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 17 maart 2012

William Weightman

William Weightman MA. was the son of a brewer from Appleby, Westmorland. Appleby-in-Westmorland is a town and civil parish in Cumbria, in North West England.
He went to Appleby Grammar School. He was a Theology and Classical scholar at Durham university. About 19th August 1839, he became curate to Rev Brontë. The girls gave him the nickname Miss Celia Amelia, and Charlotte described him as...bonny, pleasant, careless, fickle, unclerical. On his arrival, he said that he was engaged to Agnes Walton. She was from Crackenthorpe, near his home town of Appleby, and it was assumed he was intending to marry her, though he flirted with other women, including possibly Anne Brontë. Agnes Walton married a well-to-do farmer, John Horn. In August 1840, he applied to the Bishop of Ripon to be ordained. He lectured at Haworth Mechanics Institute. He was interested in Caroline Dury. He died in 1842 at the age of 28 in a cholera epidemic. He may have contracted the disease in his visits to the sick of the village. He was buried in Haworth Church. He had a brother, Robert, who also became a clergyman, but was ejected from his living on account of his frequent drunkenness. William may have been the model for the character Edward Weston. history.rootsweb.ancestry/calderdalecompanion
Patrick’s curate in Haworth 1839–42. He was born in Appleby, the son of a brewer, and at Durham University studied for a Licentiate in Theology, which he attained shortly before being made a deacon and taking the curacy in Haworth. He was ordained a year later in the summer of 1840. He burst on the Haworth scene like a ray of sunshine. He was handsome, engaging, and fun, and the lives of all those at the Parsonage were enriched by his energy and enthusiasm. One gets the impression from Charlotte’s letters of a young man giving a performance – perhaps as the archetypal inconstant lover from some eighteenth-century comedy. From the start and throughout he professed devotion to the girl he left at home, Agnes Walton, but quite soon we learn of the girl he treated badly in Swansea, then the girls he had on a string in Keighley – Caroline Dury, the vicar’s daughter, and Sarah Sugden, rich and generous with money. His relationship with the daughters of his own vicar was flirtatious, confidential, as if he aimed to entertain them with stories of perpetual lovemaking, if not with the actual thing. He sent them valentines, took them to lectures he was giving in Keighley, even saw to it that they involved themselves in such matters as the Church rates controversy. blackwellreference

September 29 th 1840. 

'I know Mrs. Ellen is burning with eagerness to hear something about William Weightman. I think I'll plague her by not telling her a  word. To speak heaven's truth, I have precious little to say, inasmuch as I seldom see him, except on a Sunday, when he looks as handsome, cheery, and good-tempered as usual. I have indeed had the advantage of one long conversation since his return from Westmorland, when he poured out his whole warm fickle soul in fondness and admiration of Agnes Walton. Whether he is in love with her or not I can't say; I can only observe that it sounds very like it. He sent us a prodigious quantity of game while he was away--a brace of wild ducks, a brace of black grouse, a brace of partridges, ditto of snipes, ditto of curlews, and a large salmon. If you were to ask Mr. Weightman's opinion of my character just now, he would say that at first he thought me a cheerful chatty kind of body, but that on farther acquaintance he found me of a capricious changeful temper, never to be reckoned on. He does not know that I have regulated my manner by his--that I was cheerful and chatty so long as he was respectful, and that when he grew almost contemptuously familiar I found it necessary to adopt a degree of reserve which was not 
natural, and therefore was very painful to me. I find this reserve very convenient, and consequently I intend to keep it up.' 

During the governess and Brussels episodes in Charlotte's life we lose sight of Mr. Weightman, and the next record is of his death, which took place in September 1842, while Charlotte and Emily were in Brussels. Mr. Bronte preached the funeral sermon, {287} stating by way of introduction that for the twenty years and more that he had been in Haworth he had never before read his sermon. 'This is owing to a conviction in my mind,' he says, 'that in general, for the ordinary run of hearers, extempore preaching, though accompanied with some peculiar disadvantages, is more likely to be of a colloquial nature, and better adapted, on the whole, to the majority.' His departure from the practice on this occasion, he explains, is due to the request that his sermon should be printed. 

Mr. Weightman, he told his hearers, was a native of Westmoreland, educated at the University of Durham. 'While he was there,' continued Mr. Bronte, 'I applied to the justly venerated Apostolical Bishop of this diocese, requesting his Lordship to send me a curate adequate to the wants and wishes of the parishioners. This application was not in vain. Our Diocesan, in the scriptural character of the Overlooker and Head of his clergy, made an admirable choice, which more than answered my expectations, and probably yours. The Church Pastoral Aid Society, intheir pious liberality, lent their pecuniary aid, without which all efforts must have failed.' 'He had classical attainments of the first order, and, above all, his religious principles were sound and orthodox,' concludes Mr. Bronte. Mr. Weightman was twenty-six years of age when he died. His successor was Mr. Peter Augustus Smith, whom Charlotte Bronte has made famous in ""Shirley"" as Mr. Malone, curate of Briarfield. Mr. 
Smith was Mr. A. B. Nicholls's predecessor at Haworth. fatalsecret/charlotte_bronte_and_her_circle_by_clement_king_shorter_

vrijdag 16 maart 2012

ANNE BRONTË, William Weightman

At Anne's return to Haworth, she met William Weightman (1814–1842), Patrick's new curate, who began work in the parish in August 1839.[39] Twenty-five years old, he had obtained a two-year licentiate in theology from the University of Durham. He quickly became welcome at the parsonage. Anne's acquaintance with William Weightman parallels the writing of a number of poems, which may suggest that she fell in love with him.[40][41] There is considerable disagreement over this point.[42] Not much outside evidence exists beyond a teasing anecdote of Charlotte's to Ellen Nussey in January 1842.
It may or may not be relevant that the source of Agnes Grey 's renewed interest in poetry is the curate to whom she is attracted. As the person to whom Anne Brontë may have been attracted, William Weightman has aroused much curiosity. It seems clear that he was a good-looking, engaging young man, whose easy humour and kindness towards the Brontë sisters made a considerable impression. It is such a character that she portrays in Edward Weston, and that her heroine Agnes Grey finds deeply appealing.[43]
If Anne did form an attachment to Weightman, that does not imply that he, in turn, was attracted to her. Indeed, it is entirely possible that Weightman was no more aware of her than of her sisters or their friend Ellen Nussey. Nor does it follow that Anne believed him to be interested in her. If anything, her poems suggest just the opposite–they speak of quietly experienced but intensely felt emotions, intentionally hidden from others, without any indication of their being requited. It is also possible that an initially mild attraction to Weightman assumed increasing importance to Anne over time, in the absence of other opportunities for love, marriage, and children.
Anne would have seen William Weightman on her holidays at home, particularly during the summer of 1842, when her sisters were away. He died of cholera in the same year.[44] Anne expressed her grief for his death in her poem "I will not mourn thee, lovely one", in which she called him "our darling".[39] wiki/Anne_Bronte

donderdag 15 maart 2012


March 17th, 1840.
My dear Mrs. Eleanor,—I wish to scold you with a forty-horse power for having told Mary Taylor that I had requested you not to tell her everything, which piece of information has thrown her into tremendous ill-humour, besides setting the teeth of her curiosity on edge.  Tell her forthwith every individual occurrence, including valentines, “Fair E---, Fair E---,” etc.; “Away fond love,” etc.; “Soul divine,” and all; likewise the painting of Miss Celia Amelia Weightman’s portrait, and that young lady’s frequent and agreeable visits.  By-the-bye, I inquired into the opinion of that intelligent and interesting young person respecting you.  It was a favourable one.  “She” thought you a fine-looking girl, and a very good girl into the bargain.  Have you received the newspaper which has been despatched, containing a notice of “her” lecture at Keighley?  Mr. Morgan came and stayed three days.  By Miss Weightman’s aid, we got on pretty well.  It was amazing to see with what patience and good-temper the innocent creature endured that fat Welshman’s prosing, though she confessed afterwards that she was almost done up by his long stories.  We feel very dull without you.  I wish those three weeks were to come over again.  Aunt has been at times precious cross since you went—however, she is rather better now.  I had a bad cold on Sunday and stayed at home most of the day.  Anne’s cold is better, but I don’t consider her strong yet.  What did your sister Anne say about my omitting to send a drawing for the Jew basket?  I hope she was too much occupied with the thoughts of going to Earnley to think of it.  I am obliged to cut short my letter.  Everybody in the house unites in sending their love to you.  Miss Celia Amelia Weightman also desires to be remembered.  Write soon again and—Believe me, yours unalterably,

 Mr. Weightman would appear to have been a favourite. He many times put in an appearance at the parsonage, although I do not recognise him in any one of Charlotte's novels, and he certainly has no place among the three famous curates of _Shirley_. He would seem to have been the only man, other than her father and brother, whom Emily was known to tolerate. We know that the girls considered him effeminate, and they called him 'Celia Amelia,' under which name he frequently appears in Charlotte's letters to Ellen Nussey. That he was good-natured seems to be indisputable. There is one story of his walking to Bradford to post valentines to the incumbent's daughters, when he found they had never received any. There is another story of a trip to Keighley to hear him lecture. He was a bit of a poet, it seems, and Ellen Nussey was the heroine of some of his verses when she visited at Haworth. Here is a letter which throws some light upon Charlotte's estimate of the young man--he was twenty-three years of age at this time. 

zondag 11 maart 2012

Gawthorpe Hall

March 19th, 1850.

Dear Ellen,—I have got home again, and now that the visit is over, I am, as usual, glad I have been; not that I could have endured to prolong it: a few days at once, in an utterly strange place, amongst utterly strange faces, is quite enough for me.

When the train stopped at Burnley, I found Sir James waiting for me.  A drive of about three miles brought us to the gates of Gawthorpe, and after passing up a somewhat desolate avenue, there towered the hall—grey, antique, castellated, and stately—before me.  It is 250 years old, and, within as without, is a model of old English architecture.  The arms and the strange crest of the Shuttleworths are carved on the oak pannelling of each room.  They are not a parvenue family, but date from the days of Richard III.  This part of Lancashire seems rather remarkable for its houses of ancient race.  The Townleys, who live near, go back to the Conquest.

‘The people, however, were of still more interest to me than the house.  Lady Shuttleworth is a little woman, thirty-two years old, with a pretty, smooth, lively face.  Of pretension to aristocratic airs she may be entirely acquitted; of frankness, good-humour, and activity she has enough; truth obliges me to add, that, as it seems to me, grace, dignity, fine feeling were p. 449not in the inventory of her qualities.  These last are precisely what her husband possesses.  In manner he can be gracious and dignified; his tastes and feelings are capable of elevation; frank he is not, but, on the contrary, politic; he calls himself a man of the world and knows the world’s ways; courtly and affable in some points of view, he is strict and rigorous in others.  In him high mental cultivation is combined with an extended range of observation, and thoroughly practical views and habits.  His nerves are naturally acutely sensitive, and the present very critical state of his health has exaggerated sensitiveness into irritability.  His wife is of a temperament precisely suited to nurse him and wait on him; if her sensations were more delicate and acute she would not do half so well.  They get on perfectly together.  The children—there are four of them—are all fine children in their way. 

They have a young German lady as governess—a quiet, well-instructed, interesting girl, whom I took to at once, and, in my heart, liked better than anything else in the house.  She also instinctively took to me.  She is very well treated for a governess, but wore the usual pale, despondent look of her class.  She told me she was home-sick, and she looked so.

‘I have received the parcel containing the cushion and all the etcetera, for which I thank you very much.  I suppose I must begin with the group of flowers; I don’t know how I shall manage it, but I shall try.  I have a good number of letters to answer—from Mr. Smith, from Mr. Williams, from Thornton Hunt, Lætitia Wheelwright, Harriet Dyson—and so I must bid you good-bye for the present. 
p. 449
Write to me soon.  The brief absence from home, though in some respects trying and painful in itself, has, I think, given me a little better tone of spirit.  All through this month of February I have had a crushing time of it.  I could not escape from or rise above certain most mournful recollections—the last few days, the sufferings, the remembered words, most sorrowful to me, of those who, Faith assures me, are now happy.  At evening and bed-time such thoughts would haunt me, bringing a weary heartache.  Good-bye, dear Nell.—Yours faithfully, ‘C. B.’

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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