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 24 maart 2012

Searching for the Bronte Sisters on the Internet/ weblogs

Bronte restoration cash boost

Bronte Spirit chairman Averil Kenyon, centre with councillors Glen Miller and Rebecca Poulsen 

An initiative to restore a historic Haworth building has received a £2,500 boost.
Worth Valley ward councillors have allocated the money from the ward investment fund to support Bronte Spirit, which is campaigning to ensure the long-term future of the Old School Room. The Church Street building, which requires major repairs and renovations, was built by the Reverend Patrick Bronte. 
The money was made available by councillors Glen Miller, Rebecca Poulsen and Russell Brown. Coun Miller said: “We were keen to support this project as it still has a long way to go. We’ve given it some start-up costs.” Averil Kenyon, chairman of Bronte Spirit, said she and her colleagues were delighted with this financial backing. We are overwhelmed, it was just so timely,” she said. She added that the money would help with the costs of drawing up a business plan, needed as part of an application for further funding. Her group has staged a pair of open days to give local business people and community leaders a chance to see what potential the property has as a venue. Keighley News

donderdag 22 maart 2012

Visit to Haworth

The house itself still has the bare, slightly scrubbed look that led Charlotte’s biographer Elizabeth Gaskell to comment, “I don’t know that I ever saw a spot more exquisitely clean.” The present director, Andrew McCarthy, shows me around and points out that he is at pains to keep it from becoming a “Brontë reliquary.” (This intention didn’t keep him from setting off for Sotheby’s right before Christmas with $610,000 to bid on a miniature book of Brontë juvenilia that came up for sale; he was outbid by the French.) The rooms have been decorated in keeping with the period of the Brontës; the original sofa Emily is thought to have died on in the dining room is here, as is Anne’s art box, a pair of Charlotte’s white stockings and several of her almost-child-size dresses. (She stood at under five feet.)
Read more about this visit to Haworth 

woensdag 21 maart 2012

Top Withens

So, on Sunday I went up to Haworth and walked to Top Withins. It's a well trodden path and as it was a mild, sunny day there were lots of others walking out on the moors too. The birds are getting ready for spring. 

We could hear the eerie call of Curlew in the breeze and the crackle of Red Grouse being flushed from the heather.   

And I saw a couple of bees (a honeybee and a bumble bee). We had a butty at the Bronte Waterfalls by the Bronte Bridge and then continued up to Top Withins.

There's a plaque on the ruin that explains "This farmhouse has been associated with 'Wuthering Heights', the Earnshaw home in the Emily Bronte novel. The buildings, even when complete, bore no resemblance to the house she described, but the situation may have been in her mind when she wrote of the moorland setting of the Heights."

zondag 18 maart 2012

Brontes reunited in bronze for concert

Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte will be special guests at a concert in their honour on April 1. 
Life-size sculptures of the three famous writers will greet the audience as they arrive to hear the Bronte Mass.
Diane Lawrenson’s bronze sculptures, entitled Three Sisters, will be at the Victoria Theatre, Halifax, from the previous day. The Bronte Mass, along with other classical pieces, will be performed by Halifax Choral Society, the Black Dyke Band and Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra. The Bronte Mass was commissioned by Leeds Philharmonic Chorus in memory of its chairman John Brodwell, who was passionate about the Brontes.
Composer Philip Wilby set music to the poetry of the Bronte sisters and their brother Branwell. 
Choir spokesman Tina Matthews promised a thrilling concert with astounding and “simply glorious” music. 
She added: “The sound is expected to be absolutely amazing with upwards of 200 voices on stage.”

Tickets for the concert cost from £8 to £22 by phoning
Keighley News

Old School Rooms

The latest initiative of Brontë Spirit for restoring and safeguarding the Old School Rooms in Haworth: The voluntary group leading a project to restore one of Haworth’s most historic buildings wants to develop links with the business world. Brontë Spirit is working to safeguard the future of the Old School Room, in Church Street, which was built by the Rev Patrick Brontë. The group is staging open days at the premises Friday and on Saturday. It has invited many members of the district’s business sector along with community leaders to see what potential the building offers. Averil Kenyon, chairman of Brontë Spirit, said: “While we are currently discussing with English Heritage how we can restore the building to its former glory we have to consider what kind of sustainable future the building has. “For the two open days we have invited representatives from the commercial estate agency world to come and talk to us about what kind of business or community use might most easily fit into what the building can offer. “We have also invited companies from many sectors which could easily find a use for the building and community organisations looking to expand their operations now that the Government is asking us to embrace localism, or need extra space to house their current operations. “We’re very optimistic that this building will adapt to a modern use and that will ensure this key structure within the Haworth historical footprint will be saved for future generations to appreciate.” The Old School Room currently has serious problems with its roof and needs major external refurbishments. Mrs Kenyon added: “Our discussions with English Heritage are at an advanced stage and they have been very helpful. (Miran Rahman) Keighley news

Governess gown and mourning gown

A few shots of my last years working wardobe and the governess gown and mourning gown which was also a suitable governess outfit 

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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