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

maandag 31 december 2012

I wish my readers a Happy New Year.

The New Year card pictured here is typical of the expanding range of greetings cards that appeared after 1840 when Rowland Hill invented the idea of postage stamps. At first there was just one stamp and this was called the Penny Black. It cost a penny and with this a letter could be sent anywhere in the country. Before the stamp was invented, it was far more costly to send a letter because the person who received the letter paid for the postage and the amount depended on how far a letter had travelled.

So with the cheaper postage, many more people started sending letters as well as greetings cards. The first Christmas card was sent in 1843 and it soon became a popular custom. Letters and cards were the only way of keeping in touch because telephones were not invented until 1876 and even then were not common in Victorian homes.

With the arrival of the penny post, streets had to be given name plates and houses numbers so that the postmen knew where to deliver letters. Post boxes (the first ones were green) appeared on street corners and people began to fit post boxes in their front doors so that letters could be delivered.

zaterdag 29 december 2012

Celebrate the 200th Wedding Anniversary of Maria and Patrick Brontë

Today, December 29th, at the Brontë Parsonage Museum:

December 29, 2012 is the 200th anniversary of the day that Patrick Brontë and Maria Branwell - parents of Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne - married at Guiseley Church, West Yorkshire.

To mark the occasion the Brontë Parsonage Museum is offering a day of free activities – and a piece of wedding cake! – to all visitors.
  • Meet ‘Mrs Brontë’ as she tours the Museum in her wedding dress
  • Listen to a short talk about Maria and Patrick’s courtship and wedding at intervals throughout the day
  • Handle real period costume items
  • Enjoy children’s activities in the foyer
  • And partake of a free slice of commemorative wedding cake!
Mrs Brontë will be at the Museum between 11am and 4pm, and is available for pictures outside the church, in the Museum and in the Museum garden.
Mrs Brontë herself discuss what she will wear for the occasion on Hathaways of Haworth.
Picture Source: Hathaways of Haworth. More information in Keighley News.

vrijdag 28 december 2012

A double wedding anniversary celebration

A double wedding anniversary celebration will be held at Haworth Parish Church tomorrow.
It will be 200 years since the Reverend Patrick Brontë, father of the famous sisters, married his wife Maria. He was vicar at Haworth from 1820 to 1861. It will also be 39 years since the current Priest-in-Charge, the Reverend Peter Mayo-Smith and his wife Eileen, were married.
To mark Patrick Brontë’s double-centenary the bell-ringers at the parish church will carry out a two-and-three-quarter- hour full peal.
Simon Burnett, the Haworth Church bell captain, said: “A full peal of bell involves 5,040 changes in various methods.”
Earlier in the day, the bell-ringers at Guiseley Parish Church, where Patrick and Maria were married, will also be attempting a full peal.The moors, my mistress
When her parents died, Maria had to look for a job. In 1812 her aunt Jane Fennell, who was housekeeper at the Woodhouse Grove School at Rawdon in Yorkshire, invited Maria to assist her. Maria accepted and left Penzance to start a new life. John Fennell, Jane's husband and Maria's uncle, was a methodist minister and the headmaster of the school. In 1812 he invited his former colleague Patrick Bronte to visit the school. Here, he met Maria and after a short courtship the couple were married on 29th December 1812. It was a double ceremony as John and Jane's daughter, Jane Branwell Fennell, also got married to the Reverend William Morgan. On that same day, but in Penzance, Joseph and Charlotte Branwell, two cousins of the brides, got married as well.
history and other thoughts

maandag 24 december 2012

Charlotte Brontë letters to her bff return to Haworth

A set of six rare and significant letters written at various stages in her life by Charlotte Brontë to her best friend Ellen Nussey are headed back to the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth on the Yorkshire moors, which was for many years the family’s home. The museum had to bid for them at Sotheby’s English Literature, History, Children’s Books & Illustrations sale on December 12th, and since the letters are highly desirable, the bidding was fierce. Thankfully they had a grant to get them over the hump.

The reason these six letters (and a first edition of the two-volume 1857 biography of Charlotte Brontë by Elizabeth Gaskell which was also part of the lot, but that was a negligible part of the value) are so dear is that Charlotte’s letters to Ellen are the basis for much of the Brontë scholarship that exists today.

Ellen kept all of the letters Charlotte wrote her, more than 500 in the final tally. Charlotte’s husband, her father’s curate Rev. Arthur Bell Nichols, wanted the letters destroyed after Charlotte’s death, fearing that they would somehow tarnish her reputation. Nussey refused, bless her forever for that. For the rest of her life — she died at the age of 80 in 1897 — Ellen considered herself a custodian of Charlotte’s personal and literary legacy, and biographers from Elizabeth Gaskell onward sought Ellen out for her recollections and correspondence.

After her death, the letters were sold, many of them ending up in the Haworth museum collection. These particular six were lent to Elizabeth Gaskell who apparently put them between the covers of the first edition of her biography of Charlotte and forgot about them. They were only recently rediscovered when the volumes, then in a private collection, were opened and the letters found out. They’ve only been known from poorly made transcripts until now, all of them inaccurate, so having the originals is an important addition to Brontë scholarship.
The letters cover the entire span of their friendship.
Read all: thehistoryblog

woensdag 19 december 2012

164 years ago today, lying on the dining-room sofa (still there today at the Parsonage), the astonishing Emily Bronte died, aged just 30.

"Dec. 21st, 1848.
"Emily suffers no more from pain or weakness now. She never will suffer more in this world. She is gone, after a hard short conflict. She died on Tuesday, the very day I wrote to you. I thought it very possible she might be with us still for weeks; and a few hours afterwards, she was in eternity. Yes; there is no Emily in time or on earth now. Yesterday we put her poor, wasted, mortal frame quietly under the church pavement. We are very calm at present. Why should we be otherwise? The anguish of seeing her suffer is over; the spectacle of the pains of death is gone by; the funeral day is past. We feel she is at peace. No need now to tremble for the hard frost and the keen wind. Emily does not feel them. She died in a time of promise. We saw her taken from life in its prime. But it is God's will, and the place where she is gone is better than that she has left.

Read also: kleurrijkbrontesisters

dinsdag 18 december 2012

The Bronte Parsonage museum in Haworth will be celebrating a unique event, a 200th weddding anniversary.

From Hathaways of Haworth:

 Maria Branwell met, fell in love with and married Patrick within a few months and hurriedly sent to Cornwall for her possessions and more of her clothing to be “sent around by sea” as that was the quickest way to transport things from Cornwall to Yorkshire at that time. Her possesions were almost all lost at sea in a storm which would suspect leave a big gap in her trousseau and replacing the lost essentials would make a huge gap in the cash available for buying new silks etc. The news of the shipwreck reached Maria sometime just before or around the 18th of November so she would have some time to make new items but having read her letters I imagine she would be more concerned with preparing for her married life and her new home than in making a trousseau. Though I should like to have created something new for the oocasion.

I was thrilled to be asked to be “Mrs Bronte” though finding a dress at short notice has been a challenge as I have a fairly limited regency wardrobe of day gowns and ball gowns. The ball gowns were made from expensive silks and far to lavishly trimmed but even for a regency wedding the brown day dresses seemed a bit gloomy.Very rarely did anyone except the rich have specially made wedding dresses they usually wore their sunday best. When they were well enough off to have a new dress made it was always one that could be reworn for everyday use later. Brown was in fact a popular colour because of its usefulness but to modern eyes a bit dreary.

The Bronte Parsonage museum in Haworth will be celebrating a unique event, a 200th weddding anniversary. On Dec 29th 2012 it will be the 200 anniversary of the Marriage in Guisley church of Maria Branwell and the Rev Patrick Bronte.The eventual Parents of the Bronte sisters and their brother Branwell.
Heres the museums information on the day of special events http://www.bronte.org.uk/
To mark the occasion the Brontë Parsonage Museum is offering a day of free activities – and a piece of wedding cake! – to all visitors.
  • Meet ‘Mrs Brontë’ as she tours the Museum in her wedding dress
  • Listen to a short talk about Maria and Patrick’s courtship and wedding at intervals throughout the day
  • Handle real period costume items
  • Enjoy children’s activities in the foyer
  • And partake of a free slice of commemorative wedding cake!

Bronte Society appointment

Professor Ann Sumner has been appointed executive director of the Bronte Society.
She will take over day-to-day management of the Bronte Parsonage Museum at Haworth.
And she will also lead the world-renowned international literary society and promote its contemporary arts programme.
Professor Sumner, currently director of the Birmingham Museums Trust, spent many years working in Yorkshire.
She held curatorial posts at various organisations, including the Harewood House Trust.
She will take up the new role in February.
“As a lifelong Bronte enthusiast, I could not be starting at a better time, with refurbishment of the Parsonage Museum coming up in early 2013 and planning for the bicentenary celebrations of Charlotte Bronte’s birth in 2016,” she said.
“I feel honoured and excited to be taking up my new role and returning to work in the beautiful county of West Yorkshire. I’m hugely looking forward to the challenges ahead.”
Bronte Society president, Bonnie Greer, said the appointment would be a huge boost. She added: “The wealth of Ann’s curatorial experience is a great resource for us to draw upon, and her national high standing as an art historian and museums director will certainly boost our profile, both within the UK and internationally.” keighleynews

Charlotte Bronte’s parasol

My parents were born in Oxenhope, a village connecting to Haworth. My grandparents and aunts lived there. Auntie Eleanor (b. 1899-d. 2001) had the Bronte parasol given to her by the Bronte housekeeper. I don’t know when that was but Eleanor was quite young. In the mid 20th century she gave it to my sister Anne who lived in R.I. U.S.A. After Anne died in 2004 I inherited it.

Julie Akhurst says she’ll keep me posted on the museum’s progress. She thanked me for my helpful post and added that, without it, the parasol would have been forgotten.
I expect the parasol would have made it to the museum eventually, but I’m glad to be part of the story. Read the complete article: charlotte-brontes-parasol

Christmas in Haworth

woensdag 12 december 2012

On this day in 1841 Charlotte Bronte wrote her poem "Passion".


by: Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855)

      OME have won a wild delight,
      By daring wilder sorrow;
      Could I gain thy love to-night,
      I'd hazard death to-morrow.

      Could the battle-struggle earn
      One kind glance from thine eye,
      How this withering heart would burn,
      The heady fight to try!

      Welcome nights of broken sleep,
      And days of carnage cold,
      Could I deem that thou wouldst weep
      To hear my perils told.

      Tell me, if with wandering bands
      I roam full far away,
      Wilt thou to those distant lands
      In spirit ever stray?

      Wild, long, a trumpet sounds afar;
      Bid me--bid me go
      Where Seik and Briton meet in war,
      On Indian Sutlej's flow.

      Blood has dyed the Sutlej's waves
      With scarlet stain, I know;
      Indus' borders yawn with graves,
      Yet, command me go!

      Though rank and high the holocaust
      Of nations steams to heaven,
      Glad I'd join the death-doomed host,
      Were but the mandate given.

      Passion's strength should nerve my arm,
      Its ardour stir my life,
      Till human force to that dread charm
      Should yield and sink in wild alarm,
      Like trees to tempest-strife.

      If, hot from war, I seek thy love,
      Darest thou turn aside?
      Darest thou then my fire reprove,
      By scorn, and maddening pride?

      No--my will shall yet control
      Thy will, so high and free,
      And love shall tame that haughty soul--
      Yes--tenderest love for me.

      I'll read my triumph in thine eyes,
      Behold, and prove the change;
      Then leave, perchance, my noble prize,
      Once more in arms to range.

      I'd die when all the foam is up,
      The bright wine sparkling high;
      Nor wait till in the exhausted cup
      Life's dull dregs only lie.

      Then Love thus crowned with sweet reward,
      Hope blest with fulness large,
      I'd mount the saddle, draw the sword,
      And perish in the charge!
"Passion" is reprinted from Poems By Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. Charlotte, nne, and Emily Bronte. Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard, 1848.


zondag 9 december 2012

zaterdag 8 december 2012

Red House Celebration

Kirklees Brontë Group invites everyone to come and join them at Red House Museum - in the restored cart sheds - to celebrate Christmas and the two hundredth anniversary of Patrick Brontë's marriage. The date is Saturday 15 December from 1.15 - 3.15pm. Descendants of his sister Sarah have been invited, and mulled wine will be available. You will be able to view the seasonally decorated house, and there will be a Santa for the children.

Books and toys will be on sale to help raise funds to publish a book about former Red House residents and their visitors. These include the last family to reside at Red House before it became a museum - Lord Shaws. Some Brontë family recipes will be included. Money raised from the sale of the book will go to Holly Bank school (formerly Roe Head) in Mirfield, and Friends of Red House Museum in Gomersal. (From Imelda Marsden)

Red House Opening Hours:

From 1 October to 28 February new winter opening hours apply:
Tuesday to Thursday 11am to 4pm;
Saturday to Sunday 12noon to 4pm.
Monday and Friday: Museum closed.


Down the Belliard Steps: book launch

On Wednesday 28 November over 50 people attended the launch of Helen MacEwan’s book about the experience of setting up the Brussels Brontë Group, Down the Belliard Steps: Discovering the Brontës in Brussels.

Waterstones bookstore in Brussels kindly hosted the launch. Apart from book-signing, talks were given by Helen and by Derek Blyth, who has long been interested in the Brontë links in Brussels and has written about them in his many guide books. Below are some photos of the event. brusselsbronte

Ann Sumner, new director of the Brontë Parsonage Museum

Birmingham News Room provides some interesting biographical data:
Professor Sumner studied History of Art at the Courtauld Institute, University of London, and undertook her PhD in History at Newnham College, University of Cambridge.
She began her career at the National Portrait Gallery, London and has held curatorial positions at the Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Harewood House Trust, and the Holburne Museum, Bath. Prior to her appointment to the Barber Institute in October 2007, she had been Head of Fine Art at Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales, for seven years.
Professor Sumner’s specialist areas of interest are 17th-century British portraits and miniatures, French Impressionist painting, including the art of Alfred Sisley, Pre-Raphaelite artists, especially John Brett, and the art of Wales, being an expert on the paintings of Thomas Jones, pupil of Richard Wilson. She also has experience in country house management and has a long term interest in the social history of lawn tennis.
Professor Sumner is on the steering group for the National Gallery’s Advisory Committee for Research on European Paintings, is a member of the curatorial and academic committee of Ironbridge Gorge Museums, sits on the Museum and Gallery Committee for Aberystwyth School of Art, is on the Committee for the Leverhulme Prize for Art History and is also on the steering group for the proposed lawn tennis museum in Edgbaston.

Meet the Brontës

Busy Brontë day tomorrow in Yorkshire:
More information and updates on Hathaways of Haworth.
1. In Haworth:
Hathaways of Haworth present
Meet the Brontës
West Lane Baptist Church on Saturday, December 8

An interesting and unique Brontë event, examining the hidden elements of the Brontës life.
Runs all day from 1.30 onwards with kids activities 1.30 until 4pm and adults from 4pm until 6 pm, talk and evening events from 7 pm.
To include costume displays, discussion on recent new "portraits", reenactors dressed as the Brontës, and light supper of soup and rolls with belgium sweets and cakes and much more...

From 1.30 onwards there will be a chance to see displays on Haworth and the Brontës, handle replica Brontë diary papers and mini books, see Hathaways research and work on rarely seen Brontë artifacts and meet and take your own photos with costumed re enactors.. A chance to see some of Hathaways costumes on display as well as some items from TV costume dramas, original Victorian items of clothing and a dressing up “box” so children and adults can try dressing up in Victorian hats and bonnets.

From 4.30 until 6pm there is an adults only time with more Victorian clothing and Brontë era artifacts on display, rare Smith and Elder copies of Brontë's work, more early victorian clothing to view. The BBC Cranford gown will be on display from 4.30 onwards and there will be a chance to talk to some of the evenings speakers.

Talks by James Gorin Von Grozny, owner of a famous portrait of three sisters which has been in the news as a possible new Brontë portrait; Mr Charles Butler, an independent artist and author who has acted nationally across the country for the past twenty years including some big and small screen work and more recently acting in the play Brontë Boy; Ian Howard, local Brontë researcher musician and co-author with Lynne Cunliffe of the short play “A Brontë Christmas Carol “ will be giving a talk on his research on Branwell. Followed by an exciting mix of Brontë inspired music by HuuJuu including new songs...
I wish everybody a lot of fun tomorrow.
I wished I could be there!!!!!!
I am looking forward to see pictures and video's.

The parsonage in the snow



donderdag 6 december 2012

Twitter news

Christine Went@ChrisWentBronte
The Bronte Society's new Exec Director will be Professor Ann Sumner, described on Womans Hour as the most powerful woman in UK museum world ChrisWentBronte


Our poor old Tabby is dead and buried.

Reaction of a reader Stay at home artist:

Yes buried Feb 17th 1855, the same day that Charlotte changed her will and left Arthur everything, he would wanted nothing, but her.

He was the one who spoke the prayers over Tabby's grave. A burial service Charlotte would only have to look out of her bedroom window to see, but was perhaps too weak to do so.

woensdag 5 december 2012

Old photo albums on loan for the Haworth Local Distinctiveness project.

Exciting stuff. 4 old photo albums on loan for the Haworth Local Distinctiveness project.

Undressing Miss Earnshaw

A short post to illustrate the use of clothing to help alienate Kathy and Heathcliff in wuthering heights. In contrast to Charlotte who often describes clothing to delineate character or class or act as a contrast to the characters social positions, Emily uses clothing in Wuthering heights as a tool within the story. Read more: hathawaysofhaworth


News outlets still have a lot to say about the Duchess of Cambridge and hyperemesis gravidarum. The Telegraph and Argus is the most relevant to Brontëites as it has asked Ann Dinsdale about Charlotte's final illness.
The Duchess of Cambridge is suffering the same pregnancy-related illness that most likely claimed the life of Haworth author Charlotte Bronte.
But vastly improved medical techniques mean Kate Middleton’s condition is unlikely to end in the same tragic circumstances as the writer of Jane Eyre, who died in 1855 aged 38. [...]
Ann Dinsdale, of Haworth’s Bronte Parsonage Museum, said: “It was generally accepted Charlotte died of Hyperemesis Gravidarum in the early stages of her pregnancy.
“There was nothing that could be done for her then. Today people get good care, but back then there just wasn’t that care. Treatment wasn’t possible.
“There are a few really expressive pencilled notes she wrote in that period that make it clear she suffered terribly.
“People who suffer today have drips attached and get through it fine, but what happened to Charlotte Bronte really highlights the fact that this can be a very serious condition without the right care.”http://bronteblog.blogspot.com/ 
What happened to Charlotte Bronte?
Haworth, January 19th, 1855.
Dear Ellen,—Since our return from Gawthorpe we have had a Mr. Bell, one of Arthur’s cousins, staying with us.  It was a great pleasure.  I wish you could have seen him and made his acquaintance; a true gentleman by nature and cultivation is not after all an everyday thing.
‘As to the living of Habergham or Padiham, it appears the p. 499chance is doubtful at present for anybody.  The present incumbent wishes to retract his resignation, and declares his intention of appointing a curate for two years.  I fear Mr. Sowden hardly produced a favourable impression; a strong wish was expressed that Arthur could come, but that is out of the question.
‘I very much wish to come to Brookroyd, and I hope to be able to write with certainty and fix Wednesday, the 31st January, as the day; but the fact is I am not sure whether I shall be well enough to leave home.  At present I should be a most tedious visitor.  My health has been really very good since my return from Ireland till about ten days ago, when the stomach seemed quite suddenly to lose its tone; indigestion and continual faint sickness have been my portion ever since.  Don’t conjecture, dear Nell, for it is too soon yet, though I certainly never before felt as I have done lately.  But keep the matter wholly to yourself, for I can come to no decided opinion at present.  I am rather mortified to lose my good looks and grow thin as I am doing just when I thought of going to Brookroyd.  Dear Ellen, I want to see you, and I hope I shall see you well.  My love to all.—Yours faithfully,
C. B. Nicholls.’
Soon after her return, she was attacked by new sensations of perpetual nausea, and ever-recurring faintness. After this state of things had lasted for some time; she yielded to Mr. Nicholls' wish that a doctor should be sent for. He came, and assigned a natural cause for her miserable indisposition; a little patience, and all would go right. She, who was ever patient in illness, tried hard to bear up and bear on. But the dreadful sickness increased and increased, till the very sight of food occasioned nausea. A wren would have starved on what she ate during those last six weeks," says one. Tabby's health had suddenly and utterly given way, and she died in this time of distress and anxiety respecting the last daughter of the house she had served so long. Martha tenderly waited on her mistress, and from time to time tried to cheer her with the thought of the baby that was coming. "I dare say I shall be glad some time," she would say; "but I am so ill - so weary - " Then she took to her bed, too weak to sit up. From that last couch she wrote two notes - in pencil. The first, which has no date, is addressed to her own

 " Dear Nell."
"I must write one line out of my weary bed. The news of M----'s probable recovery came like a ray of joy to me. I am not going to talk of my sufferings - it would be useless and painful. I want to give you an assurance, which I know will comfort you - and that is, that I find in my husband the tenderest nurse, the kindest support, the best earthly comfort that ever woman had. His patience never fails, and it is tried by sad days and broken nights. Write and tell me about Mrs. ----'s case; how long was she ill, and in what way? Papa - thank God! - is better. Our poor old Tabby is dead and buried. Give my kind love to Miss Wooler. May God comfort and help you. elizabeth_gaskell/charlotte_bronte/29/
"C. B. Nicholls."


dinsdag 4 december 2012

December fashion in the time of the Bronte Sisters

DESCRIPTION: This fine and original color lithograph was printed in Paris (France) in 1848. It was printed on very heavy wove paper and the image is exquisitely drawn and hand-colored at the time of the publication. Colours are vivid and fresh.
1848 fashion plate shows bonnets and winter-wear.
With the narrow, sloping shoulder line of the 1840s, the shawl returned to fashion, where it would remain through the 1860s. It was now generally square and worn folded on the diagonal.
Riding habits consisted of a high-necked, tight-waisted jacket with long snug sleeves, worn over a tall-collared shirt or chemisette, with a long matching petticoat or skirt. Contrasting waistcoats or vests cut like those worn by men were briefly popular. Tall hats or broad-brimmed hats like those worn by men were worn.
With the new narrower sleeves, coats and jackets returned to fashion. These were generally knee-length with a cape-like collar. Ankle-length cloaks with cape-collars to cover slits for the arms were worn in cold or wet weather. Ermine muffs with attached handkerchiefs were worn to keep hands warm and be fashionable.[3]
The pelerine was a popular name for wide, capelike collars that extended over the shoulders and covered the upper chest. Sometimes they had layers of tiered fabric, long front panels hanging down from center front, or were also belted at the natural waistline.
The mantlet was a general name for any small cape worn as outerwear.

Dress of Charlotte Bronte
This dress is not made for winter time
This dress is the dress Charlotte used during her honeymoon in august



Remembering Charlotte's visit

BBC News reports that 'Sixty holly trees will be planted in the Peak District National Park to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee' and includes an interesting piece of lore:
The trees will be planted at the Hollin Bank site near Stanage Edge, above the town of Hathersage, on 8 December.
Estate ranger Bill Gordon said Hollin Bank was a "fitting site" as Hollin is a traditional dialect word for holly.
Stanage Cottage used to stand on the site and had links back to the times of Queen Victoria, who also celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, Mr Gordon added.
"The cottage was built for the gamekeeper on the original shooting estate... and then became known as Hugh Thorp's cottage after the people who lived there in the 1800s.
"Hugh's wife lived to her 90s and remembered being at North Lees when Charlotte Brontë visited. So it is a historic site," said Mr Gordon.Remembering Charlotte's visit

Kate Middleton's new connection to Charlotte Brontë

The Independent:
Acute morning sickness, known as hyperemesis gravidarum, is a serious medical condition with potential consequences for mother and baby. While seven out of ten pregnant women suffer nausea, usually in the first three months, some are sick morning noon and night throughout, vomiting as much as 25 times a day.
Until the 1950s, women even died from the condition through becoming dehydrated – Charlotte Bronte is believed to have been a victim. Now dehydration can be treated with a drip and is a common reason for hospitalisation accounting for more than 25,000 admissions a year. (Jeremy Laurance) Read more on: Kate Middleton's new connection to Charlotte Brontë

maandag 3 december 2012

December Pictures. Haworth in the snow.

Brontë Verbs

Constance Hale lists some examples of using verbs in English with creativity in The Huffington Post:
Another nineteenth-century writer, Charlotte Brontë, shows that when the verbs are good, you can rely on terse, crisp sentences. Notice how much meaning she packs into these tight sentences from Villette, in which the narrator awaits reunion with her beloved:

The sun passes the equinox; the days shorten; the leaves grow sere; but—he is coming.
Frosts appear at night. November has sent his fogs in advance; the wind takes its autumn moan; but—he is coming.
The skies hang full and dark; a rack sails from the west; the clouds case themselves into strange forms—arches and broad radiations; there rise resplendent mornings—glorious, royal, purple as monarch in his state; the heavens are one flame; so wild are they, they rival battle at its thickest—so bloody, they shame victory in her pride. I know some signs of the sky, I have noted them ever since childhood. God watch that sail! Oh, guard it!  bronteblog/bronte-verbs

Haworth Through the Lens of History

Haworth Through the Lens of History

Back Video Productions presents
Haworth Through the Lens of History
Written and Presented by Geraldine Bell
Video Production by James Hutton (34 min)

Photography has been entertaining and amusing people since its invention in the 1800's. Nowadays old photographs can serve as a window into the past. In this video we shall blend old and new photographs to help transport you back in time, exploring how the landscape and social fabric of this area has changed.

maandag 26 november 2012


Great to see Lyn Cunliffe
walking around,
 in her beautiful dress,
through Haworth
Lynn is from Hathaways of Haworth

zondag 25 november 2012

The Bronte Sisters and weblogs

Emily Brontë (1818-1848), Guwald Tower, Haddington, 8 December 1832. Pencil on paper. Inscription by Ellen Nussey. 164 x 149 mm. Robert H. Taylor Collection (RHT), Rare Books and Special Collections. Gift of Robert H. Taylor, Class of 1930.
Quote from Christine Anne Alexander and Jane Sellars, The Art of the Brontës (Cambridge [Eng.]: Cambridge University Press, 1995). (SA) N6797.B758 A4 1995

Read more: graphicarts

Two of the most iconic novels of the Victorian era were written by the Bronte sisters. When they were initially released "Jane Eyre" was the most popular amoungst the public and critics of that time period. Now, thanks to modern novels that appreciate the work of Emily Bronte "Wuthering Heights" appears to be the favourite. I have always liked "Jane Eyre" and decided to finally read "Wuthering Heights" in order to decide where the novels stand from my viewpoint.

Both books are considered to be of the gothic genre and having being written in the same household I could hardly imagine the tension and competitive nature that may have played a big part in the realtionships between the Bronte sisters. Also, a third and lesser-known sister, Anne Bronte had a novel released around the same time. I hardly think it's fair to compare sisters, but now having seen many articles of the sort and finding an opinion of my own on the subject I realise that another opinion is of little matter when there are so many circulating the blogosphere on the subject.

(Dutch) Ik hou van lezen, maar bij de bibliotheek kan ik toch altijd niet echt vinden wat ik zoek. Maargoed, al je boeken kopen is ook weer zo’n gedoe en mijn voornaamste bezwaar: het is zo duur. Dacht jij dit ook tot nu toe? Meet Book Depository. De ideale site om je Engelse boeken te shoppen, ze zijn namelijk hartstikke goedkoop én er zijn geen verzendkosten! Tel uit je winst, haha. Ik had echt helemaal geen boeken meer om te lezen, dus besloot ik mezelf te verwennen met een belachelijk grote bestelling bij BD. Ondertussen heb ik al m’n boeken binnen dus ik ga ze jullie even laten zien.
 :) dashingdays

I was looking forward to getting books that I love but don’t own and I’d had my eye on some editions with newly redesigned covers to add to my library collection. After being in the store for an hour perusing the disorganized store I realized my arms were sore from the growing, toppling stack. I set down my selections and looked at many of the ones I’d scooped up. 
Stick girl jam

This trend, reminiscent of the 18th and 19th centuries, was seen in 2011’s Jane Eyre starring Mia Wasikowska. We are sure this won’t be the last we see of quilted clothes – or the Brontës – on the silver screen

dinsdag 20 november 2012

Beginning of the Moorland path above the Parsonage the Brontes would have taken across Penistone hill.

The Bronte Birthplace

Villagers leading a campaign to buy the birthplace of the Bronte sisters are in a race against time to secure the site through a new Government law.
The Bronte Birthplace Trust is looking to get a Community Right to Bid in place on the house in Market Street, Thornton, after it was put on sale for £129,950.
If the bid goes through, the house would be reserved for the group to buy if it raises sufficient funds or receives a grant.
The group, which aims to turn the house into a museum as part of a plan to help boost tourism in the village, has said it hopes to have the bid in place within the next week.

“We would like to run it as a museum, a working museum, where people can come along and be taken around it, and then the whole community could benefit. The Bronte Birthplace would link up with the Old Bell Chapel and the South Square project, so it’s a three-pronged tourist attraction.
“The objective is education, to get school children coming round and things like that.”
Read all: thetelegraphandargus

maandag 19 november 2012

Six letters of Charlotte Brontë to be auctioned in Sotheby's

Catalogue NoteAn important cache of six letters by Charlotte Brontë, including several written in the throes of her religious crisis of 1836. She had admitted to Ellen Nussey that she was unfulfilled and frustrated teaching at Roe Head School. Nussey replied with conventional Christian pieties, and in several of these letters Brontë appears to be desperately searching for consolation in the faith propounded by her friend. Ellen Nussey (1817-1897) was Charlotte Brontë's most important correspondent: they exchanged over 500 letters between 1831, when they met as fellow students at Roe Head School, and Charlotte's death in 1855. She refused Rev. Nicholls's request to destroy Charlotte's letters to her and made some 350 letters available to Mrs Gaskell for the Life: "but for these letters and her acquaintance with the members of the Brontë household our knowledge of that remarkable family must have been meagre indeed" (William Scruton, 'Reminiscences of the late Miss Ellen Nussey', Transactions ... of the Brontë Society, Vol. 1, Pt. VIII, 1898). The letters were widely dispersed following their sale to the infamous collector and forger T.J. Wise. These letters have hitherto only been published from transcripts.
Read more: Six letters of Charlotte Brontë to be auctioned in Sotheby's

zaterdag 17 november 2012

Message on Twitter: Bracelet of Anne's hair

Bronte Parsonage@BronteParsonage16 november
Still preparing for next year's exhibition - this is a bracelet of Anne's hair, given by Charlotte to Ellen Nussey:
Click on    and you can see the picture.

Paintings in the Bronte Parsonage Museum

Winifred Gerin
  • Date painted: c.1960–1981
  • Oil on board, 44.5 x 34.5 cm (estimated)
  • Collection: Brontë Parsonage Museum               

  • Winifred Gerin (1901–1981) was the Hamburg-born biographer of the Brontë sisters, most famous for her 1967 work, 'Charlotte Brontë: The Evolution of Genius'. The portrait, by Winifred Gerin's sister, is in a 20th-century realistic style.
    The First Meeting of Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester

    Where to see these and more paintings?

    Brontë Parsonage Museum
    Church Street Haworth, Keighley, West Yorkshire, England, BD22 8DR

    vrijdag 16 november 2012

    Scarf, which belonged to... Patrick Bronte!

    Fascinating day so far, choosing items for next year's exhibition, measuring them so that the special cases can be made, and writing the labels. Here's Sarah in the Bonnell Store, unrolling a flowered silk scarf. It belonged to a Bronte, but you'll never guess which...
    Here's a close-up of the scarf, which belonged to... Patrick Bronte! - reputedly a dry old stick. But his wife referred to him as 'dear, saucy Pat', and he wore this, so he must have had a hidden frivolous side...
    More preparations for the exhibition for next year: this is the knife-and-fork set Charlotte had to take to school with her at Roehead..facebook/Bronte-Parsonage-Museum

    History bronte Society

    donderdag 15 november 2012

    A whole day of Bronte Events for all ages at West Lane Baptist Church Sat Dec 8th from 1.30 to 10 pm

    Hathaways of Haworth have a whole program of Bronte events is now planned for West Lane Baptist Church.There will be something for all age. (There is likely to be more events included over the next few days but at present these are those definitly a part of the program.)

    From 1.30 onwards there will be a chance to see displays on Haworth and the Brontes handle replica Bronte diary papers and mini books, see Hathaways research and work on rarely seen Bronte artifacts and meet and take your own photos with costumed re enactors children’s activities during the afternoon will include.

    A chance to see some of Hathaways costumes on display and try dressing up in Victorian hats and bonnets. Make your own Victorian hats. Make your own Bronte mini book or diary paper.
    Colouring sheets for the very young and worksheets on the Victorians for kids. Admission is free for any child with an accompanying adult, adult admission is £2. and a free tea, coffee or cold drink is included in the cost.

    Further displays of replica Bronte artifacts and victorian clothing which can both looked at and handled, Hathaways costumes ''A look at Haworth in the Brontes day and” imagine a world without any Brontes a look at how Haworth might be today had the Brontes never published. There will be a chance to talk to Reneactors dressed as the sisters and their brother. Branwell, Charlotte and Emily will be mingling with the guests and have been briefed to “act in character” so you can see the Brontes in a social situation. There will be a chance to speak to our speakers about their work and research.

    Hathaways of Haworths owner Lynn Cunliffe who will be talking about he Bronte work and research, including what Bronte clothing can tell us about the lives of the Brontes and how it can help in identifying or discounting new Bronte portraits or photos such as those sold recently.The main element of the program will be “undressing the Brontes ” a look at what they wore by undressing two mannequins Charlotte and Emily and showing how each sisters clothing and attitudes to clothing can shed new light on “Bronte Myths”. hathawaysofhaworth

    dinsdag 13 november 2012

    Bronte Society expresses disappointment at Ovenden Moor windfarm decision

    The Brontë Society wishes to express its disappointment with the decision by Calderdale Council to grant planning permission to Yorkshire Wind Power for the repowering of the windfarm at Ovenden Moor.
    We feel that this decision demonstrates a lack of consideration for a unique heritage landscape which has internationally renowned cultural associations. It shows, also, an insensitive disregard for the negative impact upon the environment and upon the local economy of Haworth and the area known as Brontë Country.
    The Society has received a huge level of interest and support from all over the world. We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude and to give an assurance of our continued commitment to Haworth’s cultural and historical significance.
    13 November 2012
    For further information please contact the Bronte Parsonage Museum on 01535 642323 / bronte@bronte.org.uk

    The Brontes in Brussels

    A new book about the Brontës in Brussels has just been published. The author is Helen MacEwan, member of the Brussels Brontë Group:

    Originally published on the Brussels Brontë Blog:
    Down the Belliard Steps: Discovering the Brontës in Brussels
    Helen MacEwan
    ISBN No 978-0-9573772-0-2
    Publisher: Brussels Brontë Editions
    146 pp

    Charlotte and Emily Brontë’s stay in Brussels in 1842-43 to improve their French was to prove a momentous one for Charlotte in particular. She fell in love with her French teacher, Constantin Heger, and her experiences in the Belgian capital inspired two of her four novels, Villette and The Professor. Yet the Brontës’ Brussels episode remains the least-known of their lives.

    When Helen MacEwan moved to Brussels in 2004 she discovered that not many people there seemed to know much about the Brontës’ time in the city. She herself had a lot to find out about their life in the Pensionnat Heger at the bottom of the Belliard steps. In the process of doing so she met other people who were similarly fascinated by the story, and with them formed the Brussels branch of the Brontë Society.

    For all these people, following in Charlotte and Emily's tracks in modern-day Brussels, and setting up a literary group, was a voyage of discovery. In the course of telling their story, Helen finds some odd parallels between the Brussels of their day and ours, and reflects on why the Brontës' time there is so fascinating.
    You can buy it in the English bookstores Waterstones and Sterling Books in Brussels, or from the Brontë Parsonage Museum shop.

    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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