I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas: they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.
Emily Bronte
Wuthering Heights

zaterdag 8 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.

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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