tijdschriftjes vol met verhalen uit deze fantasierijken.
‘We pretended we had each a large island inhabited by people 6 miles high.’ In their collaborative early writings the Brontes created and peopled the most extraordinary fantasy worlds, whose geography and history they elaborated in numerous stories, poems, and plays. Together they invented characters based on heroes and writers such as Wellington, Napoleon, Scott, and Byron, whose feuds, alliances, and love affairs weave an intricate web of social and political intrigue in imaginary colonial lands in Africa and the Pacific Ocean.
Twee boeken over de fantasiewereld van de Brontë kinderen.
Glass Town: The Secret World of the Bront’ Children
Michael Bedard (Author), paintings by Rick Jacobson and Laura Fernandez
Publisher: Atheneum, 1997
isbn 9780689811852

maandag 7 november 2011

Local weather patterns at Haworth

Rebecca Chesney: 

I am a visual artist based in Preston, UK. The Bronte Weather Project  is a year long research residency based at The Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth and will run from September 2011. 

During the residency I will be studying the local weather patterns at Haworth and also reading texts by the Brontes to see how they were influenced and inspired by the weather.

From this weblog:
Letter to Ellen Nussey  dated October 1836 
"It is a Stormy evening and the wind is uttering a continual moaning sound that makes me feel very melancholy - At such times, in such moods as these Ellen it is my nature to seek repose in some calm, tranquil idea and I have now summoned up your image to give me rest  There you sit, upright and still in your black dress and white scarf - your pale, marble-like face - looking so serene and kind - just like reality - I wish you would speak to me -."
Charlotte Bronte 

I'm reading through letters by Charlotte Bronte and have found this weather reference in a letter held in the Huntington Library, San Marino in California. I've had a quick look to see if they have a copy on their web database, but it's not looking like it's online. I can feel an essential research trip coming on...*

Young Men's Magazine at Sotheby's

When Charlotte Brontë listed her plays in the manuscript Catalogue of my Books with the periods of their completion up to August 3, 1830 (now at the Morgan Library, fragment on the right) she included  six numbers of The Young Men's Magazine. Now, it seems that Number two has resurfaced and it will be auctioned at Sotheby's next December 15, according to The Times :
It is one of the most powerful images in English literature — a mad, wronged wife driven by thoughts of revenge sets fire to the home of her husband. Yet the inspiration for Charlotte Brontë’s depiction of a blaze in Mr Rochester’s bedroom in Jane Eyre came not in adulthood but when she was just 14, a newly discovered manuscript reveals. The document, heralded by scholars as one of the most important literary finds in years, has until now been hidden in a private collection. Brontë wrote the tale of murder and madness that prefigured Jane Eyre in August 1830, 17 years before the novel was published. It is part of a 19-page 4,000-word manuscript entitled The Young Men’s Magazine, Number 2. Still in its original red folder, it is written in minuscule script on pages measuring just over 6cm by 3.5cm. It is the missing second volume in a series of six she created that year. On Brontë’s death in 1855 her surviving manuscripts passed her widower, the Reverend Arthur Bell Nicholls, who later sold them. The manuscript only emerged when its owners approached Sotheby’s, the auctioneer, which realised its significance. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in scholarly and monetary value. It is expected to make about £300,000 when it is sold on December 15.
Literary experts, meanwhile, are excited by what it reveals about the young Brontë. Gabriel Heaton, senior specialist in books and manuscripts at Sotheby’s, said: “This minute manuscript marks Charlotte Brontës first burst of creativity and, significantly, provides a rare and intimate insight into one of history’s great literary minds.”
In her classic novel, Jane Eyre falls in love with Mr Rochester, not knowing he is already married. His insane wife, imprisoned in an attic, sets fire to the bed curtains in his chamber in an early chapter and later burns down his home. Heaton noted that though the thought of a 14-year-old girl in a Yorkshire parsonage in 19th-century England knowing about murder and madness may seem astonishing, Brontë’s imagination seems to have thrived on being allowed free access to her father’s library.  (Dalya Alberge)

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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